Li Tiechui, an 87-year-old survivor of capitive Chinese laborers in Japan during World War II (WWII) attends a memorial service in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Aug. 8, 2009. China and Japan held a joint memorial service here on Saturday for the Chinese laborers who were captured to Japan and forced to work to death during WWII. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)
TOKYO, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- A memorial service was held Saturday at a temple in Tokyo for 6,830 Chinese who died in Japan after being forcibly taken to Japan to work as laborers during World War II.
Some 300 people attended the service, the first ever
jointly held by both the Chinese and Japanese sides to mourn for the wartime
Chinese forced laborers who died due to illness, overwork, maltreatment and
Present at the service was Chinese Ambassador to
Japan Cui Tiankai, who made a speech in memory of the dead.
"This year marks the 60 anniversary of the discovery
of remains of Chinese forced laborers (in Japan). While recalling the tragedy of
the victims of the laborers and lamenting for them, we gain a better
understanding of the cruelty of aggressive wars and the preciousness of peace
and friendship," said Cui.
"The two peoples are now working hand-in-hand to advance the strategic and mutually beneficial relations and striving to attain the goal of peaceful coexistence, friendship for generations, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development," he said.
Relatives of capitive Chinese laborers in Japan during World War II (WWII) attend a memorial service in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Aug. 8, 2009.(Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)
This new situation is hard won and should be highly treasured, said Cui, adding that it could also be a great comfort to the souls of the dead in paradise, including those of wartime Chinese forced laborers.
Statistics show that nearly 40,000 Chinese were forced into labor at 135 locations throughout Japan during World War II.