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Photo Cred: AFP-JIJI

The Imperial Japanese Army’s “Comfort Women”

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Mar. 8 2019, Updated 12:03 a.m. ET

Times are traumatic during war, but for hundreds of women at the hands of the Japanese military, it wasn’t even war that left them with lasting traumas. It was a false promise of work in factories which turned out to be “comfort stations” better described as sex slave stations.

In a video posted on YouTube by Asian Boss (watch below), we are introduced to Madame Kim who details the horrors she faced at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army. At 93 years old (in Korean years. 92 for Americans) she was one of the last surviving members of “comfort women.”

Unfortunately, she passed away early this year on January 28th. This makes Japan’s need to apologize for the atrocities these women faced that much more dire, but their refusal to do so is what hurts, and haunts the last living members and their families.

As explained by The Diplomat:

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“The true scale of the atrocities, including the number of women and girls kept as sex slaves by the Japanese military, will never be known. The number of women and girls executed will never be known either. Information detailing the location and number of “comfort stations,” the facilities where women and girls were kept, was destroyed. Recent attempts to uncover documents and film footage about the sexual slavery are essential to counter efforts to cover up the crimes and to attest to the injustice still being perpetrated by the state. Beyond acknowledging the crimes, much broader reforms and guarantees of non-repetition are required.

But these cannot be reasons to deny justice to those whom it is owed. The question of reparations has become even more pressing as there are increasingly fewer survivors, many of them are now in their 90s, and their testimonies will be harder to come by.”

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“The true scale of the atrocities, including the number of women and girls kept as sex slaves by the Japanese military, will never be known. The number of women and girls executed will never be known either. Information detailing the location and number of “comfort stations,” the facilities where women and girls were kept, was destroyed. Recent attempts to uncover documents and film footage about the sexual slavery are essential to counter efforts to cover up the crimes and to attest to the injustice still being perpetrated by the state. Beyond acknowledging the crimes, much broader reforms and guarantees of non-repetition are required.

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But these cannot be reasons to deny justice to those whom it is owed. The question of reparations has become even more pressing as there are increasingly fewer survivors, many of them are now in their 90s, and their testimonies will be harder to come by.”

Madame Kim was only 14 when she was taken away. She was put in a dorm, and later raped. She described how she and the other girls around her were very young and decided that if this is what their lives would be, they preferred to die. They bought a jug of wine, and attempted suicide by alcohol poisoning but when they were found unconscious their stomachs were pumped and their lives became a daily schedule of men lined up to rape them.

Madame Kim stated that her only wish was for Japanese history books to be rewritten, and for the history of what happened to her and all other women stop being denied. She wished for a formal apology before all the women die out, so that she could finally be at peace.

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