An assembly for peace in Nanjing
A PEACE assembly was held in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, yesterday to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of Japan’s unconditional surrender in World War II.
Representatives from countries including China, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Jordan attended the assembly at the Nanjing Massacre Victims’ Memorial Hall, mourning the 300,000 people who died in the massacre in the name of world peace.
On December 13, 1937, Japanese troops began six weeks of destruction, pillage, rape and slaughter in Nanjing. Unarmed soldiers and innocent civilians, were among those murdered.
Hida Yuichi, of the Japan-based Kobe Student Youth Center, laid a wreath and stood in silence for several minutes. It was the 21st time he had attended the peace assembly in Nanjing.
He said he had watched a documentary about Unit 731 by Japan’s public broadcaster NHK before he visited China and was “shocked” by what he saw.
He said the documentary had strengthened his belief in the truth.
Regrettably, he said, many people in Japan still denied their war crimes, including the Nanjing massacre and Unit 731, a germ warfare unit that operated in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province.
Raqibul Hassan, an overseas student from Bangladesh, held a piece of paper reading “please say sorry.”
He said the war had ended 72 years ago. Germany has apologized for its war crimes, but Japan has not.
He hoped more Japanese would say sorry to the Chinese people.
Miyauchi Yoko, head of an anti-war NGO based in Kobe, Japan, said young Japanese still think they were the victims because of the US use of the atom bomb on two Japanese cities, and do not recognize Japan as the villain of the piece.
“Don’t take peace for granted. It should be pursued and maintained,” said Ali Qadir, a Pakistani student. “Everyone should learn a painful lesson from war.”
This year is the 72nd anniversary of the end of the war. Every year around August 15, peace-loving NGOs across the world gather in Nanjing to remember the victims.