SDHF Newsletter No.340 “Comfort Women” All Signed a Contract of Agreement —Impact of the Ramseyer Article Series No. 7: Chapter 5: On the “Involvement” and “Responsibility” of The Japanese Government and the Japanese Army
“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. 7: Chapter 5: On the “Involvement” and “Responsibility” of
The Japanese Government and the Japanese Army
The comfort women system was legal, both domestically and internationally, at that time. Therefore, the involvement of the Japanese army with this system cannot be cited as a violation of the law.
If there were victims of the comfort women system, it was because some one violated the law. It is true that some comfort women were deceived or threatened into becoming comfort women, but these were things that unscrupulous Korean recruiters did and not the Japanese army.
The Japanese army issued many notices that cracked down on recruitment by the unscrupulous. Furthermore, if women who had been deceived or kidnapped were headed for either active battle zones or occupied areas, Japanese authorities would have demanded the presentation of five documents (a license for prostitution, a letter of consent, a personal background report, a sealed certificate and a copy of a family register) in addition to a contract and thoroughly reviewed them. This was intended to prevent risky comfort women from working at comfort stations.
The “Semarang Incident” took place in Indonesia, in which Japanese army officers took women from internment camps for local residents to set up private comfort stations and had them entertain soldiers. But in this case, these were “private comfort stations” set up without the knowledge of the upper echelon of the local military. When these private comfort stations came to their superior attention, the comfort stations were ordered closed.
This incident shows that this was not a crime committed by the Japanese army but a crime committed by specific officers. In fact, the officers faced a war crime trial after the war and were convicted. Indonesia, where many of these “private comfort stations” were, displayed the most benign attitude to Japan in terms of the comfort women issue.
The Netherlands, Indonesia’s former colonial master, dealt with this issue in the same manner.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact