Japan blasts Chinese bid for U.N. recognition of Nanjing massacre

TOKYO Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:11am EDT

A man stands as pigeons fly during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre at the Nanjing Massacre Museum, Jiangsu province, December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A man stands as pigeons fly during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre at the Nanjing Massacre Museum, Jiangsu province, December 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan protested to China on Wednesday after Beijing applied for the inclusion of the 1937 Nanjing massacre and the "comfort women" forced to work in wartime military brothels in a UNESCO program, the latest flare-up of tensions in relations.

Ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have been strained by a territorial row over a group of East China Sea islets and Chinese allegations that Japan has not properly atoned for wartime aggression.

"It is extremely regrettable that China is trying to play up a negative legacy from a certain period in Sino-Japanese history by using UNESCO for a political purpose, when effort needs to be made to improve ties between Japan and China," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference.

"Today, we made a protest, and asked China for a withdrawal."

China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Beijing had submitted an application to UNESCO to include the issues of the "comfort women", many from Korea and China, who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels, as well as the 1937 mass killings in Nanjing.

Beijing said the submissions were part of a need to "remember history, cherish peace and avert similar atrocities from happening again".

UNESCO's Memory of the World program, launched in the 1990s, has registered dozens of projects to reflect the "documentary heritage" of different periods. Documents include Britain's 13th century Magna Carta, the World War Two Diary of Anne Frank and an annotated copy of Karl Marx's Das Kapital.

China consistently reminds its people of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in which it says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in the then-national capital. A postwar Allied tribunal put the death toll at 142,000, but some conservative Japanese politicians and scholars deny a massacre took place.

Both China and South Korea have long sought compensation for women victimized in the wartime brothels. In a landmark 1993 statement, then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono recognized the involvement of Japanese authorities in coercing the women, although many conservative Japanese say there is no proof of direct government involvement.

In February, China condemned an application by a Japanese city to ask UNESCO to register in the same program the wills and farewell letters of World War Two kamikaze suicide pilots to highlight the importance of world peace.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Kaori Kaneko in Tokyo and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Ron Popeski and Linda Sieg)

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Comments (2)
AtlasMirror wrote:
It is good to see China bring this to UN. See what this liar Abe did:

1. Deny Tokyo Trial
2. Deny comfort women
3. Deny WWII war crimes
4. Changing constitution for imperail army return and bring back evil emperor to be head of States.
5. Openly admitted himself an extreme right member in front of UN.
6. Increase military spending even under US protection.
7. Worshipped the ghostly WWII war criminals Shrine as an great insult to all WWII victims. There is no hero there.
8. Keeping the stolen islands that is not belong to Japan which JP needs to return to China after WWII defeat.
9. Changing school text and put incorrect history to school children.
10. Still not repent from WWII compare with Germany which is much much better than Japan.
11. Hiding the nuclear weapon materials which violates the constitution. Now return to US becasue under US pressure.
12. U.S. alarmed about plutonium stockpile growing from Rokkasho plant.
13. Lying to the whole world saying China digital military spending in past years. Compare in 2013 military spending, Japan is 40 % of China and China is 30% of US.
14. Showing Abe is a two faced man. One saying Japan needs to improve China relationship but on the other hand trying to contain China with other countries.
15. Family backgound: Abe is from the famous WWII war criminal family member. His grandfather Kishi ws a key cabinet member of the evil imperial Japan army.

Abe and his ally going to ultranationalist direction making anger of neighbouring countries. In fact, Abe’s objective is to bring back the lost glory of the evil imperial Japan army.

Jun 11, 2014 3:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
zhu_bajie wrote:
I heard one silly person claim that all the atrocities in Nanking were done by Korean conscripts, in order to make Japan look bad. In reality, there were no Korean conscripts in 1937.

Jun 13, 2014 1:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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