China releases list of 34,000 Chinese kept in Japan WWII camps

Last Updated: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 20:18

Beijing: Stepping up its campaign against Japan over the excesses committed by its troops during World War II, China on Saturday released a list of over 34,000 Chinese who were forced into Japanese labour camps.

A list of the names of 34,282 Chinese people forced into labour in Japan during World War II was published by a Chinese museum. The list is being made public for the first time.

The complete list is available at the website of Beijing`s Museum of the War of Chinese People`s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

According to a museum statement, the list was compiled in 1964 by a Japan-based society which collected the names of Chinese war casualties.
The museum scanned the document and made a digital version open to the public for reference.

Last year, the museum issued material regarding Chinese forced labourers in Japan, including 405 archives of information about 124 forced labour camps administered by 35 Japanese enterprises.

The museum received many requests from slaves` families, who wanted to check the records and look for their relatives` names, the report said, adding that to avoid damage to the precious records, the museum has decided not to make the hard copy available to the public.

In recent months, China reacted strongly to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s visit to the Yasakuni Shrine, a memorial for Japan`s war dead, stating that it also includes those Japanese soldiers accused of committing genocide in China during the war.

Yesterday, China also took exception to a Japanese government move approving new elementary school textbooks claiming the disputed islands called Diaoyus by China and Senkakus by Japan as part of Japan`s territory.

The revised textbooks, which will be used from the next academic year starting April, 2015 for fifth and sixth grade students, won approval from Japan`s education ministry.

Seven of the 14 textbooks submitted for screening clearly state that the Diaoyu Islands are "inherent territories of Japan," according to reports from Tokyo.

Reacting to the reports, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei asked Japan to stop provocations and teach correct historical views to young people.

"Japan should tell its next generation true facts about the Diaoyu Islands that they are China`s and they were illegally stolen," Hong told a press briefing.

He added that China was extremely concerned about a Japanese foreign ministry policy paper, which also claimed the islands as Japan`s.

The tough situation of bilateral relations was caused by repeated provocation by the Japanese side on issues regarding history and the islands in the East China Sea, he said.

"We urge the Japanese side to honestly face up to and reflect on its history of militarist aggression and stop infringing upon China`s territorial sovereignty," he said, calling on Japan to correct its mistakes by concrete actions.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 20:18

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