Comfort women (Japanese: 慰安婦 ianfu) or military comfort women (Japanese: 従軍慰安婦 jūgun-ianfu) is a euphemism for around 200,000 girls and woman in Japanese military brothels.
As Japan’s military involvement in Asian grew during the 20th century, the generals reasoned that troops serving abroad were entitled to similar “comforts,” with the added advantage of controlling VD and avoiding the molesting of local women by drunk Japanese servicemen. After fighting broke out between Japanese and Chinese troops in Shanghai in 1932, called by Japanese historians the “first Shanghai Incident,” the Japanese Navy saw to it that “comfort stations” staffed by Japanese women transported from home in Navy ships, were established in the city to provide segregated recreation for off-duty sailors. The Navy’s example was soon followed by the Japanese army occupying Manchuria. When the demand grew, the comfort women, originally all Japanese, were joined by Korean and Chinese women resident in Japan.
There are different theories on the breakdown of the comfort women's place of origin. According to Kanto Gakuin University professor Hirofumi Hayashi, the majority of the women were from Japan, Korea, and China. Others came from the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Dutch East Indies.
Chuo University professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi states there were about 2,000 centers where as many as 200,000 Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Taiwanese, Burmese, Indonesian, Dutch and Australian women were interned , and Nihon University professor Ikuhiko Hata states the women working in the licensed pleasure quarter were 40% Japanese, 20% Koreans, 10% Chinese, with others making up the remaining 30%.
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.By institutionalizing brothels and placing them under official scrutiny, the government hoped to control the spread of STDs .
Japanese authorities recruited prostitutes through conventional means. Middlemen advertised in newspapers circulating in Japan and the Japanese colonies of Korea, Taiwan, Manchukuo, and mainland China. Many who answered the advertisements were already prostitutes and offered their services voluntarily. Others were sold by their families to the military due to economic hardship.
Recruitment advertising for Comfort women in newspapers in Korea.
(Right: Keijō nippō, July 26, 1944) "Comfort Women Wanted, Urgent!" Age: 17-30. Place of Employment: entertainment for non-frontline unit [obscured]. Monthly Salary: More than 300 yen. (You can receive an advance on salary up to 3000 yen.) From 8 a.m. to 10 p.m
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, 1944 at Stockade
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. The majority of the girls were ignorant and uneducated, although a few had been connected with "oldest profession on earth" before.
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.
LIVING AND WORKING CONDITIONS;
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. NCOs 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. 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.
PAY AND LIVING CONDITIONS;
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.
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.
The study "Japan’s Comfort Women, Theirs and Ours"
by Murray Sayle "US comfort women" is also interesting reading:
The Occupation’s comfort women were all Japanese, and by grim coincidence, there were also something like 200,000 of them. The big difference was that they were at home in Japan, and were mostly paid in American dollars, which often saved their families from starvation in the hungry years after Japan’s defeat.
General Douglas MacArthur and his staff were assigned 40 Japanese comfort women, an offer he righteously refused. But free-lances went with soldiers of lower rank who offered money and food in a country on the verge of starvation. One woman in Tokyo comforted 60 Americans in one night, according to a secret U.S. Army report. By March 1946, the US occupation had 274 VD cases for every thousand soldiers, while the Australian 34th Infantry Brigade in occupation in Hiroshima reported 550 per thousand. Japan, an Aussie wrote home, was “one big brothel.” The Occupation brought the VD epidemic under control by medically inspecting comfort women, issuing condoms, and barring unsupervised “fraternization,” just as the Japanese military occupying Asia had done before them.
It seems that the military sex-service industry changed little after US-victory.In Korea "liberation" or "occupation" (depending on your point of view) by US and Comunist China/Russia changed ..... nothing.
With the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945, prostitution was made illegal by the governing United States authority, and the law was re-confirmed by the new South Korean parliament in 1948. Nevertheless, prostitution flourished in the next decades as the law was not treated seriously; it continued in much the same basic forms as it had before, though with US soldiers replacing Japanese as the foreign military customers. The Korean War saw the rise of prostitution centers in the Jongno-3-ga area, Mia-ri, and Cheongnyangni 588, which was the last stop for many Korean soldiers before the front lines.
The 1960s saw the effective institution of "camp towns" around the US bases, where brothels were allowed to operate unfettered. Though prostitution continued to be technically illegal, it was in fact tolerated at all levels by authorities.
Korean men are becoming increasing more apparent in the aggravating problem of underage prostitution, particularly in Cambodia and The Philippines. "An increasing number of Koreans buy sex in the Philippines, sometimes abusing prostitutes. The Philippine government has urged the Korean government to take firm action against soliciting prostitution, in particular buying sex from children...There is a possibility that a mounting number of Korean tourists in Cambodia might contribute to boosting the sex industry and human trafficking, especially threatening children who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
Selling of daughters by poor Korean families is an accepted ancient tradition, painful it may be,it is practiced still today in north Korea exclusively to chinese middlemen for the lucrative markets in new rich chinese cities. In South Korea the selling of baby girls for adoption in US and Europe (the lucky ones ending up as wives of the adopted fathers) has somewhat decreased since the sex of the fetus,is now evident early in pregnancy and abortion of unwanted daughters can take place. Gender discrimination now affects the demographic balance Korea and China. This practice is now so common that young Korean males must look for brides in Vietnam and Philippines. The boys are wanted, the girls aborted ....... or sold.
Our conclusion is that the "comfort women " issue is terrorized by biased activists like Comfort-Women.org , religioustolerance.org , The Comfort Women Project by Chunghee Sarah Soh , http://www.comfortwomen.org/ , Comfort women by Dottie Horn , www.womenandwar.net/..... etc. etc. etc.
In spite of an astonishing number of apologies by Japan ,these organizations-individuals, self-made-crusaders keep on voicing new demands, constructing litigation experiments , organizing media and public happenings and demos.
So here is the list:
List of war apology statements issued by Japan:
29 September 1972. Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. (Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site),
24 August 1982. Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki. (Press Conference on Textbook issue)
26 August 1982. Chief Cabinet Secretary Kiichi Miyazawa.(Statement on History Textbooks. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
6 September 1984. Emperor Hirohito. (Meeting with President Chun Doo Hwan )
7 September 1984. Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. ( Economist, September 15, 1984)
18 April 1990. Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Nakayama. (188th National Diet Session Lower House Committee of Foreign Affairs)
24 May 1990. Emperor Akihito. (Meeting with President Roh Tae Woo)
25 May 1990. Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu. (Summit meeting with President Roh Tae Woo in Japan)
16 January 1992. Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. (Speech at dinner with President Roh Tae Woo)
17 January 1992. Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. (Policy speech at the occasion of the visit to the Republic of Korea)
6 July 1992. Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato. (Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato on the Issue of the so-called "Wartime Comfort Women" from the Korean Peninsula) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
4 August 1993. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono. (Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women." (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
11 August 1993. Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa. (First Press Conference after inauguration)
23 August 1993. Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa. (Speech at 127th National Diet Session)
24 September 1993. Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa. (128th National Diet Session)
31 August 1994. Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama.(Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the "Peace, Friendship, and Exchange Initiative") (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
9 June 1995. House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan. "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
07/na/1995. Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. (Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the occasion of the establishment of the "Asian Women's Fund.") (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
15 August 1995. Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. (Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama 'On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end.") (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
23 June 1996. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. (Joint press conference at summit meeting with President Kim Young Sam in South Korea.) (Official website of Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet)
8 October 1996. Emperor Akihito. (Speech at dinner with President Kim Dae Jung of the Republic of Korea)
28 August 1997. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. (Speech by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Seeking a New Foreign Policy Toward China) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
6 September 1997. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Conference on: Visit of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to the People's Republic of China.) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
13 January 1998. Press Secretary. "Statement by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on World War II prisoners of war.(Press Conference by the Press Secretary. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site).
16 January 1998. Prime Minister Hashimoto apologized to British prisoners of war.(Press Conference by the Press Secretary. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site).
15 July 1998. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. (The contents of the letter of the then Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto sent to the Netherlands Prime Minister Willem Kok on July 15, 1998.) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site),
8 October 1998. Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. (Japan-Republic of Korea Joint Declaration) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site),
26 November 1998. Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. (Japan-China Joint Declaration On Building a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development.) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
August 10, 2000. Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong Itaru Umezu. (Japan Has Faced Its Past. Far Eastern Economic Review) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
August 17, 2000. Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Ryuichiro Yamazaki. (Letter written in response to the article "Miffed Chinese Sue Japan Companies" in New York Times on 7 August 2000. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
August 30, 2000. Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono. "(Address by Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono During His Visit to the People's Republic of China. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
April 3, 2001. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda. Comments by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yasuo Fukuda on the history textbooks to be used in junior high schools from 2002. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
September 8, 2001. Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka. 50th anniversary of the Signing of the San Francisco Peace .Treaty (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
October 8, 2001. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi .( Koizumi to Chinese President Jiang ).
October 15, 2001. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Prime Minister Visits the Republic of Korea. (Official website of Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet), 2001. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (Also signed by all the prime ministers since 1995, including Ryutaro Hashimoto, Keizo Obuchi, Yoshiro Mori). (Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
September 17, 2002. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site)
August 15, 2003. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. (Official website of Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet)
April 22, 2005. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. (Address by the Prime Minister of Japan at the Asia-African Summit 2005),
August 15, 2005. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Looking at this list and having investigated the comfort women history the logical conclusion is evident. NO MORE APOLOGIES and NO COMPENSATIONS TO ANYBODY. NEW STORIES AND CLAIMS SHOULD BE DISMISSED WITHOUT FURTHER ATTENTION by Japan and the world media in general.
by Gabor Fabricius
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