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Group planning to hold new 'comfort women' exhibition

TAIPEI--Taipei-based group will hold an exhibition aimed at calling for the Japanese government to offer a formal apology and compensation for driving thousands of women — known euphemistically as “comfort women” — into sexual slavery during World War II.

The “814 Special Exhibition” is scheduled to open Nov. 25 and run through Dec. 10, which falls on Human Rights Day, according to the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, which is organizing the exhibition.

The foundation is also inviting the public to write messages or draw pictures that convey their feelings to the Japanese government and lend support to the comfort women.

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

“We are hoping that we will collect 814 messages and pictures,” said foundation executive director Kang Shu-hua.

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

As a global campaign, the foundation has joined other countries in which women also suffered from sexual slavery to push for Aug. 14 to be designated as the global memorial day for comfort women.

On Aug. 14, the foundation held its annual protest outside of the Taipei Office of Japan's Interchange Association to demand Japan formally apologize for its wartime atrocities and offer compensation to comfort women. The association represents Japan's interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties.

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