Comfort Women for Japanese Army during 1930s through 1945
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
63rd session (15 February – 4 March 2016)
Comfort Women for Japanese Army
1930s through 1945
Coalition of Three Parties for Communicating Historical Truth
Shin Sakuma Bldg. 3F, 2-13-13, Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku,
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To: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
From: Coalition of Three Parties for Communicating Historical Truth
Subject: Comment on Item 9, CEDAW/10/C/JPN/Q/7-8, CEDAW63 Session, Japan
Please find below our comment on your request above.
Is Japan Not Entitled to Presumption of Innocence?
January 19, 2016
Introduction – Major Focus ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
Investigation by the Japanese Government………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Interagency Working Group Report………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
No Evidence Presented by the Korean Government…………………………………………………………………… 5
Indentured Prostitution…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Police Crackdowns on Abduction Crimes in Annexed Korea ……………………………………………………….. 9
Provincial Parliament Election Results of 1933……………………………………………………………………….. 10
Japanese Military Order 745 …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10
Rebuttal to the 1996 Coomaraswamy Report…………………………………………………………………………….11
Introduction – Major Focus
Most of the Japanese general public first heard about the “forced recruitment of women and
girls” in Korea and South East Asia in the first half of 1990s, specifically through the news of the
1993 Kono Statement and the 1996 “Coomaraswamy Report” (E/CN.4/1996/53/Add.1).
Thereafter, the Japanese public has been constantly exposed to international criticism of not
Owing to atonement efforts of the Japanese Government, such as setting up the Asian Women’s
Fund, claims of “not apologizing enough” died down from former South East Asian comfort
women, except for Ms. Jan Ruff O’Herne, a Dutch-Australian human rights activist. However,
Korean comfort women are still boisterously clamoring and demanding apology after apology, as
if they have insatiable appetite for Japanese apologies.
The 2007 U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 121 was perceived as a great shock, owing to
the harsh words issued from the United States, our greatest ally. The Resolution said that the
Japanese government “should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical
responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Force’s coercion of
young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as ‘comfort women,’ during its colonial and
wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from 1930s through the duration of World
War II.” Later, U.S. Congressman Mike Honda, who pushed Resolution 121 forward, appeared
on a Japanese TV program and declared that the basis of the Resolution was the 1993 Kono
From 2011 and thereafter, Korean activists, notably members of the Korean Council of Women
Drafted for Sexual Slavery by Japan (“Korean Council”), began to build “peace monuments,”
first in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and then in the United States, with the wording
such as “In memory of the more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted by the armed
forces of the government of Imperial Japan. 1930s – 1945” engraved in the metal plate affixed to
Now, what is at stake is our national honor; people around the world are in essence calling our
fathers and grand-fathers brutal murders and rapists. Most of today’s Japanese were born after
WWII, but it seems that the Japanese race is destined to receive never-ending public exposure
and criticism as “descendants of murderers and rapists” and “not apologizing enough” forever.
Are we really that insensitive to what happened before and during the war, or is the current
state of affairs a sort of mob lynching?
Due to growing public concerns, many researchers made great efforts in digging into past
records and sorting out what went wrong since the 1993 Kono Statement and concluded that
some people were intentionally harming Japan’s reputation with false allegation of forcible
recruitment and hoaxes of sexual slavery. Now what is at stake is the dignity and human rights
of the present-day Japanese, our children, grand-children and the generations thereafter,
undeservingly humiliated and insulted by the 1996 Coomaraswamy Report, the 2007 U.S.
House of Representatives Resolution 121, and the never-ending Korean defamation campaign
against the nation and people of Japan.
Investigation by the Japanese Government
The official stance of the Japanese Government regarding forcible recruitment is described in
detail during a Diet discussion by Lower House Representative YAMADA Hiroshi and former
Deputy Cabinet Secretary ISHIHARA Nobuo, on February 20, 2014. According to a video
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE2P6U95AtI) and meeting minutes of the Diet session,
they essentially said:
• After the 1992 Summit Meeting between South Korean President Roh Tae Woo and Japanese
Prime Minister Miyazawa, the Japanese Government made an extensive investigation to find
documents relating to the comfort women. The investigation was performed under direct
supervision of the Cabinet in order to cover all relevant government bodies including the
Welfare Ministry, Labor Ministry, Justice Ministry, Defense Ministry and Police Agency, etc.
• The result was first submitted in 1992 and then 1993 (to additionally include results of the
investigation conducted at American National Archives and Records). Of the documents
discovered, there were NO documents that indicate that the Japanese Army / Government
Authority (collectively “Army/Authority”) had directly recruited comfort women by force,
although some of the documents indicated that the Army/Authority had ordered installation
of comfort stations and provided transportation for the comfort women.
• The Abe Administration gave Cabinet Approval in 2007 to the phrase: “No document was
found that indicated that the Japanese Army/Authority had directly recruited comfort women
by force” and adopted the words as the official stance of the Japanese Government.
No modification has been made to this Cabinet Approval since then. On January 18, 2016,
Prime Minister Abe announced in the Diet Session that the Government of Japan maintains the
same stance. Note that the Japanese Government has not admitted even once the forced
recruitment of comfort women by the Japanese Army/Authority.
Interagency Working Group Report
Another investigation to note is the IWG report. Michael Yon, an American journalist, reported
that “A $30 million U.S. Government Study specifically searched for evidence on Comfort
Women Allegations. After nearly seven years with many dozens of staff poring through US
archives – and 30 million dollars down the drain – we found a grand total of nothing.”
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlyHZWvGL20
Document Source: https://real7777.wordpress.com/war/comfort-women/michael-yon/
If criminal offences such as the murder of 70 comfort women (Para. 21 of the Coomaraswamy
Report) actually took place, the court proceedings of the military tribunal conducted on the Truk
Island after the war should have been recorded and deposited in U.S. archives. If forced
mobilization of comfort women was actually carried out in The Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia or
other South East Asian or Indochinese countries (as so indicated in Para.51 of the
Coomaraswamy Report), such offence should have been recorded and deposited in U.S. archives.
The author does not deny the occurrence of isolated cases such as the Semarang Incident in the
Dutch East Indies in which Ms. Jan Ruff O’Herne was involved. It was an apparent “war crime”
in Indonesia committed by military personnel. Immediately upon notification of a resident, the
Japanese 16th Army occupying Jakarta ordered shutdown of the brothel as it was clear violation
of the prohibition of forced prostitution. After the war, the class B and C military tribunals held
in Tokyo found 7 army officers and 4 brothel operators guilty including an officer sentenced to
death penalty. However, this was an isolated case and should not be used to characterize or to
generalize the state-managed Comfort Women System.
No Evidence Presented by the Korean Government
It took 14 years of negotiation before the signing of the 1965 Treaty between Japan and South
Korea. During the early years of negotiation, staunch anti-Japan President Syngman Ree
presented 8 demands that were to be compensated, for 35 years of Japan’s Annexation of Korea
(both North and South Korea). The 8 demands did NOT include anything about the comfort
women issue. Syngman Ree was ousted and President Park Chung-hee, father of the current
South Korean President Park, later signed the treaty. President Park Chung-hee said nothing
about the comfort women either.
Do you think they overlooked the forced recruitment of 200,000 women and girls? The fact that
two Korean presidents as well as all working-level staff under them never raised the comfort
women issue clearly means that the existence of the comfort women was nothing for which to
compensate. The comfort women issue first came to light in 1993 and more than 20 years have
passed since then. However, not a single evidence that indicates systematic recruitment of such
a large number of women and girls has been presented up to today.
Furthermore, if so many girls had been forcibly taken away, their fathers, bothers, neighbors,
and male friends would have resisted fiercely. The number of witnesses would have been several
times more than the number of abductees. However, no eyewitness accounts of neighbors,
notifications of missing children to the police, diaries describing resistance against Japanese
forces or other hard evidence of any sort, has been presented by the South Korean government
up to today.
It appears that, in the eyes of Ms. Coomaraswamy and Korean defamation campaigners, the
nation and people of Japan are not entitled to the right of “Presumed Innocence.”
What’s wrong with the comfort women or comfort stations in the first place?
The author of this report lives in the Yokohama area where the U.S. 8th Army, comprised of
230,000 men, landed at the beginning of the U.S. Occupation of Japan. Almost all of the troops
were in their 20s. They were all young healthy men at the peak of their reproductive health.
They were overjoyed in victory and were now released from combat duty in The Philippines and
elsewhere in South East Asia, where they faced life-or-death only a few days or weeks earlier.
One can easily guess what happened next. Our local history amply records many cases of girls
being kidnapped on the streets, women being raped in their own homes, raids on a dormitory of
hospital nurses, outright murders, and so on by U.S. soldiers. Occasional fist-fights ensued with
angry Japanese men, which could have lead to civil disturbance or riots against Occupation
U.S. generals were so shocked by the reports of these offences that they demanded the Japanese
Government open RAA (Rest and Amusement Association) centers. The RAA centers were not
different from Japanese Army comfort stations. Poor women resorted to selling sex to earn
money and men needed sex to ease the tremendous stress caused by life-or-death combat. At its
peak, 50,000 Japanese prostitutes (called pan-pan girls) provided sexual services for 500,000
U.S. military personnel.
I remember that some of our senior citizens who have some knowledge of those days often
expressed their gratitude for the pan-pan girls, who eventually saved ordinary women from
being victims of violent rape from victorious soldiers. It is well known that the Soviet Army,
which had no military brothels due to their socialistic idealism, committed horrific mass
murders and rapes in Manchuria and Germany as they advanced into those countries.
First and foremost, no one can correctly understand how Korean girls were recruited to comfort
stations in territory occupied by Japan without understanding the MI-URI SYSTEM （身売り制
度）, which was widely accepted practice across all of Japan and Korea before the end of the war.
Although the term MI-URI is comprised of two Kanji-characters, MI (身:body) and URI （売り:
selling）, the word from the combination of the two Kanji-characters has a totally different
meaning from “selling someone’s body.” It is “Indentured Prostitution” as C. Sarah Soh,
professor at San Francisco State University, aptly describes in her book The Comfort Women:
============== begin quote ==============
In fact, the survivors’ testimonials amply illustrate that during the war Korean men and women
actively collaborated in the recruitment of young compatriots to serve the Japanese military and
also run comfort stations. For young, uneducated women from impoverished families in colonial
Korea, to be a victim of trafficking became “an ordinary misfortune” in the 1930s. Amid
widespread complicity and indifference to young women’s plight, the adult entertainment
business in Korea began to recover after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, and
it flourished until 1940s.
When the war effort intensified in the early 1940s, however, many adult entertainment
establishments had to close down, and by 1943 it was practically impossible to run such a
business. This encouraged some brothel owners to seek their fortune abroad, including Taiwan
and occupied territories in Southeast Asia. As Song Yon-ok noted, had there not been a
“widespread network of traffic in women in the state-managed prostitution system, the
mobilization of Korean comfort women would have been a very different process.” Under
grinding poverty, working-class families in colonial Korea sold unmarried daughters for 400-500
won for a contractual period of four to seven years. The parents received 60-70 percent of the
money after various expenses involved in the transaction had been deducted, such as the
mediator’s fee, clothing, documents preparation, transport, and pocket money.
(P.10, The Comfort Women, by C. Sarah Soh, Chicago Press, Chicago, 2008).
============== end of quote ==============
Like European immigrants in the early history of the United States, who served a period of
indentured labor in order to pay off the cost of their transportation, Indentured Prostitution is a
system where brothel operators provide advance payments to the parents of a girl in exchange
for 24 to 96 months labor as a prostitute. The girl must repay the advance plus interest to the
brothel operator, but after completing such indentured labor, she is free to go home.
The 1930 Global Economic Panic triggered the spread of Indentured Prostitution across
Japan and Korea. (One of the author’s aunts saved the whole family from financial distress by
entering into Indentured Prostitution.)
The term “mediator” mentioned in the quoted passage is also called “procurer （女衒）”
who played an active role brokering between parents who were willing to “sell” their daughters
and brothel operators who were willing to “buy” the girls.
The existence of procurers and their underlings, who might have forcibly taken away
young girls or lured them to “well-paid jobs” by coaxing or deception, is often overlooked in
reports touched upon the comfort women issue. All procurers must have been Koreans because
very few Japanese could speak the Korean language fluently enough to find the place of
residence of girls in unfamiliar land. Moreover, performing this type of brokerage business
would have been extremely difficult.
We all know that after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there were many Russian girls
who worked at brothels near NATO bases in Europe. After a police raid on one place of
confinement, many of the freed Russian girls said that the Russian mafia, which trafficked them
to Europe, told them that they were to work as waitresses at coffee shops and restaurants, and
so on. This is a typical case of deception by procurers.
Fig 1 of the Appendix is the newspaper ads for recruiting of the comfort women. These
newspaper ads demonstrate that recruitment of comfort women was openly made in public view
and deemed nothing unusual.
The left ad offers the salary pay of 300 yen or more with advance loan payment of up to 3,000
yen. This is the salary level of a Major or higher ranking soldier. The salary of soldiers with the
rank of private was 7.5 yen. University graduates could earn 20 yen in their first year of
employment. Kim Hak-soon （金学順）, in her first public appearance as a former comfort woman
for her lawsuit in Tokyo stated in her testimony that “due to poverty, she was sold by her mother
to become a Kisaeng girl for 40 yen.” Mun Okuchu （文玉珠）stated in her biography, “Burma
tate-shidan-no-ianfu-datta-watashi” literally translated as “I Was A Comfort Woman of the
Burma Shield Division” (interviewed by Morikawa Machiko, Nashinoki-sha, Tokyo, 1996) that
she delighted in successfully saving 500 yen at the field postal service office; she could buy a
small house in her hometown of Taegu （大邱）at the cost of 1,000 yen (p.76).
Based on these data, the ad on the left says that a loan worth about 3 houses can be paid in
advance—and after working for 10 months, the comfort girl is free to go home. How can one call
the comfort women system a form of “sexual slavery”? It was a highly-paid job. In fact, Mun
Okuchu bought leather bags and a diamond at a Chinese market in Rangoon (p.107). On her
temporary leave of absence to attend the funeral of her mother, she stopped at Saigon and on
second thought she made up her mind to go back to the military brothel in Burma (p.120).
In Korea, hostess bars, brothels, and Kisaeng （妓生）Houses constituted a large pool of
candidates for comfort women. Since comfort women were well-paid jobs, there must have been
many “would-be comfort women” after seeing the newspaper ads:
Another aspect often overlooked in reports touching upon the comfort women issue is “If there
was forced recruitment, girls recruited against their will or coerced or forced into “sexual
slavery” (or any variant of the term), who did it? This question of who did it corresponds to the
In considering this issue of identification, there is a good clue. One Korean writer states the
following in the book titled “Nippon-jin-ga-shitte-okubeki-ianfu-no-shinjitsu” literally “The
Truth of Comfort Women Japanese Have to Know (Sogakukan, Tokyo, 2013).”
============== begin quote ==============
During the 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea enjoyed an economic boom and there was a rapid
increase of night clubs and bars. Prostitutes were in short supply. Then there was a sharp rise in
the kidnapping of girls off the streets. Faced with this serious problem, then-President Roh Tae
Woo had to appear on TV and declare a “war on abduction crimes.” However, in mid-1990s,
there was an increase of runaway girls who entered into the prostitute business and accordingly,
the problem of abduction crimes died out. (pp.84-85)
============== end of quote ==============
The Korean writer surmised that Korea in 1940s experienced the same situation. The author
agrees with his assumption and asks readers to use common sense so that one does not fall into
the trap of believing the myth of “forced recruitment of 200,000 women and girls”.
During 1930s and the period through the end of WWII, Manchuria was prosperous due to a
large amount of Japanese investments there and WWII mobilized a large number of Japanese
men to occupied territories. Korea was a poverty stricken country and nearly all Koreans were
poor. Japan was a wealthy nation even at that time. Prostitution was not outlawed until 1956. If
forcible recruitment or kidnapping actually happened, the offenders must have been Korean
Police Crackdowns on Abduction Crimes in Annexed Korea
As Fig.2 through 7 of the Appendix clearly show, newspaper articles published during the
Annexation Era indicate that Korean Police made efforts to crack down on kidnappings and
abductions. Fig.2 means that a little girl ran into a police station as she considered that the
police was reliable and trustworthy.
It appears that kidnappers and abductors were Koreans, and so the blame for Korean crimes is
being shifted to the Japanese Army/Authority.
The following table shows the total number of policemen in Annexed Korea as of 1938. The table
shows approximately half of the lower-ranking police officers of the Korean Police was
comprised of Koreans.
Inspector 9 62
Captain 89 388
Lieutenant 157 738
Police officers 8,542 11,784
(Source: Korea Governor-General Office of Statistics, 1938)
Provincial Parliament Election Results of 1933
Fig. 8 of the Appendix is a newspaper article from the Asahi-Shimbun Korea published on May
11, 1933. It shows election results of 13 Korean provincial parliaments. According to the article,
approximately 80% of the newly elected parliament members were Koreans. (Korean names
usually consist of three Kanji-characters while Japanese names usually consist of four or five
Under such a governing body, how is it possible for Japanese officials to “draft 200,000 Korean
women as military sexual slaves for the use of the Japanese Imperial Army” as the
Coomaraswamy Report claims in Paragraph 61?
The newspaper articles and statistics clearly demonstrate that Korean Police, which conducted
crackdowns on kidnappings and abductions in order to provide security and peace for the local
people, is unlikely to be the culprit behind the forced recruitment of 200,000 women and girls.
Moreover, no entity or organization can commit forced recruitment of 200,000 women and girls
under the eyes of the Korean Police and/or Provincial Governments.
Japanese Military Order 745
Fig. 9 of the Appendix is an order issued by the Ministry of the Army on March 4, 1938. The title
states: “Subject: Regarding Recruitment of Girls and Women for Military Comfort Stations.”
The essential part of the order is the latter half, the translation of which is:
“Inappropriate recruiters and disorganized manner of recruitment may cause the recruitment
methods to be classified as kidnapping which leads to the disgrace of Imperial Army such as
police investigation. This notice is to raise the awareness of such problems relating to the
recruitment of women. Army Headquarters require your sufficient care to avoid errors that may
cause social problems. Under close cooperation with Military Police and police stations of the
municipalities involved, efforts should be made to maintain the reliability and authority of the
From this order, you may discover that the Imperial Army of Japan considered kidnapping of
girls by the recruiters/procurers was the disgrace that would lead to the police investigation and
eventually cause the loss of “reliability and authority of the Military.” In fact, the Army order
required sufficient care of girls and prevention of social problems by NOT using inappropriate
recruiters who may resort to kidnapping. The only logical conclusion that can be derived from
these facts is that civilian and army military police forces made efforts of policing the
unscrupulous recruiters and/or procurers and it is very unlikely that the Japanese
Army/Authority committed the offence of slave hunting of girls that would certainly cause
YOSHIMI Yoshiaki, a Japanese researcher well-known for his deep-rooted hatred toward the
Japanese Army/Authority used this Army HQ Order No.745 as evidence of “military
involvement” in 1992 in his malignant attempts to damage the reputation of the Japanese
Of course, the Japanese Military was involved in the installation of comfort stations in occupied
territories in China and South East Asia and provided transportation to and from the occupied
territories because they were all war-zones. Medical care was also needed to prevent venereal
disease in order to keep the fighting capability of soldiers. (The Army Expedition to Siberia in
1918 originated the use of comfort stations. During the Expedition, out of 70,000 army men,
10,000 men were crippled due to venereal disease. This experience caused the Army to consider
the need for comfort stations.)
How is it possible for the Japanese Army or Authority to forcibly mobilize 200,000 women and
girls, who were under constant watch of so many Koreans employed as police officers and local
government officials? If they were kidnapped, there should have been violent resistance by their
fathers, brothers, or boyfriends. At least there should have been numerous eyewitness accounts
in police archives or private diaries. However, no such evidence has been presented by the
Korean procurers many have kidnapped women and girls and Korean recruiters or brothel
operators may have resorted to “coaxing and intimidating.” However, these matters had nothing
to do with the Japanese Army and/or Authority.
Rebuttal to the 1996 Coomaraswamy Report
The Coomaraswamy Report (hereinafter “Report”) was publicly released in 1996, almost 20
years ago. Despite many new findings revealed during the subsequent period, it appears that
the UN still retains the validity of the Report.
On September 5, 2014, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary SUGA Yoshihide announced that “it is
regrettable that the Report is contrary to the basic positions of Japan and factual basis we have
found so far.” This view is widely accepted in Japan and there is growing public resentment
against the Report and the UN itself.
Therefore, we strongly urge you to make major modifications to the Report so that the Report
reflects the most up-to-date information on the Comfort Women Issue.
The Report contains defects including, but not limited to, the following:
Generally, the Report condemns the nation and people of Japan based on hearsay, one-sided
biased views and dubious historical findings, some of which have already proven to be false.
There is an overall lack of sufficient evidence that corroborates the Special Rapporteur’s
findings and conclusions.
The Report writes, “In this connection, the Women’s Voluntary Service Corps was established,
ostensibly to procure women for work in factories or to perform other war-related duties to assist
the Japanese army. Under this pretext, however, many women were deceived into serving as
military sexual slaves and the association of the Service Corps with prostitution soon became
There should be a clear distinction between Women’s Voluntary Service Corps, which was
basically the “Rosie the Riveter” to fill up the vacancy of men working at factories and comfort
women, who were prostitutes working at brothels in military camps. The mixed-up of the two
ideas occurred in S. Korea in early 1990s as the name of the “Korean Council of Women Drafted
for Sexual Slavery by Japan” clearly suggests. This organization was established in 1990 and
since then, has been actively engaged in propaganda campaign to defame Japan using the
rhetoric that the drafting of women and the recruitment of comfort women belong to identical
Simply, there was NO such historical fact as Special Rapporteur claims in the above
Paragraph. As said earlier, the Japanese Government thoroughly searched to find official
records related to the Comfort Women in 1992. The result was submitted to the Diet in first in
1992 and then in 1993. Of the 280 documents collected as the result of the search, not a single
document indicated the forced recruitment by the Japanese Army/Authority.
The Women’s Voluntary Service Corps was established in August, 1944, in mainland
Japan. The law was never put into practice in Korea except for the cases where school teachers
in Seoul and its vicinity encouraged their students to go to Japan for cooperation for Japan’s war
effort (Korea was a part of Greater Japan, as Ireland was to Great Britain). All the names of the
students were recorded for payment for their labor as well as their workplaces. The total
number of Drafted Girls was about 2,000.
During WWII, there were only two divisions in Korea in order to maintain the peace of
the population of 20 million. Japan faced multiple frontlines in China and the Pacific. Deceiving
and/or forced recruitment of 200,000 girls would certainly have opened yet another frontline of
resistance in Korea. Doing this would have been completely farcical to anyone with the least
amount of strategic knowledge of the time.
Actually, Korean people fervently cooperated with Japan’s war effort since the outbreak
of the war in China, 1937. Fig. 11 of the Appendix is the photo taken in January, 1941. You
would wonder why the Korean people celebrate the Imperial Army of Japan which allegedly
dragged 200,000 Korean women and girls into sexual slavery, waving Hinomaru flags and
shouting “Banzai, the Emperor!”
Professor An Byon-jik （安秉直）of Seoul University, who performed joint research with
the Korean Council on the Comfort Women for a couple of years just preceding the 1996
Coomaraswamy Report, said in his interview with Prof. SHIMADA Yoichi of Fukui Univ. in
Seoul in March, 2007, that “I did in-depth research on this but to the best of my knowledge there
is NO document that indicated that the Japanese Army had forcibly recruited women and girls.
Logically, why would there be a need for forced recruitment in the days Indentured Prostitution
was widely accepted practice due to poverty. (“Gendai-Korea” literally “Korea Today”, May
Professor Lee Yong-hoon （ 李栄薫） of Seoul University writes in his book
“Daikan-minkoku-no-monogatari” literally “The Story of Republic of Korea (Bungei Shunju,
2009)” that in early 1990s, some novels that mixed up the Drafting of Women and Comfort
Women were published in South Korea and thereafter, the people of South Korea began to
believe the novels as if they were stating true historical facts (pp.121-130). Sankei Shimbun
Newspaper reporters stationed in Seoul in the early 1990s shared the same observation.
The Special Rapporteur needs to demonstrate a hard evidence, not hearsay nor rumor,
of organized deception when making such a slanderous argument.
“In the quest for more women, private operators working for the military, as well as members
of the Korean police force who worked in collaboration with the Japanese, would come to the
villages and deceive girls with the promise of well-paid work. Alternatively, in the years
preceding 1942, Korean police would arrive in a village recruiting for the Women’s Voluntary
As the previously mentioned newspaper articles indicate, Korean Police provided protection and
security for girls. The “Women’s Voluntary Service Corps” was never put in place in Korea. The
order was issued at the last stage of the war but no recruitment was performed in Korea. Korean
procurers might have deceived the girls but this had nothing to do with the Japanese Army /
“Moreover, the wartime experiences of one raider, Yoshida Seiji, are recorded in his book, in
which he confesses to having been part of slave raids in which, among other Koreans, as many
as 1,000 women were obtained for “comfort women” duties under the National Labor Service
Association as part of the National General Mobilization Law.”
The story of Yoshida Seiji’s “slave raid” has been proven to be false. “My War Crimes,” the book
Special Rapporteur quoted for her factual bases was published first in Japan in 1983. Soon after
the Korean language version of the book was published next year, Ms. Heo Yeong-seon （許栄善）,
a reporter of the local newspaper “Jeju News” found the story was an outright lie. She carried an
article on August 14, 1989 edition of the Jeju News to report the fabrication (See Fig. 10).
In the article she carried, Mr. Kim Pon-oku（金奉玉）, a local historian of the Island,
declared, “Soon after publication of the book in 1983, I made an extensive research and soon
found the story a total lie. I consider the book is a foolish product demonstrating the vile nature
of Japanese commercialism.”
Inspection by many reporters and researchers followed and finally, Yoshida Seiji himself
admitted in his interview with a magazine editor in 1966 that the story was just a fabrication
designed to sell his book. The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, which carried 16 articles on the
Yoshida Seiji’s “slave raid”, ignored the accusation of the “liar newspaper” for a long period of
more than 20 years finally conducted its own investigation and admitted that the story was a
hoax on August 5, 2014. The Asahi Shimbun made a public statement of apology and retracted
all news articles related to Yoshida Seiji’s raid story.
“The Special Rapporteur was also informed that another common method of recruitment of sex
slaves seems to have been traders who were sent to Korea by each expeditionary army to collect
Korean women as military sexual slaves in cooperation with or with the support of the military
police and the police. It is alleged that these traders were usually appointed by army
headquarters, but possibly also by the division, brigade or regiment directly.”
If headquarters, or the division, brigade or regiment directly appointed traders, documents
pertaining to such appointments should be available. However, no such documents have ever
been found by the Japanese Government. The Korean Government or Korean NGOs/civic groups
may have such an appointment order or certification paper collected from traders but no such
document has ever been made public. The Special Rapporteur’s argument is merely based on
hearsay and is absolutely groundless.
In addition, Report uses the term “sex slaves” or similar wordings in many places
without an exact definition of the same. No reporter should use such incendiary wording
without sufficient analysis and reasoning. Otherwise, people may wonder if the author is
willfully attempting to use the report as a propaganda tool.
Surely, the Special Rapporteur must have received the document sent by HATA Ikuhiko,
professor at Chiba University, when she visited Japan in July, 1995. The title of the document is
“Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No.49,” prepared by the “United States Office of
War Information Psychological Warfare Team attached to U.S. Army Forces India-Burma APO
689.” It is the result of interrogation of “20 Korean Comfort Girls” captured on August 10, 1944,
after the fall of Myitkyina in Burma.
The U.S. Army report states: “A comfort girl is nothing more than a prostitute or
professional camp follower attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers.” The
report goes on: “They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was
especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material
was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles.
They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given
to them by soldiers who had received comfort bags from home…. While in Burma they amused
themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men, and attended picnics,
entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph; and in towns they were allowed to
Can one really call this “slavery”? American slaves had no pay-day, nor money to save at
a post office to buy luxury goods. Apparently, the Special Rapporteur picked up materials that
conveniently fit her pre-existing presumptions while refusing to examine other materials that
contradict her views. This is not an attitude any objective writer or reporter should take.
Paragraph 61 (b)
“The Government of Japan should recognize that drafting approximately 200,000 Korean
women as military sexual slaves and the establishment of comfort houses for the use of the
Japanese Imperial Army were carried out in a systematic and forcible manner by and/or with
the knowledge of the Government and the army command.”
On what basis did the Special Rapporteur calculate this number? Is there any basis for this
number? The Special Rapporteur bears the burden of proof when making such a slanderous
“In the first instance, it was argued that the forcible recruitment of 200,000 Korean women as
military slaves, their severe assault and the killing of most of them in the aftermath should be
considered a crime against humanity.”
No such mass killing was ever brought before the International Military Tribunal for the Far
East” (“Tokyo Tribunal”) and/or Class B/C War Crimes Trials held in various locations in China
and South East Asia. General MacArthur, who fought in the Korean War alongside the South
Korean Army, made no comment on any such atrocity. Again, the Special Rapporteur bears the
burden of proof for such a slanderous accusation.
“The Government of Japan admitted in August 1994 that the then Japanese military was
directly or indirectly involved in the establishment and management of comfort stations and the
transfer of comfort women. It admitted that military personnel took part directly in the
recruitment, which was carried out against the will of the women. It was further stated that this
was an act that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women.”
The Report states that the “Government of Japan admitted that military personnel took part
directly in the recruitment.” The basis of the argument is the “Statement by the Chief Cabinet
Secretary on 4 August 1993.”
This is not true. The Japanese Government did not admit to this in 1993 and has not and
does not admit that “military personnel took part in the recruitment of comfort woman.” The
1993 Kono Statement was issued as a political compromise between the two governments of
Japan and ROK in order to put an end to the comfort women dispute. An academic dispute over
history is one thing but political compromise is another matter, which does not necessarily
reflect historical facts. The official position of the Japanese Government is the 2007 Cabinet
Decision issued by the Abe Administration which adopted the following statement: “Of the
documents collected by the Government Investigation from across all ministries and agencies,
not a single document indicated the military’s direct participation in the forced recruitment.”
The Japanese Government retains the position today.
This can be verified by the following Diet discussion made by YAMADA Hiroshi, a member of
the House of Councilors and unsworn testimony of ISHIHARA Nobuo, former Deputy Cabinet
Secretary made at the Upper House Diet Session on February 20, 2014. Mr. Ishihara was the
working level top official when the 1933 Kono Statement was issued.
(Video Source/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE2P6U95AtI)
Information Source : “Comfort women, sex slaves of the Japanese Imperial Force” by G. Hicks
The factual basis of a large part of the “Historical Background” Section of the Report was
derived from a single book, which contains many errors. Cross-examination with other sources,
particularly with those written in the Japanese or Korean language is essential. However no
such effort was made in the Report. One obvious error of the report was using Yoshida Seiji’s
story of a slave raid on Jeju Island, as if it was historically factual basis, which was later proven
to be completely false, as mentioned earlier.
Information Source: Testimonies of former comfort women
The Report used the testimonies of former comfort women without sufficient verification of
whether their testimony was true or not. While false allegations are not uncommon in civil or
criminal courts, it appears that the basic legal principle of presumption of innocence is
disregarded when discussing the nation and people of Japan.
In the foreword of the book titled “Shogen: kyousei-renkou-sareta-chosenjin gun ianfu-tachi”
literally “Testimonies: Forcibly Recruited Korean Comfort Women (Akahi-Shoten, 1993),”
Professor An Byon-jik of Seoul University confessed that some of the former comfort women he
interviewed had intentionally distorted the facts. The book was edited by the Korean Council, a
Korean activist group the Special Rapporteur met in Seoul in July, 1995. Therefore, the
testimonies of former comfort women the Special Rapporteur obtained in Seoul may not be free
from distortion of facts as Prof. An Byon-jik believed his interviews were.
Among the list of former comfort women the Special Rapporteur interviewed, the author of this
report found the name “Ms. Lee Youg Su”. It is widely known that she tells a different story
every time, concerning the circumstance on her leaving home. At one point, her friend “Punsun”
appeared outside her home and, Ms. Lee tip-toed out of her home (Prepared Statement for Feb.
15, 2007 U.S. Congressional Hearings). Another time, the Japanese soldiers dragged Ms. Lee
out by the neck (Japan Times, Feb. 22, 2007). Within the same month, she made entirely
Not a single evidence showing the forced recruitment by the Japanese Army/Authority was
found as the result of the research made by the Japanese Government. The same applies to the
IWG Report that searched the U. S. archives. Neither the Korean Government nor Korean civic
groups have ever presented any evidence up to today. This means the nation and people of Japan
shall be entitled to the legal principle of Presumption of Innocence.
The 1996 Coomaraswamy Report contains the flaws such as the use of the fabricated
story of Yoshida Seiji’s slave raid as the factual basis of the Special Rapporteur’s conclusion.
Many quotations from G. Hicks’ book contradict with proven facts in history.
Considering the fact that the Report is the major source of the spreading of the
falsehood that the Imperial Army of Japan engaged in forced recruitment, tarnishing the
reputation of our fathers and mothers even today, members of our association request the UN
Committee of the Human Rights to either revise or rescind the 1996 Coomaraswamy Report.
For more details, please visit these sites.
-End of Report-
Prepared by Toshiaki Haginoya, representing the following three parties:
Society of Modern History
Email: T. Haginoya firstname.lastname@example.org
Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact
Shin Sakuma Bldg. 3F, 2-13-13, Nishi-Shimbashi,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0003, JAPAN
TEL +81 3-3519-4366 FAX +81 3-3519-4367
Japanese Women for Justice and Peace
4F-B Shinko Bldg., 3-13-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku,Tokyo 104-0061 JAPAN
TEL & FAX: +81 5031530391 Email: JapanNetwork1@gmail.com
Mr. HAGINOYA Toshiaki
Left: Recruitment ad placed on Seoul Daily July 26, 1944
Age Limit: 17 or older but not older than 23
Workplace: Rear Regiment of ○○
Monthly Salary: 300 yen or more (Advance Loan up to 3,000 yen available)
Applicants are required to appear from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in person for interview
IMAI Employment Agency Tel: 1613
Right: Recruitment ad placed on Mainichi News October 27, 1944
Destination: ○○ Division Army Comfort Station
Age Limit: 18 or older but not older than 30
Day of Application: Oct.27 – Nov.8
Departure: Around November 10
Salary and Welfare: To be decided after job interview
Number of Recruits Wanted: Dozens
Contact: Mr. Ho at Korean Hotel 2645
[May 13,1939 Asahi Shimbun Central Korea Edition]
Attack on Pink Party Den
Dawn of conscience in errand’s mind takes off the masks of dignitaries
A young girl ran into the Honcho Police HQ in early morning of the 12th day, weeping
and exhausted, asking for help. A few questions on her situation revealed the existence
of a large-scale Pink Party Den. Her name is Ko Ren-ko employed by Che Minko as a
housemaid. After she began to live in the Che family in March last year, she soon
noticed the wily nature of her female boss Che. Che was actually a sex broker using her
own house as a Pink Party Den.
She employed numerous girls, such as department store sales girls, nurses and female
office clerks, etc. in order to provide sex services for company VIPs using the girl Ko as
an errand. As Ko grew up she began to feel apprehension on the work and finally tried
to escape. Captured Ko was hit and kicked but as she felt the living condition
unbearable, ran again into the Police HQ seeking for help. The Honcho Police
immediately made a raid on the den and arrested Che and all there. The dark side of
Seoul will be exposed soon.
[March 30, 1939 Asahi Shimbun South Korea Edition]
Evil Criminals Sneaked into Village Girls
Many tricked into abduction to sell-off
Terrible Crime Revealed
As the interrogation of Kim Ou-man proceeds, the number of victims of terrible human
trafficking at the hands of the Kim family is now beyond 100. He roamed through poor
families in villages and used lies such as he would raise the girl as his foster daughter,
but forged the Power of Attorney to sell the girl to Manchuria. The result of the
interrogation was so shocking, the police has determined to intensify its law
enforcement activities under close cooperation with other police HQ stations.
[November 21, 1939, Asahi Shimbun South Korea Edition]
Suspects of Organized Kidnapping of Women and Girls Sent to Prosecutor
Ringleader is former Pusan Gov. Part-time Employee
Pusan Police arrested Kim Tou-jun, former part-time employee of the Pusan Municipal
Government, along with 77 others on suspicion of forgery and exercise of official seals
and official documents to commit fraud and abduction of many young girls. The
investigation was finalized on 21st and they were sent to the Prosecutor Office. Police
announced that as many as 28 girls were abducted and many others were kidnapped to
be taken away to the Southern Pacific. Police announced Kim Tou-jun and 9 others were
placed in custody and Recommendation for Indictment was given to 11 suspects. The
Prosecutor Office decided indictment for 5 suspects to be deferred, 6 to be suspended,
and not to indict 55.
[March 28, 1939 Asahi Shimbun South Korea Edition]
A Whole Family Arrested for Kidnapping Village Girls
Police raid released 12 confined girls
A criminal investigation by Seoul East Gate Police HQ discovered that 5 members of the
Kim family had conspired to kidnap girls from rural villages for the past 4 years. The
raid by Police HQ arrested Kim Ou-man, the head of the family and another of the
family and released 12 girls confined in the house. Three are on the run and the Police
are chasing them. According to the Police, the number of victims seems to be at least 50.
[March 1, 1938, Asahi Shimbun South Korea Edition]
Kidnapper Pretends to be a Milady
kidnapped 28 girls across Korea using 4 underlings
Kim Fukujun, 35, was arrested and taken into custody by the Shoro Street Police in
Seoul and is now under investigation with the charge of kidnapping 28 young girls
across Korea using 4 underlings. According to a recent press release by the police, she
abandoned and left her husband in Taegu to go to Seoul and used her beauty to pretend
to be a high-born lady for the purpose of kidnapping. Using her lover, Ri Shin-gyoku, to
supervise other kidnappers, Kim abducted 28 young girls across Korea including Ri
To-jun, 17, who was taken away from the anteroom of Taegu Station. The female boss
appeared at a procurer’s office in Seoul in person and sold off the 17-year-old girl for 15
Yen. Buying back and selling off the girl again and again, she finally sold the girl for 150
Yen at the 24th of such procurers.
[August 31, 1939, Toa Daily News]
Kidnappings of Women and Girls
by Bad Procurers Rampant in Rural Villages
Bad procurers are roaming poverty stricken rural areas and cheating village women
and girls at will, saying Manchuria is in an economic boom. Recently, in Pusan, it is said
that 45 procurers kidnapped more than 100 women and girls by using deception in a
conspiracy to sell them off to Manchuria. Pusan Police discovered one such case and
dispatched Lieutenant Yu and a group of detectives to Mukden in a hurry to arrest a
procurer. It is surmised that capture and interrogation of the procurer will reveal the
full scope of their devilish activities.
Source: Gahou-yakushin-no-nippon (literally “Japan at Great Leap”) January, 1941
Title: Banzai Hurrahs Resound Across Entire Korea
Korean people celebrate the speedy advance of the Japanese Army in China,
shouting “Banzai, Emperor!”