Chinese people on Wednesday held rallies across the country to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japan, and protested Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.
Dozens of students from Tsinghua University rallied on Wednesday morning before the Japanese Embassy in China to protest Koizumi's shrine visit.
The students delivered a letter of protest to the embassy officials in which they emphasized that the Japanese Government should keep in mind that the feelings of the Chinese people should not be insulted.
Three students carried a banner on which was written in Chinese "Resolutely Condemning Japanese Prime Minister's Visit to Yasukuni Shrine."
While in Shanghai, seven young Chinese men wearing bright red arm bands held a protest march at the gate of the Japanese Consulate on Wanshan Lu in the city.
Demonstrators hung two protest banners reading: "Strongly Protest Against Japan's Distorting History Textbooks, Strongly Protest Against Paying Homage to Yasukuni Shrine."
"In the short term, the premier's action will win a big hand from his supporters," said Wu Jinan, a professor from Shanghai Institute for International Studies, "But in the long term, it will lead to a big loss, as he terribly hurt the relationship between Japan and its neighbouring countries in Asia."
In Beijing, historians held a meeting to condemn the revival of Japanese militarism.
"The action of the Japanese Government doesn't match its remarks," said Zhang Haipeng, a senior official of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Most of the participants said that the younger generation of Chinese must be informed of historical events during that period.
Shenyang September 18 Historical Museum had a more solemn appearance on Wednesday as hundreds of local people from all walks of life gathered there to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japan.
"We should never forget the aggression and criminal practices done by the Japanese in China," said Yang Xueyi, a top official of the September 18 Historical Museum.
On September 18, 1931, the Japanese Kanto Army blew up the Liutiaohu Railway in northern Shenyang, creating the world-shocking "September 18 Incident," which marked the beginning of Japanese aggression against China.
"However, the Japanese Government has never faced up to their history and the crimes they committed. Besides, they have vainly attempted to cover up the truth and revive militarism, which is characterized as aggressive, inhumane and foxy," said Hu Yuhai, professor and dean of the History Department in Liaoning University.
(China Daily 08/16/2001)