Shanghai is home to more than 150 "comfort stations" used for sexual slavery under Japanese imperial rule during World War 2. (Photo : Getty Images)
This week, China celebrated International Women's Day with the rest of the world, although it remains divided over one of the most devastating episodes on Chinese women's dignity. Japan's acts of sexual slavery within Chinese territory during World War 2 continues to be a source of controversy.
China's largest city, Shanghai, is home to around 150 facilities formerly used as so-called "comfort stations" during Japanese imperial rule. Today, only 30 of these buildings are left, and many more are set for demolition as the megalopolis continues its urban transformation, Business Times reported
Su Zhiliang, a historian specializing in Chinese comfort women history during World War 2, endeavored to save one of the comfort stations set for demolition by gaining media mileage for featuring its atrocious past, much to the interest of many Chinese people.
Nonetheless, Su understands that much needs to be done to sway the Chinese government into commemorating the plight of Chinese comfort women, what with its reluctance in doing so to preserve good relations with Japan. He currently runs a fundraising for the 17 surviving Chinese comfort women.
Following the end of World War 2, Chinese comfort women have seen their struggles prolonged as they have received no government assistance recognizing their bitter plight. But Su is optimistic that the issue will gain greater attention, given Japan's right-leaning approach under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Although Tokyo has profusely apologized over the comfort women issue during the early 1990s, it continues to voice out its opposition to further investigating the matter, prompting Beijing's eerie silence on the matter. Any move to bring up the issue, Japan deems, would only detriment Japan-China relations.
In fact, the Japanese consulate in Shanghai even went as far as denouncing Su's move to open a museum on comfort women history in Shanghai Normal University as "extremely regrettable," which includes a statue of two comfort women outside it.