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100 years on, victims of 1923 earthquake bloodbath commemorated in Japan

TOKYO, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) — A ceremony has been held in Tokyo to commemorate the victims of a bloodbath through which over 6,000 Koreans and 750 Chinese have been killed following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake in Japan.

As this yr marks the a centesimal anniversary of the atrocity, about 1,800 individuals attended the ceremony on Thursday, together with outstanding figures from all walks of life in Japan and representatives of Chinese and Korean victims’ households.

They gathered to collectively bear in mind the victims of the 1923 bloodbath and name upon the Japanese authorities to acknowledge this darkish chapter of historical past by apologies and reparations.

In a speech delivered on the ceremony, Yang Yu, cost d’affaires of the Chinese embassy in Japan, attributed the direct causes of the bloodbath to maliciously unfold rumors inciting societal panic.

The roots of this tragedy could be traced again to Japan’s flip in the direction of militarism and the prevalence of maximum nationalism and xenophobia throughout that period, he contended, including that these elements ultimately paved the best way for Japan’s aggressive actions within the following years, inflicting profound struggling on China and different Asian nations.

Yang emphasised {that a} century later, Japanese society appears to be forgetting this painful chapter of historical past, with the Japanese authorities taking a backward stance on historic points.

With sure people brazenly distorting or denying historic info, there have been unfavorable tendencies inside Japan the place neighboring international locations are seen as threats, and there’s a rise in divisive sentiments and hatred, he added.

Yang referred to as for efforts to steadfastly uphold justice, forestall a reversal of historical past, and urged Japan to actually mirror on its previous and draw profound classes from it, avoiding a recurrence of such misguided paths.

During the occasion, Mizuho Fukushima, head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, Hideya Sugio of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and representatives from China, Japan, South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea took the stage to disclose the historic truths behind the bloodbath.

They stated the Japanese authorities bears an simple duty and referred to as upon it to respect historical past and info, taking concrete actions to regain the belief of its Asian neighbors and the worldwide neighborhood.

Lin Zhoudi, a descendant of a sufferer from east China’s Zhejiang Province, instructed Xinhua that his grandfather, Lin Yanjie, who arrived in Japan to earn a residing in 1921, was killed in a premeditated bloodbath on Sept. 3, 1923, two days after he survived the Great Kanto Earthquake.

“As family members of the victims, we demand a clear response from the Japanese government. They must acknowledge the crimes committed in the past, offer apologies and provide compensation to the families of the victims,” stated Lin.

Atsushi Koketsu, emeritus professor at Yamaguchi University of Japan, expressed his anger on the ongoing denial and revision of historical past by the Japanese authorities.

“As a historian, I am greatly infuriated by the Japanese government’s consistent denial and revision of history. Without a serious reckoning of past crimes, Japan cannot earn trust,” he instructed Xinhua.

On Sept. 1, 1923, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan’s Kanto space, leading to over 140,000 casualties. In the violence after the quake fanned by Japanese militarists, over 750 Chinese laborers and college students, in addition to 6,000 Koreans residing in Japan have been brutally killed.

In 1924 Japanese authorities formulated a compensation plan which stays unfulfilled up to now, and the truth that Japan engaged within the bloodbath of Chinese nationals has been persistently hid by successive Japanese governments.