New light shed on Japan’s atrocities by cache of files
of money then.”
“It once again proves that the sex slavery system was enforced officially, rather than a private commercial operation as claimed by Japan’s right-wing politicians.”
The archives show in detail how “comfort stations” were operated by the Japanese military from northeastern China, central China and Indonesia.
Wherever there were Japanese troops, there were “comfort stations”, Su said.
The documents also suggest that numerous Asian women, including Chinese and Koreans, experienced sexual abuse by the Japanese military.
For example, one Japanese military document shows that the ratio of “comfort women” to Japanese soldiers was 1:178 in Nanjing. In Zhenjiang, a city near Nanjing, the document shows that 8,929 Japanese soldiers visited “comfort stations” in 10 days.
Zhao Yujie, team leader of a research project on the Nanjing Massacre at the Jilin archives, said such statistics show that the “comfort women” system was authorized and carried out systematically by the Japanese military.
Yin Huai, curator of the Jilin Provincial Archives, said it now has nearly 100,000 files of Japanese wartime documents, and 90 percent of them are written in Japanese.
The archives also contain audio recordings of the speeches of Japanese wartime leaders, including prime minister Hideki Tojo, general Yoshijiro Umezu and high-ranking Manchukuo officials.
Zhao Sujuan, 81, a retired archivist from the Jilin archives, said that when Japan surrendered in 1945, Japanese troops buried documents they had no time to burn as they retreated. In the 1950s, the documents were unearthed at a construction site in Changchun, Jilin province.
Since 2012, Jilin Provincial Archives has organized research teams to decipher and translate these documents.
“As the research into the Japanese archives continues, more evidence of Japanese wartime atrocities inflicted on Asia will emerge,” Su Zhiliang said. Song Wei contributed to this story.
A total of 89 wartime documents made public on Friday show details of atrocities Japanese troops committed in China during World War Two (WWII). The documents represent only a small portion of the nearly 100,000 wartime Japanese files retrieved underground during construction work in the early 1950s, said Yin Huai, president of the Jilin Provincial Archives in Changchun, capital of Jilin Province. Ninety percent of the files are in Japanese.