LCQ6: History on the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression
The Government holds a ceremony on December 13 annually since 2014 in commemoration of the victims who died in the Nanjing Massacre and those killed during the war of Japanese invasion of China. Moreover, the Government holds a ceremony on Chung Yeung Festival annually to pay tribute to those who died in defence of Hong Kong during the Second World War (WWII). However, Hong Kong has not yet set up any memorial hall or erected any sculpture dedicated to the commemoration of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether the authorities will set up a memorial hall of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in Hong Kong and allocate resources to study, collate and permanently preserve information on those historical events which members of the public are less familiar, such as the Nanshitou Massacre and the heroic anti-Japanese campaigns waged by the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column, and to display the relevant historical information as permanent exhibitions in the aforesaid memorial hall, so as to let the public, in particular the young people, deepen their knowledge of the history related to WWII, such as Nanjing Massacre and Hong Kong residents' resistance against Japanese aggression; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(2) given that some cities, such as San Francisco in the United States and Seoul of Korea, have erected bronze statues of comfort women in public places, whether the authorities will erect statues of comfort women in public places in Hong Kong to console and commemorate the comfort women who were subject to the coercion and brutality of Japanese soldiers during WWII; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) whether the authorities will incorporate the relevant historical information mentioned in (1) and (2) into the Chinese History curriculum for secondary schools so as to educate the young people about the relevant history; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has always attached importance to the history of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (especially the history of Japanese invasion and occupation of Hong Kong). Over the years, the Government has conducted research, exhibitions as well as educational and extension programmes. Official memorial ceremonies are annually held on September 3 and December 13 respectively to commemorate the victory of the Chinese people's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and to express condolences to the victims in the War; former members from the Dongjiang Column have also been invited. These activities aim at fostering the public's understanding of this important chapter of history. Home Affairs Bureau and Education Bureau's consolidated reply to various parts of the Dr Hon Elizabeth Quat's question is as follows:
The Hong Kong Museum of History (HKMH) and the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence (HKMCD) under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department have put in place permanent exhibitions that cover the history of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, including the Japanese invasion of China, the Japanese assault on Hong Kong, the battles against Japan, the guerrillas of the Dongjiang Column and Hong Kong under Japanese occupation. The HKMH and the HKMCD will revamp their permanent exhibitions – the one at the HKMH will cover the role of Hong Kong in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in a holistic approach, whereas the one at the HKMCD will introduce the military history of Hong Kong commencing from the Tang dynasty to Hong Kong's return to the motherland, including the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, on a topical basis, with a view to enhancing the public's understanding of the cruelty of war and the importance of peace.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the two museums organise thematic exhibitions on the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression to enhance the public's understanding of the historical events. Examples of recent displays include "Anti-Japanese War Heroes: An Exhibition on the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column" (2013) to show the bravery and achievements of this local battalion, "Pictorial Exhibition on the Nanjing Massacre" (2014), "Fighting as One: Reminders of the Eight Years' War of Resistance in Guangdong and Hong Kong" (2015) and "Braving the Storm: Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation" (2016) to depict Hong Kong's role in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and how Hong Kong people joined hands with fellow patriots, guerrilla forces and international allies to combat against the Japanese aggression. Furthermore, both museums organise from time to time programmes such as lectures, documentary shows, guided tours to military sites, etc. to deepen the public's understanding of the history of the War of Resistance.
As regards related research, the HKMH engaged experts and academics to conduct research projects on the topic, including "Oral History Project on Reminiscence of the War Experience in Hong Kong", "Oral History Project on Former Members of the Hong Kong-Kowloon Brigade of the East River Column", etc. Some of the findings were published in The Defence of Hong Kong: Collected Essays on the Hong Kong-Kowloon Brigade of the East River Column. The HKMH will continue to devote resources to study, collate and preserve the valuable historical records and exhibits relating to the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in Hong Kong, and introduce the historical events to the public through exhibitions and publications.
Given that the history of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression is presented at the permanent exhibitions of the two public museums, the Government currently has no plan to establish another museum on the same theme or erect a commemorative sculpture of comfort women for the time being.
According to the information provided by the Education Bureau (EDB), Chinese History curricula of junior and senior secondary levels comprise the topics of the "Second Nationalist-Communist United Front" and the "War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression" respectively; and the History curricula comprise the topics of "International Conflicts and Threats to Peace in the 20th Century: The Two World Wars" and "Conflicts and Co-operation in the 20th Century World", for teaching students about the history of Chinese resistance against Japanese aggression in the 20th century. These topics cover the atrocities of Japanese troops, such as the Nanjing Massacre and their abuse inflicted on women. As regards the history of comfort women and the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in Hong Kong, different textbooks introduce these via different approaches, such as by highlighting the topics in feature columns or introducing them in the general content. Teachers may further elaborate the topic based on historical facts. The EDB's publications – 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and Historical Images of Modern China – also give detailed account of the brutality of Japanese troops during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.
Ends/Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:22
Issued at HKT 15:22