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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 11:04 GMT
Nanjing massacre victims named
Bodies of Chinese laid in ditch (File photo)
Between 50,000 and 300,000 people died in the massacre
China has published the names of 13,000 people it says were killed by Japanese troops in the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.

The list is the most complete record of the massacre to date according to the Xinhua news agency.

Beijing claims that 300,000 people died in Nanjing and many were tortured or raped when Japanese troops invaded what was then the Chinese capital.

Japan disputes the figures and its refusal to apologise continues to sours relations between the two countries.

The eight-volume document, released to mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the massacre, lists the names, ages, occupations and addresses of the victims.

It also names the Japanese army units which the Chinese claim were responsible for each of the deaths and states the way in which the victims were killed.

"The publication of name lists is just a start," the editor-in-chief of the lists, Zhang Xianwen, was quoted as saying.

"We will continue collecting information about the victims."

Diplomatic tensions

Anti-Japanese protest in Shanghai (April 2005)
Japanese history textbooks have sparked protests in China

The document will form part of a 28-volume series on the massacre containing first-hand accounts, media reports, military briefings and diplomatic correspondence.

The publication team have insisted that the work is accurate and based on historical facts.

"It is a combination of Chinese, Japanese and Western raw materials, which is objective and just and is able to stand the trial of history," Mr Zhang told Xinhua.

"Everyone who reads the book will surely get a correct understanding of what happened at that time."

Japanese troops entered Nanjing in December 1937 and by March 1938 between 50,000 and 300,000 civilians had been killed in one of the worst massacres in modern times.

Witnesses at the time said at least 20,000 women were raped and there were widespread reports of other atrocities.

While Japan officially acknowledges the massacre, it says the scale of killing and rape was much smaller than the Chinese claim and that such things happen in war.

In 2005 there were angry protests in China after Japan published school text books which China claimed played down the country's war time atrocities.

Japanese politicians have also sparked anger in China by visiting the Yasukuni shrine - which honours fallen Japanese soldiers, including 14 convicted war criminals.



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