New light shed on Ja­pan’s atroc­i­ties by cache of files

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

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.

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