Last month, a regional government in northeast China decided to build a memorial to honor the thousands of Japanese settlers who died of starvation in the area following Japan’s surrender in World War II. Now Reuters reports that authorities have destroyed it.
The wire service explains what happened to the 12-foot-tall memorial:
“Last week, five men from around China traveled to the province to smash the wall with hammers and splash it with red paint, a public show of anger that led authorities to tear down the memorial on Friday night.”
The men, who were arrested and then released, were angry that public money had been spent to commemorate people who had been part of an effort by Japan to colonize China, from 1932 to 1945. (Also, some 35 million Chinese were wounded or killed during World War II.)
Said one of the men, “The local government should tell the public which official proposed such a silly idea of establishing a memorial wall for invaders.” Some have speculated that the memorial was an attempt to attract Japanese investment in the area.
The man added, “Two days after we went there and attacked the wall, it was demolished, which shows the effectiveness of our acts.”
Apparently not all forms of dissent are prohibited in China.