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December 14, 2009

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Thousands mourn massacre victims

THOUSANDS of Chinese and foreigners gathered yesterday in Nanjing City, capital of Jiangsu Province, to mourn those killed by invading Japanese soldiers 72 years ago in the Nanjing Massacre.

A siren sounded at 10am as 5,000 people gathered in front of the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre to mourn the dead and present wreaths.

A bell also tolled as the crowd prayed for world peace.

Zhang Jiuhan, vice chairman of the Jiangsu Committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference, said the gathering was to make sure history doesn't repeat.

"China and Japan should keep friendly relations and cooperate for mutual benefits. This is in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples," Zhang said.

Chinese and Japanese monks also mourned the victims of the massacre at a religious assembly in Nanjing.

About 30 Japanese monks, 50 Chinese monks and 30 massacre survivors prayed for world peace at the assembly.

"It's a very sad day," said Zhao Bin, 72, a survivor. "On the anniversary each year, I miss my relatives and others who were killed cruelly by Japanese invaders.

"History should not be allowed to repeat," Zhao said.

Japanese troops occupied Nanjing on December 13, 1937 and launched a six-week killing spree. Chinese records show more than 300,000 people were killed, including civilians.

The memorial hall exhibits evidence of the atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in Nanjing.

Much of the evidence - including photographs and newspaper reports - was provided by Japanese citizens.

The latest evidence includes photos about scenes of the damaged Nanjing and slaughtered citizens.


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