Exploitation of Women’s Bodies in War

Sarah J. Clifford*, Scott Romaniuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


Prostitution practices associated with the Japanese military first emerged during the Russo-Japanese War – domestically – to satisfy soldiers’ sexual desires but also help many impoverished women financially provide for their families (Tanaka 2002; Norma 2017). Instead, the Japanese military implemented prostitution after the war through the creation of “Comfort Stations” to prevent their soldiers from committing sexual atrocities while also boosting the troops’ morale (Norma 2017). Although the frequency of atrocities like the Rape of Nanjing decreased throughout the war, 20,000–410,000 women became the victims of Japan’s comfort stations, where they were both physically and mentally abused (Asian Women’s Fund n.d.). Through analyzing the Japanese government’s ultra-nationalistic tendencies, its masculinist sexist culture, and fascist paternalistic actions, we delineate that the introduction of comfort stations throughout the Japanese military occurred not only to...

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies
EditorsScott Romaniuk, Péter Marton
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-74336-3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2022


  • Asia-Pacific War
  • Atrocities
  • Comfort stations
  • Fascist
  • Japanese Military
  • Masculinist sexist culture
  • Prostitution
  • Sexual slavery
  • Women's rights


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