Monday, December 3, 2012

Japanese and The Comfort Women by Tony Medley

Japanese and The Comfort Women

by Tony Medley

What was it like to be a “comfort woman” nee sexual slave of the Japanese in World War II? Following is an except from Yoshimi Yoshiake’s book Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military During World War II, quoting from a Korean sex slave of the Japanese:

I was deceived by an agent from the Korean Peninsula. I thought that comfort for the army meant comforting the troops by dancing and singing, and that would be all right. And the agent told me the same thing. When we crossed the border into China, [he] ordered me to “Take customers.” Without understanding what “taking customers” meant, I went to a customer’s house. With no warning, they raped me. I became desperate. One after another, so many of them. And then the soldiers came one after another, and I had to {have intercourse with them}. When it is busy, I just lie down on my back, eating rice balls with my legs spread apart, and the soldiers come and mount me and leave, mount me and leave. Finally, I am beyond pain. From the waist down I get numb and lose all feeling. It’s a struggle just getting up each day. When the feeling [in my lower body] returns little by little, my legs cramp up and my abdomen gets cramped as well. There’s a heavy, dull pain that lasts all day. I know that if I rested for two or three days, it would get better. But customers come one after another, so I can’t rest. When people talk about a living hell, this is exactly what they mean.

As their last resort, receiving no sympathy from the Japanese, a few former comfort women have filed in the United States against the Japanese. The Los Angeles Times reports that the U. S. Government has joined the Japanese in their effort to dismiss the case filed by former comfort women against Japan, claiming that, according to the Times, “the systematic rape, torture and murder of hundreds of thousands should be recognized as just another ordinary government action,” despite the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000, which states that “sexual slavery and trafficking in women and children are…abhorrent to the principles on which the United States was founded.” Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. is holding a hearing on the joint Japanese-U.S. request to dismiss the comfort women case on Wednesday.

600,000 women, probably more, were enslaved and violated by the Japanese before and during World War II. So far the Japanese have denied, denied, and denied, and then when faced with irrefutable facts, continue to refuse to accept responsibility for these poor, elderly women, whose lives were so altered and destroyed. For the United States to rely on a cold legal principle to deny these women justice is an outrage. Some wrongs are so abhorrent they transcend legal principles and treaties. There is no legal principle or treaty that justifies denying some measure of justice for these few former comfort women who still remain living.

May 12, 2002

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