A Speech of Dr. Kanji Nisho, professor emeritus of The University of Electro-Communications, at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan
He expressed his serious concern about a resolution passed in the US Congress on July 30, 2007 that condemned Japanese people who were suspected to have exploited the “comfort women” system of forced military prostitution by the Government of Japan, considered unprecedented in its cruelty and magnitude, including gang rape, forced abortions, humiliation, and sexual violence resulting in mutilation, death or eventual suicide in one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century (excerpt from the resolution). He also told the audience that this kind of resolution and the similar ones passed in the Senate of the City of New York and the Congress of the State of New Jersey are intolerable libels.
He talked about comfort women as follows; “There existed comfort women who had to unfortunately sell their sex due to poverty or other reasons. However, Japan as a state has never used its physical force to force a woman to sell the sex. Moreover, the story that almost 200 thousands of women were carried on trucks near to the battlefield is a preposterous one and no one could have found the evidence. If such incidents had happened in Korea, many rebellions should have happened. Eighty percent of policemen in Korea were Korean compatriots. The first false story has grown and built up combined with the misleading explanation made by the Japanese Government, and in the result this misunderstanding has caused wide repercussions. I would like ask the US Congress and Senate to reinvestigate closely this matter and to rescind the resolution.”
He also criticized US and others as follows; “First of all, the United States and any other countries are not entitled to disgrace Japanese people in relation to war and sex. Mr. Eiichi Isomura, who was ex-professor of The Tokyo Metropolitan University, also the president of Toyo University, and was the head of Shibuya Ward around the end of the World War II, got called by an officer of GHQ who ordered him to make up women for the soldiers of the occupation forces and finally he constructed a facility called recreation center. That time was such days when the people suffered from shortage of foods and a woman sold her body even for a sheet of chocolate.
When the “comfort women” got become an international topic, Mr. Isomura told with repentance that he had to confess his deep sense of shame in his deed to have driven women into a circumstance where they had to make sex with American soldiers. (The Sankei Sept. 17, 1994)”
He quoted a Mr. Miura’s story; “Mr. Syumon Miura, the president of The Japan Art Academy known as a moderate solid man, wrote “As far as a question about army and sex is concerned, I hope that newspapers write the fact that the American Army mobilized its military police and the Japanese policemen to close a certain part of a street and carried out medical checks for sexual disease of all the women in the street where other woman than a prostitute was involved. Rapes were also happened.”
Almost all such incidents were shrouded in darkness. (The Sankei Aug. 2, 1996)”
He also talked about himself; “A scene that a Japanese comfort woman called “panpan” or “only” in a showy dress and makeup walked under a GI’s arm was engraved in my mind’s eye in my boyhood as if it were yesterday. The number of such Japanese comfort women for American GIs reached about 200 thousand.”
He also quoted a story from a magazine; “In a vulgar magazine named Liberal posted a private paper telling a story of a young woman who had been taken to a special brothel. She was robbed of her virginity on the first day, and forced to sex with at least fifteen GIs a day who had just come back from the battlefront. She became unable to stand up and finally her facial appearance was changed and looked like another person.”
The following is a quote from the same magazine; “Yells, laughs and sobs of women were heard from every door. Some women got ill or became insane in a few months. Such scenes were the epitome of what had happened in Japan for several months. (Excerpt from the November 1954 edition)”
He would require the American society and the Christian communities who are accusing Japanese people to find what their fathers and brothers were doing in Japan. And he said “You should be ashamed”.
The following is his comment on the compensation; “The Japanese government should claim compensation to the US counterpart. Japan should not pay any compensation for the comfort women if the Japanese government has no intention to claim the same. Reciprocity, equality and fairness should be the basic rules in the international relationship.”
He talked about his suspect as follows; “The US wants to keep the image of Japan as a country of atrocious and inhumane people in order to justify its use of atomic bombs on Japan and of massed air raids against Tokyo and other cities.”
He also gave a comment about the recent incidents in the US; “Several resolutions that passed in the federal, states’, counties’ and cities’ congresses and/or senates are annoying and irritating the conservatives of Japan (I am one of them) who are used to be pro-American cooperating the US anti-communism policy after the World War II. There is a risk that Japanese people who are falsely charged, hurt, smoldering, the frustration being internally accumulated, will be finally pushed towards anti-America.”
He also talked about his observation as follows; “The worst thing is to exaggeratedly describe the “comfort women” issue in order to adjudicate Japan on the same basis as that for Germany that was governed by Nazi and committed the Holocaust.”
He brought and introduced to the audience copies of the front cover and the contents page of an important German document titled Prostitution, Homosexuality and self-destruction – Problems in German sanitary guideline, 1939-1945 Franz Seidler. He said that it scientifically reported the actual situations in Germany that carried out a complete state operated prostitution system, and abduction and detention of women.
He also explained; Racial matter was one of the difficult things to deal with in relation to prostitution under the Nazi governed Germany. He continued; “If a German officer or a cadreman of Nazi has sex with a Jewish woman, he will be executed. The west and the east European areas are different each other in every aspect. The state-regulated prostitution was used in Netherland and Norway, on the other hand there was no such system in the east European and the Russian area. So the German commanders at the front made up girls almost forcibly for prostitution.”
He continued his observation as follows; “Comfort women in German army have not come to an issue due to the fact that other crimes committed by them were so huge and vicious that they covered the comfort women issue. The tragedy of victims in the “army and prostitution”, the oldest profession across the world cannot be treated in parallel with the Nazi’s crimes in terms of cruelty of criminal tools used by Nazi such as killing factories, sterilization operations, euthanasia etc.”
He gave his final keen observation; “It is so silly, laughingly funny to make noise exaggeratedly over the “comfort women” issue of Japan in order to assume the war of Japan as same as that of Germany and to treat Japan that has never done the Holocaust as badly as Germany. Republic of Korea participated in the Vietnam War and left 7,000 to 20 thousands of fatherless children.”
The following is a tragic but lofty story, at least for Japanese people, he told; “There was an episode in the wartime that a Japanese army corps that had been driven into the front in Yunnan of China passed over the Korean comfort women to the American army corps telling the women to survive. On the other hand the Japanese comfort women chose death for honor with the soldiers. Japanese soldiers were fighting with the spirit of samurai (Bushidou).”