George Hicks's book “comfort Women” is about "the legalized military rape of subject women on a scale ... previously unknown in history." The first question that gets answered by this book is about the reason for a long silence that haunted this issue; actually in Asian countries the chastity of women is precious and “comfort women”kept silent in order to keep their hopes of getting married alive. There are other reasons as well which are basically related to the Government’s defensive approach on this issue and since a long time the officials have continued “claiming that the comfort women were volunteers, working for private operators” etc.
The worst part was that countries like South Korea and Indonesia were not in a position to oppose or protest against this, as the women from these countries were primarily impacted, economic dependence and post-war instability made them unwilling to internationally highlight this issue. The gradual feeling of protest took a start in the mid-eighties as by that time some on the “comfort women” had no family member to be ashamed of and secondly there was a better situation with reference to women rights in Asian Countries.
The “comfort women” across the world joined hands to raise a voice against Japanese denial of this shameful act, and finally in the year 1993, Japan announced a formal apology. George gives an account of some dehumanizing experiences faced by the comfort women and the stories are really touching and sad. A few comments from the sufferers are "I was continuously raw”, "Sex was excruciating.", “To me, this brutal and inhuman rape was worse than dying.... The night was not over yet, there were more Japanese waiting” and “I just hate all men and I hate sex."
All the above comments and feelings are not enough to make Japan realize the guilt, and few Japanese organizations were rather attacking these rebels by saying that Japan was not responsible for the war that happened and during the war human-rights were denied to everyone. These were merely unreasonable statements however with all these efforts Japan has tried its best to keep the current generations unaware of the less heroic details of the war that was fought by Japan. It was then suggested to Japan that “What is needed is "not only apology and compensation, but proper understanding of history by all Japanese”.
George helps to concentrate once again on the core inference drawn from this subject and mentions that “Comfort Women” are a live example of worlds one of the most atrocious and shameful crimes and the world must take it as a lesson so that any such activity does not get repeated in future. There is also a contrast developed between similar demands put across by American soldiers, and George gives and account of this incident and criticizes the same as well with strong words. There have been some very important evidences discussed in this book to prove the involvement of bureaucrats in this entire issue and actually this practice of inhuman treatment can be related with the way senior officers of military used to treat their subordinates and the same was then replicated to the comfort women who were both sexually and physically inferior. Hicks have been successful in giving a clear and detailed account of this inhuman act and have rightly criticized and highlighted the atrocities of the Japanese government.
Hicks, George. The Comfort Women: Japan's Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1995.