FORGOTTEN VICTIMS……..COMFORT WOMEN

Around 150,000 to 200,000 women during the Second World War were coerced, abducted and forced into being sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army. These women were lured in with promises of nurse jobs, waitresses, to work in an office or to work as an entertainer but there taken to military bases and kept in comfort stations. The reason for this brutal and inhumane legally sanctioned rape was to mitigate or to reduce the rape crime by the Japanese Imperial Army due to rising anti-Japanese sentiment. The rising anti-Japanese sentiment was due to incidents like the rape of Nanking. By forming comfort stations where women were ready to service the Japanese army men then they could confine rapes and abuse to the military stations and such atrocities would not reach international news.
The first Comfort station was formed in Shanghai in 1932. The women working there were voluntary Japanese prostitutes or kidnapped Japanese women but later when the resources dried up in Japan, the army started to look beyond its country. Women from Japanese concessions and Japanese colonies were recruited. Women were falsely misled into thinking that they were about to get a job as a nurse or waitress or a simple office worker but were taken to Japanese military stations where they were made to learn a routine and were coerced into having sex multiple times with different people. Because of such inhumane conditions, most of the comfort women would contract sexually transmitted diseases. But the Japanese military doctors would carefully and regularly monitor comfort women to detect STDs and to stop it from reaching the troops.


The women were 80 per cent Koreans and the rest were Chinese / Filipina /Dutch/women who were abducted. Many such women were taken in and were raped 30 -40 times every day. Those who refused were beaten severely. Girls who were virgins while entering the stations were broken in or raped. So Tetsuo who was a medical physician in the Imperial Japanese Army wrote that comfort was referred to as female ammunition and was seen as things to be used rather than human beings. Comfort women were also forced to donate blood to save wounded soldiers. When a soldier would enter a comfort station, where photographs of comfort women were displayed and soldiers could choose from there. Women who got pregnant were forced to get abortions. Any human being with a little shred of humanity would know that this is wrong but this issue went unnoticed. Most comfort women were told and the theory that white men were cannibals were indoctrinated into them. When the Allied forces came close to capturing Japanese military stations, most of these women were forced to commit suicide or were killed by the soldiers. Many comfort women killed themselves as they didn’t want to be eaten by white men as this fact that white men were cannibals were drilled into them.


The Japanese military used the drug called salvarsan which was used to sterilize women; many condoms were given out for free to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Japan has issued apologies to the countries where it had forcefully taken women from. Prime Minister Shinto Abe stated in a newspaper interview that there was zero evidence that the Japanese army had used sex slaves but the fact that the Japanese government had admitted that they used brothels in a statement issued in 1993. But the country had issued an apology for the inhumane treatment of women and the deep psychological trauma that it had inflicted on the countries citizens.