Xia Shuqin, a survivor of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, announced in Beijing Tuesday that she had lodged a lawsuit at a local court against Higashinakano Osamu, Magsumura Goshio and a publishing house for damaging her reputation.
This is the first lawsuit lodged at a Chinese court against Japanese rightists for insulting the honor of witnesses of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.
At a press conference held Tuesday morning, the 71-year-old gardener could not hold back her tears when detailing her bitter memories of the massacre of her family on December 13, 1937.
On that day, a group of Japanese soldiers not only murdered her grandparents, parents and three sisters, but also gang-raped her mother and two of her sisters aged only 15 and 13 and then insulted and mutilated their corpses in a horrifying and inhuman manner.
Xia Shuqin, then eight and one of her younger sisters aged four were seriously wounded and only narrowly escaped death.
However, not long ago Higashinakano Osamu and Magsumura Goshio, rightist scholars from Japan, stated in their books titled "Thorough Review of Nanjing Massacre" and "Big Question in Nanjing Massacre," that all historical data about the Nanjing Massacre are not true and witnesses including Xia Shuqin were "faked."
Tan Zhen, lawyer of Xia, pointed out that the statements in the two books have seriously humiliated her and offended her honor and Xia had no choice but to resort to law to safeguard her own rights and clarify history.
According to Tan, since the aftereffects of the humiliation occurred in Nanjing, where the plaintiff lives, in line with the provisions of China's relevant civil laws, Xia authorized him to submit an appeal Monday to the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court.
Gu Yongzhong, also Xia's lawyer, pointed out that the tragedy that occurred to Xia's family was not "faked," a number of historical pieces of data, documents, witnesses and photo pictures can prove the truth.
Gu said that the massacre of Xia's family was filmed by John G. Magee, a US priest and then chairman of the International Commission of the Nanjing Red Cross, and the films were recorded in some documents.
In 1945 when Japanese war criminals were on trial in Nanjing, the case of Xia's family was used in evidence, the court documents are still available, Gu noted.
On January 23 of this year, Higashinakano Osamu delivered a speech titled "the biggest lie of the 20th century -- thorough review of Nanjing Massacre," which openly glorified the Japanese militarism and denied the truth of the Massacre. His act has brought about widespread indignation among the Chinese and Japanese people.
To offer support for Xia Shuqin's lawsuit, a non-governmental group for legal aid, which includes Ren Jiyu, a historian and president of the China Foundation for Human Rights Development, and Gao Zongze, president of the All-China Lawyers Association, was founded Tuesday.
Ren Jiyu, head of the group, said that his group aims to safeguard human rights and maintain good-neighborly relations between the Chinese and Japanese people, which is also the common will of the general public in both countries.