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China inaugurates memorial for forced labors dead in Japan

(Source: Xinhua)   2015-09-01

  TIANJIN, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- A memorial park in Tianjin commemorating the 70th anniversary of an uprising by Chinese forced to labor in Japan during World War II was inaugurated Tuesday.

  A 26-meter wall with engravings that depict the laborers' story -- from their forced work in harsh, brutal conditions to the return of their remains to China -- stands tall, and proud in the memorial park.

  A total of 986 Chinese were enslaved by Japanese soldiers and sent to a labor camp in Hanaoka mine, Odate City in northeast Japan from July 1944 to June 1945.

  Among them, 419 either died due to torture or the works or were killed during the uprising on June 30, 1945, as they fought for their dignity and freedom.

  Gao Zengqi, a park management executive, said 409 of the 419 deceased Chinese were buried in the park.

  During World War II, millions of Chinese were forced to work in mines and factories in northeast China and Japan. Many died from malnutrition, illness, physical abuse or were murdered by their captors.

  The Japanese government still refuses to apologize to the victims.

  In June this year, a group of 13 Chinese survivors of the Hanaoka uprising and the relatives of those that had died filed a lawsuit with the Osaka District Court, seeking apologies and compensation of 5.5 million yen (about 44,500 U.S. dollars) per victim from the Japanese government. The case is still pending.

  Junji Fukuhara, the mayor of Odate, said at a commemoration of the Hanaoka event in June that to avoid past mistakes being repeated, Japan should respect history.

  A monument was built at the former Hanaoka labor camp in Odate with Japanese public donations in 2009.

  Lin Boyao, secretary general of the China-Japan Exchanges Promotion Association, who was at the ceremony Tuesday, said that the memorials in Tianjin and Hanaoka together convey the message that remembering history is still of great significance today.


Editor:Yao Jianing
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