Chinese group asks Japanese Emperor, gov't to return looted relic

Updated: 2014-08-12 14:31


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The stele is but one of the many ancient antiquities looted by Japanese soldiers during their military aggression in China.

Chinese group asks Japanese Emperor, gov't to return looted relic

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Chinese group asks Japanese Emperor, gov't to return looted relic

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Earlier reports said Japanese soldiers took home some 3.6 million relics from China and ransacked some 740 relic sites during the five decades between the first Sino-Japanese War in 1894 and Japan's World War II defeat in 1945.

"These historic relics, which belong to China but now lie in Japan, have done great damage to Sino-Japanese ties," said Wang. "They should be returned to their rightful owner."

Wang said the CFDC plans to send an expert team to Japan to further pressure Japanese authorities on the return of the stele.

"If that does not work either, we will have to learn from our international counterparts and have our government step in," he said.

Japan handed over Bukgwandaecheopbi (meaning "monument for the great victory at Bukgwan"), an 18th-century stone stele commemorating a series of Korean military victories against the invading army of Japan in the 1590s, to the Republic of Korea in 2005 after repeated requests by official authorities and civic groups.

CFDC president Tong Zeng said a number of Chinese experts have spent years gathering evidence of Japan's looting of the Honglujing Stele and its current location in order to make way for its return.

"What we try to recover is not just the relic itself, but also a symbol of international justice," he said.

Meanwhile, news of the CFDC request has gone viral on Chinese social networks with hundreds of thousands of reposts and comments in a day.

One read, "You have to start with concrete things when it comes to Japan if you want to get back what is rightfully ours. We don't need slogans but concrete actions."

"To correct the wrong, the only right thing for Japan to do is to return the relic now," another read.

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