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China's President Xi marks WWII victory over Japan, urges Japan to 'reflect on history'

Published on Sep 3, 2014 9:26 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese President Xi Jinping and all six other members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the country's most powerful body, made a rare public appearance on Wednesday to commemorate 69 years since Japan's surrender at the end of World War II.

The ceremony was the first since Beijing earlier this year declared Sept 3 as a national day to mark Japan's defeat - it signed the formal surrender on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sept 2, 1945, with China celebrating the following day.

Mr Xi used the occasion to urge Tokyo to "admit and reflect on its history of militarist aggression", according to a report by Xinhua news agency. "China will never allow any denial and distortion of this history of aggression or any return to militarism," Mr Xi was indirectly quoted by the news agency as saying. "Japan must show a sense of responsibility for history, the region's people and the future."

Hundreds of veterans, officials, military personnel, schoolchildren and young people in traditional ethnic minority dress gathered at a museum near the Marco Polo Bridge on the edge of Beijing, where a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops in 1937 triggered full-scale war.

A mourner places a bunch of flowers onto a monument showing the names of people who died in battles against Japan during World War II at the Aviation Martyr Memorial to commemorate the 69th anniversary of victory over Japan in World War II in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu province on Sept 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
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