Beijing announced that henceforth the Nanking Massacre (1937) and the victory against Japan in World War II (1945) would be celebrated by two days of national commemoration.

This decision illustrates the rising tensions between China and Japan.

On December 13, 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army sacked Nanking, the capital of the Kuomintang. For six weeks they indulged in atrocities, raping tens of thousands of women and children, which left 42,000 people dead according to Japanese historians, 200,000 according to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and 300,000 according Chinese historians.