China approves prisoner amnesty to mark World War II anniversary, could release thousands

China's legislature has approved a prisoner amnesty as part of commemorations of World War II's end that could see thousands of inmates such as war veterans or juveniles released.

The official Xinhua News Agency says the measure approved Saturday could free several thousand prisoners by the end of this year.

Those include veterans of World War II, the Chinese civil war that ended with the Communist victory in 1949 and subsequent conflicts such as the 1950-1953 Korean War. Prisoners over age 75 or below age 18 who were sentenced to three years or less will also be eligible, along with those who are very ill. Serious crimes will be omitted.

China's commemorations of arch-rival Japan's defeat are centered on a massive military parade in the heart of Beijing on Thursday.