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
Coalition of Three Parties for Communicating Historical Truth
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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
Conclusion —— 18
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 apologizing enough.
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 Statement.
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 the base.
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 TrukIsland 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 Forces.
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:
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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 culprit’s responsibility.
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).”
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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 brokers.
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.
(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 Kanji-characters.)
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 Military.”
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 “social problems.”
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 Army/Authority.
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 Government.
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 well known.”
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 category.
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 2007)”
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 Service Corps.”
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 / Authority.
“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 go shopping.”
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 accusation.
“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 different statements.
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
※ APPENDIX (PDF Download)