Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery
Selected Documents & References | Related Websites | Books and DVDs | News Reports
Selected Documents & References
Government of Japan
- Statement by Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the Issue of “Comfort Women” (1993)
- Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the occasion of the establishment of the “Asian Women’s Fund” (July 1995)
- Recent Policy of Japan on the issue known as “Comfort Women” (April 2007)
United Nations Commission on Human Rights:
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences & the Report on the mission to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the issue of military sexual slavery in wartime (1996)
- CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF SLAVERY: Systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like practices during armed conflict–Final Report, with an appendix: An analysis of the legal liability of the Government of Japan for “comfort women stations” established during the Second World War (1998)
- UN Resolutions: E/CN.4/SUB.2/RES/2000/13 ; E/CN.4/Sub.2/1995/38 ; E/CN.4/1996/53/Add.1
Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal 2000 for the Trial of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery:
- Summery of Findings Download PDF (131 KB)
Canada and United States:
- Motion on “Comfort Women” in the House of Commons (2007) Download PDF (119 KB)
- United States House of Common of Representatives House Resolution 121 (July 30, 2007) PDF (119 KB)
- U.S. Congressional Research Service Memorandum: Japanese Military’s “Comfort Women” System, published 04/03/07.
- State of New Jersey 215th Legislature: Resolution No. 159 commemorating the suffering endured by comfort women (Sept 24, 2012)
- Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report 49 [20 Korean Comfort Girls] (Ledo Stockade, Burma: Oct 1, 1944)
Asian and Other Countries:
- Submission of the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Sexual Slavery by Japan to the Public Prosecutor of the Tokyo District in Japan on the War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity committed against and the so-called “Military Comfort Women”
- Letter dated 11 August 1997 from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office on Crimes Committed by Japan against Humanity
- Dutch parliament demands Japanese compensation for “comfort women” (Nov 20, 2007)
- European Parliament resolution on Comfort Women (December 12, 2007) Download PDF (94 KB)
- House Committee Approves Filipino “Comfort Women” Resolution 124 (March 2008) Download PDF (139 KB)
- Universal Periodic Review, Japan, 14th Session, 2012, UN Human Rights Council submitted by The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, April 23, 2012. Download PDF (172 KB)
- Raw Document: Report indicates Japan ‘hauled’ comfort women (Korea-Japan Culture Research Institute)
- Official documents discovered after the Kono Statement (List by WAM)
- The Military Sexual Slavery Issue And Asian Peace. Hee Soon Kwon (The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for the Military Sexual Slavery by Japan)
- Government, the Military and Business in Japan’s Wartime Comfort Women System (Hayashi Hirofumi)
- On the Japanese Government’s plan to Collect Money. Nelia Sancho, Chairperson, LILA-PILIPINA (Task Force on Filipino Comfort Women)
- A Report on Taiwanese Comfort Women – A Taiwanese Comfort Woman’s Voice (1993)
- Why Do I Oppose the Asian Women’s Fund?
- Why oppose Sympathy Money? Kim Kyung Hee (The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan)
- Japan’s Responsibility Toward Comfort Women Survivors (USF: Japan Policy Research Institute, 2001)
- Report by The Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues & The Support 121 Coalition Download PDF (86 KB)
- No Organized or Forced Recruitment: Misconceptions about Comfort Women and the Japanese Military (A denial report by Hata Ikuhiko, May 2007) Download PDF (102 KB)
- Does 1944 U.S. Military Report Prove “Comfort Women” Were “Just Prostitutes” (2014)?
- Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan (by 187 scholars of Japanese studies from the U.S., Canada, U.K. and other countries in May 2015). Download PDF: English (132 KB) | Japanese (169 KB)
- Amnesty International Australia: Justice for “Comfort Women”
- Digital Museum: The Comfort Women Issue and the Asian Women’s Fund
- Her Museum for the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery
- Fight for Justice: the Japanese Military “Comfort Women”–Resistance to Forgetting & Responsibility for the Future (English and Japanese)
- The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
- Taiwan’s Virtual Museum on Sexual Slavery by Japanese Military
- On the Issue of Wartime “Comfort Women” (MOFA Japan)
- The Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues (WCCW)
- Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace
- Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery – 2000 Tokyo
- Politics of Trauma | Military Sexual Slavery
Books and DVDs
- Boling, David. Mass Rape, Enforced Prostitution, & the Japanese Imperial Army: Japan Eschews International Legal Responsibility? Baltimore: U. Maryland School of Law, 1995.
- Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women. A book and film. BOOK: Parkersburg, Iowa: Mid-Prairie Books. ISBN 0-931209-88-9. 1999. FILM: 35 mm (88 minutes) or video (57 minutes) Ho-ho-Kus, NJ: Dai Sil Productions, 1999.Silence Broken is essentially an oral history of Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan during World War II. Their stories, told to the author in Korea, China and Japan, are the core of the book. Additional chapters provide readers with contextual and historical information. The stories of these women contain their 'flesh and blood', as one reader put it. In addition to presenting the stories, Kim-Gibson explores their lives before and after forced servitude. Other works focus on their years of servitude.
- Henson, Maria Rosa. Comfort Woman : A Filipina's Story of Prostitution and Slavery Under the Japanese Military. Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Inc., 1999.An autobiography of a Filipino sex slave under the Japanese imperial forces. In April 1943, fifteen-year-old Maria Rosa Henson was taken by Japanese soldiers occupying the Philippines and forced into prostitution as a comfort woman. In this simply told yet powerfully moving autobiography, Rosa recalls her childhood as the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy landowner, her work for Huk guerillas, her wartime ordeal, and her marriage to a rebel leader who left her to raise their children alone. Her triumph against all odds is embodied by her decision to go public with the secret she had held for fifty years. Illustrations drawn by the author reflect the images of her painful experience that still stays in her mind.
- Hicks, George. The Comfort Women: Japan's Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War. WW Norton, 1997. ISBN: 0393038076. ISBN: 0393316947 (pbk) 303 p.: ill., mapIncludes some personal testimonies, Select annotated bibliography and index. (grade 11+)
- Howard, Keith. True Stories of the Korean Comfort Women. L P CInBook, 1996.Recent development in human rights and women's rights in Korea have led the surviving comfort women to overcome traditional taboos of chastity, defilement and shame and speak out for the first time. Their testimonies portray the coercion, violence, abduction, rape and false imprisonment they suffered at the hands of the Japanese military. Some women were as young ad twelve years old when their ordeal began.
- Kelle, Nora. Comfort Woman. Penguin Books, 1998Possessing a wisdom and maturity rarely found in a first novelist, Korean-American writer Nora Okja Keller tells a heartwrenching and enthralling tale in this, her literary debut. Comfort Woman is the story of Akiko, a Korean refugee of World War II, and Beccah, her daughter by an American missionary. The two women are living on the edge of society -- and sanity -- in Honolulu, plagued by Akiko''s periodic encounters with the spirits of the dead, and by Beccah''s struggles to reclaim her mother from her past. Slowly and painfully Akiko reveals her tragic story and the horrifying years she was forced to serve as a "comfort woman" to Japanese soldiers. As Beccah uncovers these truths, she discovers her own strength and the secret of the powers she herself possesses -- the precious gifts her mother has given her.
- Kimm, Samuel. Cries of the Korean Comfort Women: The Vivid Testimony of a Korean Teenaged Girl During World War II. Xlibris Corporation, 2004. ISBN-10: 1413400787.
- Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. True Stories of the Korean Comfort Women: Testimonies. NY: Cassell, 1995.
- Qiu, Peipei, with Su Zhiliang and Chen Lifei. Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013.Through personal narratives from twelve survivors, Chinese Comfort Women reveals the unfathomable atrocities committed against women during the Asia-Pacific War and correlates the proliferation of "comfort stations" with the progression of Japan’s military offensive. Drawing on investigative reports, local histories, and witness testimony, this book puts a human face on China’s war experience and on the injustices suffered by hundreds of thousands of Chinese women. This is the first English-language monograph to record the memories of Chinese survivors.
- Schellstede, Sangmie Choi, ed., Comfort Women Speak: Testimony by Sex Slaves of the Japanese Military. New York: Homes & Meier, 2000.Little was known about the true scope of this crime against humanity until 1991, when after almost fifty years of silence, seventy-four-year-old Kim Hak-soon bravely told the world of her experiences as a comfort woman. Her testimony gave others the strength to tell their stories. This book , with photos, documents the lives of nineteen courageous surviving rape camp victims (Korean) who continue to seek a formal apology and reparation from Japan's government for the horrors it imposed on them. Black and white photos and United Nations human rights report provided. (Grade 10+)
- Stetz, Margaret and Oh, Bonnie B. C. ed. Legacies of the Comfort Women of World War II, Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, Inc. 2001.Artists, historians, activists, and others trace the legacy of the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery by discussing historical and cultural contexts, academic and activist responses, and works of art it has inspired. A book of essays, was inspired by an international conference on "Comfort Women" held at Georgetown University in Washington, D. C. in 1996. The collection is a must read for scholars, activists, and Asianists interested not only in historical detail, but also in understanding the persisting, unresolved issues of World War II that cloud Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors and many of its former Allied enemies. The essence of the book is conveyed in the title, which emphasizes the 'legacies' of the comfort women, rather than their 'stories', some of which can be found in the existing literature by many of the authors of individual chapters. The book reflects the activist tone of the conference and the positive results that such activism has played in the international arena in the past decade. http://koreaweb.ws/ks/ksr/ksr02-08.htm
- Tanaka, Yuki. Japan's Comfort Women; Sexual Slaver Prostitution during World War II the US Occupation: The Military and Involuntary Prostitution During War and Occupation. Routledge, 2001.Japan's Comfort Women exposes the story of Japanese women who were forced to enter prostitution to serve the Japanese Imperial army, often living in appalling conditions of sexual slavery. Using a wide range of primary sources, Tanaka uncovers new and controversial information about the role of US occupation forces in military controlled prostitution, as well as evidence of a subsequent cover-up. Tanaka asks why US occupation forces did little to help the women, and argues that military authorities organized prostitution to prevent the widespread incidence of GI rape among the Japanese women and to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. This groundbreaking book reveals new material relating to this highly controversial and contentious issue and is sure to have a deep impact on the ongoing international debate on this highly emotive issue.
- Yoshimi, Yoshiaki; O'Brien, Suzanne (translator). Comfort Women : Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military During World War II. Columbia University Press, 2000Yoshiaki, history professor at Tokyo's Chuo University, found and published the first documentary evidence that the Japanese military established and ran "comfort stations". This book traces the history of the military comfort station system at various stages of the war in Asia and analyzes the issue against the background of Japan's prewar system of licensed prostitution and contemporary Asian sex tourism in which Japanese men continue to exploit the women of neighboring Asian countries. His study considers the gender, ethnic, and class aspects of this disturbing history. The translator's introduction illuminates the ongoing debate in Japan over the "comfort women" issue.
- Breaking the History of Silence - The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery. (VHS/Color/68mins) Produced by: Video Juku, AWW-NET Japan, 2001. http://www.jca.apc.org/video-juku/trib-eng.htmlThe Women's International War Crimes Tribunal held in Tokyo, Japan from December 8th to 12th, 2000, was a Peoples' Tribunal set up to bring those responsible for Japan's military sexual violence, in particular the enslavement of "comfort women," to justice, and to end the ongoing cycle of impunity for wartime violence against women. A revolutionary tribunal representing people from all across Asia, it was the first of its kind to break Japan's post-war taboo by finding Emperor Hirohito guilty of war crimes during WWII.
- Forgotten Holocaust. (DVD) Director Raymond Lemoine. British Columbia Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA), 2007. archive.alpha-canada.org/oralhistoryThe video documentary contains the stories of Nanking Massacre, "Comfort Station" and Forced Labor during the Asia-Pacific War with testimonies from 6 survivors. The documentary was recorded during the 2006 Peace and Reconciliation Study to China for Canadian Educators by Raymond who was an educator himself.
- In the Name of the Emperor. Videorecording. Producer/director Nancy Tong. New York: Filmakers Library, 1996."An account of the Nanking Massacre. Integrates diary entries, actual film footage of the massacre shot by an American missionary (the Rev. John Magee), interviews with Japanese scholars and former soldiers who recalled in detail how they savagely killed and raped Chinese civilians, and the related story of the comfort women." (summary from BPL online catalogue)
- Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women. (DVD) Director: Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, 88min. Ho-ho-Kus, NJ: Dai Sil Productions. 1999.Silence Broken is essentially an oral history of Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan during World War II. Their stories, told to the author in Korea, China and Japan, are the core of the book. Additional chapters provide readers with contextual and historical information. The stories of these women contain their 'flesh and blood', as one reader put it. In addition to presenting the stories, Kim-Gibson explores their lives before and after forced servitude. Other works focus on their years of servitude.
- Silent Shame. (DVD) Director, Writer, Editor and Producer Akiko Izumitani, 2010. http://www.silentshamedocumentary.com/pages/about.htmlWhy are more people not aware of Japan's role in war crimes in Asia during WWII? This journey will begin by confronting a modern people with its controversial and sometimes shameful past. A Japanese-born filmmaker learns more about the atrocities committed by her nation through meeting veterans, researchers, and activists. The film continues by delving into a past that many Japanese find too painful to explore. Archival footage clearly illustrates a basic history of Asia intercut with interviews of Japanese veterans and historical researchers detailing war crimes carried out by the Japanese. This section segues into a segment about "Comfort Women". Interviews with Korean rape victims and their Japanese perpetrators, finally give a voice to these often forgotten victims of WWII. Human experimentation and biological warfare is explored in segment number three, and in a rare interview, a Japanese veteran details how he assisted in human experimentation. This segment closes with the filmmaker interviewing several American POWs about Bataan Death March and their brutal treatment during their imprisonment as slave labors. In the course of making this documentary, the filmmaker realizes that Japanese researchers and activists receive tremendous amount of resistance on this topic by right wing Japanese. The journey closes with the filmmaker interviewing Japanese veterans, researchers and activists in an attempt to discover why the Japanese people are so reluctant to talk about the unpleasant side of their history.
- Voices of Survivors of the Asian Holocaust. Compact disc. Collected by Souad Sharabani. Toronto Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia.Topics covered include: chemical warfare, comfort women, Nanjing massacre and slave labour. Various voices represented. Can be heard online here
- "You can never forget, never…" – Her Stories. Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, 2008.Offers an overview of the highly controversial issue regarding "comfort women.
- Court Rejects Women's Appeal (Asahi Shimbun, December 7, 2000) read more