Date

5-4-2020

Description

With the rise of humanitarian efforts in recent years, the existence of the once concealed Japanese comfort women system of World War II is no longer a secret, but even in the 21st century, there remains a group of perpetrators that has almost managed to escape persecution for their involvement in the system. Today, Asian collaborationist groups are well known for the "puppet" regimes they formed during wartime, and their acts of defiance have been regarded as treasonous for decades. However, it is less well known that the comfort system was aided by collaborationists who assisted the Japanese in the sexual enslavement and rape of their own people. Unfortunately, the concept of sexual collaboration is one that has received scarce recognition, even as the comfort women retribution movement has been popularized over the past few decades. In this thesis, I examine what conditions of World War II era Asia served to contribute to the humiliation of comfort women survivors and how these conditions formulated the perfect environment for sexual collaborators to go unexposed for over 70 years. Although the call for justice surrounding the comfort system phenomenon has found an unprecedented level of support since the 1990's, it has still failed to punish those who betrayed their own people, a realization that is present on all fronts, including the social and legal spheres, of a war torn Asia.

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May 4th, 12:00 AM

The Comfort Women: How Collaboration and Betrayal Led to Shame in 20th Century Asia

With the rise of humanitarian efforts in recent years, the existence of the once concealed Japanese comfort women system of World War II is no longer a secret, but even in the 21st century, there remains a group of perpetrators that has almost managed to escape persecution for their involvement in the system. Today, Asian collaborationist groups are well known for the "puppet" regimes they formed during wartime, and their acts of defiance have been regarded as treasonous for decades. However, it is less well known that the comfort system was aided by collaborationists who assisted the Japanese in the sexual enslavement and rape of their own people. Unfortunately, the concept of sexual collaboration is one that has received scarce recognition, even as the comfort women retribution movement has been popularized over the past few decades. In this thesis, I examine what conditions of World War II era Asia served to contribute to the humiliation of comfort women survivors and how these conditions formulated the perfect environment for sexual collaborators to go unexposed for over 70 years. Although the call for justice surrounding the comfort system phenomenon has found an unprecedented level of support since the 1990's, it has still failed to punish those who betrayed their own people, a realization that is present on all fronts, including the social and legal spheres, of a war torn Asia.