A 70-year-old petition published Wednesday about a real estate dispute in east China's Nanjing City has provided a glimpse into the sex slave trade during Japan's World War II invasion.
Photos of Huang's hand-written petition and the government investigation report were published on the website of China's State Archives Administration (SAA) Wednesday as part of the videos and archives documenting women forced into prostitution by the Japanese.
The petition was submitted by Huang Huifeng, who owned a three-floor family townhouse on a commercial street in Nanjing, to the city government in November 1945, a few months after Japan's surrender and the end of WWII.
Huang accused Japanese national Hideyoshi Nobuyoshi of seizing his house in 1937, when he and his family fled Nanjing after the war broke out, and refusing to move out when they returned a few months later. Although Nobuyoshi agreed to pay rent, he stopped making payments in July 1938.
"Nobuyoshi opened a private club at my house, which contained a brothel holding comfort women and serving Japanese soldiers," Huang wrote.
The Nanjing government's investigation confirmed that Huang's house had been used as a "comfort station," a military brothel where women were forced into prostitution.
Euphemistically named "comfort women," an estimated 200,000 women were forced into sexual servitude by Japanese troops during WWII.
After its defeat, Japan destroyed many of the related records and documents, and little evidence survives today to confirm and detail the plight of "comfort women."
Only a handful of them are still alive and few have publicly admitted their painful past. Thousands took their secret to the grave without receiving an apology or compensation from Japan.
(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2015)