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Historical documents show Japanese gov't role in providing sex slaves

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By YURI KAGEYAMA

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Anything from that era of world history is pretty much barbaric by today’s standards. However, there is no excuses for slavery and the mistreatment of women. Nevertheless, WWII was nasty business, no matter how u slice it.

28 ( +38 / -10 )

Pretty much barbaric. Before this issue came up, I remember my grandma used to tell the atrocities of rapes and murders of the Japanese soldiers. That was pretty much in the 70s. What Japan neighbors claiming is true but idiotic politicians, patriots and lame historians are denying it.

Anyway, it's all history now and they are all rotting and being burned in hell.

6 ( +26 / -20 )

Battle field comfort station (brothel) system existed, so did comfort women, officially used by IJA to curtail rape crimes not to instigate local antipathy, and to sustain military discipline during the era when prostitution was legal . A well known fact. How could this finding sensational?

There were those powers that employed such system like Japan, Germany, France, SOUTH KOREA

There were also those that didn't give a damn and leave areas complete lawless areas like Soviet Union

15 ( +32 / -17 )

This is hardly news, the Imperial Japanese military set up military brothels just like Germany and France during WWII. This is not denied and Japan has and continues to address this issue, the last step being the signing of the "irreversible" 2015 Comfort Women Agreement which South Korea "reversed", despite and Japan having fulfilled it's part of the requested apology and funds.

"Some have denied official Japanese involvement, and think the women were prostitutes who came of their own accord."

Some what? Politicians? People? Because the Japanese government has not denied Japanese involvement. And it's a known fact that "some" women were prostitutes while others were not.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/postwar/issue9308.html

5 ( +26 / -21 )

Another topic on war crimes, really? You guys know that this is the kind of article that brings the worms out of the woodwork right? The people calling for compensation and public apologies and whatnot?

Well, for all the readers who think that a country should pay up and apologize and whatever for something the country did in a war many many years ago (at least enough years that no one in the current regime was involved in that war):

Oh sure, let us prove that a country was doing really bad things during a WAR they were involved in many decades ago. Now let's ask the current government of said country to pay for those bad things they did.

Ridiculous.

Raping and pillaging has been part of war since early humans figured out how to kill one another. Over the years, humanity has just gotten better at it. Now we've gotten to a point where a single warhead can instantly vaporize an entire city and more (I don't see anyone dragging America through the dirt over and over for that one), not really leaving much to pillage or rape, but it makes for a good marker at how much escalation there has been.

Even during peacetime, military bases have always been a source for humanitarian concerns (go google the number of rape cases that soldiers stationed in foreign bases have been involved in, and once again, notice how American soldiers are often involved). The culture of war is one where you do not treat your enemy as something with rights. To be fair, your opponent will certainly not consider your rights either, so it is in your best interest to be as savage as you can be to survive.

If we want to honor to pain and hardship of the many people who suffered in war, then we must look for ways to prevent it from happening again (which is a serious challenge considering how prone humanity is to waging war), it is a much better alternative than constantly villifying a country in order to beg them for money (because really, that's the real reason why people are so eager to dig up war crimes, they just want the money/compensation). That is not justice, that is just greed.

2 ( +22 / -20 )

"The Japanese invasion had caused a surge in prostitution in the area, with 101 geisha from Japan, 110 comfort women from Japan, and 228 comfort women from Korea."

Normal in wartime, where the troops are there is prostitutions. In the west, they are called camp followers.

It Proves nothing.

Presumably, the records imply that the women referred to as “geisha” might have come on their own,

Exactly what the Japanese government has been saying.

"as opposed to sex slaves, who were coerced"

Where in the records does it say there were coerced?

The records prove Japan's point. They were prostitutes.

-17 ( +20 / -37 )

There are plenty of documents and arrest records where the so called victims were prostitutes and not coerced or enslaved. This is a dead issue that SK keeps raising no matter how much money Japan has already paid. They should be asking their big companies who had massive growth at each Japan payment made to SK to see where the money went. Somewhere are the real records but SK chooses to ignore them.

6 ( +22 / -16 )

I dont really want to wade into this endless controversy, but the article does not say if the armee asked for "sex slaves" (sei dorei) or for prostitutes (ianfu). That is a world of difference, and the article obfuscates that. Personally, I assume that in a large a chaotic situation with many players like this, both situations occured. I don´t like how fanatics on both sides of the argument claim it was all clear and simple.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

The records prove Japan's point. They were prostitutes.

You rape a woman, throw some cash at her, and you will make the claim she is a hooker! What asinine logic!

All this proves is that the IJA did in fact systematically provide sex workers for the troops, and they didnt give a damn how they were procured. You know since the soldiers "paid" for the sex, the IJA claimed they ALL were prostitutes, coerced or otherwise.

However to suggest that thousands, upon thousands of women ALL did it of their own accord is just plain ignorant!

3 ( +24 / -21 )

I was surprised to read that San Franscisco had put up a comfort woman statue. The US has stayed out of the issue because, although not well known, after the war, the comfort woman had to service US occupation forces. Some comfort women were from Korea and China, and they were the same ones that had serviced Japanese soldiers during the war.

12 ( +24 / -12 )

its proven and well document how badly WW2 pows were treated by the IJA, does anybody truly believe that the IJA suddenly grew a conscience and started treating asian women other than Japanese with respect. WW2 pows were starved and worked to death, do you really think the IJA were going to pay the majority of

comfort women for their services women from countries they just invaded.

2 ( +18 / -16 )

wtfjapanToday  06:17 pm JST

do you really think the IJA were going to pay the majority of

comfort women for their services women from countries they just invaded.

Yes, they did. They were on the IJA payroll according to the US Army.

" This meant that in an average month a girl would gross about fifteen hundred yen. She turned over seven hundred and fifty to the "master". In the latter part of 1943 the Army issued orders that certain girls who had paid their debt could return home. Some of the girls were thus allowed to return to Korea. The interrogations further show that the health of these girls was good. They were well supplied with all types of contraceptives, and often soldiers would bring their own which had been supplied by the army. They were well trained in looking after both themselves and customers in the matter of hygiene. A regular Japanese Army doctor visited the houses once a week and any girl found diseased was given treatment, secluded, and eventually sent to a hospital. "

https://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

-1 ( +18 / -19 )

Always really weird behaviour on the thumbs up/ down on stories like this.

Same names always appearing...

4 ( +15 / -11 )

The 23 documents were gathered by Japan's Cabinet Secretariat between April 2017 and March 2019, including 13 classified dispatches from the Japanese consulates in China to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo dating back to 1938, according to Kyodo.

Well, that's are good start in that Japan is gathering, and making public information, and not just denying what happened.

There is no point in denying what millions of people already know.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

What I find appalling is that the unobjectivity of this article. There is only one line that even purports to be a quotation:

at least 500 comfort women must be concentrated here by the end of April

From this, somehow conclusions like "Presumably, the records imply that the women referred to as “geisha” might have come on their own, as opposed to sex slaves, who were coerced." despite the words sex slaves never even showing up are made.

Someday, you might well be accused of something, and it would be your wish that at least the case against you wasn't constructed (and then accepted) in this flimsy manner.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

What I find appalling is that the unobjectivity of this article. There is only one line that even purports to be a quotation:

Well I understand there is plenty of eyewitness testimony from sex slaves who must also have been appalled at having to service 70+ men. Also keep in mind that the vast majority of the evidence was in government hands and probably shredded.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

There is plenty of evidence that some of them were 'professional' prostitutes. There is plenty of evidence that some volunteered. There is plenty of evidence that some were sold by their families. There is plenty of evidence that some were prisoners of war and some were violently coerced.

It doesn't really matter how many times you rise the prostitution. It's basic misdirection. The rounding up and recruiting of women to endure sex with hundreds of people is inhuman. As for paying off 'debts', that's the same tactic used to keep trafficked Eastern European women in sexual slavery today. So unless you're saying that's fine, it really doesn't count. Pointing out that brutal tyrannies like Germany or Russia had sex slaves doesn't really work either, unless you're claiming moral parity with charming people like the Nazis.

At the end of the day, it was wrong. Wriggle around on the hook as much as you like, but nothing really changes that. Frantic efforts to lower the number or paint them as prostitutes (because you can do anything you like to a prostitute, right?) simply look like a refusal to believe it happened.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

If I was given a choice, I would choose being a comfort woman over being a survivor of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Presumably, the records imply that the women referred to as “geisha” might have come on their own, as opposed to sex slaves, who were coerced.

 

Who presumed this? It is KYODO notorious for spreading out fake news. That dispatch differentiated the terms "Geisya 芸者" and …Shyakufu 酌婦” +  " Tokushufujyo 特殊婦女”

 

These ignorant reporters probably don't even know the difference between "Geisya 芸者 and “Oiran(Yuujo) 花魁(遊女)“. “Oiran(Yuujo) 花魁(遊女)“ are always attached to sexual service afterwards like Korean “Kisaeng 妓生” but "Geisya 芸者” is not. They are basically to entertain customers.

 

If they have come on their own or if they were coerced or not? How the heck do these ignorant reporters think entitled to broadcast their own speculation?

3 ( +14 / -11 )

@SlumLord

I wonder if the actual hibakusha would agree with you.

@Jim Harper

As for paying off 'debts', that's the same tactic used to keep trafficked Eastern European women in sexual slavery today.

Great point. And perhaps that should be a key takeaway. There are all-too-many "comfort women" across the world today, whether it's women trafficked to the UK, trafficked to Japan, the victims of Epstein...(and today, too, there are people who will say "they were just prostitutes").

5 ( +13 / -8 )

That "disabled" shredder operator must have had a day off. It's abhorrent that these papers were available for 70+ years and only now coming to light. As for the arguments on their interpretation the view is from qualified historians that yes there were volenteers probably used souly at officers establishments. Both the army and navy requested the government supply (Army) 1 girl for 70 men?

Comparisons to Western Practices are a smoke screen as it was a completely different system. And anyway as far as curtailing the out of control IJA troops it did little as they still raped killed any girl who basically crossed their path as a matter of course. Now there is a history.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

How many of these "Comfort Women" are still alive today? Anyone know, with a reputable source?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"You rape a woman, throw some cash at her, and you will make the claim she is a hooker! What asinine logic!

All this proves is that the IJA did in fact systematically provide sex workers for the troops,"

LOL at your angry reply. Read the article. No where in the documents, does it say, they were coerced.

The records prove Japan's point. They were prostitutes.

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

I have some family members who I never met that were killed during the Pearl Harbir Attack. I need some compensation. I know some people who had family killed when the "A" Bomb was dropped in Japan. They need some compensation. US Soldiers were killed during the war in Iraq, they families need compensation. My 6th cousin died in Vietnam, I need some compensation. Paying compensation to comfort women is about as crazy as paying everyone I listed above

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Were there willing prostitutes from Japan, South Korea and other countries willing to service the Japanese army? Probably yes.

Would there have been a shortfall between the number of willing prostitutes and the demand? Probably yes.

Would the Japanese army have had the slightest hesitation about forcing girls into prostitution to fill the gap? Probably not.

Given the weight of evidence, the comfort women were a mixture of the willing and unwilling. The fact that some were willing does not undermine the wrongs done to the unwilling.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

The uncomfortable truth:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/01/national/media-national/uncomfortable-truth-comfort-women/#.XezaSy2B3UI

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Who speaks for the Japanese comfort women? No one ever seems to mention their names or plight in the comfort women conversation; it's almost like no one knows or cares of their existence.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Raping and pillaging has been part of war since early humans figured out how to kill one another. Over the years, humanity has just gotten better at it.

Akiba Overlord - I find your post one of the more disturbing posts. You accept that bad things happen in war, but think that the fact there is a war occurred is sufficient to suspend all sense of decency and responsibility. It isn't.

War is a terrible thing, but crimes that occur during war are still crimes and those who commit them should be punished.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

CrickyToday  07:34 pm JST

Comparisons to Western Practices are a smoke screen as it was a completely different system. And anyway as far as curtailing the out of control IJA troops it did little as they still raped killed any girl who basically crossed their path as a matter of course. Now there is a history.

There is more documentation surrounding rape of Japanese girls during the occupation than there are of the IJA "raping killed any girl who basically crossed their path"

"Allan Clifton, an Australian officer who acted as interpreter and criminal investigator wrote

I stood beside a bed in hospital. On it lay a girl, unconscious, her long, black hair in wild tumult on the pillow. A doctor and two nurses were working to revive her. An hour before she had been raped by twenty soldiers. We found her where they had left her, on a piece of waste land. The hospital was in Hiroshima. The girl was Japanese. The soldiers were Australians. The moaning and wailing had ceased and she was quiet now. The tortured tension on her face had slipped away, and the soft brown skin was smooth and unwrinkled, stained with tears like the face of a child that has cried herself to sleep.[2]:126–7"

https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_occupation_of_Japan

*
3 ( +17 / -14 )

There is more documentation surrounding rape of Japanese girls during the occupation than there are of the...

i.e. the Allies shredded fewer documents.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

AscissorToday  08:34 pm JST

There is more documentation surrounding rape of Japanese girls during the occupation than there are of the...

i.e. the Allies shredded fewer documents.

And the dog ate your homework, right? Let he who is without sin....

9 ( +20 / -11 )

@alwaysspeakingwisdom

The records prove Japan's point. They were prostitutes.

Apparently you did not read the article. It clearly states that there were no mention of whether they were coerced or came of their own accord. All the records shows is that the Japanese government officially requested that women be sent to certain locations. Also, where some of those women were to be moved from.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Also, the biggest key point in the argument is that they specifically wanted to limit the spread of disease. If they didn't want local diseases, this would increase the reason as to why they wouldn't use prostitutes. They would force local women into being sex slaves instead.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

As for paying off 'debts', that's the same tactic used to keep trafficked Eastern European women in sexual slavery today.

Is this also the same tactic they use to keep trafficked Western European women in sexual slavery?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

JJ JetplaneToday  08:50 pm JST

Also, the biggest key point in the argument is that they specifically wanted to limit the spread of disease. If they didn't want local diseases, this would increase the reason as to why they wouldn't use prostitutes. They would force local women into being sex slaves instead.

That makes no sense. I think you have that backwards. If they were afraid of contracting STD from the local population, then it makes sense to use controlled military prostitutes who are medically checked. Just plain "local women" would pose the highest risk of infection.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Good that the records proves the cruelty of these monsters.

What a paradox,the two former major axis allies after the war took so different paths.

On friday Miss Merkel visited Auschwitz condemning the atrocities done by the Nazi and asking to keep the guard high against any form of racism and apologizing again to the millions or families that suffered in that place.

And on the other hand we have a nationalistic revisionist government that tries to deny the evidences of history and even wish to rewrite the truth.

But history can’t be rewritten.

Good that such thing came out as expected as documented.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

The Comfort Women were all victims if not of sexual slavery certainly of poverty forcing their families to sell them like chattels to pay debts. Victims for having to sexual service many troops everyday. Not all prostitutes remain free from sexual diseases or pregnancy.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

How could this finding sensational?

Because the Japanese nationalists deny that Comfort Women were forced into prostitution - something this document proves. All Empires had brothels, but there is a difference between organized sexual slavery, and a volunteered prostitute.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

"There is more documentation surrounding rape of Japanese girls during the occupation than there are of the IJA "raping killed any girl who basically crossed their path"

Because 1 they went prosecuted 2 all documentation relating to these "regrettable " incidents were apparently destroyed.

But sadly the rest of the whole world know exactly what happened.

I agree rapes by occupational forces did occur but not as a result of government systemic involvement. Smoke and mirrors again it's ok for the IJA to do it as a organisation because individuals did it on the winning side too?

your using rape by an individual to justify rape wholesale by an occupational army?

A bizarre was to justify Rape!

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

@OssanAmerica

That makes no sense. I think you have that backwards. If they were afraid of contracting STD from the local population, then it makes sense to use controlled military prostitutes who are medically checked

It does make sense. What some people are saying is that they used women that are already prostitutes employed by the locals. What I am saying is that they didn't use women that were already prostitutes employed by the locals.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

CrickyToday  09:29 pm JST

I agree rapes by occupational forces did occur but not as a result of government systemic involvement. Smoke and mirrors again it's ok for the IJA to do it as a organisation because individuals did it on the winning side too?

your using rape by an individual to justify rape wholesale by an occupational army?

Did you read the quote? 20 soldiers raping one girl is not one individual. And this is just one case of many.

Nobody is justifying rape. But military brothels, be they Japanse, German, French during WWII, US in Japan post WWII, South Korean during the Korean War are all created to prevent rape and STD. You are the one who introduced this "raping every girl that crosses the street" nonsense into the thread. Hypocrisy no?

8 ( +17 / -9 )

JJ JetplaneToday  09:42 pm JST

@OssanAmerica

That makes no sense. I think you have that backwards. If they were afraid of contracting STD from the local population, then it makes sense to use controlled military prostitutes who are medically checked

It does make sense. What some people are saying is that they used women that are already prostitutes employed by the locals. What I am saying is that they didn't use women that were already prostitutes employed by the locals.

OK, so by "local women" you actually meant "local women who were already prostitutes". Well that;s exactly why they set up the Comfort System and sent Comfort Women to them.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

William77Today  09:14 pm JST

And on the other hand we have a nationalistic revisionist government that tries to deny the evidences of history and even wish to rewrite the truth.

Where is the denial and revisionism?

The Japanese government says:

"In many cases private recruiters, asked by the comfort station operators who represented the request of the military authorities, conducted the recruitment of comfort women. Pressed by the growing need for more comfort women stemming from the spread of the war, these recruiters resorted in any cases to coaxing and intimidating these women to be recruited against their own will, and there were even cases where administrative/ military personnel directly took part in the recruitments."

https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/postwar/issue9308.html

6 ( +12 / -6 )

My grandmother used to tell me stories of her experience during the Japanese occupation. She would hide when the Japanese soldiers invaded in order to avoid capture or death. My grandmother said that they will take females away.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Quote women where from ''Korea, Taiwan and Australia, the Philippines as well as Japan''

Yet the only country still complaining, who received apology and compensation is Korea!

Taiwan is moving on, Australia is moving on, Philippines is moving on, victims in Japan are moving on.

Koreans still want to milk this cow of the past and later in 2030-2050 say the same thing they say now in 2019... We want more! What you did in the past wasn't good enough! Victims want more money, another apology, another statue built of comfort women.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Reparations. This never settles rape, forced prostitution, etc. What kind of person would think that some money would clear debts of rape, forced sex, etc? The true colors are coming out in this land of the rising sun. I want to hear one great story of how the government treats women. How about one before the year is out.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Really, all that is expected of Japan, at the end of the day, is that Japan admit that it was wrong. Nothing more really.

I always will believe that this matter could have been pit to rest once and for all earlier this year (the end of the heisei era). But a golden opportunity was missed.

..... and no really expected Japans Head of State to apologise. Just admit that it was wrong. That's all.

I say this only as an opinion, but I guess it highlights the difference in the culture I come from. To admit that you were wrong / made a mistake is generally regarded as a courageous thing to do and goes some way to regaining respect.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

The only problem I see, is the continual self-denial that these events ever arose in Japanese History.

Why can't the Japanese Face up to the fact that in their past, things were not so good and bad things were done.

School book editing does not help, particularly since now many Foreign residents are entering the Japanese Education system.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

*LOL at your angry reply. Read the article. No where in the documents, does it say, they were coerced. *The records prove Japan's point. They were prostitutes." "

LOL at your pathetic denialist logic" ... nowhere does it say they were ' not coerced' so by your standards that doesnt prove they were prostitutes / prove Japan ,s point either ...as others said above there were women in both categories.

There is more documentation surrounding rape of Japanese girls during the occupation than there are of the IJA "raping killed any girl who basically crossed their path"

But of course, thats undisputed since IJA burned all of their relevant records...a fine tradition that has evolved into one involving shredders at J- government ministries nowadays. But lets go off tangent again and hear the standard how " others do worse" line ...Denial theory 101.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Because the Japanese nationalists deny that Comfort Women were forced into prostitution - something this document proves. All Empires had brothels, but there is a difference between organized sexual slavery, and a volunteered prostitute.

Nowhere in that document, it neither stated nor proved that comfort women were forced. I do love your fantasy though, for example, South Korea had comfort women through WW2 and Korean War and beyond.

You are saying the volunteered prostitutes , for some unknown reasons, suddenly showed up in Korea and the number of those geometrically increased in just a few years. What a ....

6 ( +12 / -6 )

“Asked about the ''comfort women,'' or sex slaves in army brothels, Mr. Ukita acknowledged that he had frequently visited them. Although some Japanese now insist that the women were prostitutes who had volunteered, Mr. Ukita said that from his own experience he knew that the women had been forced to work in the brothels.

''At the time of the war, I was in my 20's and single, and I didn't understand,'' he said, growing more emotional. ''But when I had two daughters myself, I started to realize what I had done.''

At that point, Mr. Ukita's voice choked and blinked, and tears welled in his eyes. He would not say exactly what his role had been, but in a tremulous voice he said that Japan should compensate the women for the injuries done to them.”

https://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/22/world/a-japanese-generation-haunted-by-its-past.html

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

@ Nihon Kwi

They'll rubbish all former IJA testimonies as " paid for" ( bribed) and such. They go all out in defense of evil. Their evil.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

It's been reported that there were at least 300,000 Korean comfort women during Korean War and South Korean official military records showed 89 comfort women at 4 locations provided sexual service 204,560 times in 1952 single year. Now those hypocrites are to answer the question.

Where did those 300,000 Korean CW came from? Were they all genuine sex slaves forced to work as 5th supplies? OR Were they willing prostitutes?

http://www.ohmynews.com/NWS_Web/view/at_pg.aspx?CNTN_CD=A0000067635&PAGE_CD=

http://web.archive.org/web/20020223225519/http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0223/028.html

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Sort of ancient history. Right or wrong it happened and time to get over it. Another example to avoid wars.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Presumably, the records imply that the women referred to as “geisha” might have come on their own, as opposed to sex slaves, who were coerced.

i can’t believe they keep bringing up this absolute crap and trying to use it as a defense. So, they expect everybody to believe that thousands of women throughout Asia volunteered to be sex slaves for the invading forces? The only way that could even be possible is by giving these women a choice, sex slave or death. It should be added that, prostitutes are paid for sex. These women were not paid, which makes them sex slaves, not prostitutes.

Many people believe that South Korea’s repeated attempts to gain compensation are about money. However, they are about Japan manning up and admitting what they did and to stop playing down or outright lying about the atrocities they committed during the first half of last century. There are still some Japanese historians stating there were no sex slaves at all.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

I honestly wonder about the logic of establishing "brothels" and sexual slavery for the purpose of preventing rape. I fail to see a connection. If brothels and prostitution in general prevented rape, there would be no rape in, for example, Japan. From what I have read, rape is not just about sexual urges. It is about power, having control over another person. Thus, married people and people in relationships, with available partners for sex, also commit rape. I am surprised that governments would still argue about brothels and rape prevention connection that has never been proven.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

the article does not say if the armee asked for "sex slaves" (sei dorei) or for prostitutes (ianfu).

The term 性奴隷 (sei dorei) doesn't actually exist in Japanese, and has never been used. The euphemism, ianfu, was used instead.

"Sex slaves" is what they were. "Ianfu" is what they were called.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

They were on the IJA payroll according to the US Army.

If you pay a slave, they are still a slave. Just a compensated one.

The defining line between a prostitute and a slave is whether or not they are there willingly. If they are not, they are slave. If they are, they are a prostitute.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

What a paradox,the two former major axis allies after the war took so different paths.

Yes, but the Germans legally and democratically elected the Nazis into power because they believed in their ideas of racial superiority and the subjugation of lesser peoples so the Germans have a greater cross to bear compared to the Japanese who had no say whatsoever as to what Tojo and company were doing or how he gained power.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

'At the time of the war, I was in my 20's and single, and I didn't understand,'' he said, growing more emotional. ''But when I had two daughters myself, I started to realize what I had done.''

At that point, Mr. Ukita's voice choked and blinked, and tears welled in his eyes. He would not say exactly what his role had been, but in a tremulous voice he said that Japan should compensate the women for the injuries done to them.

A shocking revelation from an actual perpetrator of the abuse. And yet, the duck, dodging and weaving will continue unabated because some people just can't handle the truth.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Its a fact that within every countries army rape follows. The US in Vietnam, SK in SE Asia, The Japanese Imperial Army, Nazi Germany, ISIS. Even today within the US army we hear countless rapes/aggression against women serving our country all the time.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The term "Sex Slaves" was introduced by the Chong Dae Hyup to increase emotional reaction. Prior to that, the term was used excusively with respect to Human Traffiking, a problem which still exists today.

"Sex Slavery — Describes women, men or children that are exploited in the commercial sex industry, which may include: pornography, prostitution, erotic entertainment, strip clubs, online escort services, residential brothels, hostess clubs, fake massage parlors or any exchange of a sex act for something of value. Money may or may not be exchanged; other things that may be traded for sex acts are drugs, shelter, food or clothes. A person’s initial consent to participate is irrelevant if that person is held in service through psychological manipulation or physical force."

https://freedomcenter.org/enabling-freedom/five-forms-of-slavery

Military Brothel systems in the last century include in addition to Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, France, the US for it;s post WWII Occupation Forces, and South Korea's brothel system to serve US Troops during the Korean War. In no of these cases is the term "Sex Slave" used. The victims are all referred to as "Military Prostitutes". This despite the fact that;

"According to records, at least 34,140 European women were forced to serve as prostitutes during the German occupation of their own countries along with female prisoners of concentration camp brothels.[1] In many cases in Eastern Europe, teenage girls and women were kidnapped on the streets of occupied cities during German military and police round ups called łapanka or rafle"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_military_brothels_in_World_War_II

Therefore, the women who were in the IJA Comfort System were in fact "Military Prostitutes". This does not suggest that they all were prostitutes prior, just simply after becoming part of the system. The addition of the term "Sex Slaves" and the acceptance of it by so many without recognizing it's deviant use in discussing the issue of a Military Brothel System only adds an additional obstruction to objective debate and discssion needed to move toward any kind of resolution.

A number of South Korean scholars, despite prosecution, have come out with a clearer picture; that all CW were not the same. Some were originally prostitutes, Some were not. Some joined willingly, some did. Some were invariably deceived. The use of the term "Sex Slaves" creates a prejudice that all CWs were forced against their will. And those who believe this fallacy deny all historical documented evidence to the contrary.

Military brothel systems are fundamentally wrong, and I doubt any nation would engage in it today. But a clear understanding of the facts is needed to ensure that it will never be repeated.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

"Japan's colonization and wartime record continue to strain relations with Asian neighbors..." In point of fact, it's the Japanese government's lack of honesty and contrition about the behaviour of their colonialist military forces, which was abysmal throughout all of Asia - from Korea to China to Burma to Indonesia...

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

"Japan's colonization and wartime record continue to strain relations with Asian neighbors..." In point of fact, it's the Japanese government's lack of honesty and contrition about the behaviour of their colonialist military forces, which was abysmal throughout all of Asia - from Korea to China to Burma to Indonesia...

They say they were " liberating " Asia from those Westerners , so Asians shouldnt complain. Asia for Asians !!! Is their excuse.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The historical facts concerning comfort women

1) The Imperial Japanese military high command ordered the forced conscription of comfort women to serve Japanese troops. This fact is established by unearthed official Japanese military documents.

2) Hence the Japanese state is liable for the crimes of forced conscription of comfort women and must apologize in the name of the state of Japan.

3) The US and ROK military presence in Vietnam, often cited by the defenders of Imperial Japan's forced comfort women system, DID NOT not order the establishment of prostitution houses to serve their troops as sex was not a military provided provision for the US and ROK troops like they were for the Imperial Japanese military; they sprang up naturally around the US and ROK bases as clubs and entertainment establishments. Hence the US and ROK are not liable for prostitution, forced or voluntary, in Vietnam.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

The Nazi also had death camps and exterminated more than 7 million people. Does that justify the existence of the Japanese 731 Unit?

Trying to find justifications for the existence of the battlefield brothels does not cut it, own it! Japan owns that and need to accept all of what it did 1930-1945. It also need to accept what it did during the Korean annexation. Revisionists deny all of it.

The Japanese battlefield women were victims. Why is it so hard to say that? They were victims of their own destitution. Sexual servicing hundreds of troops isn't like working in a candy factory packing boxes.

Some of those sold according to U.S. military documents, didn't even know that would be sex workers.

Some claim how well they were paid, although their brothel owners took a big cut and overcharged for all of their needs. Some claim they were examined monthly by doctors but that was more for the sake of the troops not the sex workers. How about their emotional and psychological damaged they must have suffered.

It's impossible to know how many sex workers would have agreed had it been 100% voluntary instead of being sold off. I think the selling of humans was internationally against treaties?

The apologisers are just sickening in my opinion.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

The culture in east Asia is to save face at all costs. Straightforward honesty in public is not really respected as much as being able to save face and move on.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Admit , apologize and beg for forgiveness.U have wife, daughter and granddaughters too.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

With this abundance of information here/there by media and SNS I just want to say the lapse of time demonstrates that history shows cruelty on women side. Even some Japanese women were sex slaves...That period of time was much cruel when people think well what was that "colonized regions" called Asia.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No one is "justifying" the IJA Comfort Women System. There is no way to justify that or any other military prostitution system. But anyone even remotely interested in the issue (as opposed to parotting propadanda) ) needs to restore the fundamental facts. After which the issue can be examined without bias and misconceptions.

Japan does NOT DENY the existence of the CW system. It is right there on the MOFA page, and how in the world could Japan and South Korea have reached the 2015 CW Agreement, if Japan were denying it's existence? Japan gave a Prime Ministerial Apology and paid the funds requested by South Korea. The funds which are still held by the SK-govt and not given to the intended CW surviviors.

If that is not Accepting and "owning" it, what is? Particularly when no other country that engaged in a Military Brothel System has admitted it existence, much less apologized.

Individual Japanese politicans making comments does not represent the position of the Japanese Government. No more that South Korean Assemblyman Moon's comments about an apology from the Japanese Emperor. The SK-govt is not demanding an apology from the Emperor, and the J-govt is not denying the existence of the CW system.

There is evidence, from the US and from South Korean scholars that the Korean CWs were not "kidnapped" by the IJA. They were recruited. How they were recruited is an issue that needs to be investigated objectively. Because that is the real issue.

Comments such as:

zichiToday  12:16 pm JST The Nazi also had death camps and exterminated more than 7 million people. Does that justify the existence of the Japanese 731 Unit?

Have nothing to do with the CW issue. It is only an attempt to widen the singluar subject into an all encompassing Anti-Japan argument. The only purpose in mentioning the Nazis is to show that while they did essentially the same thing, Germany's CWs are "military prostitutes" while Japan's are "Sex Slaves". How does one explain this difference?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

@OssanJapan

Japan does NOT DENY the existence of the CW system.

Abe denies that the Imperial Japanese military ordered the forced conscription of comfort women; Abe's position is that Japan is merely morally responsible for letting private prostitution take place in territories under Imperial Japan's control.

There is evidence, from the US and from South Korean scholars that the Korean CWs were not "kidnapped" by the IJA.

These are mere conspiracy theory peddling trolls out to make quick yen selling "Korea hate" books to Japanese rightwingers, they are not reputable history scholars, same as so-called "scientists" who deny climate change. "Korea hate" is a big market in Japan as you already know, and there are many willing to sell one's soul to get rich quick selling lies.

The Imperial Japanese military high command's ordering of forced conscription of comfort women is a historically established fact backed by archived official Japanese wartime military documents, as reported by this very evidence.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

The victims of all Military Brothel Systems are the Women themselves. Not any country. It is a matter of human rights and no country is exempt. Korean soldiers in the service of the IJA before and during WWII made use of the Comfort Stations. Korean soldiers in the service of the ROK military made use of the Military Brothels that their government set up for them.

Question: Can South Korea account for the money that Japan has put forth to go to the surviving CWs since 1995?

To turn it into a diplomatic and negotiating tool is what's truly disgusting.

US Occupation Troops made use of the Comfort System in Japan.

"Between August 1945 and March 1946, U.S. occupation forces utilized the state-approved brothels the Japanese government had arranged for them. These brothels were assented to by the U.S. military, Tanaka cites a specific case of a U.S. Army General requesting comfort women services for specific dates for his troops and Tanaka maintains that there were other cases of requests by high ranking U.S. military.[16] The comfort stations bore “Shangri-La” style names such as “The International Palace” and “Dream Land.” Even some high-ranking U.S. officials who traveled to Japan immediately after the war paid visits to these comfort stations. Under the new American occupation, the name “Special Comfort Facilities Association” was replaced by “Recreation and Amusement Associations (RAAs)"

https://www.e-ir.info/2019/03/10/the-comfort-women-controversy-in-the-american-public-square/

South Korean military set up military brothels.

"A comfort women operation was put into place by the Korean military during the Korean War. Soh contends that “[t]he fact that Korean military also availed themselves of the ‘special comfort unit’ during the Korean War has received little public attention, even since the Korean women’s movement in support of the comfort women began in the 1990s.”[14] Soh points out that not only Japan but also Korea has had a “long history of similar masculinist sexual mores.” [15]

The comfort units that South Korea put in place for its military operated until March 1954[16] or about nine months after the Korean conflict came to an end. The recruitment of Korean women for this task was justified because “both the imperial Japanese military and the postcolonial Korean army leadership shared the belief in men’s uncontrollable need for, and therefore right to, women’s bodies outside marriage, whether in war or peace.”[17] Soh notes that the Korean comfort unit system largely mirrored the Japanese system, and was equally dehumanizing of women, viewing them as commodities:"

https://www.e-ir.info/2019/03/07/inconsistencies-in-the-korean-comfort-women-narrative/

7 ( +14 / -7 )

The Japanese imperial army asked the government to provide one wartime sex slave for every 70 soldiers serving in China in the late 1930s, according to dispatches that offer evidence of official involvement in the recruitment of women to work in military brothels.

The dispatches from Japanese diplomatic missions in China include requests to the foreign ministry in Tokyo to provide “comfort women”, Kyodo news agency reported. The term was a euphemism used to describe tens of thousands of women from Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and other countries who were forced into sexual servitude before and during the second world war. The dispatch said the Japanese invasion had caused a surge in prostitution in the area, with 101 “geisha” from Japan, 110 comfort women from Japan and 228 from Korea.

Another dispatch, from the consul general of Jinan in the same province, says that “at least 500 comfort women must be concentrated here” to provide sexual services to advancing soldiers, Kyodo added. The dispatch noted that 186 women had been taken further south in military vehicles after Japanese forces occupied Xuzhou in Jiangsu province.

The materials were collected by the cabinet secretariat between April 2017 and March 2019, the news agency said. Of the 23 documents, 13 are classified dispatches to the foreign ministry from Japanese consulates dated 1938, a year after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident triggered war between the two countries.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/09/japanese-officials-helped-procure-wartime-sex-slaves-report-claims

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

"WWII was nasty business, no matter how u slice it."

Not quite.

The Japanese enslaved young men as "comfort women." The Allies did not.

The Japanese tortured and killed Americans and their allies. The Americans and their allies did not. In fact, the particulars of Japanese torture of American and allied POWs was kept from G.I.s so they would not mistreat captured Japanese soldiers.

The Japanese used non-Japanese for gruesome experiments. The U.S. and its allies did not.

The Japanese put children into suicide aircraft. The U.S. and its allies did not.

The Japanese slaughtered captive populations (Nanjing). The U.S. and its allies did not.

Many Americans have expressed remorse for the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese have never officially expressed any remorse for their war crimes.

The American Occupation was relatively kind. Japanese still discriminate against their former victims, mostly Korean people.

The Japanese have never apologized for Pearl Harbor. Abe expressed his "eternal condolences" when he was there--which is closer to an insult than an apology.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

OssanAmerica

Japan does NOT DENY the existence of the CW system.

Rightwing nationalists and history revisionists do and some of those are government people. Some owners of newspapers do.

Have nothing to do with the CW issue. It is only an attempt to widen the singluar subject into an all encompassing Anti-Japan argument.

Sorry but just because I disagree with what imperial Japan did from 1930-1945 does not make me anti-Japan which I am not. All of my Japanese family who suffered greatly during that time also agree with me.

You compared the events of the comfort women with what the Nazi did so you introduced it but only want us to focus on a small part.

Every comment you have made on this post is trying to explain away what actually happened. You seek to justify it. What imperial Japan did was barbaric and should be confronted just has the Nazi death camps are confronted.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

If your eyes are blurry from just waking up, that statue looked like a star wars ewok. Thought I clicked on wrong story for a moment...

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Japan does NOT DENY the existence of the CW system. It is right there on the MOFA page, and how in the world could Japan and South Korea have reached the 2015 CW Agreement, if Japan were denying it's existence?....

If that is not Accepting and "owning" it, what is? Particularly when no other country that engaged in a Military Brothel System has admitted it existence, much less apologized.

It's NEVER the place of the perpetrator to define

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

"What imperial Japan did was barbaric and should be confronted just has the Nazi death camps are confronted." Word. Read Ian Buruma's Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan, or Year Zero (by the same author), about the post 1945 re-invention of Japanese history.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/09/japanese-officials-helped-procure-wartime-sex-slaves-report-claims

-2( +0 / -2 )

How can you downvote established historical fact? Do you think you're entitled to a separate set you like better?

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

zichiToday  06:49 pm JST

OssanAmerica.

*Japan does NOT DENY the existence of the CW system.*

Rightwing nationalists and history revisionists do and some of those are government people. Some owners of newspapers do.

And those people's comments do not represent the official position of the Japanese government. Do you believe that SK Assemblyman Moon's demand that the J-Emperor apologize represents thje official position of the South Korean government? Of course not. Then why the double standard with respect to Japan?

Japan's official position is right there on the MOFA site. It is official.

Every comment you have made on this post is trying to explain away what actually happened. You seek to justify it. What imperial Japan did was barbaric and should be confronted just has the Nazi death camps are confronted.

Nothing I wrote neither "justifies" or "explains away" anything. Your continued bias is quite tiring.

Please tell me why the Nazis used "Military prostitites" but Imperial Japan used "Sex Slaves". I dare you.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Please tell me why the Nazis used "Military prostitites" but Imperial Japan used "Sex Slaves". I dare you.

You "dare me" what is it, a school yard?

In none of your posted comments have you even mentioned or considered that all of these women were victims. I guess that would be too difficult for you. You constantly seek to justify the abuse of the women by the JIA.

If a Korean women didn't have a say on her becoming a prostitute because she was sold by her parents to pay for debts then she did not voluntary become a prostitute. That is nothing more than human trafficking.

Because they were paid does not make them prostitutes. Human trafficking is akin to slavery.

I refer you to my first comment on this post.

The Comfort Women were all victims if not of sexual slavery certainly of poverty forcing their families to sell them like chattels to pay debts. Victims for having to sexual service many troops everyday. Not all prostitutes remain free from sexual diseases or pregnancy.

Do you not agree that the women were victims?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Give it up. The world knows your shame. It’s wrong to force a prostitute to be a sex slave as well. If you actually used your mind you wouldn’t put Japan in worse light. Why bring more shame upon Japan?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

OOPS! he Japanese enslaved young women as "comfort women." The Allies did not. No young men. As far as I know.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

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