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Open Thread #251: The Disqus Edition

OK, our first Open Thread with Disqus. Let’s see how this goes.

I think it’s working fairly well now, both on desktop and mobile. I’ll be messing around with the template—in fact, I might be returning to the Thesis theme if I can get it to work with Disqus. If I do keep this theme, I’ll be trimming the banner some.

UPDATE: Sorry for taking Disqus offline earlier. Was playing around with Thesis.

By the way, some of the longer discussions get a bit unweildy once they get past three replies. Do any of the more experienced Disqus users have any suggestions?

BTW, have any of my longtime commenters stopped commenting due to the switch to Discus? Drop me a line if you have.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • imememememe

    um…처음!

  • Adams-awry

    Bobcat, any chance you can get this to show the TIME the original post was made by The Quality?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I’ll see about the time, and as for quality, you can “Like” or “Dislike” each post using the buttons above.

  • Jeffery Hodges

    Is Disqus a portmanteau for “Digusting Quest”?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Jeffery Hodges

    ime . . . don’t you mean “처음 오빠!”?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Gerry Bevers

    For anyone interested, I have translated the 1959 Donga Ilbo article mentioning Korea’s 261,089 “comfort women.” That means that in 1959 Korean had a significant number of “enforced sex slaves” servicing US servicemen, according to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    “66% of Comfort Women Infected—Results of a Nationwide Testing of Female Entertainers “

  • Jieun K

    “처음 오빠!”

    Haha. Good one.

    It’s a Korean equivalent of “be white“—creating the effect of sounding unintentionally funny as a result of literal translation.

    iMe: Koreans commonly write “일등!” when they mean they’re the first to post. Now you know. ;-)

  • HSchmidt

    Gerry, how many nuclear radiation tainted Japanese penises did you suck last night?

  • adiabatic

    Could you use a properly curled apostrophe — like the one I’m using in this sentence — in your blog title? Most of the new designs look pretty good, but the large straight quote right there in the title makes things look needlessly hokey when they can be fixed with some simple copy-and-pasting.

    …why yes, I do use Apple products. How’d you guess?

  • imememememe

    No, no. 처음처럼. I need to get some 삼겹살 this 2qeqwwwwe$

  • Jeffery Hodges

    Good luck! Three-layer pork is rare around the 2qeqwwwwe$ holiday!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Keith

    I think the new look is good. It also looks fairly cool on my new phone. I got the HTC Raider 4G in the end and it is an excellent device. I haven’t quite figured out the thing 100% yet, but it is pretty cool. I just had a bike ride and was trying out the GPS with the MapMyRide app and it’s very accurate indeed. The phone also has a very good camera, far superior to the Apple or Samsung cameraphones.

  • Gerry Bevers

    I have translated a January 1961 Korean article that shows that the US military knew of and supported “enforced sexual slavery” in South Korea.

    US Military and Korean Representatives Attend VD lecture for Comfort Women

  • imememememe

    No, no. I meant 2ždxmpppp.

  • Byeonguk Yook

    You constantly stress the hypocrasy of Korean crying foul about WWII comfort women but ignoring post WWII prostitution in Korea. How come you don’t mention prostitution in Japan post WWII too they also had it. You are replacing this “hypocrasy” with singling out Korea for it. In fact the problem is not just one country when it comes to prostitution and trafficking, it is international. You should have attacked it as prostitution and trafficking post WWII as an international problem not just one country. Had you taken that approach you would have made more sense. However WWII atrocity is on a worse level of evil than international crime of prostitution and trafficking associated with it. It’s like saying a neo nazi murdering a jew which is isolated crime is roughly the same level of evil as having a system that feeds jews to be exterminated in concentration camps. 

  • Byeonguk Yook

    So far so good with this new format except I don’t like the limited listing of blog links on the right. 

  • dlbarch

    Aw, shucks. Are we back to the single banner? Ah, well, the experiment with the revolving photos was fun while it lasted.

    C’est la vie.

    DLB

  • jk6411

    The Korean govt started registering these women in Sept. 1961.
    So who “forced” them to do anything?

  • Gerry Bevers

    You constantly stress the hypocrasy of Korean crying foul about WWII comfort women but ignoring post WWII prostitution in Korea.

    Huh? I just posted a link to a post-WWII article dealing with prostitution in Korea.

    How come you don’t mention prostitution in Japan post WWII too they also had it. You are replacing this “hypocrasy” with singling out Korea for it.

    Because Koreans are the ones living in the glass house and throwing the stones. Plus, I cannot read or translate Japanese.

  • jk6411

    By the way, some of the longer discussions get a bit unweildy once they
    get past three replies. Do any of the more experienced Disqus users have
    any suggestions?

    I think the old system with the numbered comments was best for long discussions.
    The current “Reply” system also makes it more difficult to view the newest comments.
    With the old system, the newest comments were at the bottom of the thread.  But now, they seem to be all over the place; it’s a bit of a chore to look for them.
    Just my 2 cents..

  • jk6411

    “hypocrisy”

  • Byeonguk Yook

    I agree. Does this system limit the replies to a post? It seems that it does. 

  • jk6411

    Yeah, it’s three (nested) replies max.

  • Gerry Bevers

    The Korean govt started registering these women in Sept. 1961. So who “forced” them to do anything?

    No, JK, the authority to register comfort women “transferred” from the police to the “VD Control Section for Comfort Women for UN Servicemen” in city’s Social Bureau in September 1961, but the Korean police were registering women before that. The October 1959 article reporting there were 261,089 comfort women in Korea is evidence of that.

    Economic hardship forced the women to become “comfort women,” just as it did under the Japanese system. The women or their families borrowed money and then the women were forced to work as military prostitutes until they paid it back.

  • RolyPoly

    Gerry got a point here.   Even these days, many young women in Korea work at sex parlors with horrible conditions.  And, Koreans are importing foreign women from Thailand and Philippines.   Let’s clean up these sex trades  first before we talk about something that happened 70-90 years ago.  내가 하면 로맨스, 남이 하면 불륜?

  • RolyPoly

    A great goal from NamTaeHi and Korean soccer team beat New Zealand team which was tired from a game with Japan a couple of days ago.  Koreans toyed with Kiwis and won 2-1.   It should be 3-1 or 4-1.  Koreans dominated the entire game.  I am proud of Korean soccer players.

  • RolyPoly

    The competition between Romney and Obeme will be determined by …drum roll..Ben Bernanke.   No media is talking about this crucial factor.   They are just talk show, feeding public about tattletales.   
    If Ben eases money supply, say in next 4-8 weeks, economy will look good and Obeme wins.  However, if Ben does not Romney has a great chance.  People want change when poor people sobs on TV.  

    One man can decide the future of America!  And, the name is Ben Bernanke.  More powerful than presidents, jump over buildings, outruns bullets,..

  • jk6411

    the Korean police were registering women before [1961]. The October
    1959 article reporting there were 261,089 comfort women in Korea is
    evidence of that.

    The 1961 study was done by the Ministry of Social Welfare, which collected the data on VD infection rates from health clinics nationwide.  So how was the police involved?

  • Byeonguk Yook

    Yeah but what has this got to do with WWII atrocities? And is this at the same level of the comfort women in WWII? Also to say that Koreans have no business pointing the finger at Japanese due to this is absurd. Japanese denying this while in Japan women are also engaging in this is just as bad if you treat this to be at the same level. The sex trade and people ending up as prostitutes is not a Korea only problem. 

  • jk6411

    STFU, moron.

  • Gerry Bevers

    Jk6411 wrote:

    The 1961 study was done by the Ministry of Social Welfare, which collected the data on VD infection rates from health clinics nationwide. So how was the police involved?

    The 1961 article said the police transferred their authority, which means they had it before they transferred it.

    In 1959, the police could have registered the women, while the Ministry conducted the study.

  • jk6411

    Gerry Bevers said:

    The 1961 article said the police transferred their authority, which means they had it before they transferred it.
    In 1959, the police could have registered the women, while the Ministry conducted the study.

    What are you talking about??

    Here’s the 1961 article.

    유엔軍相對(군상대) 慰安婦(위안부)등록實施(실시)
    1961.09.14 경향신문 3면 사회 기사(뉴스)

    서울시경은 십삼일부터 ‘유엔’ 군을 상대로 하는 위안부에 대해 각경찰서 여경반에서 등록을 접수하고 있다고 말하였다.

    서울시 사회국의 ‘유엔’군 상대위안부 성병관리사업 계획에의해 실시되는 등록의 대상자는 법적 혼인관계가 없이 외국인과 등거하는 여성 그리고 ‘유엔’군 상대 위안부 전원이다.

    경찰에서 파악하고 있는 서울 거주 유엔군 상대 위안부 수는 팔백십구명이다.

    Translation:

    “Registration of UN troops prostitutes started.

    Seoul city police reported that beginning on the 13th of this month, each police dept’s female police division started registering prostitutes who service UN troops.

    This registration was planned by the Seoul city Dept of Social Affairs’ Committee on Management of UN Prostitutes VD’s. Those who must register are unmarried women who are cohabiting with foreigners and all prostitues who service UN troops.

    The police estimates that the number of UN troops prostitutes residing in Seoul is 819.”

    Where does it say that the police transferred their authority?
    It clearly says that the police started registering the women, as a result of the Seoul city govt’s decision regarding the high rates of VD infection among these UN prostitutes.

    “In 1959, the police could have registered the women”?
    Can’t you do any better than that? How about some concrete evidence?

  • YangachiBastardo

    The true king of k-pop is back !!!

     Ladies and Gents, let’s all welcome the Mighty 싸이 !!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwZkCIXdLG0 

    Oppa Gangnam style !!!!!!

  • PaulHewson

    I agree.

  • Byeonguk Yook

    That has become my pet peeve of this new format.

  • Jeffery Hodges

    You appear, iMe, to know the rare, magical language of Mr. Mxyzptlk . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • pawikirogii

    i read today that the british are hiring young people
    to police the olympics. problem is, many of them have
    been videptaped sleeping through their training. I
    am amazed at how korea is becoming rich while
    britain is racing towards third world status. they need to contact
    seoul on how to stage massive events like the
    olympics.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Testing threaded comments.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Testing

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Testing again.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Testing thrice.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Let’s see how far this goes.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Hey, this actually works!

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I think we’ve got a solution for long discussions!

  • guest

    and having comments under moderation really doesn’t make for a smooth discussion

  • Guest

    Or Maybe my first comment didn’t just post properly…
    MBC has been found to be at fault for their broadcast of “The Shocking Truth about Dating Foreigners”

    - Result -
    ○ After a thorough investigation and discussion on the content of the program in question, we have concluded:

    - The broadcasting company is deemed to have abandoned their public responsibility of promoting equality and diversity by describing the relationship between a Korean female and a foreign male as something inappropriate, denoting problems that arise from any dating relationships as something that would only occur in relationships between local females and foreign counterparts.

    - Therefore, pursuant to §100① of the Broadcasting Act , we have dictated an ‘advisory’ opinion.

    ※Relevant regulations:「Broadcasting Review Regulations」§14 (Objectivity), §30 (Gender Equality) ②, §31 (Respect for Diversity)

    ○ We kindly seek your continued support and interest in the television broadcasts.

    ※Office of Primary Responsibility: Terrestrial TV Broadcasting Review Division(02-3219-5252)

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    What moderation?

  • guest

    I posted the below post already, and it showed my name, but not the post. When I reloaded the page, even the name was gone, so I assumed guest posts were put into a moderating queue, maybe the comment system just ate the original post.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Is it here now?

  • guest

    It’s right below this if you’re viewing the “newest” posts, it’s attached to the first post as a reply. If you don’t see it maybe not. I can see it though.

  • Pingback: Disqus Updates

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Yeah, I see it. You might have posted just as I was upgrading Disqus. PS: See response to your post below.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Do you have a link for this?

  • RolyPoly

    let me add one as well

  • Arghaeri

    Don’t worry, if your quote’s right, they’ll soon catch up again, having now mastered korean corporate training techniques.

    Don’t worry, if your quote’s right, they’lup again soon – if

  • Arghaeri

    Nah, almost impossible to see and edit wha

  • Arghaeri

    please please go back to simple to follw format before

  • Arghaeri

    nah, almost impossible to read and edit what your typing in the miniscule comment box especially when nested in mobile version

  • Arghaeri

    too much lag tooooo

  • Arghaeri

    too much lag toooo

  • Arghaeri

    Agrred, suggest dumping Disqus.

    Also as numbers of comments not on front page, not even easy to see which ones to open to find new comments.

  • Arghaeri

    Used to be so easy, see comment whose number if comments gone up, open up, go to last familiar comment and continue reading,

    now almost impossible to track changes…

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I’m looking into the mobile issue. The old version of Disqus had a very functional mobile theme. Not sure why the new one doesn’t seem to have one.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    So, just to be clear, am I to take it you don’t like the Disqus commenting system?

  • Gerry Bevers

    JK,

    Your article came from 경향신문. Mine came from the Donga Ilbo (동아일보). The two articles are different for some reason.

  • jk6411

    What is the date and title of the article?

  • Guest

    This is a personal response anyone who filed a complaint against MBC via the e-people government ombudsman website received with in the last couple days:
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/actionagainstmbc/permalink/343603995719707/

    There may be a public record of it somewhere, I’m not sure where. You could try contacting the Korea Communications Standards Commission.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Be sure to let us know who’s been advancing that line — that the sex trade and people ending up as prostitutes is a Korea only problem.

  • Gerry Bevers

    The article is dated September 14, 1961 and entitled, “UN軍 相對 慰安婦 13日부터 登錄實施. You can see it at THIS LINK.

  • Byeonguk Yook

    I was making a point that Gerry is singling out Korea.

  • brier

    The banner of the cheongyecheon is beautiful. Its not so much the river but the secondary affects of the restoration which delight.

  • Gerry Bevers

    The following is my translation of a February 13, 1953 article from the South Korean newspaper
    Gyeonghyang Sinmun. It is evidence that local police departments were registering “comfort women” (military prositutes) at the time.

    The reference to “elevating their patriotic feelings” was probably a
    reference to their being told that they were patriots for earning foreign
    currency for their country, which is what other foreign prostitutes in Korean
    have claimed they were told by Korean government officials. Also, the term “foreign wife” was a Korean euphemism for “foreign whore,” not a real wife. LINK

    “Police Push Ahead with Refinement of Foreign Whores”

    (ChunCheon) To control the loose morals of the
    so-called “western wives” (foreign whores) and instill cultural enlightenment
    while also maintaining good health and elevating their patriotic feelings, the
    Chunchen Police Department has formed the “United Belief Society” (협심회) to
    organize the “western wives” under their jurisdiction.

    They say there are 160 pimps, 115 women cohabitating with
    UN troops, and 667 “comfort women” registered, but only sixty-two (8.2%) are
    infected with venereal disease and are currently receiving treatment at the
    Chuncheon Provincial Clinic.

  • Gerry Bevers

    An April 15, 1951 Donga Ilbo editorial HERE proposed a more direct tax was needed on such businesses as “comfort women” since many were not reporting all their income.

  • jk6411

    Where does it say that “the Seoul Metropolitan Police transferred
    its authority to register comfort women for UN soldiers to the
    front-line offices of the city’s Social Bureau (Section for VD Control
    of Comfort Women for UN Soldiers)”?

    It says that Seoul Police started carrying out the registration of the UN prostitutes, as planned by the city’s Social Bureau, Section for VD Control of UN Prostitutes.

    The 경향신문 article I posted also says that “each police dept’s female police section started registering prostitutes who service UN troops.”

  • jk6411

    What exactly are you trying to get at here?

    “Comfort women” and “comfort stations” are Japanese euphemisms.
    They came into existence in Korea during the Japanese occupation.
    The Japanese brought the institution with them from Japan.

    Before the Japanese occupied Korea, there were 기생 for the noble class, and some 창기 for the commoners.
    There were no such things as “comfort women” and “comfort stations” until the Japanese brought the system with them.

  • Gerry Bevers

    Here is what the Donga Ilbo article said:

    서울시경에서는 시사회국에 (유덴군상대 위안부 성병관리사업계) 계획에 따라 _三일부터 유엔군 상대 위안부의 등록을 관하 一선서에 전달해서 실시하고 있다.

    From the 13rd, (_三일부터), the Seoul Metropolitan Police (서울시경에서는) has been executing (실시하고 있다), as planned (계획에 따라), passing on (전달해서) registration of comfort women for UN troops (유엔군 상대 위안부의 등록을) to the first-line offices under (관하 일서에) the city’s Social Bureau (Section for the Management of VD of Comfort Women for UN Servicemen) [시사회국에 (유덴군상대 위안부 성병관리사업계)].

    Notice that it says comfort women registration was passed on “to the city’s Social Bureau” (시 사회국에). The preposition 에 was used, not the possessive 의. Nevertheless, it is very possible that 에 was a simple mistake and that your interpretation is correct, especially since 에 was used again after 관하 일선서에.

    That would mean that the Metropolitan Police Department transferred its authority to register comfort women from its headquarters to its front-line offices.

  • Gerry Bevers

    I don’t know when and where the terms “comfort women” and “comfort station” were first used, but the fact that Koreans continued to use them after the Japanese had left Korea means that they had also become Korean euphemisms.

  • jk6411

    My interpretation is probably correct.
    I’ve seen other old Korean news articles with similar grammatical errors. Actually, I’m not exactly sure if they were errors, or if that’s just how they wrote back then.
    In any case, there are subtle differences in grammar between contemporary Korean and older Korean.

  • jk6411

    Gerry, if you want to do any further research on comfort women, I suggest you look for articles about 일본군 정신대 (挺身隊).
    It’s another term for WWII “comfort women”.
    You can find articles from back in the 1960s..

  • Gerry Bevers

    Why don’t you do your research, and I’ll do mine. Then we can share information. Here is another translation I have have done. Please check it for errors, JK
    “The Reality of War-damaged Women Turning to Prostitution”

  • RolyPoly

    The most smart people in the world? Koreans.
    교육과학기술부는 아르헨티나 마르델플라타에서 열린 제 53회 국제 수학올림피아드에서 한국이 금메달 6개를 획득, 종합점수 209점으로 종합 1위에 올랐다고 16일 밝혔다

    Korean team finished the first place in International Mathematics Olympiad. All members got a gold medal.

  • RolyPoly

    Oh, no, no ,no. The worst scenario for SK may have started.
    리영호, the number 2 man, in NK just got fired.

    1)This may mean an internal Coup-Tet-ta has started.
    2)NK may get into civil war situation.
    3)One of the faction may request China to come in to restore control.
    4)Chinese troops advanced into NK territory.
    5)Despite the US warning, SK troops go into NK territory as well.
    6) The starts between China and SK while the US exits peninsula.
    7) SK loses the war and be occupied by China.

    The worst thing that can happen to SK.

  • Pingback: And on the drunken, high and sexually miscreant foreigner (and gyopo!) front…

  • bballi

    this is one of my pet peeves with some Korean sports fans. They gloat over insignificant victories… I have met true Korean sport fans,who don’t gloat, realize inferior opponents should be defeated soundly and gracefully and quietly accept the win.
    To say you’re proud of Korea beating NZ in futbol is like a ManU supporter saying how proud he is of his team defeating Bolton. It would been seen as arrogant and obnoxious.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    Anyone know anything about the story behind the NK Army commander who ‘resigned’? It would seem he was in the innermost circle.

  • Gerry Bevers

    The following July 21, 1953 Donga Ilbo article describes one method by which innocent Korean girls were lured into becoming “comfort women.”

    “Country Girls Lured into Prositution”

  • Gerry Bevers

    The Korean term “doumi” has been redefined in Northern Virgina.

    “Korean street gang leaders indicted in extortion”

  • dlbarch

    Nice to see the nomenclature catching up with reality.

    The funny thing is that I’ve ALWAYS thought of doumi’s as little more than ambitious room salon chicks who were making good use of their daytime hours and hoping for a more legit modeling career in the process.

    Assuming, of course, that “legit modeling career” is not a contradiction in terms.

    DLB

  • jk6411

    What was 정신대?
    It means “Self Sacrifice Brigade”.
    It’s something that the Japanese made up during WWII.
    It was a pretense under which they forcibly conscripted young Korean men and women for its war effort, b/c Japan was way short on manpower.
    One of the subdivisions was 여성정신대, which was made up entirely of young Korean women. Many women from this group were made “comfort women” and forced into sex slavery.

    For this reason, the term “정신대” came to be used synonymously with “comfort women”.

    I just remembered this..
    Once, I heard from an old Korean woman how back in the 1940s Korean girls used to get married at a really early age, in order to avoid being conscripted into 정신대.
    Back then, I didn’t know what 정신대 meant. But this was what she was talking about.

    Since these women were forcibly conscripted, and many of them were forced into sex slavery, I think this is why Koreans say that comfort women were “abducted” by Japan.

    Also, after reading old newspapers articles which mention 정신대 and 위안부, I can say for certain that some Koreans did know about “comfort women” at least back in the 1960s, and they demanded that Japan be held accountable for its heinous crimes.
    However, individual victims didn’t come forward until the early 1990s. I think this is why the “comfort women” issue remained under the radar for so long.

  • que369

    The criminality of sexual slavery by japanese imperial military ain’t washed out by postwar prostitution in Korea:

    Toshiyuki Tanaka’s research “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” has a chapter Procurement of Korean and Taiwanese women. Here is an excerpt:

    Some testimonies of former comfort women indicate that Japanese police in Korea collaborated with sub-contracted labor brokers. It is believed that the military authorities asked the police in Korea to assist local sub-contractors, to whom the work of procurement was commissioned by comfort station owners/managers. The following testimony by a former comfort woman, Mun P’ilgi, for example, endorses such an interpretation.

    In our village there was a man in his fifties who worked as an agent for the Japanese. One day he approached me and told me he would give me an introduction to a place where I could both learn and earn money. I had been so resentful that I hadn’t been able to study, and his proposition was so attractive, that I told him I would like to take him up on the offer…. It was autumn 1943 and I was 18…. After a few days, the man came to see me at dusk and told me to follow him. He said he wanted to take me somewhere for a few minutes. So I crept out of the house without saying anything to my parents. We walked for a little while, to a place not far from home. It was quiet; there were few houses around. There I saw there was a truck parked, with a Japanese policeman, Tanaka, who worked at the village police station.

    In the case of the “recruitment of Yun Turi, a young girl in Pusan, it seems that local policemen themselves were acting directly for a comfort station.

    According to Yun’s testimony:

    I was on my way home at about 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., and was passing the Nambu police station in front of Pusan railway station, when a policeman on guard duty called me over. He asked me to go inside, an I dutifully followed him, thinking nothing could happen because I hadn’t done anything wrong. It was sometime in early September 1943. There were three or four girls of my age already inside, and the policeman asked me to sit down. When I asked why, he said he would find me work in a nice place and told me to wait quietly …. At 11:00 p.m., a military truck arrived, and two soldiers loaded us on board.

    Yun was taken to No. 1 Comfort Station in Yongdo, an island just off Pusan, which was managed by a Japanese man called Takayama. Her mother and sister later found that Turi had been detained at this station, but they could not rescue her as the station was guarded by Japanese soldiers.

    The fact that the police were involved in the “recruitment” in the cases of Mun P’ilgi and Yun Turi (both in late 1943) implies that, toward the end of the war, the military authorities used the police force to procure women. This probably was due to the scarcity of young women at the time.

    Mobilization of the Korean labor force into war-related industries was greatly strengthened from 1943. In 1943 alone, nearly 140,000 people were mobilized by the Government-General (Yoshimi Yoshiaki, Jugun Ianfu, p.100). In September 1943, the “Women’s Voluntary Labor Service Corps” was organized throughout Korea. Through the corps many young, unmarried women were forced to “volunteer” for various types of work in wartime industries. In August 1944, a new law – the “Women’s Voluntary Labor Service Law” – was enacted. This allowed the Governor-General of Korea to force any unmarried woman between 12 and 40 years to engage in war-related labor for 12 months. Under this law a vast number of young girls were mobilized and many were sent to Japan to work at large industrial factories. This policy probably created the situation in which procurement of young Korea women for military comfort stations became difficult. As a result, it seems that the power of the police force was abused by the military authorities for the purpose of securing comfort women. According to testimonies of former comfort women, it appears that some representatives of the local Neighborhood Association, an organization that the Government-General required local civilians to establish, were also forced to act on behalf of owners/managers of comfort stations or their sub-contractors.

    Some girls accepted offers of “employment” by labor brokers, or through the mediation of leaders of the local Neighborhood Association, in order to avoid being drafted into the Women’s Voluntary Labor Service Corps. Ch’oe Myungsun was one of them. In January 1945, when she was 19 years old, she accepted an introduction by a representative of the Neighborhood Association to a “good job” in Japan. She was sent to Hiroshima to become a mistress of Japanese military officer for a couple of months. Then she was taken into a comfort station in Osaka, where she was forced to serve the Japanese soldiers until shortly before the end of the war.

    It was shortly after August 1944, when the Women’s Voluntary Labor Service Law was enacted, that a rumor spread in Korea that all unmarried girls over 14 years old would be forced to become comfort women. Many middle- and upper-class Korean families withdrew their daughters from women’s colleges and hurriedly arranged marriages for them to avoid their being drafted. However, some families in lower social strata felt trapped. For example, in September 1944, a girl called Kim T’aeson, who was then 19 years old and living with her uncle, was hiding in an attic of his house. One day when she came out of the attic and was having a meal downstairs, a Japanese man with a Korean partner visited the house, and offered her a “job” in Japan. Thinking that work in Japan would be a far better option than becoming a comfort woman, she accepted their offer. She ended up in a comfort station in Burma. In this way, in the late stage of war, the method of deceit was closely intertwined with the political coercion imposed upon the colonial subjects.

    It seems that in some cases an advance payment was made to a girl’s family in a similar manner in which women had been sold to civilian brothels in the 1920s and early 1930s. Yet in these cases, too, labor brokers rarely told the girls and their parents the truth. They would give a false impression that the girls would be working as nurses, housemaids or factory workers. A survey of 20 Korea women captured in Burma, conducted by the US Army forces in the India-Burma theater, reveals that they were deceived and mad to believe that their service would pay off family debts. The following is an extract from this official US survey:

    RECRUITING Early in May 1942 Japanese agents arrived in Korea for the purpose of enlisting Korean girls for “comfort service” in newly conquered Japanese territories in Southeast Asia. The nature of this “service” was not specified but it was assumed to be work connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy. The inducement used by these agents was plenty of money, an opportunity to pay off the family debts, easy work, and the prospect of a new life in a new land – Singapore. On the basis of these false representations many girls enlisted for overseas duty and were rewarded with an advance of a few hundred yen. […] The contract they signed bound them to Army regulations and to work for the “house master” for a period of from six months to a year depending on the family debts for which they were advanced.Approximately 800 of these girls were recruited in this manner and they landed with their Japanese “house master” at Rangoon around August 20th, 1942. (The US National Archives collection, United States Office of War Information, Psychological Warfare Team Attached to US Army Forces India-Burma Theater, Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Reports, No. 49.

    The “housemaster,” i.e. the manager of this comfort station, was a Japanese man called Kitamura Eibun. Kitamura, his wife and sister-in-law had been running a “restaurant” in Kyongsong (now Seoul) before obtaining a commission to run a comfort station in Burma. Kitamura purchased 22 Korean women, who were aged 19 to 31, paying each family from 300 to 1,000 yen. In July 1942, Kitamura and his wife took these 22 women to Burma on a passenger ship which had more than 700 Korean women on board. The total amount of money Kitamura used for advance payments must have been more than 10,000 yen, a large sum of money – surely beyond the means of a small “restaurant” owner at that time. It is therefore speculated that the money may have been made available by the Japanese military authorities.

  • que369

    West Coast of the US is in great danger. It would be wise to sell everything and leave before it gets too late.

  • jk6411

    I really do think that Japanese police in Korea were deeply involved in procuring young girls to be “comfort women”.
    Sadly, the Japanese police records from the WWII era are all classified by the Japanese govt and off-limits to the public..

  • Gerry Bevers

    This my translation of a July 14, 1954 article from the South Korean newspaper Gyeonghyang Sinmun. I heard stories similar to this one even in the late 1970s, when I was in the navy and stationed in South Korea, but I never heard of the pimp being arrested. In fact, the girls told me they could not go to the local police for help because they believed they were working with the pimps.

    Evil Pimp
    Arrested

    [Daegu] Jin
    Yong-hui, who operates a “whore house” at No. 67 Kyo-dong in Daegu City, has
    been brought in for questioning, without detention, at the Daegu Women’s Police
    Station. Ms. Jin is charged with previously telling 21-year-old Ms. Kim Hak-i
    (金學伊) that she would pay her debt of 30,000 hwan if she would work for
    one month as a comfort woman, but when Ms. Kim could no longer endure the
    suffering and tried to escape on the 7th, she was illegally confined and beaten
    numerous times.

  • que369

    Japanese criminal history of sexual slavery ain’t got washed away regardless of postwar Korean prostitution. Toshiyuki Tanaka’s research “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” has a chapter Why comfort women?:

    There were several reasons why the Japanese military decided that comfort stations were necessary. As mentioned previously, Japanese military leaders were very concerned about the rape of civilians by members of the Japanese armed forces – but not out of concern for those civilians. For good strategic reasons, they believed that the antagonism of civilians in occupied territories towards their conqueror was exacerbated by such behaviour. They also believed that a ready supply of women for the armed forces would help to reduce the incidence of rape of civilians.

    Was the exploitation of women in military-controlled comfort stations effective in preventing widespread random sexual violence by Japanese soldiers? The initiator of the Japanese army comfort women system, General Okamura, reflecting on the Japanese invasion of Wuhan in 1938, stated that random sexual violence occurred in spite of the fact that the Japanese forces had groups of comfort women attached to them. He admitted, therefore, that his scheme was a failture.

    Until it was revised in February 1942, the Japanese Imperial Army Criminal Law (Article 86, Clause 2) stated that army personnel who committed rape at the same time as looting would be punished by between seven years and life imprisonment. Here rape was regarded as a secondary crime, incidental to looting. It was also a general trend in the Japanese Imperial forces that looting and rape, in particular during combat operations as a means of arousing the fighting spirit in their men. Therefore, it is not surprising that only a small number of soldiers were convicted of rape under this code of conduct each year. In 1939, 15 men were found guilty of looting, rape and manslaughter. Only four soldiers in 1940 and a mere two men in 1941 were convicted of the same crimes. (This statistical data appears in the report entitled The Roll of Court-Martialled Personnel, Compiled in 1942, which was submitted by Oyama Fumio, head of the Legal Affairs Bureaus of the Japanese Imperial Army, to the prosecutors at the Tokyo War Cimes Tribunal after the war.) This Japanese official military data look absurd when it is compared with actual evidence, such as various testimonies presented at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal regarding the Rape of Nanjing.

    On February 20, 1942, the law was revised to acknowledge rape as a single major criminal offense. The amended article reads that “those who commit rape in the battlefield or in the territory of the Empire will be imprisoned for between on year and life,” for the reason that “rape in the occupied territory is fundamentally different from rape in the national territory and will defame the Empire.” In other words, rape of women in occupied territories was regarded as a crime under the revised Army Criminal Law mainly because it brought disgrace on the name of the Japanese Empire, not because rape itself constituted a serious crime against humanity. Thus, in actual cases, it remained extremely rare that a soldier or officer rapist was court-martialed. The fundamental problem was that, regardless of what the law stipulated, rape of civilians in occupied territories was not considered a serious criminal act by Japanese military men. In fact, in his report about particular battlefield problems in China in 1939, Dr. Hayao Takeo, a medical officer and professor in psychiatry, stated that many officers deemed it necessary for their soldiers to rape women in order to stimulate aggression.

    The following testimony by General Okamura shows how reluctant even senior officers were to prosecute offenders. In August 1938, the Chief of Staff of the 11th Army reported to Okamura (then commander of this army) that some of their own soldiers had gang-raped the wife and daughter of chief of one Chinese village in their occupied are. When Okamura was told that local civilians were refusing to co-operate in construction work of a Japanese military airfield because of this sexual violence, he ordered the kempeitai to arrest the offenders. However, the kempeitai chief told Okamura that the criminal act could not be established because the victims had not reported it. Hence, it would be inappropriate to prosecute the men. Okamura was shocked by the fact that the Army Judicial Chief also supported this kempeitai officer’s opinion.

    What the military leaders, including General Okamura, apparently did not consider was the possibility that the highly oppressive and racist culture of their armed forces might be contributing to the problem. Thus, at least part of the solution would be to reform the military structure as well as to re-educate the men, to change their attitudes towards other Asian people in general, and towards women in particular.

    As I also have mentioned, military leaders believed that that provision of comfort women was the most appropriate means of providing their men with some kind of leisure. Unlike US and other Allied soldiers, the rank and file of the Japanese military forces did not have designated leave periods or limited tours of duty. Military leaders had been advised by some senior medical staff that they should make greater provision for both the health and well-being of their men, including such measures as extended home leave. However, most of these suggested measures were never implemented. The notable exception was the provision of comfort women. Another concern of military leaders was the incidence of VD among the armed forces. They believe that VD threatened to undermine the strength of their men (and hence their fighting ability). They also feared the spread of the disease could potentially create massive public health problems back in Japan, once the war was over. The leaders believed that a regulated system, such as the comfort stations, would enable them to take effective preventive health measures. The measures they employed were thorough if not completely effective. Those “recruited” were mostly young, unmarried women because it was believe they were the least likely to be infected with VD. Army doctors regularly checked the health of the comfort women to ensure that they had not contracted VD. Most of the women were examined for VD once a week or every ten days. The men were provided with condoms free of charge and were instructed to apply prophylactic chemicals immediately before and after associating with comfort women.

    However, such measures could not prevent VD, even if they went some way towards reducing its incidence. For instance, according to a report by medical officers of the 15th Division in north China in 1942 and 1943, 15 to 20 percent of comfort women were found to be suffering from VD each month. Evidence from former comfort women suggests the figure could have been much higher. This was probably due to the fact that many soldiers refused to use condoms and did not bother applying prophylactic disinfectants. Numerous former comfort women testify that they had great difficulty in making men use condoms. Official statistical data of VD patients among the Japanese Army Forces in war zones between 1942 and 1944 also show a small increase in the number of cases (11,983 in 1942; 12,557 in 1943; and 12587 in 1944). It is presumed that the real figures were higher.

    Another reason for the difficulty of reducing the high VD rate among Japanese troops was the disciplinary provision by which if a soldier was found to be infected with VD, he would be demoted two ranks. This punitive measure discouraged soldiers who were suffering from VD from reporting to their medical officers. Instead many secretly purchased medicines at a civilian pharmacy or on the black market. Needing money to obtain such expensive medicines, the soldiers were driven to looting.(Suzuki Yoshio, “Kagaisha no Shogen: Ianfu kara Minue-banashi o Kiita” in Sekai No. 637, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, July 1997, pp. 120-121) Thus, the stringent VD control methods imposed upon soldiers as well as comfort women did not really alleviate the problem. Furthermore, they led to an increase in crimes committed by the Japanese men.

    A further concern was security. Military leaders believed that private brothels could easily be infiltrated by spies and that prostitutes working in them could easily be recruited as spies. Kempeitai members were frequent visitors to comfort stations and kept close tabs on the women to ensure there were no spies among them. In order to limit the women’s contact with people outside comfort stations as much as possible, they were not allowed to go outside the premises by themselves. So severely were they restricted that permission was required for them even to go for a walk to get fresh air.

    The comfort women were treated as “military supplies,” but relevant document were either hidden or destroyed at the end of the war. It is impossible to know, therefore, how many women were exploited. The best estimates range from 80,000 to 100,000. According to the Japanese military plan devised in July 1941, 20,000 comfort women were required for every 800,000 Japanese soldiers, or one woman for every 40 soldiers (This estimate is based upon a report that the Kuwantung Army of 800,000 men planned to mobilize 20,000 Korean comfort women during the so-called “Kuwantung Army Special Maneuvres” in July 1941). There were 3.5 million Japanese soldiers sent to China and Southeast Asia during the war, and therefore, by this calculation, an estimated 90,000 women were mobilized. Of these women 80 percent are believed to have been Koreans, but many also came from Taiwan, China, the Philppines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

    Why were comfort women almost invariably from Taiwan, China, or various places in Southeast Asia, and above all Korea? This might seem odd at first, given that the Japanese were notorious for their racism towards the people of other Asian countries. However, racial prejudice provides part of the answer to the question – that very racism helped make these women suitable for the role of comfort women. Japanese prostitutes did serve the military abroad during the war, but most were in a different position from the comfort women. The Japanese prostitutes mainly worked in comfort stations that served high-ranking officers, and they experienced better conditions than the Asian comfort women. Apart from the difficulty in recruiting Japanese women into comfort stations, Japanese military leaders did not believe Japanese women should be in that role. Their mission was to bear and bring up good Japanese children, who would grow up to be loyal subjects of the Emperor rather than being the means for men to satisfy their sexual urges. The Japanese wartime government took its lead from Nazi eugenic ideology and policy in these matters. In 1940 the National Eugenic Law was proclaimed. The purposes of the law were to prevent miscegenation and the reproduction of the “unfit,” such as those with mental illness that was believed to be inherited.

    According to widely held Japanese views at the time, a supreme virtue for a woman was to serve her husband from the time of her marriage until the end of her life. During the war, the Ministry of Health actually recommended that war widows remain loyal to their deceased husbands by not marrying, unless they were less than 36 years old. In 1943, when Professor Kaneko Takanosuke from the Tokyo College of Commerce argued in a popular woman’s magazine, Fujin Koron, that all war widows should be encouraged to remarry, the military authorities demanded that the published issue a public apology. In addition, the government-regulated distribution of paper to this published was considerably reduced for the rest of the war period. So hypocritical was the Japanese military leaders’ attitude that on the on hand they strongly demanded that Japanese women be chaste, while on the other they did not hesitate to preside over the extreme sexual exploitation of other Asian women.

    Korean and Taiwanese women were particularly targeted as sourced of comfort women, only because of the political and economic environment of these countries as Japan’s colonies in which young women were easily procures, but also in light of their cultural proximity to Japan. Japanese language was compulsory in Korea and Taiwan, and people in these countries were heavily indoctrinated in loyalty to the Emperor and respect for Japan as their suzerain state. Physical similarity between Japanese and Korean or Taiwanese also may have been a factor favoring procurement of women there.

    In this was, Japanese forces exploited large number of Asian women under the excuse of preventing rape and VD. It must be concluded, however, that provision of comfort women did not function as an effective measure for either problem, and in particular for the problem of random sexual violence against civilians in occupied territories. Despite such official justifications for the program, it should not be forgotten that the women involved in the comfort women system were themselves victims of systematic, institutional rape and sexual slavery.

  • Gerry Bevers

    A January 17, 1955 Donga Ilbo article reported that Korea’s Ministry of Health tested more than 1 million women for venereal disease in 1954. The women included hostesses, dancers, and comfort women. LINK

  • que369

    Toshiyuki Tanaka’s research “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” has a chapter The organizational structure of the comfort women system:
    In order to clarify who was responsible for organizing the exploitation of women on such an unprecenteded scale, its is necessary to analyze how the comfort women system became a general policy of the Japanese Imperrial forces, and how this policy was implemented by military leaders.
    At this time, however, it is quite difficult to conduct thorough reasearch on this issue, mainly due to restrictions on access to relevant documentstion:
    * Firstly, many official military documents are still classified and not open for public inspection — for example, several thousand volumes of Gyomu Nisshi (Records of Military Plans and Operations) and Jagun Nisshi (Field Diaries) housed in the Research Library of the Japanese Defence Agency.
    * Secondly, all documents prepared by the Japanese Police during the Asia-Pacific War are still closed.
    * Thirdly, it is believed that many relevant documents were prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs adn the Ministry of Colonial Affairs, both of which had major responsibilities for colonial Korea and Taiwan. (From 1942, the Ministry of Home Affairs replaced the Ministry of Colonial Affairs in charge of administration of Taiwanese affairs.) However, none of these official records has so far been released.
    * Finally, it is also believed that Japanese government ministries — the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Public Welfare and the Ministry of Justice — still retain considerable numbers of relevant documents, but these are not accessible to researchers. The fact that there is no Freedom of Information Act in Japan makes it difficult to change the present research condition.
    In addition, many people whe were directly involved in setting up and implementing the comfort women system are still alive, but they remain silent on this issue.
    Therefore, the following analysis is based upon the limited number of official documents that have so far been discovered. A few documents as well as some testimonies are available, and these detail actual military instructions or orders to set up comfort stations (as detailed earlier) Let us look at these records more closely in order to clarify from whom such orders originated, and who was responsible for implementing the scheme.
    * In March 1932, the Shanghai Expeditionary Army under the command of General Shirakawa Yoshinori set up comfort stations in Shanghai. General Okamura Yasuji (the Deputy Chief of Staff), and Lieutenant-General Okabe Naozaburo (another senior staff officer of this Army) instructed their junior officer Lieutenant-Colonel Nagami Toshinori, to take charge of this task.(Okabe Naozaburo, op. cit., p.23; Inaba Maso, op. cit., p.302.) It seems very unlikely that the Army commander, General Shirakwa, was unaware of the fact that such instructions were issued by top-ranking officers of his own army. Shirakawa was the Minister of War between 1927 and 1929. In 1944, Okamura became the general commander of the China Expeditionary Army, the highest position within the entire Japanese forces stationed in China. Okabe was promoted to commander of the North China Area Army in the same year. Nagami later became the commander of the 55th Division.
    * In December 1937, the Central China Area Army issued an instruction to each contingent force to set up comfort stations. The commander of this Army was General Matsui Iwane, and the Chief of Staff was Major-General Tsukada Osamu.
    On receiving this instruction, Iinuma Mamoru (Chief of Staff of the Shanghai forces) ordered members of the 2nd Section of the Staff Office to draw up a plan. His junior staff officer, Liutenant-Colonel Cho Isamu, was responsible for implementing the plan. The commander of the 10th Army was Lieutenant-General Yanagawa Heisuke. This Army also set up comfort stations under the instruction of the Central China Area Army Headquarters. A staff officer of the 10th Army, Leiutenant-Colonel Terada Maso, set up a comfort stations staffed with Chinese women. He used the kempeitati to procure there women. (Nakin Jiken Chosa Kenkyu Kai ed., op. cit., pp. 211, 220, and 280.)
    After the war, General Matui was tried at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. He was accused of responsibilities for the Nanjing Massacre. It can be said that he was also responsible for the comfort women operations, as the commander of the Central China Area Army which issued an instruction to set up such facilities. Cho later became the Chief of Staff of the 32nd Army, and Terada was elevated to the position of head of the Armament Department in the Imperial Headqurters. The 10th Army commander, Yanagawa, later served as Minister of Home Affairs in Prince Knoe’s cabinet in 1941.
    * In June 1938, Lieutenant-General Okabe Naozaburo (then Chie of Staff of the North China Area Army) issued and instruction to each unit to set up comfor stations to serve several hundred soldiers in this army. ( JIS, Document No. 42, pp. 209-210) The commander of these forces was General Terauchi Hisaichi. Terauchi was the Minister of War in the previous two years.
    * The commander of the Kwantung Army was Lieutenant-General Umezu Yoshijiro, and the Chief of Staff was Lieutenant-General Yoshimoto Teiichi. It has been reported that in about 1941, the Kwangtung Army planned to mobilize 20,000 Korea women and requested assistance from the Government-General (i.e. the colonial government) of Korea. As a resutl, about 8,000 Korean women were reported to have been sent to northeast China (i.e. Manchuguo). Although no official documentation has been unearthed to prove such conduct, a number of testimoies refer to this operation, including one by a former staff officer of the Kangtung Army, Lieutenant-Colonel Hara Zenshiro. (Senda Kako, op. cit., pp. 103-105) It implicates many bureaucrats of the Gevernment-General of Korea in procuring a large number of Korean women, and therefore the Governor-General, General Minami Jiro, was also responsible. Minami served as the Minister of War for a short period in 1931.
    It is clear from these examples that seinor staff officers of each army issued orders to establish comfort stations, and that staff officers of subordinate units made a plan and put it into operation. All were undoubtedly elite army officers. As commanders of each army, they had distinguished careers. Some of them were cabinet members of the Japanese government. In short, the comfort women system was created and developed as a well-planned policy by a group of top Japanese military leaders.
    During the Asia-Pacific War, the Japanese Imperial forces stationed five armies overseas. There armies were under the supervision of the Minister of War and the Chief of the General Staff, who were subordinate to the Grand Marshal (i.e. the Emperor). (For details of the organizational structure of the Japanese Imperial forces, see US War Department, Handbook on Japanese Military Forcers (Presidio Press, California, 1991) Chapter III).
    Each army engaged in warfare at the Emperor;s orders. The Chief of the General Staff advised the Emperor in planning war strategies. The ultimate right of command over each army lay in the hands of the Emperor. However, in reality, the Chief of the General Staff was responsible for war strategies and military operations, and the Minister of War was responsible for military administration. As far as matters related to comfor women are concerned, the staff section of each army was responsible for dealing with them, and if necessary, the Ministry of War issued instructions to each army’s headquarters. (Yoshimi Yoshiaki, “Gun Ianfu Seido no Shiki Merei Ketd” in Yoshimi and Hayashi eds., op. cit, Chapter 2, pp.15-28).
    In the Ministry of War, there was no particular section designated to administer the comfort women system. The relevant Bureau would give instructions to each army as the occasion demanded. For example, the Mlitary Administration Bureau gave instructions on military discipline and troop morale in relation to comfort women and comfort statsion, while the Medical Bureau was responsible for advice on matter related to VD prevention and sanitary affairs.
    As already briefly mentioned, there were basically two different “recruiting” methods. The first method involved local civilians in the occupied territories. In these cases, staff officers attached to army divisions, brigades or regiments, together with members of the kempeitai, requested local leaders to supply certain numbers of young women. (The kempeitai in the occupied territories were under the control of the commander of each army.) As a result, a large number of women who were not prostitutes appear to have been forced to render sexual sevice to the Japanese troops. This point is proven by the following extract from the diary of a medical officer, Yamaguchi Tokio, who was assigned to conduct VD examinations of some selected local Chinese girls in a village near Dongshi (Hubei province):

    At the first VD check-up, one girl was too shy to take off her trousers for the examination of her sexual organ. My interperter and the head of the local security council yelled at her, to force her to take them off. When I made her lie on the bed and started examining, she frantically scratched at my hands. When I saw her face, I realized she was crying. Later I was told that she kep crying for a while, even after she left the examination room. The next girl also behaved the same way. I felt I would like to cry, too… I wonder whether these girls unwillingly came to see me because local leaders talked them into complying for the sake of the village’s peace… This kind of work does not suit me, and I cannont get rid of the thought that this is a violation of humanity.
    (11August 1940)
    (Mizobe Kazuto ed., Doku San Ni: Mohitotsu no Senso (private publication, 1983) p. 58.

    Another method was that each army headquarters selected its own recruiting agents (i.e. brothel owners or labor brokers). They were then sent to Korea, Taiwan, and Japan to secure comfort women. These Japanese and Korea brothel owners/labor brokers, with support from the Kempeitai and the police forces in those countries, searched for and “recruited” suitable women. Frome various testimonies, including those of formenr Korea comfort women, there is no doubt that many of these labor brokers used dubious methods, including deceoption, initmidation, violence, and in extreme cases, even kidnapping. Its seems clear from diaries and individual testimonies that the Governments-General of Korea and Taiwan made their kempeitai and police force available for this purpose. Although no official documentation has so far been discovered in relation to the activities of the kempeitai and police in this field in Korea and Taiwan, it seems that government officials well understood the nature of the work that these women would be engaged in. It seems likely that they also knew the methods used for such “recruitment.”
    We do, however, possess important official documentation concerning key aspects of the comfort women program. One document prepared by the Ministry of War is an instruction entitled “Matters related to the recruitment female and other employees for military comfort stations,” which was issued on March 4, 1938 to the Chief of Staff of the North China Area Army and Central China Area Army. It ststes:

    In recruiting female and other emplyees from Japan for the establishement of comfort stations in the place where the China Incident occurred, some deliberately make and illicit claim that they have permissions from the military authorities, thus damaging the Army’s reputation and causing misunderstanding among the general population. Some others are causing social problems by trying to recruit [women] illegally through the mediation of war correspondents, visiting entertainers and the like Due to the selection of unsuitable recruiting agents, some have been arrested and investigated by the police because of theri [dubious] methods of recruitment and kidnapping. Thus, great care is necessary in selecting suitable agents. In future, when recruiting those [women], each Army must tighten control [of the selection procudure] by carefully selecting appropriate agents. Inactual recruitmen, each Army must work in closer cooperation with local Kempeitai or police authorities, thus maintaining the Army’s dignity and avoiding social problems. The above is issued as letter of proxy. (JIS, Document No. 6, pp. 105-107)

    This letter was drafted by the staff of the Military Administration Bureau and issued under the name of Colonel Fushibuchi Senichi. It was approved by the then Vice-Minister of War, Umezu Yoshijiro. It is important to note that this instruction was issued as “a letter of proxy,” which means that it was also approved by the Minister of War, Sugiyama Hajime. In other words, top army leaders in the Ministry of War closely monitored the procurement of women in Japan by the North China Area Army and the Central China Area Army. This was intended to control the use of “agents” of questionable character in order to prevent potentially explosive abuses, while santioning the basic comfort women system. While apprehensive about the methods of procurement, they made no attempt to stop their armies from operating comfort stations.
    On the contrary, the following document endorses the fact that the Ministry of War promoted the comfort women scheme as an effective method to maintain military discipline and prevent VD. The document called “Measures for enhancing military discipline based upon experiences in the China Incident” was distributed as “educational material” to all army units from the Ministry of War on September 19, 1940. It states in part:

    [Since the Sino-Japanese War started], despite brilliant achievemets in war, our soldiers have committed various crimes such as looting, rape, arson, murder of prisoners, and the like which are contrary to the essence of the principles of the Imperial Army. It is therefore regrettable that such conduct had created a sense of aversion both within and outside Japan, thus making it difficult to attain the object of our holy war… Having observed the circumstances in which crimes and misconduct were committed, it is recognized that many of them occurred immediately after combat activities… In the battle zone, it is necessary to make efforts to create a good environment, to pay considerable attention to the facilities for amenities, and to eas and control rough and low feelings from the troops… In particular, the psychological effects that the soldiers receive at comfort stations are most immediate and profound, and therefore it is believed that the enhancenment of troop morale, maintenance of discipline, and prevention of crimes and VD are dependent on successful supervision of these [comfort stations].
    (Ibid., Document No. 28, pp. 164-172)

    According to Mr. Shikauchi Nobutaka, who was trained to become a paymaster at the Military Paymasters School in 1939, cadets were taught how to establish and manage military brothels. Incidentally, during the Pacific War Shikauchi was seconded from the Material Section in the Ordnance Bureaus of the Ministry of War to the Kokusai Gomu Kogyo (International Rubber Industry) Corporation, in order to supervise the production of confoms for military use. The Army Accounts Department and the Supply Headquarters were responsible for sending condoms to forces stationed overseas, and officials ensured a ready supply. In 1942, for example, 32.1 million condoms were sent to units stationed outside Japan. (For details of statistical data on condoms used by the Japanese Imperial forces during the Asia-Pacific War, see Hayashi Hirofumi, “Rikugun Ianjo Kanri no Ichi Sokumen: Eisei Sakku no Kofu Shiryo o Tegakari ni” in Kikan Senso Skinin Kenkyu, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 12-19).
    There is no doubt that the Ministry of War was directly involved in transporting comfor women to war zones, since it was impossible to use any Japanese military ships without its permission. The operation of army ships was controlled by the Army Section of the Imperial Headquarters under the authority of the Commissary General. (This position was usually held concurrently by the Vice-Chief of the General Staff.) The Army Section of the Imperial Headquarters was staffed by the senior bureaucrats of the Ministry of War. From various available documents and testimony it is clear that comfort women were transported by army cargo ships from Japan and Korea to many places in the Asia-Pacific region. In cases where Korea women were sent to China from Korea, the Kyogi Railway in Korea and Southern Manchurian Railway in Manchuria were used Both railwas lines were owned by Japanese companies. In China, local railways controlled by the Japanese Army were used for this purpse. In places where railway service was not available, army trucks were provided. In some special cases, women were even flown by army planes to the front lines. (Yoshimi Yoshiaki, “Gun Ianfu Sedo no Shiki Meirei Keito” in Yoshimi and Hayashi eds., op. cit. pp. 24-25).
    However, the Mistry of War needed the co-operation of other governmental organizations, such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Governments-General of Korea and Taiwan, in order to facilitate the procurement and transportation of comfort women.
    For example, on February 23, 1938, Tomita Kenji (Chief of the Police Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs) issued and instruction to the governor of each Prefecture in Japan, entitled “Regarding the treatment of female travellers to China.” In this document, he ordered that only prostitutes over the age of 21 should be permitted to travel to northern and central China. It could be interpreted that such instructions, allowing only the travel of professional Japanese prostitutes to China, was issued as a countermeasure to prevent illegal trafficking of women. (Such illegal trafficking was against the International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children of 1921, to which Japan became a signatory.) However, the fact that no such instructions were issued in Korea or Taiwan indicated that the Japanese government had no intention of suppressing illegal trafficking of Korean and Taiwanese women for military prostitution. It seems that officials believed this international law was not applicable to Japan’s colonies.
    Testimonies by former comfort women also indicate that police in Korea and Taiwan were involved in various ways in the the procurement of comfort women. For example, Mun P’ilgi, a Korean woman from Chisu District, South Kyongsang, testified that a local policeman called Tanaka was with a Korea labor broker when she and other women were “recuited.” Another Korea women, Mun Okchu from Taegu city, said when she was arrested by two members of the kempeitai for no particular reason, a Korean policeman accompanied them. She was then sent to northeast China to become a comfort woman.
    In both Korea and Taiwan, police forces were under the control of teh Bureau of Police Affairs of the Government -General (i.e. the colonial government). No official documents regarding the involvement of the police of these colonies in procuring comfort women have been discovered so far. However, each police station under the control of the Bureaus of Police Affarirs was responsible for issuing passports. It was illegal for the police to issue a passport toa local woman knowing that she was being forcibly recruited as a comfort woman. If they did so unwittingly, then this should be condemed as “neglect of duty.” It is most unlikely that the police in both colonies were unaware of forcible recruitment of comfort women, for it was standard prctise for them to throughly investigate each traveler’s age, occupation, family background, career, native language, and the purpose and intended period of travel before issuing a passport. Police should not have issued a passport unless the travel had a legitimate purpose.
    [...] After the outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941, the Ministry of War, on its own initiative, started implementing various policies to promote the establishment of comfort stations and to control the transportation of comfort women in the Asia-Pacific region. Until then, as we have seen, the Ministry of War played a somewhat secondary role in establishing the comfort women system, and the primary responsible body was each army headquarters.
    Indeed, the Ministry of War’s plan to set up comfort stations in future war zones was already under way several months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. For example in mid-1941, a Medical Officer, Major Fukuda Masuo, was assigned to secretly conduct a field study in the Dutch East Indies (i.e. Indonesia). After returning to Japan, he submitted his report to the Ministry of War on July 26, 1941, recommending the establishment of comfort stations in Indonesia immediately after the Japanese occupation commenced. He also recommended a “request” be sent to each village chief in occupied territory to provide local women to work at these stations. There is little doubt that “request” in this case meant “order.” Major Fukuda believed such arrangements would be necessary in order to avoid rape of local civilians by Japanese troops, as well as to prevent the spread of VD among the forces.
    In January 1942, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Togo Shigenori, instructed his staff that comfort women should be issued with military travel documents and that they would no longer require a passport for overseas travel. In other words, the movement of comfort women was not controlled by the Ministry of War, and thus the Ministry of Foreign Affairs lost its administrative power as far as controlling the travel of comfort women was concerned.

  • Gerry Bevers
  • Gerry Bevers

    There is currently a debate going on in South Korea on whether Korea should redefine “comfort woman” as “sex slave” instead of “military prostitute.” A debate? Really? Why would Koreans be debating something that would allow them to really stick it to the Japanese?
    Because Koreans fear that if “comfort woman” is redefined as “sex slave,” the “military prostitutes for Koreans and UN servicemen” under the Korean Government system would also be subject to being labeled “sex slaves.”

  • jk6411

    I’ve found plenty of newspaper articles about military prostitutes for UN troops. But I haven’t found any about military prostitutes for Korean soldiers.
    How many of them were there?

  • Gerry Bevers

    Most of the articles seem to make the distinction by using “UN comfort women” instead of “comfort women,” but I remember seeing some articles that make it clearer that the prostitutes for Korean servicemen were also called “comfort women.” If I come across one of them, I will post a link.

  • Gerry Bevers

    By the way, JK, what do you think about all those articles you are reading about Korea’s “comfort woman” system? I am not talking about just the ones I have translated, but also about the ones I have not yet translated that talk about girls being forced to be comfort women and even being kidnapped for that purpose. The ones where police showed little interest in helping the women. Have you learned anything new about your country’s own comfort woman system?

    I notice that you, at least, are not trying to hide Korea’s comfort woman system in the same way that Q has been with his long copy-n-paste posts about Japan’s system. I sense you are doing more reflection than Q is.

  • dokdonella koreensis

    When will you realize that all you do is making an ass(hat) out of yourself?

  • Gerry Bevers

    I don’t know, but maybe it will be when more people like you also start calling more people like Q “asshats” for all of their anti-Japanese postings.

  • que369

    Sexual slavery by japanese military was motivated by racism targeting young Korean women. It was sexual crime as well as racial crime. Professor Toshiyuki Tanak’s “Japan’s Comfort Women (Asia’s Transformations)” explains the racism of sexual slavery organized by japanese military:

    Why were comfort women almost invariably from Taiwan, China, or various places in Southeast Asia, and above all Korea? This might seem odd at first, given that the Japanese were notorious for their racism towards the people of other Asian countries. However, racial prejudice provides part of the answer to the question – that very racism helped make these women suitable for the role of comfort women. Japanese prostitutes did serve the military abroad during the war, but most were in a different position from the comfort women. The Japanese prostitutes mainly worked in comfort stations that served high-ranking officers, and they experienced better conditions than the Asian comfort women. Apart from the difficulty in recruiting Japanese women into comfort stations, Japanese military leaders did not believe Japanese women should be in that role. Their mission was to bear and bring up good Japanese children, who would grow up to be loyal subjects of the Emperor rather than being the means for men to satisfy their sexual urges. The Japanese wartime government took its lead from Nazi eugenic ideology and policy in these matters. In 1940 the National Eugenic Law was proclaimed. The purposes of the law were to prevent miscegenation and the reproduction of the “unfit,” such as those with mental illness that was believed to be inherited.

    According to widely held Japanese views at the time, a supreme virtue for a woman was to serve her husband from the time of her marriage until the end of her life. During the war, the Ministry of Health actually recommended that war widows remain loyal to their deceased husbands by not marrying, unless they were less than 36 years old. In 1943, when Professor Kaneko Takanosuke from the Tokyo College of Commerce argued in a popular woman’s magazine, Fujin Koron, that all war widows should be encouraged to remarry, the military authorities demanded that the published issue a public apology. In addition, the government-regulated distribution of paper to this published was considerably reduced for the rest of the war period. So hypocritical was the Japanese military leaders’ attitude that on the on hand they strongly demanded that Japanese women be chaste, while on the other they did not hesitate to preside over the extreme sexual exploitation of other Asian women.

  • jk6411

    What can I say?
    It’s an unpleasant topic. But what happened happened.

    There were many tens of thousands of foreign soldiers stationed in Korea, and they had sexual needs that needed to be met.
    South Korea saw a very real threat in North Korea, and did not want the US military to leave.
    Korea was a very poor country after the Korean War, and there were many poor women who needed to make money.
    Korean govt needed foreign currency, and may have encouraged this prostitution.
    It’s possible that the pimps used deceit and coercion in some cases in order to procure the women, and the police didn’t do enough to crack down on them.
    But back then Korea wasn’t the developed country that it is now.
    I wish the victims could find justice somehow.

    Yes, military prostitution in Korea was an unpleasant part of Korea’s history. But it does not compare with Japan’s sex slave system.

  • jk6411

    Don’t you know that you are encouraging him, by constantly posting anti-Korean comments?

  • jk6411

    Gerry,
    Please stop making drastic modifications to your comments after posting them. It’s making me dizzy.
    If you have more to say, just post another comment.

  • jk6411

    I see little reason for there to have been a military prostitute system for Korean soldiers.
    They could just go to private prostitutes.

  • LazyassBruiser

    If whorelogy was a science, Gerry would be the Dean of Faculty

  • Byeonguk Yook

    Leave Gerry alone. He does provide some interesting articles although I do disagree with the original point that started this whole discussion.

  • Byeonguk Yook

    Not to mention that Korea bashers on the net hijacking his posts for their motives.

  • hole64

    Say what you will about the Russians, they don’t take shit from the Chinese.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/18/world/asia/russia-china-fishing-vessel/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

  • que369

    Some readers at the MH might call this an absurd obsession on the past and anti-Germany propaganda.  AFP reported (Jul 19, 2012) World’s most wanted Nazi arrested in Hungary:

    Hungarian authorities detained, grilled and put under house arrest on Wednesday a 97-year-old who tops the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s dwindling wanted-list of suspected Nazi war criminals.

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