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Friday, January 08, 2010

An English Translation of December 21 Kyodo Report of Newly Discovered Evidences of "Comfort Stations" Throughout Asia

As I reported before, the new research conducted by the Center for Research and Documentation on Japan's War Responsibility (JWRC) newly discovered more evidences of "comfort stations" throughout Asia and the direct military involvement. Here is a more complete version of the news, provided by Hirofumi Hayashi, Professor at Kanto Gakuin University. The original Japanese version is below.

*** Description of "comfort stations" in 260 documents - war memoirs published in 1990's and after

According to a Kyodo News Agency report on December 20, 2009, The Center for Research and Documentation on Japan's War Responsibility (JWRC) discovered that about 260 documents published between 1990 and 2006, including personal notes written by those who experienced war, had concrete descriptions of "comfort stations" installed throughout different parts of Asia, "comfort women," and other sexual violence in the battlefields. Among those are reports of kenpeitai, or military police officers examining "comfort women" and drawings of "comfort stations."

JWRC went through about 2,000 documents, including battlefield diaries and personal memoirs, stored in the National Diet Library, from March to June this year. These documents were published during 1990's and after, when the former "comfort women" started to call for apologies and compensation from the Japanese government. Chuo University Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi, who examined those documents points out that there are many specific details reported in these documents, including the deep military involvement with the sex slavery system.

This former military police (Kenpei) officer recalled the conversation when he interviewed Korean women. "When I asked these women, 'do you know what kind of job you are going to do?', many answered 'I am here to provide imon (see note) to soldiers.' Few of them were aware of that they would be having sex with those soldiers." (Translator's note: the Japanese word "imon" is often ambiguous in its meaning, and it is probably why it was used to describe the "job" of these women. "Imon" can mean providing entertainment, comfort, or simply paying friendly visits.)

This former military doctor who worked in Indonesia recorded the organizational structure of a comfort station, with the unit commanding officer at the top. This former private (joto-hei) who was stationed in China recorded, "(The comfort station) was virtually managed by the military," and "Two of the Japanese women among those sent there as military personnel were not needed, so they were made into 'comfort women.' I saw them crying."

There were also drawings of comfort stations in China, Rabaul, and Indonesia, of soldiers who were forming a long line to wait for their turn at a comfort station, and of the "comfort women" themselves.

Most of the documents with reference to the "comfort women" are personal memoirs, instead of public documents. Yoshimi suspects there was pressure within veterans' associations for not speaking out about the issue. The result of this research will be published in the December 2009 and March 2010 issues of "The Report on Japan's War Responsibility," the quarterly journal by JWRC.

*** 35 newly identified comfort stations - in locations including China and Indonesia

Among the 260 memoirs written by those who experienced war that JWRC discovered, the existence of the 35 comfort stations were newly discovered. Previously at least 700 were identified, in the research by private organizations. Yoshimi Yoshiaki, Professor of Chuo University who examined these materials said, "There should have been more comfort stations. There is still a lot of room for further research."

According to this new research, the newly-identified comfort stations included 24 in China, 3 in Indonesia, 2 in Taiwan and Myanmar, 1 in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Philippines.

This mountain artillery soldier who was stationed in China wrote, "In this garrison in Banjiehe (Hansaika) in the old Manchuria, there were a total of four, what we now call "comfort stations," and their names included Fujiya, Hanaya, and Ran."


2009年12月21日(月) 地方紙各紙に掲載(12月20日 共同通信配信) 


◎260冊に「慰安所」記述 90年以降出版の戦争手記

第2次大戦中、アジア各地に設置された「慰安所」や「慰安婦」について、1990―2006年に出版された戦争体験者の手記など約260冊に、具体的な記述やスケッチがあったことが●日、「日本の戦争責任資料センター」の調査で分かった。憲兵が慰安婦の検査をした経験や、慰安所のスケッチなどが収められている。
研究者らでつくる同センターが3月から6月にかけ、国会図書館に所蔵されている戦記や回想録約2千冊を調べた。
これらの刊行時期は、アジア各国の元慰安婦が日本政府に謝罪や賠償を求めた「従軍慰安婦問題」が浮上した90年代半ば以降。資料を分析した吉見義明(よしみ・よしあき)・中央大教授は「問題を意識したためか、具体的に記述している人が多かった。軍の深い関与を指摘するものもあり貴重な資料だ」としている。
 中国で朝鮮半島出身の女性を面接調査した元憲兵は「『どんな仕事をするのか知っているのか』と聞くと『兵隊さんを慰問するため』と答え、兵隊に抱かれるのだということをはっきりと認識している女は少なかった」と書いていた。
 インドネシア勤務の元軍医は手記に、部隊長を頂点とする慰安所の運営体系図を記録。中国に配属の元上等兵は「実質的に軍が管理していた」「軍属として配置された日本女性のうち余った2名が慰安婦にされて泣いていたと聞いた」との記述を残した。
 中国やラバウル、インドネシアなどの慰安所の建物や、順番を待つため列をつくる兵士の様子、慰安婦のスケッチもあった。
 慰安婦などについての記述があった多くは個人の回想録。部隊史といった公的性格の出版物ではほとんど触れられておらず、吉見教授は「戦友会などで規制が働いた可能性がある」としている。
調査結果は今月中旬と来年3月に発売される「季刊戦争責任研究」に掲載される。


◎新たに35カ所の慰安所特定 中国やインドネシアに

「日本の戦争責任資料センター」が調べた約260冊に及ぶ戦争体験者の手記から、新たに中国やインドネシアなど35カ所の慰安所の場所が特定された。
 これまでの民間団体などの調査で、少なくとも700カ所以上が判明していた。資料を分析した吉見義明(よしみ・よしあき)・中央大教授は「慰安所が設置された場所はもっとあるはず。まだ調査すべき余地がある」としている。
調査によると、今回明らかになったのは、中国が24カ所、インドネシアが3カ所、台湾とミャンマーがそれぞれ2カ所、ベトナム、カンボジア、タイ、フィリピンがそれぞれ1カ所。
中国に配属された元山砲兵は「私が過ごした旧満州、半載河の駐屯地には、富士屋、花屋、蘭(など)全部で四軒の、現在言うところの『慰安所』があった」と記載していた。

1 comment:

  1. Tammy Mueller2:11 am

    Satoko-san,

    Thank you so much for sending me this information. You did a great job with the translations. Work like yours is great appreciated as so much of this info is only written in Japanese. I know from experience how frustrating it is to find information while researching a topic such as this only to find that I cannot read most of it. I know that's mostly my fault for not learning Japanese quickly enough, but there are others out there who may be interested with no exposure to the Japanese language who would benefit from your translation.

    Please keep me up to date on any further news.

    ReplyDelete