Aichi governor to Nagoya mayor: Fix Nanjing mess

Kyodo

Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura on Monday urged Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura to quickly address the deteriorating ties between the city and its Chinese sister city, Nanjing, over the mayor’s contentious denial of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.

“I am very concerned,” said Omura about the downturn in ties sparked by Kawamura’s Feb. 20 remarks that he believes only “conventional acts of combat,” not mass murder and rape of civilians, occurred in Nanjing in 1937.

“As a friend, I have given my personal advice since last week by calling him or meeting with him,” Omura said.

“I strongly hope he will cool the situation down as quickly as possible and maintain the friendly relationship with the city of Nanjing,” he said.

Calling attention to the fact that a difference exists between Japanese and Chinese estimates of the number of Chinese civilians massacred in a joint report released in 2010, Omura said of his own view, “I would like to evaluate these estimates.”

In the report, the Chinese side says the victims numbered more than 300,000, but Japanese academics cite various estimates ranging from 20,000 to 200,000.

In reaction to Kawamura’s remarks, Nanjing said Feb. 21 it will suspend exchanges with Nagoya for the time being, according to China News Service. The two cities formed sister city relations in 1978.