Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, April 11, 2003
Chinese War Survivor Wins Anti-defamation Lawsuit in Tokyo
Thursday's news that an 85-year-old Chinese woman had won an anti-defamation lawsuit in Tokyo, Japan, was well-received by residents of this capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, a city that lost 300,000 lives during a 1937 massacre by Japanese invaders.
Thursday's news that an 85-year-old Chinese woman had won an anti-defamation lawsuit in Tokyo, Japan, was well-received by residents of Nanjing, this capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, a city that lost 300,000 lives during a 1937 massacre by Japanese invaders.
Li Xiuying, a survivor of the Nanjing Massacre, won an anti-defamation lawsuit Thursday, on appeal in the Supreme Court of Tokyo.
"Winning my lawsuit dealt a severe blow to the Japanese right wing and represented a victory for all survivors of the Massacre," said Liu.
"I believe that the truth never ceases being the truth, nor vice versa. Attempts by the rightists' to deny historical facts will always fail," she added.
About 300,000 Chinese were killed by Japanese troops after the fall of Nanjing, the then capital of the Kuomintang government, in December 1937.
Li Xiuying, who was pregnant at the time, suffered 37 sword wounds from Japanese soldiers during the Massacre. Thanks to timely medical treatment by an American doctor named Robert Wilson,she survived, but, tragically, lost her baby.
The crime perpetrated against Li was recorded at the time in a documentary made by an American priest named John Magee, as well as in the diaries and letters of some other western witnesses of the Massacre.
However, Li was later discredited by Matsumura Toshio, a right-wing Japanese writer, who called her a "false" witness of the Sino-Japanese war in his book entitled "The Big Question in the Nanjing Massacre".
On October 16, 1999, Li Xiuying initiated legal proceedings in a district court of Toyko, demanding that Matsumura Toshio, the author, Aisawa Hiroaki, the publisher, and the publishing house issue a public apology and pay 12 million Japanese yen for damage to her reputation.
On May 10, 2002, the court issued a guilty verdict and fined the accused 1.5 million yen, but dropped Li's appeal for a public apology.
Li then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Tokyo, which, after two court hearings, decided in Li's favor on April 10.
"Though the fine imposed was maintained at 1.5 million yen, inadequate in view of Li's suffering, the verdict confirmed the damage done to her reputation by Matsumura Toshio. This is of great significance in the campaign to insist on historical facts in the face of the denial of Japanese rightists," said Oyama Hiroshi, head of Li's Japanese legal team.
For Chinese people, the case is much more than a personal lawsuit between Li Xiuying and Matsumura Toshio. It is a battle to establish and respect historical truth and facts while others are bent on denying them, according to Zhu Chengshan, director of the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.