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Thursday, 24 May 2001
Page: 24299

Senator SCHACHT (11:36 AM) —I want to raise a case—

Senator Vanstone —So much for a couple of minutes.

Senator SCHACHT —I am sorry, but if another minister wants to come in, the same advice can be provided to the replacement on the front bench.

There is a lady in Adelaide—and I do not think she would mind me mentioning her name because she has sought publicity to promote the cause she has been strongly involved in—who was forced into being a so-called comfort woman for the Japanese. A documentary film was made about her life and her name is Jan Ruff-O'Herne. Her father was Dutch and her mother was Javanese. She was 14 or 16 when the Japanese captured Java. She was forced into a Japanese officers' brothel in Java for three months and then returned to the camp.

She subsequently married a British soldier at the end of the war. They both settled in Australia and, as I understand it, took out Australian citizenship. She has sought compensation on behalf of herself and all the comfort women. I was recently in South Korea, where it is estimated that 200,000 Korean women were forced into being comfort women. Would she be eligible—she and her whole family were certainly interned—to apply for the $25,000?