Comfort women

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by David Layne, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    World War II Sex Slaves to Testify Against Japanese at Congressional Hearing

    Thursday , February 15, 2007

    Three women who say they endured rape and torture at the hands of Japanese soldiers during World War II and a lifetime of mental and physical scars are asking that U.S. lawmakers urge the Japanese to apologize.

    The two Koreans and a former Dutch colonist were among as many as 200,000 "comfort women" who historians say were forced to have sex with millions of Japanese soldiers during the war. Japan objects to a proposed congressional resolution calling for an apology, and the measure has led to unease in an otherwise strong U.S.-Japanese relationship.
    In prepared testimony submitted before Thursday's hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Asia subcommittee, Kim Koon-ja spoke of the three years she spent as a young girl being raped by Japanese soldiers, sometimes as many as 40 a day.
    "The war has ended, but for 62 years I have had to live a life with a scar in my heart," she testified. "The Japanese government continues to treat us as if we are not human."
    "Governments must know that our bodies and our innocence have real value and worth," Kim said. "Governments must know that we will not forget."
    Japan says that its leaders have repeatedly apologized. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, for instance, said in a letter sent in 2001 to the comfort women that he felt sincere remorse for their "immeasurable and painful experiences."
    Japan acknowledged in the 1990s that its military set up and ran brothels for its troops. But it has rejected most compensation claims, saying they were settled by postwar treaties.
    The Asian Women's Fund, created in 1995 by the Japanese government but independently run and funded by private donations, has provided a way for Japan to compensate former sex slaves without offering official government compensation. Many comfort women have rejected the fund.
    In a letter sent to the congressional panel, Japan's ambassador to the United States, Ryozo Kato, said his country has recognized its responsibility, apologized and acknowledged its actions. "While not forgetting the past, we wish to move forward," Kato wrote.
    A group of lawmakers is demanding more. Their resolution, which has yet to be endorsed by the House, urges Japan's prime minister to "formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner" for the women's ordeal. It was unclear when the House panel would consider whether to endorse the resolution.
    The resolution does not recommend that Japan pay reparations. Besides an official apology, it urges Japan to reject those who say the sexual enslavement never happened and to educate children about the comfort women's experience.
    A similar resolution was passed last year by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Republicans, who then controlled Congress, never brought it before the full House for action.
  2. Andy in West Oz

    Andy in West Oz Senior Member

  3. Andy in West Oz

    Andy in West Oz Senior Member

  4. Roxy

    Roxy Senior Member

  5. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    This guy is so out of touch with reality. Nothing can justify the use of the so called "comfort women". I think the "comfort women" would like to tell him where to shove his "kind words"

    4jonboy, 11th Armoured and Roxy like this.
  6. ethan

    ethan Member

    Shocking, but unsurprising based on Japan's track record of public verbalization of it's wartime past.
    Roxy likes this.
  7. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good morning women were necessary-Japanese minister.first if they felt the need for these women because the soldiers were risking their lives,wy not be patriotic and use there own women.or even menbers of the ruling class,of course not.if the soldier wanted a bonk.he was free to do what many service men of all army's did go to a brothel.any other name for using these women.isRAPE.and the Japanese were notorious for this.notable the rape of nanking,but I must not disagree with our allies(choke)a great post.have a good day,bernard85
    Roxy likes this.
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

  9. Roxy

    Roxy Senior Member


    Thanks for the link. I found this bit particularly interesting!

    "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.."

  10. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    I worked about a half a mile from Yasukuni shrine in Kudanshita in central Tokyo, and I visited once in the mid 1990s (with some slight misgivings), After touring the museum and reading, what I considered, some extremely ill-informed comments about the building of the Burma -Thailand railway, it did leave me with a queasy concern for what was actually being widely shared about that era.
  11. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    German Officers, too, had their 'comforts' provided! When we captured the German Command Post in Flushing, along with Oberst Reinhart and 600 of his officers and men who poured out of the outbuildings, concrete positions and trenches which were part of the Headquarters in the Britannia Hotel, were a number of ladies from the brothel provided for the officers. Whilst we marched off the Germans, the local police and Dutch resistance attended to the ladies.

    Joe Brown
  12. Ulutiram69

    Ulutiram69 Member

    This man Hashimoto is the right wing Mayor of Osaka and mate of Ex Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. They are both well known for making outrageous zenophobic comments, pandering to the nationalist community here in Japan. Google Ishihara for more of the wall crazy mutterings. As a point of interest, the school history books have been so sanitised by the government over the last 60 years that you can understand why the population of Japan is mystified by the reactions of the Chinese and Koreans on such subjects as the "Rape of Nanking" and the IJA use of "Comfort women"
    Mariko Oi has written a good article on the BBC website giving her own story of being taught History in Japan when she was at school.
  13. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    I've just posted over on the sister site that one can assume therefore by THIS sort of statement that Japanese politicians such as this accept that what was done to THEM...particularly on the 6th and 9th of August 1945!...was EQUALLY "necessary" ;)

    You can't cherrypick your particular "exigencies of war"....
    Combover and Roxy like this.
  14. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    How the heck did you stumble across something like that, Steve...?

    I've posted a request on this subject in the CBI book pages as this (subject) is something I need for my book - my dad's platoon (1st Cameronian Chindits) came across one of these "houses" in Burma and they chased them off into the jungle as they were "to tired to do anything about it..."
  15. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I really don't remember Ken, I certainly wouldn't have been searching for that information. One of the World at War documentaries has a brief interview with a Japanese officer who mentions the use of Comfort Girls. Very, matter of fact about it......officers first, then left for the other ranks. Pretty despicable.
  16. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

  17. Roxy

    Roxy Senior Member

    An article in The Times.

    Japan rewrites Comfort Women’s past


    Richard Lloyd Parry

    Japan’s public broadcaster has banned references to the Rape of Nanking, to the country’s use of wartime sex slaves, and to its territorial dispute with China, in what critics say is a further surrender of its editorial independence. In a secret internal document obtained by The Times, journalists working on NHK’s English-language services are instructed about the precise phrasing to be used in reports on some of the most controversial topics in Japanese politics. The rules appear to reflect the position of the government of Shinzo Abe,Japan’s nationalist prime minister. The revelation follows the assertion by Katsuto Momii, NHK’s director general, a friend who was appointed by Mr Abe, that the broadcaster should not dissent from the Japanese government’s position. It will further annoy China and South Korea, as well as liberal Japanese, who fear that under Mr Abe Japan is lurching towards the nationalist right. The NHK was modelled on the BBC when it was set up in August 1926, and remains a publically owned corporation paid for by a licence fee. The NHK document, dated October 3, summarises key points from the so called “Orange Book”, a guide for producers and translators. Under the heading “Comfort Women”, the euphemism used to refer to those, many of them Chinese and Korean, forced to work in front-line brothels by the Imperial Army, the document reads: “Say ‘those referred to as comfort women’ or ‘those known as comfort women’. “Do not use the traditional [expression] ‘so-called comfort women’. In principal, do not give an explanation about the comfort women. Do not use ‘be forced to, brothels, sex slaves, prostitution, prostitutes’ etc.” In a section on the Senkaku Islands, the remote territories claimed by China, the guidelines ban the use of the word “dispute” and “disputed islands”, in keeping with the government’s claim that, because the islands obviously belong to Japan, there can be no difference of opinion about the matter. “The word ‘issue’ can be used only when expressing Japan’s position that ‘the territorial issue does not exist’ ,” the document says. The Rape of Nanking, which took place in 1937 and was the subject of a 2011 film, The Flowers of War, when hundreds of thousands of Chinese men, women and children were massacred by the Imperial Army, must be referred to as “the Nanjing Incident”. The document continues: “ ‘The Nanjing Massacre’ is used only when directly quoting of the remarks made by important people overseas etc., and the fact that it is [a] quotation must be made clear.” In references to Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan’s war dead, including executed war criminals, are worshipped as Shinto deities, NHK employees must avoid English expressions such as “war-related shrine”, “war-linked shrine”, and “war shrine”. A group of Japanese members of parliament offered prayers at Yasukuni yesterday, during the shrine’s autumn festival. Mr Abe, who is attending a meeting of European and Asian leaders in Milan, sent a tree as an offering. In January, Mr Momii provoked uproar when he defended the country’s use of wartime sex slaves, and claimed that they also existed in Europe. Mr Momii, a businessman with no journalistic experience, also said that NHK should broadcast internationally the government’s position on its territorial disputes with South Korea. “It would not do for us tosay ‘left’ when the government is saying ‘right’,” he said. Koichi Nakano, a professor of politics at Sophia University, said: “It is sad to see that the country’s public broadcaster that once aspired to be Japan’s BBC is looking increasingly more like a mirror image of CCTV [China’s state broadcaster]. The Abe government takes the view that the media should further the ‘national interest’ as defined by the government, and thus seems to believe that they are making a better use of NHK by turning it into its mouthpiece.” NHK did not respond to a request for comment.

  18. Roxy

    Roxy Senior Member

  19. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The latest podcast (25th January 20150 from "The History of Japan")
    History of Japan

    Episode 98: This week, we're going to discuss one of the most reprehensible aspects of a war littered with horrible acts; the system of mass sexual slavery of women euphemistically dubbed "comfort women". We'll talk about the origins and nature of the system, and the reason why it has come back to haunt Japanese politics today.

    (thanks bamboo43 for this ref.)

    By the way there was also this:
    Far East Prisoners of War
    The Reunion

    Listen in pop-out player

    Sue MacGregor's guests remember their time as Far East POWs during the Second World War on BBC Radio 4 (UK) today.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

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