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Massacre victim awaits award

A SURVIVOR of the Nanjing Massacre will soon receive the libel award she won after a Japanese writer accused her of lying about her experiences, the woman said yesterday.

Xia Shuqin, 80, said her Japanese lawyers told her the 4.55 million yen (US$45,800) in court-ordered compensation was in their account and will be transferred to her shortly.

"I feel relieved. The compensation is a comfort to all those who suffered in the massacre," said Xia, who testified in court in Japan in 2006 about her own family tragedy during the killing spree.

The three-year-long lawsuit ended in February, when the Japanese Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Shudo Higashinakano, a right-wing Asia University scholar, and Tendensha, a publishing house, ordering them to pay damages to Xia.

Xia was eight years old when seven of the nine members of her immediate family were slaughtered by Japanese soldiers in Nanjing in 1937. Part of Xia's story was featured in a documentary shot by American John Magee.

But a book by Higashinakano, "The Complete Investigation into the Nanjing Massacre," claimed Xia had not told the truth about what she saw, and that she was not the girl in the documentary.

The book, published by Tendensha in 1998, was translated into English and Chinese and has sold thousands of copies.

The libel suit was taken to the Japanese Supreme Court after the defendants refused to accept a ruling against them by the Tokyo High Court.

Zhu Chengshan, director of the Nanjing Memorial Hall of Compatriots Murdered in the Nanjing Massacre, said that the lawsuit victory marked a defeat of right-wing Japanese who have denied this chapter in their nation's history.

"There were quite a few cases concerning the massacre brought against Japanese right wingers, but Xia is the only person who won lawsuits in both China and Japan," he said.

Japanese troops occupied Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, in December 1937 and conducted a massacre that lasted six weeks, historians say. Records show that more than 300,000 Chinese people, civilians as well as military prisoners, were killed.


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