Comfort Women

Comfort women were women and girls forced into a Japanese prostitution network during the Second World War. After the 1937 Rape of Nanking during the Second Sino-Japanese war, where Japanese soldiers raped and murders between 20 000 and 80 000 Chinese women and children, the Japanese empire decided to create a network of prostitution for its imperial soldiers. Under the orders of the Army minister, Hajime Sugiyama, hundreds of comfort houses were created in Japan. Women from Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and especially from Japan, Korea and China, were mislead to think they were being recruited to work in factories. The military police (Kempetai) helped the recruitment by forcing the Japanese local chiefs to designate young women for their organization. The estimates vary, but approximately 20 000 women were prisoners of this horrible network. In 1971 the first anonymous testimony about sexual slavery was published by a Japanese former prisoner. Only in 1991 did the scandal explod as a former sex slave, Kim Hak Sun pressed charges against Japan. Yet the Japanese government has never publicly admitted nor apologized for this war crime.

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