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Japan holds memorial service for wartime Chinese forced laborers

A MEMORIAL service was held today at a temple in Tokyo for 6,830 Chinese who died in Japan after being forcibly taken to Japan to work as laborers during World War II.

Some 300 people attended the service, the first ever jointly held by both the Chinese and Japanese sides to mourn for the wartime Chinese forced laborers who died due to illness, overwork, maltreatment and malnourishment.

Present at the service was Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai, who made a speech in memory of the dead.

"This year marks the 60 anniversary of the discovery of remains of Chinese forced laborers (in Japan). While recalling the tragedy of the victims of the laborers and lamenting for them, we gain a better understanding of the cruelty of aggressive wars and the preciousness of peace and friendship," said Cui.

"The two peoples are now working hand-in-hand to advance the strategic and mutually beneficial relations and striving to attain the goal of peaceful coexistence, friendship for generations, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development," he said.

This new situation is hard won and should be highly treasured, said Cui, adding that it could also be a great comfort to the souls of the dead in paradise, including those of wartime Chinese forced laborers.

Statistics show that nearly 40,000 Chinese were forced into labor at 135 locations throughout Japan during World War II.


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