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List of Japanese female POWs held in Soviet labor camps after World War II discovered

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Very interesting.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The irony is that Soviets never wanted to enter the Pacific side of the war. They were forced to do so by treaty obligations demanded of them by the Allies to enter the war against Japan no longer than 3 months after Germany's surrender.

The Soviets waited until the last minute, May 9th + 3 months = August 9th, because they had no real beef with Japan.

The USSR reluctantly declared war against Japan because the US and UK demanded that they do, and Russia didn't want to renege on the treaty it agreed to at Yalta.

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

The USSR reluctantly declared war against Japan because the US and UK demanded that they do, and Russia didn't want to renege on the treaty it agreed to at Yalta.

If it were remotely true that the USSR reluctantly declared war on Japan, the USSR would not have occupied the Northern Territories. You constantly tip your hand regarding who you are when you constantly sympathize with Russia.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

Burning BushToday  07:34 am JST

The USSR reluctantly declared war against Japan because the US and UK demanded that they do, and Russia didn't want to renege on the treaty it agreed to at Yalta.

THe USSR wanted to take Manchuria and hopefully Hokkaido or more as part of the immediate post WWII Soviet global land grab. They didn't invade the four Southern Kurile Islands after Japan declared surrender with any "reluctance".

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Why did the Soviets wait until the absolute last possible minute required by their treaty obligations with the Allies to attack Japan?

If they wanted land, they would have started earlier.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

" ...handed potassium cyanide by the hospital's director, with orders to commit suicide if she was raped."

The Japanese were their own worst enemies. Still true today, to an extent.

The Soviets...had no real beef with Japan.

A certain group of islands off Hokkaido have certainly created a "real beef."

5 ( +11 / -6 )

This is a terrible discovery, and should be brought to International attention.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Why did the Soviets wait until the absolute last possible minute required by their treaty obligations with the Allies to attack Japan?

If they wanted land, they would have started earlier.

Good question... if most of the work had already been done against Japan... was Russia looking for easy pickings? Or were they just cowards?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Good question... if most of the work had already been done against Japan... was Russia looking for easy pickings? Or were they just cowards?

The Russians lost a lot of people in WWII with the German invasion of their country, it took a little time, but they did kick the Germans out of Russia, they're no cowards when pushed against the Wall so to speak. If the Americans forces had not occupied Japan already, you can bet the Russians would have taken the whole pie. In fact the Russians were bold enough to ask Macarthur for a bigger piece of the pie, but Macarthur basically told them this pie is ours so to speak.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The Soviets kept POWS well beyond what would be considered reasonable after WWII. The last German POW was released in 1956, and 381,067 German POWs died in camps according to Soviet sources. The last Italian POWs were releassed by the USSR in 1954. Japanese POWS were held the longest, with some not released until the 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed. Some 347.000 Japanese POWs are believed to have died in camps under hard labor.

According to the findings of the Tokyo Tribunal, the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1%, seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians.

https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/prisoners-of-war-of-the-japanese-1939-1945

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In one account, a woman describes being handed potassium cyanide by the hospital's director, with orders to commit suicide if she was raped.

This is shameful.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I wonder how many of the survivors are still around today, and how they have coped with the experience.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Shocking news. Why would women be kept as POWs. Russia should apologize to Japan for this war crime, or else no Peace Treaty will be agreed to by Japan.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

@Braze

The Russians lost a lot of people in WWII with the German invasion of their country, it took a little time, but they did kick the Germans out of Russia, they're no cowards when pushed against the Wall so to speak. If the Americans forces had not occupied Japan already, you can bet the Russians would have taken the whole pie. In fact the Russians were bold enough to ask Macarthur for a bigger piece of the pie, but Macarthur basically told them this pie is ours so to speak.

I know this, and I have a lot of respect for the Russian effort during both WWI and WWII. Without the efforts of Russia during those times the world would probably be a much different place today. My question was basically a tongue in cheek response to the earlier poster who suggested Russia wasn't looking for more land.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

My late Father in Law was a POW in Siberia until repatriated in 1949. The Red Cross played a big part in securing the release of the POWs who had survived. The conditions under which they lived and worked were beyond description---bearing in mind the life of any soldier in the Japanese Army was terrible enough. He didn't talk about it usually but opened up when he found that I was interested.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

China also looked after many of these Japanese women, who were left behind, when the IJA abandoned them. They were taken care of relatively well, and assimilated into Chinese society. A TV documentary showed that number of them came back to Japan around 10-12 years ago to try to trace their roots and families, and possibly settle down here, but it proved difficult, they were not well-received; so they ended up going back to China.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Shocking news. Why would women be kept as POWs. Russia should apologize to Japan for this war crime, or else no Peace Treaty will be agreed to by Japan.

I don't really think that Japan is in much of a position to demand apologies regarding the treatment of POW's during WW2.

And, I have often said, Japanese do not seem to realise that Hokkaido could become Russian territory after WW2.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

The Red Army doesn't invade with velvet gloves that's for sure but even though the Soviets invaded both Korea and China I don't see girl statues in front of the Russian consulate highlighting abuses that took place.

And keep in mind that everybody ( including the Soviets and the Americans) knew that Russia's entry in the war would spur Japan's surrender. And most Japanese historians admit that it was the entry of the USSR into the war that broke that terrified the Japanese leadership the most and caused the surrender, more so than the Atomic weapons.

The US knew that once the Soviets started invading that Japan would surrender, so the Americans had to hasten their use of both the Uranium version and Plutonium versions of the Atom bomb upon Japanese civilians before they lost their opportunity to have human Guinea Pigs.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If you can read Japanese, this article describes how the Japanese in Manchuria offered up young unmarried women to the Russian army for sex in exchange for their own safety so Russia is not necessarily at fault

http://www.asyura2.com/17/warb20/msg/807.html

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Shocking news. Why would women be kept as POWs. Russia should apologize to Japan for this war crime

Oh you don't want to go down that road...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Russia is not necessarily at fault

Sure the fault DOES NOT lie at demanding hostage for sex slavery day after day in exchange for raping them day after day + protecting them from being raped and killed by Chinese DOES IT.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"The Red Army doesn't invade with velvet gloves that's for sure but even though the Soviets invaded both Korea and China I don't see girl statues in front of the Russian consulate highlighting abuses that took place."

Well, no one sees German women statues in front of Russian consulates either.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/may/01/news.features11

Nor any of Japanese/Vietnamese/Cambodian women in front of American consulates.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan please do not kick off your own comfort woman thing from all of this.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The Soviets kept POWS well beyond what would be considered reasonable after WWII. The last German POW was released in 1956, and 381,067 German POWs died in camps according to Soviet sources. The last Italian POWs were releassed by the USSR in 1954. Japanese POWS were held the longest, with some not released until the 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed. Some 347.000 Japanese POWs are believed to have died in camps under hard labor.

Yeah, they were kept for a long time, but they were not the worst camps, considering that about 1 million German POWs died in American and French camps between 1945-1949.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Yeah, they were kept for a long time, but they were not the worst camps, considering that about 1 million German POWs died in American and French camps between 1945-1949.

Don't know about the second part of the comment, I thought that many died in Russian camps rather than American or French camps.

Well, maybe they were kept for a long time, but at least the were not murdered as POW's were aledged to have been (one example is at the Sato mines) in Japan at the end of the war.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

As much as much as the West describes Russia as the "enemy", Russia sure did lose a lot of people in WW2. This video estimates it to be about 24 million. Russia sacrificed a lot in that war. Would you be so surprised as to why they'd just sit and wait til the last minute to take the spoils?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cgRwDkP6vk

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Paul privara, I do love a goog conspiracy theorist, especially one that doesn’t let facts get in the way, they are so much fun, like reading a good comedy!

Oh, sorry, did I misunderstand, is this an outline for an alternative reality novel where Japan won ww2? Sorry but it’s been done better.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the Americans forces had not occupied Japan already, you can bet the Russians would have taken the whole pie. In fact the Russians were bold enough to ask Macarthur for a bigger piece of the pie, but Macarthur basically told them this pie is ours so to speak.

Thankfully there is no North Japan and South Japan countries today.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As much as much as the West describes Russia as the "enemy", Russia sure did lose a lot of people in WW2. This video estimates it to be about 24 million. Russia sacrificed a lot in that war. 

That doesn't justify the fact even a bit that Russia scrapped non-aggression pact and cowardly shot the Japan in his back when the WAR was about over. Russians were nothing but ugly brutal animals.

There is no point to conclude any sort of international promise aka Treaty or Agreement with Russia and Korea.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yeah, they were kept for a long time, but they were not the worst camps

It doesn't matter what kind of camps they were. Holding other countries' citizens as prisoners well after a war is over (except for those being formally and legitimately charged with war crimes or something), is disgusting and inexcusable.

Once hostilities end and a peace accord is signed, any POWs should be freed and repatriated as soon as is logistically possible.

POW means prisoner of war. So when the *war*** **ends, then there is no justification for holding them any longer.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That doesn't justify the fact even a bit that Russia scrapped non-aggression pact and cowardly shot the Japan in his back when the WAR was about over. Russians were nothing but ugly brutal animals.

I don't think that Russian s were cowardly at all. In my fact the turning point of the war was the Battle of Stalingrad were the Russians fought with great bravery against all odds.

It is sad in my opinion that after the war, we had political differences leading to a cold war. But in 1993 the Russians awarded a friend of mine a medal, thanking him for crossing a frozen lake in a convoy to get food into Leningrad. (Now St. Petersburg) during WW2.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@ganbarejapan, if I agree with that, does it mean Japan should also apologize or, otherwise, it would never get any peace treats from aaaallll the countries it has invaded and screwed?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@wanderlust, I was thinking about that when someone mentioned how badly treated the Japanese soldiers were while at war. I almost said: really? This funny because al soldiers at war are soooo well treated... check how the “lovely” American soldiers were in Afghanistan:) (rolling eyes! ) .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Being held in a Russian POW camp is about the worst thing that could happen to you. Of more than 100,000 Germans who surrendered after the battle of Stalingrad, only six thousand returned to Germany alive after WW2.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Men, do people really think Japan was lovely at all te wars they have been into? For Pete’s sake... no country is!!! Check the US! The worst!!! Check even Brazil in its war against Paraguay! What drives me crazy is that most of the countries do acknowledge their shits.... but Japan and The US (among others... I am citing these ones because they are quite powerful) want to keep it clean in their History books! Give me a break!! The other day, one of my students was saying that it is an absurd that Koreans want to have sexual slaves statues. Oh, really? I said! Yeah... let’s shut the freaking bomb museum in Hiroshima too, then. Not that I agree with the American way.. I myself have been fighting against it since I was a teen. Their economic policy is sooooo mean to everyone else... anyway. Just meant Japanese way of complainig about war crimes sound reeeaaalyyyy so hypocritical:(

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A reminder that war is hell and the horrors that usually unfold when the dogs of war are unleashed. Not to mention expansionist / colonialist policies.

These individuals would not have become POWs if they had not been in Manchuria. That is not to blame them as individuals, its just a statement of fact.

It doesn't justify what happened to them after the war, but just a reminder that their suffering and hardship was a direct result of the expansionist / colonial policies of Japan.

The aspect about this that no one really discusses is the reason WHY the Soviet Union held so many Japanese POWs after the war ended, apart from the fact that there was never any peace treaty signed between the Soviet Union and Japan.

The idea that it was some sort of retribution for the war is misguided. While that was certainly true of German POWs, given the vast numbers of Soviets who died in the conflict with Germany, in the case of Japanese POWs, it was a much more pragmatic reason.

In the aftermath of the war, the Soviet Union needed able-bodied male laborers. And the Japanese male POWs provided that slave labor. Which was principally used to help complete rail lines in Siberia. In very harsh conditions, conditions that Soviet prisoners in gulags were also subjected to. By most accounts, the large majority of deaths in the Japanese POW population occurred in the 1st two years after the war ended.

Which is where the nurses probably proved useful to the Soviets, as the article alludes to.

A sad chapter in history, the result of destructive policies and decisions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Or were they just cowards? they were far from cowards,

the sacrificed far more than Japan did during WW2

0 ( +1 / -1 )

During the Second world war, the entire Japanese nationals were conscripted in a policy of " Brought the entire nations to arms under Imperial service! "  These nurses were also conscripted as military personals although they were medical personals! The former Soviet Union or the Russian government has no responsible to regret over this! No apology!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

As much as much as the West describes Russia as the "enemy", Russia sure did lose a lot of people in WW2. This video estimates it to be about 24 million. Russia sacrificed a lot in that war. 

The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic. 

~ Joseph Stalin

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Once hostilities end and a peace accord is signed, any POWs should be freed and repatriated as soon as is logistically possible.

POW means prisoner of war. So when the *war*** **ends, then there is no justification for holding them any longer.

I completely agree, my point was in response to those posts implying that the Russian or Japan sides were particularly bad in the way they treated their POWs. Look into "Other Losses" or "Eisenhower's Death Camps" and you'll understand that the Americans were just as bad, if not worst. They deliberately killed one million Germans AFTER WWII.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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