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Japan pays UNESCO dues frozen over Nanjing Massacre listing

  • December 22, 2016
  • , Kyodo News , 12:01 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO, Dec. 22, Kyodo — Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that Japan paid its obligatory dues of around 3.85 billion yen to UNESCO earlier this week, which Tokyo had been withholding over its opposition to the U.N. body’s listing of Chinese documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre as a Memory of the World.

 

Tokyo made the payment for this year as it saw improvements in the screening process for the program at the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Kishida said.

 

Tokyo had been withholding its financial contribution to the U.N. body, which is usually made in spring, after it opposed the process of the listing of the Chinese documents last year.

 

“We believe it represents big progress that work has been done to review the system” regarding Memory of the World registration at UNESCO, Kishida told reporters.

 

Japan has been the de facto top UNESCO funder in recent years as the United States has frozen its 22 percent contribution since 2011 due to its opposition to Palestinian membership. Japan was responsible for 9.6 percent of this year’s UNESCO budget.

 

The Chinese documents on the Nanjing Massacre, submitted by Beijing in 2014, concerned the widespread killings of Chinese citizens and soldiers following the 1937 capture of Nanjing by the Japanese military. Tokyo disputes the number of Chinese civilians and soldiers killed in the incident.

 

Tokyo had claimed UNESCO “unilaterally” registered the documents without allowing Japan to access them for verification, slamming the U.N. body as lacking fairness and transparency.

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