The Imperial Japanese Army asked the government to provide one "comfort woman," or ianfu in Japanese, for every 70 soldiers, according to documents reviewed by Kyodo News on Friday that shed new light on the wartime practice of forcing and coercing women into military brothels.

The documents were collected by the Cabinet Secretariat between April 2017 and March 2019. Of the 23 documents, 13 are classified dispatches from Japanese consulates in China to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo dated 1938, the year after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident that sparked the Second Sino-Japanese War.

One dispatch from the consul general of Jinan to the foreign minister reports that the Japanese invasion had caused a surge in prostitution in the area, with a head count of 101 geisha from mainland Japan, 110 comfort women from mainland Japan, and 228 comfort women from the Korean Peninsula, which had been annexed in 1910.