maandag 6 mei 2013

Sarah Soh on Batavia trial

"Nonetheless, among the approximately fifty military tribunals convened at various Asian locales between 1945 and 1951, only one tribunal, conducted by the Dutch in Batavia (today's Jakarta), meted out stern punishments (including one execution) to Japanese officers who forced Dutch women into sexual servitude. The Batavia trial thus recognized the "forced prostitution" (to use the Dutch government's terminology) of thirty-five Dutch women as a war crime. However, it ignored similar suffering by a much greater number of native women in Indonesia, not to mention female victims in other Asian countries. What, then, is the meaning of the Batavia trial for the comfort women issue? Obviously, it was the action of a victorious nation-state protecting the human rights and personal security of its nationals in a colonial setting as a matter of national interest. It underscores the common deprivation of human rights of people under colonial rule."

C. Sarah Soh, Japan's Responsibility Toward Comfort Women Survivors, JPRI Working Paper No. 77, May 2001, available here.

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