Korean sex slaves of Japanese army, first video ever

This video from South Korea says about itself:

Footage of Korean women sexually enslaved by Japanese soldiers in WWII revealed for the first time

Japan’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War Two

More than just another unresolved issue that strains bilateral relations, there are survivors of the atrocity and their families who more than deserve apology and compensation.

However, Tokyo has been devoted to denying and burrying its wartime sins.

At long last crucial evidence that should aid efforts to corner Japan into acknowledging historic facts and facing reality has been found.
Lee Ji-won tells us more.

Women,… with faces full of fear,… are lined up against a wall.

A man, presumed to be a Chinese officer, talks to them.

This short 18 second video is of seven Korean women sexually enslaved by the Japanese soldiers in Yunnan province, southwest China, around the end of World War II.

It is the first-ever video footage of Korean victims that has been found. On Wednesday, Seoul city and Professor Chung Chin-sung of Seoul National University unveiled the video from 1944,… which had been stored in the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States for over 70 years.

Previously,… footage of Chinese comfort women had been found,… but there were only pictures and documents on the Korean comfort women.

But after the professor and his research team were certain that a video on the Korean victims existed, they spent two years searching for the footage,… and they finally found what they were looking for amongst hundreds of film reels last month.

The footage was taken by an American combat photographer just after the region was reclaimed from Japan by the Chinese. During World War II, an estimated 200-thousand women, mostly Koreans, were kidnapped and forced to become sex slaves for Japanese troops.

While an agreement between Korea and Japan was made by the previous Park Geun-hye administration in 2015,… where Japan financially compensated the victims with one billion yen, or about 8-point-9 million U.S. dollars, thousands of citizens and the surviving victims criticized and refused the deal as Tokyo claimed there was no evidence of the Japanese military forcing the enslavement of women.

But with Korea’s newly elected President Moon Jae-in calling for renegotiation of the deal,… the research team says that they hope the footage will work as a tool to open up such talks. “We hope the new findings will bring the public’s attention and interest on the matter,… so that when President Moon has his first bilateral talk with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, at the G20 summit later this week, an atmosphere for renegotiation can be made.”

With only 38 Korean victims still alive,… the research team stressed their determination to uncover this video evidence of Japan’s sexual slavery so that there’s a chance for the issue to be resolved within their lifetimes.

Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.

11 thoughts on “Korean sex slaves of Japanese army, first video ever

  1. Korea and Vietnam in the Modern and Contemporary Ages: Comparisons and New Connections

    15 September 2017

    Conference dates
    1 – 2 June 2018


    Seoul National University Asia Centre, Seoul, South Korea


    Seoul National University, Asia Centre, Seoul; Vietnam National University, Hanoi; International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden; Leiden University, Leiden; École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. An initiative directed by IIAS.

    The conference

    Comparative studies are located at the heart of humanities and social science studies (Détienne 2000, Werner and Zimmermann 2004; Felsky & Friedman 2013), particularly in area studies (Anderson 1998, Lieberman 2009). In that field especially, implicit or explicit comparisons often determine certain conceptions of regional and sub-regional orders. For example, the study of East Asia is implicitly situated within a comparative approach to China and the Sinitic culture. What other “strange parallels” (Lieberman) could possibly be operational to set a “comparative gesture” (Robinson 2011) that would not be determined by usual ‘sino-style’ conceptions of Asia? How to trigger new connections and parallels in area studies?

    In partnership, Seoul National University-Asia Centre, the International Institute for Asian Studies, Vietnam National University, Leiden University and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales set out to address this “comparative gesture” by initiating a deliberate by-pass of dominant geometries and meta-narratives. One way to do so is by organizing conferences or other forms of interactive platforms that would explore unexploited or only partially studied parallels and connections. In doing so, the partners not only seek to contribute to renew how ‘Asian studies’ is methodological framed. By identifying new articulations beyond established approaches of global history, they seek to underscore the intellectual merits – as well as limits – of comparisons as a social science and humanities method.

    The first conference entitled Vietnam and Korea as “Longue Durée” Subject of Comparison: From the Pre-modern to the Early Modern Periods took place in Hanoi, Vietnam from 3-4 March 2017.

    The second conference entitled Korea and Vietnam in the Modern and Contemporary Ages: Comparisons and New Connections will take place in Seoul, South Korea, from 1-2 June 2018.

    In-depth comparison of the premodern histories of Vietnam and Korea yields an index of fascinating parallels, some of which are structurally related to both historical communities’ adjacent to the center of the Sinosphere, if on opposite ends of it. The long 19th century and the equally long and traumatic 20th century occasioned divergences to emerge in the developmental trajectories of the premodern states located on the Korean peninsula and in the east of the Indochinese peninsula. Both states shared the experience of brutally exploitative colonialism, but colonial experiences were as diverse as the colonial empires the states were drafted into. The seeming likeness of the modern histories of Vietnam and Korea continued when the postcolonial condition was made painfully explicit in the North-South divisions of states. Again, a devastating war with the pronounced involvement of super powers between North and South mirrors Vietnamese and Korean experiences. As a consequence, Vietnam was reunified, while Korea stayed divided. Here, comparison dissolves into connection when the South Korean participation in the Vietnam War is taken into consideration. Vietnam became a possible Korean future, while both Korea’s had become futures that would no longer happen for Vietnam.

    The intricate patterns that emerge when considering Vietnam and Korea side by side in the modern age of course stretch into every field of academic enquiry, whether historically, geographically or culturally. Comparison and connection taken together offer a grip on the rich and complicated intertwined narratives of the Korean and Vietnamese states from the late 19th century onwards. The conference’s heuristic purpose will be to (re)connect the two countries as subjects of History and articulate their trajectories diachronically, yielding changing perspectives on Vietnam and Korea.

    Whether it is the role of the South Korean businesses who in the shadow of the ROK troops set their first steps on the path of becoming the international conglomerates in the Vietnam War that kick started the Korean economy (returning to Vietnam in the late 90s); the developmental processes of Vietnam as potential beacons for future North Korean development; or the Vietnamese and Korean diaspora’s in comparison, these are the loci where comparison and connection meet and meet again, yielding changing perspectives on Vietnam and Korea.

    Presentations may not be restricted to works explicitly comparing Korea and Vietnam, yet presenters have to bear in mind the ultimate purpose of framing debates in comparison between the two Asian countries and their societies. Likewise, studies from scholars specialized on China, Japan, and other Asian countries are welcome, provided they contribute to the general problematic of the workshop. Junior scholars are particularly encouraged to submit abstracts.


    Paper and panel proposals should be submitted via the forms available on our website by 15 September 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 November 2017 and will be required to send a draft paper (6000 – 8000 words) by 15 May 2018.


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