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BEIJING -- The victims of the Nanjing Massacre that shook the world in its brutality when Japan invaded China are being remembered through events worldwide that are also calling to cherish hard-won peace and acknowledge history with honesty.
An annual memorial for the nearly 300,000 people brutally killed 80 years ago was held Wednesday in Nanjing, the city in eastern China that suffered one of the bloodiest times the world has ever witnessed.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and senior officials joined representatives from all walks of life at the state memorial ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the carnage to pay a silent tribute.
Over 440 overseas Chinese groups reportedly plan to hold memorial ceremonies for Nanjing Massacre victims Wednesday. More than 10,000 overseas Chinese in the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Argentina are expected to attend these commemorations.
In Japan, some 200 people attended a testimony meeting in Shizuoka city on Tuesday. Lu Ling, daughter of a massacre survivor who was stabbed 37 times by Japanese soldiers, shared her mother"s ordeal with the Japanese attendees.
"The massacre imposed tremendous suffering on my family, the people in Nanjing, and the Chinese people," she said.
Masataka Mori, a former professor of irenology -- the study of peace -- at Shizuoka University, said people were revising history to distort the truth about the Nanjing carnage.
"It is hoped that more people could know about (the Nanjing Massacre) and pass on the truth," Mori said.
The massacre was also mourned in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday. Some 200 Chinese people and students living there attended the memorial, held one day ahead of China"s "National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims".
"We hold a memorial ceremony in The Netherlands not only to mourn the victims, but also to tell the truth (about) history. No attempt to deny history will ever be accepted," said Zhong Linchang, head of the Association of Cantonese Business in The Netherlands.
Henk Kool, president of Friendship Society Netherlands-China, urged Japanese who deny the truth to look into the facts.
"If you want to be forgiven, you must first recognize and remember," he told Xinhua.
In the US city of San Francisco, hundreds of people from the Chinese, Korean and Philippine communities gathered Sunday to remember the period of brutality and the victims" spirit of resilience and heroism.
Jennifer Cheung, chairperson of the Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition and one of the organizers of the event, said the commemoration meant to promote peace instead of harboring hatred toward the Japanese perpetrators.
However, the Japanese government has repeatedly refused to apologize for the atrocities committed by the war-time imperial Japanese troops and continues to deny the fact that approximately 200,000 Asian women and girls, including Chinese, Koreans and Filipinas, were forced into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers during World War II, Cheung said.
"No real peace can come... without (an) apology from the Japanese government," she said.
Japan invaded northeast China in September 1931, followed by a full-scale invasion of China on July 7, 1937.
On Dec 13, 1937, Nanjing fell to the invaders who slaughtered civilians and soldiers who had put down their arms, and burnt and looted for nearly a month. About 300,000 Chinese were killed, and 20,000 women raped.
In February 2014, China"s top legislature designated Dec 13 as a national memorial day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre.