China 'strongly dissatisfied' with Nagoya denials

Updated: 2012-02-22 21:23


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BEIJING - A Chinese government official on Wednesday expressed strong dissatisfaction over a Japanese mayor's denial of the Nanjing Massacre.

Luo Zhaohui, head of the Foreign Ministry's Asian affairs department, made the remark while meeting with the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama.

Kawamura Takashi, mayor of the city of Nagoya, said the Nanjing Massacre "probably never happened" while meeting on Monday with a delegation from Nanjing, a city that witnessed mass murder, genocide and rape following the Japanese invasion of the city in 1937.

The mayor's irresponsible statement distorted historical facts and seriously hurt China's people's feelings, Luo said.

The Nanjing Massacre was an atrocity committed by the Japanese military as part of a war of aggression against China, Luo said, adding that the international community has long reached its conclusion on the matter.

Luo urged the Japanese side to correctly recognize the history of its aggression against China in light of the principles enshrined in previous agreements between the two countries to safeguard the political basis of bilateral ties.

Sugiyama said the mayor's statement was a "personal opinion" and did not represent the Japanese government's position.

The Japanese government has not changed its stance on historical issues, Sugiyama said.

Sugiyama said Japan is sincerely apologetic and is determined to adhere to a path of peaceful development.

Sugiyama said the Japanese side is ready to work with China to take the 40th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral links as an opportunity to advance exchanges and cooperation, properly handle relevant issues and promote the development of bilateral ties in a healthy and stable way.

The Nanjing Massacre occurred in December 1937, when Japanese troops occupied the then-capital of China. More than 300,000 Chinese were murdered or raped by the invaders.