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Group to protest Japan over comfort women issue

TAIPEI -- A Taipei-based group will stage a protest later this week to demand a formal apology and compensation from Japan for having driven thousands of women — known euphemistically as comfort women — into sexual slavery during World War II.

As part of its continued campaign to have Japan formally apologize for atrocities committed during the war, the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation will hold a rally in front of the Taipei Office of Japan's Interchange Association Aug. 14, as in previous years.

The association represents Japan's interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties.

On Aug. 14, each of the protesters will have the opportunity to verbalize an individual call for Japan to formally apologize and offer compensation to the comfort women, the women's group said.

Meanwhile, the group is encouraging the public to write messages or draw pictures that would convey their feelings to the Japanese government and lend support to the comfort women.

The messages and drawings can be sent to the foundation and will be used to produce large banners and animation that will later go on display at a related exhibition, it said.

The foundation said it is also raising funds for the exhibition, which will be held in cooperation with artist Phoebe Man of Hong Kong.

Over the past two decades, the foundation has been dedicated to helping Taiwanese comfort women cope with their mental anguish and seek justice and compensation from Japan.

It has launched many initiatives in this regard, including documentaries and arts exhibitions.

More than 2,000 Taiwanese women were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, according to the foundation.

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