Opinion / Opinion Line

Building stands as testimony to WWII crimes

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-02-26 08:00

Building stands as testimony to WWII crimes

A South Korean woman whose family members were killed by Japanese forces during World War II attends a rally in Seoul on Monday demanding full compensation and an apology from the Japanese government. [Photo/Agencies]

The planned demolition of a building used as a "comfort station" by the Japanese Military during World War II has been suspended by the Shanghai authorities. A historical assessment of the unlisted building in Hongkou district has been launched, local officials said on Tuesday. China Youth Daily comments:

The building was brought into the spotlight because of a photo posted on the instant messaging app WeChat by writer Chen Danyan, who lamented the impending loss of such an important piece of history.

The demolition may meet with realty development needs and also comply with the wishes of local residents. But the building undoubtedly has an important historical identity as a Japanese naval officers' "comfort station" during WWII, where non-Japanese women from Japanese-occupied areas were forced into sex slavery.

The number of surviving comfort women and eye-witnesses to that time is dwindling. Less than 20 Chinese mainland women who were forced to be "comfort women" are still alive.

From a historical perspective, this building is testimony to the cruel crimes of the occupying Japanese forces. If demolished, it will eliminate its existence as evidence of these crimes.

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