Coercion prostitutes

Named comfort women!

The sex slaves were forced into sexual intercourse with Japanese officers and soldiers under the worst imaginable circumstances. Visits to the girls were determined per military unit. It was the first time in military history that such a government organization for prostitution occurred. The "Comfort Houses" ceased to exist only after the Japanese surrender in 1945.

It was not until almost 60 years after Japan's capitulation that the unprecedented dramatic effect of forced military prostitution on the abused women came to light. The years of daily rape continued to haunt the lives of the women even after the war, leaving them mentally scarred. The Japanese government showed no signs of remorse.

Jan Ruff O'Herne is one of an estimated 200,000 women who were used as sex slaves by the Japanese army during the Pacific War. She was 19 when she was taken from an internment camp in former Dutch East Indies and placed in one of the Japanese military brothels. There, she was raped day and night for three months. It wasn't until 50 years later, in 1992, when she was confronted with stories of systematically raped Bosnian women, that she thought, this must stop!

She joined an international association advocating for the rights of former comfort women. As the first European, she made the case of comfort women public. She did this in the Japanese "Diet" government building, in the presence of the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs. On September 20, 2001, she received the Order of Orange-Nassau from the Netherlands for her extensive work advocating for the cause of comfort women.

A few Korean women had already broken the silence just before Jan Ruff O'Herne. In 2007, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, claimed that there was no evidence of forced prostitution (Radio Netherlands Worldwide). The word "forced" was removed from Japanese textbooks, making it seem like they had done it voluntarily. Massive protests followed from Asian countries, especially from Korea.

After Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi of Chuo University unearthed evidence proving forced prostitution, the Japanese government had no choice but to acknowledge that it had occurred. A letter of apology was sent to the victims, but they still refuse to provide legal compensation. This had already been fully settled in the San Francisco Treaty!

Japanese citizens lamented their state's attitude so much that in 1995, the Japanese Asian Women Fund was established. The fund was primarily built from donations from individuals (Japanese citizens, former soldiers, and family members of ex-military personnel). A letter of apology came from Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Very few "comfort women" accept payment from the fund. The victims demand a direct apology and compensation from the Japanese government, but it has not happened. (This is how it happened).