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
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.