• Comfort Women
  • The truth of the Japanese Military "Comfort Women"

The truth of the Japanese Military "Comfort Women"


Chronology of Events(1894~2013)

  • Year
  • Month
  • Events
  • 1894
  • 8
  • Sino-Japanese War starts.
  • 1904
  • 2
  • Russo-Japanese War starts.
  • 1905
  • 11
  • Korea is made a protectorate of Japan.
  • 1910
  • 8
  • Japan annexes Korea.
  • 1914~1918
  •  
  • The First World War
  • 1925
  •  
  • Japan ratifies the Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Women and Children, with reservations as to the application of the Convention to its colonies, i.e. Korea, Taiwan and Kwantung Province and as to the setting of the age of minority, making it 18 instead of 21.
  • 1931
  • 9
  • Japan invades Manchuria.
  • 1932
  • 1
  • Japan invades Shanghai and sets up military controlled comfort stations in Shanghai.
  • 1937~1945
  •  
  • Asian and Pacific War ( The Second World War ) The Japanese military sets up a network of comfort stations wherever it sends its troops.
  • 1937
  • 12
  • Nanking Massacre (Rape of Nanking)
  • 1945
  • 7
  • Potsdam Declaration foreshadows the creation of an international war crimes tribunal for Japanese and German war criminals and further defines crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • 1945
  • 9
  • Japan signs the instrument of unconditional surrender.
  • 1946
  • 5
  • Establishing the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) in Tokyo to try Japanese war criminals.
  • 1946~1948
  •  
  • Allied nations also create "satellite" tribunals in Asia and the Pacific to try Japanese war criminals (Classes "B" and "C").
  • 1948
  •  
  • The Batavia Trial is held in Indonesia; includes a trial of Japanese military personnels who forced about 35 Dutch women to become Comfort Women
  • 1951
  • 9
  • The San Francisco Peace Conference is held. The Treaty of San Francisco between Japan and the Allied Powers is signed.
    Japanese and Dutch governments exchanges letters in which Japan asserts that the Peace Treaty allows private claims against Japan by Dutch
    Nationals as citizens of the Allied countries of the Second World War.
  • 1965
  • 6
  • The Republic of Korea and Japan normalizes their diplomatic relations by signing the Korea-Japan Basic Treaty.
  • 1988
  •  
  • Women''s organizations in the Republic of Korea hear of the institution of comfort stations in the Japanese military, and demand an investigation.
  • 1990
  • 7
  • The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (an NGO) is formed in the Republic of Korea.
  • 1991
  • 8
  • Kim Hak-Soon, a former Comfort Woman in the Republic of Korea, testifies in public that she had been forcibly taken as a Comfort Woman by the Japanese military.
  • 1991
  • 12
  • A lawsuit is filed by Kim Hak-Soon and others against Japan, in the Tokyo District Court, for damages and other compensation.
    The Government of the Republic of Korea requests the Japanese Government to conduct an investigation.
    The Wednesday Demonstration starts in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and continues until today.
  • 1992
  • 1
  • The "Asahi Shimbun" publishes the Japanese archive documents obtained by Professor Yoshimi Yoshiaki, a well known Japanese historian and researcher, establishing the direct role of the Japanese military in maintaining a huge network of military brothels known as ''Comfort Houses.’
  • 1992
  • 2
  • The Comfort Women issue is raised at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
  • 1992
  • 7
  • The Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Yoichi of Japan admits for the first time that the Japanese Imperial Army was in some way involved in running military brothels.
  • 1992
  • 11
  • Hwang Kum-Ju, a former comfort woman, made a testimony in the Washington Central Korean Church in Virginia, U.S.A. and the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issue (WCCWI) is organized in Washington, D.C.. This is the beginning of more than twenty years of comfort women activism in the U.S.
  • 1993
  • 6
  • Japanese government instructs that all government-approved high school textbooks on Japanese history carry the reference to Comfort Women.
  • 1993
  • 8
  • The Kono statement apologizes for the involvement of Japanese armed forces and coercion in recruitment of comfort women.
  • 1994
  • 4
  • The United Nations Commission on Human Rights appoints Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy as Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, with a special brief to investigate crimes against Comfort Women.
  • 1995
  • 7
  • Asian Women’s Fund is established by the initiative of the Japanese government.
  • 1996
  • 4
  • The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, bowing to intense pressure from Japanese representatives, adopts "compromise" resolution that "takes note" of the Coomaraswamy report.
  • 1996
  • 12
  • The U.S. Justice Department issued “Watch List” of 16 Japanese who were involved in the comfort station business during the Second World War.
  • 1997
  • 4
  • Comfort Women issue is discussed in all the middle-school history textbooks in Japan. These statements, however, completely disappear from these books over the next 4 years.
  • 1998
  • 12
  • The Second U.N.- Commissioned Report on Comfort Women invested by Special Rapporteur Gay McDougall of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights released.
  • 2000
  • 6
  • The U.S. House Representative Lane Evans (D-IL) and other thirty House Representatives introduced House Resolution 357, calling on the Japanese government to formally issue an apology and pay reparations to the victims of war crimes committed by the Japanese military during World War Two.
  • 2000
  • 9
  • Fifteen former Comfort Women from Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., using the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1787. This is the first time the issue of military sexual slavery was addressed in the U.S. Courts, as well as the first time Japan is named as a defendant.
  • 2000
  • 12
  • A mock Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery held in Tokyo (December 8-12) where ex-comfort women from nine countries (North and South Korea, China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, East timor, the Netherlands, Japan) testify their abuses indicting Emperor Hirohito of Japan in charge of crimes against humanity.
  • 2001
  • 7
  • House Representative Lane Evans introduces House Resolution 195 to call upon the Japanese government to formally issue an unambiguous apology; it is followed by a press conference at which former Comfort Woman, Kim Soon-Duk makes a testimony.
  • 2001
  • 8
  • A Hearing held for the class action lawsuit filed by the fifteen Comfort Women at the U.S. District of Columbia Circuit Court.
  • 2001
  • 9
  • The U.N. Commission on Human Rights recommends to Japan that “victims of Japan during World War II must be compensated.”
  • 2001
  • 12
  • A mock Hague Tribunal held in Netherlands; Japan''s war criminals, all of whom are dead, are indicted on charges of war crimes.
  • 2003
  • 6
  • Judges Douglas H. Ginsburg, Judith W. Rogers, and Davis T. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia dismiss the appeal of the Comfort Women.
    U.S. Congressmen Lane Evans, Michael Honda (D-CA), and others reintroduces House Resolution 226 and it is rejected again. This was the first time that comfort women issue was addressed exclusively as violation of women’s human rights, rather than one of Japan-Korea history conflicts over the wrongdoings of World War II.
  • 2004
  • 7
  • United States Supreme Court issues an order in the Comfort Women case Hwang vs. Japan; Petition granted, judgment vacated and case remanded for further consideration in light of Republic of Austria vs. Altmann.
  • 2005
  • 8
  • U.N. and Amnesty International call for the Japanese government to provide direct compensation to former comfort women, criticizing the Asian Women’s Fund as a tactic of Japanese government to avoid any official responsibilities.
    Korean government declassifies all documents related to the 1965 Korea-Japan Basic Treaty talks. New revelations such as those involving the “comfort women,” “atomic bomb victims,” and “Sakhalin forced laborers” raised further issues of unresolved claims.
  • 2006
  • 9
  • U.S. House Resolution 759, which urged Japan to formally acknowledge and accept full responsibility, passes the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives by unanimous vote for the first time after 7 years of comfort women legal activism in U.S. politics. The House, however, does not consider the measure.
  • 2006
  • 11
  • Democrats win a big victory in the mid-term election and return as majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives, a critical sea-change for the political timing of the Comfort Women resolution.
  • 2007
  • 1
  • House Resolution 121 is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs by Congressman Mike Honda and other co-sponsors.
  • 2007
  • 3
  • Asian Women’s Fund is dissolved.
    Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo raises controversy by challenging the House Resolution 121 and denying coercion in recruiting Comfort Women.
  • 2007
  • 6~7
  • House Resolution 121 passes in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, moves to the floor of the House with 182 co-sponsors, out of 435 members of the House, and passes with unanimous consent (July 30, 2007).
  • 2007
  • 11
  • Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in Netherlands.
    Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in Canada.
  • 2007
  • 12
  • Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in European Union (27 member nations).
  • 2008
  • 3
  • Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in Philippines.
    Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in Takarazuka City Assembly, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. As of 2012, 41 local assemblies in Japan passed the similar Comfort Women Resolution joining the growing international pressure on the Japanese government to “formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for coercion of young women into sexual slavery.
  • 2008
  • 10
  • WCCWI (Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issue) holds meeting on the first anniversary of the passing of House Resolution 121 and promotion of global awareness in Virginia.
    The U.N. Commission on Human Rights recommends Japan take
    immediate action to correct its past wrongdoings towards the now octogenarian former comfort women who are passing away rapidly. It was the third time, after 2001 and 2005, that the UNCHR calls for action by the Japanese government.
  • 2008
  • 11
  • Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in Taiwan National Assembly.
  • 2009
  • 3
  • Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in City Council of Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 2010
  • 3
  • Korean National Assemblymen of all parties organized the “National Assemblymen’s Society to Resolve the Comfort Women Issue” and send official letter to incoming Japanese government of Kan Naoto in June.
  • 2010
  • 6
  • Korean National Assemblymen of all parties organized the “National Assemblymen’s Society to Resolve the Comfort Women Issue” and send official letter to incoming Japanese government of Kan Naoto in June.
  • 2010
  • 8
  • In the centennial commemoration of the colonization of Korea by Japan, on August 25, 100 influential Korean leaders release a statement urging Japan to resolve the Comfort Women issue.
  • 2011
  • 5
  • The Constitutional Court of Korea (est. 1988) rules that South Korean government failed to resolve the issues diplomatically with Japan and called on the government for a more concrete and aggressive “dispute resolution process,” as stipulated in the 1965 Korea-Japan Claims Rights Agreement. The Court rules that the Korean government’s failure constitutes unconstitutional negligence and urges government action. Following this ruling, the Korean government proposes talks on the issue twice, in September and November 2011. The Japanese government refuses, repeating its position that the 1965 Korea-Japan Basic Treaty ended the possibility of future claims against Japan.
    The 2011 ruling of the Korean Constitutional Court, however, reignites the legal activism of Korean World War II victims, including comfort women, with renewed support from the legal and civil communities in pursuit of the yet unresolved legal responsibilities of the Japanese government and Japanese businesses. The ruling enables individual victims to sue the Japanese government and former wartime businesses who are now active in Korea. The ruling also puts pressure on the Korean government to redress these unresolved issues through discussions with the Japanese government per the 1965 Korea-Japan Basic Treaty’s dispute resolution mechanism
  • 2011
  • 11
  • Two surviving Korean comfort women and two female Nazi Holocaust survivors meet in New York sharing their experiences in public.
  • 2011
  • 12
  • The Wednesday Demonstration memorializes its 1000th meeting by establishing a Little Girl’s Peace Statue, in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.
  • 2012
  • 5
  • The Museum of War and Women’s Human Rights opens in Seongsan-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.
  • 2013
  • 1~2
  • Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in New York State Senate and House.
  • 2013
  • 3
  • Comfort Woman memorial erected by Bergen County, New Jersey, the United States on March 9, World Women’s Day. The memorial is on the Memorial Island Park in front of the Bergen County Court, and honors the memories of numerous comfort women of the World War Two, including Koreans, Chinese, Netherlanders, Philippinos, and Taiwanese. The fund raising for the memorial was started by a woman librarian in the county in July 2012, who felt resentful about the lack of response from the Japanese government in the five years since the passing of House Resolution 121 in July 2007.
    Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in Kyoto City Assembly, Japan.
    Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in New Jersey State House.
  • 2013
  • 5
  • Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in Illinois State House.
    The U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the U.N. Committee against Torture (CAT) repeated the urge to the Japanese government to issue an official apology to the comfort women victims and to face its legal responsibility of compensation to the victims and education of its youth about Japan’s past mistakes.
  • 2013
  • 6
  • Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in Shimane Prefecture Assembly, Japan.
    Passing of Comfort Women Resolution in New Jersey State Senate.
    As of 2013, 55 Comfort Women Resolutions have passed globally in Japanese local assemblies, in state legislatures of California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and the national legislatures of the United States, as in Australia, Netherlands, Canada, Philippines, Taiwan, and the European Union.
  • 2013
  • 7
  • Korean-American society in Glendale City (near Los Angeles), California erects a replica of the Little Girl’s Peace Statue, for the first time overseas, in commemoration of the 6th anniversary of the passing of the House Resolution 121 in July, 2007. Similar efforts to set up comfort women memorials in Korean-American communities in Los Angeles and New York are on going. The Japanese government also obstructs these efforts on both coasts of the United States through organized pressure on city officials and city politicians through its diplomatic missions and business networks.

 
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