OTTAWA, (Xinhua) — Canadian lawmaker Jenny Kwan on Thursday made an open statement in parliament on the Nanjing Massacre and other Japanese atrocities committed during World War II.
It was the first time for a Canadian lawmaker to deliver such a statement to the House of Commons, and it came two weeks before the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.
“Eighty years ago, Imperial Japanese Army Forces raped an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 Chinese women and girls and some 300,000 people were killed,” Kwan said.
“Western eye-witnesses in Nanjing described the atrocities as ‘Hell on Earth’,” she said.
On Dec. 13, Canadian provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia (BC) will hold events to mark Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day, she said.
Last month, the Ontario provincial parliament passed a motion designating Dec. 13 as the Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day to commemorate the mass killing of 300,000 Chinese by Japanese troops.
The parliament of Ontario, home to Canada’s largest Asian community with more than 3 million of Asian descent, became the first regional legislature in Western countries to adopt the motion.
Manitoba joined a growing movement in Canada to recognize and commemorate the Nanjing Massacre, with a motion of this kind passing its second reading with unanimous consent in its legislature.
Kwan also took note of the heinous crime committed against female war victims in Asia, who were forced into sexual slavery known as “comfort women” by Japanese troops during World War II.
“Some 200,000 women from Korea, the Philippines, China, Burma, Indonesia and other Japanese occupied territories were tricked, kidnapped or coerced to work in brothels to serve as ‘comfort women’ to the Imperial Japanese army,” she said.
Kwan said that documents of the Nanjing Massacre were included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Efforts have been made worldwide to help people remember this history.
BC Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA) worked with the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) Government and developed a resource guide including the Rape of Nanjing, she added.
“Thank you, Canada ALPHA, for your dedication in ensuring that Canadians remember and learn from this history,” said Kwan in the statement.
She said in an interview with media after her speech that she will work to bring this issue to the attention of the government, and call on the government to proclaim Dec. 13 as the Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day.
“As an MP, I will be tabling a motion in the House of Commons as well,” said Kwan, adding that it could be difficult to have the motion passed.
“What I would really like is for the government to take this issue and to proclaim it on behalf of all canadians, to recognize and honor the victims and to remember this history, and to really commit to say that ‘never again’,” she told Xinhua.