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Comfort Women Final Version

Comfort Women Final Version






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    Comfort Women Final Version Comfort Women Final Version Presentation Transcript

    • Comfort Women
    • Tessa Castellani
      Defining Comfort Women:Japan Focus
    • Introduction: History of Comfort Women
      Comfort Women (JugunIanfu) were the victims of sex slavery by the Japanese military troops before and during World War II (1942-1945)
      Women were kidnapped, forced, and/or tricked into becoming prostitutes for Japanese troops
      Earlier comfort women were Japanese prostitutes who volunteered for such a service
      The military found itself short of these women as Japan continued military expansion
      Turned to the local population to coerce women to serve the troops
      Soon the search was expanded to controlled territories:
      China, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Korea.
      “Three Alls Policy”-- indiscriminately kidnapping and raping local civilians
    • Comfort Station: Shanghai, China
      • The first "comfort station" was established in the Japanese concession in Shanghai in 1932.
      • Many women responded to calls for work as factory workers or nurses – unaware of the military’s true intentions.
      • Women were shipped all over the territories and many lost track of where they were and where their home was in relation.
    • Who Are Comfort Women?
      Comfort Women, Military Sex Slaves, MSS, JugunIanfu
      There was no one specific type of “comfort woman”
      They ranged from all walks of life – from the very young and prepubescent (11) to the middle-aged (35) – and were from all over Southeast Asia – Japan, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Korea.
      It’s difficult to determine just how many women were involved in this mass military sex slavery. Most have sworn themselves to secrecy, too ashamed to ever speak of the atrocities they faced
      The number of comfort women is estimated to have been between 50,000 to 200,000
      Remaining survivors are well into their eighties and do not have very long to tell their tale.
      It is estimated that only 25 percent of the comfort women survived
    • What was Involved?
      According to the House of Sharing, a human rights museum and a safe house for former comfort women, when a woman was captured or lured into comfort stations, she was given a medical examination to determine if she was a virgin or diseased
      She was then raped by the medical examiner and sent to her station
      Her identity was quickly stripped of her as she was given a Japanese flower name by the first person to rape her.
      The women's names were written on wooden blocks and hung up much like menus are at restaurants in Japan.
    • On average, comfort women served 30 men daily on weekdays
      Served up to 50 men daily on weekends
      The days leading up to the soldiers shipping out to the front lines were the worst times
      Having sex before going into battle was a sign of good luck and vitality
      Some men would even take pubic hair for good luck
    • Women were beaten if they failed to act as if they enjoyed it or showed resistance
      Extremely sore after just a few men with dozens still left until the day’s end
      Some were given a few minutes to a half hour in-between to rest, but most were given only a jar of cotton swabs soaked in disinfectant and told to quickly clean before the next man
      Sometimes they were given a single condom which had to be washed in between uses
    • Medical Maladies
      Women were checked biweekly for STIs/STDs
      Contracting one or becoming pregnant would lead to severe punishment
      If given a “clean” bill of health, the woman would be raped by her physician(s) after check-up
      To combat STIs
      Injections of Mercury 606
      Their internal organs including their uterus were mostly destroyed through this method
      Forced hysterectomies
    • Pregnancy: The Worst Offense
      The most brutal punishment was reserved for women who had “let” themselves become pregnant
      Babies were forcibly aborted:
      Kicking or knifing by a group of soldiers
      Raped with hot irons until the baby died
      Babies were subsequently chopped up and fed to dogs in front of the women to serve as an everlasting reminder
    • The Aftermath
      • After the Japanese were defeated, most comfort women were abandoned on site
      • Comfort women who survived and were discovered by the Allied forces were not returned to their homelands; there was just too many of them
      • There is evidence supporting that American and European military personnel "recycled" many of the women for their own sexual use
      • Many were considered prostitutes rather than victims
    • Kim Hak Sun
      In 1991, former Korean comfort women Kim Hak Sun filed the first-ever lawsuit against the Japanese Government for its war crimes against women. Many others began to end their own silence and demands justice be brought before them.
    • Kim Hak Sun
    • Motivations & Reasoning
      To increase the morale of troops
      To more efficiently prevent the spread of STDs
      To prevent leakage of military secrets
      To prevent soldiers from raping women in the territories they controlled
    • Adam Souza
      The Rape of Nanking: A Comparison
    • Historic Context
      Took place between December 1937 and January/February 1938 (Japanese military records show orders to leave by January, Chinese records claim occupation didn’t fully end until later)
      Death toll among Chinese defenders was nearly 80%. Occupation raised this total to nearly 100%.
      Several verified war crimes committed before invasion began
      “Race to 100”
    • Comfort Women
      “Safety Zone” established with the ostensible goal of protecting civilians, promptly ignored by Japanese military.
      Roughly 20,000 women taken – exact statistics unknown, possibly higher.
      There was no pretext of these women being “used” in any humane manner. Women were raped and then sterilized by brute force and trauma, or simply killed.
      Pregnant women were aborted via bayonet, broomstick, or blunt force trauma.
      Foreign businessmen and missionaries attempted to stop violence, Chinese unable to open negotiations, official Japanese protocol gave them no chance. Emperor Hirohito ratified military proposition that declared all Chinese exempt from international law regarding prisoner treatment.
    • Japanese Revisionism
      Official Japanese response has varied, originally denied massacre ever took place.
      Public response mixed; some believe it happened, others deny.
      Several noted Japanese historians published essays refuting claims by Chinese citizens who lived through attack.
      Apparently, a vocal minority of “Massacre Deniers” are spreading their views wherever they can. Videos arguing that the Nanking Massacre never happened as reported outnumber videos about the Massacre itself. The first video I found was from a Japanese talk show denying the event.
      Survivors have petitioned for reparations from Japanese government, but none have been forthcoming, although a formal apology has been issued.
    • Kaitlyn Coons
      Comfort Women Outside Japan:A Global Menace
    • “Comfort Women” Outside of Asia
      In war-torn cities, women are sometimes forced into sexual exploitation in order to survive
      Also subjected to sexual violence as a war tactic
      May not be called “comfort women” or have come into this life by the force of their government, but the violence is still the same
    • “Comfort Women” Outside of Asia
      In war-torn cities, women are sometimes forced into sexual exploitation in order to survive
      Also subjected to sexual violence as a war tactic
      May not be called “comfort women” or have come into this life by the force of their government, but the violence is still the same
    • Related Victims: The Congo
      Panzi Hospital in Bukavu is known for its aid to women who are victims of sexual terrorism
      Sexual terrorism: individual rapes, sexual abuse, gang rapes, mutilation of genitalia and rape-shooting or rape-stabbing combinations
      Most times done with family members forced to watch
      Sexual terrorism causes devastating internal injuries and other complications from rape
      “In the Congo, traumatic fistula is a common form of sexual torture inflicted with guns, tree branches or broken bottles…the victim smells bad, causing her to be rejected by her family and community.” – A Thousand Sisters
    • Related Victims: Iraq
      Since the United States has occupied Iraq, some 3,500 women have gone missing.
      • Most of these women will be traded for sex work
      Families are desperate for money to feed their families and oftentimes do not know that they are selling their daughters to sex traffickers
      These women’s bodies are then sold by their pimps who collect the money as the women are raped
    • Alex Zacharczenko
      Comfort Women of Today:
    • Government Responses
      Many women today are seeking apologies and reparations from the Japanese government
      As late as 1990 Japan has denied government involvement in the use of comfort women
    • Kono Statement
      1991, a Japanese historian discovered government documents directly linking the government to use of comfort women
      This information was published in a national newspaper
      1992, Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa formally apologized to comfort women
      Despite the apology, Japan has never admitted legal responsibility, insisting it wasn’t a war crime, wasn’t an organized system
    • Asia women’s fund
      Set up in 1995, came with signed apology:
      "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.“ –Tomiichi Murayama
      Fund gave money from private donations, not government
    • United Nations Human Rights Commission Report
      1998, called Contemporary Forms of Slavery
      Use of comfort women was slavery, which was illegal in Japan at the time
      Rape was a war crime at the time
      Japanese government had committed crimes against humanity
      Japanese government is liable
    • Abe Controversy
      • 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied that Japan had forced women into slavery
      • Pressure from US led him to take back his statement
      • However, Abe’s party purged comfort women from many history texts
      Important quote from education minister Nariaki Nakayama: "Those women deserve much sympathy, but (being forced to provide sex) is not so much different from what was commonly seen in poor rural Japanese communities in the past, where women were sold to brothels. It could be said that the occupation was something they could have pride in, given their existence soothed distraught feelings of men in the battlefield and provided a certain respite and order."
    • Litigation
      2007, Japan Supreme Court ruled that individuals could no longer seek claims through litigation
    • International Resolutions
      Resolutions have been passed by several countries urging Japan to take full responsibility for the comfort women situation
      These countries include, the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, England, and the European Parliament
    • Any Questions?
    • References and Further Information:
    • References: Tessa Castellani
      "Comfort-women.org." Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues Inc. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.comfort-women.org/>.
      "Digital Museum: The Comfort Women Issue and the Asian Women's Fund." 慰安婦問題とアジア女性基金/デジタル記念館. Asian Women's Fund. Web. 1 May 2011. <http://www.awf.or.jp/e2/survey.html>.
      "Embassy of Japan in United States of America: The Comfort Women Issue." Embassy of Japan. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/cw1.htm>.
      Hicks, George L. The Comfort Women: Japan's Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War. New York: W.W. Norton &, 1995. Print.
      "Interview with Kim Hak Soon in August 1991." History and Justice. Web. 5 May 2011. <http://www.janelleparklee.com/women-war/kim-haksoon-interview.html>.
      Morris, Narelle. "Intersections Review: Japan's Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery and Prostitution During World War II and the US Occupation." Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific. Aug. 2003. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue9/morris_review.html>.
      Tabuchi, Hiroko. "Japan's Abe: No Proof of WWII Sex Slaves - Washingtonpost.com." The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - The Washington Post. 1 Mar. 2007. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/01/AR2007030100578.html>.
      Yoshimi, Yoshiaki, and Suzanne O'Brien. Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military During World War II. New York: Columbia UP, 2000. Print.
    • References: Adam Souza
      Iris Chang; The Rape of Nanking
      HigashinakanoShudo; The Nanking Massacre: Fact Versus Fiction
      Marjorie Chan; A Nanking Winter
      Don’t Cry, Nanking (Historical Fiction)
      The Truth About Nanjing (Japanese Revisionist Documentary)
      Nanking (Documentary)
      John Rabe (Discusses the German missionary and his role in maintaining the Nanking Safe Zone)
    • References: Alex Zacharczenko
      Kohns, Daniel. “Honda Testifies in Support of Comfort Women.” Congressmen Mike Honda. 15 February 2007. 26 April 2011. <http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ca15_honda/comfortwomentestimony.html>
      “AN ANALYSIS OF THE LEGAL LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN FOR "COMFORT WOMEN STATIONS" ESTABLISHED DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR.” United Nations Commission on Foreign Rights. 22 June 1998. 26 April 2011. <http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/7fba5363523b20cdc12565a800312a4b/3d25270b5fa3ea998025665f0032f220?OpenDocument#Appendix>
      “'Comfort women' distortion stirs indignation.” China Daily. 13 July 2005. 26 April 2011. <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-07/13/content_459772.htm>
      “Letter from Prime Minister to the former comfort women, since 1996.” Asian Women’s Fund. 1996. 26 April 2011. <http://classic-web.archive.org/web/20070516012746/http://www.awf.or.jp/english/about/archives/1996_2.html>
      “Sexual Slavery – Court Cases.” Violence Against Women in War. 26 April 2011. <http://www1.jca.apc.org/vaww-net-japan/english/sexualslavery/courtcase.html>
      “Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary YoheiKono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women".” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 4 August 1993. 26 April 2011. <http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html>
      “U.S. got Abe to drop denial over sex slaves.” The Japan Times Online. 9 November 2007. 26 April 2011. <http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20071109a2.html>