"It is very unjust on the part of the Japanese government to continue ignoring the issue of Filipino comfort women who have suffered long enough, more than half a century in silence," said Sharon Cabusao-Silva, the executive director of Lila Pilipina, which is an organization helping women forced into Japanese military brothels in their fight for justice.
There are only a few survivors, and most are in their 90s and sick, Silva recalled, adding that Japan must recognize the trauma inflicted on the women by its Imperial Army.
Lila Pilipina's call came when Japan was set to present its human rights report for the Fourth Cycle of the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the country.
"We are outraged that Japan has chosen to ignore once again the issue of its wartime military sex slavery of thousands of Asian women in the fourth human rights report it submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)," it added.
Kim Bok-dong (김복동), a South Korean activist who survived sex slavery at the hands of WWII Japan, died at age 92.
While declaring its achievements in various human rights areas, the Japanese government was utterly silent about the "comfort women" system which is also at the core of these issues.
Japan "totally ignored" the recommendations made by other countries "for Japan to finally address this long-standing issue," Lila Pilipina said and sounded the alarm over Japan's "aggressive actions toward war spending and production with the development of its missile and other defense capabilities."
This humanitarian group also expressed alarm "by how Japan has militarized its Official Development Assistance programs in the Philippines through the sale of war material."
As living witnesses and victims of war, Narcisa Claveria and Estelita Dy said they experienced cruelty and hardships during World War II at the hands of the Japanese military.
"We were abused, forced to wash and iron their clothes by day, and repeatedly raped at night by Japanese soldiers. That is why I reject war," Claveria told reporters.
"War is brutal; you will suffer even if you have not done anything wrong because they accuse you of doing something even if you did not," she added.
Estelita Dy said the new generation must not experience war. "We do not want the new generation to experience the atrocities of war; what we went through during the war, so we are against war," she pointed out.
During World War II, hundreds of thousands of women and girls from China, the Korean Peninsula, Southeast Asia and other countries and regions were forcibly conscripted by Japanese militarists as sex slaves and experienced horrific sexual violence.