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Beijing — Japanese monk kneels at Marco Polo Bridge to apologize for invasion

Tuesday 25 May 2010

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All the versions of this article: [English] [中文]

Monk Iwata Ryuzo Monday knelt to apologize for atrocities Japan committed during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) at the Lugou Bridge in southwest Beijing.

The 74-year-old buddhist lit incense and chanted scriptures before kneeling and praying for the victims massacred by the Japanese army at the bridge Monday afternoon.

"I’m apologizing for the Japanese army’s invasion," he said. "Few people in Japan think it’s necessary to apologize for that, but I do."

The Lugou Bridge, better known in English as the Marco Polo Bridge, is widely considered to be the place where the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression started on July 7, 1937.

Born September 10, 1936, Iwata Ryuzo was a child when the war broke out. He quit his job at a bank and devoted his time to helping people left disabled by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"When I was little, the history textbooks told the truth," Iwata Ryuzo said, "but now a lot of textbooks took this part of the history out.

"I can’t change what the government does, but I can express my determination by traveling to different Asian countries and apologizing."

This is the third time he has been to China to kneel at memorial spots of the war. He has been to nine cities including Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenyang, Changchun and Harbin in his two trips of 2005 and 2006.

When asked why he came back to China, he said, "I would come every year if I could but I don’t have enough money to do so."

He has also been to the Philippines and five times to South Korea.

Author : Li Shuang

Source : http://www.globaltimes.cn

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