Date: 1/31/2007 1:20:00 PM
From: Yoshio Wakatsuki
Subject: NBR'S JAPAN FORUM (POL) Comfort women
William Underwood wrote:
> Abe personally pressured NHK to tone down (self-censor) its description of the
"citizens' tribunal" on the comfort women system.
This claim has been turned down by the Tokyo District Court on Jan 29 2007.
Forumers here would be pleased to hear evidences Mr. Underwood may have come up with to conclude that Abe “personally pressured NHK to tone down” .
>Statement, which acknowledged the forcible nature of the comfort women system and the Imperial Army's direct involvement.
To begin with, the issue of “sex on the battle field” is an old and enduring problem, which is not limited to East Asia in WWII.
In the case of Japanese army, some personal account has been made into the falsehood, which has been spread all over the world today.
There was a point in time when some Japanese conducted a campaign wherein “comfort women” (prostitutes) were rounded up like slaves and forced to be the companions of Japanese soldiers. To make it worse, the Murayama JSP/LDP government’s responses have, without foundation on facts, preferred to concerns of the governments of neighboring countries.
I want to share background information and US army documents on this issue.
“ In 1945, in Myitkynia in northern Burma, twenty Korean comfort women and their employers, a Mr. and Mrs. Kitamura, were interviewed. In the record,we can find statements such as “comfort women” are nothing more than simple prostitutes” and “the women’s average total monthly earnings were 1,500 yen, and 750yen, which went to their bosses” (at that time, monthly pay of a
sergeant in the Japanese army was 30 yen, meaning those prostitutes made over 25 times more money!)
“The "house master" received fifty to sixty per cent of the girls' gross earnings depending on how much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract. This meant that in an average month a girl would gross about fifteen hundred yen. She turned over seven hundred and fifty to the "master". Many "masters" made life very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles.
In the latter part of 1943 the Army issued orders that certain girls who had paid their debt could return home. Some of the girls were thus allowed to return to Korea.”
(US office of war Information, Psychological and Warfare Team, attached to the US Army Forces India-Burma Theater, APO 689)>http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html
In March of 1945, depositions were taken from three Korean civilians.
They said, “ On the battle zones of the Pacific War, the Korean comfort women we met were all either volunteers, or women who had been sold by their parents.”
(Composite Report on Three Korean Civilians List No. 78, dated 28 March, 1945, “Special Question on Koreans” in the US National Archives)
In 1983, a Japanese man named Yoshida Seiji, who was later found out to be a member of Japanese Communist Party, had “confessed” by saying “During the war, I went to Cheju Island (in Korea) under orders from the army to round up several women to be military comfort women”.
Then Asahi Shinbun (News paper) reported his “confession” as truth and on Aug 11, 1991, Asahi correspondent Takashi Murakami reported that “ One of the Korean military comfort women who were forcibly taken to the battlefield as comfort woman has come forward”
In 1989, a female journalist of the Cheju Island Newspaper followed up the story by conducting on the spot investigation. The local residents all denied the story, saying, “We have lived here since that time, and we know nothing of this”. A local historian also refuted to the story by saying, “I
have followed up the research myself, but it is simply not true”.
It was later found out that Asahi Newspaper had cited “a testimony of a former comfort woman called Kim Hak-sun” who was suing Japanese government to obtain compensation.
She filed to the Tokyo District Court and stated, “I was sold and had to become a gi-saeng (Korean female entertainer).” However, Asahi intentionally neglected and deleted the above comment that she had been sold by her parents to a gi-saeng house. Instead, they fabricated that it had been done under “coercion” by Japanese army.