Forced prostitution in Asia during WWII was so commonplace that this author asked his grandfather about it and he said that he served with people who were stationed overseas talked about it in everyday life. This will delve into the facts and the statistics about these comfort women. Many of these women have since past without much impact on history or a voice to be heard. With this atrocity just being hushed throughout time and the numbers skewed, this will try to give the perspective that the governments that committed these crimes try to omit.
The Japanese first instituted comfort women as they are called now during WWII. These women were prostitutes that were used to keep the spirits of the soldiers up. The women were also there to keep the men more amicable to taking orders from their superiors. These was prevalent through much of Asia during the wars and Japanese occupancy in many of these countries. Korea implemented these US comfort women to keep the troops of the United States happy. The reasoning is highly contested about the comfort women in Korea. Some say it was to appease the troops that were stationed there although 2 lawmakers made it apparently clear that there were ulterior motives. They said at a Korean assembly that they should train a new wave of comfort women to keep the United States soldiers from going to Japan and spending their money there. So the reasoning was to keep allies and economic, appalling but very true.
Most of these women were from the occupied Japanese territories. The Japanese military procured the women through various tactics that were not only immoral but also deceptive. Many of the girls were very young and naïve not knowing what they were in for. Some of the girls were kidnapped from their native villages and taken to these comfort stations. Others were promised jobs and instead were forced to work in the comfort stations.
The treatment of these women was not only inhumane but appalling. The women endured physical and psychological torture on a daily basis. STD were rampant as well as the health of the women declined as the women were known to see between 20 and 40 male callers per day. If the women refused to work in the comfort station, they were executed without hesitation. These executions kept the other women who thought about refusing to keep doing the unimaginable just to stay alive. Many of these women had illegitimate children who faced discrimination throughout their lives. The offspring of the US soldiers who had since returned to the United States faced the largest amount of discrimination because of the way they looked and the fact their mothers served as prostitutes. The fact that their mothers did not willingly participate in these acts had no bearing on the public’s opinion.
These women faced years of physical and emotional torture. Mental illness runs rampant through the former comfort women community, post-traumatic stress disorder is the most common condition and it still impacts the women some 60 years later. We should not let these indiscretions of governments go silenced as we should make all aware of those who did not have a voice at the time.