SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s state history institute on Friday released new documents substantiating the Japanese military’s involvement in operating front-line brothels during World War II.
The National Institute of Korean History (NIKH) made public interrogation reports written by the Allied Forces’ Translator and Interpreter Section, a unit founded in September 1942, which refutes Japan’s denial of its military’s role in wartime sex slavery.
In the report “470,” a Japanese prisoner captured in Malang, Indonesia, was quoted as saying during an interrogation that seven brothels were established “under Army jurisdiction.”
“Had a total of approx 150 women,” the report said, adding they were Korean, Japanese and Javanese (Indonesian).
The Report “652″ described a Japanese prisoner captured in the Philippines’ Tacloban as having said, “There was one brothel, and the women were inspected weekly by the Medical Officer of 4 Field Hospital.”
Another document, “Bulletin No. 182″ of the Allied Forces’ Southeast Asia Translator & Interrogation Center, carried a description of the rape and pillage culture among front-line Japanese soldiers: “Among the soldiers who had fought in China rape and pillage seemed to be an inseparable part of war.”
Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mainly from Korea, which was a Japanese colony from 1910 to 1945, were forced to work in front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II.
“The army established licensed public comfort houses immediately after occupation in an effort to combat rape,” the report said. Rape, however, continued and led many of the Malayan women “to cut their hair short and dress like men.
“These are documents that can refute the Japanese government’s denial in having no direct involvement in the establishment and management of brothel units,” NIKH researcher Kim Deuk-joong said.
The institute said it collected around 24,000 historical records, 439 books and microfilms pertaining to Japan’s sexual slavery and other war crimes. It plans to successively publicize the materials starting at the end of this year.