Tokyo high court rules Nanjing Massacre victim be compensated for slander

Updated: 2008-05-22 07:42

TOKYO -- The Tokyo High Court upheld the judgement of the district court Wednesday, ruling that the Japanese author and the publisher of a book on the Nanjing Massacre to pay a total of 4 million yen (US$38,800) in compensation to Xia Shuqin, the Chinese plaintiff, for libel.

On November 2, 2007, the Tokyo District Court pronounced the verdict that the book, entitled "Complete Investigation into the Nanjing Massacre," damaged the reputation of Xia, a woman survivorof the massacre perpetrated by the Japanese troops during the World War II, by leaving readers with the false impression that she was not a victim of the notorious mass homicide.

The book, written by rightist scholar Shudo Higashinakano, a professor of Asia University, was published by Tendensha in 1998. It has been translated into English and Chinese, and by the time the lawsuit was filed, some 13,000 copies had been sold in Japan.

Xia, whose family were all slaughtered during the Nanjing Massacre, is a figure in a documentary shot by American Reverend John Magee. The book, however, denied the authenticity of her existence as a survivor.

On December 13, 1937, Japanese invading troops occupied Nanjing after fierce combats with the Chinese army, and then launched a six-week long massacre. Historical records showed that more than 300,000 Chinese people, not only disarmed soldiers but also civilian victims, were massacred in the holocaust.

Magee, an Episcopal pastor, was one of the 22 westerners in charge of the Nanjing International Safety Zone created after the Japanese army captured Nanjing.

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