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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 September 2 - 8  > Memorial ceremony held for foreign victims of massacre that occurred 92 years ago
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2015 September 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Memorial ceremony held for foreign victims of massacre that occurred 92 years ago

September 2, 2015
A memorial service for the foreign residents in Japan who were murdered in the chaos following a major earthquake 92 years ago took place on September 1 in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward with many citizens attending.

On September 1, 1923, a massive earthquake rocked the Kanto region, including Tokyo and Yokohama, leaving more than 100,000 people dead or missing.

Soon after the quake occurred, the Japanese Imperial government and its army spread the groundless rumor that many Koreans were throwing poison into wells. Hearing this false information, Japanese residents formed vigilante groups. In cooperation with the police and the military, they randomly caught and killed more than 6,000 Koreans and 700 Chinese living in the area.

Taking advantage of the chaos, the military police also slaughtered many socialists and union activists, including Kawai Yoshitora, the first chair of the Communist Youth League of Japan (the current Democratic Youth League of Japan).

In the ceremony, chair of the Tokyo branch of the Japan-Korea association (the Niccho Kyokai), Yoshida Hironori, gave a speech on behalf of the organizing committee. “This incident has not yet been resolved. The Japanese government should thoroughly investigate the terrible massacre and make an apology and offer compensation to the victims and their bereaved families.”

In the drizzle, a Korean dancer in a chogori costume performed a requiem dance. Japanese Communist Party member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Azegami Miwako also attended the ceremony and gave a speech.

Past related article:
> Petition calling for disclosure of the facts on 1923 massacre of Koreans in Tokyo submitted to Diet [May 21, 2015]
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