Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Comfort women Q&A

March 20, 2007/By AKEMI NAKAMURA/Japan times魚拓

How many women served soldiers at the brothels?

No official figures have been provided, as there are few documents discovered. Historians have calculated the numbers by tallying how many soldiers were in the field and consulting documents on the ratio of women to soldiers. They also made assumptions about the "replacement rates" of women at the brothels.

Hata has estimated there were up to 20,000 "comfort women," while Yoshimi says the figure was between 50,000 and over 200,000.

How were the frontline brothels run?

According to Yoshimi, the government and military played a major role in operating the brothels. Although private agents were commissioned to round up the women, the military brought the women to frontline brothels and controlled their operations, he said.

But Hata claimed the agents took the initiative because it was their business. The military only played a secondary role, he said, offering facilities for brothels. He also emphasized the business side of it, saying the women had contracts with the agents, not the military.

Note that the military having played the major role or not, it is private pimps that rounded up the women.
How did the "comfort women" live?
Hata figured the situation was similar to prostitutes at regular brothels, which were legal those days. However, Yoshimi says the sex slaves were that by definition -- they did not have freedom to leave or refuse sex with soldiers..........

This is a typical way Yoshimi argues. by definition not by fact.
Note also he drew the conclusion he wanted by revising definition of "coercion"
Might be a bad analogy, but most businesspersons are working against this wider sense of their "will", though there are contracts they consented, in this sense they are slave, well actually that is what Marx & Engels said about the workers in Capitalism, and Yoshimi happens to be a leftist historian.

Did the military or government forcibly take women to frontline brothels?

Yoshimi said the military knew private agents sometimes cheated, kidnapped, traded or forcibly took some women to frontline brothels. Some former sex slaves testified that the military and Japanese police were involved in the coercion, he added. Because the victims were forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers against their will, the "comfort women" system was obviously sex slavery.

But Hata noted no documentary evidence of systematic state or military coercion has been provided, although police and soldiers took it upon themselves to force victims into the brothels. He claimed the "comfort women" at the brothels engaged in the same acts as prostitutes at privately run whorehouses, which were legal. He said criticizing the "comfort women" system by today's standards is unfair

Note that even Yoshimi admitted that it was private agents that cheated, kidnapped.
Though yoshimi said testimonies confirms military were involved in the coercion, the testimonies were such that the women were taken away by a man in black with a saber, which looked like Kenpei. Keep in mind, most of comfort women do not remember well---it was the story about 50 years ago. I am not sure, but can you remember what your teacher was wearing at the graduation?
Keep also in mind that not all testimonies affirm that they were taken by police/military;there are only a few among all the testimonies..

Did other military forces have a similar system?

According to both Hata and Yoshimi, Nazi Germany had frontline brothels during the war, using women, even by force, in Eastern Europe.

And German has not set up fund nor did she apologize.

via apmontan

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