NANJING -- The memorial hall for the Chinese
victims massacred by Japanese invaders in Nanjing in 1937 is set to include
exhibits depicting visits by Japanese politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine, where
convicted Japanese war criminals are honored.
The exhibits will be displayed after the major expansion of the memorial hall
is completed in December 2007, according to curator Zhu Chengshan on Tuesday,
the eve of 69th anniversary of the massacre.
Japanese rightists' denial of the massacre and Japanese textbooks that
distort history will also be shown in the hall, Zhu said.
"We hope the new exhibits will help visitors stay alert and ensure this kind
of tragedy never happens again," he said.
Japanese aggressors occupied Nanjing, then capital of China, on December 13,
1937, and launched a six-week massacre. Historical records show that more than
300,000 Chinese people, including both disarmed soldiers and innocent civilians,
With an investment of 478 million yuan (61 million U.S. dollars), a major
expansion on the massacre hall began a year ago to include more exhibits.
It will be inaugurated on December 12, 2007 to mark the 70th anniversary of
The curator said that the project is proceeding smoothly and will be finished
in January next year to leave time to install the exhibitions.
The total area of the revamped memorial will reach 7.32 hectares, an increase
of 5.12 hectares, according to Zhu.
The memorial will also include latest documents related to the postwar
court-martial trial of the Japanese war criminals, and testimony by survivors
and overseas witnesses, Zhu said.
Special galleries will be set up to commemorate international figures such as
John D. Rabe, a Siemens business representative in Nanjing from 1932 to 1938 who
saved thousands of Chinese, and John Magee, a British missionary in Nanjing from
1912 to 1940 who recorded the massacre and rescued a huge number of Chinese
With more evidence, the memorial will increase its impact in the
international society, said Zhu.
"The expanded hall will be a heart-rending reminder to every visitor to
remember the 300,000 victims and cherish peace," said He Jingtang, chief
designer of the expansion with Guangzhou-based South China University of
The expansion will give more space to display the tragedy and let more people
learn about the cruelty of war, said Sun Zhaiwei, deputy director of the Nanjing
Massacre Research Institute.
"We expand the hall not to show revenge, but to promote the love of peace in
China and around the world," said Zhang Lianhong, a professor in Nanjing Normal
Sun Xuelan, a 70-year-old Nanjing resident, said she was comforted by the
news that the memorial is expanding.
"This means people are not forgetting the victims or leaving history behind,"
said Sun, who was blinded in one eye when a Japanese soldier stuck a pair of
tongs in her eye when she was only three years old.
Apart from the exhibition hall, the new memorial will have a square which can
hold 30,000 people and a 30,000-square-meter park, curator Zhu said.
Prior to the expansion, the memorial had already received over eight million
visitors since it was opened in 1985. An average of 50,000 Japanese people also
visited the memorial every year.