Central government backs Nanjing's Nagoya protest
Updated: 2012-02-22 21:20
BEIJING - China has lodged representations with Japan over a denial of the Nanjing Massacre by a Japanese mayor, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday.
When asked whether the incident will have any impact on China-Japan relations, Hong said the Chinese government supports a decision by Nanjing municipal authorities to halt contact with the Japanese city of Nagoya.
"We express understanding and support for this (decision) and are keeping a close watch over the issue," Hong said at a regular press briefing.
Hong said the Chinese side has already made its stance clear regarding the incident.
Noting that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan ties, Hong said the Japanese side should abide by the principles of the historic agreements made between the two countries and work to advance bilateral relations in a healthy and stable way.
"This is in the basic interests of both countries and their peoples," Hong said.
Takashi Kawamura, mayor of Nagoya, said Monday that the Nanjing Massacre "probably never happened" while meeting with a delegation from Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu province.
The Nanjing municipal government announced Tuesday night that it would suspend official exchanges with Nagoya. A spokesman from the municipal foreign affairs office said Takashi Kawamura's remarks distorted historical facts and "seriously hurt the feelings of Nanjing's people."
During a Monday press briefing, Hong said the Nanjing Massacre is a proven atrocity recognized by the international community.
The Nanjing Massacre occurred in December 1937, when Japanese troops occupied the then-capital of China. More than 300,000 Chinese were murdered by the invaders and a large number of women were raped.
Nanjing and Nagoya established sister-city ties in 1978.