SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of people from the Chinese, Korean and Philippine communities in San Francisco gathered here Sunday to remember about 300,000 Chinese people brutally killed in a horrible massacre by Japanese invaders 80 years ago.
The annual event, which coincides with the 80th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre this year, was held as a tribute to the innocent Chinese people indiscriminately slaughtered in six weeks by the invading Japanese troops.
On Dec. 13, 1937, Japanese invaders occupied Nanjing, the then capital of China during World War II, and then mercilessly launched a carnage of destruction, pillage, rape and slaughter in the city. More than 300,000 Chinese were killed by the Japanese troops in the following six weeks.
More than 20,000 Chinese women and girls were raped or killed by the Japanese troops during the same six weeks.
Jennifer Cheung, chairwoman of the Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition and one of the organizers of Sunday's event, said that the memorial activity was held to promote peace instead of harboring hatred towards the Japanese people.
The Japanese government has repeatedly refused to apologize for the war crimes committed by the war-time imperial Japanese troops and continued to deny the fact that approximately 200,000 Asian women and girls, including Chinese young women, were forced into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers during World War II, Cheung said.
The female survivors, who were exploited by the Japanese forces as sexual slaves, also known as "Comfort Women", have never had the overdue apology from the Japanese government, she added.
"No real peace could come true without the apology from the Japanese government," said Cheung, whose remarks received thunderous applause from the audience.
Zha Liyou, acting consul general of China in San Francisco, told the audience on the same occasion that the Nanjing Massacre was a crime against humanity and the darkest page in modern human history.
"We are here today to honor the Chinese compatriots killed in the Nanjing Massacre, to remember the profound sufferings inflicted by the Japanese aggressors, and reaffirm our commitment to oppose war of aggression and safeguard world peace," Zha said.
Apart from the Chinese attendees, members from Korean and Philippine communities in San Francisco, who shared the same or similar war-time memories caused by the Japanese army, also participated in Sunday's ceremony to demonstrate their strong support for their Chinese friends.
The annual event was organized by the Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition, the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia, the San Francisco Committee for Promoting Unification of China, and the "Comfort Women" Justice Coalition.
In February 2014, China's top legislature designated Dec. 13 as the national memorial day for victims of the Nanjing Massacre.