Civil Tribunal to Convene on Wartime Sex Slavery Crimes of Japan
A civic international tribunal, aimed at condemning Japan's wartime crimes of sexual slavery against women, will convene in Tokyo, Dec. 7-12.
The women's tribunal will hear testimonies of victimized women and determine the accountability of the Japanese government under international and humanitarian law.
Plaintiffs will come from eight countries -- South and North Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Netherlands and East Timor.
``Although the tribunal has no legal binding force, it is significant because it will offer an opportunity to clarify the responsibility of the Japanese government and heighten awareness of the issue at the international community,'
said Yun Chung-ok, 62, co-head of the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Sexual Slavery by Japan, the leading organizer of the event.
The co-organizers out of Korea includes the Asian Center for Women's Human Rights and the Violence Against Women in War Network of Japan.
The Tokyo tribunal will be composed of three chief prosecutors, six judges, six legal experts and three to seven prosecutors from each victimized country, according to the Korean Council. Whether the Japanese government or individuals will be defendants has yet to be decided on, Yun said.
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the tribunal, including internationally acclaimed human rights figures such as Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, former chief judge of the Yugoslavia War Crimes Tribunal, and Gay McDougall, former U.N. special rapporteur who visited Korea last year to investigate the issue.
Tribunal trial will be held from Dec. 8 through Dec. 12, the last day when a six-judge panel will give a ruling on the crimes.
A variety of events, such as street campaigns, exhibitions, and festivals are planned during the period. …