(A quick unedited note.)
I spent several weeks now in Myanmar (Burma) investigating the sex accusations against Japanese. I interviewed dozens of people in many towns and villages separated by hundreds of miles. This included two internal flights and many long drives on these bad roads.
I found no evidence of widespread sex slavery. Again, the Korean and Chinese allegations are notwithstanding scrutiny.
There were British and Japanese massacres of villagers, and I found credible evidence that Japanese did kidnap 15 women for sex after wiping out the village of Kalagon.
Four of the women escaped and the other 11 seem to have been bayonetted. I found one 97 year-old woman who credibly claimed to be one of the four who escaped. She confirmed that Japanese were raping those kidnap victims, and today she wants compensation.
On the larger playing field, the texture is mixed. Some of the older people greatly liked Japanese, for instance saying the Japanese treated them like brothers and sisters, or little brothers and sisters. I heard similar in the Philippines and Thailand.
In Myanmar, I repeatedly heard in different villages that British were more disciplined than Japanese.
Numerous villagers showed me their smallpox scars, saying Japanese inoculated villagers and ran schools.
Many villages sided with either Japanese or British, which lead to massacres going both ways by both sides. Neither British nor Japanese were innocent on this. Since we won the war, we got to write most of the history. Everyone knows how this goes.
In 1944, the US OWI (Office of War Information -- our propaganda machine) was in Burma and captured comfort women. Remember that comfort women are just prostitutes, while sex slaves are kidnap/rape victims.
Our OWI had spent years making Japan look as bad as possible, and we were about to unleash a massive firebombing campaign and then commit two atomic attacks on Japan. We needed to make Japanese look like animals, or even racist America could not stomach that we were about to massacre hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in Japan.
Not that Japanese were innocent victims in the propaganda war -- Japanese also dehumanized us. It was a sad state of affairs, and it is a state of affairs still being practiced by Korea and China. Whereas the US and Japan have evolved, China and Korea are still primitive in their thinking.
During and before World War II, our OWI was fanned out looking for dirt on Japan but we never found evidence of these widespread sex-slave allegations that only began in the 1970s by communist Japanese. In the 1980-90s, Koreans and Chinese picked up the allegations as useful tools, even though the allegations already had proven to be false by Korean and Japanese scholars.
Had we found sex-slavery in the 1930-40's, surely we would have made movies about it. Yet in the POW Report 49 from 1944 in Burma, our men found only the prostitutes who liked Japanese, were free to come and go, and made tons of money.
My assessment on Burma: It did not happen.
Current assessment: I asked many people what they think about Japanese, US, UK, China, and Korea today. Japanese were hands-down the most liked.
The US also is liked but there are sometimes lingering suspicions. UK is liked, from my interviews.
China is not trusted and not much liked. Most people have not met Koreans but the few who have met them tended to say Koreans are rude like Chinese. As per normal, Japanese were most polite, and Americans also are said to be polite.
As a side note, most Americans who come to countries like this are polite. The reputation for rudeness from Americans tends to come from places closer to home where lower-end travelers go for parties, such as Cancun. But the Americans who reach the other side of the world tend to be well mannered.
And so there it is. I am willing to say at this point that there were many war crimes here by all sides, the recent remake of history to include the sex slave narrative is false again.
Side note: The Chinese and Korean disinformation machine is in full swing in the USA. Recently one of our researchers and his team tried to assemble Japanese scholars to speak at Central Washington University, but so much infighting among Japanese made it very difficult to get the right people there.
The Chinese, Korean, and many US professors are well organized on this misinformation campaign, while working with Japanese is like herding cats.
There are many small Japanese groups who are trying to get the truth out, but nearly all groups seem to be suspicious of the other groups, and they spend significant time and energy sabotaging each other, or telling me who I should or should not communicate with.
A result: this makes my work far more difficult that it should be.