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Japanese cartoonists hold antiwar exhibition

An antiwar cartoon exhibition displaying works by 110 Japanese artists opened in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing Saturday to mark the 64th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

The exhibition, jointly organized by the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre and the Japanese non-governmental association of "My Aug. 15," will last three moths.

About 160 cartoon works will be displayed, the first time the exhibition is held outside Japan, the organizers said.

Most of the authors of the cartoons were born before Aug. 15, 1945 and had deep memories about the war. In addition, many of them lived in different parts of China with their parents at that time and learned of the news of Japan's surrender in China. Many years later, they produced a group of works with the theme of "My Aug. 15," conveying their condemnation about the war atrocities and reflection on the militaristic brutality.

The exhibition was divided into four parts according to the authors' ages when Japan surrendered, "above 16," "8-15," "5-7" and "below four."

Nine prestigious Japanese cartoonists, along with about 100 people from several Japanese NGOs, attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition Saturday.

"It tells a true story," said 70-year-old artist Kenji Morita, pointing to his own work "Thanks to Adoptive Chinese Parents."

"Although Japan was an invader, many Chinese parents still helped raise Japanese children orphaned by the war," he said.

Leading Japanese manga artist Tetsuya Chiba also recalled the war past he experienced in China.

"I was in Shenyang (capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province) the day when Japan's surrender in World War II was announced by the late Emperor Hirohito over radio. I was only six then, and I couldn't really understand what happened," Chiba told Xinhua.

"I didn't manage to return to Japan immediately, so I spent a very hard year in China after Japan's surrender. But I met a very nice Chinese couple, they gave me food even when they didn't have enough to eat. When we separated, they gave me a blanket. I kept the blanket for years until I met their offspring," he said.

"Aug. 15 is a meaningful day for both China and Japan, whether to mark the victory or to introspect the war. The day reminds us to be against wars," he added.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2009)