South Korean sex slaves sue Japanese band Scramble over 'prostitutes' tag
A group of South Korean women forced into wartime sexual slavery by Japan has filed a defamation suit against a little-known, far-right Japanese rock band for calling them prostitutes.
A CD containing a song with the allegedly defamatory lyrics by the band Scramble was mailed last week - along with a translated text - to a shelter that cares for so-called comfort women in Gwangju, south of Seoul.
The song, with an accompanying video posted on YouTube in January, is titled Slashing Koreans and contains inflammatory lyrics exhorting violence against "the elderly prostitutes".
Scramble have no real public profile in Japan, and a fan base that appears limited to fringe ultra-right nationalists.
Eight comfort women in their 80s and 90s, who were "shocked" by the song, yesterday filed a lawsuit at the Seoul central prosecutors' office.
"They felt that justice should be done to put things right," a spokesman for the women said.
Historians say about 200,000 women from countries including China, Korea and the Philippines were drafted to work in Japanese army brothels in Asia.
The comfort women issue, along with other wartime atrocities perpetrated during the Japanese occupation, has long remained a source of contention between Seoul and Tokyo.
South Korea insists that Japan has failed to make proper reparations, while Tokyo says all claims for colonial-era suffering were settled in a 1965 compensation agreement with Seoul.