Interview: No guarantee for world peace without Japan showing remorse for wartime crimes

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-12 13:06:46|Editor: Yang Yi
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by Ye Zaiqi

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- World peace can not be guaranteed if Japan does not show remorse for its wartime crimes during World War II (WWII), said parents of a late famous Chinese American writer whose book unveiled to the West the gruesome holocaust by imperialist Japan in China.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua Tuesday, Ying-Ying Chang and Shau-Jin Chang, parents of Iris Chang who wrote the 1997 best-selling book "The Rape of Nanking," said the annual memorial event for over 300,000 Chinese killed by invading Japanese troops in the Chinese city of Nanjing (formerly known as Nanking) in 1937 serves as a reminder that the appalling dark page in history should not be forgotten if "we want to prevent its recurrence in the future."

"There are only a few survivors of the Nanjing Massacre living in the world and most of them are in their nineties, which means we have limited opportunities in the future to hear their personal stories of what they have suffered at the hands of the Japanese military more than eight decades ago," said 78-year-old Ying-Ying Chang, Iris's mother.

When she was a student, Iris found the Nanjing Massacre was little mentioned in American school books nor other publications, the mother said, adding Iris even got no answer from her American teachers.

The other day, Iris happened to see a photo exhibition by the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia, which featured many graphic pictures of the mass killing of Chinese victims by Japanese troops, the mother said.

"This experience gave her an overwhelming urge to write a book on the Nanjing Massacre, so that more people, regardless of Westerners or Asians, can learn the history of Japan's guilt," said the mother.

Japan should follow the example of Germany, which won respect for addressing its WWII crimes, Ying-Ying Chang said.

Unfortunately, the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has always refused to face history and make an official apology for the wartime atrocities committed by the Japanese troops, she said.

What's worse, many politicians in Japan made repeated attempts to whitewash the militarists' crimes and denied history, said the indignant mother.

Those Japanese rightists tried to water down in their textbooks the heinous crimes by Japanese aggressors, ranging from the mass slaughtering of Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers in Nanjing, the notorious Unit 731 troops that undertook lethal human experimentation for biological and chemical warfare, to forcing hundreds of thousands of Chinese and other Asian women into sexual slavery, the mother continued.

"Facing such a negative attitude by the Japanese government, overseas Chinese must not let this appalling episode of history be forgotten and prevent such a tragedy happen again in the future," she said.

"We must educate our younger generations about this history. If we don't let them know about it, no lessons would be learned," the mother said.

"We hold memorial activities for the Chinese victims, not because we want to create hatred, but because we want the Japanese to face up to the evil of the war so that world peace can be preserved for ever," she said.

"We want world peace, not war, and we don't want to see such a tragedy happen again," she said.

The Asian community including local overseas Chinese held a major event named Nanjing Ji (Remembrance of Nanjing Massacre) on Sunday in downtown San Francisco.

The event, which coincided with the 81st anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, came a few days ahead of the 2018 National Memorial for Nanjing Massacre Victims in China on Dec. 13.