More Japanese Abuses of Korean Women Come to Light

      April 27, 2015 12:31

      Japanese police sexually abused female Korean protesters during the occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945, an old report by an American missionary group shows.

      The report details incidents where Japanese police stripped, tortured and even raped Korean women who took part in the March 1 independence demonstrations in 1919.

      The Korean Methodist Church in New York on Saturday revealed the 27-page report compiled by the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America detailing the abuses by Japanese police based on accounts from American missionaries in Korea at the time.

      Titled "The Korean Situation," it explains the historical background that led to the protests, as well as Japan's brutal crackdown on protesters and changes in Tokyo's colonial policies after the demonstrations.

      The Korean Methodist Church in New York was established in 1921 and served as the U.S. support base for Korea's independence movement. It discovered the report in its archive while going through old documents to prepare for a book to mark its 100-year history. 

      The report contains statistics on the brutal crackdown. It shows that 631 Koreans died from March 1 to July 20, 1919 as well as nine Japanese, mostly police. Some 28,934 Koreans were arrested -- 5,156 jailed and 9,078 released after being whipped.

      "Among the tortures and brutalities dwelt on by writers and especially emphasized by the American press were those dealing with young women and school girls who were stripped and examined, tortured and maltreated," it says. "No charge is made of rape under these conditions." 

      Following the March 1 protests, Japan replaced the military police with civilian law enforcement officials in Korea. But the changes were merely cosmetic. Soldiers simply donned police uniform instead of military fatigues, and torture and other abuses did not go away, the report says.

      It also contains an official letter the council sent to Admiral Saito Makoto, the governor-general of Korea, urging him to halt police abuses.

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