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No memorials to invaders found in Dalian temple

By ZHANG XIAOMIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-07-29 15:12

No memorials to Japanese invaders from the 20th century were found during a search of Buddhist memorial tablets at religious venues in Dalian, Liaoning province, the city's ethnic and religious affairs department said in a statement on Thursday.

Recently, a netizen caused a stir by claiming to have commemorated the Japanese Kwantung Army — which invaded northeastern China in the first half of the 20th century — at Hengshan Temple in Dalian.

On Tuesday, the ethnic and religious affairs bureau of Dalian undertook a comprehensive investigation into the tablets at the religious venues. A total of 53,875 prayer and memorial tablets were listed. After checking each one, no references to the Japanese army were found.

With regard to an overseas netizen's post — saying, "I've even commemorated Buddhist memorial tablet(s) at Hengshan Temple in Dalian for the dead of the headquarters of the Kwantung Army that was based in Dalian" — the bureau said in a statement that there is no sign of such tablets. This was confirmed after further comparison with the temple's receipts.

The public security department has intervened in the investigation, the statement said.

Many Buddhist associations across China have demanded that temples check their memorial tablets after a temple in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, was found with tablets commemorating Japanese war criminals.

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