'Comfort women' station in Nanjing to get city protection

'Comfort women' station in Nanjing to get city protection
A former Japanese military brothel building in Nanjing which has been declared a protected historic site. Beijing highlights old grievances amid modern-day tensions with its longtime rival. The seven-building complex in the eastern city of Nanjing housed more than 200 "comfort women" forced to serve Japanese soldiers during World War II, and was the largest such facility in Asia.

CHINA - Asia's largest military brothel during World War II has been officially listed as a city-level heritage site in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, following scholars' repeated appeals.

The brothel, located on Liji lane near Taiping South Road, contains seven dilapidated two-story buildings that cover an area of about 4,000 square meters. It was called a "comfort station", a euphemism for military brothel, by the Japanese army.

"The comfort station in Liji lane was known as Dongyun comfort station or Oriental Hotel when the Japanese army occupied Nanjing," said Jing Shenghong, a history professor at Nanjing Normal University.

The brothel on Liji lane is the only one of the comfort stations to be identified by a former comfort woman.

In 2003, a Korean woman, Pak Yong-sim, with the help of researchers, identified a room where she was held captive by the Japanese army in building Number 2.

As many as 200,000 women in Asia were forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese occupation forces during World War II.

According to Chinese historical documents, Japanese troops, who occupied Nanjing on Dec 13, 1937, killed more than 300,000 people, including civilians and disarmed soldiers, in a six-week massacre and raped tens of thousands of women within days.

According to Jing, although Nanjing had more than 40 comfort stations, most of them have been demolished or are impossible to identify.

In March, some Chinese scholars, including Jing, submitted an application to Nanjing's Qinhuai district government, calling for the preservation of the brothel on Liji lane, which had survived severe damage.

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