Japan from the inside out


Posted by ampontan on Monday, November 19, 2012

The following is testimony from an unnamed former soldier that appeared in the October 2007 issue of the monthly Seiron.

As the chief quartermaster of the army’s 17th division, I had the opportunity to hear from a former army captain of the circumstances in which the division set up a comfort woman station. In May 1941, the 17th division was headquartered in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. A non-commissioned officer in one of the units assigned to a nearby farming village raped a local woman. The division commander insisted that we had to be on good relations with the Chinese, but also realized that incidents of this type would sometimes occur. In his heart, the commander did not want to do it, but decided to establish a comfort woman station as a necessary evil.

In June or July, not long after the incident occurred, an officer called a Japanese broker to headquarters on the instructions of the commander. They selected the building to be used as the comfort woman station and established various rules. These included the prohibition of alcohol on the premises, the fees, and the requirement that the women be examined by a military doctor once a week.

The broker brought in about 10 women and began operations. There were about six or seven Japanese women and three or four Korean women. The Japanese women and the Korean women got along well with each other. None of them contracted a bronchial disease or tried to run away. They were well-fed and had good, clear complexions. There was no exploitation at all. The Korean women were the ones to most frequently send money home from the post office in the field. The examinations by the medical doctors were strict, and they were not allowed to work if they had a cold.

I was single at the time, and understood that the existence of the comfort women stations was unavoidable. They were established to prevent sexual crimes against the good Chinese citizens and STDs among the soldiers. They were a necessary evil in the system of licensed prostitution that existed at the time.

These stations were established as a very difficult option to prevent rape and other crimes. It is not possible that sexual crimes occurred there.

4 Responses to “Testimony”

  1. Tony said

    Not only heresay but typical faulty gendercentric logic, ‘because there was legal prostitution available there was no way there could have been any sex crimes in the area.’ That would mean no woman could be possibly raped in either Las Vegas or Amsterdam because both have legal prostitution. Patently wrong.
    T: You certainly have Omnivision lately from the comfort of your armchair on the veracity of people who actually know what they’re talking about. It’s called Testimony. The “there” is about one comfort station, not “the area”.

    Unless your Omnivision tells you the guy is making the story up. I know Skepticism is your pastime, but that doesn’t mean people don’t tell the truth every once in a while.

    I suspect the Mustang Ranch in Nevada might be out of the price range of some people who resort to rape, while soldiers in the field had little else to spend their money on. I also suspect they tried to make it affordable for them.


  2. Ken said

    South Korean TV station proudly declared that they found the evidence that Japanese army had controlled comfort women directly unlike Japanese claim.
    The evidence they call is the pass-book of post office bank for moving army and was being circulated in internet sphere in Japan already.
    Moreover, whether comfort women save their reward in it or not depended on their free will, not coercion at all!
    Sex slaves could save that much money in that era, couldn’t they?

  3. Tony said

    Yeah, you’re right I have haven’t I. But armchair from which I sit is comfortable and in good light so the view is clear. What you are calling testimony is highly suspect at the best of times. Memories are subject to change over time and those that are older change more. I have no doubt the gentleman believes he is correct in his memories, I am skeptical about what those memories are and how accurate they are. Particularly due to the length of time these events happened and how the issue has been viewed in Japan. There is no shortage of information on this topic and makes for interesting reading or listening. (last link is an easy to listen to podcast if you don’t want to read about it).

    My main complaint comes from the man’s attitude that because there was a brothel then there couldn’t have been any sex crimes. Two largely unrelated things where the former may only have a small effect on the latter.

  4. Ken said

    South Korea is going to set up another false event commemorating statue in Detroit.
    I wonder what they will excuse to American who donated the cost when the story proves to be merely prostitute.

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