A Chinese woman forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers during World War II testified about her slavery ordeal Friday before the Tokyo District Court.

Hou Qiaolian, 70, from Shanxi Province, is one of five former “comfort women” from China suing the Japanese government in two class-action suits. She filed a suit in February 1996 seeking 20 million yen in damages and an unequivocal apology from the government.

Hou testified that she was abducted in her early teens by Japanese soldiers from her home in Shanxi Province and taken to their local army post. During 40 days of confinement there, Hou said she was repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers and had to subsist on an improper diet and without a fresh change of clothes.

The traumatic experience left her mentally ill about one or two years after she returned to her hometown, she told the court. Her lawyers said the woman still suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.