Japan’s discomfort with history and the PH dilemma
- Lucio Blanco Pitlo III
Photo from Rappler
Manila is now under pressure after the Japanese embassy expressed concern over a statue to commemorate "comfort women" put up along Roxas Boulevard on December 8. Wartime atrocities, including comfort women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, continue to mire Japan’s relations with its neighbors, notably China, Korea, and the Philippines. But over time, Japan’s soft power, investments, and overseas aid softened the position of most Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines. While surviving comfort women became national figures in Korea, their Filipina counterparts have become marginalized and Philippine authorities have become largely indifferent to their legitimate demands for an official apology and compensation from Japan.