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Web fury targets Nanjing officials

By Liu Linlin (Global Times)

13:24, February 22, 2012

The Nanjing city government defended its officials Tuesday after Internet users accused local authorities of being slow in responding to Nagoya mayor Takashi Kawamura's denial of the Nanjing Massacre.

"The delegation, led by Liu Zhiwei, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Nanjing Municipal Committee (CPCNMC), responded to Kawamura's claims during their talks Monday in Nagoya," Chen Hua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the CPCNMC's Publicity Department, told the Global Times, without offering details.

The statement contradicted a report by Kyodo News that Liu did not challenge Kawamura's view at the meeting and "shook hands with the mayor while exchanging gifts with him," causing public anger.

According to Kyodo, Kawamura, whose father was in Nanjing in 1945, told Liu on Monday that he believes only "conventional acts of combat" took place there, not the mass murders and rapes cited in history books.

"Why were people in Nanjing kind to Japanese soldiers only eight years after the incident?" Kawamura asked, referring to his father's memories of the event. "I could go to Nanjing and attend a debate on the history of the city, if necessary."

More than 300,000 civilians and captive soldiers were slain in the Nanjing Massacre, which occurred after the invading Japanese troops occupied Nanjing, then capital of China, on December 13, 1937.

Liu's delegation said Tuesday on Nanjing's official Sina Weibo that after Monday's talks, officials in Nagoya explained to them repeatedly that the mayor's remarks were made in a personal capacity and did not represent the city.

The two cities became twinned in 1978. The Nanjing city government announced Tuesday that it would halt all official exchanges with the Nagoya government.

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