Never forget sexual slavery as part of Japan’s WWII history – Asia Times

“Comfort women” is a euphemistic term for the hundreds of thousands of girls and women who were kidnapped and sexually enslaved by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. From 1931-1945, Japanese military forced young women from more than 13 countries into sexual slavery for the “comfort” of its soldiers. 

For the first time, in 1991, a former Korean “comfort woman,” Kim Hak-sun overcame a lifetime of shame to speak up publicly about her personal experience of sexual enslavement by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces. Her testimony shocked the world.  

This was the first time in modern history that a government had been accused of systematic implementation sexual violence and sex trafficking. Many more victims followed Kim’s courageous example and revealed their stories and experiences to the world.  

Their testimonies helped move the world community to declare that using sexual violence as a weapon of war constitutes a crime against humanity for which governments must be held accountable.    

In 2007 the US Congress passed House Resolution 121, which urged the Japanese government to “formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces’ coercion of young women into sexual slavery.” 

The Japanese government heavily lobbied against the resolution, arguing it was Japan-bashing propaganda, rather than an important human-rights issue of institutional sexual violence against women during wartime.  

So that the atrocities these women suffered would not be forgotten, a multi-ethnic non-profit organization