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June
Artifacts and photographs illustrate dark days of 8-Year War of
Resistance
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To mark the 60th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance against Japan, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression jointly present "The 8-Year War of Resistance" exhibition, which will run from tomorrow (July 1) until January 4, 2006 at the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence.

The exhibition features about 100 artifacts and many valuable photographs to elaborate on the major causes and events of the Sino-Japanese War between 1937 and 1945. Visitors, especially the younger generation in Hong Kong, can learn more from this exhibition about modern Chinese history, and acquire a better understanding of the steadfastness and perseverance of individuals of the last generation in defence of the motherland, providing an insight into the cruelty of war and importance of peace.

The exhibition was opened today by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho Chi-ping; the Deputy Director General of Publicity, Culture and Sports Department, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Cai Wenzhong; the Head of the Department of Collection Management, Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Mr Zhang Liang; the President of the Society of the Veterans of the Original Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dong Jiang Column, Mr Fung Kei-cheung; the President of East River Column Branch of the Old Partisan Sodality of Guangzhou, Mr Li Tanguei; the Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, and the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Dr Joseph Ting Sun-pao.

There were two wars between China and Japan in modern history the Sino-Japanese War in 1894 and the war initiated by the July 7 Incident in 1937.

The Sino-Japanese War in 1894 ended in China's defeat. Since then, Japan had cast covetous eyes on China.

Japanese aggression began in late 1931, when its forces invaded the three northeastern provinces of China. Subsequently, Japanese forces attacked Shanghai in an attempt to seize northern China. Insisting on the policy of "first settling problems at home before resisting foreign aggression from outside", Chiang Kai-shek did not resist the Japanese with full strength. Consequently, in late 1936, Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng initiated the Xi'an Incident, forcing Chiang to stop the civil war and co-operate with the Communists in resisting Japanese invasion.

The July 7 Incident in 1937 at Marco Polo Bridge led to the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War. With crushing force, Japanese troops conquered the coastal cities despite brave resistance by the Chinese army and civilians. The Nationalist government was forced to relocate the capital to Chongqing. As the war moved towards inland, the Japanese forces were spread thin while the Chinese army persevered and won many victories.

In mid-1945, China began her counter-offensive, reversing the tide of the war. Japan fought back fiercely, clinging to her last strongholds. On August 6 and 9, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. On August 15, Japan declared the unconditional surrender. On September 9, China hosted the ceremony for Japanese surrender in Nanjing. The War of Resistance came to an end with Chinese Victory.

The Museum of Coastal Defence is located at 175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan. It opens daily from 10am to 5pm. Opening hours will be extended to 6pm during weekends and public holidays from July 1 to September 4. It is closed on Thursdays except public holidays. Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

A free shuttle bus operates between the Heng Fa Chuen MTR Station and the Museum of Coastal Defence from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The service hours will be extended to 6pm from July 1 to September 4.

For details of the exhibition, please visit the Museum of Coastal Defence's website at http://hk.coastaldefence.museum or call 2569 1500.

Ends/Thursday, June 30, 2005
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