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Book Review
Photo Exhibition Book: Jugun Ianfu

In every large-scale armed conflict, women are victims of sexual violence. In most cases this is kept quiet – by victims, perpetrators an government leaders. The taboo ispersistent. Jan Banning andl Hilde Jansen discovered as much during their quest to find “comfort women,” women forced to perform sexual acts for japanese armed forces during World War II.

Young girls then, they are old women now. Shame, stigma and feelings of guilt have mae them maintain silence about their wartime experiences for decades.


The women in this exhibition had the courage to share their suppressed past. Many others remain silent.

The conspiracy of silence benefits the guilty. They typically face no repercussions for their acts, even today in 2008, the United Nations passed resolution 1820, which intends once and for all to prevent such abusers from going scot-free.

The resolution condemns the systematic use of sexual violence as a weapon of war during armed conflict. Now the world no longer can close its eyes.


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Author : Hendrajit, Dkk
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A book entitled Japanese Militarism and Its War Crimes in Asia Pacific Region (Hendrajit, ed) was recently sent to me, by the publisher, The Global Future Institute. No doubt, this book made me re-think and recollect my trip to Japan in 1996. At that time, I was warmly received by Japanese families who became my host, invited to travel to various places, and bought souvenirs. The psycological effect of my short visit is that it is hard to imagine that the Japanese people were cruel ones, perpetrators of the massacre of our ancestors, raping Indonesian girls, making them as prostitutes and enslaving our grandfathers to work on various projects.

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