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In the early stages of the war, Japanese authorities recruited prostitutes through conventional means.

In urban areas, conventional advertising through middlemen was used alongside kidnapping.

Lack of official documentation has made estimating the total number of comfort women difficult.

Vast amounts of material pertaining to war crimes, and the responsibility of the nation's highest leaders, were destroyed on the orders of the Japanese government at the end of the war.

These documents were initially made public at the war crimes trial.

In one of these, a lieutenant is quoted as confessing to having organized a brothel and having used it himself.

By taking women from other Asian countries occupied by Japan to serve as "comfort women" was intended by the Japanese state to symbolically "castrate" other Asian men to show that they could not defend their women as fathers, brothers, husbands or boyfriends (the ultimate failure of a man in the patriarchal, Confucian cultures of East Asia) and to degrade the women themselves.