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Proclamation by the City of Toronto for the 75th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre

Councillor Wong-Tam will be moving the following motion regarding the Nanking Massacre:

This December marks the 75th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre.   The Nanking Massacre started on December 13, 1937 and took place over six weeks.  During this time, the Japanese Imperial Army killed, raped and tortured over 300,000 Chinese people.   This dark period in our history is often not discussed, yet the legacy of these atrocities carries on in the memories of survivors and continues to have a deeply felt impact in many Asian societies, including Toronto’s diverse Asian communities.

The City of Toronto can play a key role in raising public awareness by proclaiming the 75th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre.

The war crime atrocities that were committed in Asia during World War II are well documented.  The International Military Tribunal of the Far East in 1946 was convened to try the leaders of the Japanese Empire for war crimes.  The judges and prosecutors at this Tribunal heard testimony from experts providing evidence of the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Nanking.  Countless books and research have also documented testimony from hundreds of Japanese soldiers and Chinese survivors.  In 2008, the Toronto District School Board, the largest school board in North America, passed a unanimous motion encouraging the teaching of the atrocities of the Nanking Massacre and Japanese Military Sexual Slavery in their schools.

Honouring the individuals that lost their lives and educating the public of these atrocities is necessary to promote understanding and peace.  Toronto is home to Canada’s largest Chinese and Asian communities, some of whom survived the Japanese occupation of China during WWII and recall the atrocities that took place during this period.

This request is deemed to be urgent in order for the proclamation can be presented at community events being held in December 2012.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1.         City Council issue a proclamation for the 75th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre.