The Japanese military occupied New Guinea between 1942 and 1945 and established military brothels there, but whether or not New Guinean women were sexually enslaved is unknown.

  • Project dates: 2017
  • Funding : ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) 2017

Trafficked Asian women are recorded victims, but historians note only anecdotal evidence of local comfort women. Today, a PNG-based civic group lobbies for Japanese recognition of historical sexual slavery in New Guinea, but receives no response. The project explores whether a response is justified on the basis of the archival records of Australia’s postwar administration of New Guinea, as well as Japanese occupation-period military documents. Its exploration is pursued through an English-language monograph as well as English- and Japanese-language articles.

Key People


Dr Caroline Norma

Dr Caroline Norma

Research Fellow

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