Around 200 demonstrators marched to the Japanese Consulate on Sunday in protest of Japan’s treatment of history, 70 years after its surrender in World War Two.

Protesters gathered at Chater Garden in Central, observing a moment of silence for the war dead before marching to the consulate to deliver a letter, DBC reported. Among the demonstrators were war veterans who were assisted by others in wheelchairs. The letter of protest requested Japan “acknowledge” their role in history and demanded an apology and compensation for war victims.

“[Japan is] expanding their army and they want to dominate, all with the motive of disrupting world peace. We need to stand up against her, make her apologise and respect history,” 80-year old veteran Law Lap-pong told DBC.

celebration parade
The celebration parade.

Meanwhile, over a dozen youth organisations and veteran associations organised a parade in commemoration of the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, attracting around 800 participants, Apple Daily reported. Secretary of Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah and Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok attended the parade, which kicked off at Kowloon Park at Tsim Sha Tsui.

Lau said that the theme of the commemoration was “remember history, commemorate the martyrs, cherish peace, and create the future”, so as to encourage everyone, particularly the youth, to learn about the history of the war against Japan and to cherish the current social stability.

lau kong-wah
Lau Kong-wah giving an address at the parade.

Beijing will host a military parade on September 3 to mark the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, with 17 foreign armies taking part in the parade. Japan occupied parts of China during the war, signing the official instrument of surrender on September 2, 1945. Despite grand preparations for the controversial parade and a city-wide security clampdown, only a few nations have confirmed they are attending.

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Japan’s Surrender. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

This year, it was announced that the Legislative Council will pass a bill for a one-time holiday on September 3 to mark the anniversary.

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Hong Kong was occupied by Japan for three years and eight months between 1941 and 1945. The occupation ended with Japan’s surrender and the colony’s return to British control on August 30. This day became “Liberation Day” and was a public holiday until 1997. The day was moved to the third Monday in August and became “Sino-Japanese War Victory Day” but was cancelled in 1999.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.