China court awards Nanjing Massacre survivor $200K in defamation case

[JURIST] Xia Shuqin [witness profile], a survivor of the 1937-1938 Nanjing Massacre [BBC report; memorial website], was awarded $200,000 by a Chinese court Wednesday in a lawsuit against two Japanese historians who claimed she fabricated her recollection of the atrocities. Shuqin claims to have suffered psychological trauma and damage to her reputation after the historians published two books claiming her accounts of Japanese troops entering her home and killing seven of her family members were untrue. The verdict requires the historians, Shudo Higashinakano and Toshio Matsumura, to immediately stop publishing their books and recall those books already distributed. Higashinakano rejected the ruling, disputing the jurisdiction of the court and arguing the case must be heard in Japan to have validity. Another survivor, Li Xiuying [obituary], was awarded $12,900 against Matsumura in 2003 in a separate defamation case.

Nations outside of Japan generally agree that the Japanese Army murdered more than 250,000 civilians and raped tens of thousands of women during the massacre. In Japan, the extent of the massacre remains a disputed fact and a source of tension in relations between Japan and China, exacerbated by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits [JURIST report] to a shrine [shrine website] memorializing Japan's war dead. AP has more. Xinhua has local coverage.

 

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