International Women’s Alliance slammed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the economic motivation behind militarization and war at the Lila Pilipina-GABRIELA protest action in Mendiola at the foot of the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines to “welcome” Japan Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on a visit to the country. The protest is GABRIELA’s kick-off campaign towards March 8, International Women’s Day, highlighting the issue of comfort women and the growing military alliance between the US and Japan in the Asia Pacific, condemning a Philippine-Japan Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that can spur another generation of comfort women. Joms Salvador, Secretary General of GABRIELA said that Malacanang could be cooking up the Japan-PHL VFA, in line with the strengthening of ties with Japan during the Emperor’s visit as the EDCA deal was sealed a couple of months after after US Pres. Obama visited the Philippines in November 2015.

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