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“Comfort House” Manager Who Commanded Sex Slaves Is Enshrined in Yasukuni

“Comfort House” Manager Who Commanded Sex Slaves Is Enshrined in Yasukuni

Posted March. 30, 2007 07:45,   


It has been revealed that the Japanese government and the Yasukuni Shrine have been honoring the manager of a military brothel, where women were enslaved and forced to have sex with Japanese troops.

A book released by the Japanese National Diet Library on March 28 titled, “A New Compilation of Materials on Yasukuni Shrine Problems,” unveiled records showing that the former Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) and Yasukuni Shrine had enshrined a Japanese man who operated a brothel in Jakarta, Indonesia during World War II, according to a report by Tokyo Shimbun on March 29.

The disclosed document is the record of a meeting among seven governmental officials from the Bureau of War Victims’ Relief under the MHW and two authorities from the Yasukuni Shrine. In the minutes, a phrase “The deceased (a Japanese national residing overseas) to be enshrined,” is followed by a description, “Manager of Sakura Club—died of illness while serving a 10-year sentence for forcing women into prostitution.”

Pundits researching Japanese class-B and class-C war criminals were quoted by Tokyo Shimbun as saying that this person had coerced women into sexual slavery between September 1943 and 1945 in the Indonesian city of Jakarta. He was convicted in a trial in the Netherlands and died of disease in 1946, after serving a year of his time.

The Asian Women’s Fund had once made it public that the “Sakura Club,” which has appeared in investigation reports on “comfort women,” was a brothel for ethnic Japanese living abroad, and that its manager set up the business after being pressured to do so by Japanese government authorities. The Japanese government is practically involved in this matter as a result.

Hirofumi Hayashi, a professor of modern history at Kanto Gakuin University specializing in class B and C war criminals and sexual slavery during World War II, said, “To be enshrined in Yasukuni, one has to be recognized as a person that cooperated in the war effort. We can say that the state has officially recognized a brothel operator as a wartime contributor.”

In addition, the materials released by the National Diet Library also support the fact that the former MHW had been frequently engaged in discussions with the shrine to choose those to be enshrined.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said on March 29, “It would have been the shrine that took care of the enshrinement, while the MHW only provided information following requests. I don’t see any problem here.”