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Man recalls botched abduction by Japanese
(Shenzhen Daily)
Updated: 2005-06-09 08:45

A Shenzhen resident told the media Wednesday that he was once abducted by Japanese invaders 60 years ago but managed to escape after reading similar newspaper reports recently.

Li, 74, was caught in a Japanese mop-up operation in Shandong Province at the age of 13. He got away from Japanese troops that he said attempted to send him to Japan in June 1945.

In May 1945, a Japanese army interpreter told him he would send him to Japan and find him a Japanese wife. "He told me Japan was a heaven," said Li.

The interpreter also told him Japanese troops were selecting a large number of Chinese children to take to Japan.

Li said he was probably chosen because he looked clever and could speak some Japanese.

Before he was selected, Li was forced to cook, do laundry, and even massage Japanese soldiers, who often beat him.

"The Japanese soldiers were suddenly friendly after I was selected," said Li.

Li escaped the Japanese soldiers the following month just before the army was defeated and begged his way home.

Li also discovered that many young soldiers were Koreans, who told him they had been sent to Japan to receive education at a young age.

Several thousand Guangdong children were abducted by Japanese troops from May to July 1945, files disclosed earlier this week by Beijing Archives and Guangzhou Archives show.

It is recorded that the Japanese troops attempted to take children to Japan, but there is little information on their current whereabouts.

Some historians and Li said these abducted Chinese children were taken to help replenish Japan's labor force as the country seriously lacked men after long-lasting wars.

Li now lives in Shenzhen with his children. In his spare time he works as a medical consultant.

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