• Largest military comfort women station to be demolished.

Largest military comfort women station to be demolished. (Photo : Getty Images)

A former Japanese brothel turned into a house for comfort women was supposed to be demolished because residents claim that they have no gas and proper bathrooms.

However, debate arose when opposition from various historians and history enthusiasts claim that the house should be preserved.

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The Shanghai Hongtai Construction Company in the first quarter of 2016 was stopped by the local government and was told that they cannot continue with the demolition. Online debate on what to do with the building still goes on.

Many believe that the Hainai House is a cultural relic and should be preserved.

However, He Ying, president of the district's cultural relic museum, said that the Hainai House is not an official cultural relic.

"There is a standard to stipulate what is regarded as relic and should be preserved. It is based on its scientific, artistic and historical value," said He.

A local resident said that local comfort women centers are not required to be preserved by the government. Some residents claim that most people regard "comfort women" as prostitutes during the Japanese war.

There are 166 former military brothels in Shanghai according to Su Zhiliang, director of the comfort women research center at Shanghai Normal University.

The Japanese government said that there is no proof that comfort women in China were forced to work in the brothels. China refused to acknowledge the claim.

According to state media, Japan should not change history and "apart from Korean women, victims also include the women of China, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, who also deserve an apology and compensation."

Lu Kang, a representative from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Japan should "face squarely and reflect upon its history of aggression and deal with the relevant issue in a responsible manner."