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Memorial for Korean who fought Japanese colonization

Updated: 2014-01-19 23:20
( Xinhua)

HARBIN - A memorial opened on Sunday in Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, to commemorate a Korean patriot who killed a top Japanese official over a century ago.

Ahn Jung Geun shot dead Hirobumi Ito, who had served as the prime minister of Japan four times before becoming resident-general of Korea in 1905, at Harbin railway station on October 26, 1909. He was arrested at the scene of shooting and secretly executed in March 1910 by Japanese forces.

Covering an area of more than 100 square meters, the memorial hall consists of exhibition rooms telling the story of Ahn's life, and shows the exact spot where the shooting took place.

Ahn, born in 1879, devoted himself to the education of the Korean people and later joined armed resistance in northeast China and Russia.

After Japan forced the Korean Empire to sign a protectorate treaty in 1905, Ito became the de facto ruler of Korea.

"People have cherished the memory of Ahn for the past century. Today we erect a memorial to him and call on peace loving people around the world to unite, resist invasions and oppose war," said Sun Yao, vice governor of Heilongjiang at the opening ceremony.

The Republic of Korean (ROK) President Park Geun-hye asked for China's help in setting up a commemorative stone at Harbin train station in honor of Ahn during her visit to China last year, according to reports from Yonhap News Agency.

Harbin put an exhibition of Ahn's life on regular display at a local museum in 2006. The exhibition has now moved to the memorial hall. Some of the items on display were collected from Hong Kong and overseas. Most of the things left behind by Ahn are in the hands of the Japanese, according to staff at the hall.

Harbin railway station was built in 1899. It will serve an estimated 10 million passengers during the Spring Festival, which begins on January 31 this year.

The memorial hall offers free admission to the general public.

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