Thursday, 12 June 2014

UNESCO accepts Nanjing Massacre, comfort women documents



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China said on Thursday UNESCO has accepted its application to register records of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and Japan's wartime sex slaves on the Memory of the World Register.

The documents listed by China are first-hand materials that recorded Japanese invaders' atrocities in Nanjing from Dec. 13, 1937 to March 1, 1938, including the slaughter of Chinese soldiers and civilians and the conscription of "comfort women", said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a daily press briefing.

The documents fit the criteria of the register, she said, adding that they should become the common memories of mankind and be cherished and protected by all mankind.

China submitted the application to cherish peace, respect human dignity and prevent the tragic and dark time from happening again, she said.

Japan has opposed the application.

The Japanese government's opposition shows its false reading of history, Hua said, adding that China will not drop its application.

She urged Japan to face up to, remember and correctly tackle issues left over from history, instead of attempting to deny or even whitewash its aggression history.

"We hope the Japanese government shows remorse for its past and corrects its misdeeds with sincerity and concrete actions, to create a peaceful future with its Asian neighbors and people of the world," she said.

Created in 1997, the Memory of the World Register protects the world's documentary heritage.

Historians estimate that 200,000 women were forced into sexual servitude by Japanese forces during WWII, most of them from countries invaded by Japan at that time. - Xinhua


UNESCO listing helps to remind Japan of brutal history 



The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that China has submitted an application to UNESCO to list archives related to the brutalities committed by the Japanese military during WWII on the organization's Memory of the World Register.

At Tuesday's regular briefing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said these archives are precious historical documents concerning the Nanjing Massacre and comfort women. Expectedly, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga responded acidly, saying his government "will lodge a protest and ask China to withdraw the application if there is a political intention behind it."

It seems that Japanese right-wing politicians have lost their logic. History is history, and misdeeds done against entire humankind cannot be undone. The right wing's attempt to protest against authentic materials that can prove Japan's wrongdoings in the past only demonstrates their cowardice in the face of historical facts. China won't compromise on this matter as the atrocities perpetrated by Japanese troops are unarguable. They are globally confirmed facts. It would be a self-degradation if these Japanese rightists keep lying to themselves and the world.

The reason why Japanese right-wing groups swell with arrogance, to some extent, stems from the lack of global condemnation of their misdeeds. Compared with the attention of the world to what the Jewish people went through during WWII, there are fewer eyes focused on how East Asian victims suffered under the iron heel of the Japanese military.

This asymmetric attention leaves China at a disadvantaged position when arguing with Japan on historical issues. Some Western countries, which have a prejudiced view of China's rise, are taking an ambiguous attitude toward Japan over historical issues.

In the last few years, China has been looking to the future and chosen not to be disturbed by historical rifts when developing relations with Japan. However, as Japan's right deviation keeps speeding up with Shinzo Abe in office, China must realize that historical issues, a key component of the Sino-Japanese relationship, must top the agenda.

In this case, it is necessary for China to lead the world community in reviewing what a rightist, imperialist Japan did to East Asia and the rest of the world decades ago, and let them know the consequences of allowing a resurrection of the Japanese right wing. The more international support China can acquire, the less breathing space these Japanese rightists will have. -

By Liu Zhun Global Times
Related:

UNESCO receives Chinese bid for listing of Nanjing documents China is applying to UNESCO to list 11 sets of documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre on the Memory of the World Register.



China confirms 'comfort women’ docs given to UNESCO

China has submitted applications to UNESCO to preserve the archives that confirm the suffering of "comfort women", in order to make them part of the Memory of the World Register.

“By applying for the inclusion of precious historical documents related to the Nanjing Massacre and Japan's forced recruitment of the ‘comfort women’ in the register, China intends to commemorate history, treasure peace, uphold the dignity of mankind, and prevent such offences against humanity, human rights, and human beings from ever happening again.”

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying confirmed the news at a regular press conference on Tuesday.

When asked whether the Chinese government has applied for the inclusion of relevant files and documents, Hua said that Memory of the World Register is an important initiative launched by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which collects manuscripts and rare documents preserved in libraries and archives as well as oral historical records of worldwide significance.

China has been active in making applications to the Memory of the World Register and currently has nine documents listed on the register. What has been submitted on this occasion is a series of authentic, rare and precious documents with historical significance, which meet the standard of application.

The application follows recent comments by leading Japanese politicians and academics casting doubt on the plight of the comfort women.

The Japanese Imperial Army had a policy of forcing women captured in occupied lands to work as sex slaves in military brothels.

What is Memory of the World Register?

UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and willful and deliberate destruction.

It calls for the preservation of valuable archival holdings, library collections and private individual compendia from all over the world for posterity, for the reconstitution of dispersed or displaced documentary heritage, and for increased access to and dissemination of these items.

This documentary heritage serves as a mirror, reflecting the diversity of language, ethnic groups and culture, and also the memory of the world.

However, much documentary heritage is fragile, and we are losing memories every day. UNESCO has therefore launched the program as a way to preserve and promote documentary heritage, which can be a single document, a collection, a holding, or an archive that is deemed to be of such significance as to transcend the boundaries of time and culture.

As of June 2013, there were 299 items of international significance from 100 countries included in "Memory of the World”. China has nine documents listed on the register. They are:

Ancient Naxi Dongba Literary Manuscripts
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2003.

Ben Cao Gang Mu ( Compendium of Materia Medica)
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2011.

Golden Lists of the Qing Dynasty Imperial Examination
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2005.

Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon)
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2011.

Official Records of Tibet from Yuan Dynasty China, 1304-1367
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

Qiaopi and Yinxin Correspondence and Remittance Documents from Overseas Chinese
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

Qing Dynasty Yangshi Lei Archives
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2007.

Records of the Qing's Grand Secretariat - 'Infiltration of Western Culture in China'
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 1999.

Traditional Music Sound Archives
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 1997. - (People's Daily Online)

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