It is commonly said that a neighbor is better than a cousin faraway.
Quite contrary to this saying however, there is a country in close proximity to us that rubs salt into the hurts of pent-up grudges.
That is none other than Japan, a war criminal state which had dispossessed our peaceful, fertile land and plunged the Asian continent into the holocaust by war, trampling them underfoot as being a heineously voracious predator during the first half of the twentieth century.
The impudent attempt by the Japanese authorities for justifying and covering up the crimes of sexual slavery committed by the Imperial Japanese Army is becoming increasingly undisguised up to the present when the world has entered an era of modern civilization. For this reason, the Japanese crimes remain yet a pending issue, not the issue of the past.
Sexual Slavery System Established Since 1920s
Along with the history of humankind, wars of aggression by the ruling classes have been incessantly waged. But none of the wars have ever recorded such a case where hundreds of thousands of women had been forced into sexual slaves.
Such vicious act – a crime – of forcing numerous women of the world, including 200,000-plus Korean women, into sexual slavery by the means of coercive drafting under the pretext of “comfort corps” was only possible to be committed by the Japanese militarists who had left no stone unturned for invasion of the Asian continent and realization of its ambition for world hegemony.
According to the data, Japan came to realize that it should set up – and it started to put into practice – the system of “comfort women for the army” in order to prevent the loss of fighting efficiency caused by venereal disease in its expected-to-be-long aggression war, the disease being an aftereffect of the “dispatch of its troops to Siberia” in 1918 when the Japanese soldiers were plagued with venereal disease caused by indecent sexual behaviour.
Japan actually started around the 1920s to set up and operate the “comfort stations” within its “Imperial Army”, and institutionalized the “comfort women” as one of the indispensible war supplies at the time of invading the Asian continent in the 1930s, and put them under the direct control, management and operation of its military.
Accordingly, “comfort stations” came to be set up and operated wherever the “Imperial Japanese Army” set their feet, including China, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and the South Seas, not to speak of Korea and the mainland of Japan.
These facts have been fully revealed by the testimonies of victims of the sexual slavery in the 1920s and the 1930s and of perpetrators of the forced drafting, as well as the confidential documents of that time, and the writings and attestations by the Japanese concerned.
Some of them are the following:
- Directive and note of caution by the Japanese military dated March 4, 1938 which was discovered by a professor of Chuo University in January 10, 1992.
- Wartime telegram of March 12, 1942, wired by a former commander of the Imperial Japanese Army stationed in Taiwan, showing the direct involvement of the then Japanese Prime Minister Tojo Hideki in the establishment of “comfort stations.” The telegram was found by a member of the Japanese Diet from the archive of the Japanese Defence Agency (at that time).
- Documents and diaries found by a professor of Showa University of Japan.
- Testimony of a staff officer in charge of supply service in the Kwantung Army contained in a book entitled “Comfort Women for Imperial Army” written by a Japanese.
- Article contributed by a Japanese woman in the September 1992 issue of “Sekai” magazine.
What do all these imply?
These imply that the recruitment of “comfort women” was not “voluntary” done by civilians but the forced drafting implemented under the directive of the Japanese government and military authorities, and that it was the Japan’s policy to set Korean women as its main target in filling up the required numbers.
The purpose of targeting mainly the Korean women flowed from the reason that Japan could calculatedly pursue multiple goals at the same time. It was sufficiently possible to recruit the Korean women in large numbers without spending money because Korea was the colony of Japan. It was also possible, therefore, to prevent venereal disease and keep military secrets, and by extension, pursue the policy of annihilating the Korean nation.
Cha Hye Gyong
Researcher, Institute for Studies of Japan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
(To be continued)