CHANGCHUN, Jan. 9 -- Wartime documents show Japanese government's role in forcing women to work as wartime sex slaves for Japanese occupying troops.
The files came out as a crushing blow to Japan's right-wing politicians seeking to deny that Japan had played a state role in the issue and saying the "comfort women" were "transported by private businessmen."
The 32 Japanese documents newly revealed by Jilin Provincial Archives regarding "comfort women" show in detail the Japanese government and military's role in abducting, trafficking and forcing women to provide sex to Japanese soldiers.
According to documents dating from March 27 to April 19, 1945, the Anshan Branch of the then Japanese Central Bank of Manchou had transferred money to the Japanese troops under the name "public funds for the military's use to buy comfort women." Similar cases of "transfer of public funds" could also be found in other telephone records.
In a Japanese military "report on the situation of Nanjing and its surrounding areas," the document recorded the situation of seven Japanese comfort stations in nine places in the Nanjing region.
The report also recorded the number of stationed Japanese soldiers, the number of comfort women in the "comfort stations," the number of solders each comfort woman had to receive, and how often the comfort stations were used.
The files show that in the Nanjing area, one comfort woman would serve between 71 and 267 Japanese soldiers in a 10-day period.
"According to the documents, the Japanese soldiers were very cruel to the comfort women. Humiliation and sexual abuse was normal," said Wang Fang, team leader of a research team on the "comfort women" issue at the Provincial Archives.
An archived Japanese monthly newspaper recorded in detail that "a Japanese solder working at the railway factory went to the comfort station and raped a comfort woman after he was drunk."
According to Yin Huai, the curator of the Archives, the Jilin Provincial Archives now has more than 100,000 books of Japanese wartime documents, 90 percent of which were in Japanese.
They documented the affairs of Japanese soldiers in China's northeast region from 1931 to 1945, said Yin.
In August 1945, when Japan surrendered, the Japanese troops buried some documents that they did not manage to destroy before their retreat. In 1950, some of the documents were excavated from a construction site in Jilin Province.
Since last year, the Jilin Provincial Archives began to organize people to translate and decipher the documents, and discovered more evidence of the wartime crimes of Japanese troops in China.
"The Japanese documents are the most authentic and valuable records of Japan's invasion of China," Yin said.
According to historians, an estimated 200,000 women were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese forces during World War II, and most of them came from countries invaded by Japan at the time.