Sixty-two-year-old Luo Shanxue sat beside his mother, silently wiping the tears that trickled down his mother's wrinkly face.
His mother, Wei Shaolan, was forced to serve as a sex slave or comfort woman for Japanese soldiers during their brutal invasion of China in the World War II. In June, the woman broke silence and admitted her experience in public, and her son Luo became the first known Chinese born to a former comfort woman as a result of forced relations with a Japanese solider.
"The Japanese military hurt my mother and caused misery to all of us. They have to apologize," Luo said, in a voice shaking with fury and resolution.
Luo has never married. He lives with his mother raising chickens and selling herbal medicines in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
"When I was little herding cattle in the fields, people said to my face 'You are a Jap boy'. None of the women I met wanted to be with me once they knew about my origins," Luo recalled.
"I hated my life and thought my mother should never have let me be born. I carried a lot of anger inside me. But now I understand what she has suffered, and I want to stand beside her and fight for justice," he said.
In the winter of 1944, Japanese military looted Guidong village, Xinping Township in Lipu County in Guangxi. Wei tried to run away with her one-year-old child, but was captured by Japanese soldiers, installed in a clay house and forced to become a sex slave.
"My child died in the house. I was raped five to six times a day. Most of them used condoms, but some of them didn't."
"Whenever the Japanese military officers needed sex, they would signal me to take off my clothes, and beat me if I didn't obey," she recalled.
Two months later, she found out she was pregnant. "I wanted to kill myself and end my miseries, but I thought of my husband and my family, and I endured," Wei said.
Three months later, she managed to flee the station and rejoined her husband. She gave birth to Luo in the summer of 1945. Later, she had another three children with her husband.
"The children born to raped comfort women are testimony to Japanese wartime atrocities," said Su Zhiliang, professor and director of the Chinese Comfort Women Research Center at Shanghai Normal University.
Su said beside using condoms, the Japanese soldiers also forced the women to drink medicine to prevent pregnancy, but still many women got pregnant. "Many pregnant women were killed, but some of them, like Wei, have survived," said Su.
Su said their research shows there were 200,000 comfort women in China, but only 47 are still alive and have admitted publicly that they are comfort women. It is believed there may be many more who have remained silent.
A report issued by a group of Chinese researchers says one comfort station was still being used by the Japanese military in China in 1947, two years after Japan had surrendered.
After the World War II, the Chinese Government renounced its demand for war reparations from Japan, but hasn't renounced the rights of Chinese victims nor prevented them from asking for compensation from the Japanese.
Since 1995, former Chinese comfort women have been filing lawsuits against the Japanese government, but their requests have been repeatedly overruled by Japanese courts, saying the government is not liable for compensation.
In March, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that there were no documents to prove the Japanese military had physically coerced women into providing sex for its soldiers during the World War II. Abe later apologized, saying "as Japan's prime minister, I am extremely sorry that they were made to endure such pain."
On June 28, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang urged the Japanese government to seriously and properly resolve the issues of "comfort women" and forced Chinese laborers during the World War II.
Qin made the comments in response to a bill passed by a U.S. House panel on June 26, urging Japan to acknowledge formally and accept responsibility for the sexual exploitation of "comfort women" by the Japanese military during the World War II.
(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2007)