Commemorative activities on World War II to be held in Toronto

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-09 02:09:31|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

TORONTO, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- In order to remember the history of World War II and maintain lasting peace in the world, a series of commemorative activities will be held in Great Toronto Area in Canada.

On Sunday, the Chinese Canadian communities in Toronto will set up a Nanjing Massacre Victims Monument in Richmond Hill.

The monument will be launched by the Confederation of Toronto Chinese Canadian Organizations and Chinese Freemasons of Canada (Toronto).

Lin Xinyong, president of the Confederation of Toronto Chinese Canadian Organizations, told Xinhua that the Nanjing Massacre is an eternal pain in the heart of the Chinese.

On Dec. 13, 1937, the Japanese army bombed Nanjing and went on a murderous rampage through the city, then China's capital, killing Chinese residents and disarmed soldiers in the following six weeks.

"That is the tragedy of Chinese and is also the humiliation of human beings. The monument is meant to let more people to have a better understanding of the Japanese invaders' atrocities against humanity and cherish peace," Lin said.

Also on Sunday, the Association for Learning and Preserving the History of the Second World War in Asia (ALPHA) and the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada (CPAC) will host ceremonies to show the 2007 docudrama of Iris Shun-Ru Chang, an American-born Chinese journalist and author who is best known for her 1997 account of the Nanking Massacre, The Rape of Nanking.

ALPHA funded and produced the film, which is based on Chang's novel and survivor accounts.

There is more work to do before Canadians better understand and remember Japanese atrocities in World War II in Asia, Lin added.

Ontario lawmaker Raymond Cho said that atrocities of the Pacific War, including sexual enslavement of 200,000 women from Korea, China and other Asian countries, could happen to anyone.

"It was a human tragedy that has been made many times in the history of mankind," said Cho, who will host a meeting at the Ontario parliament on Dec. 13.

Lessons of the massacre, also called the Rape of Nanjing, are not taught in Ontario classrooms as often as those of the Holocaust, said former lawmaker of Ontario parliament Soo Wong, whose motion was passed unanimously in Ontario's legislature last year, recognizing Dec. 13 as Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day in the Canadian province.

On the first anniversary of passing of the motion, the Ontario provincial government will hold an event on Dec. 13.

The effort to establish ALPHA's Asia-Pacific Peace Museum has been underway. The museum will be modified to tell the story of the Pacific War and serve as a research center.

ALPHA chairperson Joseph Y.K. Wong said the group has raised 5.2 million Canadian dollars (about 3.9 million U.S. dollars) of the 9 million Canadian dollars needed.

The efforts, which aim to get Dec. 13 recognized nationally in Canada, were set last week in the House of Commons of Canada. On Nov. 28, federal MP Jenny Kwan put forward a motion for unanimous consent, but one MP voted against it.

Wong, who watched proceedings in the House of Commons, called the timing unfortunate and noted that her motion last year was passed unanimously after supporters worked for weeks to ensure there would not be opposition.

"We have not done enough homework to let the motion pass the House," said Joseph Wong, adding that it might have to wait until after a federal election next year.

MP Shaun Chen, a Liberal who co-hosted a Parliament Hill reception with Kwan and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May last week in support of recognizing Dec. 13, said that passing such a motion "starts with education."

There is a lack of awareness, even among parliamentarians about World War II atrocities in Asia, he said.