China holds state memorial ceremony for Nanjing Massacre victims

Xinhua
"War is a mirror, which makes people better understand peace."
Xinhua
Xinhua

People attend the state memorial ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on December 13.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the state memorial ceremony in Nanjing Wednesday to mark the 80th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China's capital, on December 13, 1937 and embarked on more than 40 days of slaughter. About 300,000 civilians and unarmed Chinese soldiers were brutally murdered, and over 20,000 women raped.

Some other senior officials were also present at the ceremony held in the eastern city of Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.

The memorial ceremony started at 10am Xi and the senior officials joined representatives of all walks of life at the ceremony and paid silent tribute for one minute to the massacre victims as sirens howled over the city.

Chinese and Japanese people should more cherish the hard-won peace, and the international community need to honestly face up to history, top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng said in Nanjing Wednesday.

Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks while addressing the state memorial ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre.

Yu described the crimes committed by Japanese invaders in the massacre as "inhumane," "appalling" and a "dark page in the history of humanity."

"War is a mirror, which makes people better understand peace," Yu said. "To avoid any repeat of this historical tragedy, we must make unremitting efforts for the lasting and even eternal peace of mankind."

China and Japan should take into consideration the fundamental interests of their people and make contributions to human peace, Yu said.

"The world should work together to maintain international order with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter at the core," Yu said. "No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion, nor will the country impose the plight it once suffered on other nations."

He said China wanted to work with the world in building of "a community with a shared future for mankind," and continue to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development and uphold international order.

Yu said China was holding the memorial ceremony to commemorate the Nanjing Massacre victims, compatriots killed by the Japanese invaders, national heroes who sacrificed their lives for victory, as well as international soldiers and friends who joined the Chinese in fighting.

"The commemoration is meant to proclaim the Chinese people's firm stance in maintaining peace and their sublime aspiration for peaceful development," he said.

Yu said the Chinese people would always remember the humanitarian help from foreign friends, such as German businessman John Rabe, Bernhard Arp Sindberg from Denmark and American priest John Magee, who defied the Japanese invaders' brutal killings, protected Chinese civilians and took records of the atrocities.

In February 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, designated December 13 as the "National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims."

Xinhua

People pay silent tribute to the massacre victims at the state memorial ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on December 13.

Commemorations worldwide

Over 440 overseas Chinese groups reportedly plan to hold memorial ceremonies for Nanjing Massacre victims Wednesday. More than 10,000 overseas Chinese in the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Argentina are expected to attend these commemorations.

In Japan, some 200 people attended a testimony meeting in Shizuoka city on Tuesday. Lu Ling, daughter of a massacre survivor who was stabbed 37 times by Japanese soldiers, shared her mother's ordeal with the Japanese attendees.

"The massacre imposed tremendous suffering on my family, the people in Nanjing, and the Chinese people," she said.

Masataka Mori, a former professor of irenology -- the study of peace -- at Shizuoka University, said people were revising history to distort the truth about the Nanjing carnage.

"It is hoped that more people could know about (the Nanjing Massacre) and pass on the truth," Mori said.

The massacre was also mourned in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday. Some 200 Chinese people and students living there attended the memorial, held one day ahead of China's "National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims".

"We hold a memorial ceremony in The Netherlands not only to mourn the victims, but also to tell the truth (about) history. No attempt to deny history will ever be accepted," said Zhong Linchang, head of the Association of Cantonese Business in The Netherlands.

Henk Kool, president of Friendship Society Netherlands-China, urged Japanese who deny the truth to look into the facts.

"If you want to be forgiven, you must first recognize and remember," he told Xinhua.

In the U.S. city of San Francisco, hundreds of people from the Chinese, Korean and Philippine communities gathered Sunday to remember the period of brutality and the victims' spirit of resilience and heroism.

Xinhua

Soldiers carry wreaths during the state memorial ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on December 13.

Xinhua

Doves are released in the air at the state memorial ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on December 13.


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