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Human slavery

Part 2: Allegations of Japanese sex
slavery before & during World War II

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This topic is a continuation from Part 1

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Early 1990's: "Lack of response by the Japanese Government:

In 1990, amid rumors of sexual slavery by the Armed Forces before and during World War II, a Japanese official spoke at a session of the Japanese Diet. He denied any governmental involvement with the recruitment of comfort women. This triggered the founding of the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan in 1990-NOV. The Council sent an open letter to Kaifu Toshiki, then the Prime Minister  of Japan. They demanded that the government take six actions:

  1. The Japanese government admit the forced draft of Korean women as comfort women.

  2. The Japanese Government issue an public apology.

  3. That all barbarities be fully disclosed.

  4. That a memorial be created for the victims.

  5. That the survivors or their bereaved families be compensated.

  6. That these facts be continuously related in historical education classes so that history would not be repeated. 1

In 1991-APR, the Japanese Government responded that there was no evidence of any forced draft of Korean women. Thus they would initiate no admission of responsibility, apologies, disclosure, memorial, compensation and educational effort.

It was only In 1991-AUG, that Grandma Kim Hak Soon -- the first of many comfort woman -- went public, telling her personal story.

In 1992-JAN, Yoshimi Yoshiaki, a Japanese history professor, went public with documents that he had obtained from the Library of the National Institute for Defense. This forced a government investigation. In its 1992-JUL report "Results of Investigation into the Question of 'Military Comfort Women' Originating from the Korean Peninsula," the Japanese Government finally admitted that a wide-spread wartime organization of comfort stations existed. Finally, in a supplementary report issued in 1993-AUG, "The Japanese government admitted deception, coercion and official involvement in the recruitment of comfort women..." 2

Filmmaker and activist Dai Sil Kim Gibson commented:

"Japan is ultimately responsible for redressing the crimes it has committed. Japan will not have discharged fully its obligations under international law until it admits its legal liability, pays official compensation and prosecutes the offenders. Japan has taken some steps to apologize but none accompanied by an official acknowledgement that what it did to these women were crimes against humanity, war crimes." 3

As of mid-2013, the Japanese Government has not given a full apology to these women, nor has it offered compensation to the victims. The government did take one minor step: they arranged with a private charitable organization to pay limited amounts of money to the survivors. The fund expired at the end of 2007-MAR. 4 In 2000-OCT, the Democratic Party, the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party of Japan jointly sponsored a bill in the Japanese Diet to support the comfort women. The bill did not progress, and died in 2000-DEC.

The policy of the Japanese government appears to be to refuse to recognize their responsibility for any "comfort women" activities, and to stonewall all requests for justice. As of 2013, most of the comfort women are now in their 80's or early 90's. We suspect that the Japanese government hopes that when their victims die, memories of their allegatons will dissipate.

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1997-1998: U.S. 105th Congress resolution:

In 1997, Rep. William O. Lipinski (IL) submitted a concurrent resolution (H. CON. RES. 126) which expressed "the sense of Congress concerning the war crimes committed by the Japanese military during World War II." It described how "the Government of Japan deliberately ignored and flagrantly violated the Geneva and Hague Conventions and committed atrocious crimes against humanity." Included brief descriptions of the:

bulletMaltreatment of over 47,000 Americans captured by the Japanese military.

bullet Maltreatment of the people of Guam.

bulletChemical and biological experiments on prisoners of war.

bulletEnslavement of millions of Koreans and forcing "hundreds of thousands of women into sexual slavery for Japanese troops."

bulletDeath rate of US prisoners-of-war which approached 40%, in comparison with the death rate of POWs held by the German Nazis which was about 1.2%.

bulletRefusal by the Government of Japan to fully acknowledge its crimes, or to compensate its victims.

The resolution asked that the Government of Japan:

bulletFormally issue a clear an unambiguous apology for its war crimes, and

bulletImmediately pay reparations to the victims of those crimes.

The resolution was initially co-sponsored by eight Democrats and seven Republicans. 5 This eventually grew to at least 39 sponsors. It was backed by many Chinese communities in the U.S., and by many organizations, including the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans.

Rep. Lipinski stated:

"Post-war Germany's readiness to express remorse and take actions to try to address Nazi wrongs has been a vital part of the evolution of a benign Germany democracy that is trusted and respected throughout the world. Post-war Japan's reluctance to do the same has resulted in the exact opposite. It has undeniably stained her reputation in the international community. It is high time that the Japanese government step up to the place and do the right thing." 6

According to the Sun Tzu Organization:

"What Congressman Lipinski's draft resolution does not mention is Japan's top secret 'Kill Order,' sent by radio to prison camp commanders in 1945 ordering them to 'annihilate' all POW 'leaving no trace', destroy all records, and to avoid capture and interrogation by making good their escapes from advancing U.S. and allied forces." 7

In 1998, the resolution was blocked because the U.S. State Department objected to the reparation clause. The resolution has since died.

2000-DEC: International war crimes tribunal

The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Military Sexual Slavery was an unofficial war crimes tribunal that was organized and convened by a Japanese-based non-governmental organization (NGO), the "Violence Against Women in War Network." Also participating were people of six other countries from which women had allegedly been enslaved: China, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan. It was held in Tokyo, on 2000-DEC-7 to 12. A distinguished international team of prosecutors was present, including:

bullet Patricia Viseur-Sellers, an American legal advisor to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,

bullet Ustinia Dolgopol, an Australian legal scholar,

bullet Prosecutorial teams from a joint North and South Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia and the Netherlands.

Chief Judge Gabrielle Kirk MacDonald, an American who had served as President of the Yugoslavia War Crimes Tribunal, spoke for herself and three other judges. She denounced the late Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal. Ms. MacDonald said, "Hirohito knew or should have known about the establishment of the system of comfort stations, but he took no action to respond."

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This topic continues in Part 3

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References used:

  1. K.C. Kang, "Japanese Government Knew About Sex Slaves, Researchers Say; WWII: System of 'comfort women' for soldiers was carried out by the regime, not just the military, conference is told." L.A. Times, at: http://www.latimes.com/
  2. Chunghee Sarah Soh, "The Comfort Women Project," at: http://online.sfsu.edu/
  3. Dai Sil Kim Gibson, "The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Military Sexual Slavery," at: http://www.twotigers.org/
  4.  Colin Joyce, "Japanese PM denies wartime 'comfort women' were forced," Telegraph.co.uk, 2007-MAR-03, at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
  5. "Lipinski Resolution" at: http://witness.peacenet.or.kr
  6. "U.S. Congressman Lipinski and 15 Other Members of the House Shine the Light on Japanese War Crimes," at: http://witness.peacenet.or.kr/
  7. "Subject: House Resolution (US): Japan apologize and compensate," Sun Tzu Organization, 1997-APR-16, at: http://www.kimsoft.com/

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Copyright © 2001 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-DEC-4
Latest update: 2013-JUL-30
Author: B.A. Robinson

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