Book Review: Comfort Women and Sex in the Battle Zone by Ikuhiko Hata
Perhaps no issue in the history of post-WWII Japanese relations with Korea and China has been more contentious than that of the comfort women. Arguments have raged about the culpability of the Japanese military then — and the responsibility of the Japanese government now. There are huge discrepancies over the numbers of women involved, and their treatment both during and after the war. Ikuhiko Hata, a retired professor of international relations, has attempted an objective analysis of this contentious and highly emotional topic. The result is a masterful work of scholarship.
Footage discovered showing mass grave for wartime comfort women
The Japanese military executed and attempted to burn the bodies of Korean "comfort women" forced to serve in wartime brothels at a key base in Songshan, China, in 1944, a South Korean scholar who discovered documentary evidence of the atrocities said. Kang Sung-hyun, a professor at Sungkonghoe University who has carried out extensive research into comfort women at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., aired the short, graphic video of a smoke-filled mass grave, where a Chinese Nationalist soldier stoops to inspect the stripped corpses of the women.
New records corroborate Japan's front-line brothel operations during WWII
South Korea's state history institute released new documents substantiating the Japanese military's involvement in operating front-line brothels. The National Institute of Korean History (NIKH) made public interrogation reports written by the Allied Forces' Translator and Interpreter Section, a unit founded in September 1942, which refutes Japan's denial of its military's role in wartime sex slavery. In the report "470," a Japanese prisoner captured in Malang, Indonesia, was quoted as saying during an interrogation that 7 brothels were established "under Army jurisdiction."
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Rare footage shows Korean comfort women from World War Two
The Seoul government has released rare video footage of Korean women forced to work in Japanese military brothels, the first time moving images have been shown of the "comfort women". A government-funded research team from Seoul National University found the footage, which was filmed in 1944 by an American soldier, in the United States National Archives after a two-year hunt. The 18-second black-and-white clip shows seven women lined up outside a brick house, being questioned by Chinese soldiers. The women were found by U.S.-China allied forces in China's Yunnan province, the research team said in a statement.
Taiwan's first comfort women museum opens after decade of effort
The first museum in Taiwan dedicated to "comfort women" - females who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II -- opened in the historic Dadaocheng area in Taipei, after a decade of challenges. The "Ama Museum," as it is called, will be dedicated to preserving the stories of former Taiwanese comfort women and making sure that chapter in history is not forgotten, according to the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, the driving force behind the project.
Comfort women documentary highlights the human spirit and their resilience
During the Second World War, tens of thousands of women in occupied Asian countries were forced to become sex slaves for Japanese soldiers. A new Canadian documentary called The Apology follows the journeys of three former "comfort women," as they were known, and will screen in Vancouver. "The film really highlights and focuses on the human spirit and their resilience and strength through all these years after surviving such atrocities," filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.
Japan's comfort women: Who were the 200,000 women sold for sex during WWII
From the early 1930s to the end of the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of women were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military. More than 200,000 Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Malaysian and women of other nationalities, euphemistically referred to as "comfort women", were enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Military in occupied territories. It is one of the biggest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century and more than 70 years later, the tragedy is still provoking international tensions.
Documentary 'The Apology' profiles comfort women
Director Tiffany Hsiung tears up when discussing her new documentary "The Apology," about the 200,000 so-called "comfort women" who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War. In spending six years with the film's subjects — three grandmothers who were among the victims and are now fighting to have their voices heard — she gained the strength to talk about her own experience with sexual violence.
Japan and South Korea agree WW2 comfort women deal
Japan and South Korea have agreed to settle the issue of "comfort women" forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War Two, in their first such deal since 1965. Japan has apologised and will pay 1bn yen ($8.3m, £5.6m) - the amount South Korea asked for - to fund victims. Only 46 former "comfort women" are still alive in South Korea. It is estimated that up to 200,000 women were forced to be sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during WW2, many of them Korean. Other women came from China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan.
China adds Japan's WW2 comfort women house as protected historic site
A Japanese military brothel in China has been declared a protected historic site, as Beijing highlights old grievances amid modern-day tensions with its long-time rival. The seven-building complex in the eastern city of Nanjing housed more than 200 'comfort women' forced to serve Japanese soldiers during the second world war, and was the largest such facility in Asia. The former Chinese capital had 40 such stations run by Japanese troops.
Papers prove Japan forced women into second world war brothels, says China
China has released documents it claims offers "ironclad proof" that the Japanese military forced Asian women to work in front line brothels before and during WWII. Almost 90 documents from the archives of the military police corps – part of Japan's Kwantung army, the occupying force that propped up a puppet regime in Manchuria in the early 1930s – include letters from Japanese soldiers, newspaper articles and military files discovered in the 1950s and kept at the Jilin provincial archives in north-east China. Documents from the regime's national bank were also included.
China to preserve Japan's WWII military brothel as war crime evidence
China is taking steps to preserve buildings once used by Japan's Imperial Army as a notorious military brothel during World War II as "war crime evidence,". The southern city of Nanjing is drafting plans to preserve the seven buildings in Liji Alley of Nanjing City, describing the Japanese wartime military brothel as "the largest of its kind in Asia." "It's of great historical importance to have these buildings protected for the whole world to remember the crimes of war," Jing Shenghong, a history professor with Nanjing Normal University.
Diaries of a Korean brothel clerk may shed light on Japan's WWII sex slavery
World War II brothels may have been established by the Imperial Japanese Army, but it didn't mean managing a 'comfort station' was exclusive to Japanese soldiers. A Korean man used to work in one during the Japanese occupation. However, his service was for the Japanese soldiers assigned in Burma and Singapore. While working as a clerk, the man wrote his working experiences in diaries. His journals were recently found in South Korea and are believed to give light to the controversial topic of forced sex-slavery.
Comfort women: South Korea's survivors of Japanese brothels (comprehensive article)
Elderly women once forced to work in Japan's military brothels live out their days in a unusual retirement home next to a museum that records their suffering. Their numbers dwindling, the former "comfort women" feel they have never had a full and sincere apology - and are still waiting.
Japan's wartime brothels were wrong, says 91-year-old Japanese WWII veteran
When Masayoshi Matsumoto joined the Japanese army in 1943 and was sent to occupied China as a medic, he thought he was taking part in a righteous war to free Asia from the yoke of Western imperialism. Seven decades later, the 91-year-old veteran says it's his mission to speak out about the injustice of the war and the sufferings of women, mostly Asian and many Korean, forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels. "I feel like a war criminal. It is painful to speak of such things and I would rather cover it up. It is painful, but I must speak."
Japan acknowledges past denial of proof of forced sex slavery was based on limited study
Japan has acknowledged that it conducted only a limited investigation before claiming there was no official evidence that its imperial troops coerced Asian women into sexual slavery before and during WW2. A parliamentary statement signed by PM Shinzo Abe acknowledged the government had a set of documents produced by a postwar international military tribunal containing testimony by Japanese soldiers about abducting Chinese women as military sex slaves. That evidence apparently was not included in Japan's only investigation of the issue, in 1991-1993.
Tracking down Korean Comfort women who ended up in China after World War II
Ahn Sehong had to go to China to recover a vanishing part of Korea's wartime history. Visiting small villages and overcoming barriers of language and distrust, he documented the tales of girls who had been forced into sexual slavery during World War II by the Japanese Army. Starting in 2001, he began tracking down 13 of these women who had been stranded in China after the war. Now in their 80s and 90s, some were childless, others penniless. Most lived in hovels, often in the same dusty rural towns where they had endured the war. They had been away from their native land so long, some could no longer speak Korean.
Document proves that Japanese Army sent comfort women to provide sex to frontline soldiers
A Korean scholar has discovered a Japanese Army document showing that it sent comfort women to provide sex to frontline soldiers. Kim Moon-gil obtained the document in May from the historic records archive of Japan's Ministry of Defense. The record showed the military was in charge of managing sex slaves - which runs counter to the Japanese government's claim that it was not involved in recruitment or management. The "Secret Document 935" was sent from the chief of staff of Japanese Army's troops in Taiwan to a Japanese Army adjutant on June 13 in 1942, stating that 50 comfort women arrived in Taiwan but the number was not enough, asking the Army to send another 20.
Court order allows photo exhibition of Comfort women to go on in Tokyo
Protesters shouted. Guards searched through bags. The whole thing might not have happened if not for a court injunction. But in Tokyo, the show went on, as Japanese visitors braved angry demonstrators to see photographs of Korean comfort women. The uproar over the black-and-white images taken by photographer Ahn Sehong underscores the sensitivity concerning the plight of Korean women forced to serve the Japanese military as sex slaves. Protesters deluged the Nikon company after it agreed to host the photographs in a Tokyo salon, prompting the company to cancel the show earlier, but a court ordered Nikon to honor its original commitment and to let the exhibit run as planned.
Comfort Women memorial set up in Westbury, New York - Second comfort women memorial in the U.S.
A monument dedicated to the memory of Korean "comfort women" forced into sexual slavery during World War II was set up at the Veterans Memorial at Eisenhower Park in Westbury, New York. The red granite monument symbolizes the hardship and blood of the comfort women, the Korean American Public Affairs Committee announced. This is the second memorial of its kind in the U.S. following one in Palisades Park in October 2010. The Japanese Consulate-General in New York has called for the removal of the New Jersey monument and Japanese lawmakers have blamed pro-North Korean organizations for setting it up.
Japanese officials ask New Jersey town to remove memorial to Korean sex slaves
Recently Japanese officials visited Palisades Park, a suburban enclave across the Hudson River from New York City, with a curious request: they wanted the town to remove a small plaque in front of the public library. In 2010, Palisades Park installed a memorial to the thousands of Korean women and girls that were enslaved by the Japanese during the Second World War. The town says that it is the first such dedication to the so-called Comfort Women and refused the Japanese officials' request, igniting a decades long quest to raise awareness of the victims' plight.
Documentary film in the works to chronicle comfort women's fight
A painful 20-year fight by Taiwanese women for dignity and for an apology from Japan after being driven into WWII sex slavery is being recorded in a documentary by a Taipei-based rights group. The short film aims to show that the women are no longer victims of the atrocities of the past, the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation said. The project, which began in late 2010, has been a race against time as the surviving comfort women are all nearly 90 years old and two former comfort women have passed away since the project began.
Comfort women put up statue at their 1,000th rally outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul
South Korean women kept as sex slaves by the Japanese army during World War II have held their 1,000th rally outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul - and put up a statue of a girl in traditional costume there. Japan has reportedly protested about the statue, but South Korean officials have said they cannot do anything about it.
Comfort Women: Weekly protest vs. Japan to mark 1,000th rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul
"Wednesday Rally," a weekly demonstration held in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to demand Japan's official apology and compensation for Korean women used as sex slaves will mark its 1,000th assembly. The demonstration was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest rally on a single theme in 2002, when its 500th rally was held. The Korea Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sex Slavery by Japan will unveil a monument symbolizing a victim in front of the Japanese Embassy. In addition, 37 cities in nine countries will also hold rallies to show their solidarity and draw world attention to the matter.
South Korea presses Japan at U.N. over comfort women
After decades of frustration, personal protests and government declarations, South Korea has appealed to the United Nations in its demand that Japan take "legal responsibility" for enslaving 200,000 Korean women as prostitutes during the Second World War. Known as "comfort women," the victims were forced to provide sexual services for Japanese soldiers based on the Korean peninsula.
Liu Huang A-tao, the first Taiwanese woman to accuse Japan of forcing her into sexual slavery, has died at 90
Liu Huang A-tao has passed away at the age of 90, still waiting for an official apology and compensation from Japan for the years she was forced to work in a front-line brothel for the Japanese WWII military. Her death brings the number of surviving Taiwanese "comfort women" to 10, according to the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation. In 1942, Liu Huang applied to join the Japanese nursing corps, but was forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers after stepping off a transport ship in Indonesia. She sustained injuries during fighting and had to have her womb removed, only returning to Taiwan after Japan's surrender in 1945.
Filipino wartime sex slaves tell their story in documentary film "Katarungan! Justice for Lolas!"
The director of a documentary film on Filipino victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery says the memories of the aging women now won't be lost to posterity. "Many of them became victims of sexual violence by Japanese soldiers at the ages of 14 or 15, and they are around 80 years old now. I wanted to record the lives of those who have survived decades of hardships," said filmmaker Chieko Takemi. In "Katarungan! Justice for Lolas!" People in Manila as well as Luzon and Leyte islands testified how barbaric Japanese soldiers sexually targeted local women and mistreated the community at large.
Hilde Janssen publishes Comfort Women's intimate oral histories and portraits in a book titled Comfort Women
Dutch journalist and researcher Hilde Janssen teamed up with photographer Jan Banning to do a project about surviving comfort women, who rarely share their WWII experiences. Fortunately, Janssen managed to get them to open up for a book called "Comfort Women." There also is a documentary film about the making of Comfort Women. Niyem was 10-years-old when was kidnapped and loaded into a truck full of other women destined for a military camp in West Java. She shared a small tent with two other girls, where Japanese soldiers openly violated them. When Niyem managed to escape and return home, her parents didn't recognize her and people called her a "Japanese hand-me-down."
Comfort women exhibition opens in Taiwan
Taiwanese comfort women condemned Japan at the opening of an exhibition - which features documents, petitions, media reports and videos - that explores Taiwan's legal battle against Japan about sex slaves used by the Japanese Imperial Army. "We flew to Japan several times but they would not let we victims testify in court," said Chen Tao, one of the last 13 surviving comfort women in Taiwan, talking about trials that took place 1999-2005, when the Japanese high court ruled against the comfort women in 3 separate appeals.
300,000 signatures - requesting compensation for the comfort women - sent to Japan
300,000 signatures of people calling for an apology and compensation for "comfort women" have been collected and will be sent to the Japanese government. Only 82 comfort women are still alive, and most of them are not in good health.
900th protest of Korea's Comfort Women - Survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery
Dressed warmly against cold weather comfort women gathered on Dec. 13 2009 for their 900th Wednesday protest outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. The women have been protesting every Wednesday since Jan. 8, 1992. Japanese military sexual slavery started in 1932 during the conflict between Japan and China in Shanghai. 200,000 comfort women came from territories occupied by Japan prior to and during WW2. At the comfort stations throughout Asia, soldiers "took" the girls 10-30 times per day. Physical abuse was unrestrained, with soldiers beating and branding women with hot irons, or cutting them with swords.
Japanese who think that Tokyo should apologize for comfort women outnumber those who think otherwise
Japanese who think that Tokyo should apologize for drafting Asian woman as sex slaves for the Imperial Army in the Second World War outnumber those who think differently for the first time, a poll reveals. The Northeast Asian History foundation commissioned a poll, which showed that 48.9% in Tokyo said Japan should apologize to the comfort women, while 30.3% said it does not need to. When the survey began in 2007, just 38.4% said Tokyo should say sorry.
Comfort woman Gil Won-ok on her third visit to Australia lobbying pressure on Japan
Gil Won-ok was 13 when she arrived at a comfort station for Japanese soldiers, where she was forced to have sex with 20 soldiers a day - for the next 3 years. 200,000 women were forced to be sex slaves for Japanese soldiers, and many of them were taken from Korea, under Japanese colonial rule 1910-1945. Of the 234 Korean women who have publicly talked about their suffering, just 91 are still alive. To urge Japan to officially apologize, the comfort women have held protests in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul every Wednesday since 1992. In 1995 Japan set up an "Asia Women's Fund" to pay to the victims, but it did not get any government funding.
The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan
The dark history of the women forced into prostitution during the Asia Pacific War and the Second World War came to light in the 1990s when South Korean activists defined it as a war crime. In a new book, Professor of Anthropology C. Sarah Soh suggests a more complex understanding of these "comfort women." In "The Comfort Women" she shows how the current simplistic view of the issue misses the diversity of the women's experiences, the influence of historical factors and the role that Koreans played in facilitating the Japanese comfort women system.
Comfort women picture book published: 400 photos, painful memories of 67 comform women
A picture book recording 67 survivors of Japan's sexual slavery was recently published. One of the comfort women cited in Li Xiaofang's book is Li Jinyu, who was forced into sexual slavery when she was 14yo. She was seized by the Japanese military when she was playing with her sisters and forced to provide sex for soldiers until her parents ransomed her. "I was tortured for 2 months... After returning home, I was sick for 3 months and could do nothing but lie in bed. During that period, my father was beaten to death." Li was later married, but her husband died 26 years ago. From then on, Li had been earning her living by picking and selling waste.
World War II comfort women join forces to demand apology from Japan
A group of comfort women from across Asia demanded that the Japanese government compensate victims, publish a formal apology and provide a balanced account of the issue in history textbooks as the group gathered in Tokyo for the 9th Solidarity Conference for the Issue of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. Historians say that 200,000 comfort women from across Asia were forced to provide sexual services for Japanese armed forces during World War II. Lee Soo-San, a former sex slave who was forced to join a military brothel at the age of 16, recalled: "Military men were standing in a long line in front of the room... My body is damaged and full of scars."
Comfort women film - Most Hideous Crimes against Humanity
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has finished a documentary film about Japan's use of Korean sexual slaves in World War II. The DPRK charged Japan of forcing a huge number of Korean women to become sex slaves after occupying the Korean Peninsula, citing documents and testimonies. The film "Most Hideous Crimes against Humanity in the 20th Century" was made by the Korean Documentary and Scientific Film Studio. It is estimated 100,000-200,000 Korean women were coerced to become comfort women for Japanese soldiers in World War II.
Historian: Comfort women used to prevent revolt in Imperial Army
The Japanese military used sex slaves to satisfy displeased frontline soldiers and discourage military revolt, historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi said. "The Japanese soldiers were in a war of aggression with no promising future in sight. They never knew when they would return home. They were not taken care of well... The Japanese Imperial Army feared most that the simmering discontentment of the soldiers could explode into a riot and revolt. That is why it provided women." Yoshimi found comfort women records at a library of the Defense Agency in Tokyo in 1990s, establishing for the first time that the Japanese Army ran "comfort stations."
Canada urges Japan to apologise about 200,000 comfort women
Canada's parliament has passed a symbolic non-binding motion calling on Japan to apologise for forcing 200,000 women to serve as World War II sex slaves. Olivia Chow said the episode constituted "crimes against humanity". In 1993 Japan published an official apology over comfort women, but parliament never approved it. The motion calls on Japan to "take full responsibility for the involvement of the Japanese Imperial Forces in the system of forced prostitution". It must offer "a formal and sincere apology expressed in the Diet to all of those who were victims". Japan's failure to apologise and issue compensation remains a problem in relations with the nations involved.
Comfort women take fight to Canada
A Chinese former "comfort woman" flew to Canada to place pressure on the Canadian parliament to pass a bill urging Japan to apologize to women forced into sexual slavery during World War II. The Dutch parliament endorsed a similar resolution, and the US House of Representatives approved a similar resolution in July. Liu Mianhuan was joined by 3 other comfort women from South Korea, the Netherlands and the Philippines, and is scheduled to take part in a series of events to raise public awareness among Canadians. The events have been organized by the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of World War II in Asia.
Former comfort women emerge from lonely isolation (Article no longer available from the original source)
They were violated, forced to endure months or years as "comfort women" by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Today Filipina survivors of that horrendous experience have banded together to support each other and ensure that their suffering is not forgotten. In Roxas a group was set up in 2000 by women who came forward to declare their painful wartime histories. It has now 100 members, of whom 75 are former comfort women. The others are mostly their daughters, like Chalito Longanillya. She says that she cannot forget the words her father would shout at her mother when he drank too much: "You are nothing but the leftovers of Japanese soldiers."
Comfort woman Lee Mak Dal delivers testimony (Article no longer available from the original source)
Lee Mak Dal was deceived by the Japanese soldiers who came to her village, they told her that she would be given a task in a factory. She was then shipped to Keelung, Taiwan, where she was confined in a house for the next 6 years. "There were a number of girls there already... When a soldier came in, I would cry, and he ripped off my clothes, yelled at me, then hurt me." The women were forced to accommodate as many as 50 soldiers each day. The war crime remains largely unresolved, as the Japanese government has yet to take responsibility for its military’s coercion of women into sexual slavery.
Comform women serving up to 60 American soldiers a day after WWII (Article no longer available from the original source)
"They took my clothes off. I was so small, they were so big, they violated me easily. I was bleeding, I was only 14 ... I can smell the men, I hate men." - Kang Soon-ae, abducted at age 13 by the Japanese military. Some say it's dishonest to call for a Japanese apology on comfort women issue while ignoring a similar practice by the U.S. military. The first brothel, known as the Babe Garden or Komachien, opened on Sept. 20, 1945. Troops paid upfront and were given tickets. Each woman had intercourse with 15-60 men a day. According to a memoir by an RAA official, the agency employed 70,000 comfort women to service the 350,000 U.S. troops occupying Japan.
Former Wartime Comfort Woman Speaks (Article no longer available from the original source)
World War II military rape camp survivor Yong-soo Lee demonstrated that the Japanese military may have tried to kill her spirit, but they could not kill her pride - Nor could they silence her forever. She was lured from home at age 16. Lee and other girls were taken by train to a place called Anju, where they were beaten and forced to work in the fields. Later, the girls were taken to Dailan in China to be sent somewhere by ships. The girls were violated during the voyage to somewhere in Taiwan where the "comfort station" was located. At the facility, she was forced to serve 4-5 soldiers everyday, even when she was having her period.
Japanese say wartime comfort women were just camp followers (Article no longer available from the original source)
Japanese conservatives protested against US demands for a apology over military brothels, saying the women were not sex slaves but camp followers. History professor Shoichi Watanabe: "If America keeps saying this is a human rights issue, then what were the indiscriminate bombings on Tokyo and other cities?" The Japanese activists say the resolution is based on wrong information. Kimindo Kusaka said women from Japan went to brothels, but a shortage led to Koreans recruiting women. "They paid when they recruited the girls. It was probably a severe blow to the girls, but it was their dads who betrayed them. It was their moms who betrayed them."
Museum to World War II comfort women opens in Shanghai
The museum dedicated to "comfort women" opened at Shanghai Normal University. Guests of honor were 3 comfort women, who attended the opening ceremony and delivered a speech recounting their ordeals. As well as hearing the women's accounts, visitors were able to look at 48 display boards and 80 objects relating to the period. "The wooden sculptures of Mount Fuji taken from the Daiichi Salon in Shanghai, the world's first comfort station set up by the Japanese, is one of the most valuable items on display," Su Zhiliang. Other exhibits include accounts by comfort women; the disinfectants Lei Guiying took with her when she fled the brothel in Nanjing.
Memoir of japanese comfort woman tells of hell for women
Sold by her father into prostitution at age 17, Suzuko Shirota followed Japan's troops around the Pacific during WW2. After Japan's surrender, she returned and US troops became her clientele. She became a drug addict, was poverty-stricken and institutionalized for decades. Though historians believe there were tens of thousands more Japanese like her, Shirota is the only Japanese "comfort woman" to have come forward and tell her story. Now, Japan's government is trying to revise that story. Abe and Japanese conservatives claim that, "in the narrow sense," the women weren't coerced: No one held a gun to Shirota's head. But, then again, no one needed to.
Chinese woman breaks silence on comfort women horror
Zhou Fenying is a living witness to the dark history that still poisons China's relations with Japan more than 60 years after World War II. When Zhou was 22, Japanese soldiers came to her village, grabbed her and her sister-in-law and carted them off to a military brothel. Now she has broken decades of silence to speak of her traumatic experience as a "comfort woman" - the euphemism the invading Japanese used to describe women forced into sex slavery. "If it were you, wouldn't you hate them? Of course I hate them. But after the war, all the Japanese went home. I'm already so old. I think they are all dead by now."
Japanese denial angers Australian comfort woman Jan Ruff-O'Herne
Jan Ruff-O'Herne, who was forced into sex slavery in WWII, says she's trembling with anger at a Japanese government ad denying the atrocities. The ad seeks to share "the truth with the American people" about the 200,000 comfort women. "No historical document has ever been found by historians or research organisations that positively demonstrates that women were forced against their will into prostitution by the Japanese army," the ad said under the title "THE FACTS". Ruff-O'Herne: "My esteem for the Japanese Government has completely gone down the drain. I am so angry that after all these years and so much proof they could do that."
U.S. military report shows Japan paid some WW2 comfort women
Some Asian women working at brothels for occupying Japanese forces during World War II were employed and paid by owners under contract, the Sankei newspaper reported, citing a U.S. military report declassified 3 decades ago. 20 Korean women working as conform women for the Japanese military were recruited in exchange for money and paid, according to the report written in 1944 by the U.S. military's intelligence division. The report was based on an interrogation of a Japanese owner of the establishment. Japanese historian Yoshimi Yoshiaki estimated in a 1995 book that 200,000 women served in 2,000 so-called comfort stations across Asia.
American GIs used comfort women after World War II
Japan's abhorrent practice of enslaving women to provide sex for its troops in WWII has a little-known sequel: After its surrender Japan set up a similar "comfort women" system for American GIs. An AP review of historical documents shows American authorities permitted the official brothel system to operate despite reports that women were being coerced into it. The Americans also had full knowledge by then of Japan's atrocious treatment of women. On August 28, 1945, first troops arrived in Atsugi, by nightfall the troops found the RAA's first brothel. "... I was surprised to see 500 or 600 soldiers standing in line on the street," Seiichi Kaburagi wrote.
Testimony shows Comfort Women were forcibly sent to brothels
Shinzo Abe has not accepted Japanese responsibility for sending women and girls to brothels because he claims there was no evidence of coercion. But many cases submitted to Tokyo courts contain testimonies that contradict this. The following are answers given by a Japanese lieutenant in Jan 1946. Q: Some witnesses said you violated women and sent them to military barracks for more sexual assault from Japanese soldiers. (A) I built a brothel for my soldiers and I used it too. (Q) Did the women accept being sent to the brothel? (A) Some accepted it and others did not. (Q) How many women lived there? (A) Six. (Q) How many women were sent against their will? (A) Five.
War trial shows Japan military ordered to set up brothel in Indonesia
A Japanese man convicted in a 1946 military tribunal for forcing women to work in a brothel in Indonesia was found at the time to have set up the brothel on instruction from Japanese occupation authorities, documents showed. The man received the instruction to open the brothel for civilians in Jakarta in 1943 and lodged an objection but later obeyed the order after it was repeated, according to the documents obtained by Taichiro Kajimura. Although the man was a civilian and the brothel was for civilians, the documents provide new evidence of the Japanese military's involvement. Some women were actually arrested and detained by authorities after trying to quit.
Japan's divisive comfort women fund
Asian nations claim Japan has not faced up to its WW2 brutality, but the Japanese have made at least some efforts to heal the scars. One initiative is the Asian Women's Fund which, until it wound up recently, offered compensation to "comfort women", the women forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese Imperial Army. From the start, there was controversy: Some right-wingers were opposed to anything that offered compensation or an apology. Some activists complained that this was not an official compensation. Some facts: $4.7m was raised in donations from the Japanese people. $6.5m in taxpayers' money was provided to pay for medical fees.
In Japan, a Historian Stands by Proof of Wartime Sex Slavery
15 years ago historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi grew fed up with denials that the military had set up and run brothels. So he went to the Defense Agency’s library and combed through documents from the 1930s. In just two days, he found a rare trove that uncovered the military’s direct role, including documents that carried the seals of high-ranking Imperial Army officers. A red-faced Japanese govt acknowledged that the Japanese state itself had been responsible. The backlash came from nationalist politicians led by Shinzo Abe, an obscure lawmaker at the time, who lobbied to rescind the 1993 admission. Their goal finally seemed close at hand after Mr. Abe became PM.
Japan PM apology on comfort women - unlikely to satisfy his critics
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe has apologised in parliament for the country's use of women as sex slaves during World War II. The apology comes after he was criticised for previous comments casting doubt on whether the women were coerced. Mr Abe said that he stood by a 1993 statement in which Japan acknowledged the imperial army set up and ran brothels for its troops. "As I frequently say, I feel sympathy for the people who underwent hardships, and I apologise for the fact that they were placed in this situation at the time."
Viewpoints: Abe World War II comfort women row
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe has said there is no evidence that women were forced to become comfort women by the Japanese army. His remarks are going to have a huge impact on Japan's relations, because the memories of the colonisation are still fresh in Korean people's minds. One woman living in the House of Sharing told how she was sold by her step-father, how brutally she was treated by soldiers and how she was rejected by society and family. She then answered a question from a Japanese student, who asked what the young Japanese generation could do to put her mind at peace. Her answer was: "A formal apology and compensation from the Japanese government."
Australian comfort woman seeks apology
An Australian woman forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War 2 will appear before a US Congressional hearing seeking an apology for her treatment. Jan Ruff O'Herne was 19 when she was seized from a PoW camp and forced into a brothel to become one of hundreds of thousands of "comfort women". She was "violated day and night" by Japanese soldiers for 3 months during the war. "We were just military sex slaves. They called us comfort women but it was just a horrific experience. An apology will give us back our dignity. You can't imagine the shame that we have lived with."
Congress to hear testimony of three World War II Comfort women
Three women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers will testify before a U.S. committee for the resolution calling on Tokyo to apologize for the practice. Comfort women is a Japanese euphemism for the 200,000 women forced to provide sex for Japan's soldiers at battle-zone brothels during World War II. Witnesses include experts on the issue and three comfort women: a Dutch-born Jan Ruff O'Herne and Koreans Lee Yong-soo and Kim Koon-ja. In 1993 Japan acknowledged a state role in the wartime program and Japanese leaders have sent letters of apology to 285 of the women, along with funds collected by the Asian Women's Fund.
Comfort woman exhibition exposes darkness in East Timor
Ines de Jesus was a young girl during WW2 when she was forced to become a sex slave, "comfort woman," for Japanese troops in the then Portuguese colony of East Timor. By day, she carried out menial labor, and each night was violated by 4-8 soldiers. While horrific, her experience with sexual abuse under military occupation is by no means unusual among East Timorese women, as an exhibition at the Women's Active Museum on War and Peace in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward makes clear. The exhibition combines testimony from witnesses with photos and other documentary evidence to provide a picture of the violence inflicted on women 1942-1945.