Here is a description of conditions for a group of comfort women stationed in Burma: A comfort woman’s average age was about 25 years old. These comfort women earned approximately 750 yen per month, lived and worked in conditions similar to an upscale brothel, and were in good health. By comparison, a low-ranking Japanese soldier earned 10 yen per month; thus, a comfort woman earned potentially 75 times more than some Japanese soldiers. They had time to participate in recreational activities: “While in Burma they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men; and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phono-graph; and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping.” Most significantly, comfort women “were allowed the prerogative of refusing a customer.” Certain women “who had paid their debt could return home.” (Ref. 1) Finally, “There were numerous instances of proposals of marriage and in certain cases marriages actually took place.” (Ref. 1)
Still, some former comfort women have mentioned that they were mistreated. Undoubtedly, some comfort women were mistreated, but who were responsible (e.g., civilian brothel operators, many of whom were Korean, or individual soldiers) and the prevalence of mistreatment are difficult to determine. Wholescale abusive behavior by soldiers was highly unlikely, as strict guidelines of conduct existed for soldiers during their visits.