China has rejected Japan’s call for it to withdraw an application to register records of Japan’s wartime sex slaves with UNESCO, the official Xinhua News Agency reports.
“We will not accept Japan’s unreasonable protest, and will not drop our application,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
China on Tuesday filed an application with UNESCO to list documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing massacre and Japan’s wartime sex slaves, known as “comfort women”, on the Memory of the World Register. Created in 1997, the register protects the world’s documentary heritage.
Tokyo has lodged a protest over the application and asked China to withdraw it, according to Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga.
But Hua explained that China’s application seeks “to firmly bear history in mind and cherish peace, respect human dignity and prevent behaviors against humanity, human rights and human beings from happening again”.
Historians estimate some 200,000 women were forced into sexual servitude by Japanese forces during World War II, most of them from countries invaded by Japan at the time, the report said.
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