Chinese village holds ceremony to commemorate victims of Japanese germ warfare
More than 100 descendants of victims attended the Chongshan village ceremony in Yiwu city. Non-governmental figures and volunteers from Japan and China also attended the event, Xinhua reports.
"Although the power of an individual is weak, I would like to tell more Japanese about what really happened in history through my own efforts," journalist Nishisato Fuyuko said, according to Xinhua.
The Japanese army used biological weapons on the village during World War II and on November 18, 1942, burned the village to the ground to cover up the evidence. Historical records show that 1,318 people died in Yiwu during the germ warfare with 404 dying in Chongshan alone. The subsequent torching killed an additional 176 people.
"There is an urgent need to establish a non-governmental organization in Yiwu to push forward the study of germ warfare's history and expose the Japanese atrocities to the world," Wang Xuan, a member of the team of investigators, said, according to Xinhua.
In 1997, 180 Chinese plaintiffs from the Zhejiang and Hunan provinces began a campaign demanding fair judgment of the accusation against Japan for its germ warfare crimes. The Japanese Supreme Court ruled against the plaintiffs in a final judgment in 2007. Since then, 81 of the plaintiffs have died.
"We don't want to harbor hatred," Wang Jianzheng, the son of one of the victims, said, according to Xinhua. "We want to keep true history in mind and seek justice for people like my father."