“Comfort Women”

January 1, 2018

A euphemism for the women who were sexual slaves for the Japanese Imperial Army in Japanese occupied areas during World War II. The Japanese forcibly enslaved hundreds of thousands of women to act as sexual slaves in “comfort stations” initially set up as a means of reducing the number of rape reports in occupied territories. The women were often tricked into believing they were going to work in factories or as nurses for the Japanese army, when in fact they were being sent to “comfort stations”. About 2/3 of the women who were enslaved were killed after Japan was defeated, and gradually many of the remaining women died without every talking of their enslavement.

In 1991 the first woman spoke out about her experience – Kim Hak-sun came forward and gave her testimony, sparking many more testimonies from other survivors, which in turn started a movement to seek justice for their trauma. Japan still has yet to officially and sufficiently apologise for their part in their suffering.

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