HARBIN, China, Oct. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — China plans to double the size of a memorial hall honoring a revered Korean independence hero who assassinated a prominent Japanese colonial leader more than a century ago in China, the memorial hall’s officials said Wednesday.
Chinese railway authorities opened the memorial hall earlier last year honoring the Korean independence hero Ahn Jung-geun, who assassinated the Korean Peninsula’s first Japanese governor-general, Hirobumi Ito, at a railway station in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin in October 1909.
The assassination was a watershed moment in Japan’s 36-year colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula that began in 1910.
The authorities will gradually renovate the Harbin railway station, where Ito was killed, by 2018, and the size of the memorial hall will be expanded to as large as 500 square meters from the current size of 200 square meters, according to the Chinese officials.
“Construction of a new memorial hall is expected to begin in the first half of next year,” a memorial hall official said.
Yang Xinglong, head of the memorial hall, said, “We will display more exhibits to let more people understand martyr Ahn’s spirit of the anti-Japanese movement and peace in line with the expansion of the memorial hall.”
Ahn is viewed in both Korea and China as a symbol of the fight against Japan’s Imperial Army, but Japanese officials have drawn criticism by describing him as a terrorist.