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China seeks UNESCO listing for Nanjing Massacre

The documents are first-hand materials that recorded the massacre, and are of historical importance.

China is applying to UNESCO to list 11 sets of documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre on the Memory of the World Register.

The documents are first-hand materials that recorded the massacre, and are of historical importance, Zhu Chengshan, curator of the memorial hall of the victims said on Wednesday.

Preparation work began in 2009, and the application process started in March this year, when the State Archives Administration handed the documents to the Memory of the World secretariat, according to Zhu, who initiated the application.

The documents, which include diaries, films, photographs and testimonies, depict the brutality of Japanese invaders in the massacre, Zhu told state run Xinhua news agency.

“These documents truthfully record the atrocities,” Zhu said.

On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying confirmed that China had applied to UNESCO to list documents relating to the massacre and Japan’s wartime sex slaves, so-called “comfort women”, on the Memory of the World Register.

The Memory of the World Register, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation programme which began in 1997, lists documentary heritage with world significance and outstanding universal value.

Historians estimate that 200,000 women were forced into sexual servitude by Japanese forces during WWII, most of them from countries invaded by Japan at that time.

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