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In search of world peace - remembering Nanjing

2016-December-15       Source: Xinhuanet.com

Victims of the Nanjing Massacre should be commemorated by all compassionate people the world over, if we are ever to make a lasting peace.

Victims of the Nanjing Massacre should be commemorated by all compassionate people the world over, if we are ever to make a lasting peace.

Only if more and more people learn the bitter lessons of war, can more and more people come to cherish peace.

On Tuesday, China's third national memorial day, the nation remembered the victims of atrocities committed by the invading Japanese army almost eight decades ago.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China's capital, on Dec. 13 of 1937 and started 40-odd days of slaughter. About 300,000 civilians and Chinese soldiers who had laid down their arms were murdered. Over 20,000 women were raped.

Coming amid recurring denials and rationalization of war crimes by right-wing groups, the memorial ceremony has proven important in raising global awareness of the massacre. Following the first national memorial day in 2014, documents on the massacre were listed by UNESCO in the Memory of the World Register the next year.

The annual ceremony is not there to prolong hatred, but to encourage a firm stance of peace. This increased attention will not only help people understand what happened in China during World War II, but will bring a greater sense of history to the international community.

The Chinese people will never forget the Nanjing victims and the great sacrifices made during the war against Japanese aggression, just as the American people will not forget Pearl Harbor.

With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit to Pearl Harbor later this month to mourn the victims, there is surprisingly little pressure in Japan for him to visit the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre, nor to visit the Museum of September 18 Incident which began 14 years of bloody conflict.

If Abe does not want to come to China, there is no shortage of other places in the region with reminders of Japan's crimes against humanity which he could visit.

Speculation on the true motives for the Pearl Harbor visit is rife. One hopes it may be the beginning of a kind of "world tour" with Abe seeking atonement from all countries which fell victim to his compatriots savagery.

Against the backdrop of his government's unrelenting efforts to erase the past and re-arm for the future, one wonders whether Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor will be a really historic step, and if so, in which direction?

Editor: Will

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