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The uncomfortable truth about ‘comfort women’

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Question: How did you view those people (that you infected with bubonic plague and dissected while still alive)? Didn’t you have any feelings of pity?

Answer: None at all. We were like that already. I had already gotten to (a point) where I lacked pity. After all, we were already implanted with a narrow racism, in the form of a belief in the superiority of the so-called “Yamato Race.” We disparaged all other races. … If we didn’t have a feeling of racial superiority, we couldn’t have done it. People with today’s sensibilities don’t grasp this. … We, ourselves, had to struggle with our humanity afterwards. It was an agonizing process. There were some who killed themselves, unable to endure.”

— Tamura Yoshio, a member of biological warfare Unit 731, from “Japan at War: An Oral History”

In recent weeks, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his chief Cabinet secretary have accused the Asahi Shimbun of “shaming Japan.” In August, the newspaper retracted articles based on the testimony of a Japanese solider, Seiji Yoshida, who claimed to have rounded up “comfort women.”

Comfort women is a euphemism for the females serving as prostitutes to the Japanese military during World War II. The conservative press, led by the ultranationalist Sankei Shimbun and the Yomiuri Shimbun, seized upon the Asahi’s partial retraction of past reporting as absolute proof that the government had no role in coercing women into working as prostitutes.

The right-wing argument seems to work like this: If there are 1,000 pieces of evidence and one or two of them are wrong, they’re all wrong by extension.

By this logic, the Japanese military wasn’t involved in sexual slavery and no women were victimized — in short, that all women testifying to their deplorable experience are money-grubbing whores.

After the Asahi retraction, Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party issued a statement demanding that newspapers worldwide correct their mistaken reports — which, they seemed to imply, was based solely on Yoshida’s testimony. The LDP has also pledged to conduct an investigation into the comfort women issue.

Perhaps they should simply ask former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. He seems to know a lot about the comfort women.

In his memoir, “The Neverending Navy,” he described his wartime experiences managing troops: “After a while, some of the soldiers began to attack the women and gamble. So I took great efforts to build a comfort station.”

When questioned about this account at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in March 2007, he refused to give a final answer but agreed with the Kono statement (regarding the treatment of the comfort women) and said, “As a Japanese person, I think it’s something Japan should apologize for…and apologize again.”

According to military documents, Nakasone ordered his troops in Southeast Asia to “gather the local women (土人女) and make a comfort station.” It’s unlikely to be a place where people played shogi (Japanese chess).

Tsuneo Watanabe of the Yomiuri is a good friend of Nakasone, so maybe he should ask his old buddy for clarification?

The Sankei has made a huge stink over the comfort women issue. The greatest denier of their reporting is Sankei’s former president, Nobutaka Shikanai, who served in the accounting division of the Imperial Japanese Army during the war. He was in charge of staffing and opening “comfort stations.”

He describes his work in “The Secret History After the War” as follows: “When we procured the girls, we had to look at their endurance, how used up they were, whether they were good or not. We had to calculate the alloted time for commissioned officers, commanding officers, grunts, how many minutes. We also had to fix prices according to rank. There was even a prospectus we learned in (military) accounting school.”

The term Shikanai used for the procurement of women was choben, an old military word that referred to gathering food for the horses.

There are hundreds of documents showing the Japanese military’s involvement in the comfort stations, as well as recent testimony. There are records from Japan’s postwar Ministry of Justice in which soldiers admitted to having been paid money to keep the crimes quiet as the war ended.

There is one uncomfortable truth about the comfort women. Prostitution was legal in Japan before the war and after. Yes, some of the women were well paid and treated reasonably well. Many comfort women were also Japanese women. Few of them have come forward.

For argument’s sake, let’s put aside the issue of kyoseirenko — forced transportation. Even if that didn’t exist, it doesn’t render the suffering of those swindled into the work — physically abused and held under conditions that modern-day Japan recognizes as human trafficking — any less horrific.

According to a report commisioned by the Dutch government in 1993, up to 300 Dutch women worked at Japanese military brothels in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia), of which “some 65 were most certainly forced into prostitution.”

Maybe the right wing only has a problem with allegations made by Korean women? In other words, other women were sexually enslaved but Korean prostitutes were not. Maybe that’s the point?

You may think I’m conflating the issue of the comfort women by bringing up Unit 731, Japan’s biological warfare unit that killed hundreds — possibly thousands — of foreign civilians in experiments. I’m not. I’m making a point — the people killed by the unit weren’t “volunteers”; they were captured and used like lab animals.

Does anyone think a military that would go so far has any qualms about coercing women into working in brothels or turning a blind eye to the practice?

The government has never issued a formal apology to the victims of Unit 731.

If the prime minister is not ashamed of the comfort women, there’s plenty of other things to feel guilt over. Maybe he just believes in the superiority of the Yamato race so the atrocities committed against other Asians don’t matter. After all, they’re subhuman — who cares about their human rights?

National Public Safety Commission chief Eriko Yamatani, an associate of hate-speech group Zaitokukai, seems to feel that way about Korean Japanese.

Who is shaming Japan? It’s definitely not the Asahi, Mr. prime minister, it’s you. It’s the Sankei and the LDP for whitewashing history, ignoring war atrocities and burying the words of your elders.

Dark Side of the Rising Sun is a monthly column that takes a behind-the-scenes look at news in Japan.

  • Elazar Goldstein

    ISIS is doing the same thing in Syria & iraq.
    They like to chop heads off too.
    Any similarites to Japan?

  • ろびい

    At that time
    Dutch women were citizen of enemy country.
    Korean women were Japanese citizen.

    The main objective of placing comfort women was prevented raping the local women, for the peaceful governance in Southeast Asia after the war.

    Sacrifice Korean Peninsula governance for Southeast Asia governance?
    This is obviously unnatural.

    • saitamarama

      “Sacrifice Korean Peninsula governance for Southeast Asia governance?This is obviously unnatural.”

      I don’t understand this sentence. Do you mean to ask the question “Why would Japan mistreat it’s own citizens for the sake of gaining Southeast Asia?”

      I understand that the Koreans were subjects of the Japanese empire and effectively Japanese, in principle. The reality is much less clear, even if there are records of Koreans holding positions as Imperial officers and at least the prostitutes in Burma being properly paid for their labor. Could it be fair to say that exploitation was happening all over the Japanese empire as they were losing the war?

      If I may make a comparison, the French took over Vietnam (and Laos, and Cambodia) and used the people for their own ends, although certainly a lot of development happened in the country. However, few people dispute that this was largely a dark time to be Vietnamese, even if many in the cities later came to be nostalgic of the Colonial era. Taiwan has had a similarly nostalgic view of Japanese occupation.

      However, Korea has taken this period to be a net loss for its identity. It doesn’t justify the xenophobic rantings of Koreans online and in the streets, but it makes it easier to grasp.

  • Steve Jackman

    Tamura Yoshio’s statement is very telling when he says that, “I had already gotten to (a point) where I lacked pity. After all, we were already implanted with a narrow racism, in the form of a belief in the superiority of the so-called “Yamato Race.” We disparaged all other races. … If we didn’t have a feeling of racial superiority, we couldn’t have done it”.

    One has to remember that this was not so long ago and unfortunately many Japanese still harbor a strong sense of superiority and racism towards all other races. This is one of the reasons why Japan still does not have any laws against racial discrimination. It is about time for Japan to take concrete actions to change this mindset.

  • ろびい

    Actually, material proof of “biological warfare Unit 731” is not yet discovered.
    The only known explanation is the United State government took over the evidence secretly at the end of the War.
    Can you believe it ?

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      You are deluded.

      • nose_in_a_day

        Or a big liar.

  • Konwhiskey

    Yawn… yet more pontificating and finger-wagging by smug Anglo-Americans over events that, tragic though they are,
    are receding into the mists of history. Meanwhile, in the here and now—well, how’s the death toll in the name of “regime change” coming along these days?

    At least Japan learned its lesson.

    • Bruce Chatwin

      Quotes from Konwhiskey’s previous comment:
      “You’re a goddamn idiot.”
      “You, sir, are an ignorant moron.”

      • Konwhiskey

        Did you read the truly ignorant and borderline racist comment I replied to, though?

    • Steve Jackman

      “At least Japan learned its lesson”. Sixty-some years is a rather short time in the history of a country for you to be making such unequivocal statements, especially given the recent rise in Japan’s right-wing and ultra-nationalists.

      • Konwhiskey

        News flash, folks: Right-wingers and ultra-nationalists exist in every country. If you’re not shaking in fear over these sort of people being in involved in politics in, say, Norway, then why these pseudo-apocalyptic visions over their Japanese ilk?

      • Steve Jackman

        Here’s a news flash for you, Konwhiskey. Yes, right-wing elements exist in every country, BUT, in other civilized countries, they are outnumbered by moderates, liberals and the left-wing. The problem with Japan is the near absense of anyone on the other side to balance the right-wingers and ultra-nationalists.

        The right-wing and ultra-nationalists permeate and control Japan to an extent which is not seen in other developed countries. It’s not a matter of kind, it’s a matter of degree. Only a right-winger would fail to recognize this about Japan.

      • Jitsuji Kyuze

        Steve, you obviously have no clue about Japanese politcis. It consists of 5% far right, 50% moderate right, 10% moderate left & 35% far left. 70% of public school teachers’ union members belong to Revolutionary Marxist Faction. (Google it to know more) I went through Japanese public schools and know how left they are. I wish I could paste links to back up my point, but Japan Times won’t let me. You can follow me on Twitter (@osaki_makkura) or let me know your Twitter handle, and I’ll tell you more.

      • Steve Jackman

        The meanings of the labels you have assigned to these groups are completely different within Japan and outside of Japan. The meanings of these lables within Japan are far removed from their historical context and people’s global understanding of what they stand for. So, your percentages are meaningless.

        Abe’s party, the LDP, stands for Liberal Democratic Party, but in reality, it is neither. What’s next, will you label Abe a “Liberal” too?

      • Jitsuji Kyuze

        So do you label LDP as a right wing party? (I’m using labels based on U.S. standard. I’d lived in the U.S. for 25 years)

        >The right-wing and ultra-nationalists permeate and control Japan to an extent which is not seen in other developed countries

        Can you provide any stats to back up your claim? Or can you mention any experts who have made that claim?

      • Bruce Chatwin

        日本会議

      • Konwhiskey

        Get real. They’re also outnumbered in Japan. If you want some real fodder for your fears, try looking across the Tsushima Strait to South Korea (where their current president continues to benefit from the legacy of her father, a bona fide dictator and decorated officer in the IJA to boot), North Korea, and the PRC (where ultra-nationalists and neo-imperialists are in full control).

        I’m no right-winger, much less an ultra-nationalist. I’m simply a person that sees what is actually before their eyes.

      • Bruce Chatwin

        “I’m simply a person that sees what is actually before their eyes.”
        Oh Konnie, you are so clever!
        What self-serving claptrap.

      • Jitsuji Kyuze

        Google
        Summary of Professor Park Yuha’s Book “Comfort Women of Empire”
        to find out the truth. Professor Park of Sejong University in South Korea is the leading expert on comfort women issue.

    • Bruce Chatwin

      Are these events “receding into the mists of history” as you say or are they very much a part of present day dialogue and diplomacy between Japan and its neighbours? The ongoing furor over Yasukuni and the LDP and right-wing’s continuing efforts to whitewash the actions of the Japanese Empire in the second world war and the years immediately preceding it. No, these “events” as you refer to them are not “receding into the mists of history”.

      • Konwhiskey

        OK, fair enough. But what is the death toll, for—oh—let’s say the US’ less than honorable forays into aggression with other nations in the past century? Anybody care to reflect and discuss how an unjust war against the Filipinos ended up costing them 1/6 of their population? How many civilians were massacred for who knows what reason in Korea and Vietnam? Did 65% of Japan’s urban space get flattened all by itself in the Pacific War? What about the literally hundreds of thousands of civilians that were incinerated alive by US bombers?

        But the US and the Allies were and will always be the “good guys” because WW II is the last war that where censorship was strongly exercised and, thus, allows its victors to indulge in romantic fantasy (e.g. “the last good war” and all that junk).

        War is war and it always renders both victor and the defeated as ugly and vile. At least the advent of television and real-time reportage by journalists who actually do their job has dispelled the propagation of similar fantasies in future wars.

        Again, at least Japan learned its lesson. Meanwhile, it seems sadly obvious that Anglo-Americans are either deluded or willfully ignorant.

      • http://www.coconutconnections.blogspot.com Thea Bisenberger-van der Wal

        Thank God for America a democratic country, where people are allowed to say what they like and live in peace.Why is it when there is a conflict,America is always asked to please come and help. America stands up for people to be free. You are damned when you do and damned when you don’t.There are some sick countries in this world.

      • Konwhiskey

        We are talking about the same America that during the period of the Pacific War was a de facto apartheid state; an apartheid state with a model genetics program that was imitated and praised by, among other countries, Japan and Germany, right? This is the same America where police brutality against its minority populations is still commonplace? The same America where minorities—surprise, surprise!—make up the vast majority of its 2.3 million prison inmate population, to say nothing of the nearly 5 million on parole? The same America where you can say whatever you want to say so long as 1.) it conforms to majority opinions and 2.) is permitted to be expressed via its co-opted mass media?

        And if Americans themselves love living in peace, they sure don’t like letting others do the same. Just ask your average Iraqi, Libyan, or Syrian. I’m sure that the peoples of Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran will have a more realistic perspective on American “benevolence”.

      • http://www.coconutconnections.blogspot.com Thea Bisenberger-van der Wal

        This article is about the uncomfortable truth about the “Comfort Women” .. This article is about women who were forced by the former Japanese military into prostitution during World War Two,and young Dutch girls were kidnapped from our camp in Moentilan and forced to serve many soldiers a day, while most of these girls didn’t even know what sex was all about.But you don’t seem to write anything about that.

      • Bruce Chatwin

        Thea, you are right, but some people will always try to change the topic under discussion in order to give vent to their own biases or grievances.

      • Konwhiskey

        The problem isn’t that people keep changing the topic to suit their own biases and grievances. The real problem is that some people, to suit their own biases, racial prejudices, and grievances, hypocritically insist on harping over the same subject again and again, all the while blithely ignoring their own past.

      • Bruce Chatwin

        “The real problem is that some people, to suit their own biases, racial prejudices, and grievances, hypocritically insist on harping over the same subject again and again”
        The same could be said for the Che’s of this world battering on about Anglo-Americans.

      • Konwhiskey

        Putting Che’s odious politics aside, though, can you really say he was all that wrong? He was right: Anglo-Americans are in utter denial about their own penchant for bloodlust.

        Before wagging their fingers at other countries, white people ought to set their own house in order.

      • Jitsuji Kyuze

        Google
        Summary of Professor Park Yuha’s Book “Comfort Women of Empire”
        to find out the truth.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        You’re sure that 100% of “white people” agree with the actions of their governments? Both past and present? I think you paint with too broad a brush.

      • Konwhiskey

        Absolutely not. But whites certainly seem to believe the same about the Japanese. Therein lies the rub.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        See, there you go with that broad brush again, when you say whites I assume you mean ALL whites? No? And do you mean ALL whites believe ALL Japanese agree with the actions of their governments past and present? If so, then you are no better than those “whites” (and I assume here you are talking about “the West”, where of course EVERYone is white…) who DO believe that. What’s good for the goose…

      • Konwhiskey

        The continued actions of the United States, for example, speaks for itself. Somewhere out there, Santayana is spinning in his grave.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Why is it that you, and your fellow Hino-Maru wavers, all seem incapable of actually directly answering whatever question is put to you? If anyone is blinded by opinion it’s you lot.

      • blondein_tokyo

        I see. You simply repeat the same false dichotomy again and again, hoping each time that it will become truer, or something. I actually have NO idea where this logic of yours comes from, because it’s actually not logical at all.

      • Konwhiskey

        I was merely answering your point.

        And as for the ianfu issue, I don’t deny it. But it is ridiculous and hypocritical to forever damn Japan for its actions that it has atoned for in good faith, while other countries that committed acts just as vile are allowed to forget their past.

        By the way, how was it that the Dutch even ended up in Indonesia in the first place?

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      “…receding into the mists of history…” so therefore should be forgotten? There are people still alive today who were directly involved, or affected by these events. While the first group will no doubt agree with you, I doubt the second will. And considering recent developments in politics Japan, those lessons learned seem to have been forgotten again. Sorry if the deaths of so many people reduces you to yawning, you can get back to your Hello Kitty now.

      • Konwhiskey

        During the time of the Pacific War, slavery, the Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, the forced partition of Panama from Colombia, and the Banana Wars were all inhabiting the world of living memory. Did anybody care then? (And judging white people’s delight in “regime change” are they any wiser now?)

        If these countries and peoples are allowed to excuse their bestiality (when not outright ignorant of it), why continue bashing Japan? If it disturbs these people so, let it be like Caliban raging at himself in the mirror.

        As for the “Hello Kitty” comment, I’m not exactly sure what you mean. But if anybody wants Japan to do as you say, not as you do and remain a purveyor of

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Well, I’ll ignore the unfinished final sentence. As I’ve said to other people on here like yourself, who defend Japan at every turn, I and a good number of other “white people” DO care about what our countries and governments do. We protest and decry such actions as you’ve described, haven’t you seen us marching in the streets? But I live in Japan, and have done for some time. Just because I wasn’t born here doesn’t mean I shouldn’t point out the same kind of behaviour.

      • Konwhiskey

        My point in that unfinished sentence (my phone browser was acting up) was that if anybody would be Hello Kitty obsessed, it most certainly is you and your kind (i.e. the sort of people that want Japan to remain eternally obsequious and apologetic to white people, content to crank out inoffensive kitsch, while making as much of their comely lasses available to any and all with a penchant for “yellow fever”).

        And, no, I haven’t seen you marching in the streets, or better still, taking real action in the voting booth.

        Also, you didn’t answer my point concerning the Mexican-American War, etc.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Pff, “you and your kind”, how very assumptive and offensive. You have NO idea as to what “me and my kind” are, NOR do you have any idea about “what I want”. So, let me be assumptive and offensive back, as you are just another “defend Japan at all costs” troll specialising in side arguments, and there’s no actual chance of real discussion with you as you are just as blinkered as you say I am, goodbye.

      • Loren Fykes

        Where are you from, and what is the most salient issue for you in your original home country?

  • http://japedant.blogspot.jp/ Japedant

    The mere fact this issue still ‘actively’ debated today suggests the issue is no longer historical but rather political. So Abe cabinet is trying to set up military brothels all around the world? If so, the article would be very relevant. Otherwise, nobody cares.
    BTW, what do you think of the reporter of that ultranationalist newspaper Sankei Shinbun who is STILL detained in South Korea? Oh, I think that’s totally irrelevant to today’s world.
    I think I’m still not educated enough to understand what the dark side of the sun would be like.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/salondesimone/ Macarons & Sakura Tea

    Shinto is very alive and well in Japan (land of the ‘gods’). It may in part explain such limiting mindset not only with respect to race but also in the attempt to consign to the esoteric some of its ugly secrets (wartime atrocities; Fukushima fumble; &c.).

    • Konwhiskey

      No different than in the US where your average citizen believes that their nation has been preternaturally blessed by God. If so, it has clearly been to the detriment of a lot of other nations (beginning with its southern neighbors).

  • Hisatake

    (cont) Asahi had been reporting about government’s “kyosei-renko” policy on Korean comfort women since the 80s. Their story was based on the testimony of Seiji Yoshida(吉田清治) who was the only ex-government official who confessed how Japanese authorities drafted Korean comfort women under the Mobilization Law. Finally, in 1993, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono had to admit that the government did “kyosei-renko” Korean women for comfort stations without concrete evidence.

    However, this year, after more that two decades, Asahi shinbun admitted that Yoshida’s testimony was false. They also admitted that Kim Hak-sun never said she was a member of Women’s Volunteer Corp. And the documents they claimed to be the evidence of “military’s involvement” 20 years ago–are being pointed out by many people that it has nothing to do with “Kyosei-renko” policy or National Mobilization Law.

    • http://www.coconutconnections.blogspot.com Thea Bisenberger-van der Wal

      Japan is trying to change the truth. The truth which hurt. Shame on Japan, shame on this government under the leadership of Sinzo Abe who seems not to be able to stand up and take the blame. The BLAME which will haunt Japan forever.

      • johnniewhite

        I am sorry? Japan is trying to correct the mistakes, and not trying to change the truth. Please do not propagate lies.

      • http://www.coconutconnections.blogspot.com Thea Bisenberger-van der Wal

        Why are they changing the Kono statement?? I am angry and sad for these poor women who were only young girls and even young boys, who were forced into prostitution. They telling this is just slander?? My mother and her sister were raped. I was a war child, locked up by the Japanese in a camp, almost starved to death, with my two cousins. You are saying that Japan is trying to correct their forefathers mistakes. This government is in denial.I am telling the truth and nothing but the truth in our camp young girls were taken by the Kempetai and Japanese Officers. This was Moentilan camp and the date was January 25,1944. Don’t tell me that I am lying, I was there.

      • johnniewhite

        What I can say is that the issue is blown out of proportion for the political propaganda of Japanese left-wing, to the extent that it is absurd. The present situation only pleases the people who hate Japan. If you examine the historical record, you will find that Japanese government has apologized and compensated in the past on numerous occasions, but these were totally ignored. What Korean is doing in USA (to build monuments) is primarily a cover up of the real issue — Takeshima (Dokdo) which Korea took from Japan by force in 1952.

      • http://www.coconutconnections.blogspot.com Thea Bisenberger-van der Wal

        I am talking not only about the Korean women I am talking about girls from many other nations, who were taken by force. Many were Dutch girls, girls from our camps.. I am also talking about raping girls, women in the camps who were raped. Young boys no older than 10 were raped by homosexual Japanese military, who were locked up behind high walls and fences, so the world could not see what happened in these so called protection camps, which the former Japanese Forces told us we should call it.If we called it different we would be severely punished.Who did we had to be protected from????. Terrible things went on in these so called protection camps.Japan has never paid compensation. Which bye the way we don’t really want anymore. There is no price to be paid for the lives which were taken and the lives from the girls who were forced into prostitution, and the young boys who’s lives were ruined for life, if they lived.Their war never ended, once a war victim always a war victim.We Dutch never received a penny, and if my mother was still alive today…You know what she would say;” I do not want your dirty money”. Give me my life back and my husband, that’s what she would say. Lives in a war are destroyed forever, there is no price which can pay their sorrows and their losses. Only the victims can understand this.A thousand people say and can testify that the Japanese kept brothels and kidnapped girls and forced them into prostitution and two people say, it has not happened. Who would you believe? The persons who were there or the ones who were born in 1954. Because that’s the year Shinzo was born.Japan has still a lot to learn. This subject could have been done and over with years ago. Now it will only haunt Japan forever.

      • johnniewhite

        I am sorry that you are the victim of war. It’s beyond imagination. I hope that your government will negotiate with Japanese government to settle anything to do with what happened during the war. Please also think about those people of Asia — your Dutch military invaded, and I cannot guess how many people they killed innocent Asian people. That is the larger context of 20th century history, and I hope that you will also consider those Asian people who suffered under Dutch brutal regeme as well.

      • http://www.coconutconnections.blogspot.com Thea Bisenberger-van der Wal

        I should not even answer your accusation. Wonder how old you are. Ask any Indonesia person about the good the Dutch colonials have done. My husband and I worked in Jamaica for twenty years. You really think it was all roses. We have met wonderful people and not so wonderful people. We worked with them, we argued with them and we cried with them. And many Indonesian people can tell that they had the same experience.The colonials were very hard working people and there were good and bad

        ones. So for people who stand on the side lines, its easy to tell their opinion. While we were in the camps many of our Indonesian friends try to throw food over the high walls and fences. If caught they would be severely punished by the former Japanese military, many of such stories my mother told me. So you see not all Asian people suffered under the brutal Dutch regime. And bye the way, we do not hate Japan there are very many people of Japan who suffered just like us under the brutal regime of the Japanese military.We have many many friends in Indonesia and so do my friends from the former Dutch Indies. We have a connection which will never be broken.

      • Konwhiskey

        You must be seriously deluded. If the Dutch were so beloved by the Indonesians, then why did Sukarno spend over a decade imprisoned? Why was it that he, Suharto, and many others—ironically enough galvanized by the Japanese—fight to throw off the Dutch yoke once and for all?

      • Konwhiskey

        This guy gets it! It’s not about forgetting or denying Japan’s actions in the past. Rather, my point is that its actions are not in the least way exceptional. In fact, if anything, they were based on prior American, English, and indeed Dutch actions. So why must Japan be made to atone for its sins for all eternity while the three other countries are allowed to get off the hook?

      • blondein_tokyo

        It’s well known that where any soldiers are, brothels won’t be far away. I also have no doubt that some women have been forced to work in them, as sex trafficking unfortunately happens all over the world. And although I haven’t studied this question, I can imagine that the Japanese government isn’t the only government complicit in recruiting women for the purpose of sexual slavery.

        But your claim that the US, UK, and Dutch *governments* were complicit in recruiting women for *sexual slavery* is outrageous.

        I’d like to see evidence of when the governments of the US, UK and
        Netherlands enslaved women from other countries and forced them to work
        in brothels for their military. Show us the proof, or take back that claim. Otherwise, you’ll be branded a liar.

      • Konwhiskey

        It should be noted that the monuments built in the US, despite rhetoric to the contrary, pointedly only commemorate Korean losses. That alone says a lot.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        You can’t just cherry-pick your historical points of contention jonniewhite. Did Korea (divided or whole) ever take over Japan? And despite what you may think, I don’t hate Japan, or Japanese people as a people. What I DO hate is the actions of the government (past and present), the media, and people such as yourself, who want the world to just forget about heinous incidents in the past, and lap up the “kawaii Japan cool” B.S. Perhaps if you had had the experience of Thea you might see things somewhat differently.

      • johnniewhite

        I think you only speak from your own experience of what you see and hear, particularly what you like to hear and believe. When one studies history fairly and objectively, one can then see more clearly why things have unfolded in the way it did.

        If you did not know about S. Korea attacked Takeshima and took the islands away while Japan is under US occupation in 1952, please look it up.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        And how is what YOU say NOT from your own experience of what YOU see and hear and like to believe? Just because we hold an opinion different to yours does not make us “wrong”, despite your opinion that we are. You do us a great dis-credit by assuming, and saying basically, that we have no ability to see the truth in history while you are imbued with all-knowing clarity.

      • johnniewhite

        I formed my opinion after I read more widely than yourself — not only those articles written for political propaganda purposes but also those written by historians who examined the historical evidence. Please look out for the forthcoming article by Michael Yon, an award-winning American journalist, who is going to write a devastating revelation for whose people who wish to believe in Japan bashing with the so-called ‘Comfort Women’ issue.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Might I just inquire as to how you believe you have any idea as to how widely read I am? Oh, that’s right, I forgot, you’re omniscient, and what YOU’VE read bears no further scrutiny because it agrees with what YOU believe. Pot – kettle.

      • johnniewhite

        Don’t be silly. Experts can easily judge the writings of novice writers. Imagine the situation where professors at university examine students’ work.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        So then, just exactly what kind of expert are you? Don’t be shy…

      • carmelsan@yahoo.com

        If you are genuinely open to looking at some evidence, I would suggest you read “Fifty Years of Silence” by Jan Ruff O’Herne, a former Dutch woman abducted and repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers. オランダ慰安婦ジャンの物語 is the Japanese title. No-one is saying Japan is the only country who committed war crimes. The problem is that the right wing media and the government are again/still trying to deny it happened. As long as people keep denying the truth, people will continue to complain. Germany does not deny the holocaust. The US does not deny the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please stop trying to change the topic by bringing up other unrelated matters.

      • Konwhiskey

        Again, nobody is “forgetting” anything. Rather, the point is that the way Japan’s actions are portrayed as unique and somehow inimical to the Japanese character itself is wrong, while the same actions by other countries are indeed allowed to recede into “history” (Does you average American really have any guilt over the legacy of slavery or stealing over half of Mexican territory? Does your average Belgian have a shadow cast over them permanently over their ancestors’ atrocities in the Congo?).

        If the rest of the world is allowed to be forgiven and be able to move on, why not Japan?

      • blondein_tokyo

        “Does the average American really have any guilt over the legacy of slavery?”

        Yes, we do. And the ones who don’t are branded as racists by the rest of us decent human beings. There is even a movement in the US to get the American government to pay restitution, though admittedly it doesn’t have much traction (for reasons I don’t think need to be gone into, as this is a digression).

        It’s pretty obvious that ordinary people of all countries are quite willing to stand up and say their government has done wrong- what we want however, what THIS ARTICLE is actually about, is for the GOVERNMENT itself to make this admission of wrongdoing. Not its people; it’s *government*, and in a way that leaves no doubt as to the role it played.

  • http://www.coconutconnections.blogspot.com Thea Bisenberger-van der Wal

    When is Japan finally lifting the clouds which are blocking their Rising Sun??? Oh….how my mother hated that flag to her dying day..How uncontrolled their former Japanese military were, they said day in day out that they were allowed to do to these women and children whatever they liked, because they were their property, all in the name of their Emperor Hirohito. Cowards they were, and they had no respect for life. They raped innocent women and girls. My mother and her sister were raped while behind high walls with 4200 other women and children for three and a half years in camp Moentilan a former Xavier catholic college, and in all places in the church on the property. Mr. Konwiskey if this is boring to you and you have to yawn, let me remind you over and over again what George Santayana tried to remind us, he said the following:” Those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it”. and that’s exactly what’s happening now. I do not think that Japan learned their lessons. Japan is still denying all atrocities inflicted on human beings. My mother and her sister had to live the rest of their lives with the nightmares inflicted on them by these so called soldiers. Soldiers who are just like ISIS today, windup little puppets on a string.We children have seen a lot during our captivity, which stays with us forever. Hearing my mother’s screams, when again and again she had nightmares. I can go on and on. History should never end up into the mist. History should be lessons to be learned, so it will never happen again. We should remind Japan over and over again that their fathers and forefathers who were in the military used these women for slavery and sex slavery. My father died on the Burma railway as a POW slave laborer, tortured, starved, worked, and beaten to death, with thousands of other men. Should we just let them disappear into the mists of history. I am wearing my POPPY today, not only for World War One but also for World War Two. We should never forget history, and those who were responsible for inflicting human tragedy. It’s time for Japan to take responsibility for their past.

    • https://www.youtube.com/user/salondesimone/ Macarons & Sakura Tea

      Mme. Thea‚ I am one with you in your fight. I come from the Philippines where many women and children also suffered as your beloved aunt and mother from the bestiality of the imperial Japanese soldiers. There is not much to expect under Abe’s government—he worships the zealot Kishi‚ his grandfather. Nonetheless‚ we must continue hoping- and fighting- for justice.

    • Konwhiskey

      Buddy, Japan has taken responsibility for its past—again and again. What I find hypocritical is white Anglo-Americans that feel the need to relentlessly kick up the dust of their neighbors’ past, while becoming sheepish or tying themselves into knots in a vain attempt to justify their own bloody history.

      • Jitsuji Kyuze

        Please google
        Summary of Professor Park Yuha’s Book “Comfort Women of Empire”
        to find out the truth.

      • blondein_tokyo

        This is the same false dichotomy we see every time Japan is criticized. It’s possible to condemn your own country’s bloody history while at the same time condemning Japan’s. Your argument here, then, is nonsensical and can be utterly dismissed.

      • Konwhiskey

        I have no problem with criticizing when criticizing is due. My problem is with the moralists who criticize Japan as if its actions are singular and unique. But anybody that has read up on their Russian, French, British, or US history, for example, will know that isn’t true. Nor do I subscribe to the notion that Japan hasn’t atoned enough; it already has and how. Short of the Japanese nation committing collective seppuku, what more can be done?

      • blondein_tokyo

        This article in no way either explicitly or implicitly states that any country has moral high ground
        over Japan. You seem to want constant disclaimers peppered thought every article to ensure that readers won’t make the mistake of assuming that anyone who criticisms Japan isn’t equally critical of other countries who’ve also committed similar human rights violations.

        But that must mean that you think readers can’t understand that a criticism of one particular country doesn’t exonerate another country’s actions. That’s just like a small child complaining to his mom, “But Billy did it too!! You never yell at Billy the way you yell at me.” In other words, it’s completely puerile. Anyone with adult level critical reading skills should be able to understand that criticising one country in no way implies other countries are above criticism.

        Yes, through the Kono statement Japan has apologised and given *some* compensation from the Asian Women’s Fund. But that money came from private funds, NOT the government, and the government hasn’t even come close to admitting the role it played and instead blame it on recruiters who were working for the Imperial Army. And rather than supporting the victims, individual politicians constantly call them liars and threaten to vote to withdraw the Kono statement altogether, while constantly chipping away at the statement’s standing by denying it acknowledges the government’s role, and/or denying the women were held against their wills. This happens at least a few times a year, and those politicians aren’t even censured for it. Additionally, the Japanese Embassy has protested when other countries put up memorials to the comfort women, such as the one last year in Virginia. Those are the actions that tell us that even if the government is giving lip service to the idea, they don’t actually think there’s been any real wrongdoing.

        What should Japan do, other than commit collect seppuku, you ask? They can stop protesting, stop denying it was sexual slavery and stop calling them by the euphemistic “comfort women.” They should also compensate those women fairly, using money taken from government funds, and they should officially censure any politician who speaks out against the Kono statement or tries to deny it’s intent.

      • JSS00

        No. Yet another apologist.

    • Jitsuji Kyuze

      Please google search
      Summary of Professor Park Yuha’s Book “Comfort Women of Empire”
      to find out the truth.

    • Robert Heng Woo Lim

      My SYMPATHIES,Thea !!!

  • Hisatake

    (cont)That was when Asahi shinbun ran a article about ex-comfort women named Kim Hak-sun who had been drafted as a member of volunteer corp being identified in South Korea (Aug.11, 1991) . Asahi shinbun shook the nation of Japan more fiercely when they ran an article on January 11, 1992 on its front page that documents proving the military’s “involvement” which contradicts the explanation given by the government were discovered.(cont)

  • Hisatake

    (cont)Asahi had been reporting about government’s “kyosei-renko” policy on Korean comfort women since the 80s. Their story was based on the testimony of Seiji Yoshida(吉田清治) who was the only ex-government official who confessed how Japanese authorities drafted Korean comfort women under the Mobilization Law. Finally, in 1993, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono had to admit that the government did “kyosei-renko” Korean women for comfort stations without concrete evidence.

    However, this year, after more that two decades, Asahi shinbun admitted that Yoshida’s testimony was false. They also admitted that Kim Hak-sun never said she was a member of Women’s Volunteer Corp. And the documents they claimed to be the evidence of “military’s involvement” 20 years ago–are being pointed out by many people that it has nothing to do with “Kyosei-renko” policy or National Mobilization Law.

    • Bruce Chatwin

      Yoshida’s and Kim Hak-sun’s testimony was false, therefore all other testimony was false? Perhaps a refresher course in elementary logic is in order?

      • Hisatake

        Read carefully, did I say Kim Hak-sun’s testimony was false? Nope, I didn’t.
        Anyway, for some reason first half of my comment seems to have been omitted.

      • Bruce Chatwin

        Yoshida’s testimony was false, therefore all other testimony was false?

      • Konwhiskey

        No, but neither does it mean that history is the clear-cut moral lesson you seem to think it to be.

      • Jitsuji Kyuze

        Google search
        Summary of Professor Park Yuha’s Book “Comfort Women of Empire”
        to find out the truth.
        Also read other articles on this site.

      • Hisatake

        Whatever, this was the first half of my comment.
        ——————

        I don’t know who is shamming the nation of Japan. Abe or Asahi, I don’t care. But I just thought I should let the readers know the background of this issue.

        The debate over “kyosei-renko(強制連行)” of Korean comfort women began on June 6, 1990 when lawmaker Motooka Shoji (本岡昭次) of Social Democratic Party questioned the government whether or not Korean comfort women were (forcibly) drafted as part of “Kyosei-renko” policy during the WW2 (“強制連行の中に従軍慰安婦という形で連行されたという事実もあるんですが、そのとおりですか”).

        The government’s answer was: recruitment of Korean comfort women were not part of National Mobilization Law but was done by civilians (“従軍慰安婦の業務とはこれは関係がないように私どもとして考えられます…総動員法に基づく業務としてはそういうことは行っていなかった、このように聞いております”) .And later explained that therefore no documents were preserved neither in the Ministry of Labor nor Ministry of Welfare which were responsible for “Kyosei-renko” policy.

        South Korea’s civic groups expressed strong regret over Japanese government’s explanation. In their open letter to Prime minister Kaifu, they claimed Korean women were drafted as volunteer corps to serve as comfort women by the request of Emperor’s army quoting the testimony by Seiji Yoshida(吉田清治).

        Lawmakers of SDP were also not convinced. On April 1, 1991, Motooka urged the government to conduct a through research claiming that he was sure government had drafted Korean women as members of volunteer corps and sent them to the front lines to serve as comfort women (“政府が関与し軍がかかわって、女子挺身隊という名前によって朝鮮の女性を従軍慰安婦として強制的に南方の方に連行したということは、私は間違いない事実だというふうに思います”).

        The government once again explained that neither the Ministry of Labor nor Ministry of Welfare had anything to do with recruitment of Korean comfort women (“厚生省勤労局も国民勤労動員署も朝鮮人従軍慰安婦といった問題には全く関与していなかったということでございまして”). (cont)

      • Loren Fykes

        It sounds like the Japanese is as full of semantics as any other explanation. The Japanese seems to equivocate on the issue. OF COURSE, if the Imperial Army made the request, then this would be separate from a Ministry oversight. Just because the Ministry says it was not involved doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and that it wasn’t forced. I don’t get why that Japanese explanation functions as a explanation.

      • Jitsuji Kyuze

        Asahi admitted not only Yoshida’s false testimony, but it also admitted it mistook factory workers for comfot women, which inflated the number of comfort women from a few thousand to 200,000. Please google:
        Summary of Professor Park Yuha’s Book “Comfort Women of Empire”
        to know the comlete truth about comfort women.

  • anoninjapan

    Pity the correct term “sex slaves” was not used consistently and correctly. Perhaps the evil eye of censorship has already done its editing by calling them “comfort women” just as the narrative from the Gov.t wants them too. Makes it sound all nice and fluffy then, neh!

    The correct term of ‘sex slaves’ has been used by the US, via the then secretary of state Hillary Clinton in 2007 I think it was, in a US report on the events to congress. Telling them to use the correct term, not a fluffy euphemism.

    I was overseas in SE Asia on business recently, a large editorial in the national newspaper picked up on these very worrying events of Abe/Japan wishing to rewrite history because it does not think it did anything wrong and is the “victim” and with their “.please use the comfort women term as they were not sex slaves.” narrative.

    • Konwhiskey

      Pity the sex slave industry in places like Thailand, the Philippines, and (irony of ironies) South Korea that exists mainly to service visiting white males (and in the case of Korea, mostly US service personnel).

      • anoninjapan

        And that classic (yawn) misdirection is relevant to Japan’s WWII sex slave factual abuses how?

      • Konwhiskey

        You seem to have difficulty with reading comprehension.(Is English your first language?) My “yawn” wasn’t directed toward the ianfu at all; their suffering is a matter of historical record. Rather, I was taking a shot at all the faux outrage from whites who still believe 70 years on that Japan is somehow in need of a “lesson” or that it has yet to show remorse for its past aggression, to say nothing of the Koreans and Chinese who bash Japan on a regular basis out of political convenience and a sense of rivavlry that existed far before Japan even dreamed of imperial ambitions.

      • anoninjapan

        Ahh i see now, your comprehension is limited to your own point of view that fortuitously for you means you do not need to address the actual question at hand as you don’t understand it, thus you misdirect You don’t wish to address the question at hand and as such i see you are consistent with your yawning (predictable) misdirection, brining in non sequitur from subject/topics totally unrelated hoping to avoid the topic at hand. Nice one..what else can you do..lift heavy weights too?

  • Yves Vannes

    Dear Japan, Welcome to the “Club”:

    The club I refer to is that of societies and nations that
    find themselves host to members of a certain ethnic tribe. It is supposedly a faith, but if one is not
    of the blood then one is always an outsider.
    They don’t actually have a culture of their own; they are a tribe of
    wanderers who take on the culture and habits of their hosts. A parasite that can accomplish great good and
    great evil.

    All civilizations are built upon blood and more blood. This is no secret and no civilization can
    claim otherwise. We live in an age when
    all of our shortcomings are catalogued, made public and repeated again and
    again and again. This is where the “tribe”
    I refer to comes in: they relish pointing out the moral and historical
    imperfections of their host nations.
    Their purpose in doing so is to destabilize that society so they can
    latch on to some sliver of it – preferably unnoticed – and grow like a
    maladaptive virus giving the illusion of robust health while secreting a cancerous tissue to rot a civilization from
    within.

    The fall and decline of the West is the work of the West, we
    have done this to ourselves. But the
    seed of that cancer was in large part laid by this wandering “tribe”. They opened the gates of Constantinople and
    let the enemy in – thus fell the Eastern Empire; they opened the gates of
    Granada and thus opened the way into Europe for the invaders – who were
    eventually stopped half a day’s ride from Paris.
    Today, their fingerprints are evident
    everywhere and in every Western nation in advocating open and near unlimited immigration
    from the 3rd world. They
    achieve this by endlessly pointing out all of the shortcomings of the West in
    graphic detail. We in the West are now
    defined not as a culture and civilization with 2 millennia of civilization building
    – but as a people that can and should only be defined in how we have and do
    interact with non-traditional Western societies. And so defined, the only redemption for our
    historical wrongs is to open the gates and allow the 3rd World unwashed to run over our civilization –
    altering it beyond recognition, thus destroying it. Observe Sweden. The United States is now defined and has its
    political agenda set by the least productive and most criminal group in the
    nation who make up only 13% of the population (Members of the “tribe” have been
    the most vociferous advocates for the Black achievement gap being due to
    racism)(During the past 50 years the USA has spent 20 Trillion dollars in
    trying to close this gap to ZERO EFFECT).
    70% of the births in the greater Paris region are to “new” Frenchmen from
    North Africa and Africa – “new” Frenchmen account for 35% of the overall
    birthrate throughout France. One can go
    country by country in the West and observe this trend. This is called progress. In the time we’ve gone from Alexander Graham
    Bell to the iphone 6, the USA has seen a
    7 fold increased in the violent crime rate – in the UK it has increase 50 fold.
    This is still called progress.

    As stated we did this to ourselves but our outlook was in
    large part seeded by members of this particular tribe. They are not all manipulative in this way.
    75% of them are useful and able members of society and would add to any
    civilization. But that other 25% are a
    canker that acts like a parasite infecting one healthy organism after
    another. Suck the lifeblood out of one nation
    then moving on to another. It seems that a
    few of these “tribe” members have moved on to Japan. For now to seed a distaste for your own
    culture and to develop and over exaggerated sense of guilt to the point you feel the need to take action
    to redeem yourselves by opening your borders and becoming the Sweden of the Far
    East.

    I would suggest keeping a close eye on the activities of
    members of this “tribe”. The long-term
    welfare of your civilization may depend upon it.

    Korea has a vibrant steel industry and auto industry – in large part to to Japanese investment and technical assistance. No member of the “Tribe” will ever toot that horn. Guaranteed!

    An admirer of your civilization and frequent guest of your
    nation.

  • Konwhiskey

    But again, all this pontificating about the exceptionability of Japan’s atrocities, and all I can keep thinking is: What is a Dutch national doing in Indonesia in the first place? When your ancestors conquered that archipelago, do you honestly think it was all done by invitation from the natives, all with smiles on their faces?

    • saitamarama

      Konwhiskey, I actually find myself agreeing with you about the double-standard imposed on Japan that they have nonetheless made a good faith effort to repay (despite the unfortunate rhetoric on BOTH sides). The fact of the matter is that Thea has been directly affected by what was, any way you slice it, forcible and unjustifiable brutalization of women and children. I understand the broader point you wish to make about Dutch colonial efforts and hope my earlier referencing of the Vietnamese experience shows I’m not entirely ignorant to this topic, but frankly you come off as a bully on this front. Of course you are free to pursue any line of dialogue you wish but I just wanted to put that out there.

  • Konwhiskey

    And, judging from your reply, Anglo-Americans seem to continue believing that they’re eternally blameless, that their own past is bloodless.

    And comparing Germany with Japan is useless. To start with, they each had completely different reasons for entering into a state of war. Furthermore, the way they were treated by the Allied powers was distinct. In the case of divided Germany, each one was integrated quickly into their respective spheres of influence in order to present a showcase of their respective masters’ reigning political and economic ideologies. Matters concerning history, of course, weren’t forgotten. But countries like, say, France and the USSR which suffered directly from German belligerence were also encouraged to bury the axe, so to speak, for the sake of economic expediency and international integration (e.g. the EU, the Warsaw Pact).

    Japan, unfortunately, wasn’t allowed that same integration vis-a-vis the rest of East Asia. In essence it was detached and put under the direct supervision of the US. That fouled up matters a considerable deal with its neighbors, helping to create the poisoned atmosphere that exists today. Because there was no supranational organization of states in East Asia, countries like Japan and South Korea weren’t really encouraged to face up to history (which Japan indeed has) and forgive (which South Korea will never do). Certainly in the latter’s case, there was and continues to be no incentive to do so (especially as Koreans themselves are complicit in much of the atrocities perpetuated in the Pacific War).

    As an interesting side note, Japan would have been one of the very first nations to recognize the PRC government. When the US occupiers got word of this, they strongarmed the Japanese into backing down, basically threatening them with permanent occupation if they ever did otherwise. Fancy that.

  • Adam

    Yeah, and it’s still happening. There are lots of places in Japan that are called Comfort Health or Comfort Station or Fashion Health or Delivery Health, etc. These are, as Jake noted, not places where people play chess. It’s literally right next door to the karaoke, totally in the open, legal right now today in Japan. (There are technical ways to get around the law, well documented, by playing games with the semantics, Clinton style.) So there’s no issue of apology for that: the question becomes, does society think it’s okay and do they want it to be ongoing? Do they want to legalize it and are they okay with that? Does it matter if a person gets a marginal salary? These are important questions to reflect on.

  • johnniewhite

    A famous American journalist, Michael Yon, is going to publish his article shortly. He investigated this issue, and confirmed that those ‘facts’ which you believe in were in fact nothing more than political propaganda. It was not Japanese right-wingers trying to change the fact — it was left-wing Japanese newspapers and human-rights lawyers, together with Chinese Communist Party, wanted to damage then the conservative government of Japan in 1980s and 90s.

    You would need to relearn the history, I am afraid.

    • Bruce Chatwin

      Japan good. Rest of world bad.
      Johnniewhite’s Facebook page:

      日の丸を背負ってイギリスで頑張っています。
      シナと朝鮮の歴史捏造に立腹しています。打倒するまでがんばるぞ!
      Translation: Waving the Hinomaru (Japanese) flag in England. I am so mad about the lies that China and Korea tell about their history. Keep fighting until we win!

  • Mariko Shimizu

    The Asashi Shinbun apologized for the Yoshida Seiji’s false reports,
    but its moral fiber looks still poor as far as its English edition The Japan Times is concerned; the media has not changed its stance and still keeps itself busy at attacking Japan with misinformation about the Unit 731—misinformation via Seiichi Morimura, who also retracted his book on the Unit 731, which he had written at the recommendation by the Chinese Communist Party. He admitted having been the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party. The Japan Times should know much better than spreading lie and deceit one after another.

    >The government has never issued a formal apology to the victims of Unit 731.

    One has to come out with evidence to ask for an apology, right?
    As far as the Unit 731 is concerned, even the Wiki page has the wrong image. The photo shows a Japanese victim with her traditional Japanese socks.

    • Mariko Shimizu

      The Wiki photo they took May in 1928, at a hospital in Jinan.
      The Chinese soldiers looted, raped, killed Japanese civilians in Jinan located in Shandong, which is part of the East China region. Jinan Incident claimed the 400 Japanese victims. The autopsies were conducted with the Chinese authority attending
      to witness these victims.

      ■FUJI KOJIRO
      his head and face skins were peeled off.
      his eye balls were taken out
      his guts were exposed
      his penis was castrated

      ■TOJYO YATARO
      his both hands tied up and dragged on the ground
      his skull was smashed, the small brain exposed
      his eye balls coming out of the sockets

      ■TOJYO KIN(female aged 24)
      her face, head and abdomen skins were peeled
      a wooden stick was stuck in her vagina
      her both hands were tied with her sash onto her back
      her face, chest, nipples were stabbed
      the broken rib

      ■INOUE KUNITARO
      smashed face
      both eye balls taken out and stones were implanted

      ■MIYAMOTO NAOHACHI
      bullets and saber wounds all over the body
      castrated

      ■TAHIRA SADAICHI
      iron stake on the head
      abdomen cut out, small intestines exposed

      ■NAKAZATO SHIGETARO
      totally destroyed face
      smashed skull bones
      innumerable scars on the body

      ■TAKAKUMA UME(女性)
      broken rib
      right eye ball popped out
      burned all over the body
      nothing left under the left knee

      The other corpses were hard to tell whose they were; their faces were cut to the degrees one could identify; their bodies and limbs were cut away

      • Mariko Shimizu

        >According to military documents, Nakasone ordered his troops in Southeast Asia to “gather the local women (土人女) and make a comfort station.” It’s unlikely to be a place where people played shogi (Japanese chess).

        The literal translation runs “I let them recruit local women.”
        The Japan Times twisted this into “I gathered local women” preying on the readers who can’t read Japanese properly.
        WHY!?, it’s the Japan Times that has been incapable of reading Japanese and comprehending it properly.

        If Nakasone had done anything against the military rules,
        he would have been accused and punished accordingly,
        like the officer, who was involved in the abduction in Sumatra.

        Brothels for Japanese Imperial soldiers had strict rules;
        soldiers were not allowed to harm women there.
        A soldier was not allowed to have a drink, though
        comfort woman was called woman serving rice wine,
        how could he afford to play shogi?!If

        Incidentally, Nakasone refers to Go, which they changed into shyogi?!

  • Hanten

    Great article, Jake Adelstein. Thank you! Trying to get to get history based on thousands of accounts re-written because of one account is proved false is insulting to the thousands of others.