A National Memorial Day with a global meaning

By Wang Jianhua & Xu Xiaoqing
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, February 27, 2014
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Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the world anti-fascist war in 2015, China's decision to set two new national days that will mark the victory of the anti-Japanese war and commemorate the victims of the Nanjing Massacre is necessary and of global meaning.

Delegates of primary school students hold a banner reading "drawing lessons from the history and creating the future" during a rally to mourn the victims of the Nanjing Massacre, at the square in front of the memorial hall of the Chinese victims massacred by Japanese soldiers in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, Dec. 13, 2008. [Xinhua]

September 3 is expected to be designated the "Victory Day" of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, with December 13 set as National Memorial Day for the Nanjing Massacre victims, according to two draft decisions reviewed by China's top legislature Tuesday afternoon.

The planned designation of course carries within a domestic importance. It will act as a reminder for the Chinese to remember their history and never forget the national stigma in order to strive for a better China. Besides, the draft decision is of global significance. This nationwide tribute will help the memory of mankind face history and forces us all to jointly build a better future. It is also the expression of the Chinese people's stance on safeguarding world peace and justice.

In fact, it has long been an international practice to hold national memorial services to remember the atrocities of World War II. National memorial services have been held annually at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, inside the Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Russia and at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum in America. However, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has already expressed his doubts at a press conference Wednesday morning regarding China's decision to establish a national memorial day 69 years after the war ended.

Unsurprisingly so, China's legislative move to commemorate on a national level Japan's defeat and the Nanjing Massacre has been labeled by some as narrow-minded nationalism which contributes nothing but fan hatred toward Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may think this way as he is showing no willingness of restraining his nationalist impulses or historical revisionism.

Abe's misinterpretation of history and his fact-denying posture make for a poor attempt to rewrite fascist history and challenge the international order as installed after World War II. Under the beautiful pretence of reviving Japan, Japan's right-wing rhetoric is garnering support for changing the nation's "peace constitution" which is deemed an obstacle toward its so-called self-defense.

About 300,000 people were killed in the Nanjing Massacre which began on December 13, 1937, and lasted for more than 40 days. Any attempt to gloss over Japan's militarist atrocities is bound to fail. The blind eye turned to history will never see the future.

The authors are reporters with Xinhua News Agency.

The article was translated by Liu Qiang. The original unabridged version was published in Chinese.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

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