Friday, February 17, 2006

comfort woman under Japanese rule

See also
Comfort Women, Military Prostitution and Human Trafficking

Yes we remember the facts. comfort women Q&
/socio-economic background of comfort women
Korean professors speak about comfort women
comfort women depicted before the issue popped up

the US congressional report
Yuki tanaka
the US congressional reseach and Yuki Tanaka
Embassy of Japan in the United States of America

the photo1:a Korean comfort woman in Burma captured as a POW
the photo2
the photo 3
慰安婦は徴用ではなく募集だったーー日本政府調査資料から ニュース記事に関連したブログ

See also Some of Korean professor's veiw on comfort women
A Korean historian speaks about comfort women
Japanese comfort women for GIs in Japan under the occupation

Hata Ikuhiko

Japanese army's involvement with comfor woman

1 Japanese army licensed brothels.

2 Japanese army carried out VD tests and other medical checks on comfort women.

3 Japanese army set up the regulation of the brothels.

See alsoNYT onishi & Yoshimi

the photo2
1)this confort station is only for solodiers and workers in the army.
2)the visitors must pay and recieve the ticket.
3)the fee is as follows: Rank and file civilian employee:two yen
4)the ticket is valid for today. If not used, it can be exchanged for money, but if you hand it over to the comfort woman, you can not get it back.
5)after you buy a ticket, enter the appointed room. The time is for 30 minutes.
6)immidiately after you enter, hand the ticket to the comfort woman.
7)No drinking is allowed in the the room.
8)Immidiatelly after you are finished, leave the room.
9)we make you leave if you do not follow the regulation.

3 Japanese army regulated the illegal acts of brokers.
(Note that prostituion was legal in those days just as it is still legal in some countries.) the photo3 . see also the case of Dutch comfort women
See also Japanese police regulated illegal police under Japanese rule
some facts about comfort station in Indonesia
When the broker recruit comfort weomen, the following are reported.
1) the broker illegally use the name and presitige of the Japanese army, causing civiilians to misunderstand
2) some cases are reported the war correspondents and visitors to the comfort stations raised the social problems..
3)the brokers used illegal mehods to recuit women like abducting. and hence the police was required to mobilize.

Since these are reported, We decree that from now on the Japanese army regulate the brokers.and cooperate with the police and the military policeman.

4 Japanese soldiers used the licensed or unlicensed brothels.

5 Comfort women were paid.In fact they were paid much more than average soldiers at the time.

(see also the advertisement for comfort women

There were no documents nor report nor wittness that suggested that the force was used in reruiting and managing the comfort women by the Japanese army.There was a document to show the contrary.
See also the case of Dutch comfort women
Here is the US report on the comfort women.
see also US document to show Korean women were sold to brokers
A "comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers

The contract they signed bound them to Army regulations and to war for the "house master " for a period of from six months to a year depending on the family debt for which they were advanced ...


In Myitkyina the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a school building) with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted business. In Myitkina their food was prepared by and purchased from the "house master" as they received no regular ration from the Japanese Army. They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles. They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers who had received "comfort bags" from home.

While in Burma they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men, and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping.


The "house master" received fifty to sixty per cent of the girls' gross earnings depending on how much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract. 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". Many "masters" made life very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles.

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. This same procedure was carried on within the ranks of the Army itself, but it is interesting to note that a soldier did not lose pay during the period he was confined.

Silence broken
[In] 1991 when 74 year old Kim Hak-soon courageously stepped forward to tell the world she had been a 'comfort woman.' Following her lead, others soon emerged to voice their extraordinary ordealslilnk

One "comfort woman who resisted fiercely was murdered by having her head and limbs tied to horses and being ripped apart in front of others.

In 1941 Hwang Geum Joo was ordered by her school to report to the Hamhung train station, where she was put on a Japanese military train. She was taken to a large compound in Kilim where the women stayed in tin huts. They were raped repeatedly. After two weeks, they were sent to "comfort stations" where they were forced to service at least thirty to forty soldiers and more on Sundays and holidays. Ms. Hwang was once beaten so badly that she was unconscious for three days. The women were frequently injected with shots of a drug called "606" and they suffered from bleeding, swelling, and infertility. Of the twenty women who had come with Ms. Hwang from Hamhung, she was the only survivor. She now experiences periods of deafness and swelling of the knees and buttocks.

A Korean "comfort woman" who contracted venereal disease and, as a result, infected fifty Japanese soldiers was "sterilized" by having a hot iron bar placed in her vagina.

A woman who "refused to bathe" was hung upside down from a tree, beaten with rifles, had her nipples cut off. She was finally shot through the vagina. [5]

Kim Sang Hee was abducted from Korea by a group of men in 1934 at the age of fourteen. She was taken to a railway station where about a hundred other girls were waiting. Ms. Kim was forcibly transported to Suzhou, China, taken to a "comfort station" and raped repeatedly by Japanese soldiers. The little girl attempted suicide on the first night. Ms. Kim served as a "comfort woman" for nine years. [6]link

One of Japanese kamikaze pilots, who repeatedly raped her in Taiwan, told Ms. Lee that she was his first love.

"I think he is my savior. I still thank him," she said, clarifying that she felt no romance for him.

"He came to me many times. That soldier told me I was his first love."

Occasionally weeping while telling her tale, Ms. Lee said the kamikaze pilot "gave me all his soap, and other things for taking care of myself, because he said he was leaving tomorrow to die."link

comfort women break silence

Conroversy over the testiomony
Some claim that the testimonis are inconsistent and unreliable.
Let's take Kim Haksun, the first woman to have come
forward as a “Comfort Woman”for instance,

Asahi Shinbun (Asahi Newspaper), it was reported that she was recruited in 1939 in Pyongyang by a local influential man who offered her a high earning job. She was taken from Pyongyang by a train with Japanese soldiers.
According to shikawa, a Japanese policeman and a villager came to Kim and told her that if she worked as Teishintai (girl labourer) she could earn a lot of money
and that she must accept the offer because that was the Emperor’s order. Then, she was dragged into a Japanese truck, which took her to Pyongyang, and from there took a train to China.
Nishino’s rather different story is that Kim was adopted by Mr. Kim and attended a kisaeng (entertainment girl) school for three years. (emphasis mine) When she was seventeen years old, she was taken by her stepfather to China to earn money, where she parted with her stepfather. Then she was taken to the house of the Chinese by Japanese soldiers and was locked in a room.
Finally, in the testimony published by the Korean Council for Women Drafted for
Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, Kim says that she was fostered by a family who trained kisaeng by a contract her mother made, for
which her mother received 40yen.
(emphasis mine) After she had had enough training, her foster father took her and another girl to China, where he was interrogated as a spy by the Japanese soldiers while Kim and another girl were taken into a truck.

Since many women gave testimony orally, partly because most of
them were illiterate, most testimonies were recorded and edited by
researchers or journalists
concerning stories provided by researchers, it is hard to
differentiate what was really said by the women themselves and
what was added or omitted by the researchers in the course of
their own researches.
It seems
likely that when researchers recount the lives of ex-“Comfort
Women”, in summarising their testimonies, they unintentionally
modify or sometimes change the testimonies in order to suit their
own perspectives and needlink
(Reread , for instance, the testimony by the comfort woman whom kamikaze pilot fell in love with.)

See also comfort women testify
慰安婦問題の証言集目次/toron talker/Japanesethe case of Ms Leekoon-ja-kim

Apology and conmepensation
Evidence and testiony

The sensational movements against Japanese govenment took place in Japan and in Korea. In response,Japanese government made a following statement, without examing the authenticity of the testimonies of those who claimed to be former comfort women

On August 4, 1993, the Japanese government issued this statement regarding the comfort houses:
1. The Japanese military was ‘directly or indirectly involved’ in the establishment and management of
the comfort stations and in the transfer of comfort women.
2. As for the ‘recruitment’ of comfort women, ‘in many cases they were recruited against their own will, through
coaxing, coercion, etc.’ and ‘at times administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitment.’
3. ‘They lived in misery at comfort stations in a coercive atmosphere.’
4. The ‘recruitment,’ transfer, and control of comfort women born on the Korean Peninsula were conducted
‘generally against their will, through coaxing, coercion, etc.’
5. The issue of military comfort women is ‘an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that
severely injured the honor and dignity of many women.’
6. To the former comfort women, ‘the government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again
to extend its sincere apologies (owabi) and regrets.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato's apology
the Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono's apology
PM Murayama's apology
PM Hashioto's apology

Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women

The Year of 2001
Dear Madam,

On the occasion that the Asian Women's Fund, in cooperation with the Government and the people of Japan, offers atonement from the Japanese people to the former wartime comfort women, I wish to express my feelings as well.

The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women.

As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future.

I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations.

Furthermore, Japan also should take an active part in dealing with violence and other forms of injustice to the honor and dignity of women.

Finally, I pray from the bottom of my heart that each of you will find peace for the rest of your lives.

Respectfully yours,

Junichiro Koizumilink

atonement as compared with German
As regards to the conpensation, Japan and Korea has a treaty:it says,
Article II

1 The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finallylilnk

on 17 January, 2005, additional documents detailing the minutes of Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea were released by South Korean government. They suggest that the South Korean government agreed not to demand further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910-45 colonial rule, and to take all responsibility for individual cases instead of Japan. This further reduces the likelihood of legal proceedings resulting in any formal admission of

NGO was not satisfied with this. The Japanese government responded.

n 1995 the Japanese government took its boldest step so far, setting up an Asian Women's Fund, which collected private donations and sent "atonement money" worth $30,000 or more to each of 364 former comfort women in Taiwan, the Philippines and South Korea.

It also directly funded medical care for the recipients.BBC

The Government of Japan has been cooperating with the AWF in implementing the activities outlined below. The activities of the AWF show steady progress as a wholelink

See also Asian womens fund

Still NGO was not satisfied.
Many of the Korean victims, he (the director of the fund) says, were put under intense social pressures to refuse the Japanese donations, although they sorely needed that supportBBC

See also Ex-comfort women at present
See also political aspect of the comfort women issue
Abe's stance on history
A historian's summary of the system of comfort station
After all the controversy over the issue of comfort woman, a historian,Hata did a thorough research on it.The following is the suumary.Coomarawamy is an UN reporter.

A letter from a historian to Coomarawamy

Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy
Special Report on Violence against Woman

I have received your report on your mission to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic ofKorea and Japan on the issue of military sexual slavery in wartime(E/CN.4/1996/53/Add.1) However, I have found with much regret that what I have explained to you at our meeting held on July 23.1995, in Tokyo, was not precisely reflectedon at all in paragraph 40 in the Addendum to your reprot.I would like to ask you to duly rectify the following points so that my opinion is more correctly recorded in your report.
1 Line 14 to line 17 in paragraph 40, means the opposite of what I explained.I explained that those comfort women were not under contact with the Japanese military but with private brothel masters, and that the contractual status(i.e.,terms of emoployment, income distribution, condition of daily lives, etc9 are clear with the inquiery records of the twenty Korean comfort women and masters who were prisoners of war detained by the U.S. Army.I wish to ask you to check once again my resume on "comfort women" issue (cited below) and a copy of inquiry records by the U.S. Army which I have handed over to you.A copy of the resume is attached to this letter.

2 The purpose of my visiting Saishu Island in March, 1992, was to examine whether there was a fact that some women were abducted with violence, as described in Seiji Yoshida's book. As a resultof the research, with the evidence including newspaper articles and testimony,I was firmly convinced that the descripition by Yoshida was a mere fiction which is completely groundless. I remind you that I informed that Yoshida was a "professional liar", judging from his behavior in other fields as well.

3 Line 9 to 14 is not the result of my research in Saishu island, but the conclusion which I reached after studying various materials, records and having interviews with a number of people. Moreover, although I classified the type of recruitment into type A and type B in Ⅱ(2) in my resume, I told you that most cases were of type A, and that no evidence for type B has been discvored. Accodingly, I pionted out the possibility of cases where village chiefs acted as collaborators.
In addition to this misinterpretation of my explanation, I am quite dissatisfied with the fact that the above mentioned U.S. inquery records are not quoted in your report. It is also regretatble that most of the factual information in your report are cited from "the Comfort women" by George Hicks(1995). Hicks's book has such problems as follows:
(A)Hicks, as Acnowledgment" in his book, confesses that he is not capable of collecting and analyzing literature written in Japanese, and that he relied on Yumi Lee, a Korean national lviing in Japan , to collect them (and prpbably translate them into English)
(B)This seems to have resulted in the extremeley primitive and substantive mistakes in dealing with important information and translation. For examlple, in pragraph 24 which describes the first comfort station, you write that a number of "Korean women" from a Korean community in Japan were sent to Shanghai by the Governor of Nagasaki prefetur, citing the description of Mr,Hicks book. The information source of his book is "Marriage between the Japanese and Korean Confort women written by Ms. Yuko Suzuki accordingto its footnote. Ms.Suzuki's book is written based upon "Records by Yausji Okamura. But there is no mentioning to "Korean women" in both books.
(C)I cannot detetct the source of the information because there are not footnotes in his book.
(D)The bibliography mentioned in his book does not contain several important Japanese documents on "comfort women" such as Hata's "Military of Showa History containing my two articles wrtten in 1992.
I sincerly hope you have the kindness to pay due regard to my opinion.I am always available to help you in accomplinshing your task on violence against women.
Sincerely yours.
Professor, Chiba University

ⅠPeace time
(1)Licenced prostituion(1958 ablished)-Brothels are was under police control-----registration, health check----crime investigatioin woman----(parent)---broker---brothel owners 170,000 women(J)+12,000 women(K) in 1941.
(2)Unlicenced prostituion-----about the same number
(1)Military units received their home town brothel owners and women and opened comfort house in 1937 in China.
(2)In Korea-----recruit system
Type A
woman(K)---(Parent-K)---brothel owner(house master, J or K)----military unit(J)
Type B
women(K)---parant(K)----village chief and police(K)---vicerory of Korea(J)---brothel owner----military unit(J)
Total figure 60.000~90.000(70%=Korean,30%=Japanese)Survived the war---more than 90 %
(4)Contractual Status
advance money(debt)¥300----¥1000
income distribution 40-60%
income of woman ¥1000---¥2000(month)
soldier's salary ¥15----¥25(month)
(5)Compulsory or not?
(a)Yoshida's book-----woman hunting----(only source)(professional liar)
(b)J govt invest(1992/7)----no hunting out of 127 documents
(c)Korean brokers are best eye-witness
Ⅲ WWⅡ period other nation
US, UK---Use of private brothels in the Pacific, use of RAA in Japan, Succeeded German brothels at Sicily island.

German---500military brothels, similar to Japanese system.
US---comfort woman supplied by S Korean govt.
Korea---Korean Ianfu at the Korean War. Use of Brothels at Vietnam War and 5.000-10,000 Vietnam-born children.
Thai, P.I.---gangsters involved.

The implications
I think it is impossible for everyone concerned to be satisfied 100% about Japanese government response.But I want to point this out:
Most of comfort women were from poor family. And they were victims.I am truly sorry.
However,there were no evidences that confirmed the testimonis:there were no wittness. there were no official documents that indicated Japanese army used illegal method for the recuitment. On the contrary, there was a document that show the army regulated the illegal brokers.Make no mistake, I am not saying that all the former comfort women were saying were false.I am sure there were cases in which Japanese soldiers used brutal forces, and if that is the case, that is a crime.But at the same time, I doubt if everything they said is true. I am not saying this because of this or this, but I am saying that as a general rule, it violated the legal procedure to be followed.
When a crime happens,as a general rule, victim's testimony is not sufficient enough to sentence someone guilty.So if the Korean committee had investigated, for instance,the testimonies of neighbors of the women when they claimed to be abducted,we could have been more confident about the cases;but, unfortunately it didn't.
Anyay, in the midst of the furor, some people demanded strongly that Japananse government apologized and compensated.and Japanese government responded. The implication of this, I think, is huge.From now on, any nations which condemned Japanese government, in order to be morally consistent, will have to apply this norm to their own countries, and any nations which legalize the prositition and nations which turn the blind eyes to the prostituions must face the severe criticism if and only if women claim that they were victims of the system.
As of 2006,
Prostitution is LEGAL (with some restrictions that aren't that bad) in Canada, most all of Europe including England, France, Wales, Denmark, etc., most of South America including most of Mexico (often in special zones), Israel (Tel Aviv known as the brothel capital of the world), Australia, and many other countries. It is either legal or very tolerated in most all of Asia and even Iran has "temporary wives" which can be for only a few hours! New Zealand passed in 2003 one of the most comprehensive decriminalization acts which even made street hookers legal which is causing many

It is only in certain counties in Nevada where prostitution is legal

Germany is one of several European nations where prostitution is legal June 15, 2006 By BONNIE ERBE

In 2000, the Dutch government lifted a longstanding ban on brothels and recognized them as legitimate businesses. The government licensed 2,000 brothels and registered as prostitutes the women and girls in them. Brothel owners began to recruit women into prostitution through government-sponsored job centers for unemployed

I hope Korean people will win the right of prosituites in their own country and will make the government apologize and conpensate for what she did to their own women.[2]


[1] Her essay is interesting.For sure the testimony has a function to let them form subjectivety as she says. However the probelem of the validity remeins.
Another usuful essay on the testimony is here
In case of Holocaust,
Primo Levi, one of the most renowned of survivor witnesses, has described this phenomenon:
"The greater part of the witnesses ... have ever more blurred and stylized memories, often, unbeknownst to them, influenced by information gained from later readings or the stories of others ... A memory evoked too often, and expressed in the form of a story, tends to become fixed in a stereotype ... crystallized, perfected, adorned, installing itself in the place of the raw memory and growing at its expense."link
This is a senstive issue.And all I am saying here is that testimony should have been examined more carefully.

[2] Here is a Korean reaction to a Korean nationalists.

The Korea Times
Friday, April 15, 2005

By Lee Jin-woo

A well-known far-right-wing writer has once again angered the public, this time by saying "most of the old women claiming to be former comfort women or sex slaves to the Japanese military during World War II are fakes."

Ji Man-won posted two articles on his homepage ( on April 13 and 14 and another on April 15 refuting local news reports' criticism of his claims.

In the first two articles, Ji grouped the women into three categories: those who were forced to serve as sex slaves by Japan, those who volunteered as prostitutes and the third group who had only physical labor duties and suffered no sexual abuse.

Ji said only around 20 percent of the Korean women who sexually served the Japanese military personnel were forced, while the remaining 80 percent volunteered in order to make money.

"Many of the women who claim to be former sex slaves staying at the House of Sharing in Kwangju, Kyonggi Province, returned to Korea from China. They look too young and healthy to be credible as real sex slaves to the Japanese military," Ji said in his articles. "I've even heard they get paid 30,000 won ($30) for attending a weekly protest in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul every Wednesday."

His remarks have infuriated the women as well as the public.

"We will never forgive Ji's groundless claims. He tries to distort public opinion by getting the avid attention of the press," the House of Sharing said. "We will meet him face to face and get his official apology in the near future."

The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan issued a statement requesting the press not to make an issue of Ji's intentionally biased claims.

The council said they are considering filing a compensation lawsuit against the man whom they have compared to a mad dog.

In March, Ji angered the public by supporting former professor of Korea University Hanh Sung-joe, who wrote an article that praised the 1910-45 Japanese colonialism in Korea in the April edition of the Seiron, a monthly magazine affiliated with Sankei Shimbun, an ultraconservative Japanese daily.

"Koreans would have remained no different to beasts if it had not been for the precious lessons from advanced countries such as Japan and the U.S.," Ji claimed in his article posted on the Web site.

Date Posted: 4/15/2005AsiaMedia

I guess they are goint to criticize the brothels in Korea just as much as this.

The following is an exerpt form thebook

Korea Chongshindae's Institute published the testimony.As of 1992 55 women who claimed to be ex-comfort women were registered in the institute.Out of 55, it could get contact 40 people.The professor Ann(安)at Soeul University interviewed all of them.He said,"what was hard in investigation was that it was not unusual that the testimony were most of the cases,we succeeded,but in some cases we had to give up the investigation, wnd we had to expect further investigation on another opportunity."
What is left in the book was 19 people.
Out of 19 people, those who said they were abducted by Japanese army were four women.
尹頭理ーーーShe said she worked at Pusan,but there was no comfort satation at Pusan.
姜徳景ーーーShe said she worked at Toyama,but there was no comfort station at Toyama
金学順ーーーAt first she said she was sold by her step father, but later she changed her statement, and said she was forcedly taken away by a Japanaese soldier.
文玉珠ーーShe filed a suit but in her complaint,she said she was sold as kaesen.(The same can be said of 金)

Report No. 49: Japanese Prisoners of War Interrogation on Prostitution.


Psychological Warfare Team
Attached to
U.S. Army Forces
India-Burma Theater
APO 689

Japanese Prisoner
of War Interrogation
Report No. 49. Place interrogated: Ledo Stockade
Date Interrogated: Aug. 20 - Sept. 10, 1944
Date of Report: October 1, 1944
By: T/3 Alex Yorichi
Prisoners: 20 Korean Comfort Girls
Date of Capture: August 10, 1944
Date of Arrival: August 15, 1994
at Stockade


This report is based on the information obtained from the interrogation of twenty Korean "comfort girls" and two Japanese civilians captured around the tenth of August, 1944 in the mopping up operations after the fall of Myitkyin a in Burma.

The report shows how the Japanese recruited these Korean "comfort girls", the conditions under which they lived and worked, their relations with and reaction to the Japanese soldier, and their understanding of the military situation.

A "comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers. The word "comfort girl" is peculiar to the Japanese. Other reports show the "comfort girls" have been found wherever it was necessary for the Japanese Army to fight. This report however deals only with the Korean "comfort girls" recruited by the Japanese and attached to their Army in Burma. The Japanese are reported to have shipped some 703 of these girls to Burma in 1942.


Early in May of 1942 Japanese agents arrived in Korea for the purpose of enlisting Korean girls for "comfort service" in newly conquered Japanese territories in Southeast Asia. The nature of this "service" was not specified but it was assumed to be work connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy. The inducement used by these agents was plenty of money, an opportunity to pay off the family debts, easy work, and the prospect of a new life in a new land, Singapore. On the basis of these false representations many girls enlisted for overseas duty and were rewarded with an advance of a few hundred yen.

The majority of the girls were ignorant and uneducated, although a few had been connected with "oldest profession on earth" before. The contract they signed bound them to Army regulations and to war for the "house master " for a period of from six months to a year depending on the family debt for which they were advanced ...

Approximately 800 of these girls were recruited in this manner and they landed with their Japanese "house master " at Rangoon around August 20th, 1942. They came in groups of from eight to twenty-two. From here they were distributed to various parts of Burma, usually to fair sized towns near Japanese Army camps.
Eventually four of these units reached the Myitkyina. They were, Kyoei, Kinsui, Bakushinro, and Momoya. The Kyoei house was called the "Maruyama Club", but was changed when the girls reached Myitkyina as Col.Maruyama, commander of the garrison at Myitkyina, objected to the similarity to his name.


The interrogations show the average Korean "comfort girl" to be about twenty-five years old, uneducated, childish, and selfish. She is not pretty either by Japanese of Caucasian standards. She is inclined to be egotistical and likes to talk about herself. Her attitude in front of strangers is quiet and demure, but she "knows the wiles of a woman." She claims to dislike her "profession" and would rather not talk either about it or her family. Because of the kind treatment she received as a prisoner from American soldiers at Myitkyina and Ledo, she feels that they are more emotional than Japanese soldiers. She is afraid of Chinese and Indian troops.


In Myitkyina the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a school building) with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted business. In Myitkina their food was prepared by and purchased from the "house master" as they received no regular ration from the Japanese Army. They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles. They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers who had received "comfort bags" from home.

While in Burma they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men, and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping.


The conditions under which they transacted business were regulated by the Army, and in congested areas regulations were strictly enforced. The Army found it necessary in congested areas to install a system of prices, priorities, and schedules for the various units operating in a particular areas. According to interrogations the average system was as follows:

1. Soldiers 10 AM to 5 PM 1.50 yen 20 to 30 minutes
2. NGOs 5 PM to 9 PM 3.00 yen 30 to 40 minutes
3. Officers 9 PM to 12 PM 5.00 yen

30 to 40 minutes

These were average prices in Central Burma. Officers were allowed to stay overnight for twenty yen. In Myitkyina Col. Maruyama slashed the prices to almost one-half of the average price.


The soldiers often complained about congestion in the houses. In many situations they were not served and had to leave as the army was very strict about overstaying. In order to overcome this problem the Army set aside certain days for certain units. Usually two men from the unit for the day were stationed at the house to identify soldiers. A roving MP was also on hand to keep order. Following is the schedule used by the "Kyoei" house for the various units of the 18th Division while at Naymyo.

Sunday 18th Div. Hdqs. Staff
Monday Cavalry
Tuesday Engineers
Wednesday Day off and weekly physical exam.

Friday Mountain artillery


Officers were allowed to come seven nights a week. The girls complained that even with the schedule congestion was so great that they could not care for all guests, thus causing ill feeling among many of the soldiers.

Soldiers would come to the house, pay the price and get tickets of cardboard about two inches square with the prior on the left side and the name of the house on the other side. Each soldier's identity or rank was then established after which he "took his turn in line". The girls were allowed the prerogative of refusing a customer. This was often done if the person were too drunk.


The "house master" received fifty to sixty per cent of the girls' gross earnings depending on how much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract. 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". Many "masters" made life very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles.

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. This same procedure was carried on within the ranks of the Army itself, but it is interesting to note that a soldier did not lose pay during the period he was confined.


In their relations with the Japanese officers and men only two names of any consequence came out of interrogations. They were those of Col. Maruyama, commander of the garrison at Myitkyina and Maj. Gen.Mizukami, who brought in reinforcements. The two were exact opposites. The former was hard, selfish and repulsive with no consideration for his men; the latter a good, kind man and a fine soldier, with the utmost consideration for those who worked under him. The Colonel was a constant habitué of the houses while the General was never known to have visited them. With the fall of Myitkyina, Col. Maruyama supposedly deserted while Gen. Mizukami committed suicide because he could not evacuate the men.


The average Japanese soldier is embarrassed about being seen in a "comfort house" according to one of the girls who said, "when the place is packed he is apt to be ashamed if he has to wait in line for his turn". However there were numerous instances of proposals of marriage and in certain cases marriages actually took place.

All the girls agreed that the worst officers and men who came to see them were those who were drunk and leaving for the front the following day. But all likewise agreed that even though very drunk the Japanese soldier never discussed military matters or secrets with them. Though the girls might start the conversation about some military matter the officer or enlisted man would not talk, but would in fact "scold us for discussing such un-lady like subjects. Even Col. Maruyama when drunk would never discuss such matters."

The soldiers would often express how much they enjoyed receiving magazines, letters and newspapers from home. They also mentioned the receipt of "comfort bags" filled with canned goods, magazines, soap, handkerchiefs, toothbrush, miniature doll, lipstick, and wooden clothes. The lipstick and cloths were feminine and the girls couldn't understand why the people at home were sending such articles. They speculated that the sender could only have had themselves or the "native girls".


"In the initial attack on Myitleyna and the airstrip about two hundred Japanese died in battle, leaving about two hundred to defend the town. Ammunition was very low.

"Col. Maruyama dispersed his men. During the following days the enemy were shooting haphazardly everywhere. It was a waste since they didn't seem to aim at any particular thing. The Japanese soldiers on the other hand had orders to fire one shot at a time and only when they were sure of a hit."

Before the enemy attacked on the west airstrip, soldiers stationed around Myitkyina were dispatched elsewhere, to storm the Allied attack in the North and West. About four hundred men were left behind, largely from the 114th Regiment. Evidently Col. Maruyama did not expect the town to be attacked. Later Maj. Gen. Mizukami of the 56th Division brought in reinforcements of more than two regiments but these were unable to hold the town.

It was the consensus among the girls that Allied bombings were intense and frightening and because of them they spent most of their last days in foxholes. One or two even carried on work there. The comfort houses were bombed and several of the girls were wounded and killed.


The story of the retreat and final capture of the "comfort girls" is somewhat vague and confused in their own minds. From various reports it appears that the following occurred: on the night of July 31st a party of sixty three people including the "comfort girls" of three houses (Bakushinro was merged with Kinsui), families, and helpers, started across the Irrawaddy River in small boats. They eventually landed somewhere near Waingmaw, They stayed there until August 4th, but never entered Waingmaw. From there they followed in the path of a group of soldiers until August 7th when there was a skirmish with the enemy and the party split up. The girls were ordered to follow the soldiers after three-hour interval. They did this only to find themselves on the bank of a river with no sign of the soldiers or any mea ns of crossing. They remained in a nearby house until August 10th when they were captured by Kaahin soldiers led by an English officer. They were taken to Myitleyina and then to the Ledo stockade where the interrogation which form the basis of this report took place.


None of the girls appeared to have heard the loudspeaker used at Myitkyina but very did overhear the soldiers mention a "radio broadcast."

They asked that leaflets telling of the capture of the "comfort girls" should not be used for it would endanger the lives of other girls if the Army knew of their capture. They did think it would be a good idea to utilize the fact of their capture in any droppings planned for Korea.

Original from :
US Office of War Information.
National Archives and Records Administration

Documento traducido al castellano
The evidence that shows Japanese army regulated illegal recruting.
The man executed as the war criminal for the charge was Yoshiharu Okada. (Maybe Keiji Okada, I’m not sure how to read the kanji.) He was found guilty for kidnapping, forcing prostitution, and rape of Dutch women at Semarang and exectued by the Dutch.

Okada seemed to have been ordered by his superior to set up a officers’ club, and so he asked Governor Miyano of Sumerang to have some Indonesians working under him to recruit some women. The day before the club opened, he visits the women for the first time to see how everything is, and reports to a visiting general staff that, “They are so cheerful and young that I’m worried some of our men might fall in love and commit suicide together.” The facility was closed down after the General Staff Yamamoto hears that the women were taken by force. (There is also testimony that the faciltiy was simply shut down because business was not good and it had to be restarted using non-white women.) Of the 35 women at the officer’s club, 25 were found to have been forced into prostitution, but the tribunal could not make clear who had been responsible for the actual forcing since the local Indonesian officials were never called in as witness, and find Okada guilty on the basis that Okada should have known no (or only a few) women would willingly become prostitutes, so his orders for recruitment was equivalent to ordering a kidnapping. Okada writes in his diary, “I have treated them so well, and yet they are now accusing me with blatant lies. Alas, I imagine they must do so now that the tides have turned and they cannot claim to have cooperated with us. I see I have been made the mastermind. I have nothing more to say. My hands have been bitten by the dogs I have fed.” (I believe the dogs refer to the Japanese owners of the clubs and not the women.)

The man who ordered Okada, Asao Okubo, comminted suicide in Japan after receiving the notification of detainment, and was never tried. Another man, Shozo Ikeda was sentenced to 15 years in prison, although he was on an official trip to Tokyo at the time of the crime. Nine others were sentenced to 2 to 20 years in prison, including the owners of the club

The information above is a collection from Hata’s book, 『戦争裁判の実相』(巣鴨法務委員会編), and 『尋問・拷問・処刑;戦犯の悲劇の記録』(川野京輔、秋田書店), (I am still searching for the latter two books). I’m withholding my decision until the full records of the trials are released from the Dutch archives. But then again, I might not be able to make up my mind even then.two cents at occidentalism

I have read that the figure of 200,000 was taken from the number of 女子挺身体. These were young girls consripted by the government to work in factories, to make up for the shortage of men in Japan during the war, which occured as a natural consequence of sending 3 million of its able-bodied men abroad for war. The term “女子挺身体,” meaning women in service, was intenionally propagandized by anti-Japanese activits to mean comfort women, which they were not. Thus, we ended up having a weird case where a Korean woman sued the Japanese government for her suffering caused by “being viewed as a former comfort women by her husband and fellow Koreans because she had been found out to be a former 女子挺身体.” The Japanese court kicked out her case, saying that the her suffering was the result of the Korean society confusing the term after the war, and had nothing to do with Japanese government’s actions.

The intentional confusion created by those who are supposed to be supporting the former confort women is really the most serious crime that has been committed against women who had actually been raped or forced into being sex slaves by the Japanese soldiers. By bloating and propagandizing false information, they have created a situation where even real victims are dismissed as prostitutes. There seems to have been some gang-rape and sexual enslavement incidents in the Philippines of female guerillas, and yet, such issues have not been properly addressed because of the confusion. Although I believe that sexual offense against women in wartime almost always occurs and should not be used politically to attack a country decades after the incident, I would like to see the perpetrators properly punished and the victims compensated (though I know money will probably not totally free them from their trauma and former perpetrators would be impossible to find now).

Furthermore, at the end of the war, military tickets (軍票) used as currency in the war zones basically turned to scrap under GHQ policy. Thus, comfort women who had the wisdom to save her money in the postal banks or have it wired home were able to keep their earnings, while those who did not simply lost all. I have read a recollection by a soldier who had traveled with a group of comfort women during the retreat , which expressed his sorrow at having seen the backpacks carried by the women filled with tickets that he knew to be worthless, but which the women refused to leave behind. I do believe that since many comfort women lost a bulk of their earnings and that they did indeed service our men, the Japanese should compensate some amount for their losses. However, in the current situation where the women are claiming to have been victims of rape and not prostitutes, this idea probably means little. Plus, there’s always the problem of compensating the former Japanese comfort women, who constituted the majority of them. But then again, they might not come forth unless huge sums of compensation were offered. They would probably prefer to keep their past in the past rather than accept some sum.

Questioning of the Korean women who have come forth and an extensive search through the archives by the Ministry of the Foreign Affaris has failed to turn up even a single case where a woman has been taken forcibly from her home. That is why in the Kono apology (河野談話), he had to use the phrase “they were largely (総じて) taken agaist there will,” since it was naturally believed that women do not want to become prostitutes.two ent at occidentalism

There is nothing that indicate that Japanese Emperial army had involved in recruiting those poor women in Korea when those ladies were recruited by Korean and Japanese pimps and brothel owners (some was sold by their own parents and some was tricked by them). That is PM Abe want to say basically. “Coersion” initially defined by the article of Asahi Shinbun in 1991written by Mr. Uemura (植村記者) who reported about one lady who claimed she was “coerced” to become a 慰安婦, while knowing that she was actually sold by her parents. Next year, Asahi shinbun again “scooped” that they found the evidence ther was militaly participation , which actually only indicated they gave medical checkups and treatment in oreder to prevent the spread of STD and rapes. And the problem was acceralated by Asahi shinbun’s interview with Seiji Yoshida who even testified and apologized claiming falsefully that Japanese soldiers including himself “forcefully coerced many young Korean girls with pointing guns and put them inthe truck etc… in Cheju island, which was debunked by Korean news and Dr. Ikuhiko Hata who sueveyd in Korea later. That is “initial definition”. (1.Militaly involvement and 2. hauled to the brothels by soldiers.) Yoshida confessed that he lied everything and he did it only because he wanted to attract peoples’ attention and sell his book.

But later, when Dr.Hata challenged the “coersiveness” presenting the fact that there was no evidence of “coersion” by the army in Korea and Yoshida’s testimony was totally bogus so there was no militaly relation to the recruitment for those poor ladies, Dr.Yoshiaki Yoshimi (吉見義明 中央大学商学部教授 日本の戦争責任資料センター代表) switched his “definition” from initial meaning to the broader meaning saying that as long as some ladies actually didn’t fully recognized that they were going to be a 慰安婦 (some was actually tricked by brothel owners and pimps or even didn’t know their parents sold their own daughters), we should take the word “coersion” in the wide sense. That is a “new definition” and most academics now know the differences, but left wingers who doesn’t understand these situation or intensionally misunderstand still claim there was coersion by initial definition and many foreigners misunderstood the issue. For example, Mike Honda, a Senator of USA who is now trying to pass the law to accuse Japanese Government was interviewed by FNS last week and admitted that only evidence he has was 慰安婦’s testimonies and 河野洋平’s official apology to those ladies. Mr Khono didn’t actually admitted there was ”coersion by initial definition”, but he hinted it in his statement because Japanese Government did not surveyed the issue very deep just believing what Korean said, and Korean Government suggested that if Khono admit the “coersiveness” those old ladies can save their face hence Korean Government would end the issue forever. And we are now seeing that it not only didn’t but also it is even used by “Liberal”American Congressman like Mr. Honda &now all the anti-Japan propaganda is out there. This is totally a political and propagandism of anti-Japanese. Basically those ladies who testified were used by those socialists their anger, and nobody even think what other 慰安婦 who just wanted money and live calmly not known as former 慰安婦 would feel after those 60 years. Just leave them alone.kaneganese at occidentalism

Principalcomfort women and the US congress








[朝鮮新報 2006.11.6]在日本朝鮮人総連合会
see also australian-woman-seeks-apology
河野談話 慰安婦「強制性」に韓国から働きかけ





(2007/03/01 11:00)sakei

Kono statement inaccurate

Concerning the recruitment of comfort women, the prime minister stressed, "None of the testimonies confirmed coercion in the narrow sense."

Abe explicitly asserted that the comfort women were not forcibly recruited, saying there was no "coercion like the hunting of comfort women, with officials rushing into houses to drag women out, like kidnapping them."

However, Abe acknowledged that private recruiters lured women against their will in a "broader sense of coercion." These cases are totally different from coercion by the military.

Some mass media organizations and Diet members have stretched the meaning of "coercion" and criticized the government, ignoring the nitty-gritty of the issue and spreading the mistaken perception of the issue.

Why has the comfort women issue been dredged up repeatedly?

The main reason is the 1993 statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono. The statement suggested that the Japanese military forcibly recruited comfort women, saying, "The authorities were directly involved" in the recruitment of such women.

However, a former deputy chief cabinet secretary and other officials later said that phrase was written without the facts having been confirmed.


Govt caved in to pressure

A group of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers wants to have the Kono statement revised, saying vague expressions in the statement have led to misunderstandings.

The U.S. House resolution criticizes such moves in Japan, saying they represent their "desire to dilute or rescind the 1993 statement."

But it could be a natural course of action to revise the inaccurate Kono statement.

What was behind the issuance of the Kono statement was the government's misjudgment--made under pressure from South Korea--that its acknowledgement that the comfort women were forcibly recruited would lead to the settlement of the issue.

The government should not make the same diplomatic mistake in its response to the U.S. House resolution.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 7, 2007)
(Mar. 7, 2007)yomiuri








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