Japan stops paying UNESCO in protest over Nanjing Massacre files

Japan said Friday it was withholding financial contributions to UNESCO to express its outrage with the UN cultural body for listing Chinese documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in its "Memory of the World" programme, according to local media.

Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the government was withholding this year's contribution of 4.4 billion yen (42 million dollars), according to Japanese news agency Kyodo.

Tokyo has claimed UNESCO registered the documents without allowing the government to access them for verification.

Japan disputes the number of Chinese civilians and soldiers killed in the massacre by the invading Imperial Japanese Army.

The Chinese documents were submitted to UNESCO by China in 2014 and were included in the heritage list last October, Kyodo reported.

UNESCO's "Memory of the World" programme calls for the preservation of valuable documents which relate to significant historical and cultural events.

Prime Minster Shinzo Abe's government has denied Beijing's claims that over 300,000 people were killed, citing historians' estimates that range from tens-of-thousands to 200,000.

Last update: Fri, 14/10/2016 - 13:45

More from World

Obama: "I think we're going to be OK"

US President Barack Obama reflected Wednesday on eight years in office and expressed optimism for the future of the...

Obama: Journalists should show "tenacity" with next administration

US President Barack Obama thanks and praises reporters for the way that they covered his eight-year tenure, saying...

Troops amass near Gambia border to pressure president to step down

Senegalese troops amassed at the border with Gambia as the clock ticked down on Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's...

Trump says he doesn't like tweeting, then tweets some more

More than 20 million people follow Donald Trump's Twitter account, but the US president-elect seems to consider...

Colombia reaches deal to begin peace talks with ELN rebels

Colombia and the ELN (National Liberation Army) rebel group have reached an agreement to begin peace negotiations,...