Planned, instituted and run by the Japanese Imperial Military during the Asia-Pacific War, the ‘comfort women’ system remains hugely controversial. Although political leaders often contest the role of coercion, many argue that the ‘comfort women’ were mobilized forcibly, through processes of abduction and deception.
Utilising archival research, court testimonies and eyewitness accounts of both survivors and military and civilian personnel, this book argues its case in three ways. Part I analyses the modalities of coercion employed by the authorities and investigates the historical differences and continuities between licensed peacetime prostitution and wartime sexual slavery. Part II then examines the failures f the Asian Women’s Fund to resolve the ‘comfort women’ issue, whilst Part III explores the removal of ‘comfort women’ content from school history texts after the late 1990s and details Japan’s diplomatic efforts to prevent war victims froms uing the post-war state. Presenting a strong argument in opposition to the revisionist school of thought, this book ultimately concludes that a realistic settlement would see a victim-oriented solution that the survivors can accept.
Written by leading Japanese and zainichi Korean scholars, Denying the Comfort Women will be of huge interest to students and scholars of modern Japanese studies, gender studies, women’s studies and Asian history.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION, Nishino Rumiko, Kim Puja, Onozawa Akane
PART I: COMFORT WOMEN, THE KŌNO STATEMENT, AND THE QUEST FOR TRUTH
1. The Kōno Statement: Its Historical Significance and Limitations, Yoshimi Yoshiaki
2. Forcible Mobilization: What Survivor Testimonies Tell Us, Nishino Rumiko
Insight on the Issues: Coercion, Sexual Violence, and Rape Centers in Yu County, Shanxi Province, Ikeda Eriko
3. The Comfort Women and State Prostitution, Onozawa Akane
Insight on the Issues: Guilty Verdicts for the Traffickers of Comfort Women: The Shizuoka and Nagasaki Incidents, Maeda Akira
PART II: WHY THE ASIAN WOMEN’S FUND WAS NOT A SOLUTION
4. The Failure of the Asian Women’s Fund: The Japanese Government's Legal Responsibility and the Colonial Legacy, Kim Puja
Insight on the Issues: The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, Class B and C War Criminals, and Japan’s Peace Treaty Obligations, Hayashi Hirofumi
5. A Reconciliation Discourse that Shuns Survivors, Nishino Rumiko
Insight on the Issues: The Mobilization of Korean Adolescents as Comfort Women: Colonialism and the Victimization of Teenage Girls, Kim Puja
PART III: A REALISTIC SETTLEMENT IS A SETTLEMENT THAT VICTIMIZED WOMEN CAN ACCEPT
6. Comfort Women, Textbooks, and the Rise of "New Right" Revisionism, Tarwara Yoshifumi
7. The Japan–ROK Claims Settlement and the Comfort Women, Yoshizawa Fumitoshi
8. Listen to Survivors’ Voices! Yang Chingja
EPILOGUE: The Struggle for Justice Continues, Nishino Rumiko, Kim Puja, Onozawa Akane
APPENDICES: KEY POLICY DOCUMENTS ON THE COMFORT WOMEN
THE MOVEMENT FOR REDRESS: A CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS (1988–2017)
NISHINO Rumiko is co-representative of Violence against Women in War Research Action Center and a core member of the Center for Research and Documentation on Japan's War Responsibility and the Women's Active Museum on War and Peace.
KIM Puja is Professor of gender studies and gender history at the Institute of Global Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan.
ONOZAWA Akane is Professor of modern Japanese history and gender studies at Rikkyō University in Tokyo, Japan.