There is no documentary evidence of mass rape by the Allied soldiers during the Pacific War. Although it is possible that some incidents have been censored or removed from the records, it is clear that such incidents were relatively limited, except in the final stage of the war. Although no relevant official documents exist, either on the US or on the Japanese side, there are numerous, credible testimonies of Okinawan women who were gang-raped by American soldiers during and after the Battle of Okinawa, the last battle in the Pacific War and the only one fought on Japanese soil.
The Battle of Okinawa, or “Operation Iceberg, ” as it was known in the US military, was the fiercest battle of the Pacific War. The US mobilized 548,000 men and 1,600 ships for this operation and fired 40,000 artillery shells from the sea during the seven days prior to April 1, the day that they landed on the main island of the Ryukyu (Okinawan) Islands. 1 At the time, the Japanese Imperial forces had only 86,400 men, with as little as 410 artillery pieces and 40 tanks on this island. Despite the vast difference in manpower and equipment between the two forces, the battle lasted two and a half months. The Japanese hunkered down doggedly in caves and huge lyre-shaped tombs, both of which are typical Okinawan features. They hid during the daytime, but came out and attacked the Americans at night. 2 In the end, American casualties totaled about 50,000, including 14,000 deaths. In addition, a few thousand US soldiers had to be withdrawn from the battlefield because of severe psychological problems. Japan lost 66,000 soldiers (76.4 percent death rate) in this battle, and a further 4,400 pilots perished along with 2,900 planes. Two-thirds of these planes were kamikaze on suicidal missions. Civilian casualties were also high, and although the exact number of casualties is unknown, it is estimated that more than 100,000 Okinawans died, i.e. one-fourth of the Okinawan population. 3
It appears that US soldiers began viewing local women as “the women belonging to the enemy” as soon as the battle against the Japanese forces took place on the soil of Japan's national territory. It is almost certain that such a view, intensified by the bitter combat, contributed to the sharp increase in sexual