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Publish Date : Wednesday 13 December 2017 - 06:32
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China marks 80th anniversary of Nanjing massacre
China marks 80th anniversary of Nanjing massacre
 
 
 
China has held a ceremony to mark 80 years since the massacre of some 300,000 of its people by Japanese troops in the then capital city, Nanjing.

Senior Chinese leaders attended the ceremony on Wednesday in the eastern city, in Jiangsu Province.

President Xi Jinping presided over the memorial ceremony but did not speak, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The ceremony, which was nationally televised, was also attended by several thousand black-clad soldiers, civil servants, and students, who paid silent tribute for one minute to the victims of the massacre.
China says some 300,000 civilians and soldiers were killed on December 13, 1937, when the Japanese military invaded the then capital. During the six-week invasion, Japanese troops engaged in murder, arson, looting, and mass rape.

The massacre, which occurred during the Second Sino-Japanese War, is also known as the Rape of Nanjing.

After the war, an allied tribunal put the death toll at about 142,000.

Japan has officially admitted that “the killing of a large number of noncombatants, looting and other acts occurred” but says it is “difficult” to determine precise figures. Some conservative Japanese politicians, however, deny a massacre took place at all.

During the memorial, top Chinese official Yu Zhengsheng addressed the mourners, saying China and Japan were neighbors with deep historic ties and should build on their “long, rich history” of links to deepen “friendship.”
“China and Japan must act on the basis of both their people’s basic interests, correctly grasp the broad direction of peaceful and friendly cooperation, take history as a mirror, face the future and pass on friendship down the generations,” Yu said, while avoiding a direct reference to the disputes over the massacre.

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe — who is the grandson of a wartime minister — has been accused of trying to downplay the crime by saying in 2015 that future Japanese generations do not need to continually apologize for what he called Japan’s actions in Asia. His remarks drew criticism from China and South Korea, which is another wartime victim.

While China and Japan have long struggled to put wartime aggression behind them, they have been plagued by a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of islets in the East China Sea.
 
Story Code: 689675