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Thu Jan 30, 2014, 12:43 AM

U.S. Rejects Japanese Broadcaster’s Claim It Used ‘Comfort Women’ in World War II

Source: Time.com

Did the American government employ sex slaves during the Second World War? The newly appointed chairman of Japan’s public broadcasting system apparently thinks so.

In the latest in a string of revisionist statements by conservative leaders in Japan, Katsuto Momii said the “comfort women” system, in which women were coerced into serving in brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II, “could be found in any nation that was at war.”

“The comfort women system is considered wrong under today’s moral values. But the military comfort women system existed as a reality at that time,” said Momii. “Can we say there were none in Germany or France? It was everywhere in Europe.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Japan denied that U.S forces operated a system of comfort women during or after that war. “We are not aware of anything that would indicate the U.S. engaged in any such kind of activity,” says an embassy official authorized to speak on the subject. “We would prefer not to comment any further on Mr. Momii’s statements. I would simply reiterate that his apparent belief regarding U.S. practices is incorrect.” The official asked not to be named, in line with State Department policy.


Read more: http://world.time.com/2014/01/29/comfort-women-japan-us-wwii-katsuto-momii-nhk/

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Reply U.S. Rejects Japanese Broadcaster’s Claim It Used ‘Comfort Women’ in World War II (Original post)
alp227 Jan 2014 OP
1000words Jan 2014 #1
grahamhgreen Jan 2014 #2
Kablooie Jan 2014 #4
eShirl Jan 2014 #5
LTG Jan 2014 #7
Jesus Malverde Jan 2014 #12
davidpdx Jan 2014 #3
Spitfire of ATJ Jan 2014 #6
bucolic_frolic Jan 2014 #8
WhoWoodaKnew Jan 2014 #9
malthaussen Jan 2014 #10
Nitram Jan 2014 #11
Jesus Malverde Jan 2014 #13
hack89 Jan 2014 #16
Baclava Jan 2014 #14
Xithras Jan 2014 #15
area51 Jan 2014 #19
Xithras Jan 2014 #20
Paladin Jan 2014 #21
LibertyLover Jan 2014 #17
rafeh1 Jan 2014 #18

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 12:48 AM

1. Until they stop using the term "comfort women,"

it is not an honest dialogue.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 02:04 AM

2. We did have prostitutes for the GI's in Hawaii in WWII. They were not allowed to own property, own

a car, or even have a bank account, as I recall. Not as bad as what the Japanese were up to.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 02:41 AM

4. But weren't they prostitutes by their own decision?

They were not forced into it by our military.

Granted some were forced into it by personal circumstances but that's completely different from being forced into being a sex slave against your will.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 02:42 AM

5. Interesting; the prostitutes there leveraged for greater rights than before the war,

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 05:05 AM

7. They were there before the war.

The rules regarding prostitutes, not owning property, no being on the beaches, etc, were established by the Chief of Police prior to the war. They were, primarily, prostitutes before the war and continued during the war, though with a much greater clientele.

They used the same buildings in Chinatown, on Fort Street. During the war the lines would run out of the buildings and down the sidewalks. The Chief raised the prices considerably after the war started. This and other widespread corruption led to the military to take control of the local police, under the Marshall law that had been declared after Pearl Harbor. They then dropped the price back down to pre-war levels and pretty much left the trade alone.

The flight of rich Americans from the islands left a lot of very nice properties untenanted and on the market. Some of them ended up purchased by a famous Honolulu prostitute, Jean O'Hara. She became rich buying and selling the property, often to groups of neighbors who got together and bought her out after finding out who the new owner was.

The Johns were called Three Minute Men. The price was $3 and they were expected to take only about a minute. O'Hara instituted a bullpen system were a number of men would wait until their turn came. They would undress and dress there, speeding up the system and allowing each girl to take care of more men each day. This made up for the price controls instituted by the military, as did the fact the police were no longer taking their cut. Many of them pretty good money.

So yes, prostitution existed in Honolulu, but not run by the military and the girls were not forced to become or remain prostitues. Jean O'Hara wrote a book about her life as a prostitute called "Honolulu Harlot". Its publication led to the shutting down of the houses on Fort Street and a crackdown on the business.

Didn't mean to type so much, but Honolulu and Island history is an interest of mine.

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Response to LTG (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 11:26 AM

12. This might explain the crazy streetwalker scene in Oahu...nt

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 02:11 AM

3. The conservatives in Japan are as crazy as the ones in the US

They'll make up any kind of shit that they think will stick. For this guy to be pointing fingers when his country did this to women from other countries is shameful and he is a disgrace to his country.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 03:25 AM

6. Big surprise, the Right is Wrong everywhere.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 08:01 AM

9. "Well, Timmy did it too." Is that really the best he's got?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 11:09 AM

10. I dunno, does Marlene Dietrich count?

The Germans certainly had them. Dunno about the Italians or French, but there were plenty of free-lancers in both countries, so they probably didn't need the state-funded ones. As for the Commonwealth and the US, it's practically unimaginable. We don't have sex!

-- Mal

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 11:22 AM

11. Bottom line (so to speak)

The US and the European nations did not force women into sexual slavery to support the morale of the troops. The Japanese, as occupiers of countries they had invaded, found no willing prostitutes among the civilian population. To keep their soldiers happy, they forced women into sexual slavery and required them to service the troops all day.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 11:30 AM

13. The US military freed all the vietnamese, filippino and thai prostitutes, during the Vietnam war.

Right?

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 01:51 PM

16. The US military did not abduct women and force them to be prostitutes

learn your history.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 11:41 AM

14. C'mon Japan - we know what you did, stop deflecting



"In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered"

"If not just for the numbers of dead, the Rape of Nanking should be remembered for the cruel manner in which most of its victims met their end. Japanese soldiers used Chinese men for bayonet practice and often engaged in killing competitions. Some victims were buried alive, others were buried up to their waists and then torn to pieces by German Shepherds.

It is believed that between 20,000-80,000 Chinese women were raped; fathers were forced to rape their daughters, and sons were forced to rape their mothers."

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 01:43 PM

15. He's only wrong about when it happened. The U.S. did use "comfort women".

At the beginning of the Occupation of Japan, an ironically named program called the "Recreation and Amusement Association" was set up by the Japanese to provide prostitutes and other "leisure activities" to American soldiers. The Japanese set the program up after countless stories about American soldiers raping Japanese women with impunity came to light. The Japanese decided that it was better to offer soldiers sexual access to "lower class" women, in order to protect the sexual purity of middle and upper class Japanese women.

Every prefecture and town with American soldiers had a "comfort women" station set up for American troops. There were 70,000 prostitutes working at any given time, spread across the country. These were authorized by the Japanese cabinet and funded by the Japanese government...and the prostitutes were kept clean using penicillin and prophylactics provided by the U.S. military.

The women were nominally "volunteers", but it's been well documented that both the Japanese government and the brothel operators used everything from threats to debt servitude to force women to submit. The widows and children of dead Japanese soldiers were particularly vulnerable to this, as they had been left destitute and without income when the military folded up.

MacArthur shut the system down after a few months because he was worried about the political fallout back in the U.S., but it's estimated that at least 150,000 Japanese women were used as prostitutes by between 150,000 and 200,000 U.S. troops while it was in operation (many women didn't last long, and most men were repeat customers).

We don't hear about this in the U.S. because we like to lionize those soldiers as our "greatest generation", and don't want to discuss the fact that they did some pretty shitty things themselves.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 03:01 AM

19. That's interesting that MacArthur would care

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Response to area51 (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 12:10 PM

20. It wasn't entirely his choice.

A number of the more "moral" officers and many of the chaplains and clergy were already complaining loudly about the system, and they were complaining to the political leadership back in the U.S. as well. The system was only operational for about four months because it didn't take them long to realize the political damage it could do. Even MacArthur, who notoriously didn't give a damn about public opinion, realized that allowing the government to operate brothels for soldiers was career suicide...especially as it became increasingly clear that many of the women were forced or coerced into that work (I didn't mention the Yakuza angle...Japanese organized crime had already started forcing women into the comfort stations by threatening their families and lives, and then demanding a percentage of their pay).

It was an ugly situation. Even MacArthur realized that.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 12:18 PM

21. I'm no big fan of MacArthur....

....but I think his post-war administration of Japan was by-and-large effective, even enlightened in some instances.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2014, 04:47 PM

17. There is practically no way the US Army in WW II

would have been ablet to set up an organized system of prostitution for the troops. The best they could like, like in Hawaii, was police the red light district and make condoms available. Any prostitution was strictly a private enterprise. During WW 1 Pershing had to turn down a French offer for military brothels, some on railroad cars, for US troops. Pershing himself didn't have many qualms about it but told the French that the US public would be agast and appalled if they found out that such a thing was available to their "boys". Things weren't much more advanced in terms of prudery on the part of the American public during WW 2.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 12:58 AM

18. brothels were there in phillipines and thailand

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