New study on Nanking fails to bridge Japan, China history divide

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Japanese and Chinese scholars published the results of a three-year joint study Sunday which showed they could not resolve differences on controversial modern events including the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.
In a government-backed project aimed at soothing strained ties, 10 historians from each country have reviewed the history of China-Japan relations over 2,000 years.

The 549-page report showed both sides agreed that the 1937-1945 Sino-Japanese War was an "act of aggression" waged by Japan.

But it noted differing views on the number of Chinese killed by the imperial Japanese army after it seized Nanjing, then China's capital and known as Nanking.

The Chinese side, citing a ruling of the 1947 Nanjing war crimes tribunal, said more than 300,000 were massacred in the atrocity when Japanese troops embarked on an orgy of destruction, pillage, rape and murder.

The Japanese side pointed to "various estimates" such as 20,000 and 40,000 and up to 200,000.

The study was launched in 2006, when then prime minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Hu Jintao tried to mend ties that worsened under Abe's predecessor Junichiro Koizumi whose visits to a Tokyo war shrine angered China....

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