More than 600 foreign friends will attend the rally for the
memorial of the 70th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre on
Thursday, a government source said.
Each year, sirens wail in the capital of the eastern Jiangsu
Province to mark the anniversary of the slaughter of more than
300,000 Chinese in a six-week massacre that took place in December
1937 when Japanese troops occupied the then capital of China.
"The foreign friends will come from seven countries, mainly from
Japan, America and Canada, to participate in a series of
commemoration activities," said Zhu Chengshan, curator of the
Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese
During the proceedings, a new 25,000-square-meter extension of
the memorial hall will be inaugurated. It houses original remains,
sculptures and historical records of the massacre.
"Over 7,000 exhibits in the memorial were contributed by
overseas friends," Zhu said. "The extension has been realized with
4.5 million yuan (608,000 U.S. dollars) in overseas donations."
After work on the extension broke ground in 2005, 19 bodies were
found at the construction site the following year in April.
Archaeologists and medical experts confirmed the bodies to be
The discovery was the third time that remains had been found at
the memorial. Construction workers found the first bodies in 1984
when building the original memorial. Fifteen years later, another
208 bodies were unearthed after workers tending the lawns found
The remains are being exhibited in the Nanjing Massacre Memorial
that is scheduled to reopen on Thursday.
On Dec. 13, 1937, Japanese troops began six weeks of
destruction, pillage, rape and slaughter in Nanjing. Historical
records show that more than 300,000 Chinese, including unarmed
soldiers and innocent civilians, were murdered.
The scene is expected to be recreated in the movie "Purple
Mountain", jointly produced by China, the United States and
Britain. With a 50 million U.S. dollars production budget, the
movie helmed by "Con Air" director Simon West, is reported
to be the most expensive movie shot in Asia and the first Chinese
movie to use a Hollywood production.
Construction of a 25-hectare outdoor movie set will be completed
in Nanjing by the end of this year, according to Li Xiangmin, the
film's Chinese producer.
(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2007)