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The Baltimore Sun


Purificacion Mercado, 84, was forced to serve for the Japanese Army as a sexual slave during World War II. On Tuesday, 62 years after the end of World War II, she was among Filipinos protesting the grim memory of their forced labor at a rally in front of Japanese embassy in Manila. Mercado said, "They beat us up, we were helpless and scared. Then they raped us." Approximately 450 Filipinas were documented as so-called "comfort women" for Japanese soldiers; 84 have died, and about 200 still actively seek compensation. The protesters Tuesday beseeched Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to urge Japan to formally acknowledge, apologize and accept its responsibility over its sexual slavery. Dennis M. Sabangan / EPA