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Japanese sex slavery before, during and after World War II |
An estimated one hundred thousand to four hundred thousand female sex slaves were forced to deliver sexual services to Japanese soldiers, both before and during World War II. They have been variously called "comfort women," "military sex slaves," "MSS," "military comfort women," and -- in Japanese -- "jugun ianfu." This program was approved by the Imperial Conference, which was composed of the emperor, representatives from the armed forces and the main Cabinet ministers. The conference was formed after Japan invaded Manchuria in 1937.
This system resulted in the largest, most methodical and most deadly mass rape of women in recorded history. Japan's Kem pei tai political police and their collaborators tricked or abducted females as young as eleven years old and imprisoned them in military rape camps known as 'comfort stations,' situated throughout Asia. These 'comfort women' were forced to service as many as fifty Japanese soldiers a day. They were often beaten, starved, and made to endure abortions or injections with sterilizing drugs. Only a few of the women survived, and those that did suffered permanent physical and emotional damage.
The first "comfort houses" were established approximately 1932-MAR during the battle of Shanghai. Following the second Sino-Japanese war of 1937, these houses were installed generally in occupied lands. Approximately 80 to 90% of the "comfort women" came from Korea which was occupied by the Japanese military at the time. Many of the rest were Chinese. 3 Some other Asian and Dutch women from countries that Japan had invaded were also enslaved . There were rumors about this form of slavery after the war. It was not until 1991 that a South Korean woman, Grandma Kim Hak Soon, became the first person to speak publicly about the existence of comfort women. It has since became public knowledge as other victim survivors have come forward and as groups have been founded to demand justice for these women.
The Japanese government organized the comfort stations for a number of reasons:
* To increase the morale of the troops.
* To prevent their soldiers from raping women in the territories that they controlled.
* To more efficiently prevent the spread of STDs.
* To prevent leakage of military secrets.