LCQ12: Relics and history of Hong Kong's resistance against Japanese aggression
It is learnt that during the period from occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese army to Japan's surrender, the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column, an anti-Japanese aggression guerrilla force under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, had staged resistance efforts against the Japanese army, and rescued quite a number of cultural elites and members of the Allied troops who had been captured, making significant contribution to the victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. There are views that the Government has not attached much importance to the history of Hong Kong's resistance against Japanese aggression and the conservation of the relevant relics, which has resulted in Hong Kong people's lack of knowledge about the relevant history. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it will formulate an overall plan for the conservation of the relics of Hong Kong's resistance against Japanese aggression; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(2) given that the two monuments for anti-Japanese aggression martyrs which were erected in Wu Kau Tang of North District and in Tsam Chuk Wan of Sai Kung by people in the community, have been incorporated by the State Council into the List of State Facilities and Sites Marking the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, but they have been defaced during the disturbances arising from the opposition to the proposed legislative amendments, whether the Government will in future assist in the repair and maintenance of the two monuments; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) whether it will subsidize universities and community organisations to conduct comprehensive researches on the history of Hong Kong's resistance against Japanese aggression, with a view to providing materials for national education; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(4) whether it will consider establishing a permanent memorial hall on the history of Hong Kong's resistance against Japanese aggression, so as to make a complete presentation of the relevant history; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
As instructed by the Chief Secretary for Administration, the Home Affairs Bureau would reply to the question on behalf of the Administration as follows:
The HKSAR Government attaches great importance to promoting public understanding of the history of the War of Resistance Against Japan in Hong Kong. Over the years, the Government has been fostering the public's understanding of this important chapter of history and the contribution of the martyrs through different channels, including exhibitions and official memorial ceremonies.
Both the Hong Kong Museum of History (HKMH) and the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence under the management of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department feature the history of the War of Resistance in their permanent exhibition galleries for long term display. Currently, both museums are updating their permanent exhibitions to further enhance their presentation of the part of history from the fall of Hong Kong to the eventual surrender of Japan, with enriched contents covering Japanese invasion of China, Japanese attack on Hong Kong, the Battle of Hong Kong, Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Dongjiang Column (the Column), international allies and Japan's surrender, to deepen the public's appreciation and passion towards this chapter of Hong Kong history.
Apart from their permanent exhibitions, both museums stage thematic exhibitions relating to the war from time to time. Examples are "Military Relics in Hong Kong", "Escape from Hong Kong: The Road to Huizhou", "To the Last Man: Canadian Troops in the Battle of Hong Kong", "Anti-Japanese War Heroes: An Exhibition on the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column", "Pictorial Exhibition on the Nanjing Massacre", "Fighting as One: Reminders of the Eight Years' War of Resistance in Guangdong and Hong Kong", "Braving the Storm: Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation" and "Life Under the Japanese Occupation, 1941-45", etc. The museums also organise a wide range of activities including public lectures, study tours to military sites, workshops, travelling exhibitions and dramas, etc, for the enhanced promotion of the related history to the general public and schools. The museums will continue to introduce the related history to the public through exhibitions and activities. The Government also organises official memorial ceremonies every year to commemorate the victory of the Chinese people's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and to express condolences to the victims of the War. Former members from the Column have also been invited to the ceremonies to foster the public's understanding of their great contribution and patriotism.
At present, the University Grants Committee (UGC) and the Research Grants Council (RGC) provide funding to support the research of the UGC-funded universities through different means. The Competitive Research Funding Schemes of UGC and RGC are open for research proposals from all disciplines and topics (including the history of the War of Resistance). Research proposals are assessed on the basis of their academic merits. Apart from these resources for research generally applicable to higher education institutions, the Government would also commission research on the history of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. For example, HKMH engaged experts and academics to conduct research projects on the topic. These projects include "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 museums will continue to devote resources to study, collate and preserve the historical records and exhibits relating to the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in Hong Kong. In the period before and after the dates commemorating the victory of the Chinese people's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and expressing condolences to the victims in the War, we have also planned to display books related to the War of Resistance at the Hong Kong Public Libraries to attract readers and facilitate their borrowing of the books, as well as to organise seminars on the topic.
Regarding the monument for martyrs, the reprovisioning of the Cenotaph for Martyrs in Wu Kau Tang was an initiative championed by North District Council and was endorsed in July 2009 for implementation under the District Minor Works (DMW) Programme. North District Office, being the works agent of the DMW project, is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the monument; and arranged for cleaning of the monument when the monument was defaced with graffiti in September 2019. Meanwhile, the construction of the Memorial Monuments for Sai Kung Martyrs During World War II in Tsam Chuk Wan was self-financed by the rural residents in Sai Kung. Since its commissioning in January 1989, the memorial park has all been managed and maintained by Sai Kung Rural Committee. Relevant government departments will provide cleaning service when necessary. As the memorial park has been incorporated into the "List of State Facilities and Sites Marking the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression" (the third of its kind), Sai Kung District Office will assist in the maintenance and cleaning of the park and seek assistance from professional departments where repair works are necessary.
Ends/Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Issued at HKT 19:02
Issued at HKT 19:02