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MacArthur Document Reports Imperial Japanese Military’s “Sanction” of Comfort Women Brothels

“An August 1, 2013 editorial in the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest circulation daily, carried the title “Comfort Women Allegations Distort Japanese History.” The greatest distortion here is the amnesia of an influential portion of Japanese society in addressing World War II history.” ~ Dennis P. Halpin 

The Yomiuri Shimbun recently published a controversial editorial that challenged the characterization of comfort women as “sex slaves,” and suggested that such labels were historically inaccurate. It noted that the Japanese government could not find official documents proving that the women were recruited by force.

Dennis P. Halpin, former House Foreign Relations Committee staff member and current Visiting Scholar at the US-Korea Institute at SAIS, examines the 1945 report, “Amenities in the Japanese Armed Forces,” published by command of General MacArthur (declassified in 1992) and compiled by the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Forces (SCAP), which refutes the Japanese government’s claims.

Download USKI Policy Brief “MacArthur Document Reports Imperial Japanese Military’s “Sanction” of Comfort Women Brothels,” by Dennis P. Halpin.

Dennis P. Halpin is currently a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea, U.S. consul in Pusan, and a House Foreign Affairs Committee staff member for over twelve years.