China called for joint efforts with Japan to contribute to the peace of mankind as the country held a solemn State memorial ceremony on Dec 13 attended by President Xi Jinping to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.
Xi and senior officials joined people from different walks of life at the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders in paying silent tribute for one minute to the massacre victims.
On Dec 13, 1937, Japanese invaders occupied Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu province, and killed more than 300,000 Chinese people in six weeks. The city was then the nation’s capital.
During the memorial ceremony, the national flag flew at half-staff, and students recited the Declaration of Peace, a poem that calls on the Chinese people to remember history and pursue peace.
After the memorial ceremony, Xi met with representatives of the families of survivors of the Nanjing Massacre and members of foreign families who contributed to the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).
The president told them that the history and memories should be told from generation to generation.
“We should clean the mirror of history, wipe off the dust, use history as a lesson and move forward to the future,” Xi said.
Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said in his address at the ceremony that the invasion waged by Japanese militarists not only was a huge disaster for Chinese people but also brought great injury to Japanese people.
China and Japan should focus on the fundamental interests of the people of both countries, cherish the peace obtained with great difficulty, and make contributions to the peace of mankind, he said.
On the morning of Dec 13, memorial ceremonies were held at 17 mass graves, 12 communities and six patriotic education centers across Nanjing. In the afternoon, monks from China, Japan and South Korea chanted prayers for the victims.
In February 2014, China’s top legislature designated Dec 13 as the National Memorial Day for Victims of the Nanjing Massacre.