Japanese set up sex stations for U.S. troops, too

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Japan's practice of enslaving women to provide sex for its troops during World War II has a little-known sequel: After its surrender -- with tacit approval from the U.S. occupation authorities -- Japan set up a similar system for U.S. troops.

An Associated Press review of historical documents shows that U.S. authorities permitted the official brothel system to operate, despite internal reports that women were being coerced into prostitution.

Tens of thousands of women were employed to provide cheap sex to U.S. troops until spring 1946, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur shut the brothels down. The documents show that the brothels were rushed into operation as American forces poured into Japan beginning in August 1945.

"Sadly, we police had to set up sexual comfort stations for the occupation troops," recounts the official history of the Ibaraki Prefectural Police Department, whose jurisdiction is just northeast of Tokyo. "The strategy was, through the special work of experienced women, to create a breakwater to protect regular women and girls."

The orders from the Ministry of the Interior came on Aug. 18, 1945, one day before a Japanese delegation flew to the Philippines to negotiate the terms of its country's surrender and occupation.

The Ibaraki police immediately set to work. The only suitable facility was a dormitory for single police officers, which they quickly converted into a brothel. Bedding from the navy was brought in, along with 20 so-called comfort women. The brothel opened for business Sept. 20.

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