Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact


SDHF Newsletter No.332 “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. 3: Prologue: Part I Chapter 1: Nature of the Article
“Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War”

Criticisms of Ramseyer’s paper are either distorted interpretations or blatant falsification of the paper based on sheer ignorance.
Firstly, is the claim that “Ramseyer denies the involvement of the Japanese government and the Japanese Army in the comfort women system” reasonable?
This is demonstrably false. Ramseyer’s paper outlines the Japanese government’s involvement with the comfort station system. “…the government established the institution to fight venereal disease. To be sure, it had other reasons too. It wanted to reduce rapes.”
All armies, in all ages and places, have only three options concerning their soldiers’ sexual activity in warzones: turn a blind eye to inevitable rape, turn a blind eye to prostitution, or establish military brothels to control their soldiers’ sexual activity. Soviet Russia adopted the first, resulting in wide-scale rape by Soviet soldiers in occupied areas. The U.S. Army ignored their soldiers’ use of paid sexual services, which caused a spread of venereal diseases, general corruption of public morals and social unrest. Moreover, it is now known that the U. S. established military brothels in Italy, Morocco, Algeria and Liberia. Thus, it is preposterous that the U. S. denounced the Japanese army comfort women system and went as far to adopt a House resolution condemning Japan.
Secondly, some claim that “the article confuses the comfort women system with licensed/unlicensed prostitution”. Ramseyer, in fact, wrote: “Although the comfort stations hired their prostitutes on contracts that resembled those used by the Japanese licensed brothels on some dimensions, the differences were important.” The most important difference was the duration of the contractual term because of the risk of being in a warzone—only two years compared to six years in Japan and three years in Korea.
Thirdly, the claim that “the article denies the possibility of women being deceived or ignores cases of deception” is wrong. Ramseyer clearly states that “It was not that the government – either the Korean or the Japanese government– forced women into prostitution. It was not that the Japanese army worked with fraudulent recruiters.” A considerable amount of up-front money was presented and, if the woman saw this, it would be difficult to say that the woman had absolutely no knowledge about what was involved.


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