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Thread: U.S. troops used 'comfort women' after WWII

  1. #1
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    U.S. troops used 'comfort women' after WWII


    国際交流パーティー
    Tokyo International Party

    This thread is not to be confused with the "Comfort Women" issue being discussed on another thread here. I made this one with the sole intent and purpose to give equal time and discussion about this issue as well.

    Also while not directly related to the comfort women issue regarding Korea and the rest of Asia during WWII, still is a sad and disheartening bit of news that only recently has come to light as well.

    U.S. troops used 'comfort women' after WWII

    This sad chapter from history that the US Military occupational government with the cooperation of the Japanese authorities at the time utilitized the Japanese network or comfort women here in Japan right after the end of WWII.

    Evidently "with tacit approval from the U.S. occupation authorities -- Japan set up a similar "comfort women" system for American GIs."


    Sadly, we police had to set up sexual comfort stations for the occupation troops," recounts the official history of the Ibaraki Prefectural Police Department, whose jurisdiction is just northeast of Tokyo. "The strategy was, through the special work of experienced women, to create a breakwater to protect regular women and girls."
    I feel sorry for the women here as well that were, as it seems in this case may have been coerced into working in Comfort Stations this time however the customers being the US Military and not for the Japanese Imperial Army.

    A December 6, 1945, memorandum from Lt. Col. Hugh McDonald, a senior officer with the Public Health and Welfare Division of the occupation's General Headquarters, shows U.S. occupation forces were aware the Japanese comfort women were often coerced.

    "The girl is impressed into contracting by the desperate financial straits of her parents and their urging, occasionally supplemented by her willingness to make such a sacrifice to help her family," he wrote. "It is the belief of our informants, however, that in urban districts the practice of enslaving girls, while much less prevalent than in the past, still exists."
    It seems that the roles were reversed here, and the Japanese were forced into this type of work as well.

    This is a black eye on the face of the US Military at the time, now time will tell how the US Military or the US government responds to this recent revelation.

    This is also sad too, I wish these women peace as well.
    As a step toward acknowledging and resolving the exploitation of Japanese women, however, it was a complete failure.

    Though they were free to do so, no Japanese women sought compensation.

    "Not one Japanese woman has come forward to seek compensation or an apology," Wada said. "Unless they feel they can say they were completely forced against their will, they feel they cannot come forward."
    Any comments?
  2. #2
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    Some how, i do not doubt this happened.
    As my mom's Italian friend said, it is always the civilians who suffer most during war.
    The whole occupying army thing. It seems almost inevitable.
    But still, not excusable.

    What ever happened to the sacrifices of joining the military?

    Oh, I know,
    the women did it "voluntarily" because they were broke and had to eat.
    Sure, that's not coersion. no, of course not.
    dripping molasses in winter thick sarcasm.
    I hope someday my Japanese skills will become good enough so I can read my Japanese copy of
    The Concept of Honest Poverty
    and to find out if it says anything about my desire to never own a house.
  3. #3
    SECURITY-you SPAM/we BAN Male
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    Last Sunday's paper had a big story about this.

    It said the US used the system for only 1 year; like that lessened the guilt?
    Uncle Frank
    Last edited by Uncle Frank; May 7, 2007 at 00:10.
    TAKE WHAT I SAY WITH A GRAIN OF SUGAR !!
    I USED TO BE FUNNY, BUT MY WIFE HAD ME NEUTERED!
  4. #4
    diceke
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    Saburo Ienaga, in his book Senso Sekinin, mentioned the frequent raping of regular Japanese girls by the US soldiers during the occupation period. The book was published back in 1985.

    The authorities at the time supposedly took the measure to prevent rape.

    (Someone on the forum said American soldiers were more disciplined. Oh, that's so ignorant. )
  5. #5
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    U.S. troops used "comfort women" after WWII

    Some how, i do not doubt this happened.
    As my mom's Italian friend said, it is always the civilians who suffer most during war.
    The whole occupying army thing. It seems almost inevitable.
    But still, not excusable.
    What ever happened to the sacrifices of joining the military?
    Oh, I know,
    the women did it "voluntarily" because they were broke and had to eat.
    Sure, that's not coersion. no, of course not.
    dripping molasses in winter thick sarcasm.
    Sukotto, I fully agree with your mother's Italian friend; It is always the civillian who suffer most during war.
    The Russians raped many innocent German girls and women.
    Women and girls in all countries of the world are easy victims since men are much stronger and that type of men never comes alone.

    But I guess that the main point in these discussions is: Most countries will feel ashamed about these happenings, but the Japanese authorities deny these facts. That makes things worse.
    My dad yoused to tell us: "Don't tell me lies or stories, tell the truth and I'll be less angry with you".
    All of us are responsable for our own wrong acts and our government are always resposable for what happened during wars and occupations.
    Such is life!
  6. #6
    diceke
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    But I guess that the main point in these discussions is: Most countries will feel ashamed about these happenings, but the Japanese authorities deny these facts. That makes things worse.
    That's not the main point of the discussion. Perhaps you have deliberately ignored something.

    Japan's official statements on the women's issues are summarized here: http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/index.html

    Now, let us see how the US government has dealt with the issue.
  7. #7
    気づいたらカッパだ Male
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    But I guess that the main point in these discussions is: Most countries will feel ashamed about these happenings, but the Japanese authorities deny these facts. That makes things worse.
    Originally Posted by diceke
    That's not the main point of the discussion.
    I agree with diceke. This thread is not about the Japanese use of comfort women during the war, but rather the American use of comfort women in Japan after the war ended.

    So for the purposes of this thread, whether Japan has indeed denied anything or not only applies to their collusion in finding comfort women for the Americans, no?
    Last edited by Mikawa Ossan; May 7, 2007 at 18:04.
    -Insert signature here-
  8. #8
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    Saburo Ienaga, in his book Senso Sekinin, mentioned the frequent raping of regular Japanese girls by the US soldiers during the occupation period. The book was published back in 1985.
    The authorities at the time supposedly took the measure to prevent rape.
    (Someone on the forum said American soldiers were more disciplined. Oh, that's so ignorant. )
    Diceke is accusing someone of beeing ignorant! Obviously I am the one who is accused of beeing ignorant, but did I actually say:
    It is estmated that the Soviet Red Army troops raped around 100,000 girls and women when they conqered Berlin in 1945. The Russians government are not willing to admit this. Even though the Soviet Army were on the winning side their abuses are not forgotten!
    Because rape used to be a viscious integrated part of warfare the japanese were very fearfull of the US soldiers in the days leading up to the occupation in 1945. Though, some abuse did take place, the US soldiers were far more diciplined.
    "Though, some abuse did take place, the US soldiers were far more diciplined." More diciplined than the Soviet Red Army who "raped around 100,000 girls and women when they conqered Berlin in 1945."

    Ridiculing others by misquoting them is seriously bad manners!
    There are good and bad people everywhere
  9. #9
    diceke
    Guest
    Diceke is accusing someone of beeing ignorant! Obviously I am the one who is accused of beeing ignorant, but did I actually say:
    Excuse me, did I call you ignorant?? If you didn't say that, it obviously has nothing to do with you.
  10. #10
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    Now and some US newspapers such as New York Times, International Herald Tribune ask for Mike Honda and his buddies, "Mike, we know US soldiers used 'comfort women houses' in occupited Japan too. Were we perfect on moral long enough to we can accuse other country? " Mike Honda has to answer for this question.
    Do some American lawmakers insist "Setting brothels for the US army were legal and no problem, setting brothels for the Japan Army was brutal and inhuman conduct. We have to demand apology for Japan for their abuse of women's dignity." ?
    Is it fair? Hadn't Honda insisted "I'm working for just a fairness"?
    Every country has blots in their history, It should be self-criticized but why another country that nothing with that matter can demand apology for it?
    Mike Honda should shut up his mouth and withdraw his stupid house resolution. Mike, can you say you are fair?
  11. #11
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    Hello diceke and Mikawa Ossan,

    You are both right!! But did the American General Headquarters order Japanese girls for their soldiers? Obeika is an American, so he should know best. It is sad. Like everything is sad during and directly after a war.
    I mentioned the German girls raped by the Russian soldiers. Sad really sad.

    My point is that Japan and Germany started WWII but that when the war was over the girls from both countries payed the bill by being raped by the victors.
    Obeika showed us the both sides from a war, the comfort women during the war. And then after the war was over the Japanese and German girls were misused.
    And yes Han Chan, The Russians have behaved like real beasts towards thousands of German girls. That was really unforgivable.

    Germany doesn't complain! I have really learnt to respect the Germans of today.
  12. #12
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    Elizabeth van Kampen, Japan does not complain or deny, either.
    It is the activist who complains.

    I really feel sorry for you that had the terrible time in the camp, and this is why over 1000 Japanese soldiers were persecuted in the former Dutch territories. (It was extremely higher persecution rate than other places, though I don't research every places, though).
  13. #13
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    The term "Comfort Women" is specific to women used by the Japanese military, often by force, as sex slaves for soldiers... The scale and systematic practice make it far different than even the massive criminal misconduct perpetuated under the auspices of the Russian military, criminal rapes committed by soldiers, or the use of legal prostitutes by other armies.
    [I]"Nolo Cuspis Causa Me."[/I]
  14. #14
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    Oh Pipokun,
    I am the very last person who can feel happy that 1000 Japanese were persecuted. I am a woman, so I was a girl in those days.
    I guess that it was an extremely higher persecution because 80 000 civillians were concerned. That was much less the case with the British and Americans.
    A Japanese asked me once, why the Dutch government didn't sent the women and children away from Indonesia before the Japanese landed.
    Trouble was, send us where? Holland was occupied by Germany and Australia didn't want Eurarians in their country in those days.

    Believe me Pikokun, I don't need revenge. I could not get my father back with all those persecutions.
    I have no trauma about the camp where I was, it made me a mentally very strong person. My father's cruel death is my trauma.
    But thank you for your kind words, I appriciate them very much.
    Understanding is beautiful.
  15. #15
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    ...
    the use of legal prostitutes by other armies.
    It would be nice of Honda if he also face the Japanese maids who were killed in the Korean war.
    However it is rather ridiculous if Japan or Japanese lawmakers would accuse the US of it like what Honda does in the US, though I know activist is always activist when it is sunny or rainy.
  16. #16
    diceke
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    The term "Comfort Women" is specific to women used by the Japanese military, often by force, as sex slaves for soldiers...
    As far as I know, the term "comfort women" often seems to refer to the legal prostitutes AND the rape victims used by the Japanese military. (Actually, people don't quite agree on which it refers to.) It's usually specific to Japan, simply because it is a translation of the Japanese word ianfu. But that doesn't necessarily imply that the Japanese practice was qualitatively different.
  17. #17
    puzzled gaijin Male
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    But, in an unusual twist, I have to agree dicek is right, we are getting away from the main topic. Was it right for the US Occupation soldiers to use the Japanese 'national' brothels? Probably not. But I do think the women had more of a choice here, these is a key difference from the other Japanese run military stations in WWII (the Japanese comfort stations).
    Now should the Occupation army have asked for this? Probably not. Ideally they should have brought their own 'working' women over under the same working arrangements (as the Japanese should have done).
    Last edited by gaijinalways; May 9, 2007 at 23:32.
  18. #18
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    There are always women who give sex for money, that is the same all over the world. That is the type of sex all armies have to pay for their officers and men.
    It is cruel and becomes a crime if girls and young women are forced to have sex against their will. Then you may call it 'being raped'.
  19. #19
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    Was it right for the US Occuaption soldiers to use the Japanese 'national' brothels? Probably not. But I do think the women had more of a choice here, these is a key difference from the other Japanese run military stations in WWII (the Japanese comfort stations).
    Was it right? Good question, however I would suggest that it was probably better that they used the brothel's than have the possibility of the "victorious" invaders raping the local women and girls. Like the article stated they were, the brothel's, set up to protect the local population.

    One thing that seems to be forgotten here is that the US Military did not set these brothel's up, it was the Japanese authorites at the time, there is a rather large difference there in my opinion.

    I do not think that the majority of the women employed by them were prostitutues by design either. Many because of economic conditions at the time had no other options, I feel that they did it because they wanted to live. Even the article points out one story of a girl who committed suicide because she had no other choice of work.

    There are no true winners in war but too many losers, even those on the winning side.

    You know even today there are those in the US Military that visit Japanese prostitutes even though the "law" here states that prostitution is illegal it still goes on. Times don't change things all that much, where there is lust and a man with money willing to pay, there always seems to be a place where there are women willing to take that money to satisfy them. That much will never change.

    The only difference now is whether or not the women were forced or coerced into the work they are doing.
  20. #20
    diceke
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    Nobody is asking you if the US was better or more humane than Japan. Nobody is asking if it was better than another possible alternative. Trying to minimize the guilt here?
  21. #21
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    Nobody is asking you if the US was better or more humane than Japan.
    In terms of time, numbers of women and method's that the women were appropriated there is a very large difference between the two issues.

    Nobody is asking if it was better than another possible alternative.
    No but I am making the statement here that the Japanese authorites were thinking about the "possible" alternatives when they set up these brothel's for the US Military members. The Japanese concerns at the time, were rather obvious.

    Trying to minimize the guilt here
    Of course one does not justify the other. Remember though that the US Military was only guilty of allowing it's members to patronize these establishments. The US Military had no hand in getting or coercing the women to work there, that is a rather large difference as well.

    Which country has the larger guilt here? That is obvious as well, however it doesn't justify the actions either.

    If any of these women came forward today and asked for an apology from the US Government I would support them as well.

    My support for these women isn't limited to just the one's from Korea, China, Phillipines, Burma, or the Dutch East Indies, but the Japanese women as well.

    What about you? Do you support all of these women and their claims, or only the Japanese?
  22. #22
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    When the United States occupied Japan, in the first year of occupation there were 2,900 rapes reported in Kanagawa prefecture alone. In the seven years of the occupation, the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Supreme Allied Command was concerned about the 2,536 murders and 30,000 rapes.

    "Sadly, we police had to set up sexual comfort stations for the occupation troops," recounts the official history of the Ibaraki Prefectural Police Department, whose jurisdiction is just northeast of Tokyo. "The strategy was, through the special work of experienced women, to create a breakwater to protect regular women and girls."
    Were US soldiers gentlemen in European countries?
  23. #23
    puzzled gaijin Male
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    Wait, 7 years, all of Japan. How many US soldiers were stationed here in Japan (this is starting to sound too much like the over inflated foreign crime wave in Japan)?

    Dicek and hanachan, calm down. Obeika tried to explain why he compared the two, he doesn't have any guilt about either. Yes, I get that the US didn't set them up, but I wonder if the occupation government encouraged Japan to set up the brothels (remember this happened during the occupation years) or Japan in paranoia decided to do it on their own?
  24. #24
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    Wait, 7 years, all of Japan. How many US soldiers were stationed here in Japan (this is starting to sound too much like the over inflated foreign crime wave in Japan)?
    Dicek and hanachan, calm down. Obeika tried to explain why he compared the two, he doesn't have any guilt about either. Yes, I get that the US didn't set them up, but I wonder if the occupation government encouraged Japan to set up the brothels (remember this happened during the occupation years) or Japan in paranoia decided to do it on their own?
    If you like to know more about the occupation years I can warmly recommend the book: Embracing Defeat by John Dower
    If you look at the link below you can get a short digest (I copied a bit about prostitution)

    http://kwc.org/memorylane/mit/523/Em...g%20Defeat.htm

    Servicing the Conquerors

    - Fear that American troops would rape Japanese women – linked to the imperial troops own violations
    - Japanese government financed enlisting prostitutes to serve as a barrier between the American GIs and the “good” women of Japan. Historical precedent for dealing with Westerners.
    o By August 27, 1945: 1,360 women in Tokyo had enlisted in “Recreation and Amusement Association”
    o “Okichis of our era”: Okichi had been comfort woman for Townsend Harris
    o Called on 15-60 times a day
    o Only cost 15 yen – $1 (half a pack of cigarettes)
    o Though rape and assault still occurred, rates remained low in comparison with size of occupation force
    o January 1946: ordered abolition of RAA. High rate of venereal disease one impetus. 90% women tested positive. US patents for penicillin licensed to Japan in April
    - December 1946: Home Ministry declared that women had the right to become prostitutes, and setup official red-line districts
    - Estimated 55,000-75,000 served as prostitutes in these districts
  25. #25
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    When the United States occupied Japan, in the first year of occupation there were 2,900 rapes reported in Kanagawa prefecture alone. In the seven years of the occupation, the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Supreme Allied Command was concerned about the 2,536 murders and 30,000 rapes.
    It would help for you to place some source for these facts here, just to throw out a bunch of numbers without any reference to back them up makes it easy for people to dismiss your comments as being sensationalist, even if the chance exists that they are true.

    Were US soldiers gentlemen in European countries
    Well let me ask you this; were the Japanese soldiers gentlemen in Nanking?
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