View Full Version : Comfort Women & Japanese soldiers in WWII : review through articles

Mar 11, 2010, 07:08
The issue of comfort women (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women) is slowly coming to an end as the last survivors of WWII are ageing and dying. Although it is a serious issue I believe that only women who were abused are the ones who should be entitled to seek official apologies and compensation from the Japanese government (if they can prove that they were coerced by the Japanese army to become sex workers).

It is borderline hypocritical that Asian countries where prostitution (often involving minors, sex slaves an/or human trafficking) is rampant should criticise Japan for deeds committed in war time, when their behaviour isn't much more moral in peace time.

Americans can hardly scold Japan either in view of the fact that U.S. troops used 'comfort women' in Japan after WWII (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31007). Yet this did not prevent the US House of Representatives to arrogantly and hypocritically urge Japan to apologize over comfort women (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32609).

I think that the best way to approach this sensitive topic is to read testimonies of victims, court cases, and the response of the Japanese government on the matter. Here is a collection of articles that will help you shed light on this dark passage of East Asian history.

Official position of the Japanese government

Ministry of Foreign Affairs : Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women" (http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html) (August 1993)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs : Recent policy of the government of Japan on the issue known as "wartime comfort women" (http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/policy0011.html) (June 2001)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs : What is the policy of the Japanese Government on the issue known as "Wartime Comfort Women"? (http://www.mofa.go.jp/POLICY/q_a/faq3.html) (November 2001)

Press articles, trials & testimonies by ex-comfort women

Japan Times : U.S. court rejects appeals by war slave laborers (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?nn20031008a5.htm) (1999)

Taiwan Backs Away From Barring Japanese Cartoonist (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70) (February 2001)

Common Dreams : Mass Rape Ruled a War Crime (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0224-02.htm) (February 2001)

Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment Committee on Foreign Affairs U.S. House of Representatives : Hearing on Protecting the Human Rights of Comfort Women - Statement of Lee Yong-soo (http://www.internationalrelations.house.gov/110/lee021507.htm) (February 2007)

The Age : Japanese denial angers 'comfort woman' (http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Japanese-denial-angers-comfort-woman/2007/06/15/1181414539807.html) (June 2007)

Academic articles and reviews

History of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery (http://www.jmss.info/board/History)

Militarism, Colonialism, and the Trafficking of Women: "Comfort Women" Forced into Sexual Labor for Japanese Soldiers, by Watanabe Kazuko (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68)

Japan Focus : Japan’s ‘Comfort Women’: It's time for the truth (in the ordinary, everyday sense of the word), by Tessa Morris-Suzuki (http://japanfocus.org/-Tessa-Morris-Suzuki/2373)

Other resources

The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery (http://www1.jca.apc.org/vaww-net-japan/english/womenstribunal2000/whatstribunal.html)

Digital Museum : the Comfort Women Issue and the Asian Women's Fund (http://www.awf.or.jp/e1/index.html)