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Prayers, Exhibitions and Parades Mark Anniversary

People across China yesterday mourned victims of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and expressed their wishes for long-lasting peace.

About 3,000 Buddhist monks and masters from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao attended a service at the Lingguang Temple in suburban Beijing.

Led by Yi Cheng, president of the China Buddhist Association, the ceremony included prayers for permanent world peace.

"We must take history as a mirror and face the future to promote peaceful co-existence between different countries," said Sheng Hui, vice-president of the association.

On August 15, 1945, Japan's Emperor Hirohito announced his country's surrender to the allied powers, marking the end of World War II.

Yesterday, more than 120 military attachs from 35 foreign embassies in Beijing also expressed the wish that all countries learn from history and cherish peace.

They made a group visit to a commemorative exhibition near the Marco Polo Bridge, marking the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Chinese War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and World War II.

There are more than 600 pictures, 800 relics, and reconstructed scenes on display.

"It's very moving, and I can see the bravery of the Chinese soldiers through the show," said Leroy Coleman, US air attach.

"Yet no museum or exhibition can fully depict what the Chinese people suffered during the war," he added.

Choe Myong-hun, deputy military attach for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, said people of the Korean Peninsula share the Chinese people's feelings because "we fought side by side against a common enemy."

In Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, an exhibition of historical documents and records held by Nanjing Museum opened to the public yesterday morning. It will run until September 15.

Exhibits include more than 300 historical documents and 400 pictures, depicting Chinese people's courageous deeds during the eight-year war.

Exhibits also showcase atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers during their occupation of Nanjing.

At least 300,000 people, most of them civilians, were killed by Japanese troops in the notorious Nanjing Massacre, which started on December 13, 1937 and lasted for a month.

In Hong Kong, a number of parades were held yesterday to mark the anniversary of the end of the war.

Hundreds of people from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions and Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) marched to the Consulate-General of Japan yesterday morning, urging the country to learn from history.

Pang Cheung-Wai, a member of the central standing committee of the DAB, said that 60 years after the war, Japan still adopts history books that glosses over its aggression, and its top politicians still pay homage at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where 14 Class-A war criminals are honoured.

The two organizations strongly requested the Japanese Government apologize and compensate victims of the invasion.

The Hong Kong Reparation Association and some other organizations also marched to the consulate-general later in the day.

(China Daily August 16, 2005)

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