June 1944, at the height of the Pacific War. A classified memo from the Japanese Army.
It warns that senior officers and enlisted men were misusing unit funds to set up comfort stations.
A document sent by the Japanese government to the Korean Governor General noted that military comfort stations were as saturated as teahouses and restaurants.
A group of Japanese civil society organizations and researchers have put together a collection of comfort women-related materials that they have been digging up for decades and released them online.
The homepage is titled “Records of the Japanese military’s organized management and operation of comfort stations.
It is categorized by war period, such as the Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War, by country, and by institution.
The Japanese government has been trying to cover its tracks by removing references to the Japanese military from high school textbooks on comfort women.
However, publicly available materials contain undeniable evidence of Japanese military involvement.
[Mina Watanabe/Women’s War and Peace Museum staff: “Even if there are official documents, it’s not often that the public has the opportunity to see them in person. I think it means a lot that we’ve made them available to so many people.”]
While only 300 documents have been released by the Japanese government so far, civil society organizations have released more than 1700 documents on the 30th anniversary of the Kono Discourse.
[Yohei Kono/ Chief Cabinet Secretary at the time of the Kono Discourse announcement/August 1993: “I would like to express my apologies and regrets from the bottom of my heart to all those who suffered great pain (as comfort women) and suffered wounds in their bodies and minds that are difficult to heal.”]
The materials released by civil society organizations are mainly official documents 먹튀검증 from the Japanese government and do not include the voices of victims.
The civil society organizations emphasize that the task of recording their testimonies is now crucial.