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Eye witness - Japan's surrender ceremony, "Yasuji Okamura's hands were trembling"

Though 70 years have passed, the moment the Japanese surrendered is still vividly remembered by 92-year-old Wang Chuying.

"Yasuji Okamura's hands were trembling throughout the event," Wang, who witnessed the signing ceremony of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in Nanjing, said ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

On Sept. 9, 1945, the ceremonial hall of the Chinese Military Academy braced for its most significant moment -- Yasuji Okamura, the commander-in-chief of the Japanese China Expeditionary Army, surrendered on behalf of Japan to the Chinese government.

Wang was a staff officer in charge of preparations for the ceremony.

"For the 1,200 meters from the Huangpu intersection of Zhongshandong Road to the hall, there was a flagpole every 50 meters. On every flagpole there were the national flags of the Allies. Under each flag were four Chinese soldiers," he remembered.

"Many people in the hall had seen that his [Okamura] hands were trembling during the procedure," Wang said.

The ceremony was only 20 minutes, but the meaning profound. "We fought tirelessly for eight years to win the war. It is not only the victory of the Chinese people but the triumph of the whole world!" Wang said.

Wang was born in 1923 in Huangmei County, Hubei Province in central China. A veteran of the Chinese Expeditionary Force, he had fought in the Battle of Shanghai in 1937 when he was 14 and had remained in the army. In 1944, Wang was transferred to the 14th division of the New Sixth Army, one of the country's top five units at that time.

In 1945, Wang was in an American staff command school in Kunming City, southwest China's Yunnan Province.

"One night in August, around 9:30 p.m., an American instructor ran to us and shouted,'Good News! Japan surrendered!' The hall was filled with cries and laughter, and we all threw our caps into the air," Wang said.

"I had not drunk alcohol before, but that night I did. On the streets of Kunming, we shouted, cried, hugged and partied all night," Wang continued. "The local people joined in, beating drums and setting off firecrackers."

He said that the next day he was called back to Zhijiang headquarters, in Hunan Province, central China, by Liao Yaoxiang, commander of the New Sixth Army, who told him he had been assigned to the surrender ceremony.

Wang experienced the Japanese troops' surrender negotiation in Zhijiang and the final signing ceremony in Nanjing.

In 1949, Wang went to Taiwan. In 1954 he returned to the mainland and worked for the Nanjing construction bureau. He now lives peacefully in the west of the city.

[Source: Xinhua, Nanjing, 14Aug15]

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