Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact


SDHF Newsletter No.326 “Comfort Women” All Signed a Contract of Agreement —Impact of the Ramseyer Article

“Comfort Women” All Signed a Contract of Agreement
—Impact of the Ramseyer Article

Arima Tetsuo, Professor, Waseda University

(English Translation: Society for the Dissemination of Historical Facts)

Series No. 1: Dear Japanese Readers, Introduction, TOC

Professor Mark Ramseyer of Harvard Law School wrote a paper titled “Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War” and published it in International Review of Law and Economics.

As a result, extremists protested in Korea and the US–3,650 professors signed a petition demanding the paper’s retraction.

In 1982, Yoshida Seiji wrote My War Crimes, wherein he claimed that he went to the Korean Peninsula together with military personnel to “hunt for comfort women.” Japan’s leading paper, The Asahi Newspaper, swallowed this fairy tale whole and featured it in a total of 18 articles. Thereafter, “forced conscription” of “200,000” Korean comfort women and “sex slaves” became buzzwords in Japan and overseas. But as Yoshida himself admitted, he completely fabricated his story. In 2014, The Asahi Newspaper retracted the 18 articles that featured Yoshida’s fairy tale.

However, the comfort woman stories are still accepted as historical facts by academics.

Academics and history researchers in Japan, Korea and the US have made numerous rebuttals concerning the comfort women issue. The current book will be the first one published specifically on the Ramseyer issue. Professor Arima Tetsuo, Waseda University, is a well-known scholar who uses primary source materials from western archives. He takes on the critics of Ramseyer’s paper based on primary source materials.

In his contribution to this book, Professor Ramseyer writes:

Naturally, the Japanese army neither had any need to forcibly round up prostitutes nor the time to do so. Yoshida himself also later admitted that what he wrote in his book was fictitious. Furthermore, there is no evidence of so called comfort women hunts in official documents from those days.

These points show that no forced abduction of comfort women occurred anywhere on the Korean Peninsula. In arguments among academics, however, the clearer the facts, the more heated the attacks. I think that is exactly what happened to me.


MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact