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.