Millions mourn Nanjing victims

Xia Shuqin (right), a survivor of the Nanjing Massacre, and Yamauchi Sayoko, a Japanese priest, show their medals at a award ceremony in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

Nearly 3 million people around the world have expressed sadness for the victims of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre on a national memorial website as of Tuesday.

The website, which was launched in July, allows Internet users to virtually light candles, plant trees and present poems and flowers. The site is in seven languages, including English, French and Korean.

The colors of the site, cngongji.cn, are mainly red, white and black to show respect and sorrow for the deceased.

"Visitors to the site can also read material about the chemical and germ wars launched by the Japanese army during its aggression," said Zhu Chengshan, curator of the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders.

"An introduction of the sex slaves and the laborers who were forced to work for the Japanese army can also be found."

A Nanjing government website also received expressions of sorrow for the victims and wishes for peace from 1.5 million Internet users worldwide in nine days.

The site, gongji.longhoo.net, was launched on Dec 1. Since then, more than 100,000 people in North America have visited and paid tribute to the victims. The number from Europe has reached almost 80,000.

Zhu Jingyu, a former Nanjing resident who now lives in Hiroshima, Japan, said he has introduced the website to many of his friends to let them participate in the activity and call for peace.

"Hiroshima was destroyed by war," said Zhu, the father of two children. "I have great sympathy for their helplessness at that time. Most Japanese people cherish peace, as the Chinese people do."

According to Modern Express, a local newspaper in Nanjing, commemorations will also be held in foreign cities on Saturday, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Toronto, to mark the 77th anniversary of the massacre.

According to Chinese historical documents, on Dec 13, 1937, the Japanese army occupied Nanjing and killed more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers and raped tens of thousands of women over the following six weeks.

To honour the victims of the massacre and all of those killed by the Japanese invaders, China's top legislature designated Dec 13 as a National Memorial Day.

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