Nanking Massacre Memorial Day Date in the current year: December 13, 2024

Nanking Massacre Memorial Day Nanking Massacre Memorial Day is an annual remembrance day observed in China on December 13 each year. It honors those who were killed during one of the most tragic and shocking episodes of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The Second Sino-Japanese War was fought between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China between 1937 and 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in July 1937. The conflict between Chinese and Japanese troops escalated into a full-scale war that ended with the surrender of Imperial Japan in the Second World War.

In August 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Shanghai. Its next goal was the capture of Nanjing (Nanking), then-capital of the Republic of China. The Chinese government left Nanjing on December 1, the president left on December 7, the Japanese army reached the city walls on December 9, and on December 13 the Japanese captured Nanjing.

According to eyewitness accounts, over the next six weeks, Japanese soldiers murdered Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants, as well as perpetrated widespread theft, looting, arson, rape, and other war crimes. One of the perpetrators of the Nanking massacre was Prince Yasuhiko Asaka, who was commander of Japanese forces in the final assault of Nanjing. However, he was never charged with war crimes.

Shortly after Japan’s surrender in World War II, most Japanese records of the murders were kept secret or destroyed, so the exact death toll of the massacre is unknown. The estimate is between 40,000 and 300,000 dead.

Nanking Massacre Memorial Day was added to China’s holiday calendar in 2014 and has been observed every year since.

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Nanking Massacre Memorial Day, memorial day, remembrance day, observances in China