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Worker Seeks Evidence in Japan over Its War Criminal Past

Shi Nianguo shook his head slowly and regretted failing to collect more irrefutable evidence of Japanese aggression and massacres in China more than six decades ago.

"I feel sorry for not collecting more evidence from Japan itself about the war," Shi said while showing books, magazines, personal photos, stamps and other historical data on the war at his home in Zhengzhou, where the then ruling Kuomintang regime blew up the bank of the mighty Yellow River in 1938 to slow down the Japanese aggression into central China.

"All the evidence of the Japanese war crimes was published or saved by the Japanese during that period, they can't just deny it," said Shi, a 41-year-old worker at China Aluminum in central Henan Province who once pursued advanced studies in Osaka from September 2000 to April 2002.

Prompted by his instant encounters with evidence of Japan's war crimes during WWII in second-hand markets in Japan's Osaka, Kyoto and Nara cities, Shi felt he need to do something to restore a history that many Japanese militarists and right-wing extremists deny.

He rode his bicycle back and forth in the flea markets in these cities during his spare time to collect every single item of evidence, from stamps to picture albums.

Shi said he hated Japanese aggressors when he was very small because of his father, a soldier who suffered more than 70 wounds during his fighting in the Resistance War Against the Japanese Aggression decades ago.

At least 20 million Chinese civilians or soldiers were killed by Japanese troops during its aggression and another 42 million people were left homeless, according to official Chinese figures.
Shi said he was sometimes distressed by the response from many such article vendors after learning he was Chinese by his accent during bargaining.

"'No sales to Chinese' was simply their words," Shi recalled, "I don't know what they feared."
"The true side of Japan's war crimes?" he asked.

(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2005)

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