Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact

This Article

NGO Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Submitted by Japan NGO Coalition against Racial Discrimination Series No.8 Comfort Women and the Coomaraswamy Report


7. Comfort Women and the Coomaraswamy Report
(1) Relevant Recommendations of the Committee, and statements of the Government
- Paragraph 18 of the concluding observations (CERD/C/JPN/CO/7-9)
- Comments by the Government of Japan regarding the Concluding Observations
(2) Main Points: The Committee’s Understanding of the Comfort Women is Incorrect
Considering the pointless, irrelevant observations and recommendations of the
committee, much to our great regret we must tell you that your understanding of the
Comfort Women is terribly incorrect.
Primary source evidences such as US Army Reports clearly indicates that “a comfort
girl is nothing more than a prostitute or professional or camp followers attached to the
Japanese Army for the benefit of soldiers”; they worked on contract to pay off the family
debt, which was advance loan payment provided by a procurer, and their average income
was 1,500 yen per month, when a skilled factory worker could earn only 30 yen per
month; and allowed a prerogative of refusing a customer such as drunken ones. (See the
words underlined in red in Appendix 1). Another US Army Report states that “all
Korean prostitutes that PoW (Prisoner of War) have seen in the Pacific were volunteers
or had been sold by their parents into prostitution” (See the words underlined in red in
Appendix 2)
Comfort Women were highly-paid prostitutes, working on a voluntary contract basis
at the rear of battlefields. They were basically no different from the Japanese prostitutes
worked for RAA (Recreation and Amusement Association) of the U.S. Army during the
Occupation Years following the WWII and therefore, the government of Japan is not
required to do anything further than those already made so far.
(3) Background
Presumably, the committee’s incorrect understanding of the comfort women is based
on the 1996 Coomaraswamy Report (*1) (hereinafter the “Report” where appropriate).
The Report does not reflect the true picture of the Comfort Women. The Report is written
based on the two books highly motivated to spread biased views of the Comfort Women
- 39 -
in an attempt to smear or disparage the nation and people of Japan.
One such book is “The Comfort Women” written by G. Hicks. The author quoted
heavily from the book titled “The Emperor’s Forces and Korean Comfort Women” by Kim
Il Myon, which is filled with baseless rumors, unfounded hearsays, wildly farcical and
ridiculous hoaxes and fabrications, some of which are part of porn novels, movie scenes,
and cartoon stories. This book is worthless as a historic material.
Moreover, “Select annotated bibliography” of “The Comfort Women” by G.Hicks writes,
Many sources are of limited circulation and accessibility, being the nature of pamphlets
or special interest publications obtained through direct contact with activists.” This
means the main sources of the information of the author was activists such as Yun Chunok
(Chair of Chong Dae Hyup: Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual
Slavery by Japan) and USUKI Keiko (President of the Association for Clarifying Japan’s
Postwar Responsibility).
Generally, source materials written by activists require serious examination of the
validity since such literature materials are often written under strong influence of the
activists. Lack of such serious examination by the author is obvious in this book.
However, by blindly believing that the content of the book is true, Ms. Radhika
Coomaraswamy made a serious mistake of containing distorted views of the comfort
women in the Report, even a part of novel in Paragraph 21.
There were comfort women and comfort stations. However, there was no forcible
recruitment by the Japanese Army and/or Officials as G. Hicks claims in his book. The
results of 1993 investigation by the Japanese Government and also 2007 IWG Report
(*2) by the U.S. Government corroborate and back up the views. Moreover, Korean
Government and/or civic groups have not presented hard evidences to the contrary up to
this time.
The “Women’s Volunteer Service Corps” were basically the same as “Rosie the Riveter”
and nothing else. No girls or women were mobilized as “Women’s Volunteer Service Corps”
and then deceived into serving as military sexual slaves as Paragraphs 15, 29, or 30
claims in the Report.
Mr. Lee Yong-hoon, professor emeritus at Seoul University, wrote in his book “大韓民
国の物語(The Story of the Republic of Korea)”published in 2009 that “Out of 175
former comfort women who came forward so far, I guess there is no one who testified
that she had been first mobilized as “Women’s Volunteer Service Corps” and then forced
to become a comfort woman. So many researchers spent a long time and made efforts to
clarify this point to their no avail. Little wonder that these two historical events are
entirely different from the very start. (p.134)”
- 40 -
The same applies even today. No one claimed she was first mobilized as a member of
the “Women’s Volunteer Service Corps” and then forced to become a comfort woman. If
you still claim there is such a case, you should identify her name with kanji-letters.
The other book is “My War Crimes” by Yoshida Seiji, the only the offender’s side of
story of “large-scale coercion and violent abduction of women in what amounts to slave
raids in countries under Japanese control.” (Paragraph 27)
The Report describes in Paragraph 29 that “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.”
Yoshida’s “My War Crimes” has already been proven to be a fabrication conjured by a
greedy liar who just craved fame and fortune. Yoshida Seiji declared this book was a
fabrication in May, 1996, and the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which made a “selftormenting
war-guilt campaign” based on the Yoshida’s book admitted that his raids in
the Cheju Island had never happened, made a formal apology to the public, and retracted
16 news articles relating to the author in September, 2014. Yoshida’s son testified that
his father had never been to the Cheju Island, wrote the book by referring to the maps
of the island, and publicly expressed his wish to pull out and remove all comfort women
statues built around the world by using cranes in Aril, 2016. As Paragraphs 29 and 30 of
the Report were written based on the Yoshida’s book, their description must be
substantially revised.
(4) Conclusions and Recommendations
1996 Coomaraswamy Report presents distorted wrong views of the Comfort Women,
and UN/CERD committee is spreading unsubstantiated stories of former comfort women.
The resultant by-product is racial hostility between Japan and South Korea, which
appears non-repairable for the next decades. These two nations are otherwise two
democracies that should enjoy mutual friendship and peace as good neighbors. In effect,
you are violating the human rights of the present-day Japanese by false accusations of
sexual slavery, quite like witch trials in the Medieval Age. Considering the above, we
strongly urge that the UN/CERD committee take immediate action to:
(a) Notice that the committee has a wrong idea on the comfort women based on the
1996 Coomaraswamy Report and, as the result, presented recommendations
- 41 -
that are categorically unacceptable for the nation and people of Japan;
(b) Stop the insults and disparagement that damage the reputation of the nation
and people of Japan by making such false accusations. Particularly,
disrespectful remarks against our ancestors are intolerable.
(c) Substantially revise or invalidate the whole of the 1996 Coomaraswamy Report;
(d) Devote your attention and effort to the current problems now going on in the
world such as human trafficking of North Korean female refugees being
captured and sold for coerced marriage with Chinese farmers who are short of
brides, rather than intervening into history matters still in dispute, which must
be left to the discussion of historians.
Reported by “Japanese Women for Justice and Peace”
(*1) 1996 Coomaraswamy Report
Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and
consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, in accordance with Commission on Human
Rights resolution 1994/45
Report on the mission to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of
Korea and Japan on the issue of military sexual slavery in wartime

(*2) 2007 IWG Report
Nazi War Crimes & Japanese Imperial Government Records
Interagency Working Group
Final Report to the United States Congress, April 2007

This is a massive research mandated by two acts of the U.S. government, which was
carried out over nearly seven years reviewing through classified U.S. government
documents expending $30 million since 1999. The study found no evidence of crimes in
the the comfort women system. The final report was submitted to U.S. Congress in 2007.
- 42 -

Team Attached to U.S. Army Forces India-Burma Theater Japanese Prisoner of War
Interrogation Report No. 49 ——————————————————— 63
2. Military Intelligence Service Captured Personnel & Material Branch
Composite Report on Three Korean Navy Civilians, List. 76, Dated 28 Mar 45, Re
“Special Questions on Koreans. —————————————————————- 71

Japan NGO Coalition against Racial Discrimination (JNCRD)
Comfort Women and the Coomaraswamy Report
Appendix 2
Military Intelligence Service Captured Personnel & Material Branch
Composite Report on Three Korean Navy Civilians,
List. 76, Dated 28 Mar 45, Re “ Special Questions on Koreans.”
Owned by and in the custody of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration