BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- China will hold an annual memorial for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre in the eastern city of Nanjing Wednesday.
Leaders of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the central government will attend the ceremony at a square in front of the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre.
Japan invaded northeast China in September 1931, and started a full-scale invasion of China on July 7, 1937.
Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China's capital, on Dec. 13, 1937 and started a 40-odd-day slaughter. About 300,000 civilians and unarmed Chinese soldiers were brutally murdered. Over 20,000 women were raped.
As a flagrant violation of international laws, the atrocity was tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal, which rendered a verdict based on irrefutable evidence.
In February 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, designated December 13 as the "National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims."
According to a decision passed by the legislature, the country will hold national memorial activities on the day every year to mourn Nanjing Massacre victims and all those killed by Japanese invaders, and to reveal war crimes committed by the Japanese.
The move was also aimed at remembering the deep calamities the war caused for the Chinese people and people around the world, conveying the Chinese people's firm stance of resisting aggression and safeguarding human dignity and world peace.
The decision said that the massacre was one of the most inhuman fascist atrocities in the history of human civilization.
The first state commemoration for the national memorial day was held on Dec. 13, 2014.
While addressing the first state commemoration, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the Nanjing Massacre was one of three major massacres during WWII and it was an atrocious anti-human crime and a dark page in the history of humanity.
"The purpose of the memorial ceremony for Nanjing Massacre victims is to recall that every good-hearted person yearns for and holds a firm stance of peace, but does not try to prolong hatred," Xi said.