‘New evidence’ of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery unveiled

A+
A
A-

Park Han-yong, a professor at Korea University’s Center for Korean History, shows a diary which a Korean manager of Japanese brothels wrote while staying in Myanmar and Singapore between August 1942 and December 1944 during a press conference Thursday. Yonhap News

SEOUL—New evidence was unveiled Thursday that Japan’s imperialist army directly managed Asian women for sexual slavery, dealing a fresh blow to Tokyo’s denials of responsibility.

Korea University’s Centre for Korean History disclosed a diary that a Korean manager of Japanese brothels wrote while staying in Myanmar and Singapore between August 1942 and December 1944.

The diary shows that the Japanese army received revenue-related reports from military brothels, examined the bodies of sex slaves and regulated the relocations of sexual entertainment facilities.

“The diary shows the case in which the Japanese military with an absolute personnel management authority issued direct orders and took control of issues regarding the comfort women (sex slaves),” Park Han-yong, professor at the university centre, told a press conference.

“This diary is a historical record that shows the Japanese military, the Japanese Government General of Korea and its military command in Korea were involved in the forced mobilization of Korean women for sexual slavery.”

Tokyo argues that there is no clear evidence that sex slaves, euphemistically called “comfort women”, were forcibly mobilized by its military. It stressed civilian entities were to blame for the crime, turning a deaf ear to the victims’ calls for an apology and compensation.

Historians estimate that at least 50,000 women from Asian countries including Korea, China, the Philippines and Indonesia were forcibly made to serve as sex slaves of Japan’s imperialist army.

In the diary, an entry dated July 29, 1943, describes how a woman who left one brothel after getting married was ordered by the military to return.

Another entry, dated March 10, 1943, outlines how some comfort women collectively expressed anger at the order by the army’s 55th division to relocate to a different brothel. Later, they backed down under pressure from the army, the diary said.

The diary also confirmed that the Japanese army recruited Korean women to provide sex to frontline soldiers on at least four occasions. An entry in the diary dated April 6, 1944 touches on the “fourth batch” of comfort women.

Formerly, a US report, written in November 1945, confirmed that 703 comfort women and around 90 people involved in management departed from a Busan port in July 1942.

Oh Chae-hyeon, chief of a local museum, obtained the diary a decade ago at a provincial bookstore during his historical research. After finding it contained much content on comfort women, he decided to offer it to a research centre for in-depth analysis.

According to the Korea University center, the writer of the diary, who previously worked as a scrivener, moved to Southeast Asia in 1942 for business, and stayed in the region between 1942 and 1944.

Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement has been one of the thorniest issues between Seoul and Tokyo as Seoul regards it as a human rights issue while Tokyo refuses to recognize the wartime crime.

In recent years, Seoul has stressed the issue should quickly be resolved as many of the victims, mostly in their late 80s, have died of old age.

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • alcbu

    That’s why I believe there will be skirmishes, not an all out war, in the contested waters and islands. China and all other Asian nations except maybe the Philippines is itching to even the score for Japan’s atrocities in the last war. Unlike Germany, Japan never wholeheartedly owned up it’s past mistakes. They continue to deny wrongdoings like this, its’ leaders go to that Shrine of war criminals to pay respects, its’ schools are revising history to paint a better picture of why they went to war and cover up the atrocities for the next generations. Young Japanese would not know the the mistakes of their forefathers, setting the stage of a repeat.
    I wouldn’t be surprise if many Koreans and other Asians who were subjugated and brutalized would silently like China to give Japan some rattling. The Philippines well, we forget easily.

    • Guest

      The Koreans should be as guilty as the Japanese. In World War 2 most of the Korean integrees in the Japanese armed forces are more ruthless and barbaric than the regular Japanese army, maybe because they vented their ire and their discontent on to other vanquished military forces and inhabitants of conquered countries, in which they cannot do to the Japanese Imperial forces.

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        Koreigooks and Japgooks, both perpetrators of crimes against humanity . Both had escaped the clutches of justice once the atomic bombs were dropped. Many had forgotten what these two had done in WW2.

        These two look almost the same . The Koreigooks were the lucky ones to escape the scrunity after the war. You can never fully comprehend what these criminals did when they were committing these crimes, dios ko por santo…..

    • socali

      This was 80 years ago. China is the new imperial Japan now

      • alcbu

        No, China will never do what Japan did. It’s not in their DNA. For 5,000 yrs they never crossed oceans to invade other countries except to do business and share culture.
        Do not confuse what is happening now to what China’s intentions are. It’s one thing to assert a claim and it’s another to invade other countries to satisfy expansionist ambitions. Otherwise they would be claiming a Palawan or a Mindoro already not some rocky islets or sandbar. Of course we should make a claim too. It’s a dispute. But the Philippines is safe. China is too big a nation with 1.5 billion people to govern. I don’t think they want to add 80 million to that.
        But a country that is in denial of its’ past mistakes where a new generation is taught that what happened was just a trifle consequence of war. A nation that does not learn from history is bound to repeat it. And you know which country I am referring to.

      • socali

        So what about Tibet then? What about Xinjian? China wants to expand pure and simple.

      • alcbu

        What about them? They’re part of China. China didn’t invade them, Tibet and Xinjiang have no government or military to invade. There’s just monks and nomads. They’ve always been a part of China by analogy the same as our Mindanao which was inhabited by tribes and muslims before.

      • socali

        Dude your an idiot. Obviously someone paid to post here. If you know your history, the Tibetans have always had autonomy from China. Also the Uighurs. They had independent kingdoms. Tibet is more closely linked to India than China.

      • Penny Lane

        how about your mindanao? the muslims are closely linked to malaysia than to the luzon christians? your restive muslims are still after all these years yearning for their independence, aren’t they?

      • alcbu

        ..have always had autonomy from China… and your calling somebody an idiot.
        Bereft of expressing intelligent knowledge and you resort to name calling. That’s smart.

      • socali

        But its the truth. You speak lies or you are just an idiot. So which is it? A liar on an idiot? Surely you cannot back up your claim with concrete evidence, while I have the evidence of thousands of manuscripts and documents throughout the ages to back my claim. Again, China loves to distort history so that it can consume other lands. They did it with Tibet and Xinjiang, and they will do it to Vietnam and the Philippines. Yes that is smart.

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        Mindanao is not part of Pinas. It was only incorporated bec of the Kachila Snakes. The Muslims of Mindanao dont wanna be part of the Luzonian leadership. Your influx of Tagalolos and Tagailokoskos in Mindanao was your way to displaced the muslims. ISnt it the truth ?

        Your scheme to grant homesteading to many Tagalolos, TagaIlokoskos and Ilonggos after the Phil independence in 1946 was mainly a political move to own Mindanao and thus displacing the tribal lands of the lumads, muslims and many others.

      • socali

        Have you heard of Bangsamoro? You should look it up. At least we are trying to give our Muslim brothers a voice. China just machine guns innocent Tibetans and gentrifies entire Tibetan regions with an influx of Han Chinese. Where is the resource sharing of China and Tibet? wala. Where is the tax sharing? wala. Sorry, but please don’t compare the Philippines to China. China is the dirtiest country in Asia. It has more blood on its hands than any other country in the region.

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        The fact remains, the muslims and many lumads dont trust the Luzonian tribes who now encrouched into their tribal lands and owned much of their resources. If you look back to the history of who runned the govt in Manila , they were mainly Tagalolos, Taga Ilokoskos and Taga Panay . Thus many of their local constituents were migrants to Mindanao.

        You can meet a lot of them , they were the homesteaders who got the first dib to vast tracks of land in Mindanao. Ganon ang mga pamaraan ng Pino cchio govt. They served their regional supporters . Like Marcos for Ilokanlolos, like Macapagal for Pampangos, like Garcia for Ilocos, like Roxas for Capizanos, etc.

      • socali

        Again, what would you rather choose? Distrusting a central government which is giving you de facto control of your own land in Bangsamoro, or the Chinese way of just killing all independence fighters and not giving rights to the indigenous people? You of course will choose China’s way because you are a paid agent. However, for the rest of us freedom loving folks, we try to choose the path of civility and compromise. We may not be a perfect democracy, but we try. That is the difference between us and you. We live free. We do not need to be paid to voice an opinion.

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        China is a huge landmass. A centralized govt that is strong and feared upon is the Chinese way. If you dont have a strong gov t then things fall apart in a heartbeat.

        The Phils is another story. The country is owned and runned by rich oligarchs and political dynasties reminiscent of the Kachila Snakes of old. They passed on the legacy of feudalism or the hacienderos of the European trash. The few elites and moneyed people who controlled the means of production. If you just work and follow the hacienderos, then you will live . If you screw up, then you will suffer. Thus it gave way to warlordism .

      • alcbu

        ok, thank you for expressing your opinion, no matter how distorted it is, it’s been amusing talking with you.
        Now, I give you BakbakanNakoy for round 2.

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        southporn,
        are you faxting again ? you dont know shzt about Tibetan history, do you? just as Mindanao was never part of Luzon . Visayas was never part of Luzon island. But look at now, the corrupt Tagalolos and Taga Ilokoskos are running the govt since 1946.

      • Penny Lane

        Tibet, xinjiang, inner mongolia, hong kong, taiwan, macau, manchuria are all internationally recognized as part of china proper. Name any nation in the world that is part of UN and has diplomatic relation with china that think otherwise. Even India recognized this fact. All of them have long history with china for better or for worse dating back before the advent of Christ. If its your opinion, who cares. What matters is what the international and UN recognizes that they are part of China.

      • alcbu

        Wrong send, this reply should go to socali the wise

      • socali

        hahahah ok. Whatever you say, buddy. Recognition can always change. Remember that. Governments may recognize China’s bogus claims to occupied territory but the people living abroad, the people who think for themselves know that Tibet and Xinjiang are occupied territory. They are a part of China like the way a rapist kidnaps a beautiful woman and makes her his wife. That is the type of relationship Tibet and Xinjiang have with China. China is an occupier, and imperialist, and is worst than Japan in World War II

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        Just leave Mindanao to the Mindanaoans and Visayas to the Visayans. Go back to Luzon and become a Tagalolo and TagaIlokoskos, dumbazz.

      • skylord

        sa Jumong at mga asia nobelas sumasali sa pag-aagawan ng teritoryo ang china at mga koreano… There were times that China is taking part of korean lands. At sa tingin ko kaya hindi sila ng invade or imperialist (masyado) kasi ang China ay binubuo ng maraming warlords dati… internal yung awayan at hindi pa sila united at malakas, now is a different thing. Although same goes for other nations, no one would start the war without an acceptable cause (para hindi maging villain tingnan), but I think many government have thought of “What if we start a war?” and that includes China I guess.

      • socali

        China has always tried to make Korea a satellite state. Before Japan’s occupation, Korea was paying tribute to Chinese emperors. That is imperialism. China is just bitter because Japan keeps beating them in wars.

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        Empires come and go. China had it s peaks and lows like all things under the sun. The highest was during the Yuan to Ming dynasties. Then the gradual decline during the last Qing Dynasty. So with China today, it is the reawakened Dragon. Just be ready for China will spew fire if push comes to shove.

      • Penny Lane

        Agree empires come and go, and with its peaks and lows. dynasties wax and wane with time. however, the highest peak and greatest of them all were the Han and the Tang dynasties, followed by the Ming dynasty. The Yuan is a short lived dynasty while the Ching dynasty reached its epoch from the 17th century and started its decline in the mid 1800s until 1911.

        The point is china was around when the Greek was it is grandest, when Rome was at is grandeur, when the Assyrians ruled the middle east, when Moses led his people from Egyptian bondage, when the pharoahs were building their pyramids, when Alexander the Great established his empire, when the Ottoman Turks ruled much of the middle east and parts of Eastern Europe. Yet China outlived all of them. Its core written and spoken language remains the same, its culture has not changed, its philosophies and religion is as it was while all these ancient civilization are but distant memories and their present descendants are as remote and have little linkage to their historical pasts.

        The great military genius, Napoleon Bonaparte was quoted as saying about 200 years ago, “let china sleep for when the dragon awaken from its long slumber, the world will tremble”.

        The great Indian polymath Rabindranath Tagore predicted with great accuracy in 1915 when he said “”The nations which today own the world’s resources fear the rise of China and wish to postpone the day of that rise.”

      • Penny Lane

        80 years ago so what? Nobody is criticizing Germany. Why because Germany has fully repented in words and in deeds. The passing of years will not erase Japan’s guilt. To forget is to be condemned to repeat it. Philippines forget easily. Most don’t even know or aware of comfort women, unit 731, the rape of manila, perhaps ignorant too of the role of pnoy’s grandfather during the war as a collaborator..or what you call makapili. In other countries, these 20th century Benedict Arnolds are forever seared into the memories of their people for generations to come, but in the Philippines nobody care. Nobody care anymore about the poor souls over 200th needlessly slaugthered, bayonetted, murdered, raped, victims including babies, pregnant mothers, nuns, old people, non combatants all without mercy and all for the glory of emperor hirohito and the yamato empire. Until japan fully stand up to its role and its crime, china, korea and others will never forget (except of course the phils). maybe you should ask for an invitation to join them in their annual pilgrimage to this yasukuni shrine to pray for their ww2 war criminals. But who is paying for your 200th innocent victims during the rape of manila in the waning days of WW2? Who? Will you? Are you? is anyone actually praying for them?

        Japan should learn from its own General Iwane Matsui. Although he led the assault on Nanking he was taken ill and was relieved during the actual rape of the city where over 200th were systematically killed and raped without mercy. General Matsui was eventually used as a scapegoat by Emperor Hirohito to shield his Uncle, Prince Asaka, who was responsible for the crime in Nanking. General Matsui was tried and hanged for a crime he did not commit. But before that, he built a large statue of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, facing in the direction of Nanking, as a symbol of his sorrow and regret for the rape of Nanking.

        May I asked you, to date, how many Filipinos has China killed or massacred during the long history of its relation with the nation?

        So go ahead and be a lover of this Abe and his right wing gang. Maybe you are also a descendant of a makapili just like Pnoy?

      • socali

        Stop giving us a history lesson. Again. What is done is done. You are just rehearsing the technical details. China is the new imperial Japan now. That is the truth and that is reality.

      • Penny Lane

        history is what will determine the future. Since you don’t care about your own war victims, nobody can really help you. but go ahead and kiss Abe and his crowd. you can volunteer your friends or maybe your family member to serve as one of their sex slaves since this osaka mayor hashimoto said it is necessary for the morale of their soldiers. Or you can exchange ideas with this nazi and hitler loving Deputy PM Aso on how they can change their constitution. That is the truth and that is reality.

      • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

        You need to be taught fast and good, southpornya. If not now, then you will remain as dumb as ever. Learn , boy. Learn….

      • reddfrog

        To forget is to do a grave injustice to your lolos and lolas.

    • blue_lights

      The persons who were responsible for such acts are most likely dead by now.

      If we follow your logic, the Australians of today would be punished for what they did to the aborigines. I don’t remember any widespread apologies having been issued by their government. Do you?

      • alcbu

        Why? What did the Aussies do to the aborigines? Enlighten me.

      • blue_lights

        I wasn’t there to witness this first-hand, just as you probably weren’t there to witness the rapes and maltreatment of women in WW2.

        However, aborigine civil rights organizations have brought forth complaints of their forced integration/assimilation into the new society (settlers) in Australias early years, which caused them (the tribes) to be exposed to strange new diseases, death, and economic marginalization. That’s not even mentioning the land / property that they lost.

        Following your eye-for-an-eye mentality, should the aborigines drive out / marginalize this current group of Australians (which includes immigrants) who had nothing to do with any of the acts committed by a different generation?

      • alcbu

        Never said that, pls read again

      • reddfrog

        Australia did apologize. It culminated in having an aborigine carry the Olympic torch at the Sydney games. The Japanese however teaches their young that Japan is the victim, not the aggressor, that is why you see a rise of Japanese ultranationalists who sometimes roam the strrets of Tokyo with their loudpeakers.

      • blue_lights

        I did not know about that. Thank you for the information, I learn something new every day.

  • Vincent

    80 years na… sino paparusahan nila yung lolo mong hapon?

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

editors' picks

advertisement

popular

advertisement

videos