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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 26 - May 9  > JCP Kami obtains documents showing Japanese Army’s involvement in wartime sex slave system
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2017 April 26 - May 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Kami obtains documents showing Japanese Army’s involvement in wartime sex slave system

April 27, 2017
Japanese Communist Party parliamentarian Kami Tomoko recently obtained documents showing that during World War II the Imperial Japanese Army forced many women in other Asian countries to serve the military as sex slaves (euphemistically called “comfort women”).

Those materials, 182 documents kept by the National Archives of Japan, are part of the records of the Tokyo Tribunal and the trials of Class-B and C war criminals which were held after the war. Successive Japanese governments have insisted that there are “no records” that show the Japanese military’s involvement in carting off local women in areas it occupied.

However, the papers pertaining to the trial in Batavia (Jakarta in Indonesia), which were obtained by Kami, state that local women were thrown into brothels in Semarang against their will, banned from going out under any condition, and forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers. The materials also refer to the fact that the Okuyama unit of the Japanese Army took about 200 local women into Bali during the four years of the Pacific War.

Given these records, the successive Cabinets’ claim of lack of documentation will not work any longer.

Kobayashi Hisatomo, a civic group member working on the comfort women issue, said, “These documents provide evidence of the Japanese military’s involvement in this issue, including the forcible transportation of local women. The government should take responsibility for the harm done to them.”

Another member, Chingja Yang, pointed out, “At the heart of the comfort women issue is the fact that a large number of women became victims of war crimes committed by the state.”

JCP Kami condemned the Abe administration for trying to draw a curtain over the comfort women issue with the Japan-South Korea agreement signed at the end of 2015. She said, “This problem will not be settled until the Japanese government admits to the fact of Japan’s military involvement and offers its sincere apology and appropriate compensation to all victims. The JCP will continue to work to resolve the matter.”
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