More Accounts Emerge of Japan’s Use of Sex Slaves During WWII

Newly disclosed documents describe how Japanese troops used Dutch women in Indonesia as 'comfort women'

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Issei Kato / Reuters

A man wearing a headband with the rising sun mark is seen at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo August 15, 2013, on the anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II.

At the request of a Kobe-based civic group, Japan’s national archive has disclosed previously secret documents that describe Japanese troops forcing foreign women into sexual slavery during World War II.

In one of the documents, a Japanese officer is quoted as saying “We asked the chief of the provincial police to select women at the camp for brothels,” describing the forced transfer of 35 Dutch women from a prison camp on Java to four brothels.

The issue of Japan’s enslaving of so-called “comfort women” during WWII has long been contentious, with PM Shinzo Abe’s previous and current government claiming it has found no proof of such a practice.

[Korea Herald]


@PaulBodnick  Because, sadly normally competent investigatory journalists that work at Time would look into a piece, rather than cut/pasting the stories as they come from feeder services in Japan.  There are three separate issues that the authors are trying to link here and make it appear that there is guilt, even though as the 5th Amendment adopted as a Universal Human right declares, a right to a fair trial and innocent until proven guilty needs to be applied to the Japanese in this case.  But the authors like the "guilty until proven otherwise" angle.

Looking at the facts vs. rhetoric here is what the three issues are:

1.  Comfort Women.  The main allegation is that 200,000 women were abducted by the Japanese and forced to serve as sex slaves across Asia.  However, no documents have supported this, and the documents from third parties (namely the US OWI (Office of Warfare Information—a branch of the OSI (Now CIA) in 1944 captured a number of Comfort Women in Burma in 1944 retreating with the Japanese army.  They interrogated/elicited them for over a week, and the final 5 page report clearly states "That Comfort Women are nothing more than prostitutes/camp followers".   Yet this is overlooked in favor of the narrative that was actually made up by a Japanese author in the mid 80s trying to use sex and violence to sell a work of fiction passing as a memoir, and a Japanese reporter Uesugi who married the daughter of the Pacific War Victims group that was about to launch a lawsuit against the Japanese government at the guidance of a group of Japanese lawyers.  An inconvenient truth indeed.  In fact if you look at the early Korean papers from 1985 to about 1990 they all reject the Comfort Women story (the Koreans rightly saw the story at that time as a demeaning to their manhood…how could the Japanese take that many women/girls and no Korean man stood up for them…).

2.  The documents referred to above are in reference to the case that was tried in Borneo, and the Japanese leader (a lieutenant in the IJN intelligence section) was hung for it. Case closed and not related to comfort women despite the leading article. The fact that only a lieutenant was executed demonstrates that there was no official policy or wider program of kidnapping. There were 9 others in his trial from the remote station in Borneo. It is a case of personal misconduct and he was actually acting AGAINST the standing orders for the IJN regional command at the time in that "NO Japanese military person or government worker shall have any intimate contact with Dutch or local persons". Similar to thousands of cases of misconduct militaries all over the world do all the time (except they are usually not hung). There are some interesting points about this case but the salient fact is that this was a criminal case, investigated by the Dutch/UK, and no wider program or orders/directions from higher commands was found and the soldier in command (again a lowly LT) was executed. Case closed. Not evidence for the comfort women as sex slaves narrative, but actually evidence that the Allies did not find this during investigations post war. Because it's a manufactured narrative.

3.  Tying the above case with the payment to the Indonesian women.  In the original source document it is clear that the Japanese found (as above but earlier) that the command in Indonesia had acted inappropriately in recruiting the women as it did (directly vs. local contractors) and so paid them compensation.  Again as in #2 pointing clearly to conscious efforts to maintain a legal framework vs. the acts that the jingoists would have you believe in a fit of racial hatred.