The State ceremony for the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims is held at the memorial hall for the massacre victims in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, Dec 13, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]
Young Chinese, Japanese ‘better understand each other'
China held its 5th annual National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province on Thursday amid gradual warming ties between China and Japan this year.
The ceremony was held early Thursday at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders where more than 8,000 representatives gathered to honor the massacre victims in 1937.
The national flag was lowered at half-staff at 10 am and after the national anthem, pedestrians and vehicles in Nanjing stopped for a minute to pay their respects. Cars, trains and ships in the city blared their horns, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Zhang Jianjun, curator of the memorial hall, told the Global Times on Thursday that the memorial reminds us not to forget the tragedy. Only by facing up to history shall we build a better future, he added.
The massacre took place when Japanese troops captured the city on December 13, 1937. Over six weeks, Japanese troops killed 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers. Over 20,000 women were raped.
Twenty-six names of Chinese victims were engraved on the wall before the memorial day on Monday, bringing the total number of dead in the massacre to 10,664.
"Memorializing the Nanjing Massacre is aimed at remembering the deep calamities the war caused for the Chinese people and those around the world, but not to spark hatred for the Japanese people," Wang Shaopu, director of the Center of Japanese Studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, told the Global Times.
"But we shall remain vigilant toward the historical problem in case extreme ring-wing groups in Japan twist history and the rise of Japanese militarism, even though China and Japan are embracing gradual warming ties," Wang noted.
Japanese and Chinese people are trying to understand and accept each other better than before, especially among young people since the two countries share a similar culture, Hina Seino, 22, an undergraduate at Sophia University in Tokyo, told the Global Times.
"We were taught about the Nanjing Massacre in high school which was such a brutal thing that the Japanese army did, but it is also true that there are still some people who don't believe in the tragedy," the Janese student said.
There are now less than 100 registered survivors who witnessed the massacre. Twenty survivors died this year, according to the memorial hall, according to data Xinhua reported.
Also on Thursday, a local legislature encouraged all sectors of society to care for the group and have banned jingrior "the Japanese spirit" from spreading online, which had previously sparked public outrage on Chinese social media.
The regulation bans behavior like insulting, fabricating and spreading information that sabotage national dignity and public feelings related to the massacre, and no military costumes, flags and symbols of Japanese militarism are allowed at historic sites or museums of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.