BEIJING – Buildings constructed during Japan’s occupation of Manchukuo, a puppet state set up in China, have received official protection from Beijing, state media reported Thursday.
The move to preserve the buildings followed calls by Chinese netizens to demolish structures left by invaders from the 1931-45 Manchukuo era, domestic media said.
However, media quoted analysts as saying preserving the buildings would help Chinese people better understand a key period in the country’s history.
“A nation should face the tough years in its history,” Zhou Zueyang, a history professor from Nanjing University told the Global Times newspaper.
“If it’s invaded, enslaved and bullied by others, it should not hide that history but should demonstrate it to the world and let its descendants remember that forever.”
Located in northeast China, Manchukuo was seized by the Japanese Imperial Army following the Mukden Incident of Sept. 18, 1931, when military personnel set off an explosion on a rail line and blamed it on Chinese citizens as a pretext for starting the war.
Pu Yi, the last Qing dynasty emperor, was installed as the puppet government’s figurehead.