Saturday, March 7, 2009

Korean 'Comfort Women' Not Prostitutes

Sex industries in Asian countries prospered during and after wartime. In a sense, invading soldiers took women as war trophies

Women of occupied countries were exploited willingly and unwillingly.
However, the plight of Korea's "comfort women" during World War II had a different dimension. These women were originally drafted as members of the Women's Volunteer Corps ("Teishindai"). The Japanese army had solicited Korean women to join the corps under the pretext of having them take manufacturing jobs for the war.
By this malignant deception the young girls were then sent to Manchuria or China, where they were turned into so-called "comfort women" and forced to be the objects of sexual entertainment for the Japanese solders. They had no recourse whatever with which to protect themselves. Some of them were as young as 12 years old.
Although specified as a volunteer corps, in actuality the groups of wom- en were more or less forced into this situation by Japanese military policies. In urban areas of Korea, the Japanese used fanatic propaganda and deception to solicit the volunteers. But in rural areas they really exercised threats and physical force.
The so-called "comfort women" were innocent women who were deceived and unjustly exploited by the Japanese military. They shouldn't be swept into the same category as postwar prostitutes in Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Germany, France, Italy. That would be another injustice. They were not prostitutes. They gained nothing, and often they lost everything. That included their lives.

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