The Nanjing Massacre Memorial broke ground for an extension project yesterday, the 68th anniversary of the start of the massacre.
Zhu Chengshan, curator of the Memorial Hall for Compatriots killed in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Forces of Aggression, said the additions would include a square that would be able to hold 30,000 people and a 30,000-square-meter park.
Zhu said he hoped the new areas will help the memorial promote remembrance and peace.
Costing 478 million yuan (US$59 million), it is scheduled for completion in two years and has been approved by the provincial development and reform commission.
The total area of the memorial will then reach 7.32 hectares, an increase of 5.12 hectares.
Japanese troops occupied Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on December 13, 1937 and launched a six week long massacre in which, according to historical records, more than 300,000 disarmed soldiers and civilians were slain.
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2005)