Japanese historian says most "comfort women" were Korean

Historians in the News

Over half the women taken to Imperial Japanese military camps for sexual service before and during World War II were Koreans, according to the latest findings from Japan.

The Japanese euphemistically referred to the sex slaves as ¡°ianfu¡± (comfort women).

Yoshimi Yoshiaki, a professor of modern Japanese history at Tokyo¡¯s Chuo University plans to reveal data indicating that 51.8% of the comfort women were Koreans at an international conference on comfort women held at Seoul¡¯s Press Center on Friday.

The Japanese professor analyzed Imperial Army medical records for venereal disease treatment from 1940 and concluded that if the percentages of women treated reflected the general make up of the total comfort women population, Korean women comprised 51.8 percent, Chinese 36 percent and Japanese 12.2 percent.

¡°The fact that Korean and Chinese women showed high rates for diseases attests to the fact that the soldiers mainly took advantage of women from colonized regions. It also shows there was sharp discrimination toward foreign woman especially.¡±

Yoshimi, also the author of the book ¡°Comfort Women,¡± believes the number of comfort women to range from 80,000-200,000 although more research should be made. In such case, the number of Korean victims likely range from 40,000- 100,000.

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