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Comfort Women


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Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction Author's Introduction to the English Edition The Emergence of the Issue 1. The Course and Conditions of the Establishment of the Military Comfort Station System: From the First Shanghai Incident to the Start of All-Out War in China 2. Expansion Into Southeast Asia and the Pacific: The Period of the Asia Pacific War 3. How Were the Women Rounded Up? Comfort Women's Testimonies and Soldiers' Recollections 4. The Lives Comfort Women Were Forced to Lead 5. Violations of International Law and War Crime Trials 6. Conditions After the Defeat Conclusion Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index

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Yoshimi provides a wealth of documentation and testimony to prove the existence of some 2,000 "comfort stations" where as many as 200,000 women of varying nationalities, euphemistically known as "comfort women," were imprisoned and forced to engage in sexual activity with Japanese military personnel.

About the Author

Yoshimi Yoshiaki is professor of modern Japanese history at Chuo University in Tokyo, and a founding member of the Center for Research and Documentation of Japan's War Responsibility.


During the Asia Pacific War (1931-45), the Japanese government forced up to 200,000 Korean, Taiwanese, Indonesian, and other young Asian women to work as so-called comfort women, providing sexual services for the armed forces of Imperial Japan. Yoshiaki's invaluable study explodes the claims of right-wing Japanese nationalists that comfort women were merely wartime prostitutes. Citing official military records and correspondence, the author proves beyond a doubt that the victims of this monstrous system were actually sex slaves who were subjected to repetitive rape and violence. Often kidnapped or tricked by false promises of legitimate employment, the comfort women were trebly exploited as colonial subjects, members of the rural and urban poor, and women. Yoshiaki, a politically engaged scholar, analyzes the comfort-women issue against the background of Japan's prewar system of licensed prostitution and contemporary Asian sex tourism, where Japanese men continue to exploit the women of neighboring Asian countries. The translator's introduction illuminates the Japanese debate over comfort women, to which this book is an indispensable contribution. Steven I. Levine, Univ. of Montana, Missoula Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Comfort Women's command of documentary materials makes it a landmark for historians, human rights activists and general readers..." - Los Angeles Times Book Review "Crucial reading." - Katha Pollitt, The Nation

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