China: Verdicts of Tokyo Trial cannot be "overturned"

Updated: 2006-12-28 19:55

BEIJING -- The Chinese government said on Thursday that the verdicts of Tokyo tribunal cannot be "overturned" as they were based on "ironclad" evidence.

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Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks in response to a question on whether the Tokyo Tribunal was discussed at the first joint China-Japan study of history that concluded here Wednesday.

Qin did not confirm that the topic had been discussed, but he said, "History and the international community have given their verdict. There is a mass of ironclad evidence, and it cannot be overturned."

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), operating from early 1946 until the end of 1948, was composed of 11 judges from 11 nations, including the United States, China, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and Australia.

The IMTFE held 818 open hearings involving 419 witnesses, accepted 779 written testimonies, and concluded with verdicts totaling 1,231 pages which took seven days to read.

The verdicts were made on the basis of international laws, a huge amount of witness testimony and material evidence.

Qin said although scholars of both countries may have different opinions, they should conduct research according to objective facts, and in a spirit of responsibility for history, the future and the people.

Altogether 20 Chinese and Japanese historians gathered in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday for the first-ever joint historical research to narrow difference between the two countries on historical issues.

The Chinese team was headed by Bu Ping, director of the Institute of Modern History under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The Japanese team was led by Shinichi Kitaoka, former deputy Japanese ambassador to the U.N and a professor with the University of Tokyo.

During the two-day close-door meeting, the two sides settled the work process, scope and topics for joint research, and discussed the 2,000 years of history of China-Japan exchanges and modern and post-World War II history in two groups.

The second meeting of this kind will be held in March 2007 in Japan to continue discussions of historical issues.

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