‘Nank­ing’ au­thor’s par­ents call on Ja­pan to face history

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

Par­ents of Chi­nese- Amer­i­can au­thor Iris Chang ( ) , who was best known for her book on the Nank­ing Mas­sacre, “The Rape of Nank­ing,” yesterday called on Ja­pan to face history in or­der to pro­mote peace.

Speak­ing with lo­cal media in Taipei, Chang Ying- ying (

) and Chang Shau- jin ( ), the mother and fa­ther of Chang re­spec­tively, urged the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment to sin­cerely apol­o­gize over wartime atroc­i­ties dur­ing World War II.

Un­like Ger­many’s ad­mis­sion of its role and its ef­forts to com­pen­sate vic­tims dur­ing WWII, Ja­pan has al­ways taken the ap­proach of de­nial, Chang Yingying said.

“The Ja­panese gov­ern­ment has never sin­cerely apol­o­gized over their war crimes,” she noted.

“Their politi­cians only is­sued per­sonal apolo­gies for Ja­pan’s wartime ag­gres­sion but we are ask­ing for an of­fi­cial apol­ogy on be­half of their gov­ern­ment,” she noted.

She said peo­ple are ask­ing for Ja­pan’s apol­ogy so that the coun­try can learn from its past and make sure that Ja­panese mil­i­tarism will not rise again.

The ul­ti­mate goal is to pro­mote peace, she added.

Chang’s par­ents, both in their 70s, were born and raised in Tai­wan be­fore mov­ing to the U. S.

They are vis­it­ing Tai­wan to par­tic­i­pate in on­go­ing cel­e­bra­tions to com­mem­o­rate the 70th an­niver­sary of the R. O. C.’ s vic­tory over Ja­pan in the Sec­ond Sino- Ja­panese War that lasted from 1937 to 1945.

On Tues­day, the two re­ceived a ci­ta­tion from Pres­i­dent Ma Ying- jeou on their daugh­ter’s be­half whose 1997 book res­ur­rected the long- ig­nored atroc­i­ties by the Ja­panese mil­i­tary on Chi­nese civil­ians dur­ing the war.

Chang com­mit­ted sui­cide on Nov. 9, 2004. She was 36.

Com­ment­ing on her daugh­ter’s book, Chang Ying- ying yesterday said her daugh­ter was mo­ti­vated partly by her par­ents’ sto­ries about their es­cape from the mas­sacre.

To write the book, Chang trav­eled to China to see photos and doc­u­ments that recorded atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by Ja­panese forces.

Chang Ying- ying said her daugh­ter was deeply af­fected by these im­ages and she once told her to quit writ­ing the book for her own good.

What she had seen and ex­pe­ri­enced while writ­ing the book ap­par­ently af­fected her body and soul too much, Chang Ying- ying said.

But her daugh­ter in­sisted that she had to do so and the suf­fer­ing she had was noth­ing com­pared to the suf­fer­ing of those in­no­cent men, women and chil­dren who were bru­tally killed by Ja­panese sol­diers.

Af­ter her daugh­ter’s pass­ing, she said that she and her hus­band de­cided to sup­port Chang’s work and con­tinue her mis­sion so that more will know about the largely for­got­ten history.

Photo by Joseph Yeh, The China Post

Fa­ther of Chi­nese-Amer­i­can writer Iris Chang ( ), Chang Shau-jin (

), left, and mother Chang Ying-ying ( ), right, speak dur­ing a press event in Taipei, yesterday. They are vis­it­ing Tai­wan to re­ceive a ci­ta­tion from Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou on their daugh­ter’s be­half whose book res­ur­rected the long-ig­nored atroc­i­ties by the Ja­panese mil­i­tary on Chi­nese civil­ians dur­ing World War II.

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