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Pingdingshan Massacre survivor dies

Xinhua, July 4, 2015 Adjust font size:

Fang Surong, one of the few people to have survived the Pingdingshan Massacre committed by Japanese troops 83 years ago, died aged 87 in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, Friday.

On Sept. 16, 1932, Japanese troops rounded up about 3,000 people, including the elderly, women and children, from Pingdingshan Village in Fushun City in northeast China's Liaoning Province and shot them, accusing them of having cooperated with guerrillas fighting against Japanese aggression.

The soldiers then burned the bodies and buried them by triggering a landslide with dynamite. Few escaped. The Japanese also razed 800 houses in the village.

Fang was just four years old at the time. She survived the incident as her parents hid her behind their bodies. She lost her whole family in the massacre.

Fang first spoke about the massacre at a memorial ceremony of the victims of the tragedy in Fushun on Tomb Sweeping Day in 1951.

Fang, together with two other survivors, Yang Baoshan and Mo Desheng, filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government at a Tokyo court in 1992, demanding the Japanese government to formally recognize the crime, apologize for it and pay compensation.

The court rejected their demands, but admitted that Japanese troops committed the crime.

Fang had been to Japan three times and provided testimony twice at the court. She made public speeches in 15 Japanese cities to tell the truth to more people.

Fang spent her whole life trying to shine a light on history, said Zhou Xueliang, curator of the Pingdingshan Massacre Memorial in Fushun.

Only two survivors are still alive. Both are nearly 90 years old and live in Liaoning, according to Zhou. Endi