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A Nanjing Massacre Survivor Dies

Li Xiuying, a survivor of the Nanjing Massacre in World War II, died of illness in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, at 6:10 AM Saturday at the age of 86.


Li, who was born on New Year's Day of 1918, fell off at her home on July 26 and had fractures in the left thighbone, which has worsened may of her chronic ailments ever since, according to her relatives.


Li, who made her name known throughout China for her courage and perseverance in standing up to battle and win an anti-defamation lawsuit in Tokyo, Japan, early last year, succumbed to respiratory failure despite all efforts to safe her life, her relatives said.


In December 1937, some 300,000 Chinese civilians were brutally killed by Japanese invaders after the fall of Nanjing, the then capital of the Kuomintang government. Li Xiuying, who was pregnant at the time, suffered 37 sword wounds from Japanese soldiers during the massacre.


Thanks to timely medical treatment by an American doctor named Robert Wilson, Li survived, but lost her baby. The crime perpetrated against Li was recorded at the time in a documentary made by American priest John Magee, as well as in the diaries and letters of some other Western witnesses of the Massacre.


However, Li was later discredited by Matsumura Toshio, a right-wing Japanese writer, who called her a "false" witness of the war in his book entitled The Big Question in the Nanjing Massacre.


On Oct. 16, 1999, Li Xiuying initiated legal proceedings in a district court of Tokyo, demanding that Matsumura Toshio, the author, Aisawa Hiroaki, the publisher, and the publishing house issue a public apology and pay 12 million Japanese yen for damage to her reputation. On May 10, 2002, the court issued a guilty verdict and fined the accused 1.5 million yen, but dropped Li's appeal for a public apology. Li then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Tokyo, which, after two court hearings, decided in Li's favor on April 10, 2003.


(Xinhua News Agency December 5, 2004)



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