The trafficking of North Korean women throughout Northeast Asia is a process whereby women are commoditized. They are sold to Chinese men as brides, or forced into prostitution to pay off debts accumulated while escaping North Korea. In many ways, North Korean women are inheritors of the suffering of Japan’s “comfort women.”
The words were so brazen that they have created a firestorm globally. Characterized as “outspoken” and “brash” in the international media, Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto has claimed that “comfort women”—the thousands of Asian women who were forced to serve as prostitutes during the Second World War—were “necessary” for the morale of Japanese troops.