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The “comfort women” survivors have demanded official apology and national compensation by the Japanese government for the damage from being forced into sexual slavery for the Imperial Japanese Army since the 1990s. However, these demands have not been realized so far. The purpose of this study is to analyze approaches to resolving this issue, examining the reasons why the Japanese government has failed, focusing on activities of the Asian Women‟s Fund (AWF) to offer the survivors donation from Japanese citizens instead of national compensation from 1995 to 2007. By analyzing the responses of the survivors to the AWF, this study found that the decision of whether or not to receive it depended on each survivor‟s situation that varied by country, society, family relations, or damage situation when they were forced to be “comfort women” during a war. That is to say, not every woman made a decision based on personal choice. Based on these findings, this study suggests that future approaches need to acknowledge injustice that the survivors had experienced, to formulate policies based on their needs, to involve them in the policy process, and to consider their continued suffering up until today from the perspective of post-colonialism.


“comfort women” issue, post-war compensation, gender, violence against women, Japan

Cite this paper

Tsuchino, M. (2015). The politics of redress for the “comfort women” issue: What did the Asian women‟s fund do in reality? International Relations and Diplomacy, 3(12), 795-808.


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