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China begins publishing Nanjing Massacre testimonies

By Xinhua in Nanjing (China Daily USA)


China has begun to publish oral testimonies of 100 survivors of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, in the latest move to refute Japanese politicians' denial of Japan's World War II aggression.

The daily publications began on Wednesday with the testimony of 85-year-old Xia Shuqin. It was posted on China's National Memorial website and that of the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders.

Xia, born in May 1929 in Nanjing, was a member of a family of nine before the Japanese invasion of the city. Her grandparents, parents, two older sisters and a younger sister were slaughtered by Japanese troops. Only she and her 4-year-old sister Xia Shuyun survived.

"Unforgettable pain. It is like a scar which will bleed each time it is torn open," Xia says in her testimony.

"My own experience proves the existence of the Nanjing Massacre. No one can erase history. We should remember it forever."

The testimonies are selected from those of 4,176 survivors, witnesses or victims collected by the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.

The massacre occurred over a six-week period in late 1937. Japanese soldiers killed more than 300,000 people in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, then the capital of the country.

In February this year, China's top legislature set Dec 13 as a national memorial day for Nanjing Massacre victims. There are only some 100 survivors still alive, with an average age of more than 80 years old.

Xia Shuqin sued two rightist Japanese historians in 2009 for 4.55 million yen (about $44,500). In the case, the Japanese Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Shudo Higashinakano, an Asia University scholar, and Tendensha, a publishing house, ordering them to pay a combined total of 4 million yen in damages.

In his book, Higashinakano defamed Xia by saying she had lied about witnessing the mass murder. The verdict demanded an immediate end to the publishing of the books and the recall and destruction of all sold copies.

"I lived with the bodies of my family for 14 days before I dared to go out. My mother and my two sisters were raped and tortured before they were killed," Xia recalls.

"The most powerful evidence is no doubt the narrations of survivors themselves," says Fei Zhongxing, a researcher on the Nanjing Massacre.

"Using the Internet to spread history can give people knowledge."

In the past several months, China's State Archives Administration has published 45 confessions by Japanese war criminals and documents and videos that showed Japan's aggression and defeat in China during the 1930s and 1940s.

On Sept 3, President Xi Jinping urged the Japanese government to admit to and reflect on its history of militarist aggression, as China marked the 69th anniversary of victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).

China will allow neither denial nor distortion of this history, or any return to militarism, he said.

The war broke out in 1937 and ended on Aug 15, 1945, with Japan's unconditional surrender, which also cemented victory in WWII.

China was the major battlefield in the East, and more than 35 million Chinese died or were wounded during the war.

 China begins publishing Nanjing Massacre testimonies

Xia Shuqin (left) and Wu Zhengxi, survivors of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, attend a meeting in Nanjing for the oral testimonies of 100 survivors. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily USA 09/24/2014 page9)