Toronto rec­og­nizes Nan­jing Mas­sacre

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By NA LI in Toronto re­nai@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Jim Kary­gian­nis is pleased that the Toronto City Coun­cil passed his mo­tion to rec­og­nize the Nan­jing Mas­sacre on Dec 15.

The mo­tion, moved by Kary­gian­nis, coun­cil­lor for Ward 39, Scar­bor­ough-Agin­court, and sec­onded by Coun­cil­lor Kristyn Wong-Tam on Dec 5, reads as fol­lows: City Coun­cil re-af­firms its recog­ni­tion of the Nan­jing Mas­sacre and hon­ours the mem­ory of the men, women and chil­dren who were mas­sa­cred.

“I want to thank Coun­cil­lor Wong-Tam for sec­ond­ing the mo­tion and the mayor and my fel­low coun­cil­lors for pass­ing this mo­tion,” said Kary­gian­nis. “Coun­cil has rec­og­nized the Im­pe­rial Ja­panese Army launched a six- week cam­paign which saw an es­ti­mated 300,000 peo­ple, in­clud­ing young chil­dren, tor­tured, raped and mur­dered.”

Dur­ing the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s War of Re­sis­tance Against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sions (1937-1945), on Dec 13, 1937, the Ja­panese in­vaders cap­tured Nan­jing. Over the fol­low­ing six weeks, they con­ducted a mas­sacre where an es­ti­mated 300,000 peo­ple, in­clud­ing young chil­dren, were tor­tured, raped and mur­dered.

“This dark pe­riod in his­tory is sel­dom dis­cussed, yet the legacy of these atroc­i­ties lives on in the mem­o­ries of sur­vivors and it con­tin­ues to have a deeply-felt im­pact in many Asian so­ci­eties, in­clud­ing Toronto’s di­verse Asian com­mu­ni­ties,” Kary­gian­nis stated in the mo­tion.

Coun­cil­lor Wong-Tam said the vote is ul­ti­mately an­other step to­ward peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, “not just be­cause Toronto has the largest Chi­ne­seCana­dian pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try, but be­cause it was the right course of ac­tion and most Cana­dian thing to do”.

“It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber these mo­ments in our shared his­tory,” Kary­gian­nis said. “We must re­mem­ber those who suf­fered and per­ished. We must teach our chil­dren the vi­o­lence faced by their an­ces­tors and oth­ers. It is only by re­mem­ber­ing and teach­ing the young that we can en­sure that these atroc­i­ties never hap­pen again.”

Mean­while, Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Shaun Chen also made a state­ment on the Nan­jing Mas­sacre on Dec 12 at Par­lia­ment Hill in Ot­tawa.

“Seventy- nine years ago tomorrow, one of the dark­est mo­ments in hu­man his­tory be­gan. Over a six-week pe­riod, in­no­cent civil­ians were raped and killed in China’s then capital city of Nan­jing dur­ing the Sec­ond Sino-Ja­panese War,” Chen stated.

“Here in Canada, I salute the work of Toronto AL­PHA for their ef­forts to shine light on this for­gotten his­tory. Through ed­u­ca­tion, we can teach fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to never re­peat the atroc­i­ties of the past, and we will never for­get.”

Toronto’s school board passed a unan­i­mous mo­tion en­cour­ag­ing the teach­ing of the atroc­i­ties of the Nank­ing Mas­sacre and Ja­panese Military Sex­ual Slav­ery in their schools in 2008.

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