Two men posing for pictures dressed in imperial Japanese military uniforms in front of a Nanjing memorial site have been severely criticized online.
The photos show the two men holding weapons and wearing caps and uniforms of the Imperial Japanese Army during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45). They began circulating on Tuesday after internet user "Shangdizhiying_5zn", which means "God's eagle", posted them on Sina Weibo.
"I don't need to point out what it means to take such photos at such a site," a netizen said. "I feel sorry for those heroes who died during the War of Resistance."
Tang Kai, an expert on the history of the War of Resistance in Nanjing, confirmed that the photos were taken in front of the Shaojiashan bunkers at Zijin Mountain, where the Battle of Nanjing took place in 1937.
In December 1937, the Chinese army guarding the Zijin Mountain area of the capital of China at the time, fought a four-day battle with the Japanese army. Many lost their lives before the area was eventually occupied by the Japanese on Dec 12.
Shaojiashan, to the northwest of Nanjing's Xiaolingwei area, was one of the main sites of the Battle of Nanjing. Eight bunkers, together with many trenches and under-ground shelters, have been found at Shaojiashan.
Zhang Jianjun, curator of the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, said that such behavior should be strongly condemned.
"The scars of a nation cannot be made fun of," said Zhang. "The country should make laws to forbid such behavior."
He said that the young generation should receive more moral education to show respect to such sites.
"We live in a peaceful era, but we dare not and will not forget history."
Jiangsu police are investigating the incident. They said such behavior will be thoroughly investigated and severely punished.
In August, five people were held in administrative detention or given warnings by Shanghai police after posing for pictures dressed in Imperial Japanese Army uniforms in front of the historic Sihang Warehouse, which was used to repel the Japanese army in 1937.
In July, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage began soliciting public opinion on a document regarding the preservation and use of cultural relics relevant to the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, saying that all visitors to such sites should dress properly and remain silent to show respect.