RING THE BELLS FOR PEACE & JUSTICE!

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Lila Filipina

12 March 2023

To fellow rights and justice advocates,

On March 4, 2023, Lila Pilipina—an organization of Filipino comfort women and a member organization of GABRIELA | National Alliance of Filipino Women—held a protest action in Manila to call on the Japanese government to finally address the calls for justice of Filipino “Comfort Women”, who were victims of Japanese wartime military sex slavery.

This is in line with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) review of Japan’s human rights situation, a cyclical process undertaken by the Council which examines the human rights policies of its member states and draws up recommendations for the improvement of the human rights climate of the nation under review.

Japan recently presented its official human rights report to the UN Council but has continued to ignore the pleas of the Filipino women victims who have been fighting for decades to achieve justice. Similarly, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. refused to take up the matter with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his most recent state visit to Japan.

Instead, the two governments discussed the strengthening of their military ties and security agreements, including the formation of a US-Japan-Philippines Security Triad—agreements that again provide for the deployment of Japanese troops on Philippine territory and which drags the Philippines into the theater of war between China, on one hand, and US-Japan on the other. We oppose war, we oppose these agreements! We demand that Japan not only face up to its responsibility to Filipino women victims, but to also desist from the path of war and militarism. We likewise demand that the Philippine government adopt an independent, non-aligned foreign policy. A policy that upholds our sovereignty as a nation and which will never allow Japan’s history of wartime atrocities against our people to ever happen again.

We sound out our calls to the international community to support us on this fight and ring the bells for peace and justice.

We are calling on citizens across the globe to support the campaign by:

Ø  Carrying out similar ringing of bells in their own localities;

Ø  Organizing discussions in schools, communities, and workplaces; and

Ø  Echoing our calls: Rise for Peace, Fight for Justice! No to Wars of Aggression! No to the US-Japan-Philippines Security Triad!

The activities may be held physically or on social media. Please use our official hashtags:

#RiseForPeace | #FightForJustice | #NoToImperialistWars

Filipinos have suffered enough. Decades of colonial occupation by both the US and Japan—from the “comfort women” system of the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II, to the more recent establishment of US Bases on Philippine soil—have only led to brutal and massive military sexual violence against women, children, and even members of the LGBTQ community. These colonial wars have only put the nation in ruins and our people in economic backwardness from which we have never truly recovered.

We fervently hope you and your organization/network will support us in this campaign. You may email us at [email protected] or [email protected] should you need further information.

For peace and justice,

(signed)                                          (signed)

Obeth Montes                             Sharon Cabusao-Silva

GABRIELA                                      Lila Pilipina–

GABRIELA International Desk
35 Sct. Delgado St, Brgy. Laging Handa 
Quezon City, 1103 Philippines 
TeleFax: (632) 374 44 23 
twitter: @gabrielaphils