It’s time for the US to “apologize” for falsely, unfairly accusing Japan.

The US Congress adopted the resolution against Japan’s Comfort Women in 2007.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-resolution/121

H.Res.121 – A resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces’ coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as “comfort women”, during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II.

However…. in 2014.

South Korea: Suit Against Government for Forced Prostitution after 1957
– The US Congress

http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/south-korea-suit-against-government-for-forced-prostitution-after-1957/

(July 9, 2014) On June 25, 2014, 122 women sued the Korean government, claiming that they were forced to engage in sexual intercourse for money for members of the United States military who were stationed in Korea after the Korean War cease-fire in 1957. (Toru Higashioka, Former “Comfort Women” Serving U.S. Military File Damages Lawsuit, ASAHI SHINBUN (June 28, 2014).)

The involvement of the Korean government in the prostitution around U.S. military bases only slowly became public knowledge. (KATHARINE H.S. MOON, SEX AMONG ALLIES (1997); Sang-hun Choe, Ex-Prostitutes Say South Korea and U.S. Enabled Sex Trade Near Bases, NY TIMES (Jan. 7, 2009).) In 2012, the Gender Equality and Family Committee of the National Assembly asked the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family to investigate the issue and establish a policy. However, the Ministry did not send the result of the investigation to the Committee. Because the government did not do anything to further the investigation, the plaintiffs and their support groups decided to file the lawsuit. (“Camp Town Women Control” Disclosure of Document Signed by Park Chung-hee [in Korean], HANKYOREH (Nov. 6, 2013).)

Some evidence of the government’s involvement was found recently. In 2013, National Assembly member Sung-hui Yu submitted to the Committee a document, “Camp Town Clean-up Measures,” that was created by the administrative affairs department of the President’s Office in April 1957 and signed by the former President, Park Chung-hee, on May 2, 1957. The document stated that 9,935 women lived in 62 camp towns (villages around U.S. military bases). The document proposed measures to work toward:

eradication of sexually transmitted diseases;
improvement of conditions in the villages;
provision of clean water; and
other steps. (Id.)
At a press conference about the lawsuit, members of support groups stated that some of the 122 women went to the camp towns because they were poor and could not make a living otherwise after the war. Some of them were sent there through human trafficking. They were forced by violent means to sell their bodies to American soldiers. The government exploited them in order to earn U.S. dollars. The plaintiffs are seeking an apology from the government and approximately US$10,000 each in damages. The supporters explained that the amount was decided somewhat randomly, because it was necessary to specify an amount for the litigation. (“Camp Town Women’s” Group Files Lawsuits for Damages Against the Government [in Korean], YONHAP NEWS (June 25, 2014).)

Author: Sayuri Umeda

Topic: Crimes against women, Human trafficking

Jurisdiction: South Korea

Date: July 9, 2014

‘Comfort women’ who serviced US soldiers demand justice
September 11, 2014 · 4:19 AM UTC

South Korea — Growing up in hardship in this once-poor Cold War outpost, the young Kim Kyeong-sun decades ago met a job recruiter who promised her housing and a paycheck to support her family.

Her real job? A sex worker for American GIs.

In a former neon-lit shantytown right outside an army base entrance, the hostess eked out a living flirting and trysting with soldiers who rotated in and out of South Korea. Descending into a life of hard drugs and debt, she sought a way out through marriage with a customer. Nuptials with American servicemen were a common escape from indentured sex servitude, she recalled.

But her man later abandoned her and their child.

This “keejichon” — the Korean term for a gray and grubby “army base town” — has closed shop. But the prostitutes who once lingered here continue to be treated as untouchables, derided as “Yankee whores” and “UN ladies.”

“I have so many regrets. Life was so hard,” Kim said.

Who’s to blame?

It’s not entirely the fault of US soldiers, she argues, many of whom were young, fun-loving and surprisingly innocent men. Rather, Kim points the finger at another alleged culprit: the South Korean government, which she argues backhandedly encouraged this largely illegal trade.

She joins 121 other “comfort women” in a $1.2 million lawsuit that’s expected to go to trial soon.

Each former sex worker seeks close to $10,000 in damages, an apology, and an investigation into the government’s alleged encouragement of the activity. The compensation may be minimal, but more meaningful is the message that victory would send, potentially amounting to an admission of government responsibility for coerced prostitution that served the US military.

No one is claiming that government agents literally pimped out young women to horny American soldiers. South Korea formally banned the sex trade in the early 1960s, but permitted activities in designated red-light districts at certain times, say scholars and activists.

It wasn’t until 2004 that South Korea passed a law doling out harsher punishments for the procurement of prostitution, falling in line with international standards.

The lawsuit alleges that, since 1957, poor and undereducated South Korean women were pressured into prostitution in those government-designated zones around American military bases. Authorities should be legally held responsible because they turned a blind eye and therefore promoted the trade, according to the filing.

Former prostitutes say that the government rounded up bar workers — some of whom were girls in their mid-teens — and mandated that they undergo forced STD testing. The ones who tested positive for diseases were held against their will in quarantine and treatment centers, say the plaintiffs. “It was terrible. And we believe that the government was responsible for its negligence,” said Kim, the former sex worker, who was tested multiple times.

The government also sponsored etiquette and English-language classes for these hostesses, where they were praised for contributing to economic development and national security.

Scholars say the South Korean government, run by three dictators from the 1960s to 1980s, sought to please the US military out of fear that it would depart, while bringing in US dollars to buttress this struggling economy. In the past, the South Korean government has denied encouraging prostitution. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family would not comment on the litigation.

More from GlobalPost: The Sewol ferry disaster and South Korea’s culture of shame

In the early 1970s, the White House ordered a reduction of the American military presence in South Korea, pushing the sex trade into decline.

So why bring a controversial and scorching lawsuit forward now, decades after these women left the sex industry?

Previously, a history of stigma stopped them from going public, and the nation’s once-fledgling democracy movement didn’t pay attention to their plight until the late 1980s, say lawyers representing the case. “Only recently could they openly come out and talk about their experiences,” said Ha Ju-hee, a lawyer at the Justice and Peace Law Group, the nonprofit that represents the former prostitutes in court.

“Women who were involved in prostitution around US military bases have largely been ignored by our society until now,” she said. Planning for the litigation, and getting the victims on board, has taken a few years.

At first, many former “comfort women” were uneasy about coming forward, the attorney added. Later, “they realized that this issue isn’t strictly a personal problem, but rather a structural one that stemmed from a lack of governmental support for their basic rights.”

But experts raise questions over the use of the term “comfort women” to describe these former sex workers, which they say is a way of raising public attention.

The label “comfort women” usually refers to sex slaves exploited by Japanese soldiers during World War II, a heated and sensitive topic because those elderly women, too, seek compensation from the Japanese government.

Japan committed a number of crimes against humanity during its occupation of the Korean peninsula before and during World War II, including the enslavement of Korean women to entertain its soldiers.

“My guess is that they chose to frame the US military prostitution issue to ride the coattails of the Japanese ‘comfort women’ or ‘jeongsindae’ movement,” said Katharine Moon, the Korea studies chair at the Brookings Institution, and the author of “Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in Korea-US Relations.”

“They could have assumed — I have no proof — that there might be public sympathy or understanding, since the Japanese ‘comfort women’ issue is well-known nationally and internationally,” she said. “But I think it was a mistake to choose that term. It undercuts the jeongsindae case and confuses the public.”

In 1953, Korean War hostilities were halted, but military prostitution continues to rattle this nation, home to 28,500 American servicemen. Some left-wing South Korean lawmakers have found a cause celebre calling for a tougher stance on alleged crimes by US servicemen, and by accusing American bases of environmental degradation since the mid 1990s.

The movement reached its zenith a decade ago, when South Korea was home to a series of passionate, widespread protests calling on the American military to clean up its act — fueled in part by a 2002 tragedy in which an armored vehicle ran over two schoolgirls. Even today, a handful of nightlife hangouts bar American soldiers from their premises.

Over the past few years, the US Forces Korea, the official name of the military presence, has countered with an about-face, enforcing stronger curfews, the occasional alcohol ban, and harsher punishments for servicemen caught indulging in the sex trade.

Filipina and occasionally Russian women now populate the majority of the hostess bars of Dongducheon, Uijeongbu and Pyeongtaek, three cities that are home to notorious red-light districts for American personnel. Upon arrival to their new jobs, a few of these grungy saloons seize the women’s passports — which according to some experts makes them trafficked.

Here is Korean news article on this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.kr/2015/11/07/story_n_8501946.html
(In Korean)

http://www.huffingtonpost.jp/2015/11/09/comfort-women-in-korea_n_8508334.html
(Japanese traslation)

And even,

GIs Frequented Japan’s ‘Comfort Women’ – The Associated Press

Wednesday, April 25, 2007; 9:45 PM
TOKYO — Japan’s abhorrent practice of enslaving women to provide sex for its troops in World War II has a little-known sequel: After its surrender _ with tacit approval from the U.S. occupation authorities _ Japan set up a similar “comfort women” system for American GIs.

An Associated Press review of historical documents and records _ some never before translated into English _ shows American authorities permitted the official brothel system to operate despite internal reports that women were being coerced into prostitution. The Americans also had full knowledge by then of Japan’s atrocious treatment of women in countries across Asia that it conquered during the war.

Tens of thousands of women were employed to provide cheap sex to U.S. troops until the spring of 1946, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur shut the brothels down.
The documents show the brothels were rushed into operation as American forces poured into Japan beginning in August 1945.

“Sadly, we police had to set up sexual comfort stations for the occupation troops,” recounts the official history of the Ibaraki Prefectural Police Department, whose jurisdiction is just northeast of Tokyo. “The strategy was, through the special work of experienced women, to create a breakwater to protect regular women and girls.”

The orders from the Ministry of the Interior came on Aug. 18, 1945, one day before a Japanese delegation flew to the Philippines to negotiate the terms of their country’s surrender and occupation.

The Ibaraki police immediately set to work. The only suitable facility was a dormitory for single police officers, which they quickly converted into a brothel. Bedding from the navy was brought in, along with 20 comfort women. The brothel opened for business Sept. 20.

“As expected, after it opened it was elbow to elbow,” the history says. “The comfort women … had some resistance to selling themselves to men who just yesterday were the enemy, and because of differences in language and race, there were a great deal of apprehensions at first. But they were paid highly, and they gradually came to accept their work peacefully.”

Police officials and Tokyo businessmen established a network of brothels under the auspices of the Recreation and Amusement Association, which operated with government funds. On Aug. 28, 1945, an advance wave of occupation troops arrived in Atsugi, just south of Tokyo. By nightfall, the troops found the RAA’s first brothel.

“I rushed there with two or three RAA executives, and was surprised to see 500 or 600 soldiers standing in line on the street,” Seiichi Kaburagi, the chief of public relations for the RAA, wrote in a 1972 memoir. He said American MPs were barely able to keep the troops under control.

Though arranged and supervised by the police and civilian government, the system mirrored the comfort stations established by the Japanese military abroad during the war.

Kaburagi wrote that occupation GIs paid upfront and were given tickets and condoms. The first RAA brothel, called Komachien _ The Babe Garden _ had 38 women, but due to high demand that was quickly increased to 100. Each woman serviced from 15 to 60 clients a day.

American historian John Dower, in his book “Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of WWII,” says the charge for a short session with a prostitute was 15 yen, or about a dollar, roughly the cost of half a pack of cigarettes.

Kaburagi said the sudden demand forced brothel operators to advertise for women who were not licensed prostitutes.

Natsue Takita, a 19-year-old Komachien worker whose relatives had been killed in the war, responded to an ad seeking an office worker. She was told the only positions available were for comfort women and was persuaded to accept the offer.

According to Kaburagi’s memoirs, published in Japanese after the occupation ended in 1952, Takita jumped in front of a train a few days after the brothel started operations.

“The worst victims … were the women who, with no previous experience, answered the ads calling for `Women of the New Japan,’” he wrote.

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By the end of 1945, about 350,000 U.S. troops were occupying Japan. At its peak, Kaburagi wrote, the RAA employed 70,000 prostitutes to serve them. Although there are suspicions, there is not clear evidence non-Japanese comfort women were imported to Japan as part of the program.

Toshiyuki Tanaka, a history professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, cautioned that Kaburagi’s number is hard to document. But he added the RAA was also only part of the picture _ the number of private brothels outside the official system was likely even higher.

The U.S. occupation leadership provided the Japanese government with penicillin for comfort women servicing occupation troops, established prophylactic stations near the RAA brothels and, initially, condoned the troops’ use of them, according to documents discovered by Tanaka.

Occupation leaders were not blind to the similarities between the comfort women procured by Japan for its own troops and those it recruited for the GIs.

A Dec. 6, 1945, memorandum from Lt. Col. Hugh McDonald, a senior officer with the Public Health and Welfare Division of the occupation’s General Headquarters, shows U.S. occupation forces were aware the Japanese comfort women were often coerced.

“The girl is impressed into contracting by the desperate financial straits of her parents and their urging, occasionally supplemented by her willingness to make such a sacrifice to help her family,” he wrote. “It is the belief of our informants, however, that in urban districts the practice of enslaving girls, while much less prevalent than in the past, still exists.”

Amid complaints from military chaplains and concerns that disclosure of the brothels would embarrass the occupation forces back in the U.S., on March 25, 1946, MacArthur placed all brothels, comfort stations and other places of prostitution off limits. The RAA soon collapsed.

MacArthur’s primary concern was not only a moral one.

By that time, Tanaka says, more than a quarter of all American GIs in the occupation forces had a sexually transmitted disease.

“The nationwide off-limits policy suddenly put more than 150,000 Japanese women out of a job,” Tanaka wrote in a 2002 book on sexual slavery. Most continued to serve the troops illegally. Many had VD and were destitute, he wrote.

Under intense pressure, Japan’s government apologized in 1993 for its role in running brothels around Asia and coercing women into serving its troops. The issue remains controversial today.

In January, California Rep. Mike Honda offered a resolution in the House condemning Japan’s use of sex slaves, in part to renew pressure on Japan ahead of the closure of the Asian Women’s Fund, a private foundation created two years after the apology to compensate comfort women.

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The fund compensated only 285 women in the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan, out of an estimated 50,000-200,000 comfort women enslaved by Japan’s military in those countries during the war. Each received 2 million yen, about $17,800. A handful of Dutch and Indonesian women were also given assistance.

The fund closed, as scheduled, on March 31.

Haruki Wada, the fund’s executive director, said its creation marked an important change in attitude among Japan’s leadership and represented the will of Japan’s “silent majority” to see that justice is done. He also noted that although it was a private organization, the government was its main sponsor, kicking in 4.625 billion yen, about $40 million.

Even so, he admitted it fell short of expectations.

“The vast majority of the women did not come forward,” he said.

As a step toward acknowledging and resolving the exploitation of Japanese women, however, it was a complete failure.

Though they were free to do so, no Japanese women sought compensation.

“Not one Japanese woman has come forward to seek compensation or an apology,” Wada said. “Unless they feel they can say they were completely forced against their will, they feel they cannot come forward.”

And..

The U.S. military’s long, uncomfortable history with prostitution gets new attention
October 31, 2014

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/10/31/the-u-s-militarys-long-uncomfortable-history-with-prostitution-gets-new-attention/?utm_term=.ac73bcf2770a

A group of women in South Korea sued their own government in June, alleging that it trained them to serve as “patriots” or “civilian diplomats” in the 1960s and 1970s. Their real job: work as prostitutes near American military bases. The women were tested regularly to make sure they didn’t have sexually-transmitted diseases, and were locked up until they were healthy again if they did, they said.

It’s an uncomfortable part of the U.S. military’s long history with prostitution. The world’s oldest profession has long catered to U.S. troops, whether at home or abroad. But the issue is getting new scrutiny in South Korea, where the top U.S. commander, Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, recently forbid all military personnel under his command from paying an employee in an “establishment” for his or her time.

The general said in a memorandum to his troops that not only is prostitution banned, but that service members are not allowed to pay a fee to play darts or billiards with a local employee or to buy them a drink or souvenir in exchange for their company.

“Service members are often encouraged to buy overpriced ‘juice’ drinks in exchange for the company of these women, or to pay a fee to obtain the company of an employee who is then relieved of their work shift (commonly referred to as “bar-fining” or “buying a day off”),” Scaparrotti said. “The governments of the Republic of Korea, the United States, and the Republic of the Philippines have linked these practices with prostitution and human trafficking.”

The effort comes as the Pentagon also attempts to crack down on another problem: sexual assault. Defense officials said in May that they recorded thousands of reports of sexual assault last year, and that the problem is much more widespread than commanders had realized.

Scaparrotti’s memo does not mention the push to stop sexual assault in the ranks, but it says he expects service members to respect “the dignity of others” at all times. Paying for companionship, he said, “encourages the objectification of women, reinforces sexist attitudes, and is demeaning to all human beings” — themes that have come up in the attempt to stop sexual assault, as well.

The general’s prohibition is part of a broader effort to crack down on “juicy bars” in South Korea. They’ve existed for years, with many of the women working in them said to be Filipino victims of human trafficking — modern-day sex slaves.

The connection between the U.S. military and prostitution goes far beyond that, however. In one high-profile example, several Navy officers and employees were charged last year with accepting prostitutes as part of a major bribery scandal. The women were furnished by the Malaysian tycoon, “Fat” Leonard Francis, in exchange for information that he allegedly used to defraud the U.S. government of millions of dollars, authorities said.

Francis, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a shipping firm that at one point had more than $200 million in contracts with the Navy, has denied the charges. Others already have pleaded guilty, including a retired Navy officer, an agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Francis’ cousin.

That case had connections to Malaysia, Singapore Japan and Indonesia, among other locations. But it involved much more money than the tawdry transactions that have been a part of military life for decades.

During Vietnam War, for example, prostitution was common. Infamously depicted in the 1987 movie “Full Metal Jacket,” it played a role in creating a generation of half-Americans in Vietnam who are now mostly in their 40s, according to a Global Post report in 2011.

In World War II, posters warned U.S. soldiers in Europe that “you can’t beat the Axis if you get VD.” Things may have been even worse in Japan, where American officials allowed an official brothel system for the use of U.S. troops until 1946, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur shut it down.

“Sadly, we police had to set up sexual comfort stations for the occupation troops,”an official history of one Japanese police department says, according to a 2007 Associated Press report. “The strategy was, through the special work of experienced women, to create a breakwater to protect regular women and girls.”

And,

‘My body was not mine, but the US military’s’
Inside the disturbing sex industry thriving around America’s bases.
11/3/15, 5:30 AM CET Updated 11/3/15, 2:54 PM CET

At night in the Songtan camptown outside Osan Air Base in South Korea, I wandered through streets that were getting louder and more crowded now that the sun had set. As the night progressed, hip-hop boomed out of bars along the main pedestrian mall and from second-floor clubs with neon-lit names like Club Woody’s, Pleasure World, Whisky a-Go-Go and the Hook Up Club. Many of the bars have stages with stripper poles for women to dance to the flash of stage lights and blasting music. In other bars, groups of mostly Filipina women in tight skirts and dresses talked to one another, leaning over the table as they shot pool. Some were chatting with a handful of GIs, young and old. Groups of younger GIs walked together through the red-light-district-meets-pedestrian-mall scene, peering into bars and considering their options. Bright signs for cheap hotels beckoned. Near a small food cart, a sign read, “man only massage prince hotel.”

For anyone in the U.S. military, it would have been a familiar sight. As long as armies have been fighting each other, and long before women were widely seen on the battlefield, female labor has been essential to the everyday operation of most militaries. But women haven’t just washed the laundry, cooked the food and nursed injured troops back to health. Women’s sex work has long been used to help keep male troops happy — or at least happy enough to keep working for the military. Today, commercial sex zones thrive in tandem with many U.S. bases around the world, from Baumholder in Germany to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Many look much the same, filled with liquor stores, fast-food outlets, tattoo parlors, bars and clubs, and prostitution in one form or another.

The problems associated with the sex trade are particularly pronounced in South Korea, where “camptowns” that surround U.S. bases have become deeply entrenched in the country’s economy, politics and culture. Dating to the 1945 U.S. occupation of Korea, when GIs casually bought sex with as little as a cigarette, these camptowns have been at the center of an exploitative and profoundly disturbing sex industry—one that both displays and reinforces the military’s attitudes about men, women, power and dominance. In recent years, exposés and other investigations have shown just how openly prostitution has operated around American bases, leading the U.S. government to ban solicitation in the military and the South Korean government to crack down on the industry. But prostitution has far from disappeared. It has only grown more secretive and creative in its subterfuge. If you want to know more about what’s at the root of the military’s struggles with sexual abuse, look no further than Songtan.

(continues)

Finally,

South Korea Illegally Held Prostitutes Who Catered to G.I.s Decades Ago, Court Says
JAN. 20, 2017
South Korea — In a landmark ruling, a South Korean court said on Friday that the government had broken the law during the 1960s and ’70s by detaining prostitutes who catered to American soldiers, and by forcing them to undergo treatment for venereal diseases.

Dozens of former prostitutes brought a lawsuit to press the government to admit that it had played a hand in creating and managing a vast network of prostitution in camp towns, called gijichon, where poor Korean women worked in bars and brothels frequented by American troops.

In the ruling by a three-judge panel of the Central District Court in Seoul, the women did not win that admission or the apology they sought.

Yet the ruling was still a victory: For the first time, the court said the government had illegally detained gijichon prostitutes for forced treatment for sexually transmitted disease, and ordered it to pay 57 plaintiffs the equivalent of $4,240 each in compensation for physical and psychological damage.

Continue reading the main story
RELATED COVERAGE
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No Closure on the ‘Comfort Women’ JAN. 6, 2017

Ex-Prostitutes Say South Korea and U.S. Enabled Sex Trade Near Bases JAN. 7, 2009
“This was a serious human rights violation that should never have happened and should never be repeated,” Judge Jeon Ji-won, speaking for the panel, said of the detention and forced treatment.

Judge Jeon said the prostitutes had been “comfort women for the United States military,” touching on one of the country’s most delicate historical issues by using the same euphemism for prostitutes the Japanese have applied to Korean and other women who were forced into sexual servitude by its soldiers during World War II.

The plaintiffs had encouraged that comparison, arguing that it was hypocritical for South Korea to condemn Japan for its historical wrongdoings while not acknowledging its own role in ensuring that foreign soldiers had access to Korean prostitutes.

“They say we walked into gijichon on our own, but we were cheated by job-placement agencies and were held in debt to pimps,” Park Young-ja, 62, one of the plaintiffs, said after the ruling on Friday. “I was only a teenager and I had to receive at least five G.I.s every day with no day off. When I ran away, they caught and beat me, raising my debt.”

She added, “There was no one speaking for us, and we were abandoned by the state.”

The Justice Ministry, which represented the government in the lawsuit, did not immediately react to the ruling on Friday.

In the destitute years after the Korean War of 1950-53, the dollars that prostitutes in the camp towns earned were a valued source of hard currency in South Korea. Former prostitutes have testified that government officials had urged them to earn more, calling them “patriots.”

At the same time, the women said, the health authorities cracked down on prostitutes who tested positive for sexually transmitted diseases, less out of concern for the women than to protect American soldiers. Newspaper accounts and parliamentary documents from the time referred to the prostitutes as “comfort women.” The court said on Friday that some of the women had been sold into the camps through human trafficking, while others appeared to have chosen prostitution to make a living.

Scholars who have studied the issue have said that the South Korean government was motivated in part by fear that the American military, stationed in the country to provide a defense against North Korea, would leave.

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The American military became involved in attempts to regulate the sex trade to minimize the spread of disease among soldiers, those scholars said. The United States military command in Seoul has said that it did not condone or support prostitution or human trafficking.

The South Korean government has never formally acknowledged involvement in the camp towns or taken responsibility for abuses there. The women kept quiet for decades, partly because the military governments that ruled South Korea until the late 1980s enforced silence about issues that could be seen as detrimental to the alliance with the United States.

In addition, South Korean society has an extremely negative view of prostitutes, especially ones who had been paid by foreign soldiers. Prostitution is and has always been illegal in South Korea.

In 2014, however, more than 120 former prostitutes filed a lawsuit demanding compensation and a government apology for their detention and forced treatment. Only 57 of the plaintiffs were awarded compensation on Friday, because the court said there was not enough evidence that the others had been detained illegally.

Kim Jin, a lawyer for the women, said the verdict on Friday was significant because it was the first official acknowledgment that women in the camp towns had been subjected to illegal treatment. But Ms. Kim said the women would appeal the ruling, seeking an official apology, greater compensation and a finding that the government was responsible for creating and running the camp towns.

“We are not doing this for a mere 5 million won,” a woman who declined to give her name shouted outside the courtroom, referring to the compensation in South Korean currency each woman would receive. “They told us to earn as many dollars as possible, and now they want us to keep our mouths shut.”

Shin Young-sook, an advocate for the women, welcomed the court’s use of the term “comfort women” to refer to the former prostitutes.

For decades, bars and brothels have lined the streets of neighborhoods around American bases in the country. But the former prostitutes involved in the lawsuit said that few of their fellow citizens knew how deeply their government had been involved in the sex trade in the camp towns in the past.

They say the government not only sponsored classes for them to learn basic English and etiquette, meant to help them sell themselves more effectively, but that the American military police and South Korean officials also regularly raided clubs looking for women who were thought to be spreading diseases.

They added that the police would then detain those women, locking them up in so-called monkey houses with barred windows. There, they said, the women were forced to take medications until they were well.

“They never sent us doctors even when we were so sick we almost died, except they treated us for venereal diseases,” Ms. Park said. “It’s clear that they treated our venereal diseases not for us but for the American soldiers.”

Now, the US and media outlets should apologize for being unfair, hypocrite to Japan.

Or, just like Japan has done for past decades, the US president should formally admit the sexual slavery by the US and apologize about atrocity the US committed, again and again and again.

Right? Because that is “being fair and justice”

At least, the US does not have the right to accuse anyone but herself.

—– READ the Related Posts —–

The US army records on “Comfort Women” found

CAN KOREA HANDLE THE TRUTH ABOUT JAPAN’S ‘COMFORT WOMEN’?

Comfort Women and North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens

Today’s “Comfort women” or prostitutes

Comfort women? sex slave?

“I’m Zapanese…”

A mistake of “The comfort women photo exhibition”

Diggin’ own grave: Rep. Mike Honda

Anti-Ignorance on Comfort Women

The U.S. “Sex Slave” resolution goin’ nowhere

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