SHE is too young to have lived through World War II, but for 41-year-old Hiromi Yamazaki, righting the wrongs done to the comfort women has become the focus of her life. Last year the Japanese woman gave up her full-time job as a reporter on weekly newspapers for a grassroots organisation to devote herself to the fight for compensation for Korean women who were turned into sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during the war. A leading member of the Tokyo-based Support Group for the Lawsuit of Korean Former Comfort Women Resident in Japan, set up three years ago, Ms Yamazaki encourages former comfort women in Japan to come forward to press their claims and supports those in other countries. It is estimated that Koreans made up 80 per cent of the comfort women recruits. Other women came from various Asian countries including China and the Philippines. Ms Yamazaki, who supports herself through a part-time job as a magazine proofreader, is furious that the Japanese Government has yet to face up to its responsibility on this issue. 'It has only admitted half the truth,' she noted. 'It has never admitted the practice of sexual slavery in its army during the war. The Government has said it is sorry but it has never acknowledged what the Japanese military did then.' To draw attention to her group's agenda, Ms Yamazaki and other members staged a sit-in at the site of the international Non-Governmental Organisation Forum held in conjunction with the United Nations Women's Conference in China last month. It also handed over 1,500 signatures collected from delegates to the forum to Japanese officials attending the conference in Beijing. Ms Yamazaki said that she had not been taught about Japanese aggression in China in high school. She only learnt about it later from other sources. 'It was not mentioned in the school textbooks then.' Relatives who fought in China during the war still refuse to talk about what they had seen, she said. 'We didn't talk much about the war; my father [who only served in Japan] would only say that being in the military was very hard for him.' Ms Yamazaki said that a newspaper survey conducted two years ago revealed that most Japanese women and men were sympathetic towards former comfort women. 'The younger generation, especially, think that the government should pay compensation.' Encouraging women to come forward is difficult as many feel ashamed of their past. But three years ago, Ms Yamazaki's group succeeded in persuading 73-year-old Song Siin-do, a Korean living on welfare in a fishing town in eastern Japan, to sue the Japanese Government. She is the only Korean former comfort woman in Japan to have done so. At 16, Ms Song said, she was taken from Korea, then a Japanese colony. In the next seven years, she was forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers - sometimes 100 a day. Ms Song was initially based in the Chinese city of Wuchang but after three years moved to Japanese army bases in other Chinese cities before being brought to Japan by a soldier she was living with in 1946. Like the rest of the estimated 200,000 Asian women forced into Imperial Army brothels during the war, Ms Song left China devastated emotionally and physically. She had not been allowed to raise the two children she gave birth to while serving as a comfort woman and after leaving them in the care of others in China had not seen them again. The support group was put in touch with Ms Song after her neighbours called a special hotline started by the group to contact former comfort women. Ms Song's ongoing lawsuit demands an apology and millions of yen in compensation. 'At first, Ms Song said she only wanted an apology, but we told her she should ask for compensation as well, even though what she had suffered cannot be measured in monetary terms,' Ms Yamazaki said. Five other lawsuits are currently underway, brought by former comfort women now living in the Philippines, Holland, Korea and China. Little progress has been made on the claims. With 30 regular members and 600 support members around Japan, among them teachers, students and office workers, Ms Yamazaki's group supports itself with donations and proceeds from publications and specially-made products. Its fight for compensation is backed by other women's groups in Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's apology for his country's wartime actions has failed to dampen concern over the emotional issue. An investigation into Japan's actual deeds during the war should be launched, the support group stresses. According to Ms Yamazaki, a special reporter from the United Nations Human Rights Committee interviewed several former comfort women including Ms Song over the summer in preparation for a report to be presented to the United Nations. A former secretary, Ms Yamazaki was introduced to feminism in the 1970s, at a pro-abortion club meeting she attended with a friend. She later worked as a reporter for the Women's Democratic Club, looking at human rights and environmental protection before becoming a full-time activist for the comfort women's cause. 'I feel so sorry for the Chinese women too,' she said. 'There were so many of them serving as comfort women during the war. Maybe if they speak out as well, they can cause the Japanese Government to change its attitude.'