October 12, 2015 12:15
UNESCO decided to add documents on the Nanjing Massacre, during which up to 300,000 Chinese are believed to be murdered by the Japanese army, to the Memory of the World Register.
The International Advisory Committee of UNESCO's Memory of the World Program, meeting in Abu Dhabi from Oct. 4 to 6, strongly recommended adding the documents on the 1937-38 atrocity also known as the Rape of Nanjing.
But documents on Japan's drafting of women to serve as sex slaves during the World War II, which Chinese government attempted to register as well, was not included this time. Japan has put up frantic opposition since China filed the official application to UNESCO for these two sets of documents.
In June last year, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying explained the Chinese government decided to apply to prevent a recurrence of such atrocities.
Japan claims that the number of victims is grossly exaggerated and has consistently tried to trivialize the magnitude of the massacre. The far-right government in Tokyo fears that if the documents gain global recognition, they will throw a renewed spotlight on Japan's wartime atrocities and diminish the country's global status.
Hua welcomed UNESCO's decision and said the documents will be protected and disseminated around the world. She urged Japan to squarely face the truth.
But Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga questioned credibility and veracity of the documents and said he finds it "extremely regrettable" that an international organization that is supposed to be neutral and fair made such a decision.
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