Sex Slaves of World War II
|Japanese comfort women wearing kimonos being transported.|
|Japanese sex slaves for some reason being trained for military duties during World War II.|
The practice was covered up the Japanese after their defeat, and largely forgotten until the 1990s. At that point, though, scholars began investigating various secret Japanese projects such as this and writing books about the practice. A public outcry arose to investigate the situation and make amends.
|Comfort women and other civilians wait with their belongings to embark for Japan in Borneo, 1945. The Japanese sent comfort women to brothels throughout the Pacific against their will. While there, these women were subject to appalling conditions.|
The survivors wanted compensation and official recognition. Tokyo at first refused to make any official settlement, considering the matter covered by the 1951 San Francisco Treaty and related agreements that assessed general penalties for the conflict. The government instead set up a fund for women from private donations. This did nothing but inflame the issue, however, as the Chinese and South Korean governments insisted on an official settlement agreement with all the trimmings. The tension was exacerbated by the fact that current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repudiated the unofficial Kono apology early in his career, along with others who denied the dishonorable practice entirely. Basically, many in the Japanese government wanted to ignore the issue as already having been resolved. They found the entire discussion embarrassing and distasteful, if not entirely fictional. This was due to a mixture of national pride and outright denial. The victims still insisted on a conclusive settlement between governments specifically addressing the issue and wanted the denials to end.
"expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds."Many were not entirely satisfied with the agreement and related statements, expecting a more explicit recognition of the situation and government culpability. Others continue to deny the practice existed at all. There are hard feelings on both sides. However, the issue of comfort women finally appears to be resolved.