Comfort women is a euphemism for women forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese military during World War II.
Around 200,000 are estimated to have been involved, but the exact numbers are still being researched and debated. A majority of the women were from Korea, China, Japan, Philippines and Netherlands; although women from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and other Japanese-occupied territories were used for military “comfort stations”. Stations were located in Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, then Malaya, Thailand, then Burma, then New Guinea, Hong Kong, Macau, and what was then French Indochina.
Young women from countries under Japanese Imperial control were abducted from their homes. In many cases, women were also lured with promises of work in factories or restaurants. Once recruited, the women were incarcerated in “comfort stations” in foreign lands. Other women were rounded up at gunpoint, some being raped before being herded into “comfort stations”. It has been documented that the Japanese military itself recruited women by force. Some “comfort stations” were run by private agents supervised by the Japanese Army or run directly by the Japanese Army… [ from wikipedia ]
I’ve personally been to a Comfort Women Awareness gathering in Toronto, and heard the horrific personal tales, told from few of the survivors from Korea, Philippines and Netherlands. All the stories of experiences held within them, the deceit from the Japanese military; the violent abduction; the numerous daily rape and humiliation; the abandonment from the society when returned home… and the pain deriving from the consistent act of denial by the Japanese Government who tries to hide this terrifying event ever occurring, while waiting for the survivors to die off one by one.
I think these women need recognition for their struggles against their will, and the Japanese Government need to admit and apologize globally for this disgusting inhumane historical event. In order to have these women remembered, perhaps officially designating a “Comfort Women Awareness Day” would be a start.
My heart and tears go out to all the women who have suffered and died through this horrific event, and I hope they found peace in heaven. And to the remaining survivors who still fight for justice, I hope the justice will be served, and that your remaining days of lives will be filled with joy and beautiful memories.