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Testimony Shows Comfort Women Were Forcibly Sent to Brothels

Testimony Shows Comfort Women Were Forcibly Sent to Brothels

Posted April. 23, 2007 04:33,   


The reason why Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not accepted Japanese governmental and military responsibility in the process of sending women and girls to brothels is because he claims there was no evidence of coercion. In advance of his visit to the U.S. scheduled on April 26, he explained in an interview with Newsweek his responsibility as the prime minister last Saturday regarding military comfort women and did not retreat from his existing position that is: “There is no evidence of coercion for the comfort women.”

Many cases submitted to Tokyo courts as evidence contain testimonies that contradict his assertion, however.

The following are questions and answers given by a Japanese lieutenant in January 1946 at an Allied Forces Netherlands tribunal in which he confessed the Japanese army "forcibly recruited comfort women from occupied territories.”

Q: Some witnesses said you raped women and sent them to military barracks for more sexual assault from Japanese soldiers.

A: I built a brothel for my soldiers and I used it too.

Q: Did the women accept being sent to the brothel?

A: Some accepted it and others did not.

Q: How many women lived there?

A: Six.

Q: How many women were sent against their will?

A: Five.

Q: Why were those women forcibly sent there?

A: They were daughters of people who attacked military police office.

Q: Were they sent to the brothel because of their fathers’ activities?

A: Yes.

Before this Q & A session, details about massacre of residents who tried to attack the military police office were stated.

On Portuguese East Timor Island the Japanese military forced the head of the area to cooperate with them to recruit comfort women. A Portuguese medic who witnessed the scene testified the following in June 1946.

“I know many places where Japanese people forced the head of each area to send girls to their brothels. They intimidated the head to cooperate with them in sending women and girls to the brothel by saying that they would send the head’s relative girls to the brothel unless they cooperated.”

The Japanese Navy directly managed a brothel in Borneo Island in Indonesia, and military police was responsible for gathering comfort women (July 1946). A Japanese freelancer took governmental information from the Netherlands in 1992 and released it in the Japanese monthly magazine Sekai. The Netherlands government included this information in a report summarized in January 1994.

The case of Magelang in Java Island in Indonesia (May 1946) was described vividly by a 25 year-old Dutch woman. She was detained in a brothel for three weeks with other comfort women by Japanese soldiers and was sent to detention camp by a Japanese military officer.

“We were sent to an asylum from a detention camp by Japanese soldiers on January 28, 1944 and underwent a health inspection by Japanese doctors on February 3. We heard that we would be sent to a brothel for the Japanese. There was a rumor that the brothel would open that night. After returning to our room, Ms. Bracker and I closed all our windows and doors. Around 9 o’clock in the evening, we heard knock. Military police forced us not to close the door. The military police brought a Japanese soldier and said we must accept the soldier. The military police forced us to do so by saying, ‘If you do not accept the soldier, your husband will be responsible for that.’ The brothel was opened for officers in weekdays, and for sergeants on Sunday afternoons. Sunday mornings was for private soldiers and sometimes for common Japanese people. We always resisted but it was in vain.”

The report also includes cases submitted by French inspectors which proved forced mobilization of prostitutes in Langson, Vietnam and fake advertisements for factory workers in Guilin, China.

Mr. Hayashi, a Japanese professor, pointed out that in addition to court documents, an official report publicized by the Japanese government in 1992 contained data that verifies the Japanese army was involved in the mobilization of sex slaves in China. A Japanese military officer’s instructions on the “mobilization of military comfort women,” which was sent to a military detachment stationed in China in March 1938, reveals the following records: “Detached units will control mobilization and lead the selection of comfort women; detached units should maintain close cooperation with local military police and police authorities.”