Memorial ceremony held for Nanjing Massacre victims
Photo taken on Dec. 13, 2017 shows the scene of state memorial ceremony for China's National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims at the memorial hall for the massacre victims in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province. [Photo: Xinhua]
The victims of the Nanjing Massacre that shook the world in its brutality when Japan invaded China are being remembered through events worldwide.
An annual memorial for the nearly 300,000 people brutally killed 80 years ago was held Wednesday in Nanjing, the city in eastern China that suffered one of the bloodiest times the world has ever witnessed.
CRI's Ding Heng reports.
Thousands of participants at the ceremony, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, observed one moment of silence to mourn the victims of the massacre 80 years ago.
Residents throughout Nanjing did the same, as a wail of air raid siren echoed through the city.
Addressing the event, China's top political adviser Yu Zhensheng says the war more than 70 years ago brought huge trauma to the Chinese people.
However, Yu notes today's China is committed to seeking a peaceful relationship with Japan.
"For the sake of the fundamental interests of the two nations and their people, China and Japan should hold to the orientation of peace, friendship and cooperation. We should learn from history and face the future and remain friendly with each other for generations, so as to make a greater contribution towards the peace of humanity."
Yu also says China will never pass the pain it has gone through on to other nations.
"Chinese people are willing to, along with people from all the other countries, push for the building of a community of a shared destiny, be a constructor of world peace at all times, a contributor to global development, a guardian of the international order, and jointly create a bright future for all mankind."
Japan invaded and took control of northeast China in 1931, followed by a full-scale invasion which started in July, 1937.
On December 13th, 1937, Nanjing fell to the invaders who went on to slaughter civilians and soldiers who had put down their arms.
Around 300-thousand Chinese were killed, and 20-thousand women raped as Japanese troops burnt and looted in the city for more than a month.
Tamaki Matsuoka is a Japanese activist who has been collecting evidence of the tragedy since 1997.
"One of the survivors that left a lasting impression on me is Zhang Xiuying. I found her after walking over every street of Nanjing. She said she was raped by Japanese soldiers as many as three times. Her three-month-old baby girl was killed and burned."
Despite the evidence found in both China and Japan, ring-wing Japanese politicians have been downplaying the massacre.
Some are even denying the atrocity ever took place.
Yang Dongquan is the former head of China's top archives agency.
"It was learned from Japanese media that the Japanese prime minister, foreign minister and cultural minister went to UNESCO eight times to lobby against a decision by the UN body in 2015 to add documents of the Nanjing Massacre to its 'Memory of the World Register.'"
Nanjing has been holding annual memorial events to remember the victims of the massacre since the 1990s.
In 2014, China's top legislature designated December 13th as a national memorial day for the victims.
Smaller memorial events were also held in at least 17 other locations of the city on Wednesday.
For CRI, this is Ding Heng.