彩神网页版登录Canadian lawmaker's call for establishing Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day receives increasing support

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OTTAWA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Canadian lawmaker Jenny Kwan on Wednesday tabled a petition in the House of Commons signed by nearly 40,000 Canadians calling on the government to designate Dec. 13 as Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day in Canada.

"The commemoration of the Nanjing Massacre is about the formal recognition of atrocities, learning from history, and paying tribute to those impacted," said Kwan, a member of the Canadian parliament. "If we can learn from history and commit ourselves to preventing it from happening again, humanity benefits."

"The treatment of Yazidi women in northern Iraq shows that large-scale, systemic sexual violence continues to be used as a tactic to assert power, dominance, and to dehumanize people and attack their identity," said Kwan, also a Canadian opposition Conservative Party and New Democratic Party immigration and refugee critic.

"We must recognize these atrocities now, and act to end those that are currently underway," she added.

It is estimated that between 20,000 to 500,000 Chinese women and girls were raped, and approximately 500,000 people killed by the Japanese army in Nanjing in 1937.

Over the course of World War II, an estimated 500,000 women and girls from China, Korea, Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines, and some other countries' occupied territories in Asia were either kidnapped or tricked or coerced into working in brothels to serve as "comfort women."

Now, the United Nations recognizes 19 countries in conflict where sexual violence is used as a weapon of war, said the lawmaker.

Among those joining the call for action are prominent Japanese Canadians like author Joy Kogawa and Director of the Peace Philosophy Center Satoko Norimatsu.

In an age of increasing xenophobia and historical revisionism, Kwan's work assumes a new urgency to align ourselves with the world's historians and to guard against revisionists, equivocators and deniers of history who attempt to falsify and sanitize the past, said Kogawa.

"Our humanity depends on recognizing our capacity for barbarity," said Kogawa, who's been awarded the Order of Canada and Japan's Order of the Rising Sun.

"Historical truth matters. It matters particularly intensely when history is put on trial by revisionists. Humanity is one. We are each part of our common lot. Our humanity and our lack of humanity, we must know this. We must know who we humans are, what we have done and what we are still capable of doing," she added.

"When the time comes that the courageous people in Japan speak the truth to power are finally heard, when the long, overdue outpouring of grief arrives across the land, when Japanese children are taught their history in their home country, in that future time the unbearable burden of shameful denial will begin to lift," the author said.

Members of the National Congress of Chinese Canadians (NCCC) helped gather the 40,000 names on Kwan's petition because there is an urgent need to keep this memory alive, according to the NCCC's President Steven Choi.

"Yet today, what we see is that the Japanese government is still honoring some of the military war criminals as heroes in Japan. And history, as we speak, is being taught and whitewashed in Japan and also the educational books are being revised to now call the Nanjing Massacre not a war but a conflict," he added.

Dec. 13 will mark the 81st anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.