Japan's Crimes Against Women

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Peter H
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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by Peter H » 06 Jan 2010 01:29

Chris

Its obvious that some are trying to entangle the US into this mess.i.e a similar Japanese system was running postwar,most likely with some of the same girls,endorsed by US occupation authorities,Comfort women saga Part II etc.

The reader can reach his own conclusions on how legitimate these claims are,if even relevant.My personal view is that some lefty feminists regard all men as devious,exploiters of women,and will spin things when they can.I see no link between the system of postwar working girls in Japan with that of the comfort women amateurs.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 06 Jan 2010 01:53

Peter H wrote:Chris

Its obvious that some are trying to entangle the US into this mess.i.e a similar Japanese system was running postwar,most likely with some of the same girls,endorsed by US occupation authorities,Comfort women saga Part II etc.

The reader can reach his own conclusions on how legitimate these claims are,if even relevant.My personal view is that some lefty feminists regard all men as devious,exploiters of women,and will spin things when they can.I see no link between the system of postwar working girls in Japan with that of the comfort women amateurs.

Thanks Peter for your timely and time-specific reply. I fully agree with your explanation..

Regards,
Chris

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by Razorback » 24 Mar 2012 15:17

I have made a study of the "comfort women" issue for my upcoming novel, HOLD BACK THE SUN. Anyone who thinks these women volunteered is deluding themselves or succumbing to Japanese propaganda. Jan Ruff-Oherne poignantly relates the story of some of the Dutch teen-agers (the Japanese prefered their women young) who were raped daily for months in her memoir, FIFTY YEARS OF SILENCE. George Hick's THE COMFORT WOMEN and Keith Howard's TRUE STORIES OF THE KOREAN COMFORT WOMEN are other good references.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by michael mills » 24 Mar 2012 23:21

We here in Australia are quite familiar with Ruff-O'Hearne's story.

We note how her account grew steadily more lurid and sensational over the years with each successive retelling of it.

One of the more credible elements in her account is her description of how she and her fellow sex-workers were scorned and rejected by the majority of the female civilian internees in the netherlands East Indies who had not agreed to provide sexual services to their Japanese captors. She describes how those women regarded her and her fellow sex-workers as turncoats who had bought better conditions and more food for themselves by selling their bodies.

That possibly inadvertent throw-away line reveals the truth about the female internees who became sex-workers. The Japanese captors offered better conditions, more food and comfortable living quarters to European or Eurasian internees who agreed to become "entertainers" in the officers' clubs. The majority of the internees declined the offer, and endured the harsh conditions in the civilian internment camps.

The same sort of offer was reported by British and Australian women who became prisoners of the Japanese. They also reported that the female internees who agreed to become sex-workers enjoyed much better conditions than those who did not, and became the object of intense resentment on the part of the rest of the internees.

What the accounts of female internees show is that they did have a choice; they could choose to buy better conditions of life for themselves by accepting the offer to perform sex-work, or they could decline the offer and endure the conditions in the internment camps that grew steadily worse.

I recall one of the lurid tales told by Ruff-O'Hearne more recently in an interview. She recounted how a Japanese doctor came regularly to examine the sex-workers for venereal disease. She claimed that when she made a complaint to him about something, he raped her, and then proceeded to rape all the women he was examining; thereafter, whenever he made his visit he raped her and all the other women. That sort of sexual athleticism is redolent of pornographic fiction, and is scarcely credible.

The problem with all the stories about the "comfort woman" is that, like everything to do with sexual activity, their experience lends itself to the most imaginative pornographic fiction.
Last edited by michael mills on 25 Mar 2012 00:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by michael mills » 25 Mar 2012 00:02

Here is an interesting account by another young Dutch woman who was held in an internment camp in the Japanese-occupied Netherlands East Indies:

http://www.pows-of-japan.net/booksetc/K ... Willie.pdf

She recounts how she was kept in the same internment camp as Jan Ruff. Unlike Ruff, she was not given the option of becoming a sex-worker, but had to endure the harsh conditions of the camp.

This woman recounts how, after the Japanese surrender and the flight of the camp guards, the camp was invaded by Indonesians who began to kill the European internees.

It seems that the European internees were in a lot more danger from the local natives than from their Japanese captors.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by waldzee » 25 Mar 2012 00:14

[quote="michael mills"]We here in Australia are quite familiar with Ruff-O'Hearne's story.

We note how her account grew steadily more lurid and sensational over the years with each successive retelling of it.

One of the more credible elements in her account is her description of how she and her fellow sex-workers were scorned and rejected by the majority of the female civilian internees in the netherlands East Indies who had not agreed to provide sexual services to their Japanese captors. She describes how those women regarded her and her fellow sex-workers as turncoats who had bought better conditions and more food for themselves by selling their bodies.

That possibly inadvertent throw-away line reveals the truth about the female internees who became sex-workers. The Japanese captors offered better conditions, more food and comfortable living quarters to European or Eurasian internees who agreed to become "entertainers" in the officers' clubs. The majority of the internees declined the offer, and endured the harsh conditions in the civilian internment camps.


What the accounts of female internees show is that they did have a choice; they could choose to buy better conditions of life for themselves by accepting the offer to perform sex-work, or they could decline the offer and endure the conditions in the internment camps that grew steadily worse.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
this is the 'classic Giffin good hypothesis', Michael- but it is hardly free market choice. the choice between

"be a comfort girl & risk VD, but get the short term goodies, or face ber-beri, typhus,& starvation in the camps & gambel on rescue in time"
excludes the possiblity of being , say, nurse, or file clerk...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


I recall one of the lurid tales told by Ruff-O'Hearne more recently in an interview. She recounted how a Japanese doctor came regularly to examine the sex-workers for venereal disease. She claimed that when she made a complaint to him about something, he raped her, and then proceeded to rape all the women he was examining; thereafter, whenever he made his visit he raped her and all the other women. That sort of sexual athleticism is redolent of pornographic fiction, and is scarcely credible.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
She apparently waited 50 years to tell her story..? .

ITALICS- WALDSEE

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by Godson » 03 Aug 2012 19:18

michael mills wrote:....I suspect that the whole story of the Asian "comfort women" is similar to that of the European internees. They probably volunteered to be "comfort women" in order to escape a life of grinding poverty in Korea or Taiwan, and then, after the war, invented stories of having been forced into it in order to escape the contempt they were held in by their own communities (and perhaps also to screw a bit of money out of the Japanese Government).
For the benefit of yourself and White Phosphorous and any ardent Japanophiles who happen to read this page, I remember seeing a TV interview with a Japanese veteran who recounted how they would drive into a Korean village with a few trucks, grab the women who they saw that they liked the look of, whether they had their children with them or not, and drag them screaming and kicking onto the trucks, to be taken away for enslavement. I'm sorry, I didn't note down his name or the dates or locations. He was somewhat remorseful in his old age apparently. There's always a few odd ones like that.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by michael mills » 29 Jul 2021 03:15

Reference has been made elsewhere on this forum to the book by the Australian-born economist George Lyndon Hicks, " Comfort Women: Sex Slaves of the Japanese Imperial Forces", published in 1995. The book was also republished in Singapore in 1997 under the more lurid title, "The Comfort Women: Japan's Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War".

I have not read the above book, but I have read the chapter by him with the title "The Comfort Women" in the 1996 book "The Japanese Wartime Empire, 1931-1945", edited by Peter Duus, Ramon H Myers and Mark R Peattie. In that chapter, Hicks generally maintains the view of the comfort women as "sex slaves", but the documentary material he quotes actually presents a more nuanced picture, suggesting that not all the comfort women were "slaves" in any true sense of that word.

I intend to post excerpts from the above chapter that contradict the popular image of the comfort women as "sex slaves", ie as women forced by violence and threats to provide sexual services to Japanese military personnel. But first, here is is some basic information about George Hicks from the website of the George Lyndon Hicks Foundation at the National Library of Singapore:

https://www.nlb.gov.sg/WhoWeAre/Fellows ... wship.aspx
Mr George Lyndon Hicks has been an NLB donor since 2008, donating over 6,800 books that covered mainly the areas of science and technology, politics, economics and history. Some of the highlights include a map on Rubber Estates in Java (1911), Atlas to Lord Macartney's Embassy to China (1793), Dutch Atlas of Indonesia (1883-85), and Plates to Accompany Marsden's History of Sumatra (1831). An economist and writer on Southeast Asian and Asian politics, economics and history, he has authored and edited of over 17 books including books on the overseas Chinese, Chinese political developments and the economic roles of Southeast Asian Chinese. His most famous work, Comfort Women: Sex Slaves of the Japanese Imperial Forces, was published in 1995 after years of intensive research and documentation in Southeast Asia, Japan and the United States. It has been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Korean.


The important issue is that George Hicks has strong connections to Singapore and is very pro-Chinese, and thus can in no way be considered an apologist for the actions of wartime Japan. Accordingly, any material published by him that presents a more positive image of the comfort women system must be accepted as objective and unbiassed.

The excerpts will commence with my next post.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by manfredzhang » 30 Jul 2021 16:25

I thought this report should be acknowledged by most on this forum.

https://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex ... -orig.html

In general, I don’t think comfort women should be considered war crimes.

It’s more like a business.

michael mills
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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by michael mills » 31 Jul 2021 07:59

The first part of the chapter by George Hicks bears the title "Emergence of the Issue and Japanese Government Reactions". As the title suggests, this part is a survey of the process by which the issue of the Comfort Women gradually came to public attention, beginning with reports by Allied intelligence units at the end of the war, and becoming intensified in the 1990s with the emergence of Korean former comfort women in the context of investigations by the South Korean Government into the wartime compulsory recruitment of Koreans for labour in war-related industries.

It is the second part of the chapter, "Overview of the Comfort Women System", that is of most interest,. In it, Hicks describes how the system of the provision of sexual services to Japanese military personnel operated, based on surviving Japanese documents and the oral testimony of former Comfort Women and observers of the system in operation. He begins by quoting a Japanese War Ministry directive to explain the rationale for the creation of the Comfort Women system; that directive reads as follows:
The psychological influence received from sexual comfort stations is most direct and profound and it must be realised how greatly their appropriate direction and supervision affect the raising of morale, the maintenance of discipline, and the prevention of crime and venereal disease.
Hicks places that directive in the context of the problems faced by modern conscript forces caused by the troops seeking sexual outlets to relieve the stress of combat and a rigidly regimented life, problems involving serious disorder and venereal disease, requiring measures to control behaviour and safeguard health. However, he claims that the approach of the Japanese armed forces was distinctive in its pragmatism and thoroughgoing nature, which is an example of his generally anti-Japanese attitude, something which is most evident in the concluding section of his chapter.

More to follow.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by michael mills » 01 Aug 2021 06:11

The chapter by George Hicks proceeds to try to estimate the total number of women who passed through the Comfort Women system. In doing so, he relies mainly on oral testimonies gathered by women's organisations in Japan and South Korea by means of hot lines set up in both countries in the early 1990s. He also uses official wartime documents of the Japanese military.

With regard to the data obtained from the hotlines, Hicks states this:
The Japanese hotlines provided the widest range of references to specific areas [where comfort stations operated]. Among the Tokyo callers, 79 referred to comfort stations in China, 56 to Manchuria, 36 to Southeast Asia, 22 to the Western Pacific, 23 to Japan and 6 to Korea. In Kyoto, 65 referred to China, here combined with Manchuria, 4 to Korea, 2 to New Guinea (specifically Rabaul), 4 to the Netherlands Indies, 8 to the Philippines, 3 to Burma, and 2 each to Malaya, Thailand, French Indochina, Japan and Taiwan. In this Kyoto survey, approximate figures for women in particular places were given in over 60 cases. The most frequent total, often of mixed national origin, is about 15, with occasional figures under 10 and one case each of 40, 50 and 80 women.
With regard to the total number of Comfort Women, Hicks states:
Sound data for estimating the overall total number of comfort women is most unlikely to exist, but these and some other samples have been used to make generalizations on the basis of ratios of women to troop numbers. The Tokyo survey obtained a series of rations for different areas in China in which each year from 1937 to 1945 was represented. In four cases the ratio was 50 [men] to one [comfort woman], in others the ratios varied from 35 to one to 100 to one, with an average overall of a little over 50 to one. An official document referring to health reports from Canton showed 1,004 women for the Twenty-First Army, which would have numbered 40,000 to 50,000. A United States report on a comfort station on northern Burma indicated that the 22 women there, all Korean, serviced about 100 men per day between them.
Comment by me:

The data from the 21st Army shows a ration of between 40 and 50 men to each comfort woman assigned to that army, which corroborates the data obtained from the call centres. However, it is obvious that each comfort woman did not service 40-50 men each day, since it is inconceivable that every man in the 21st Army visited the comfort stations every day; if they did, they would not have had time to do any fighting. If each man was allowed one visit to the comfort stations per week, that would result in an average daily number of client visits of between 6000 and 7000, which works out at between 6 and 7 clients per woman per day, an entirely manageable workload.

The United States report referred to above by Hicks is almost certainly the report of the interrogation of Korean comfort women linked by Manfredzhang in his post #54 of 31 July. That report shows that the 22 Korean comfort women serviced 100 men per day, or an average of 5 men by each woman, which again is hardly an onerous workload.

Just in passing, the statements made by the comfort women in that US report hardly support the current depiction of the comfort women as abused sex slaves. Since the information was obtained from those women soon after their capture by the US forces, very soon after the period of their service as comfort women, and when they no longer had to fear coercion from their Japanese employers, it must be seen as more likely to be true than the lurid claims made by a small number of former comfort women several decades after the end of the war, when they now had the incentive of monetary compensation.

Hicks continues:
The only indication of an official target ratio comes from a good authority interviewed by Senda [a Japanese journalist who was the first to investigate the comfort woman issue in 1962]. This officer, Hara Zenshiro, who was in command of the Logistics Division of the Kwantung Army in Manchuria, was sent to Seoul in mid-1941 to demand that the Government-General provide twenty thousand comfort women within twenty days. The basis of this figure was that, in the light of experience in the war in China and calculating in terms of troops' pay rates, fees, and frequency of demand, one comfort woman was needed for every thirty-five to forty-five men. On this basis and on the light of his other research, Senda estimated the the overall total of comfort women to be of the order of one hundred thousand, of whom 80 percent were Korean and the others either Japanese, generally of a prostitute background, or women recruited locally in occupied areas. A figure much in excess of this would have resulted in a much lighter workload than the daily figures for clients commonly reported, which tend to be about thirty.
Comment by me:

The last sentence in the above passage is unclear. If by "daily figures for clients" Hicks means the daily number serviced by a single comfort woman, that is clearly in conflict with the data about the ratio of comfort woman to soldiers, since as previously stated not all of the 35 to 45 men for each comfort woman would visit her every day. If he means the total number of clients visiting the 20,000 comfort women assigned to the Kwantung Army each day, the number is obviously too low.

However, the passage does contain some useful information. The reference to troops' pay rates, and to "fees", presumably payable to the comfort women, clearly indicates that the soldiers visiting the comfort stations were required to pay for the services received, and that the comfort women received payment for the services they provided. That is hardly consistent with the common perception of the comfort women as "sex slaves", since slaves are not paid for the services they perform.

More to follow.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by manfredzhang » 01 Aug 2021 19:46

Just adding some contexts to the US Army report

Income of comfort women
According to the report, a comfort woman received a monthly income of roughly 1,500 yen and turned half to her master which meant she received 750 net per month, 9,000 per year.
Using historical exchange rate, that income is translated to roughly 200K-250K USD today which is almost equivalent to the after-tax income of the POTUS, among the top 2% if not 1% of US taxpayers.
According to the link below, a full Japanese Army General or a full Japanese Navy Admiral equivalent to O-10 received a base salary of 550 yen per month in 1945.
https://tingin.jp/kyuyo_shi/gunjin-kyuyo.html
Their pay would almost get doubled if they were assigned to field.
If killed, their family received a one-time compensation of 2,200 yen.
A full general in nowadays Japanese Ground Self Defense Force received an annual base salary of roughly 200K-230K USD.
https://nttmoraio.com/2019/11/19/post-5725/
On the contrary, a rape victim in nowadays Japan received a compensation of 30K USD.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiori_It%C5%8D

The comfort women received a very high compensation in any measure either from a sex worker perspective or from a sex offence victim’s perspective.

Women in the 1930s/1940s in Asia
In Chinese/Eastern Asian culture. Filial Piety is a virtue. There were many aspects of Filial Piety, one being absolute obedient to one’s parents. Free will was not encouraged but largely supressed.
Children were considered personal properties of their parents who in turn had the full authority to dispose, meaning not only they could determine what their children should do including whom they should marry to but also could sell them and in extreme cases kill them with immunity.
Even in modern day China, killing one’s own baby usually received a very light sentence.
https://bowenpress.com/news/bowen_193422.html
The woman in the picture killed her infant daughter by throwing her out of the window and received a sentence of two years with a three-year probation period in 2018. She probably would walk away with no jail time. On the contrary, a typical murderer without turning him/herself in will usually receive a death penalty in China.
For thousands of years in China/East Asia, arranged marriages were commonplace. Over 95% if not 99% of the marriages were arranged. The bride and the groom usually did not know each other until the moment they got married.
Boys were generally a preference to families over girls. After girls grew up and married, they were considered family members of her husband and usually not regarded as a family member of her own parents.
Many Chinese and perhaps Koreans today still have that preference.
The first Canadian Gold Medalist of Tokyo Olympic, Maggie MacNeil, was abandoned when she was one year old.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_Mac_Neil
in the past 20 years, at least 80K Chinese infant girls were adopted by Western families.
They were the lucky ones. Thanks to the one child policy, more girls were aborted when their parents learned their gender or immediately killed after they were born.
The new 2020 China census showed the sex ratio at birth was 111.3 (a natural one should be around 105).

It’s fair to say the Chinse/East Asian culture has not respected women for thousands of years. That culture still does not today. The Japanese government did not do any more evil to the women than their own countrymen or even their own families.

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by David Thompson » 04 Aug 2021 21:51

For readers interested in learning more about this subject:

Comfort women
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women
The “Comfort Women” Issue and the Asian Women’s Fund
https://web.archive.org/web/20070628152 ... nhu_ei.pdf
CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF SLAVERY
https://web.archive.org/web/20130921114 ... enDocument
Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women"
https://web.archive.org/web/20140709022 ... e9308.html
The Comfort Women Issue
https://web.archive.org/web/20071010011 ... ml/cw1.htm
Dwangprostitutie Nederlands-Indië [in Dutch]
https://web.archive.org/web/20070927023 ... itutie.asp
THE CONSOLATION UNIT: COMFORT WOMEN AT RABAUL
https://web.archive.org/web/20070610042 ... RABAUL.pdf
Lawsuits against the Government of Japan filed by the survivors in Japanese Courts
https://web.archive.org/web/20061209000 ... tcase.html
Report of a Study of Dutch Government Documents on the Forced Prostitution of Dutch Women in the Dutch East Indies during the Japanese Occupation
https://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/0205.pdf
Women made to become comfort women - Netherlands
https://www.awf.or.jp/e1/netherlands.html
Documents detail how Imperial military forced Dutch females to be 'comfort women'
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/ ... LdzKRiZM19
The Origins and Implementation of the Comfort Women System
https://www.e-ir.info/pdf/76820
PROTECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF COMFORT WOMEN
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHR ... g33317.pdf

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Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by michael mills » 05 Aug 2021 07:37

Continuation of excerpts from the chapter by George Hicks.

Hicks proceeds to describe the recruitment of comfort women, which he portrays as essentially coercion, consistent with his thesis that the comfort women were "sex slaves". In doing so, he relies on two sources, recent claims by former comfort women and a 1986 book by a certain Yoshida Seiji, with the tile "My War Crimes". In that book, Yoshida claims to have participated in the kidnapping of Korean women on Cheju Island for the purpose of forcing them to become comfort women.

This is what he writes:
A study of the first thirteen detailed case histories to emerge shows that six of the women had been enticed away from home by civilian agents, sometimes Korean, by the promise of well-paid work - implying a background of poverty. Five were forcibly seized - two from home and two in the street, implying a powerless class background. The other, Kim Hak-sun, was seized in China, where she had been taken by her employer and foster-father, who had trained her as a kisaeng or traditional geisha-type entertainer. The other two cases were of more privileged background but in both of these there was a clear punitive aspect associated with anti-Japanese tendencies. The women whose seizure on Cheju Island is graphically described by Yoshida Seiji were of humble rural background of the fishing, farming, or small workshop type.
Comment by me:
Thirteen case histories, even if the details in them are true, is a very small sample, and cannot be held to be representative of the comfort women system as a whole. The accounts given by the Korean comfort women interrogated in 1944 in Burma by US forces, in the report linked by Manfredzhang, support the claim of being enticed by promises of work with good pay, but do not support the claim of being forcibly seized. This is what that US report says about recruitment:
Early in May of 1942 Japanese agents arrived in Korea for the purpose of enlisting Korean girls for "comfort service" in newly conquered Japanese territories in Southeast Asia. The nature of this "service" was not specified but it was assumed to be work connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy. The inducement used by these agents was plenty of money, an opportunity to pay off the 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.

The majority of the girls were ignorant and uneducated, although a few had been connected with "oldest profession on earth" before. The contract they signed bound them to Army regulations and to war for the "house master " for a period of from six months to a year depending on the family debt for which they were advanced ...

Approximately 800 of these girls were recruited in this manner and they landed with their Japanese "house master " at Rangoon around August 20th, 1942. They came in groups of from eight to twenty-two. From here they were distributed to various parts of Burma, usually to fair sized towns near Japanese Army camps.

As for Yoshida Seiji, his book, used as a source by Hicks and others, was eventually shown to be fictional, and Yoshida himself to be a Communist Party activist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiji_Yoshida

This is the assessment made of Yoshida in the above article:
On August 5, 2014, Asahi Shimbun announced that they concluded the testimony of Yoshida as a fabrication. In April and May 2014, the Asahi Shimbun dispatched reporters to Jeju Island and interviewed about 40 elderly residents and concluded that Yoshida's accounts "are false." Asahi Shimbun retracted all 16 articles based on his testimony in the 1980s and 1990s. The President of Asahi Shimbun later made an apology for the errors and an editor was fired as a result.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

According to his son's testimony, he was poor before publishing and worked for a bakery run by a Korean. Yoshida frequently applied for essay contests for prize money and he won by fictional story about slavery workforce during the war. Later, this fictional story was used by Korea University educator Park Kyung-sik [ja] (朴慶植) and quoted in “Record of Korean forced compulsion”.
Because of the above factors, Hicks' acceptance of the claims of forced recruitment of comfort women is open to question.

Hicks then proceeds to what appears to be an attempt to reconcile the claims about forcible recruitment of comfort women with the accounts given in the report on the interrogation of the Korean comfort women found in Burma, which do not support those claims. He writes:
Yoshida and the oral case histories are also the only sources bearing directly on recruitment methods, but it needs to be noted that these belong to later phases of the war when increasing demand led to more draconian methods than were necessary in the early phases. In the penetration of Manchuria and North China through the 1930s there was little official initiative in providing sexual services, which at first formed a natural outgrowth of the established prostitution system in Japan and its colonies. This took the form of a contract system, whereby women were employed by licensed brothels on the basis of a loan, usually to their families, to be repaid from their earnings. This formed the basis of much of the military prostitution system, though later supplemented by more arbitrary methods.

The swarm of fortune hunters "following the flag" included many licensed brothel keepers and their staffs. To many of the latter, a move to the continent seemed preferable to the stagnant scene at home under depression conditions. Indeed business was so much better that debts normally needing years to pay off could be cleared in months, allowing the women to start their own businesses. It even became necessary to draw lots for permission to move to the continent. The system of permits developed by the authorities was mainly concerned with issues of public order.
It is obvious that Hicks is aware of the glaring conflict between the horror stories of forcible recruitment told in some of the case histories and other evidence indicating the essentially voluntary nature of the official comfort women system, and has sought to eliminate that conflict by explaining the "horror stories" as belonging to a later period. However, the accounts given by the Korean comfort women in the 1944 report by the US Army do not support that explanation, since those women were recruited in 1942, ie in the later period, but they do not claim to have been forcibly recruited.

Hicks does however give some documentary evidence of recruitment by abduction. He writes:
A couple of documents from early 1938, one from the War Ministry and one from the Home Ministry, hint at the growth of arbitrary methods of recruitment. The former states: "As a result of those engaging in recruitment not being suitably selected, there have been cases of recruitment methods amounting to abduction, which have resulted in charges and investigation by police authorities". According to the latter, "if proter control is lacking in such recruitment of women, this will not only injure the dignity of the Empire and the honor of the Imperial Forces but will have an undesirable effect on the home front, particularly the families of soldiers on active service".
What Hicks fails to do is to recognise what is clearly implicit in those documents, namely that those 'arbitrary methods" were not part of the official comfort women system, and were not condoned by the military authorities, which according to those documents were taking steps to stamp them out, eg investigating and charging the recruiters guilty of such methods. Accordingly, those two documents cannot be held to support his claim of a move to more draconian methods of recruitment in the later stages of the war, in fact, they suggest the opposite, that those draconian methods were suppressed in most cases.

Hicks continues:
By 1943, however, the situation had reached the stage illustrated by an official order recorded in a diary entry preserved by Yoshida Seiji. In this example, the Western Army Headquarters orders the procurement by May of two hundred women from Korea, to be aged eighteen to twenty-nine ("married permissible, except pregnant") and free from venereal disease. Their term was to be one year (as prescribed in the labor draft laws but voluntarily renewable). They were to receive an advance payment of twenty yen and a monthly wage of thirty yen (twice a private soldier's pay).
As has been shown, Yoshida is not a credible source, but even if the order recorded by him was authentic, and it has all the appearance of being so, it does not support Hicks' claim about methods of recruitment becoming more forcible, and in fact it says nothing about methods of recruitment. What the order does do is show that the women to be recruited were in no sense "slaves", since they were to be hired on a one-year contract that was voluntarily renewable, and were to be paid handsomely for their work. Since the renewal of their contracts was voluntary, it is likely that their initial recruitment was also to be voluntary.

More to follow.

manfredzhang
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Location: Canada

Re: Japan's Crimes Against Women

Post by manfredzhang » 05 Aug 2021 12:56

michael mills wrote:
01 Aug 2021 06:11

Just in passing, the statements made by the comfort women in that US report hardly support the current depiction of the comfort women as abused sex slaves. Since the information was obtained from those women soon after their capture by the US forces, very soon after the period of their service as comfort women, and when they no longer had to fear coercion from their Japanese employers, it must be seen as more likely to be true than the lurid claims made by a small number of former comfort women several decades after the end of the war, when they now had the incentive of monetary compensation.
Very True...


Comment by me:

The last sentence in the above passage is unclear. If by "daily figures for clients" Hicks means the daily number serviced by a single comfort woman, that is clearly in conflict with the data about the ratio of comfort woman to soldiers, since as previously stated not all of the 35 to 45 men for each comfort woman would visit her every day. If he means the total number of clients visiting the 20,000 comfort women assigned to the Kwantung Army each day, the number is obviously too low.

One possible explanation for the disconnection is that the Kwangtung Army stationed in Manchuria. Unlike Myanmar which was newly conquered by Japanese, Manchuria was under Japanese rules for years with very well established civilian infrastructure including civilian brothels. Unlike comfort stations in Myanmar, where the only "way out" other than rape was comfort women, Japanese soldiers were able to visit civilian brothels in Manchuria. The comfort stations in Manchuria were more like a supplement to the existing civilian brothels.

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