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China Marks Nanjing Massacre, Seeking to Promote Peace
   2014-12-13 10:04:05    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Yangyang

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L), along with Xia Shuqin (C), an 85-year-old massacre survivor, and a school child, dedicates a "ding," a type of ancient Chinese cauldron symbolizing state power and prosperity, to the Nanjing Massacre victims during the state ceremony for China's first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims at the memorial hall for the massacre victims in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, Dec. 13, 2014. [Photo: Xinhua]

 

China on Saturday held a high-profile state ceremony marking the first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims with President Xi Jinping urging Japan to face squarely to its war-time history.

At a time of bitter feelings toward each other in China and Japan, the Chinese leader also said the commemoration aims to promote peace instead of pass on hatred 77 years after the atrocity.

CRI's Yin Xiuqi reports.

The ceremony for China's first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims took place in the eastern Chinese city on Saturday morning with some 10,000 participants paying silent tribute to the massacre victims as sirens howled over the city.

In February, China's top legislature designated Dec. 13 as the National Memorial Day.

Attendees included survivors of the Nanjing massacre, as well as soldiers and students.

In a speech at the event, President Xi Jinping condemned Japanese nationalists for seeking to deny the atrocity.

"Forgetting history is an act of betrayal, and denying a crime is to repeat a crime. We should not hate the Japanese nation just because a small minority of militarists launched an invasion and war. The crime of war was conducted by the minority of militarists and not by the people. Nobody at any time should forget the severe crimes of the invaders."

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China's capital, on Dec. 13, 1937 and started a 40-odd-day slaughter.

China says that more than 300-thousand Chinese soldiers, who had laid down their arms, and civilians were murdered.

About 20-thousand women were raped.

But some conservative Japanese politicians and scholars deny a massacre took place at all.

President Xi Jinping stressed that the Nanjing Massacre is an atrocious anti-human crime and a dark page in the history of humanity.
He added that the Chinese and Japanese people should live in friendship from generation to generation and make joint efforts to contribute to the peace of humanity.

"The purpose of holding this state memorial service for the Nanjing Massacre victims is to foster people's aspirations for and belief in peace, not to pass on the hatred. The friendly relations between the peoples of China and Japan should last for generations."
Relations between the two countries have soured in recent years.

They were at odds over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea as well as over Japan's insistence on honoring its war dead, including convicted war criminals, at the Yasukuni shrine.

The two neighbors reached agreement last month to try to manage their disputes and improve ties just before an ice-breaking meeting between President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing.

For CRI, I'm Yin Xiuqi.

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