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Chiyo Nakazato, 71, a former nurse for the Imperial Japanese Navy, remembers that during the war, her male colleagues at the navy hospital on Hainan Island in the South China Sea were so anxious to go out at night they queued up by the door even before 6 p.m., when they were officially off duty.

Nakazato, then 19 years old, could not understand why the men were so excited about going out on the isolated island. But when she asked an older soldier where they were going, he smirked and said, “They are going out to a very nice place.” That nice place, it turned out, was a “comfort station,” where young women, mostly from Asian nations, were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers.

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