Comfort women is a euphemism for women working in military brothels, especially those women who were forced into prostitution as a form of sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.
Around 200,000 are estimated to have been involved, with estimates as low as 20,000 from some Japanese scholars and estimates of up to 410,000 from some Chinese scholars, but the exact numbers are still being researched and debated. Historians and researchers have stated that the majority were from Korea, China, Japan and Philippines, but women from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and other Japanese-occupied territories were also used in "comfort stations". Stations were located in Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, then Malaya, Thailand, then Burma, then New Guinea, Hong Kong, Macau, and what was then French Indochina.
Young women from countries under Japanese Imperial control were reportedly abducted from their homes. In some cases, women were also recruited with offers to work in the military. It has been documented that the Japanese military itself recruited women by force. However, some Japanese, such as historian Ikuhiko Hata, deny that there was organized forced recruitment of comfort women by the Japanese government or military.
The number and nature of comfort women servicing the Japanese military during World War II is still being actively debated, and the matter is still highly political in both Japan and the rest of the Far East Asia.
Many military brothels were run by private agents and supervised by the Japanese Army. Some Japanese historians, using the testimony of ex-comfort women, have argued that the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were either directly or indirectly involved in coercing, deceiving, luring, and sometimes kidnapping young women throughout Japan's Asian colonies and occupied territories.
- 1 Establishment of the Comfort Women System
- 2 History of the controversy
- 2.1 Disputed testimony of an ex-soldier
- 2.2 Initial government response and litigation
- 2.3 Kono statement
- 2.4 Asia Women's Fund
- 2.5 United Nations Human Rights Commission
- 2.6 Abe controversy
- 2.7 Conclusion of Litigation in Japan
- 2.8 The use of the term
- 2.9 U.S. Congressional resolution
- 2.10 Dutch Parliament resolution
- 2.11 Canadian Lower House resolution
- 2.12 European Parliament resolution
- 2.13 British Parliament Recommendations
- 3 Revisionism
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Establishment of the Comfort Women System
Japanese military prostitution
Military correspondence of the Japanese Imperial Army shows that the aim of facilitating comfort stations was the prevention of rape crimes committed by Japanese army personnel and thus preventing the rise of hostility among people in occupied areas.
Given the well-organized and open nature of prostitution in Japan, it was seen as logical that there should be organized prostitution to serve the Japanese Armed Forces. The Japanese Army established the comfort stations to prevent venereal diseases and rape by Japanese soldiers, to provide comfort to soldiers and head off espionage. The comfort stations were not actual solutions to the first two problems, however. According to Japanese historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi, they aggravated the problems. Yoshimi has asserted, "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."
The first "comfort station" was established in the Japanese concession in Shanghai in 1932. Earlier comfort women were Japanese prostitutes who volunteered for such service. However, as Japan continued military expansion, the military found itself short of Japanese volunteers, and turned to the local population to coerce women into serving in these stations. Many women responded to calls for work as factory workers or nurses, and did not know that they were being pressed into sexual slavery.
In the early stages of the war, Japanese authorities recruited prostitutes through conventional means. In urban areas, conventional advertising through middlemen was used alongside kidnapping. Middlemen advertised in newspapers circulating in Japan and the Japanese colonies of Korea, Taiwan, Manchukuo, and China. These sources soon dried up, especially from Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs resisted further issuance of travel visas for Japanese prostitutes, feeling it tarnished the image of the Japanese Empire. The military turned to acquiring comfort women outside mainland Japan, especially from Korea and occupied China. Many women were tricked or defrauded into joining the military brothels.
The situation became worse as the war progressed. Under the strain of the war effort, the military became unable to provide enough supplies to Japanese units; in response, the units made up the difference by demanding or looting supplies from the locals. Along the front lines, especially in the countryside where middlemen were rare, the military often directly demanded that local leaders procure women for the brothels. When the locals, especially Chinese, were considered hostile, Japanese soldiers carried out the "Three Alls Policy", which included indiscriminately kidnapping and raping local civilians.
The United States Office of War Information report of interviews with 20 comfort women in Burma found that the girls were induced by the offer of plenty of money, an opportunity to pay off 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.
Late archives inquiries and trials
On April 17, 2007 Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Hirofumi Hayashi announced the discovery, in the archives of the Tokyo Trials, of seven official documents suggesting that Imperial military forces, such as the Tokeitai (Naval military police), forced women whose fathers attacked the Kempeitai (Army military police), to work in front line brothels in China, Indochina and Indonesia. These documents were initially made public at the war crimes trial. In one of these, a lieutenant is quoted as confessing to having organized a brothel and having used it himself. Another source refers to Tokeitai members having arrested women on the streets, and after enforced medical examinations, putting them in brothels.
On 12 May 2007 journalist Taichiro Kajimura announced the discovery of 30 Dutch government documents submitted to the Tokyo tribunal as evidence of a forced mass prostitution incident in 1944 in Magelang.
Number of comfort women
Lack of official documentation has made estimates of the total number of comfort women difficult, as vast amounts of material pertaining to matters related to war crimes and the war responsibility of the nation's highest leaders were destroyed on the orders of the Japanese government at the end of the war. Historians have arrived at various estimates by looking at surviving documentation which indicate the ratio of the number of soldiers in a particular area to the number of women, as well as looking at replacement rates of the women. Historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi, who conducted the first academic study on the topic which brought the issue out into the open, estimated the number to be between 50,000 and 200,000.
Based on these estimates, most international media sources quote about 200,000 young women were recruited or kidnapped by soldiers to serve in Japanese military brothels. The BBC quotes "200,000 to 300,000" and the International Commission of Jurists quotes "estimates of historians of 100,000 to 200,000 women."
Country of origin
Internationally, it is generally thought that most of the women were from Korea and China. According to State University of New York at Buffalo professor Yoshiko Nozaki and other sources, the majority of the women were from Korea and China. Chuo University professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi states there were about 2,000 centers where as many as 200,000 Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Taiwanese, Burmese, Indonesian, Dutch and Australian women were interned. Ikuhiko Hata, a professor of Nihon University, estimated the number of women working in the licensed pleasure quarter was fewer than 20,000 and that they were 40% Japanese, 20% Koreans, 10% Chinese, with others making up the remaining 30%. According to Hata, the total number of government-regulated prostitutes in Japan was only 170,000 during WW2. Others came from the Philippines, Taiwan, Dutch East Indies, and other Japanese-occupied countries and regions. Some Dutch women, captured in Dutch colonies in Asia, were also forced into sexual slavery.
In further analysis of the Imperial Army medical records for venereal disease treatment from 1940, Yoshimi concluded that if the percentages of women treated reflected the general makeup of the total comfort women population, Korean women comprised 51.8 percent, Chinese 36 percent and Japanese 12.2 percent.
According to the Kono Statement in 1993, of those comfort women who were transferred to the war areas, excluding those from Japan, those from the Korean Peninsula accounted for a large part.
To date, only one Japanese woman has published her testimony. This was done in 1971, when a former "comfort woman" forced to work for showa soldiers in Taiwan, published her memoirs under the pseudonym of Suzuko Shirota.
Treatment of comfort women
It is estimated that only 25 percent of the comfort women survived and that most were unable to have children as a consequence of the multiple rapes or the disease they contracted. According to Japanese soldier Yasuji Kaneko "The women cried out, but it didn't matter to us whether the women lived or died. We were the emperor's soldiers. Whether in military brothels or in the villages, we raped without reluctance." Beatings and physical torture were said to be common.
Ten Dutch women were taken by force from prison camps in Java by officers of the Japanese Imperial Army to become forced sex slaves in February 1944. They were systematically beaten and raped day and night in a so called "Comfort Station". As a victim of the incident, Jan Ruff-O'Hearn testified to a U.S. House of Representatives committee:
- "Many stories have been told about the horrors, brutalities, suffering and starvation of Dutch women in Japanese prison camps. But one story was never told, the most shameful story of the worst human rights abuse committed by the Japanese during World War II: The story of the “Comfort Women”, the jugun ianfu, and how these women were forcibly seized against their will, to provide sexual services for the Japanese Imperial Army. In the so-called “Comfort Station” I was systematically beaten and raped day and night. Even the Japanese doctor raped me each time he visited the brothel to examine us for venereal disease."
Although they were returned to the prison camps within three months upon protest of the Dutch prisoners against the Imperial Army, the Japanese officers were not punished by Japanese authorities until the end of the war. After the end of the war, 11 Japanese officers were declared guilty with one sentenced to death by the Batavia War Criminal Court. It was decided that the crime was not organized by the Army and that those who raped violated the Army’s order to hire only voluntary women. Some victims from East Timor testified they were forced when they were not old enough to have started menstruating and were repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers. Some of those who refused to comply were executed.
Hank Nelson, emeritus professor at the Australian National University’s Asia Pacific Research Division, has written about the brothels run by the Japanese military in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea during WWII. He quotes from the diary of Gordon Thomas, a POW in Rabaul. Thomas writes that the women working at the brothels “most likely served 25 to 35 men a day” and that they were “victims of the yellow slave trade.”
Nelson also quotes from Kentaro Igusa, a Japanese naval surgeon who was stationed in Rabaul. Igusa wrote in his memoirs that the women continued to work through infection and severe discomfort, though they “cried and begged for help.”
During WWII, the Shōwa regime implemented in Korea, a prostitution system similar to the one established in other parts of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Korean agents, Korean Kempeitai (military police) and military auxiliaries were involved in the procurement and organization of comfort women, and made use of their services. Chong-song Pak found that "Koreans under Japanese rule became fully acculturated as main actors in the licensed prostitution system that was transplanted in their country by the colonial state".
After its defeat, the Japanese military destroyed many documents for fear of war crimes prosecution.
Historians have searched for evidence of the Army and Navy's coercion, and some written proof has been discovered, such as documents found in 2007 by Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Hirofumi Hayashi. The surviving sex slaves wanted an apology from the Japanese government. Abe Hiroshi, the prime minister at the time, stated that there is no evidence that the Japanese government instituted a brutal sex slave industry.
History of the controversy
During the Park regime (1963–1972), the subject of comfort women was little talked about in Korea. The issue came to light only after people involved in the Korean Women's Movement began to assist the "camptown" prostitutes that American servicemen were using. Young women activists discovered a connection between the Japanese, US and Korean governments, and publicized the issue.
Disputed testimony of an ex-soldier
In 1983, Seiji Yoshida published Watashino sensō hanzai - Chōsenjin Kyōsei Renkō (My War Crimes: The Impressment of Koreans), in which the author confessed to forcibly procuring women from Jeju Island in Korea under the direct order from the Japanese military. In 1991, Asahi Shimbun, one of the major newspapers of Japan, ran a series on comfort women for a year. This was the beginning of the comfort women topic becoming publicly controversial in Japan. Yoshida's book was quoted often in the newspaper series, and was subsequently cited in the U.N. report by Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy.
Some people doubted Yoshida's "confession" because he was alone in admitting to such crimes. When Prof. Ikuhiko Hata revisited the villages in South Korea where Yoshida claimed he had abducted many women, nobody confirmed Yoshida's confession and the situation was contradictory to his confession. When Hata questioned Yoshida on this matter, the latter admitted that he had taken artistic licence in respect to the places mentioned.
Initial government response and litigation
Initially the Japanese government denied any official connection to the wartime brothels; in June 1990, the Japanese government declared that all brothels were run by private contractors.
In 1990 the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery filed suit, demanding compensation. Several surviving comfort women also independently filed suit in the Tokyo District Court. The court rejected these claims on grounds such as statute of limitations, the immunity of the State at the time of the act concerned, and non-subjectivity of the individual of international law.
However, in 1991, the historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi discovered incriminating documents in the archives of Japan's Defense Agency. According to Yoshimi, they indicated that the military was directly involved in running the brothels (i.e. by selecting the recruiting agents). The Asahi Shimbun, a major Japanese national daily newspaper, published these findings as a front-page article entitled "Japanese Army abducted comfort women" on 11 January 1992. This caused a sensation and forced the government, represented by Chief Cabinet Secretary, Koichi Kato, to acknowledge some of the facts the same day. On January 17, 1992, Prime minister Kiichi Miyazawa presented formal apologies for the suffering of the victims during a trip to South Korea.
After some government studies into the matter, Yohei Kono, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Japanese government, issued a statement on 4 August 1993. In this statement, the Japanese government recognized that "Comfort stations were operated in response to the request of the military of the day" and that "The Japanese military was directly or indirectly involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations and the transfer of the women". He also noted that "[the] recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military. The Government study has revealed that in many cases they were recruited against their own will through coaxing and coercion". The government of Japan "sincerely apologize[d] and [expressed its] remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable psychological wounds". In the statement, the government of Japan expressed its "firm determination never to repeat the same mistake and that they would engrave such issue through the study and teaching of history".
Although this statement was offered as an apology, it was very carefully worded, thus admitting an unspecified role in the military brothels, yet rejecting legal responsibility for them. Japan continues to contend the brothels were not a "system" and not a war crime or crime against humanity.
Asia Women's Fund
In 1995 Japan set up an "Asia Women's Fund" for atonement in the form of material compensation and to provide each surviving comfort woman with a signed apology from the then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama, stating "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." The fund is funded by private donations and not government money, and has been criticized as a way to avoid admitting government abuse. Because of the unofficial nature of the fund, many comfort women have rejected these payments and continue to seek an official apology and compensation.
United Nations Human Rights Commission
On June 22, 1998 Gay J. McDougall, Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, released Contemporary Forms of Slavery, a report based on prior UN investigation by Linda Chavez documenting systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like practices in wartime in general but which was mainly aimed at bringing wider attention to the deep harm to human rights caused by Japan's comfort women program during World War II. The report detailed the official Japanese government stance as well as the UN's own legal position. MacDougall was awarded a MacArthur Fellows Program "genius" grant the year after her analysis.
Guilt and liability
The 1998 UN report listed their findings regarding Japan's guilt and liability:
- The system of comfort women used by the Japanese government during WWII falls under the international definition of slavery at the time, and slavery (sexual or otherwise) was illegal at the time. The 1926 Slavery Convention embodies one such definition. International prohibition of slavery was included in the Tokyo Charter which was used to make the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
- Rape (including forced or coerced prostitution) was a war crime at the time; regardless of whether prostitution was widespread during World War II.
- Enslavement and other inhumane acts committed by the Japanese government can be considered “crimes against humanity.” In crimes against humanity, the nationality of the victim is irrelevant thus, (it doesn’t matter if the Japanese government was committing crimes against its enemies’ citizens or its own) it is liable for these offenses.
- The Japanese government is liable for crimes against humanity because of the considerable scale on which these crimes were committed.
- Arguments that the enslaving and raping of comfort women was perfectly legal at the time is similar to an argument that was used and refuted at the Nuremberg Trials.
Official position of the Japanese government
The 1998 UN report stated their understanding of Japan's legal position regarding compensation:
"Until the early 1990s, the Japanese government denied the extent of its involvement in the creation of comfort stations and the abuses committed against women (comfort women). The Japanese government has made various apologies since the early 1990s. One very notable apology was made by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in July 1995 in which he specifically mentions the Japanese military’s involvement in crimes against comfort women. Though it has seemingly apologized repeatedly for these offenses, the Japanese government denies legal liability for the creation and maintenance of the system of “comfort stations” and comfort women used during World War II. The Japanese government has set up an Asia Women’s Fund which conveys Japan’s apologies for crimes committed against women during World War II through direct donations from the Japanese public. Despite this, according to the Japanese government, individual comfort women don’t deserve compensation."
On March 2, 2007, the issue was raised again by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe when he denied that the Japanese military had forced women into sexual slavery during World War II in an orchestrated way. He stated, "The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion." Before he spoke, a group of lawmakers from his (conservative) Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) also sought to revise Yohei Kono's 1993 apology to former comfort women. Abe's statement provoked a negative reaction from Asian and Western countries. The New York Times editorial said, "These were not commercial brothels. Force, explicit and implicit, was used in recruiting these women." On 26 March 2007 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his regrets for the violations of human rights with regard to comfort women. According to Kyodo news, Abe's step back and announcement that he should stand after all to Yohei Kono's 1993 statement was made after firm warning by U.S. ambassador Thomas Schieffer.
Following Abe's declarations, former education minister Nariaki Nakayama declared he was proud that the LDP had succeeded in getting references to "wartime sex slaves" struck from most authorized history texts for junior high schools. "Our campaign worked, and people outside government also started raising their voices.", "It is good that expressions such as comfort women and forced labor have decreased in history textbooks" He also declared that he agreed with an e-mail sent to him saying that the "victimized women in Asia should be proud of being comfort women". "Those women deserve much sympathy, but (being forced to provide sex) is not so much different from what was commonly seen in poor rural Japanese communities in the past, where women were sold to brothels. It could be said that the occupation was something they could have pride in, given their existence soothed distraught feelings of men in the battlefield and provided a certain respite and order." He has denied the term "comfort women" existed during the wartime years.
Conclusion of Litigation in Japan
The possibility for seeking claims through litigation in Japan was firmly and finally closed by the Supreme Court of Japan in a decision handed down on April 27, 2007. That case, Ko Hanako (a pseudonym) et al. v. Japan,. was brought by six plaintiffs on behalf of two women who were captured by the Japanese soldiers in Shanxi province of northern China, removed to garrisons,and subjected to weeks of ongoing sexual and other brutal violence. Filed against Japan in Tokyo District Court in 1996, the case sought compensatory damages and a public apology based upon the employer’s agency liability, as provided in Chinese law of the time and also in Japanese Civil Code Article 715(1). However, all claims were ultimately denied. The Supreme Court reasoned that while the China-Japan Joint Communique of 1972, which governed these cases, was ambiguous with regard to claims by individuals, it implicitly accomplished a comprehensive renunciation of claims given that the document functioned as a de facto peace treaty and accordingly fell under the operative framework of the San Francisco Peace Treaty where renunciation of claims by individuals was made explicitly. The Court's rationale has been criticized as "a masterwork of legal instrumentalism," but at the same time recognized for "provid[ing] a modest degree of factual recognition of the historical record, so that judicial validation of the victims’ suffering and defendants’ abject wrongdoing may be a positive consequence of the cases."
The use of the term
Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun stated that comfort women were not treated as "paramilitary personnel", unlike military nurses. The article says, during the war, Comfort women were not called military comfort women (従軍慰安婦 jūgun-ianfu ) and the use of the term spread in the post-war period. The term military comfort women is said to have been used by Japanese writer Kakō Senda (1924–2000) in his book titled Jūgun Ianfu (military comfort women) published in 1973.
Senda’s book became a best seller. Thereafter, the usage of jugun ianfu prevailed, and the term jugun ianfu (comfort women serving in the war), would later become contentious, came to have a wide circulation.
U.S. Congressional resolution
In 2007 Mike Honda of the United States House of Representatives proposed House Resolution 121 which stated that Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner, refute any claims that the issue of comfort women never occurred, and educate current and future generations "about this horrible crime while following the recommendations of the international community with respect to the 'comfort women'." Honda has stated that "the purpose of this resolution is not to bash or humiliate Japan." However, the Japanese embassy in the U.S. stated that the Resolution was erroneous in terms of the facts and that it would be harmful to the friendship between the US and Japan.
On April 26, 2007, a group created to support the passage of House Resolution 121 took a full-page ad out in the Washington Post calling attention to the “comfort women” issue. In response, in the June 14 edition, members of the LDP, DJP, independents, professors, political commentators, and journalists styling themselves collectively as "Assentors" joined to place a counter advertisement headed "The Facts". On June 26, the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs reported out the Honda Resolution by a vote of 39-2. Abe took a "no comment" stance with respect to the resolution.
On July 30, 2007 the resolution passed through the House of Representatives after half an hour of debate in which there was no opposition voiced. Honda was quoted on the floor as saying, "We must teach future generations that we cannot allow this to continue to happen. I have always believed that reconciliation is the first step in the healing process."
Dutch Parliament resolution
The lower house of the Dutch parliament passed a motion unanimously on November 20, 2007 urging Japan to financially compensate the women forced into sex slavery during World War II.
"This should send a strong and clear signal to the Japanese government and the Japanese people, that so many years after World War II, people in the Netherlands still want the Japanese to recognize the war crimes of the past and to recognize the victims," said van Baalen, who tabled the motion. "It is a matter still taken seriously in the Netherlands," he said. 
Canadian Lower House resolution
Canada's lower house, the House of Commons, unanimously approved a draft motion on November 28, 2007 that urges the Japanese government to make a "formal and sincere apology" to women who were forced by the Japanese military to provide sex for soldiers during World War II.
The text of the motion said the Canadian government should call on the Japanese government "to take full responsibility for the involvement of the Japanese Imperial Forces in the system of forced prostitution, including through a formal and sincere apology expressed in the Diet to all of those who were victims; and to continue to address with those affected in a spirit of reconciliation."
It also said, "Some Japanese public officials have recently expressed a regrettable desire to dilute or rescind the 1993 statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the 'comfort women,' which expressed the (Japanese) Government's sincere apologies and remorse for their ordeal."
The motion, though nonbinding, also said the Canadian government should call on Japan to abandon any statement which devalues the expression of regret from the Kono statement and to clearly and publicly refute any claims that the sexual enslavement and trafficking of the "comfort women" for the Imperial Japanese Army never occurred.
European Parliament resolution
Following a campaign by Amnesty International to press the EU on making a statement about the issue, on 13 December 2007 the European Parliament in Strasbourg passed a resolution calling for the Japanese government to formally acknowledge its historical responsibility over the Comfort Women issue, as well as apologize and compensate victims.
The motion was submitted by Jean Lambert, a Green member of the European Parliament, and was voted through by 54 MEPs. The resolution, while acknowledging past statements by the Japanese government, noted that "some Japanese officials have recently expressed a regrettable desire to dilute or rescind those statements" and called for the Japanese government to "formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical and legal responsibility, in a clear and unequivocal manner". The resolution also called for the Japanese government to remove legal obstacles to compensation for the victims, and to take steps to educate people about these events. 
British Parliament Recommendations
Followed on the heels of calls for Japan to offer fresh apologies from the U.S. and Canadian governments in 2007, The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.K. Parliament produced a report in November, 2008 entitled, "Global Security: Japan and Korea" which concluded that Japan should acknowledge the pain caused by the Comfort Women issue so that both nations can further cooperate in resolving the North Korean nuclear stand-off.
Japanese historian and Nihon University professor, Ikuhiko Hata estimates the number of comfort women to be more likely between 10,000 and 20,000. Hata writes that none of the comfort women were forcibly recruited.
Some Japanese politicians have argued that the former comfort women's testimony is inconsistent and unreliable, making it invalid.
A comic book, Neo Gomanism Manifesto Special - On Taiwan by Japanese author Yoshinori Kobayashi, depicts kimono-clad women lining up to sign up for duty before a Japanese soldier. Kobayashi's book contains an interview with Taiwanese industrialist Shi Wen-long who stated that no women were forced to serve, and that they worked in more hygienic conditions compared to regular prostitutes because the use of condoms was mandatory.
There was a controversy involving NHK in early 2001. What was supposed to be coverage of the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery was extremely edited to reflect revisionist views.
- Anti-Japanese sentiment
- Historical revisionism (negationism)
- Japanese war crimes
- Joy Division (World War II)
- List of War Apology Statements Issued by Japan
- List of war crimes
- Rape during the occupation of Japan
- Recreation and Amusement Association
- Rosa Henson, a Filipina who told her story as a comfort woman
- Sexual enslavement by Nazi Germany in WWII
- Trafficking in human beings
- United States House of Representatives House Resolution 121
- War rape
- Tessa Morris-Suzuki (March 8, 2007), Japan’s ‘Comfort Women’: It's time for the truth (in the ordinary, everyday sense of the word), The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, http://japanfocus.org/products/details/2373, retrieved 2008-12-15
- Hata Ikuhiko (PDF), NO ORGANIZED OR FORCED RECRUITMENT: MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT COMFORT WOMEN AND THE JAPANESE MILITARY, hassin.sejp.net, http://hassin.sejp.net/Hata-Ianfu_text.pdf, retrieved 2008-12-15 (First published in Shokun May, 2007 issue in Japanese. Translated by Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact).
- According to journalist Satoshi Ikeuchi : "Even though the forcible recruitment of women was not systematically implemented, the (Japanese) government should acknowledge its moral responsibility if any single woman victimized by the private operators through fraud, exploitation, violence or other acts of intimidation comes forward to tell her story. The government should do so because the military gave consent to set up brothels for soldiers and had responsibility for overseeing them. In this context, the issue of the so-called comfort women was invested with extreme importance as the epitome of Japanese sin from the viewpoint of some and became the focal point of contention, The excessive effort by leftists and liberals in politicizing this issue as one of the few means left to shake conservative dominance, by extending the notion of coercion to the extreme, resulted in alienating a large part of the nation. Their open intention to collude with rising tides of hostile nationalism in Korea and China also hardened the minds of many in Japan." April 25, 2007. Satoshi Ikeuchi, Overcoming postwar mind-set, Daily Yomuri Online, April 25, 2007.
- On the right: Keijō nippō (Newspaper published by Japanese government, Governor-General of Korea) July 26, 1944: Big recruitment for comfort women. Age: 17 to 23 year old women... Monthly salary: 300 yen or higher and a prepayment of 3000 yen... On the left: Mainichi shinpō October 27, 1944: Urgent recruitment for [Military] comfort women... Age: 18 to 30 year old women of good health/constitution. Recruitment period: October 27 to November 8... Number of recruitment positions: Several dozen (tens)...
- Jeong Hye-gyeong (정혜경) (2002) (in Korean), Research on the History Before and After the Liberation 1 (해방 전후사 사료 연구 1), Seonin (선인), ISBN 8989205441, "매일신보 1944년 10월 27일자의 광고와 같이 '위안부 모집 광고'를 게재한 경우도 있다. 어떠한 경우에도 일본군위안부가 무엇인지, 무슨 일을 하는지에 대해..."
- "[...] Pak (her surname) was about 17, living in Hamun, Korea, when local Korean officials, acting on orders from the Japanese, began recruiting women for factory work. Someone from Pak's house had to go. In April of 1942, Korean officials turned Pak and other young women over to the Japanese, who took them into China, not into factories. [...]", Template:Harvnb. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "deceived" defined multiple times with different content
- 성노예와 병사 만들기, 2003, 안연선, ISBN : 8987519910, p.84. "가난한 집안 소녀들에게는 이러한 미끼는 매력적으로 보였다. 이들은 청소부, 요리사, 웨이트리스, 비서, 연예인, 간호부 같은 일본군의 준속으로 일하는 것으로 속아서 모집되었다" These fake advertisements are attractive bait for poor girls. They believe that their job is janitors, chefs, waitresses, secretaries, nurse, such as job for Japanese military official
- Template:Ja icon "宋秉畯ら第２期親日反民族行為者２０２人を選定", JoongAng Ilbo, 2007.09.17. "日本軍慰安婦を募集したことで悪名高いベ・ジョンジャ"
- Burning of Confidential Documents by Japanese Government, case no.43, serial 2, International Prosecution Section vol. 8;
"When it became apparent that Japan would be forced to surrender, an organized effort was made to burn or otherwise destroy all documents and other evidence of ill-treatment of prisoners of war and civilian internees. The Japanese Minister of War issued an order on 14 August 1945 to all Army headquarters that confidential documents should be destroyed by fire immediately. On the same day, the Commandant of the Kempetai sent out instructions to the various Kempetai Headquarters detailing the methods of burning large quantities of documents efficiently.", Template:Harvnb;
"[...] , the actual number of comfort women remains unclear because the Japanese army incinerated many crucial documents right after the defeat for fear of war crimes prosecution, [...]", Template:Harvnb;
"Between the announcement of a ceasefire on August 15, 1945, and the arrival of small advance parties of American troops in Japan on August 28, Japanese military and civil authorities systematically destroyed military, naval, and government archives, much of which was from the period 1942–1945. Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo dispatched enciphered messages to field commands throughout the Pacific and East Asia ordering units to burn incriminating evidence of war crimes, especially offenses against prisoners of war. The director of Japan’s Military History Archives of the National Institute for Defense Studies estimated in 2003 that as much as 70 percent of the army’s wartime records were burned or otherwise destroyed.", Template:Harvnb.
- "An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 women across Asia, predominantly Korean and Chinese, are believed to have been forced to work as sex slaves in Japanese military brothels", Template:Harvnb;
"Historians say thousands of women – as many as 200,000 by some accounts – mostly from Korea, China and Japan worked in the Japanese military brothels", Template:Harvnb;
- "An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 women across Asia, predominantly Korean and Chinese, are believed to have been forced to work as sex slaves in Japanese military brothels", Template:Harvnb;
"Estimates of the number of comfort women range between 50,000 and 200,000. It is believed that most were Korean", Template:Harvnb;
"A majority of the 80,000 to 200,000 comfort women were from Korea, though others were recruited or recruited from China, the Philippines, Burma, and Indonesia. Some Japanese women who worked as prostitutes before the war also became comfort women.", Template:Harvnb;
"Approximately 80 percent of the sex slaves were Korean; [...]. By one approximation, 80 percent were between the ages of fourteen and eighteen.", Template:Harvnb;
"Hata essentially equates the 'comfort women' system with prostitution and finds similar practices during the war in other countries. He has been criticized by other Japanese scholars for downplaying the hardship of the 'comfort women'.", Template:Harvnb.
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- Asian Women's Fund web site
- Jugun Ianfu Indonesia
- Korea Dutch Indies Sex Slavery Translation Project
- 121 Coalition
- "The Victims" (from the South Korean Ministry of Gender and Family Equality)
- Japanese Military Sex SlavesTemplate:Citation broken, CBS Report featuring Mike Honda and Nariaki Nakayama's infamous comment comparing "comfort houses" and cafeterias
- Japan forced women to work as sex slaves during World War II
- Photo gallery at the Seoul Times.
- A Public Betrayed - How the Japanese Media Betrays its Own People
- "Comfort Women" (Web page). Australian War Memorial. 2006. http://www.awm.gov.au/alliesinadversity/prisoners/women.asp. Retrieved 2008-01-06. - describes the experience of Jan O’Herne in Java
- Nakamura, Akemi; Ikuhiko Hata (denies that sex slavery existed) & Yoshiaki Yoshimi (vocally supports the position that sexual slavery occurred) (March 20, 2007). "Comfort Women: Were they teen-rape slaves or paid pros?". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 2012-05-29. https://archive.is/MuSm. Retrieved 2006-03-23.
- Friends of “Comfort Women” Australia (FCWA) - not-for-profit organisation focusing on the plight of the Japanese military “Comfort Women” of World War II.
- Mourning, song about comfort women composed by Mu Ting Zhang and directed by Po En Lee
- The Comfort Women project
- Hayashi Hirofumi's papers on comfort women
- Responsibility Toward Comfort Women Survivors: Japan Policy Research Institute Working Paper 77.
- Japan's Comfort Women, Theirs and Ours: Book review, Japan Policy Research Institute Critique 9:2.
- Journal of Asian American Studies 6:1, February 2003, issue on American studies of comfort women, Kandice Chuh, ed.
- No Organized or Forced Recruitment: Misconceptions about Comfort Women and the Japanese Military: Critical study on comfort women problem.
Japanese official statements
- Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the occasion of the establishment of the "Asian Women's Fund" (1995, Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
- Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women (2001, Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
United States historical documents
- House Concurrent Resolution 226 (June 23, 2003, 108th United States Congress), introduced by Rep. Lane Evans (Illinois 17), referred to House Committee on International Relations; not passed.
- Japanese Comfort Women (1944, United States Office of War Information)
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