Bearing witness to the past, for living together
in the future:
On the 70th anniversary of the Nanjing Tragedy
November 22 - 25, 2007
at the Nanjing Normal University
and Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
This conference is for people from China, Japan, and other parts of the world, who have had different war experience and education in war. Its purpose is to open their hearts and listen deeply to one another. Participants will hear the testimonies of survivors, visit historic sites, join in moments of silence, and share thoughts and feelings in large and small groups.
The guidelines for dialogue are:
1) to put aside preconceived notions and open oneüfs heart for other points of view; and
2) to bear witness by listening deeply.
Conference participation fee: US $250 (students: $125)
Considering the diversity of historical interpretations, the conference will not make a unified statement. Participants are encouraged to express their points of view.
HISTORICAL REFERENCES ON THE NANJING TRAGEDY
Description of a Japanese textbook, 1:
On the evening of July 7, 1937 , an incident that someone shot at the Japanese troops in exercise took place at Hugouqiao in the suburb of Beijing. On the following morning they were in combat with the Chinese Nationalist Party troops (the Hugouquiao Incident). A solution was sought on-the-spot, but the Japanese side ordered a large-scale dispatch of troops, and the Nationalist Party Government also ordered mobilization of troops. Following this, the Japan-China War went on for eight years.
In August of the same year, an incident that two Japanese soldiers were shot to death took place in Shanghai where foreign reservations are concentrated. Ignited by this occasion, a total war between Japan and China started. Hoping that taking Nanjing, the capital of the Nationalist Party Government, would make Chang Kaishek surrender, the Japanese troops occupied Nanjing. (At this time a large number of people were killed and injured by the Japanese troops: the Nanjing Incident.) [Note: The Tokyo Trial determined that the Japanese troops killed a great number of Chinese civilians when they occupied Nanjing in 1937 during the Japan-China War. Furthermore, some points of doubt based on evidences have been presented regarding reality of this incident, and debate continues even today.] ?Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho (New History Textbook), Mikiji Nijio, et al. Tokyo: Fusosha. 2001.
Description of a Japanese textbook, 2:
On July 7, at Hugouquiao in the suburb of Beiping (Beijing) an incident that Japanese and Chinese troops clashed with each other (the Hugouquiao Incident). A truce was reached on-the-spot, but with the intention to give a strike on China, subdue the movement to resist Japan, and obtain resources and market in Northern China, the Konoe Cabinet decided to dispatch troops, and called it ügNorthern China Incident.üh After the battle spread to Shanghai in August (the Shanghai Incident), it was renamed ügChina Incidentüh in September, and Japan went into total invasion war against China without declaring war (Japan-China War).
In spite of the Japanese expectation that
China would be subdued with a single
the resistance of China, forming a
racial front-line against Japan, was
Japan poured a large number of troops
occupied Nanjing, the capital of Nationalist
Government, in December. At that time,
Japanese troops killed a great number
Chinese people, including surrendering
and prisoners of war, engaged in depredations,
arsons, and criminal assaults, and
accused for the Nanjing Massacre. The
of those, including combatants, who
killed, during the weeks before and
the occupation, is estimated as at
ten or more thousands. ?Japanese History B, Kojiro Naoki. Tokyo: Jikkyo Publications,
After the Hugouqiao Incident, the Japanese army amassed a great number of reinforcing troops and launched a large-scale campaign toward Beiping, Tianjin, Shanghai, and other regions. Japan depended on its military power and intended to fight and win quickly, destroying China in three months. At this critical time for the survival of the Chinese race, people in the entire country united and launched a collaborative campaign against invasion, which was unprecedented in modern Chinese history üc
In December 1937, the Japanese army occupied Nanjing. At that time, they killed unarmed citizens and prisoners of war by cruel methods, including shooting, burning, burying, cutting, and military dogs biting. This created extreme human misery?the Nanjing massacreüc According to statistics the the number of unarmed Nanjing residents and Chinese soldiers who had laid down weapons Japanese army slaughtered during the six weeks of its occupation of Nanjing, reached more than 300,000. The Nanjing massacre is one of the atrocities that the Japanese invading army inflicted on Chinese people. ?History, vol. 1, the eighth grade. Beijing Normal University Press, 2001.