After completing his academy award-winning classic “Schindler’s List” in 1994, film director/producer Steven Spielberg was inspired to donate and establish the “Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation” which later became the “USC (University of Southern California) Shoah Foundation—The Institute for Visual History and Education,” which interviews and records thousands of survivors of Holocaust and other genocides so that their testimonies will be preserved in perpetuity before their stories would be lost forever. This archive now contains over 50,000 testimonies in 39 languages from 62 countries, with the majority being Jewish Holocaust survivors, but also contains testimonies from other genocides around the world.
While the Jewish Holocaust was taking place in Europe during WWII, an atrocity of equal magnitude was also occurring in Asia at around the same time period. This was the atrocity inflicted by the Japanese military in China, Korea, and other parts of Asia during the period of 1931-1945 when Japan invaded and tried to conquer China and other parts of Asia. The atrocities were massive and inhumane and consisted of four types: the Nanking Massacre, sex slaves (euphemistically called comfort women), biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, and slave labor. 
In 1990, Mr. Tong Zeng (童增), a young, concerned and patriotic Chinese, with a master degree in law, investigated various international legal cases and issues regarding compensation related to atrocities committed during a war by one country on the citizens of another country. After finding various precedents of victims of one country receiving compensation from the government of another country who committed the atrocities, he concluded that the Chinese citizens who were victims of Japanese atrocities during the Second Sino-Japanese War have every right to seek compensation from Japan (from the Japanese government or in the case of slave labors, also from the Japanese corporations who used the slave laborers). In particular, he distinguished the case of the Chinese government seeking compensation from Japan and the case of Chinese citizens seeking compensation from Japan. This means that when the Chinese government, as a gesture of good will, waived her right to seek compensation from Japan when the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1972, the Chinese government waived only the right of the Chinese government seeking compensation from Japan. It did not waive the right of Chinese citizens seeking compensation from Japan. This is the origin of the campaign of “10,000 Cries for Justice.”
In July 1990 he summarized his findings in an essay “It Is of Great Urgency that China Demand Damage Compensation from Japan.” He sent his essay to several newspapers in China, but none reported it. Then in late March 1991 he sent his essay in the form of a white paper proposal to the National People’s Congress (NPC) which was meeting in Beijing at that time, and he also alerted the press. This time on March 30, 1991 the newspaper “Ming Bao” (明报) in Hong Kong published a short article about it. A couple of days later, he and one of his students also distributed copies of his white paper to various delegates on their way to attend the NPC. Several of the NPC delegates liked his proposal and submitted it as an item for discussion at the NPC. Although this issue was not discussed at the 1991 NPC because it was submitted after the deadline for submission for the 1991 NPC, the media coverage of this white paper, especially after the 1992 NPC, ignited a brush fire across the whole country. A copy of the Chinese or English White Paper can be seen by clicking on Chinese White Paper or English White Paper.
Seeking compensation for the atrocities committed by the Japanese military was a long-overdue item for seeking justice and closure that has been buried in the hearts and souls of thousands and thousands of Chinese atrocity victims and their relatives. Thousands of people wrote to Tong Zeng endorsing and thanking him for his proposal and wrote to him providing details of the atrocities that they or their family members had experienced. Within a few years, he had received about 10,000 such letters. This is why his campaign is called “10000 Cries for Justice.”
After more than 20 years, not only that there was no progress from Japan to face up to this part of history, many Japanese government leaders have continued to make comments denying the existence of these atrocities. Mr. Tong thought that publishing these personal accounts would provide powerful evidence to refute all the false claims made by the Japanese government. Righting this injustice could be a catalyst to establish genuine friendship between the Japanese people and the Chinese people and true peace between Japan and China, as well as other countries.
When reports about the existence of these letters reached the U.S., David T. Chai and Don M. Tow, both with extensive experience in community activities in the U.S., immediately contacted Mr. Tong to seek his agreement to establish a joint project to scan and digitize these letters and post them in a public bilingual website, with translation into English of these letters (only about 10% of the letters have been translated to-date; more translations are planned for the future). Mr. Tong agreed and assigned his chief assistant Ms. Meng Huizhong to work with Chai and Tow, and the joint project was initiated in January 2014.
After 18 months of hard work, the China-US team successfully accomplished its mission. On July 22, 2015, the launching of this bilingual website (www.10000cfj.org) “10000 Cries for Justice” (一萬個正義的呼聲) was announced in a press conference in Beijing. A copy of the Chinese news release (or its English translation) can be seen by clicking on Chinese (or English). A photo of part of the audience for the press conference can be seen by clicking on photo.
This website preserves in a digital archive the collection of these thousands of original personal accounts that Mr. Tong Zeng received more than 20 years ago from the victims of Japanese military atrocities. You can see and read the original handwritten letters and envelopes. You can also read the digitized version of these letters. You can search a specific type of letters based on various indices, e.g., on the type of atrocities, on the date or locality of the atrocity, on the name of the victim or the letter author, on the unique letter ID, etc. It is painful to read these letters, but it is important that we read at least some of these letters to get a sense of the magnitude and the terror inflicted on the victims, and why these cries for justice should not be forgotten. Ten sample letters are presented in the “Letters” page of the website.
This website provides a written archive of thousands of such letters written by the atrocity victims or their families. This digital archive provides powerful evidence to refute all the false claims made by the Japanese government. This treasure of historical archive can also facilitate further research on these issues. Researchers and students can make use of the search capabilities to look up appropriate letters, including seeing the original written letters in Chinese. Similar to the USC archive established by Steven Spielberg, this archive has preserved in perpetuity so that these 10,000 cries for justice would not be lost forever. It provides powerful evidence to refute the false claims of the Japanese government and the Japanese right wing. We hope that it will be a catalyst to establish genuine friendship between the Japanese people and the Chinese people and true peace between Japan and China, as well as other countries.
There is still a lot of work to be done, such as translating the other 90% of the letters into English, providing more search capabilities on the contents of the letters, enhancing the website, as well as finding the funds to do this work, even though all the key people are doing this work pro-bono. We also hope that many letters that were “borrowed” 20 years ago from Mr. Tong Zeng and are now “lost” would be returned to him, and additional letters from other atrocity victims or their families can also be found and added to this archive.
More information about this campaign and project can be found at www.10000cfj.org.
 For a brief review of the atrocity history, see, e.g., http://www.10000cfj.org/en/?page_id=10.