Surviving Chinese "comfort women" who were forced into sex during the Japanese invasion of China will be among the beneficiaries of the auction of a movie contract signed by late kung fu hero Bruce Lee.
The contract, for the 1960s TV series The Green Hornet, has been donated by a United States-based supporter of Hong Kong activists asserting Chinese sovereignty over the disputed Diaoyu Islands and most of the money will go to this cause.
But donor Pedro Chan said part would be reserved for the several dozen surviving comfort women.
"I believe Lee would like [the idea] of raising funds for Diaoyu activists and helping comfort women," Chan told the media yesterday as the contract was officially handed over to the activists.
The activists hope the piece will fetch at least HK$1 million, with some HK$800,000 being used to help repair the boat Kai Fung No 2, which was damaged when it landed on the islands last August in defiance of the Japanese coastguard.
The rest will be given to the comfort women and other Chinese associations. There are believed to be several dozen former comfort women across China, Korea and Taiwan.
Chan, a retired acupuncture specialist who acquired the contract during the financial crisis in 2008, praised Lee for having "always had a mission" in his promotion of Chinese kung fu overseas. He cited a famous scene in 1971 movie The Big Boss, when a character played by Lee proclaimed Chinese were not "the sick men of Asia".
Diaoyu activist Tsang Kin-shing said the auction would begin online and, if no deal was struck, a public auction would be held later this year to commemorate the start of the invasion on September 18, 1931 and Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945.
Tsang is among the activists who landed on the Diaoyu Islands last August aboard the Kai Fung No 2. The landing triggered diplomatic tension between Beijing and Tokyo, which arrested the activists. Tsang said yesterday that the boat repair would cost HK$1.4 million.
At the press conference, the Diaoyu activists also called on the United States to stop interfering into Sino-Japanese disputes.