China welcomes UNESCO listing of Nanjing massacre files

China on Saturday welcomed UNESCO's inscription of documents related to the massacre of civilians in Nanjing city by Japanese troops in WW-II on UN Memory of the World Register despite firm opposition from Japan.

PTI| Updated: Oct 10, 2015, 21:52 PM IST

Beijing: China on Saturday welcomed UNESCO's inscription of documents related to the massacre of civilians in Nanjing city by Japanese troops in WW-II on UN Memory of the World Register despite firm opposition from Japan.

"China will ensure these valuable documents are protected and circulated, and make them play a positive role in remembering history, cherishing peace, looking into the future and safeguarding human dignity," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

UNESCO yesterday listed the documents related to the massacre known as the "Rape of Nanjing", saying the inscription marks an "international recognition and consensus" of records that have been distorted by the Japanese right wing.

Inscription of the dossier into the UNESCO's Memory of the World Register, created to preserve significant and endangered documents, was announced on the website of the UN's scientific and cultural body.

Japan today lashed out at UNESCO, saying that it is "extremely regrettable that a global organisation that should be neutral and fair entered the documents in the Memory of the World register, despite the repeated pleas made by the Japanese government".

"As a responsible member of UNESCO, the Japanese government will seek a reform of this important project, so that it will not be used politically," it said in a statement.

The files show the atrocities of Japanese troops in China, who killed 3,00,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers from December 13, 1937 to January of 1938, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Japan's foreign ministry questioned the authenticity of the documents even as Hua rejected Tokyo's protest, saying: "Nanjing Massacre is a severe crime committed by Japanese militarism during World War II and is a historical fact recognised by the international community."

She said the files meet the evaluation criteria of Memory of the World Register, especially for authenticity and completeness, and the submission complied with UNESCO rules.

"Facts should not be denied and history not re-written," she said while urging Japan to reflect on its history, and to stop obstructing the work of UNESCO.

She added that Japan should regain trust from the international community with concrete action.