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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 April 10 - 16  > Imperial Japanese Army created ‘comfort station’ system at time of Manchurian Incident
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2024 April 10 - 16 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Imperial Japanese Army created ‘comfort station’ system at time of Manchurian Incident

April 11, 2024

Documents indicating that the Imperial Japanese Army had created the now infamous “comfort station” system at the time of the 1931 Manchurian Incident were found in the Ministry of Defense.

The Office of the Assistant Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary recently revealed to Japanese Communist Party member of the House Councilors Kami Tomoko that the documents were delivered on March 8 to the Office from the Ministry of Defense.

The Cabinet Secretariat, after the 1993 Kono Statement, issued a notice to government ministries and agencies to submit “comfort women”-related documents to the Secretariat, and many documents were then turned over. However, in recent years, the number of such documents has been extremely reduced.

The documents found this time state that the Imperial Japanese Army managed and made rules for the comfort stations. They suggest that comfort stations were created as a preventive measure against venereal diseases in the Shanghai Expeditionary Army. They enumerate detailed rules for “service” women such as: service women must receive weekly checkups by a military doctor at the designated area; the medical examinations must be conducted in the presence of military police officers; and no service woman is allowed to leave the designated area without permission.

The “entertainment fee” was “1.50 yen per hour for mainlanders (Japanese)” and “1 yen per hour for Koreans and Chinese,” according to the documents.

Kobayashi Hisatomo, an expert on the issue of Japanese military comfort women, said, “The comfort stations mentioned in the documents are thought to have been the ‘prototype’ for the establishment of comfort stations that later spread to service the entire Japanese military.”

JCP lawmaker Kami said, “The government should collect comfort women-related documents also from the private sector.”
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