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Supplement to Special Issue: Academic Integrity at Stake: The Ramseyer Article - Four Letters (Table of Contents)

Edited by Alexis Dudden

March 1, 2021
Volume 19 | Issue 5 | Number 2
Article ID 5544


A series of portraits of former “comfort women” hang on the office wall of Lila Pilipina, an organization that gathers survivors of wartime sexual slavery, in Manila.
(Shallah Montero for The Washington Post


Four Letters - edited by Alexis Dudden

In December 2020, Harvard Law School Professor J. Mark Ramseyer circulated his new article “Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War” that was accepted for publication in the March 2021 issue of the International Review of Law and Economics. In January 2021, Ramseyer subsequently published an op-ed in Japan Forward describing the “comfort-women-sex-slave-story” as “pure fiction.” In both publications, Ramseyer ignored the extensive literature by Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Anglophone authors, and the documentary record detailing the Japanese military’s wartime system of military sexual slavery.

An Internet search reveals the international uproar that has ensued in recent weeks, and this Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus special issue publishes an initial four essays to rebut the Ramseyer article. The authors document serious violations of scholarly standards and methods that strike at the heart of academic integrity.

The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus holds academic freedom as a core value. We also prize adherence to truth and social justice. - Alexis Dudden


  1. The ‘Comfort Women’ Issue, Freedom of Speech, and Academic Integrity: A Study Aid
    - Tessa Morris-Suzuki

  2. Letter by Concerned Scholars Regarding J. Mark Ramseyer, “Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War
    - Amy Stanley, Hannah Shepherd, Sayaka Chatani, David Ambaras, Chelsea Szendi Schieder

  3. Statement - Andrew Gordon and Carter Eckert

  4. The Abuse of History: A Brief Response to J. Mark Ramseyer’s ‘Contracting for Sex’
    - Alexis Dudden


This is the Table of Contents for the supplementary issue Academic Integrity at Stake: The Ramseyer Article - Four Letters, edited by Alexis Dudden, to the special issue The 'Comfort Women' as Public History.

We created a zip file for download containing all articles in this supplementary issue for your convenience.


Please also see "Seeking the True Story of Comfort Women: How a Harvard Professor's Dubious Scholarship Reignited a History of Mistrust between South Korea and Japan" by Jeannie Suk Gersen on The New Yorker.



Alexis Dudden is Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. Her most recent book, Troubled Apologies, interrogates the interplay between political apology and apologetic history among Japan, Korea, and the United States. She is currently working on a project examining Japan’s territorial disputes.