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China commemorates 66th anniversary of victory against Japanese invasion

(Xinhua)

08:13, August 16, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Three Japanese delegations gathered in front of the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre in east China's Jiangsu Province Monday to mourn the dead and pray for peace as China marks the 66th anniversary of the Japanese surrender to China at the end of World War II.

Having presented wreaths and stood in silent tribute to the victims, Akiko Saito, a Japanese deputy on his first visit to China, said that few Japanese know the history of the tragedy in Nanjing.

Japanese troops occupied Nanjing on Dec. 13, 1937 and began a six-week massacre. Records show more than 300,000 people -- not only disarmed soldiers, but also civilians -- were killed.

"After learning the fact here, I will go back to Japan to inform more Japanese, especially young people, of the history for the sake of peace," Akiko Saito said.

At the Museum of the War of the Chinese People's Resistance Against the Japanese Aggression in Beijing, a photo exhibition on the sexual violence by the Japanese military during the Second World War was on display.

An estimated 200,000 Chinese women were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese forces during World War II. They suffered from repeated sexual violence in so called "comfort houses" and many of them were eventually killed.

The exhibition mainly reflected the miserable experiences of the "comfort women" from the city of Nanjing, Shanxi Province and Hainan Province during the war. It also showcased the struggles of some former Chinese sex slaves who are still alive and the response to this issue from the two countries as well as the international community.

In northeast China's Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang Provinces, people commemorate the anniversary in various ways.

It was announced Monday that a memorial park to record the sagas of the anti-Japanese heroes in northeastern provinces would be built in the city of Dengta in Liaoning Province.

A large scale art show involving more than 1,000 people to mark the anniversary was held Monday in the Manchukuo Palace Museum in Changchun, capital city of Jilin Province.

Manchukuo was a puppet regime created in China's northeastern provinces by the Japanese rulers from 1931 to 1945.

More than 100 experts and scholars form both home and abroad gathered in the city of Qiqihar in Heilongjiang Province to attend a seminar highlighting the meaning of the Jiangqiao Battle in China's anti-Japanese history.

In southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, a book including picture and text files of 407 sites of the Anti-Japanese War in the municipality was formally published Monday.

Victims' names of Japanese germ warfare during the Anti-Japanese War were first listed in China's local chronicle in Yiwu, a city in eastern Zhejiang Province, to preserve more historical data of the war.

Historians say at least 270,000 Chinese in Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces were victims of Japanese germ warfare, which was mainly conducted by Unit 731, during World War II.

"Listing those victims' names in the Yiwu Chronicle has provided strong evidence for the crimes that the Japanese committed and have been trying to cover up," said Wu Haichao, chief editor of the chronicle.

Former Japanese Ambassador to China Yuji Miyamoto told Xinhua by email that whether the young generation from China and Japan could shoulder the task of promoting bilateral relations was what concerned him most.

"The communication and ties between youngsters from both countries should be further strengthened," he said.

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