The Truth about Comfort Women
The Truth about Comfort Women
A “comfort girl” is nothing more than a prostitute.
UNITED STATES OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION
Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49.
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact
The Truth about Comfort Women
Published by the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact
Shin SakumaBldg., 3F, 2-13-14, Nishi Shimbashi,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0003 JAPAN
Copyright ©2014 by the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact.
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form.
Printed in Japan.
Japanese, Chinese and Korean personal names have been rendered surname first, in accordance with the customs in those countries.
Preface … 4
1. “Fabricating Historical Facts” by Henry Scott Stokes … 5
2. “The Comfort -Women Issue: An Ignored Perspective by Tony Marano … 13
3. “Comfort Women in Korea” by KASE Hideaki … 17
4. “Lies Inscribed on the Stone Monument in Glendale and the Comfort Women Controversy” by MOTEKI Hiromichi … 21
The so-called “comfort women” controversy is humiliating, not only to Japan and the Japanese people but also to Korea and the Korean people.
If the outrageous accusations against Japan were true, they would show the Japanese people in an extremely bad light. But at the same time, the accusations would also greatly insult the Korean people. For even though there were supposedly some 200,000 Korean girls snatched from their homes, there were no instances of resistance, to say nothing of revolt, in Korea. Would not this make the Korean people look bad? Would we have ever encountered such cowards at any other time in world history?
Moreover, no Korean government made any mention of this issue during a period of fourteen years of negotiations for the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and Korea. Isn’t this fact an unpardonable sin by the Korean government if the accused outrageous human-right violations really took place?
The authors have been appealing to the world through the website of The Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact (http://www.sdh-fact.com) saying that the stories currently circulating about comfort women are lies and fabrications. On that site you can find three books, including Behind the Comfort Women Controversy: How Lies Became Truth by Professor Nishioka Tsutomu of Tokyo Christian University, and more than ten essays.
The booklet you are reading now contains four essays written by an English reporter, an American critic and two Japanese writers. We hope it will help unprejudiced, open-minded readers throughout the world to learn the truth about the comfort women issue.
Fabricating Historical Facts
By Henry Scott Stokes, former Tokyo Bureau Chief of
The New York Times
The so-called “Nanking Massacre” was initially a propaganda tool of the KMT Chinese government in 1937. It was later expanded by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East held in the latter half of the 1940s. Fabrication of history was then inherited by the Japanese media – NHK, the Asahi Shimbun, etc. — and was recorded in school textbooks as truth in the 1980s. As a result, it has reverberated in China. The “Nanking Massacre” – a fabricated history – is currently utilized as a diplomatic and political tool by the Communist government. This is the historical anatomy of the “Nanking Massacre” propaganda. What, then, happened to the “comfort women” issue? The anatomy looks somewhat similar.
The New York Times had its office in the Asahi Shimbun head office in Yurakucho, so I was personally acquainted with the Asahi Shimbun reporter, Fukashiro Junro, who wrote the newspaper’s daily column entitled “Tensei Jingo” or “Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” Fukashiro strongly insisted, repeatedly, that I write about Mishima Yukio. He even came all the way to Zurich to encourage me when I was writing my book The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima. Without his psychological support, I would have never been able to write about Mishima Yukio.
Did Fukashiro mention anything about the comfort women or the “sexual slavery” of the Imperial Japanese Army? I do not think so. At least, it was just not the issue and I don’t have any recollection whatsoever. I must say that the “comfort women” fandango is a phenomenon which came into light after I left The New York Times.
In the past, Koreans respected the Japanese
When I served as a Tokyo Bureau Chief for The Times of London and The New York Times, I was covering Korean affairs in
addition to my responsibility that stretched to all of South East Asia. The impression I had at that time about Korean people in general was that they respected Japan and the Japanese people.
Japan annexed Korea in 1910, five years after Japan’s victory in the Russo-Japanese War. In order to modernize Korea, the amount of effort and expenditure Japan had to set aside was really enormous, establishing medical, police and military systems, building the foundation of today’s Korean society. My understanding is the Korean people accepted such Japanese efforts. Japanese colonial rule was different from western colonial rule, which was based on racial supremacy, of white people against colored people. Korean people were treated, under the Japanese rule, as if they were the same people, the same race. The Japanese race and Korean race were treated equally and Koreans were treated as Japanese nationals. By and large the Japanese and Koreans helped each other and they both seemed to like each other.
When I was reporting on South Korea, almost all Korean people I met respected Japan. Business owners looked to Japan as their model. Lee Kun-hee, the Chairman of Samsung Group, was one of them. Chairman Lee and I are friends of over forty years. He is about my age. Lee and his father led the business world of South Korea. Both of them were graduates of Japan’s Waseda University. I would say almost all top leaders of the South Korean business community adored Japan.
A best-selling author and a professor at Takushoku University in Japan, Oh Seon-hwa, provides us with insightful views. In her book entitled, Why There Is No Future for Anti-Japanese Korea, she explains the background of the Korean people’s recent anti-Japanese mood. According to her, those who experienced Japanese rule before and during WWII were much more empathetic toward Japan and the Japanese. They were not as critical of Japan, the Japanese and their rule of the Korean Peninsula. Such an observation is the same as mine.
Oh presents, based on her interviews of those Koreans who experienced Japanese rule during pre-war and wartime Korea, a new look at Japan’s Imperial rule in the Korean Peninsula. According to Oh, there are four major features of Japanese
colonial rule: (1) no policy that aimed to benefit Japan by plunder was implemented; (2) military suppression was not used at all to execute governing policies; (3) modernization of culture, society and education was rigorously promoted; (4) assimilation of Korean people as mainland (Japanese) people was promoted.
Her opinion differs from mine with respect that she clearly stated, “The Korean Peninsula under Japan’s control was clearly a colony of Japan,” but she also argued that it “had very different characteristics, compared with those under Western Allies’ colonial control.”
The Outcome of Education: No Freedom of Speech
What I was less-informed about, however, was that in educational institutions, anti-Japanese propaganda was taught to Korean students. And the present-day anti-Japanese sentiments of the South Korean people, including that of former President Lee-Myung-bak and incumbent Park Guen-hye, are a result of such an anti-Japan “education”.
Oh further argues why such an anti-Japan mentality cannot easily be wiped out. In a nutshell, according to Oh, “Korea’s anti-Japan nationalism was not formed through Korea’s historical experience of colonial rule by Japan, but it was formed during the post-war period by falsification and fabrication of the history of the period of Japanese rule.” This well explains why the “Allied nations’ victorious view of history” regarding Imperial Japan is in synch with South Korean views of history.
On July 31, 2013, a press conference was held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. The guest speaker was Oh Seon-hwa. It was not my first time seeing her, but it was indeed my first time to see her at my “home” arena at the FCCJ.
Oh, originally from Jeju-do, South Korea, lost her nationality in 1998 and became a naturalized Japanese citizen in 1991. She won her fame in Japan with Swish of the Skirt—a compilation of essays on comparative Japanese and Korean culture. Since then, her keen observations produced many best-selling books in Japan, including critiques on politics as well as views on history, of which Seoul was very critical.
The press conference was held because Oh was refused entry to South Korea at Incheon airport. She said she went to her mother country to attend the wedding of one of her nephews. She was denied entry in 2007 when she went to Seoul to attend her mother’s funeral, but was eventually allowed entry after she contacted Japanese authorities.
What Oh Seon-hwa has done so far is writing books and lecturing. She has never even participated in anti-Korea protests. How could a democratic state deny entry of any individual for expressing his or her opinion by publishing and speaking? Additionally, I have to say that, as far as I know, what she wrote in her books were fair and intelligent observations and factual information. I even assumed that she was sympathetic, if not in love, with the country she was born in—South Korea.
Oh is barred entry into Seoul, though such a decision in turn demonstrates that “freedom of speech” is not allowed in South Korea.
Fabrication of history: “Sex Slaves” of the Japanese Army
Yoshida Seiji, now infamous story-teller, or a liar, published his book entitled Korean Comfort Women and the Japanese in 1977. His stories were groundless but the Asahi Shimbun reported them in September 2, 1982. The headline was “Testimony of the Comfort Women Hunt.” Yoshida exaggerated his stories in his book entitled My War Crimes – Abduction of Koreans. In this book, he wrote, he “and 9 of his subordinates abducted about 200 Korean women and made them comfort women.” The Asahi played the trumpet, reporting “50,000 to 70,000 Korean girls were coerced to be comfort girls” based on the stories Yoshida told in his book, but without any proof. Yoshida book was, then, translated into Korean in August, 1989 and the anti-Japanese mood heightened.
Ms. Heo Yeong-seon, a reporter from the Jeju Ilbo newspaper, however, doubted his story and conducted research in Jeju-do Island only to find “not one witness for the stories described in the book” and “islanders flatly denied the story as ‘nonsense’ and strongly doubted the book’s credibility.” (August 14, 1989)
In 1992, a historian, Hata Ikuhiko, also conducted research in
Jeju-do Island and the Sankei Shimbun reported that there was no evidence to verify Yoshida’s stories. In August 11, 1991, The Asahi Shimbun carried an article by one of its reporter, Uemura Takashi. It was treated as a scoop entitled, “A Former Korean Comfort Woman Opens Her Mouth.”
On January 11, 1992, The Asahi Shimbun carried an article about “comfort women” on the front page above the fold. It referred to a document found by Chuo University professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi. Professor Yoshimi used it as a proof of military involvement, but the document actually warned of malpractice by business operators and called for the military police and the police to strictly crack down on them. Nonetheless, then Prime Minister Miyazawa Kiichi announced his apology two days later. Moreover, the PM apologized 8 times when he visited Korea on January 17, 1992. Since then, the Korean government has intensified its demand for further apology from the Japanese government.
And, at last, the infamous Kono Statement was released on August 4, 1993. The then-Chief Cabinet Secretary admitted to forceful abduction of Korean girls and expressed his apology.
“Comfort women” became an issue internationally when two Japanese lawyers, Totsuka Etsuro and Kaido Yuichi brought the case to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. Mr. Totsuka used the term “sex slaves” to refer to “comfort women.” Mr. Kaido is de facto husband of the incumbent Socialist Party leader Fukushima Mizuho. They are the ones who disseminated the “sex -slave” Imperial Japanese Army issue at the UN.
On July 18, 1993, the Liberal Democratic Party lost control of the government for the first time since 1955. The LDP came back as the ruling party while having then Socialist Party leader Murayama Tomiichi as the Prime Minister of Japan on June 30, 1994. Then, the Asian Peace and Friendship Foundation for Women, the current Asian Women’s Fund, was set up by the Japanese government to distribute compensation to comfort women in South Korea and other Asian nations.
In 1996, a report was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Commission by Radhika Coomaraswamy. The report determined that the so-called comfort women served as “sex slaves” for the former Imperial Japanese Army, based on the testimonies of Seiji
Yoshida published from 1991 to 1992.
In 2000, Matsui Yayori, a feminist editor of The Asahi Shimbun, launched a grotesque event called the International Women’s Tribunal for War Crimes. The “tribunal” started on Dec. 8, the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and the judgment was announced on Dec. 12: Emperor Hirohito was sentenced to death. Just like the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (the so-called Tokyo Trials) was a theater of revenge by MacArthur, Matsui’s International Women’s Tribunal for War Crimes was also biased: to accuse Japan of “sex slavery.”
In 2006, House Resolution 759, which stated that the “Government of Japan, during the colonial occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II, organized the subjugation and kidnapping, for the sole purpose of sexual servitude, of young women, who became known to the world as ‘comfort women’”, passed the U.S. Congress Foreign Affairs Committee. In 2007, Mike Honda who was, at that time, backed by a Chinese-American lobbyist’s organization, submitted House Resolution 121 which demanded that the Japanese government apologize for having forced young women to become sex slaves during WWII.
Now the Korean government allowed construction of “comfort girl” statues in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, some U.S. cities and a few other countries.
I personally met Matsuura Yoshiko, an assemblywoman of Suginami Ward in Tokyo who visited the city of Glendale, California together with 10 other local legislators representing over 300 legislators all across Japan. As she had a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, I read all the reports she carefully distributed. The stone monument in Glendale placed next to a statue of a “comfort girl” says: “I was a sex slave by Japanese military.” The explanation states: “In memory of more than 200,000 Asian and Dutch women who were removed from their homes in Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, East Timor and Indonesia, to be coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan between 1932 and 1945.”
The United Nations Army adopted the Japanese “comfort women” system
All of the above-mentioned consolidated accusations of a “comfort women” system of the Imperial Japanese Army were not on solid grounds which could prove such was the case. Saying comfort women were “sex slaves” of the Japanese Army is propaganda and it is a fabrication of historical facts.
The “comfort women” were prostitutes. Some of them may be sold by their parents to brothels due to their family poverty and they were not in what they thought was an ideal profession. The fact remains, however, that they were not “sex slaves” of the Imperial Japanese Army. The Japanese Army established “comfort stations” because of two main reasons: 1. concern for the health of their officers and soldiers, 2. to prevent Japanese army personnel from resorting to rape or violence. According to Report No. 49 compiled by the U.S. Office of War Information published in August 1944, the comfort women “enjoyed picnics, sports, and dinner entertainment with Japanese officers and soldiers in their free time,” and “were allowed to go back to their homes in Korea when they had paid their debt to the broker,” and in addition they were able to decline their services to clients who were drunk. Their average monthly income was 750 yen when the average monthly wage of the Japanese soldiers was 10 yen.
The curious fact is that during the Korean War, the Allied, in other words, the United Nations, Army utilized the “comfort women” system of the Imperial Japanese Army, organized by the Korean government. UN Forces consisted mostly of the American Army so it was America that also adopted the “comfort women” system.
Even in 1960s, when I went to Korea, the term “comfort women” was used as it was used so by the Imperial Japanese Army. The Korean government had adopted the Imperial Japanese Army’s system of “comfort women,” as it were.
According to the research report entitled Military and Sexual Violence in the 20th Century Korean Peninsula, compiled by Korean scholars, due to the outbreak of the Korean War, “comfort women” for US officers and soldiers opened for business. They
were ever “referred to as yanggonju (Western princess), yanggalbo (Westerner whore), UN madam, and Mrs. UN.” And the district for prostitution was called Kijichon (Military or Camp Town).
The report says that their purposes were:
1. To protect ordinary women who were not prostitute,
2. To demonstrate the Korean government’s appreciation to US troops,
3. To raise the moral of fellow soldiers.
Can the Korean government as well as the United Nations criticize Japan because of the Imperial Japanese Army’s “comfort women” system? If the answer is “yes,” why, then, did the Korean government and the United Nations utilized the “comfort women” system of the Imperial Japanese Army?
Henry Scott Stokes was born in England in 1938. After earning an undergraduate degree from Oxford University in 1961, he joined the Financial Times, Inc. He became its first Tokyo branch representative in 1964. He became Tokyo Bureau Chief of The Times in 1967 and became Tokyo Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1978.
He is known as having the most intimate access to Mishima Yukio among all foreign reporters in Japan. In addition Stokes has worked extensively in the arts. For almost a decade after leaving The New York Times in 1984, he worked with New York artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude on a joint work of art for Japan and America titled “The Umbrellas”. During the l990s he worked for several years for Mary Moore, the daughter of British sculptor Henry Moore. Thereafter in the 2000s and 2010s he has served as a writer, editor and lecturer on a wide range of interests.
The Comfort Women Issue: An Ignored Perspective
Tony Marano – Author
The Comfort Women issue is a contentious issue between two strategically important United States allies: Japan and South Korea. One has to question why would the United States inject itself in the middle of this issue, taking sides? By such an action the USA adds a smile on the face of one ally while causing a frown on another. As a diplomatic initiative, the validity of this action comes into question.
If the issue was overt, with a clear demonstration of which nation harbors the correct interpretation of this issue, then perhaps the USA is correct in selecting one side to support. This Comfort Women issue lacks a clear demonstration of who is correct.
It can be agreed Comfort Women did serve the Japanese Imperial Army. It can be argued some of these women were forced, some were tricked into service, and some coerced. The problem is a question arises from a few areas:
1 – In 1944, the United States Army captured some of these Comfort Women in Burma. The ladies were interrogated by the U.S. Army. The Army filed a Report Number 49 and noted the ladies were well paid prostitutes. Remember this was at the height of the war between the USA and Japan and the USA would have enjoyed using these ladies as propaganda publicizing they were forced into prostitution for the Japanese Army. The U.S. Army did not do it because according to their report, it would have been a lie. This then places a serious question into the whole issue of women being forced. Should not this aspect of the issue be explored, if not balanced, into the discussion?
2 – The claim is 200,000 women from Korea forced into the Comfort Women service. Where were the Korean men while 200,000 of their women are being carted off to servitude? Compare the population of Korea during that period to the
population today of the USA, and this number would be equivalent to 3,000,000 American women. Do you think the rest of the U.S. population would be docile while 3,000,000 women were being forced into prostitution?
3 -During this period, over eight-hundred thousand Korean men volunteered to join the Japanese Imperial Army. 17,364 Koreans (figure from 1938 to 1943 excluding after 1944) were recruited as soldiers and 126,047 Koreans were recruited as civilian employee of the army. Why would so many men volunteered to join a military force responsible for enslaving so many of their women?
4 – The current president of South Korea is President Park Geun-hye and her father, Park Chung-hee, served in the Japanese Imperial Army. He served with such distinction that he rose to become an officer. Why would President Park Geun-hye’s father serve a military with distinction that was responsible for enslaving 200,000 of his fellow countrywomen?
Incidentally, Park Chung-hee later became president of South Korea. How does a man who volunteered to serve in the Japanese Imperial Army, serving with distinction, rising to become an officer -in a military that enslaved 200,000 of his country’s women – get to become president of that very nation?
These are serious questions to consider they place doubt into the issue as proclaimed by South Korea. Because of these questions equal weight must be given to the Japanese interpretation on this issue. To ignore the Japanese version with respect to the above information is to place dishonor upon a valuable and trusted ally of the USA, the nation and people of Japan. At best the USA should not be seen as agreeing with one side at the cost of disrespecting the other.
The City of Glendale, California selected to insert itself in this international dispute by placing a statue in one of their parks memorializing Comfort Women: “coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan between 1932 and 1945,” as
written on the marble slab next to the statue.
On October 21, 2014 the Glendale City Council was informed a new group of South Korean Comfort Women have come forward. This new group is suing the South Korean government claiming they were forced into serving as Comfort Women by the South Korean military for the United States military from around 1950 through 1990. At the same meeting the City Council was advised the current statue and adjacent marble slab are seen by the people of Japan as insult to their honor, pure Japan bashing.
It was suggested to the City Council to demonstrate consistency and illustrate the statue and slab does not represent an insult to the Japanese people by updating that marble slab to reflect this new group of Comfort Women. The suggestion was rejected by the City of Glendale, and one can only interpret this rejection as their desire to let the Japan bashing image of that statue remain as is.
Members of the United States government and various municipalities who select to enter into this issue on behalf of their respective governmental level should evaluate the issue not only from a South Korean perspective but also from a Japanese perspective. The USA and municipalities who side with one while ignoring the other contributes to maintaining and enlarging the rift in the Japan, USA, and South Korean alliance. This rift is seen by United States adversaries in Asia with pleasure and a smile on their face, while they continue their belligerent maneuvering in the region.
Resolutions and memorials to the Comfort Women as stated by South Korea are not accurate reflections of history when that version of history falls apart upon an examination void from emotion. Members of the United States government would be wise in questioning the motives behind the propagation of this issue. While promoting the Comfort Women issue with Japan seen as the evil factor in the equation, South Koreans are also promoting renaming the Sea of Japan to the “East Sea”. Do you
not see an obsession here? The United States should not align itself with this obsession at the cost of alienating a valuable and trusted ally.
When the United States and selected municipalities select a side to align with one ally, this only serves to irritate the other ally. If the United States and municipalities decided to remain out of this dispute, a reasonable ally would agree, while another unreasonable ally would disagree. In the interest of remaining in the middle one would agree both Japan and South Korea are reasonable, rational allies and both would agree, if not understand, why the United States and municipalities decide to remain silent on this issue. Neutrality by the United States and municipalities is a route creating the least friction within the alliance.
Tony Marano was born in Connecticut, USA and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. An active youth, he played various sports and was a member of the Boy Scouts. He attended City University of New York and studied history. While working for AT&T, he experienced the friendly relations of Texas and moved there.
He currently volunteers at his church and is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization, Tony sets up his YouTube channel “PropagandaBuster” and on “OUTSIDESOUND” (with Japanese translations) to speak directly to the people, after seeing the leftist bias of the mainstream US media. In 2009 he worked with Asukashinsha Publishing on a book/DVD, published 4 books in 2014 and another 2 books in 2015. Tony has written numerous magazine and newspaper articles/columns. Currently his column appears in a nationwide newspaper in Japan.
COMFORT WOMEN IN KOREA
KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact
Repercussions from remarks made by Osaka City Mayor Hashimoto Toru about the so-called “comfort women” have been felt throughout the world.
And as always, anti-Japanese public sentiment has risen to the surface in South Korea.
Some Koreans have seized every possible opportunity to distort facts and criticize Japan. I find it impossible to comprehend such vitriol. .
However, matters are only made worse by the American response to any mention of the comfort-women issue. The fact is that a great many Americans have succumbed to the persistent, interminable campaigns waged by some Chinese and Koreans to convince the world that the Japanese abducted innocent Asian women and forced them to become sex slaves for Japanese military personnel during World War II.
In 1993 Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono Yohei issued a statement about the comfort women (the Kono Statement), which acknowledged that government or military authorities were involved with recruitment of comfort women. In 1995 Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi made a statement about Japanese aggression during World War II. Since disavowal of those statements would encounter vehement objection from American public opinion, the Obama administration is opposed to attempts within Japan to refute the lies they contain.
Japanese authorities never abducted women. Nor did they force them to become comfort women against their will. However, some recruiters/agents, many of whom were Koreans misled women
about the nature of the job. And , that is truly regrettable.
Accusations involving the comfort women, Japanese aggression during World War II, and the Nanjing “massacre” are complete fabrications, with absolutely no basis in fact. And incredible though it may seem, the government of a democratic nation has officially admitted to — and apologized for — acts that never took place! It is no wonder that the entire world accepts the accusations as valid.
For that very reason, Kono’s and Murayama’s transgressions are grave indeed. We must take immediate steps to remove the stains on our nation’s honor, for the sake of Japan’s national security. Restoring Japan’s good name will increase respect for our nation and strengthen our diplomatic effectiveness.
Every nation has been involved in and in charge of facilities enabling soldiers to satisfy their sexual needs without the risk of contracting venereal disease when those soldiers are engaged in combat on foreign soil. The Japanese military was no exception. During World War II, Japanese military authorities established brothels and contracted with local civilian Japanese and Korean brothel operators to recruit prostitutes.
Is it possible that prostitutes have never been hired to service military personnel in South Korea?
The year before diplomatic relations were established between Japan and South Korea, I traveled to Korea many times in my capacity as a journalist. While there I often noticed advertisements recruiting prostitutes to service US soldiers, in Dong-a Ilbo and other leading Korean newspapers. They used the term wianbu, the Korean pronunciation of the same term the Japanese had used when Korea was part of Japan.
The results of research on comfort women in South Korea, done by a group of Korean scholars, were published in book form two years
ago under the title The Military and Sexual Violence.1
The book provides verification that United Nations Forces (US troops) and the South Korean government were both involved in and in charge of military prostitutes from the moment the Korean War erupted.
In South Korea prostitutes servicing US troops were referred to as yanggongju (western princess), yanggalbo (prostitute for westerners), UN madam, and Mrs. UN. The district in which they worked was called Kijichon (Camp Town).
The Military and Sexual Violence also reveals that military prostitutes were hired for three reasons: (1) to protect Korean women who were not prostitutes, (2) to demonstrate the Korean government’s appreciation to US troops, and (3) to raise the soldiers’ morale.
Korean soldiers also had access to prostitutes. Very few of the women who became prostitutes to service them did so of their own free will. According to their testimonies, most of them were abducted by Korean intelligence agents and forced into prostitution within 24 hours.
The authors of the book maintain that the women were licensed prostitutes from the viewpoint of the Korean government, but that they perceived themselves as sex slaves — victims of the Korean military.
Immediately after the aforementioned research work was published in 2002, a ban was placed on the examination of all resources relating to military prostitutes servicing Korean troops housed in the Reference Library of the Korean Ministry of
1 Song Ok-yeon and Kim Yeong, eds., Guntai to sei boryoku: Chosen hanto no 20 seiki (The military and sexual violence: the Korean peninsula in the 20th century) (Tokyo: Gendai Shiryo Shuppan, 2010).
National Defense. When asked why, the relevant authorities muddied the waters further by saying, “This has nothing to do with the Japanese comfort women problem.”
I wonder if we can expect to see demonstrators erect statues of comfort women — this time in front of the Korean Parliament and the US Embassy.
KASE Hideaki is one of the most prominent and distinguished writers and commentators active today. He specializes in political, military and international affairs. He is ranked as one of the most popular lecturers in Japan.
He has served as a “special advisor” to Prime Ministers Fukuda Takeo and Nakasone Yasuhiro. In addition, Mr. Kase has been an adviser to a number of government Ministers, including Foreign Minister Sonoda Sunao, in the Fukuda, Ohira and Suzuki Cabinets, and Tanigawa Kazuho, Minister of Defense (Director General of the Japan Defense Agency) in the Nakasone Cabinet.
Mr. Kase has published more than 100 books including one in English (Kamikaze Japan’s Suicide Gods, co-authored with Albert Axell, Longman, 2002). Fifty-five of those books were co-authored or anthology, on a wide variety of subjects, including international relations, history, education, culture and comparative religion. He published , Korekara no Asia (The Emerging Shape of Asia), jointly with President Lee Teng Hui of Taiwan in September,1996. Mr. Kase published autobiography in May, 2001.
The Falsehoods Inscribed on the Stone Monument in Glendale and
the Comfort Women Controversy
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Secretary
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact
Inscribed on the stone monument in Glendale is as follows:
“I was a sex slave of Japanese military.”
*Torn hair symbolizes the girl being snatched from her home by the Imperial Japanese Army.
*Tight fists represent the girl’s firm resolve for a deliverance of justice.
*Bare and unsettled feet represent having been abandoned by the cold and unsympathetic world.
*Bird on the girl’s shoulder symbolizes a bond between us and the deceased victims.
*Empty chair symbolizes survivors who are dying of old age without having yet witnessed justice.
*Shadow of the girl is that of an old grandma, symbolizing passage of time spent in silence.
*Butterfly in shadow represents hope that victims may resurrect one day to receive their apology.
In memory of more than 200,000 Asian and Dutch women who were removed from their homes in Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, East Timor and Indonesia, to be coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial
Armed Forces of Japan between 1932 and 1945.
And in celebration of proclamation of “Comfort Women Day” by the City of Glendale on July 30, 2012, and of passing of House Resolution 121 by the United States Congress on July 30, 2007, urging the Japanese Government to accept historical responsibility for these crimes.
It is our sincere hope that these unconscionable violations of human rights shall never recur.
July 30, 2013
We can without doubt conclude that these words are 100% false: huge lies. Allow me to explain why.
First, not a single woman was forcibly taken from her home by the Imperial Japanese Army in Korea as part of the Comfort-Women system. Absolutely none. That is clear because the Japanese military had no such authority or legal right, nor were so irresponsible or ill-disciplined as to act as procurers. If they had committed such acts, huge social problems would have resulted, even in the prewar years. In fact, not a single Korean claimed to have witnessed such behavior. According to the monument, more than 200,000 women were removed from their homes. Doesn’t anyone wonder why no witnesses have come forward to substantiate these accusations?
What about the testimonies of former comfort women? The truth is that none of them has offered reliable testimony to the effect that she was forcibly taken to a war zone by the Japanese military or Japanese authorities. There are four cases of forced abduction in Testimonies, Part 1: Korean Women Abducted and Forced To Become Comfort Women compiled by the Volunteer Corps Research Group of the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. However, as Prof. Ahn Byong-jick of Seoul University admits, these completely contradict the circumstances mentioned above. (Behind Comfort Women Controversy: How Lies Became Truth by Nishioka Tsutomu2 , p.
2 Yoku wakaru ianfu mondai by Nishioka Tsutomu, Soshisha, Tokyo, 2007. English translation is at http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/39_S4.pdf ):
41-42 ) No testimony proves the abduction claim. The women were not asked or forced to go to a military zone. Rather, they went there to earn money from prostitution, which was commonly practiced at that time.
The only “proof” of abduction is My War Crime3, which was written by Yoshida Seiji in 1983. The Asahi Newspaper and others extensively reported on the comfort-women issue on the basis of Yoshida’s book. However, the book turned out to be a hoax. His fabrications were exposed in the August 14, 1989 issue of the Jeju Ilbo Newspaper after a thorough and extensive investigation conducted by one of the newspaper’s female reporters, together with a local historian on Jeju Island, where author Yoshida said he had conducted comfort-women hunts. Please refer to the copy of the article from the Jeju Ilbo and its English translation on the following page.
The local newspaper on the very island where Yoshida claimed he hunted comfort women, conducted an investigation in collaboration with a local historian, and reported that no such hunt ever took place. Nevertheless, the Asahi Newspaper continued to report on the comfort-women issue for 25 years after the truth was revealed as though Yoshida’s story was true, ignoring the article in the Jeju Newspaper and refusing to discredit Yoshida.
The Korean government took no heed of the revelations made by a local newspaper in Korea, blindly believing what the Asahi Newspaper, Japan’s media “authority”, printed. It continued to criticize Japan on the basis of a false report. Now that we know that the Asahi Newspaper reports were fallacious, wouldn’t it be the right thing to do if the Korean government sincerely reflected on its conduct and apologized to Japan for its mistake?
Secondly, as stated in “A Guide to Understanding the Comfort-Women Controversy” (http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/113_S4.pdf); before World War II, in Japan (in almost all countries as well at that time), prostitution was legal and there were many houses of prostitution and other
3 Watashi no senso hanzai by Yoshida Seiji, Sanichi Shobo, Tokyo, 1983.
Jeju Ilbo completely contradicts Yoshida’ s comfort women
kidnapping storyvia an article on August 14, 1989
On the occasion of the 44th anniversary of our Liberation, people are utterly shocked at the publication of a record that described that 205 women from Jeju Island were drafted as comfort women during the Imperial Japanese regime. However, no witness is presented to back up the allegation, which invites various reactions. [The outline of Yoshida’s book is then introduced.]
Not one witnesses for stories described in the book, including one that fifteen to sixteen girls were forcibly drafted as comfort women at a shell-button factory in Josanpo and other incidents of comfort women hunts conducted at various villages such as Hokan-ri.
Islanders flatly denied the story as “nonsense” and strongly doubted the book’s credibility. Chong Okutan (an eighty-five year old woman), who lives at Josanpo, said, “In a village of a little over two hundred fifty households, if fifteen girls had been drafted, it would have been a big event, but at that time, nothing of the sort happened.”
Kim Pon-oku, a local historian, indignantly said, “After the Japanese-version book was published in 1983, I conducted follow-up research for several years and found out that it was not true. This book seems to be a product of the insincere commercial spirit symbolizing Japanese people’s vice.”
( Jeju Ilbo Article of August 14, 1989 written by Ms. Heo Yeong-seon )
comparable establishments throughout Japan.
Similar facilities were established in war zones and there was no particular illegal involvement on the part of the military. At that time, while within Japan proper these facilities were freely available, there were no such facilities in overseas war zones, which could be considered discrimination against soldiers. Therefore, the establishment of comfort stations was based on the principles of fairness and impartiality. It is well beside the point to criticize this practice.
Thirdly, prostitution was not, in general, favorably considered at that time, as it was called an ugly business. On the other hand, the profession was far more highly rewarded than ordinary jobs. (The same is true today.) Therefore, prostitution was a good way for poor and not particularly resourceful women to obtain a high income. Again, that situation is the same today. Therefore, to condemn this profession from the perspective of an infringement of women’s rights is one line of thinking, but this hardly leads to equal, universal justice. In fact, prostitutes in Seoul, South Korea put on a huge rally on May 17, 2011.
This was a protest to save their profession, their claim being “Are we to be robbed of our right to engage in prostitution?” (See photo from Time Photo on the next page.) How do people who believe prostitution is an issue of women’s rights respond to
the cries of these protesting women? Even today, when prostitution is legally prohibited, prostitutes are demanding their right to be prostitutes. Seventy years back, prostitution was legally accepted, and yet the Japanese Army is condemned for operating comfort stations because it was supposedly infringing on women’s rights. I wonder how on earth this abnormality emerged.
The Japanese human rights advocates who criticized the use of comfort women and deplored its criminality never protested against the abductions of many Japanese citizens by North Korea, nor did they take action to rescue them and bring them back home
to Japan. It is easily seen that the true “abnormality” lies here. I must conclude that they are not earnestly trying to stand up for human rights. They are only criticizing Japan in the name of human rights because of their conviction that the Japanese are villainous. President Obama, Mrs. Hillary Clinton and other
American human rights advocates must be made aware of this “abnormality” sooner or later.
Fourthly, since their business was conducted within dangerous war zones, the comfort women could expect a higher salary than that offered by an ordinary prostitution facility. As “A Guide to Understanding the Comfort-Women Controversy” ((http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/113_S4.pdf) indicates, a monthly payment of 300 yen was close to the rate cited in newspaper advertisements. However, actual income was apparently much higher. According to Report No. 49, compiled by the US Office of War Information, the average monthly income was 750 yen. Moreover, Mun Ok-ju deposited her money in a postal savings account in Burma while she worked as a comfort woman. Later she filed a lawsuit, claiming that she could not get her money back. It was not that the Japanese Army refused to pay her, but that it could not pay her because she had lost her
savings-account passbook. Investigators discovered that the original record book was kept at Shimonoseki Post Office and that 26,115 yen remained in her account. She saved that much money over two and a half years, which meant that she earned at least 1,000 yen per month. The salary of a private first class was 10 yen per month, so her income was a hundred times higher than that of Japanese soldiers. This was an extremely large amount of money. Naturally, there were many women who wanted this lucrative work, and there was no need to abduct women and force them to be comfort women.
Fifthly, reflecting the conventional wisdom of that time as described above, Report No. 49 of the US Office of War Information conducted interviews with 20 Korean comfort women who had become prisoners of war in Myitkyina, Burma, and concluded, “A comfort girl is nothing more than a prostitute or professional camp follower.” (See the photo on the next page.4) This was nothing unusual.
The inscription on the monument in Glendale cites Japan as the initiator of the comfort-women system. However, there was not one case of abduction by the Imperial Japanese Army. It is too absurd to mention whether there is any record left about this or not. In the first place, any forcible abduction by the Army is impossible in principle. It is the same with other countries. The fact that such a thing could have never happened in Japan will clearly show what a big lie the monument tells.
As I wrote in “A Guide to Understanding the Comfort Women Controversy” ((http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/113_S4.pdf), prostitution was the oldest profession in human history, and it was not the matter of decades ago. As you all well know, the profession is popularly performed still today. As I mentioned previously, prostitutes in Korea held a big rally in May, 2011, lest their right
4 The whole copy of the original report at the National Archive:
to prostitute be taken away. It is known that prostitutes of Korean
nationality working in the United States outnumber those from
any other country. Many Korean prostitutes also have come to Japan to do their business. They may have come for various domestic or personal reasons to work in Japan. After they worked as prostitutes under such hard conditions, would it be possible for them to ask for an apology and compensation for such a hard time from the Japanese Government? At present, former comfort women and the Korean Government are asking the Japanese Government for an apology and compensation.
The Japanese Government has apologized, although they maintain that there was no forcibility involved. Whether those women suffered during harsh times or not, responsibility should have mostly rested on the individual women or their parents. Neither the Japanese Government nor the military are to be blamed for their hardships. Under these circumstances, why does Japan have to “apologize”? Since Japan apologized, everyone in the world supposes that Japan must have done something wrong or unjust. If some of us expect some countries to consider Japan conscionable, that is totally beside the mark. The mere fact that Japan did in fact apologize misses the essence of the matter and becomes a fundamental point of disgrace to Japan, putting her into a miserable plight.
The “comfort women issue,” which was entirely based on fabrication, basically collapsed when the Asahi Newspaper finally admitted that their report was false. Essentially, Yoshida Seiji’s lie was the only evidence of forced abduction of comfort women. The local Jeju Ilbo (Jeju Daily Newspaper) clearly reported, after a thorough investigation, that Yoshida’s story was fabricated in 1989. Even since then, the Asahi Newspaper has continued to maintain that comfort women were forcibly abducted, not publicly admitting to Yoshida’s fabrication. Their reporting should not be called misreporting or a false report, but nothing more than fabrication and distortion.
Since the Asahi Newspaper has held overwhelming authority among the Japanese press and intellectuals, this fabricated report by the Asahi Newspaper heavily influenced the Japanese Government and politicians, so tremendously that they were
obliged to make quite an off-of-the-point “apology” as well as the Kohno Statement, studded itself with lies. Not only that, the Korean Government criticized Japan on the basis of the Asahi report. Although their local Jeju Ilbo clearly concluded that Yoshida’s story was 100% false, the Korean Government shamefully, its own country’s very paper on point concerning the issue, continues to ride on the false report of Japanese Asahi Newspaper.
Based on this 100% false information, the Koreans established a statue of a comfort woman in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and put up another comfort woman statue, together with a totally false inscription, in the City of Glendale, California, USA. This is the real truth of the matter. It is the Koreans who spread such enormous lies in the United States that should apologize and abolish this statue. At the same time, the City of Glendale is equally responsible, which not conducting proper research and turning a deaf ear to many conscientious Japanese and some of their Assembly members, which approved the establishment of this statue. The City of Glendale should apologize for this error and immediately remove the statue.
Born in Tokyo in 1941, Moteki Hiromichi graduated from Tokyo University’s Faculty of Economics. After working for Fuji Electric, Inc. and the International Wool Secretariat, he established Sekai Shuppan, Inc. and published the Japanese/English instructional magazine Mangajin in cooperation with Mangajin, Inc., its American counterpart.
Among his many publications are It Is Not Necessary to Teach English in Primary School (Kodansha, Inc.), Low Radiation Should Not Be Feared (Nisshin-hodo). He translated Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War, written by James Wood (Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham), into Japanese; it was published by WAC, Inc. (Tokyo).