Arafune specialized in hyperbole; he allegedly told an audience of supporters that Koreans claimed that , Korean comfort women had died during the Asia-Pacific War because of sexual abuses committed by the Japanese military and that Koreans claimed that , Korean soldiers had died in the war  — a number far higher than the , Koreans estimated to have served as combatants in the Japanese military. Japanese historian Ikuhiko Hata initially estimated the total number of comfort women at approximately 90, but has since reduced that figure to 20, Some feel that he reduced this number for political reasons.
Japanese historian Dr. Most Korean women were deceptively recruited into the system by promises of careers in nursing, clerical work, or restaurants only to find themselves coerced into becoming sex providers. However, that was not the norm for the women conscripted into the system from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
The Japanese women who joined the military comfort stations were largely professional prostitutes. They were largely young women who were deceived by brokers, often Korean or Taiwanese, acting on behalf of the Japanese military.
Taiwan Urges Japan to Apologize for 'Comfort Women' After South Korean Deal
She found that only three of the women interviewed understood ahead of time that they would be serving as sex workers. The Home Ministry was also engaged in operations to move comfort women discreetly from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan to mainland China and to key battlefronts of the Pacific War. The comfort women from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan were all subjects of the Japanese government. Many of them perished with soldiers on the battlefields in the final days of the war. Such women were abducted or otherwise conscripted onsite on an ad hoc basis by Japanese military units stationed in occupied territories.
These women were not subjects of Japan i.
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Most Filipina, Indonesian, Malaysian, Dutch, and Chinese women were brought into the comfort women system under these conditions. Koichi Mera of GAHT does not deny that abductions and mistreatment happened in the cases of the Filipinas, the Chinese, or the Indonesians who did not hold Japanese citizenship. As it built its Western-style empire in the s, Japanese distinguished between those from the gaichi outer lands and from the naichi the homeland.
Nevertheless, as WWII proceeded, Japan increasingly recognized that it needed the support of both the naichi and the gaichi in the war effort. In Korea and Taiwan were both placed under the authority of the Office of Home Affairs, sending the clear signal that Koreans and Taiwanese alike were being regarded as Japanese nationals. Koreans and Taiwanese were also encouraged if not pressured to take on Japanese names. The policies of Japan toward Korea were not genocidal in their intent.
Nazi Germany clearly sought the annihilation of the Jews. The camps of Dachau, Buchenwald, and Auschwitz awaited the children, the Jewish spouse, and possibly the impudent German who had consciously married a Jew. In contrast, Japan sought to assimilate rather than eradicate Koreans and Taiwanese. Korean supporters of comfort women memorials often seek to draw parallels between the fate of Korean comfort women and the Jewish Holocaust. In the fifteen-year period following the arrival of U.
The emperor assumed leadership of the nation and stood as the center of both religious and political power, replacing the military rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate. To avoid the fate that China suffered at the hands of the West, Japan chose to open to trade with the West rather than resist. Based on its study of the West, the Meiji Empire in the late nineteenth century worked to establish democratic institutions, industrialize, and evolve into a modern military power.
Japan, they concluded, also needed to become an imperial power. In its rise to power and its bid to become the principal Pacific hegemon, Japan fought wars with China —95 and Russia — Japan prevailed in both of these wars. Japan then proceeded to make strides toward establishing itself on the Chinese mainland, starting with Manchuria where it eventually established its puppet state of Manchukuo.
It consolidated its newly acquired network of commerce and trade through the deployment of military forces in the newly established colonies of Taiwan and Korea and its client states beginning with Manchukuo. The karayuki-san provided temporary companionship and sexual favors for the overseas Japanese military and the businessmen and traders who accompanied them. The original karayuki-san of the nineteen century were Japanese in origin and ethnicity.
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In Japanese government policy changed, however, and Japanese karayuki-san were required to limit offering their services to Japanese citizens. The karayuki-san system was undoubtedly a repressive system of sexual exploitation. The methods of procuring young women were clearly unlawful and morally unjustifiable. In this sense, they were little different from the methods that were used for the later procurement of comfort women. In both cases serious criminal acts were involved.
Tanaka points out that many of the karayuki-san of poor family background in Nagasaki were sold by their parents to procurers and then sent to various places in the Asia-Pacific region. The protocols in place for the karayuki-san and the WWII comfort women were in many ways similar. Whenever they engaged a client, the kayayuki-san , just like the WWII comfort women, received a ticket, indicating that a payment had been made.
The original exclusively Japanese karayuki-san staffed sex industry proved to be a lucrative source of foreign reserves for Japan. Sarah Soh, nevertheless, points out that three major differences existed between the karayuki-san and those conscripted into the comfort women system:. The Ianjo or comfort stations were managed by the Japanese military; 3. Ianfu , many of whom were not ethnically Japanese, faced more violent attacks than the karayuki-san who were. According to China, the documents provide ironclad proof that the Japanese military forced Asian women to work in front-line brothels before and during World War II.
In June , more official documents were made public from the government of Japan's archives, documenting sexual violence and women forced into sexual slavery, committed by Imperial Japanese soldiers in French Indochina and Indonesia. New documents discovered in China shed light on facilities inside comfort stations operated within a Japanese army compound, and the conditions of the Korean comfort women.
Documents were discovered verifying the Japanese Army as the funding agency for purchasing some comfort women. Documents were found in Shanghai that showed details of how the Japanese Army went about opening comfort stations for Japanese troops in occupied Shanghai. Documents included the Tianjin Municipal Archives from the archival files of the Japanese government and the Japanese police during the periods of the occupation in World War II.
Municipal archives from Shanghai and Nanjing were also examined. One conclusion reached was that the relevant archives in Korea are distorted. A conclusion of the study was that the Japanese Imperial government, and the colonial government in Korea, tried to avoid recording the illegal mobilization of comfort women. It was concluded that they burned most of the records immediately before the surrender; but, the study confirmed that some documents and records survived.
Professor Su Jiliang concludes that during the seven-year period from to , "comfort women" in the territory occupied by the Japanese numbered , to ,, among whom the Chinese were the largest group, about , Vast amounts of material pertaining to war crimes, and the responsibility of the nation's highest leaders, were destroyed on the orders of the Japanese government at the end of the war. Based on these estimates, most international media sources quote about , young women were kidnapped by Japanese soldiers to serve in military brothels.
The BBC quotes ", to ,", and the International Commission of Jurists quotes "estimates of historians of , to , women. According to Hata, the total number of government-regulated prostitutes in Japan was only , during World War II. In further analysis of the Imperial Army medical records for venereal disease treatment from , Yoshimi concluded that if the percentages of women treated reflected the general makeup of the total comfort women population, Korean women comprised In , Bruce Cumings , a historian of Korea, wrote that Japan had forced quotas to supply the comfort women program, and that Korean men helped recruit the victims.
Cumings stated that between , and , Korean girls and women were recruited. A Dutch government study described how the Japanese military itself seized the women by force in the Dutch East Indies. The women forced into prostitution may therefore be much higher than the Dutch record have previously indicated.
The number of Dutch women that were sexually assaulted or molested were also largely ignored. Besides Dutch women, many Javanese were also recruited from Indonesia as comfort women including around East Timorese women and girls who also used as sexual slaves. Interviews conducted with former comfort women also suggest that some women came from the island of Flores. After the war, many Javanese comfort women who survived stayed in the locations where they had been trafficked to and became integrated into local populations.
Melanesian women from New Guinea were also used as comfort women. Local women were recruited from Rabaul as comfort women, along with a small number of mixed Japanese-Papuan women born to Japanese fathers and Papuan mothers. To date, only one Japanese woman has published her testimony. This was done in , when a former comfort woman forced to work for Showa soldiers in Taiwan published her memoirs under the pseudonym of Suzuko Shirota.
Approximately three quarters of comfort women died, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually transmitted diseases. I was told if I were drafted, I could earn lots of money in a textile factory The first day I was raped and the rapes never stopped I was born a woman but never lived as a woman I feel sick when I come close to a man.
Not just Japanese men, but all men-even my own husband who saved me from the brothel. I shiver whenever I see a Japanese flag Why should I feel ashamed?
Taiwan Urges Japan to Apologize for 'Comfort Women' After South Korean Deal
I don't have to feel ashamed. For example, Dutch women captured in the Dutch East Indies modern Indonesia were reserved exclusively for the officers. Ten Dutch women were taken by force from prison camps in Java by officers of the Imperial Japanese Army to become forced sex slaves in February They were systematically beaten and raped day and night.
House of Representatives committee:. Many stories have been told about the horrors, brutalities, suffering and starvation of Dutch women in Japanese prison camps. Even the Japanese doctor raped me each time he visited the brothel to examine us for venereal disease. In their first morning at the brothel, photographs of Ruff-O'Herne and the others were taken and placed on the veranda which was used as a reception area for the Japanese personnel who would choose from these photographs.
Over the following four months the girls were raped and beaten day and night, with those who became pregnant forced to have abortions. After four harrowing months, the girls were moved to a camp at Bogor, in West Java, where they were reunited with their families. This camp was exclusively for women who had been put into military brothels, and the Japanese warned the inmates that if anyone told what had happened to them, they and their family members would be killed.
Several months later the O'Hernes were transferred to a camp at Batavia, which was liberated on August 15, At Blora, twenty European women and girls were imprisoned in two houses. Over a period of three weeks, as Japanese units passed by the houses, the women and their daughters were brutally and repeatedly raped. The Japanese officers involved received some punishment by Japanese authorities at the end of the war.
The court testimonies state that these prepubescent girls were repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers  while those who refused to comply were killed. Thomas writes that the women working at the brothels "most likely served 25 to 35 men a day" and that they were "victims of the yellow slave trade". Igusa wrote in his memoirs that the women continued to work through infection and severe discomfort, though they "cried and begged for help". During the last stand of Japanese forces in —45, "comfort women" were often forced to commit suicide or were killed.
In Burma, there were cases of Korean "comfort women" committing suicide by swallowing cyanide pills or being killed by having a hand grenade tossed into their dug-outs.
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British soldiers fighting in Burma often reported that the Korean "comfort women" whom they captured were astonished to learn that the British were not going to eat them. The Japanese Army and Navy went to great lengths to avoid venereal diseases with large numbers of condoms being handed out for free. In , Allied forces captured twenty Korean comfort women and two Japanese comfort station owners in Burma and issued a report, Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report According to the report, Korean women were deceived into being used as comfort women by the Japanese; in , there were about women trafficked from Korea to Burma for this purpose, under the pretence of being recruited for work such as visiting the wounded in hospitals or rolling bandages.
According to the report, the "house master" of the brothel received fifty to sixty percent of the women's gross earnings, depending on how much debt they had incurred when they signed their contracts. In an average month a woman would gross about fifteen hundred yen, and hence turn over about seven hundred and fifty to the "master". Their living conditions were relatively good, with food and other material not heavily rationed, but many "masters" charged the women high prices for them. In the latter part of the Japanese Army issued orders that certain women who had paid their debt could return home, and some of them did so return.
In Confucian nations like Korea and China, where premarital sex is considered shameful, the subject of the "comfort women" was ignored for decades after as the victims were considered pariahs. In , Kakou Senda wrote a book about the comfort women system that focused on Japanese participants. His book has been widely criticized as distorting the facts by both Japanese and South Korean historians. The first book written by a Korean on the subject of comfort women appeared in However, it was a plagiarism of a Japanese book by the zainichi author Kim Il-Myeon.
In , the testimony of Seiji Yoshida was translated into Korean. Hiding the facts and mixing them with your own assertions is something that newspapers do all the time too". Takashi Uemura , a journalist who wrote one of the retracted articles, was subject to similar attacks from conservatives, and his employer, Hokusei Gakuen University , was pressured to terminate his position.
In , following multiple testimonies, the Kono Statement named after then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono was issued by Japanese Government confirming that coercion was involved in seizing the comfort women. In , China released documents it said were "ironclad proof" that the comfort women were forced to work as prostitutes against their will, including documents from the Japanese Kwantung Army military police corps archives and documents from the national bank of Japan's puppet regime in Manchuria. Japan intended to directly compensate individuals, but the Korean government insisted on receiving the sum itself and "spent most of the money on economic development, focusing on infrastructure and the promotion of heavy industry".
Eventually, 61 former Korean comfort women accepted 5 million yen approx. Three Korean women filed suit in Japan in December , around the time of the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, demanding compensation for forced prostitution. In , documents which had been stored since when they were returned by United States troops and which indicated that the military had played a large role in operating what were euphemistically called "comfort stations" were found in the library of Japan's Self-Defense Agency.
We should never forget our feelings of remorse over this. As Prime Minister of Japan, I would like to declare anew my remorse at these deeds and tender my apology to the people of the Republic of Korea.
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In , the surviving sex slaves wanted an apology from the Japanese government. On March 27 the Japanese parliament issued an official apology. Abe again expressed his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women and acknowledged that they had undergone immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.
The Korean government will administer the fund for the forty-six remaining elderly comfort women and will consider the matter "finally and irreversibly resolved". It was also managed hasty handling on this crucial issue as previous Korean Government stressed the matter of legal responsibility, but it's removed on the agreement. The South Korean government did not attempt to collect the viewpoints on the issues from the women most directly affected by it—the survivors themselves. The novel My War Crime , written by Seiji Yoshida in , which played a major role in publicizing the issue of comfort women, was later found to be mere fiction, causing the Asahi Shimbun newspaper to publish several retractions and apologies to its readers, as recently as A comic book, Neo Gomanism Manifesto Special — On Taiwan by Japanese author Yoshinori Kobayashi , depicts kimono-clad women lining up to sign up for duty before a Japanese soldier.
Kobayashi's book contains an interview with Taiwanese industrialist Shi Wen-long , who stated that no women were forced to serve and that the women worked in more hygienic conditions compared to regular prostitutes because the use of condoms was mandatory. In early , in a controversy involving national public broadcaster NHK , what was supposed to be coverage of the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery was heavily edited to reflect revisionist views.
In publications around , Japanese historian and Nihon University professor Ikuhiko Hata estimates the number of comfort women to have been more likely between 10, and 20, In , Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone chaired a commission established to consider "concrete measures to restore Japan's honor with regard to the comfort women issue", despite his own father Yasuhiro Nakasone , having organized a "comfort station" in when he was a lieutenant paymaster in Japan's Imperial Navy. In the Japan Times changed its description of the terms 'comfort woman' and 'forced labourer' causing a controversy among staff and readers.
On August 18, , United Nations rights experts and UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed that Japan should do more for sufferers of wartime sexual slavery. Japan responded by stating it has already made numerous apologies and offered compensation to the victims. The cause has long been supported beyond the victim nations, and associations like Amnesty International are campaigning in countries where governments have yet to support the cause, like in Australia,  or New Zealand.
In July , then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a strong advocate of the cause, denounced the use of the euphemism 'comfort women' for what should be referred to as 'enforced sex slaves'. On December 13, , the European Parliament adopted a resolution on "Justice for the 'Comfort Women' sex slaves in Asia before and during World War II " calling on the Japanese government to apologise and accept legal responsibility for the coercion of young women into sexual slavery before and during WWII.
In , Pope Francis met with seven former comfort women in South Korea. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay had also spoken out in support of comfort women several times. In the aftermath of the war, the women recalled bouts of physical and mental abuse that they had experienced while working in military brothels. In the Rorschach test , the women showed distorted perceptions, difficulty in managing emotional reactions and internalized anger.
The last surviving victims have become public figures in Korea, where they are referred to as "halmoni", the affectionate term for "grandmother". There is a nursing home, called House of Sharing , for former comfort women in South Korea. China remains more at the testimony collection stage, particularly through the China "Comfort Women" Issue Research Center at Shanghai Normal University ,  sometimes in collaboration with Korean researchers. After World War II, former Korean comfort women were afraid to reveal their past, because they are afraid of being disowned or ostracized further. In August , the Asahi Shimbun , Japan's second largest newspaper in circulation, retracted 16 articles published between and The articles were concerned with former imperial army officer Seiji Yoshida, who claimed he had forcibly taken Korean women to wartime Japanese military brothels from the Jeju island region in South Korea.
Following the retraction of the articles, the newspaper also refused to publish an op-ed on the matter by Japanese journalist Akira Ikegami. The public response and criticism that ensued pushed the newspaper to nominate a third-party investigative committee headed by seven leading scholars, journalists and legal experts. The committee report dealt with the circumstances leading to the publication of Yoshida's false testimony and to the effect these publications had on Japan's image abroad and diplomatic relations with various countries.
It found that the Asahi was negligent in publishing Yoshida's testimony, but that the reports on the testimony had "limited" effect on foreign media outlets and reports. On December 1, , the first memorial hall dedicated to Chinese comfort women was opened in Nanjing. It was built on a site of former comfort station run by the invading Japanese troops during World War II. In December , a statue of a young woman was erected in front of the Japanese Embassy to honor the comfort women on the 1,th Wednesday Demonstration. The Japanese government has repeatedly asked the South Korean government to have the statue taken down, but it has not been removed.
On December 28, , the Japanese government claimed that the Korean government agreed the removal of the statue. As of September 3, , the statue was still in place due to a majority of the South Korean population being opposed to the agreement. On December 30, ,  another comfort woman statue identical to the one in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul was erected in front of the Japanese consulate in Busan , South Korea.
On May 11, , newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced the agreement would not be enacted in its current stage and that negotiations for a deal between Japan and South Korea over the comfort women dispute had to start over. On June 30, , the local government of Busan enacted the legal foundation to protect the Statue of Peace by passing the relative ordinance. On August 14, , South Korea held an unveiling ceremony for a monument memorializing Korean women forced to work in wartime brothels for the Japanese military, as the nation observed its first official "comfort women" memorial day.
On November 21, , South Korea officially cancelled the agreement and shut down the Japan-funded comfort women foundation which was launched in July to finance the agreement's controversial settlement. The House of Sharing is a nursing home for living comfort women. The House of Sharing was founded in June through funds raised by Buddhist organizations and various socio-civic groups and it moved to Gyeonggi-do , South Korea in Some of the survivors, Kang Duk-kyung, Kim Soon-duk and Lee Yong-Nyeo, preserved their personal history through their drawings as a visual archive.
Feminist visual and video archives have promoted a place for solidarity between the victims and the public. It has served as a living site for the teaching and learning of women's dignity and human rights by bringing people together despite age, gender, borders, nationality, and ideologies. In the Philippines, comfort women formed different groups, similar to the Korean survivors they are called "Lolas" grandmothers. One group named "Lila Pilipina" League of Filipino Women , which started in and is member of GABRIELA , a feminist organization,  together with the Malaya Lolas Free grandmothers ask for a formal apology from the Japanese government, compensation, and the inclusion of the issue in the Japanese history textbooks.
These groups also ask the Philippine government to back their claims against the Japanese government. These groups have made demonstrations in front of the Japanese embassy in Manila in many occasions,   have given testimonies to Japanese tourists in Manila. Similar to the Korean grandmothers, Filipino "Lolas" have their own Grandmother house with a collection of their testimonies. This second book was written in the s, after Lila Filipina was formed. In Bulacan , a villa house Bahay na Pula was seized by Japanese soldiers during WWII and it was used as comfort station where Filipino women were raped and held as comfort women.
Since the s, Taiwanese survivors have been bringing to light the comfort woman issue in Taiwanese society, and gaining support from women's rights activists and civil groups. Their testimony and memories have been documented by newspapers, books, and documentary films. Survivors' claims against the Japan government have been backed by the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation TWRF a non-profit organization helping women against violence, and sexual violence.
This organization gives legal and psychological support to Taiwanese comfort women, and also helps in the recording of testimony and doing scholarly research. In , this organization was responsible for promoting awareness in society, by creating meetings in universities and high schools where survivors gave their testimonies to students and the general public. Thanks to this increasing awareness in society, and with the help of TWRF, Taiwanese comfort women have gained the support their government, which on many occasions has asked the Japanese government for apologies and compensation.
On August 14, , the first 'comfort women' statue in Taiwan was unveiled in the city of Tainan. The statue symbolizes women forced to work in wartime brothels for the Japanese military. The bronze statue portrays a girl raising both hands to the sky to express her helpless resistance to suppression and silent protest, according to its creator. In , the first American monument dedicated to the comfort women was established in Palisades Park, New Jersey.
In , a "comfort women" memorial statue called Peace Monument of Glendale was established in Glendale, California. On August 16, , a new memorial statue honoring the comfort women was unveiled in Southfield, Michigan. A proposal to create a memorial in Koreatown, Fort Lee, New Jersey , has been controversial and as of [update] remains undecided. A number of former comfort women had come forward and spoken out about their plight of being a comfort woman:. Spirits' Homecoming is a film about comfort women. Thirty Two is a documentary about a Chinese comfort woman and her half-Japanese son from rape.
Twenty Two is a documentary about the lives of 22 surviving comfort women in China. I Can Speak is a South Korean comedy-drama film starring Na Moon-hee as an elderly woman who travels to the United States to testify about her experience as a comfort woman. Herstory is a South Korean drama film based on a real-life story of three comfort women and seven other victims during the Gwanbu Trial which took place in Shimonoseki in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Comfort Woman. By country or region. Opposition and resistance. Abolitionism U. Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report Main article: List of war apology statements issued by Japan.
Main article: Wednesday demonstration. Main article: House of Sharing. The Asian Women's Fund. Archived from the original on August 7, Retrieved August 8, Archived from the original on March 15, Retrieved August 12, The so-called 'wartime comfort women' were those who were taken to former Japanese military installations, such as comfort stations, for a certain period during wartime in the past and forced to provide sexual services to officers and soldiers.
Retrieved November 30, Tokuma Shoten. Researchers at the Research Center of the Chinese Comfort Women Issue of Shanghai Normal University estimate that the total number of comfort women at , to , Archived from the original on March 29, Retrieved March 26, Japan Times. Archived from the original on March 26, Retrieved June 29, Pacific Islands Report. September 21, October 7, Archived from the original on March 2, Archived from the original on January 5, Retrieved January 1, Archived from the original on August 25, Retrieved August 25, Someone from Pak's house had to go. In April , turned Pak and other young women over to the Japanese, who took them into China, not into factories […]", Horn Archived from the original on March 18, Retrieved June 19, The Guardian.
Archived from the original on April 28, Retrieved April 28, Asian Journal of Women's Studies. The Japanese Minister of War issued an order on 14 August to all Army headquarters that confidential documents should be destroyed by fire immediately. On the same day, the Commandant of the Kempetai sent out instructions to the various Kempetai Headquarters detailing the methods of burning large quantities of documents efficiently. Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo dispatched enciphered messages to field commands throughout the Pacific and East Asia ordering units to burn incriminating evidence of war crimes, especially offenses against prisoners of war.
The director of Japan's Military History Archives of the National Institute for Defense Studies estimated in that as much as 70 percent of the army's wartime records were burned or otherwise destroyed. Imperial War Museums. Archived from the original on May 4, Retrieved January 7, It is believed that most were Korean", Soh ; "A majority of the 80, to , comfort women were from Korea, though others were recruited or recruited from China, the Philippines, Burma, and Indonesia.
Some Japanese women who worked as prostitutes before the war also became comfort women. By one approximation, 80 percent were between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. He has been criticized by other Japanese scholars for downplaying the hardship of the 'comfort women'. New York London: W. Archived from the original on September 23, Retrieved November 24, International Institute for Asian Studies.
Archived from the original on November 6, Retrieved November 8, Asian Women's Fund. Archived from the original on January 19, Retrieved September 26, Archived from the original on September 26, Australian War Memorial. Archived from the original on December 13, Retrieved December 12, Archived from the original PDF on June 28, Retrieved March 23, The Dose of Salvarsan, Douglass W. Children of 'comfort women'. The Korea Times. February 27, , from link to article. US Office of War Information.
October 1, Retrieved January 8, This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social. Duke University Press.
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