In a move that could only worsen the tensions between China and Japan, Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura stated this week that he continues to deny the Nanjing Massacre took place. He made the comment while speaking at a mayoral election debate, referring to the historic event in 1937 when at least tens of thousands of Chinese were killed by the Japanese Imperial Army during their occupation.
Mayor Kawamura’s latest statement over the massacre can be seen as a direct follow-up to the February 2012 blunder, when he told a Chinese delegation from Nanjing that he believed the incident had been made up, and that those who died were most likely killed in combat. There was outcry in Nanjing, as both the public and local leaders condemned the mayor’s words, and then severed all friendly relations with the city of Nagoya, starting with the cancellation of a sports exchange.
China is always quick to trumpet that its records show the Japanese Imperial Army killed over 300,000 people during the six-weeks of violence, however a number international historians put the figure between 40,000 and around 200,000. However, for Mayor Kawamura to outright deny the incident is completely ignorant, and making such public comments at a time when Chinese and Japanese diplomatic relations are at their worst due to an ongoing territorial row will only provide more fuel for the Beijing government to make claims that all of Japan is denying its history. Even with this latest re-affirmation of denial, Chinese media is writing that Japan needs to take “responsibility” for its history in order improve ties with its Asian neighbors.
[via Global Times]