Roundup: Canadian lawmaker calls for national day of remembrance for Nanjing Massacre

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-01 15:05:36|Editor: Yurou
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OTTAWA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Canadian lawmaker Jenny Kwan on Thursday called on the Canadian government to declare a national day of remembrance for the Nanjing Massacre when she made an opening statement in parliament on the massacre and other Japanese atrocities committed during World War II.

It was the first time for a Canadian lawmaker to deliver such a statement to the House of Commons, and it came two weeks before the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.

"Eighty years ago, Imperial Japanese Army Forces raped an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 Chinese women and girls and some 300,000 people were killed," Kwan, a Hong Kong-born member of the Canadian Parliament, said in her statement in the House of Commons.

"Western eye witnesses in Nanjing described the atrocities as 'hell on earth,'" said Kwan. "After the Nanjing Massacre, the military sexual slavery system for the Japanese military expanded rapidly."

She said that about 200,000 women from China, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma and other Japanese-occupied territories were "tricked, kidnapped or coerced to work in brothels to serve as 'comfort women' to the Imperial Japanese Army."

On Dec. 13, the 80th anniversary of the day the Japanese captured the then-Chinese capital city known as Nanking, events will be held in four Canadian provinces -- Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia -- to mark Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day.

Kwan's parents were born in China and her family immigrated to Canada in 1976 when she was nine years old.

Kwan told Xinhua that she became aware of the past carnage in Nanjing when she visited a photo exhibition about the massacre in 1996 organized by the Association for Learning and Preserving the History of the Second World War in Asia in British Columbia.

"It was breathtaking to learn about that history," said Kwan, who entered politics as a city councilor in Vancouver, British Columbia's largest city where more than 450,000 Chinese Canadians live in and around the urban center.

"Some people call it a forgotten holocaust because there is hardly any information about it," said Kwan.

As a member of legislature of British Columbia, where she served from 1996 until 2015 when she was elected to the Canadian Parliament, Kwan worked to help create educational material on the massacre for schools in the province.

Last month, the Ontario provincial parliament passed a motion designating Dec. 13 as Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day to commemorate the mass killing of 300,000 Chinese by Japanese troops.

The parliament of Ontario, home to Canada's largest Asian community with more than 3 million of Asian descent, became the first regional legislature in Western countries to adopt the motion.

Manitoba joined a growing movement in Canada to recognize and commemorate the Nanjing Massacre, with a motion of this kind passing its second reading with unanimous consent in its legislature.

"There was some effort by the Japanese government to deny this history, but we don't rewrite history," said Kwan.

"What is important with atrocities like this is to acknowledge it, learn from it and prevent it from ever happening again."