Japan protests UNESCO listing for China’s Nanjing massacre files


Tokyo (dpa) – Japan is protesting against a UN decision to add Chinese records on the Nanjing massacre of 1937 to its Memory of the World programme, local media reported Saturday.

China’s documents on the mass killings of citizens and soldiers in the city by Japanese occupiers were among dozens of new additions to UNESCO’s collection of documentary heritage.

Those include court documents from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East that convicted several Japanese as war criminals. Photos of the killings said to have been taken by the Imperial Japanese Army and film footage taken by an American missionary are also included.

Also called the Rape of Nanking, the invading Japanese army killed about 200,000 Chinese and raped tens of thousands of women, the court found.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said “the nomination was made on the basis of unilateral arguments” and that “it is extremely regrettable” that they were registered, Kyodo News agency reported.

China had also nominated files about sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army, but those were not added to the UNESCO registry.

UNESCO also invluded Japan’s submission of two sets of archives. The materials cover the post-World War II internment and repatriation of Japanese by the Soviet Union, and a Buddhist temple’s extensive records of its activities from the medieval to pre-modern eras in the country.