A ceremony marking the
70th anniversary of the start of the Nanjing Massacre are held at
the Nanjing Massacre Museum, Jiangsu province, December 13, 2007.
(Photo: China Daily)
People across China, particularly in Nanjing City, gathered on
Thursday to mourn the victims of the Nanjing Massacre, murdered by
invading Japanese soldiers 70 years ago, and to wish for eternal
peace in the world.
The bell tolled and Nanjing was in grief as nearly 10,000 people
gathered in the eastern Chinese city at 10:00 a.m. to mourn the
300,000 lives killed by the Japanese invaders 70 years ago.
The rally was held at a square in front of the memorial hall for
the Chinese victims massacred by Japanese soldiers, with the crowd
mourning the dead and presenting wreaths.
The mourners, including local school children, college students,
survivors of the massacre and international friends, passed a
Nanjing peace declaration that calls on "all the peace-loving
people to be united in building a peaceful, harmonious and
reconciliatory new world".
More than 100 massacre survivors attended Thursday's gathering.
Xia Shuqin, 77, told Xinhua that seven of her nine family members
were killed in the massacre.
"I was seriously wounded but fortunately survived," she
"I've been here to mourn the dead every year on Dec. 13," said
Zhao Bin, 70. "We can forget hatred, but we must not forget
She Ziqing, 75, presented a bouquet to his mother, who was
slaughtered by the Japanese. "Seventy years on, the pain is always
there," he said tearfully.
"When the Japanese troops invaded Nanjing on Dec. 13, 1937, they
killed almost every Chinese in sight. Many people fled to the bank
of the Yangtze River but most of them were shot dead. My dad
narrowly escaped and crossed the river, but my mum, who stayed
home, was killed," said the old man.
"The China-Japan relationship has developed comprehensively
since the two countries normalized their diplomatic ties 35 years
ago," said Xu Zhonglin, chairman of the Jiangsu Provincial
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
"But a few right wingers in Japan ignore historical facts, and
attempt to deny the massacre. Their action has severely damaged the
healthy and stable development of the China-Japan relationship," Xu
People gather in the
Nanjing Massacre Museum to mourn the victims of the 1937
massacre. (Photo: Shanghai Daily)
A wreath offered by
Japanese students. (Photo: sina.com.cn)
A Japanese monk kneels down
to make apology. (Photo: sina.com.cn)
The Nanjing Massacre
Memorial is an important facility to review the past and lament the
dead. It has been enlarged and reopened today in order to reveal
the atrocities of Japanese aggressors, to remind the Chinese nation
to fight against the Japanese rightists' attempts to distort
history and whitewash war crimes, he pointed out.
By recalling the
past, the memorial also conveys Chinese people's wishes for peace
with all nations in the world, the official
The new memorial,
built at a cost of 3 million yuan (405,000 U.S. dollars), is about
three times larger than the old one with 111 mu (7.4 hectares) in
floor space and 9,000 sq m exhibition area.
The exhibits on
display include 3,500 photographs, audio-video materials,
documentary pieces featuring three themes: the Nanjing Massacre,
the Victory in the Anti-Japanese War and the remains of massacre
victims, according to curator Zhu Chengshan.
exhibits also include archives (names, portraits and brief
introductions) of 10,000 victims in the massacre.
The hall had been
closed for renovation since June 2006 after a decision was made to
expand the hall as the number of stored articles increased to more
"With the name of
'peace ship', the main building of the memorial hall will play a
role as a peace promoter while providing visitors with the truth
about this past humiliation in Chinese history," Zhu said. Over 200
monks and Buddhist disciples from China and Japan also rallied and
held a religious ceremony Thursday to lament the massacre
In Xiamen, a port
city in east China's Fujian Province, more than 100 Chinese
musicians were preparing a symphony concert with the title of
"History and Future" to mourn massacre victims and call for world
thousands of people from all circles of life flocked into the
Memorial Hall of the Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War, which
opened to the public on Thursday.
On display are many
records in the form of videos, audio records, pictures and diaries
about the Nanjing Massacre and the Anti-Japanese
occupied Nanjing, then capital of China, on Dec. 13, 1937, and
launched a six-week massacre. More than 300,000 Chinese people,
including disarmed soldiers and civilians were massacred, according
to historical documents.
"We commemorate the
day, to ponder upon the past, which can provide guidance in days to
come, to take history as a mirror and look forward to the future,
and to cherish peace," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang
told a regular press conference in Beijing on
government advocates developing a lasting neighborly relationship
of friendly cooperation with Japan, based on the spirit of taking
history as a mirror and looking forward to the future," Qin
He invited the press
corps to observe a moment of silence with him for those killed in
the Nanjing Massacre before he answered.
He said China hoped
that this spirit would permeate, from beginning to end, the
development of China-Japan relations, and inspire the two sides to
continuously draw lessons from history, in a bid to cherish the
good momentum of the improvement and development of China-Japan
He urged joint
efforts to develop friendship between China and Japan from
generation to generation and enhance bilateral
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2007)