China slams Japanese lawmakers over photographs

Updated: 2007-06-14 20:29

China denied Thursday that photographs at scores of Chinese war memorials have an anti-Japan bias, saying the displays reflect what really happened and that Japanese critics should face up to historical facts.

On Wednesday a group of Japanese lawmakers said they would investigate photographs at up to 100 Chinese memorials, which they believe may have inaccurate captions that portray the Japanese in a bad light. They will ask through proper diplomatic channels for the photographs to be removed, according to an aide to Tomomi Inada, the group's secretary-general.

The photographs show "miserable historical fact" and the lawmakers' plan to request their removal "only shows that they lack the courage to break away from erroneous history," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular news conference.

Many Chinese still harbor bad memories from the 1930s and '40s when Japanese troops occupied much of China. They were accused of wartime atrocities including a 1937 massacre in Nanjing during which historians say at least 150,000 civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of women raped. Japan disputes this toll.

Qin denied there was "anti-Japan" education in China, saying the photographs help people remember the atrocities so that they don't happen again.

Anti-Japanese feeling over Nanjing remains strong among Chinese. Demonstrators vandalized Japanese shops and smashed windows at Japanese diplomatic offices in Shanghai and Beijing in April 2005 to protest alleged whitewashing of the atrocities in Japanese textbooks.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours