China mulls law to punish people who glorify WWII invasion

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/25 21:23:40

Legislators seek to protect reputation, honor of heroes, martyrs

Chinese lawmakers on Wednesday submitted a draft law to the top legislature seeking to protect the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs by severely punishing those who glorify invasions. 

People who malign the deeds and spirit of the heroes and martyrs and those who glorify wars or acts of invasion and disturb the social order shall be punished, and should be criminally liable in severe cases, according to the second draft of a law reviewed by legislators during the bi-monthly session of the top legislature from Wednesday to Friday.

The amendment was included following recent incidents in which a handful of persons dressed in Japanese World War II army uniforms and spread the photos online to glorify the war of invasion, triggering strong public backlash.

Two men who wore World War II Japanese military uniforms while posing for photos in front of a Nanjing war ruins site were detained for 15 days in February, the Nanjing-based Modern Express reported. 

Su Zhiliang, the head of Shanghai Normal University's Research Center for Chinese Comfort Women, told the Global Times that people who glorify the invasion by wearing Japanese WWII army uniforms have lost their integrity, and they should be sentenced for severely hurting the nation's feelings.
He said China should learn from Germany, where giving the Nazi salute or displaying Nazi symbols could lead to jail terms.

Several survivors of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre interviewed by Modern Express also believed that detention is too light a punishment to prevent similar cases from recurring.

Lü Yaodong, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Japanese Studies, told the Global Times that glorifying Japan's invasion caters to Japanese revisionists and causes some Chinese people to downplay history, which may affect finding solutions to historical issues between China and Japan.

"Administrators of social media platforms where photos and videos of such behavior are circulated should strengthen their supervision, and those who don't should also be punished," Su said.

The draft also states that public security bureaus may slap administrative penalties on those who appropriate, damage or contaminate memorials and malign heroes and martyrs. Severe cases could also face criminal charges, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Such behavior would harm young Chinese who have limited knowledge of history, Su said.

Current Chinese TV dramas on Japan's invasion in WWII are heavily criticized for their ludicrous storylines and sometimes vulgar scenes also adversely affect the young people's understanding of history, Su said.

The legislation aims to promote patriotism and socialist core values, said the draft.

Newspaper headline: Law to punish glorifying WWII invasion


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