Nanjing Massacre survivors, relatives urge Japan to reflect in letter to UN

Nanjing Massacre survivors, relatives urge Japan to reflect in letter to UN
Tourists outside the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.

The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall said on Wednesday - Human Rights Day - 3,361 survivors and relatives of the massacre victims have sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and human rights officials to call for Japan's introspection over history.

According to the memorial hall, the survivors and the victims' relatives chose to disclose the news on the Human Rights Day to draw worldwide attention and to urge the Japanese government to reflect on its aggression and the harm it did to the Chinese people.

"China and Japan can only be truly reconciled when both of the two sides respect the historical facts," the letter said.

It also said that the massacre "flagrantly violated human conscience and human rights and marred human civilisation", and that the misdeeds of the right-wing forces and some politicians in Japan are "violating human rights" yet again.

"The right-wing forces in Japan have been challenging the history for all those years, repeatedly denying the hard facts of the Nanjing Massacre. Some Japanese politicians have been making offerings to the Yasukuni Shrine where Class-A war criminals including Iwane Matsui are honoured. Their misdeeds are doing great harm to the family members of the deceased and survivors of the Nanjing Massacre!"

The letter said that such behaviour will misdirect Japanese people's concept of history, especially among the youth, "and will create troubles for friendly exchanges between China and Japan, as well as for peace in Asia and in the world".

Zhu Chengshan, the memorial hall's curator, said that the letter was drafted by the survivors and the victims' relatives, and sent in their name and that of the China Society for Human Rights Studies in seven languages.

The letter was sent on Nov 28 to Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, Baudelaire Ndong Ella, president of the UN Human Rights Council, and Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for Human Rights.

No reply has been received so far, according to the memorial hall.

Yu Changxiang, 88, a massacre survivor, said that the hard-earned peace should be cherished with the joint efforts of the two countries.

"As the letter says, we civilians love peace because we know war is nothing but bloodshed and destruction," Yu said. "History must be remembered, not to extend but to bring peaceful and happy lives to people."

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