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August 9, 2009

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Service honors forced workers

A MEMORIAL service was held yesterday at a temple in Tokyo for 6,830 Chinese who died in Japan after being forcibly sent there 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 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)," he said.

"While recalling the tragedy of the victims and lamenting them, we gain a better understanding of the cruelty of aggressive wars and the preciousness of peace and friendship," he added.

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

"This situation is hard won and should be valued."

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


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