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Thomas In Sing LEUNG The Bleeding Wounds
September 18,2015   By:chinahumanrights.org

Thomas In Sing LEUNG

The Bleeding Wounds
--The Japanese Denial of War Crimes and Their Effects on Human

The Development of the Traumas for East Asians

In 1876, when the Japan-Korea Treaty was signed, Japanese colonial and political leaders began integrating Korea, both politically and economically, into the Japanese Empire. Following the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 which made Korea a protectorate of Japan was the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910 which was officially the annexation of the Korean Empire by the Japanese Empire. Japan brought an end to the Korean Joseon Dynasty and Korea officially became an integral part of the Japan Empire. The Koreans resisted the occupation and mobilized a movement to protest against the Japanese colonial authorities. On March 1st, 1919, a nonviolent protest in Pagoda Park was suppressed by the Japanese police and military forces who massacred 7,000 people1. This marked the beginning of a long period of human right oppression by the Japanese towards their fellow East Asians.

In 1931, the Japanese army invaded China and subsequently began to commit many acts of violence and genocide towards the Chinese people. The Japanese army attacked Manchuria after the Mukden Incident on September 18th, 1931. After five months of fighting, the Japanese occupied Manchuria and forcibly enacted the puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932, with Puyi, the last Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, installed as its puppet ruler. The Japanese continued its military aggression towards the northern parts of China, until their army reached Lugou Bridge (or Marco Polo Bridge), a crucial access-route to Beijing. With the purpose of defending Beijing, the Chinese army under regimental commander Ji Xingwen (219th Regiment, 37th Division, 29th Route Army) had to stop their advances. The Japanese opened fire and attacked the Marco Polo Bridge alongside a modern railway bridge. The Marco Polo Bridge incident led directly to full-scale war between the Imperial Army of the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China. There were many battles and horrific massacres such as the Battle of Beiping-Tianjin, the Battle of Shanghai and the Nanking Massacre. The Japanese invasion and occupation of China lasted until August 1945 when Japan surrendered to China and the rest of the Allies.

War Crimes committed by the Japanese government

During its invasion and occupation of Korea and many places in China, the Japanese committed numerous war crimes including but not limited to:

  1. Human experimentation:

Biological weapons were experimented on civilians and prisoners of war by a Japanese covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit, known as Unit 7311. According to the 2002 International Symposium on the Crimes of Bacteriological Warfare, the number of people killed by the Japanese Army germ warfare and human experiments was around 580,000 .

  2. Use of chemical weapons :

According to the study of historians Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno, in early 1938, the Imperial Japanese Army began full-scale use of phosgene, chlorine, Lewisite, nausea gas and mustard gas against the Chinese troops. Perhaps as many 200,000 Chinese died of bubonic plague, cholera, anthrax and other diseases resulting from the use of biological warfare     .

  3. The Nanking Massacre :

The Japanese captured Nanjing on December 13th, 1937. Eyewitness accounts of Westerners and Chinese say that over the course of six weeks, the Imperial Japanese Army murdered an estimated 200,000  to over 300,000  Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants, perpetrated widespread rape, looting, theft, arson, and other war crimes.

  4. Forced labor:

The Japanese military's use of forced labor directly caused many deaths because the assigned work were often in dangerous conditions without adequate safety precautions. According to a joint study by historians, more than 10 million Chinese civilians were mobilised by the Koa-in (Japanese Asia Development Board) for forced labour     . More than 100,000 civilians and POWs died in the construction of the Burma-Siam Railway

  5. Comfort women:

The Imperial Japanese Army forced women and girls in occupied territories into sexual slavery before and during the war. The estimated numbers of comfort women is counted to be from360,000 to 410,000 according to Chinese sources. They experienced physical torture, rape, beatings and as a result, approximately three quarters of the comfort women died. Most survivors were either infertile due to sexual trauma or infected with sexually transmitted diseases . Captured by the Japanese Imperial Army to be a sex slave, Jan Ruff-O'Herne testified to the U.S. House of Representatives committee in 1990. She stated, “the most shameful story of the worst human rights abuse committed by the Japanese during World War II: “The story of the “Comfort Women”, the jugunianfu, and how these women were forcibly seized against their will, to provide sexual services for the Japanese Imperial Army. In the “comfort station” I was systematically beaten and raped day and night. Even the Japanese doctor raped me each time he visited the brothel to examine us for venereal disease.”1

  6. Arrest and torture of civilians:

In the occupied territories, the military police (Kempeitai) or Japanese authorities arrested civilians without due cause, tortured prisoners in jails and executed political opponents. All Chinese and other subjugated peoples were forced to bow to Imperial Japanese soldiers. The civil rights of Japanese subjects were preferred over other nationalities.

  7. Mass killings:

According to the estimation by Professor R. J. Rummel, the Japanese military murdered from nearly 3 to over 10 million people, most likely 6 million Chinese, Indonesians, Koreans, Filipinos, Indochinese, and western prisoners of war between 1937 and 1945 . In China alone, approximately 3.9 million Chinese, mostly civilians, were killed as a direct result of the Japanese operations and 10.2 million people were killed in the course of the3war. Rummel says, "this democide [e.g. death by government] was due to a morally bankrupt political and military strategy, military expediency and custom, and national (ie, Japanese) culture."     

  8. Cannibalism:

One Indian prisoner of war, Lance NaikHatam Ali, testified in New Guinea and stated, "... the Japanese started selecting prisoners and every day one prisoner was taken out and killed and eaten by the soldiers. I personally saw this happen and about 100 prisoners were eaten at this place by the Japanese. The remainder of us were taken to another spot 50 miles [80 km] away where 10 prisoners died of sickness. At this place, the Japanese again started selecting prisoners to eat. Those selected were taken to a hut where their flesh was cut from their bodies while they were alive and they were thrown into a ditch where they later died."

During the Tokyo tribunal and its investigations by prosecutor William Webb, reports indicated that Japanese personnel had committed acts of cannibalism against Allied prisoners of war.

Destroyed and Covered Up Evidences

All the evidence of the above atrocities were destroyed and covered up by the Japanese government when the surrender was formally signed in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. Vast quantities of records pertaining to war crimes and the war responsibility of Japan's leaders, including the emperor, had been burnt. The Imperial Army, Navy, and almost all government ministries destroyed their incriminating files1.

According to the International Prosecution Section of the Judgment of International Military Tribunal for the Far East, "When it became apparent that Japan would be forced to surrender, an organized effort was made to burn or otherwise destroy all documents and other evidence of ill-treatment of prisoners of war and civilian internees. The Japanese Minister of War issued an order on August 14th, 1945 to all Army headquarters that confidential documents should be destroyed by fire immediately. On the same day, the Commandant of the Kempetai sent out instructions to the various Kempetai Headquarters detailing the methods of burning large quantities of documents efficiently." The systematic destruction of war-related records made it possible for successive Japanese governments to refuse the acknowledgement of Japan's war guilt and war crimes. By denying the responsibilities of war crimes, the Japanese also destroys its credibility as a nation that claims to promote peace and human rights after the war. As the Japanese denies its war crimes, it continues to hurt the victimized nations like rubbing salt on bleeding wounds.

The human right issues after the war

Criminals who have breached human rights but refuse to admit or show remorse for their crimes are in agreement with their historical violation. Such agreement is a silent form of trampling of human rights because by default the those criminals are either demonstrating that there were nothing wrong with their violation of human rights or shirking the responsibility of those crimes to others. Therefore, if war criminals of a nation violated human rights, then his or her nation is required to admit and apologize for those crimes on their behalf to validate a nation’s honor and respect to human rights.

The war crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese government and military as mentioned previously are, without doubt, violation of human rights on physical and emotional levels. But to make matters worse, the Japanese’s on-going denial of and excuses for those events are acts of defiance to human rights. As such, even though nowadays, Japan claims to promote peace and human rights to the world, its neighboring countries like China and Korea are skeptical about Japan’s sincerity in regards to human rights. The Japanese government including the congress or parliament as a whole has to publicly apologize to the victimized nations and in order to start a process of reconciliation.

Due to various political interventions, the human right demands of apologies and reconciliations from Japan were not fulfilled after the war.

  1. The Emperor Hirohito was free from trial:

   In a research by Professor Herbert P. Bix, the wartime Japan Emperor, Hirohito, was a commander in chief of the Imperial Japanese military who was deeply involved in the day to day management of Japan's military aggression between 1937 and 1945. He participated in the planning of Japan's military aggression and guided its progress through the Imperial General Headquarters1.

   However, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, opposed any plan to prosecute Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal. For MacArthur believed that if the emperor was charged and convicted of war crimes, the administration of a defeated Japan would become extremely difficult. Only when the emperor appeared to be cooperating with the occupying Allied Powers was MacArthur able to control the nation of Japan. This proposal was backed by President Truman, and Japan's leading war criminal escaped prosecution solely on the ground of political expediency. All members of the imperial family implicated in the war such as Prince Chichibu, Prince Asaka, Prince Takeda and Prince Higashikuni were also exonerated from criminal prosecutions by MacArthur. By protecting Hirohito from prosecution, the United States laid the foundation for Japan to refuse to acknowledge its war guilt and war crimes.

   The logical inference would then be the following: If the Allied occupying powers declined to prosecute Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal, then many Japanese would believe that he was innocent of any war guilt. From that inference, it was easy to conclude that, if the emperor, a representative for the nation, was trialed innocent, then Japan, as a nation, is also free of war guilt.

  2. Many war criminals were released:

   The Allies set up the International Military Tribunal of the Far East (IMTFE) in Tokyo to trial the Japanese war criminal suspects. From a list of several hundred prospective defendants, twenty-five were actually trialed and sentenced. Seven death sentences were carried out and the other eighteen were sentenced to imprisonment in lieu of death.

   Immediately after the death sentences had been carried out on seven "Class A" war criminals in December 1948, General MacArthur released a large number of the remaining "Class A" suspects from detention. By the end of 1958, all Japanese war criminals, including “Class A”, “Class B” and “Class C” were released from prison and politically rehabilitated.

   Regarding Unit 731, the Japanese who conducted the biological experiments on live prisoners of war escaped prosecution because General MacArthur wanted their advanced research in biological and chemical warfare to be made available to the US military. MacArthur offered immunity from prosecution to the military commander and staff of the biological unit in return for their research.

  After the war, Germany started an intensive de-Nazification process where former Nazis were prevented from entering parliament and the bureaucracy. However, the United States allowed Japanese war criminals to enter parliament and find employment in the government bureaucracy. Among those Japanese convicted “Class-A” war criminals, Nobusuke Kishi was able to rise to the office of Prime Minister of Japan in 1957. Two other “Class-A” war criminals later served as ministers in post-war Japanese governments. Mamoru Shigemitsu served as foreign minister both during the war and in the post-war Hatoyama government. Okinori Kaya was the finance minister during the war and later

  ^Herbert P. Bix "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan" (Harper Collins 2000),p. 327, 329-331, 359, and 387-391served as justice minister in the government of Hayato Ikeda.

  3. War criminals are honored, worshiped and respected in the Yasukuni Shrine:

   Yasukuni Shrine was founded by Emperor Meiji and commemorated anyone who had died in service of the Empire of Japan in 1868. The shrine now lists the names of 2,466,532 men, women and children, including 1,068 war criminals; 14 of whom are considered “A-Class” criminals. As such, criticism arose from the nations in Asia who were invaded and oppressed in the past.

   After the parole of the last remaining incarcerated war criminals in 1958, the Health and Welfare Ministry began providing information on “Class B” and “Class C” war criminals to Yasukuni Shrine in 1959. Information on the fourteen most prominent “Class A” war criminals, which included the prime ministers and top generals during the war era, were provided to the shrine in 1966, and the shrine passed a resolution to enshrine these individuals in 1970. The head priest Nagayoshi Matsudaira rejected the Tokyo war crimes tribunal's verdicts and enshrined the “Class A” war criminals in a concealed ceremony in 1978. Yasukuni Shrine's museum and website have made statements criticizing the United States for "forcing" Japan to attack the United States in order to justify war with Japan, as well as claiming that Japan went to war with the intention of creating a "Co-Prosperity Sphere" for all Asians . This rhetoric invokes the same ideology and propaganda created by the wartime regime.

   On March 29, 2007, a book of documents was released by Japan's National Diet Library called "A New Compilation of Materials on the Problems Regarding Yasukuni Shrine" contains 808 items, including nearly 180 documents that the Shinto Shrine has disclosed for the first time. Among the documents are lists dated from Jan. 31, 1969 which were presented at a meeting between shrine officials and the Health and Welfare Ministry staff regarding who could be enshrined at Yasukuni. The document said that the shrine and the ministry shared the view that “Class-A” war criminals are able to be honored. The documents purportedly draw a connection between the influence of the Japanese government and the war criminal enshrinement. It proved that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lied to the world that the government had no say in who would be enshrined.

   Since 1975, Japanese politicians including prime ministers and other cabinet members continued to visit Yasukuni. Prime minister Miki Takeo visited the shrine as a non-political entity on August 15th, 1975, the day that Japan commemorated the end of World War II. The next year, his successor, Fukuda Takeo, also visited the shrine as a non-political entity but he signed the visitors' book as the prime minister of Japan. Several other Japanese prime ministers such as Masayoshi Ohira (in 1979), Zenko Suzuki (in 1980, 1981 and 1982), Yasuhiro Nakasone (in 1983 and 1985 and offered flowers that were paid for with government money), Kiichi Miyazawa (in 1992 and was kept a secret until 1996), Ryutaro Hashimoto (in 1996), and Junichiro Koizumi (in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006) have visited the shrine. Visits by Japanese prime ministers to the shrine have resulted in official condemnation by neighboring countries since 1985, as they see it as an attempt to legitimize Japan's past militarism.

  4. No official apology:

   USA was the leading Allied Power who declined to prosecute Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal. Many Japanese believe that they are not responsible for war guilt as a nation. The blame for Japan's aggression and war crimes were on the Japanese Imperial Army which had betrayed the emperor and his people. Therefore, the Japanese government does not acknowledge that Japan had violated international law or treaties. Over the years, Japanese governments have only officially recognized the suffering which the Japanese military caused, and some apologies have been issued by the Japanese government but these were quite limited. The Japanese government have not publically apologized to the victimized nations.

   Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, the only Prime Minister who was not from the right wing Liberal democratic party stated in August 1995 that Japan "through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations", and he expressed his "feelings of deep remorse" and stated his "heartfelt apology"1.

   However, Tomiichi Murayama’s apology was only a personal one, for he failed to make a formal and official apology in the No War Resolution. Only 26% of the diet members supported the Resolution and 47% were against it. This apology was obviously not shared by the majority of Murayama’s officials in the Japanese government.

   To date, the apologies from the Japanese governments are widely viewed as inadequate or only a symbolic exchange by many of the survivors of such crimes or the families of dead victims. On October 2006, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave an apology for the damages caused by its colonial rule and aggression, but at the same time, more than 80 Japanese lawmakers from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party paid visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. The victims who were aggrieved by Japanese in war times considers the Japanese’s apology to be neither on national level nor sincere because the apologies for the crimes were made on personal level and Japanese officials continue to visits to the Yasukuni Shrine to honor the criminals. .

  5. Denial of Japan's war guilt:

   The followings are the comments of various Japanese high-ranked officials

   1) "The Pacific War was a war of liberation..." said Nagano Shigeto, Japan's Justice Minister (1994).

   2) "The Pacific War was a war to liberate colonised Asia," said by a resolution moved in the Japanese Parliament (the Diet) in 1995 by 221 members of Japan's long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

   3) "Japan was forced to go to war by American oil and other embargoes," said Hosei  Norota, a senior member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party in 2001.

   4) "Japan was forced into WW II to liberate Asia from the yoke of Western colonialism," said Hideaki Kase, a producer of the controversial Japanese film "Merdeka" in 2001.

  6. Denial of atrocities :

   The followings are quotes of either Japanese high- ranked officials or leading intellectuals:

   1) "The Nanjing Massacre is a lie made up by the Chinese," said Ishihara Shintaro, a former Japanese Cabinet Minister, interviewed in October 1990.

   2) “..the Nanjing Massacre is a fabrication,” said Nagano Shigeto, Japan's Justice Minister in 1994.

   3) "The Americans brainwashed the postwar Japanese into believing they had committed terrible war crimes," said Nobukatsu Fujioka, a professor of education at Tokyo University in 1997.

   4) "We have to pass on true history to young people. We must fight this information war against the rest of the world," said EiichiroWashio, member of a group of Japanese politicians who deny the Nanjing Massacre occurred in 1937.

   5) "Foreign 'Comfort Women' conscripted for Japanese Army brothels were prostitutes," said Kajiyama Seiroku, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary in 1997.

The Truth and Veracity of the Nanjing Massacre

The movement to deny the Nanjing Massacre began with two articles: (1) Shichihei Yamamoto, "Reply to Katsuichi Honda"1 , and (2) Akira Suzuk, "The Phantom of The Nanjing Massacre"  3

Then there was the book by Masaaki Tanaka "Fabrication of Nanjing Massacre" which denied the Nanjing Massacre by arguing that the population of Nanjing is less than200,000. He laid the blame of the Sino-Japanese War on the Chinese Government.

Besides total denial, another line of Japanese thought insisted that the Nanjing Massacre was exaggerated by the Chinese. A book written by Hata Ikuhiko "Nanjing Incident"   argued that the number of victims in the Massacre was anywhere from 38,000 to 42,000. It was also argued that the killing of surrendered or captured soldiers should not be considered as "Massacre". This book is now considered as the official history text on the issue by the Japan Ministry of Education in May 1994, Justice Minister, Shigeto Nagano, called the Nanjing Massacre a "fabrication".

On June 19th, 2007, a group of around 100 LDP lawmakers again denounced the Nanjing Massacre as a fabrication, arguing that there was no evidence to prove the allegations of mass killings were by Japanese soldiers. They accused Beijing of using the alleged incident as a "political advertisement".

On February 20th, 2012, Takashi Kawamura, mayor of Nagoya, told a visiting delegation from

Nanjing that the massacre "probably never happened". Two days later he defended his remarks saying, "ever since I was a National Diet representative, I have said [repeatedly] there was no [Nanjing] massacre that resulted in murders of several hundred thousands of people.

On February 24th, 2012, Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo governor, said that he also believes that the Nanjing massacre never happened. He believes the actual death toll was around 10,000.

On February 3 , 2014, Naoki Hyakuta, a member of the board of governors of Japan's public broadcasting company, was quoted as saying the massacre never occurred. He said that there were isolated incidents of brutality but no widespread atrocity.

The denial of Nanjing Massacre cannot be sustained because there are many eyewitness and evidences:

1) The Nanjing mass killing was first reported to the world by the westerners residing in the Nanjing Safety Zone. Eyewitness accounts from that period like Robert Wilson wrote in his letters to his family that “the slaughter of civilians is appalling. I could go on for pages telling of cases of rape and brutality almost beyond belief. Two bayoneted corpses are the only survivors of seven street cleaners who were sitting in their headquarters when Japanese soldiers came in without warning or reason and killed five of their number and wounded the two that found their way to the hospital”1.

Another eyewitness, James McCallum, wrote in his letter to his family that “it is a horrible story to relate; I know not where to begin nor to end. Never have I heard or read of such brutality. Rape: We estimate at least 1,000 cases a night and many by day. In case of resistance or anything that seems like disapproval there is a bayonet stab or a bullet” .

2) Masaaki Tanaka argues that the population of Nanjing was less than 200,000 before the claim of Nanjing massacre. However, according to the 1937 Census kept at the Nanjing Bureau of Archives, regarding the City of Nanjing Population Statistic, in 1935, the Nanjing population had approach 900,000, and by June of 1937 population is 1,015,450 . As such, Tanaka’s estimate is highly questionable.

In 1939, a legislator in the collaborationist Nanjing government (controlled by the Japanese), Wong Hong-en, gave a speech at a seminar hosted by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun in Shanghai on April 27th , 1939. He said, “before the (Nanjing) incident, ...Nanjing population reached 1.07million whereas after the incident the population dropped to 170,000”4.

3) Prof. Tian-wei Wu published evidence from declassified US government documents, which includes a coded telegraph sent to the Japanese Embassy in Washington by Foreign Minister, Koki Hirota, on January 17th ,1938:

From: Tokyo (Hirota)

To: Washington

January 17, 1938 #227. Received from Shanghai as #176

"Since return (to) Shanghai (a) few days ago I investigated reported atrocities committed by Japanese Army in Nanking and elsewhere. Verbal accounts (of) reliable eye-witnesses and letters from individuals whose credibility (is) beyond question afford convincing proof (that) Japanese Army behaved and (is) continuing (to) behave in (a) fashion reminiscent (of) Attila (and) his Huns. (Not) less than three hundred thousand Chinese civilians slaughtered, many cases (in) cold blood. Robbery, rape, including children (of) tender years, an insensate brutality towards civilians continues (to) be reported from areas where actual hostilities ceased weeks ago. Deep shame what the better type (of) Japanese civilian here feel - reprehensible conduct (of) Japanese troops elsewhere heightened by series (of) local incidents where Japanese soldiers run amuck (in) Shanghai itself. Today North China Daily News reports (a) particularly revolting case where (a) drunken Japanese soldier, unable (to) obtain women and drink he demanded, shot (and) killed three Chinese women over sixty and wounded several other harmless civilians." The International Military Tribunal for the Far East estimated in two (seemingly conflicting) reports that "over 200,000" and "over 100,000" civilians and prisoners of war were murdered during the first six weeks of the occupation. That number was based on burial records submitted by charitable organizations—including the Red Swastika Society and the Chung Shan Tang (Tsung Shan Tong)—the research done by Smythe, and some estimates given by survivors.”

After this telegram was sent, the Japanese government knew that the implication of it was to let the world understand its brutality. Then Japan sent the other telegram and claimed that the above telegram was written and sent out from Shanghai by Harold Timperley, a correspondent and also advisor to the Chinese intelligence service. The two telegrams were intercepted by American intelligence and listed in the declassified US government document.1

This claim has no proof at all. There is no evidence to say that an Australian correspondent for the Manchester Guardian could become a Chinese spy. Harold John Timperley gained his reputation by his accounts for the Guardian, for he provided firsthand information available in the West. His cables from Shanghai, formed the basis for some early writing on the Nanjing massacre from 1937-38. It is not possible that a correspondent could used the name of Foreign Minister Koki Hirota to send a telegram to the Japanese Embassy in Washington.

1) In 1947, at the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal, the verdict for Lieutenant General HisaoTani—the commander of the Sixth Division—quoted a figure of more than 300,000 deaths. This estimate was made from burial records and eyewitness accounts. It concluded that some 190,000 people were illegally executed at various execution sites and 150,000 people were killed one-by-one.

2) Eyewitness accounts from the period state that over the course of six weeks following the fall of Nanjing, Japanese troops engaged in rape, murder, theft, and arson. The most reliable accounts such as the diaries of John Rabe and Minnie Vautrin came from foreigners who opted to stay behind in order to protect Chinese civilians from certain harm. Others include first-person testimonies of the Nanjing Massacre survivors. Still more were gathered from eyewitness reports of journalists, both Western and Japanese, as well as the field diaries of certain military personnel. An American missionary, John Magee, stayed behind to provide a 16mm film documentary and first-hand photographs of the Nanjing Massacre. John Magee in his letter to his wife mentioned that “they not only killed every prisoner they could find but also a vast number of ordinary citizens of all ages.... Just the day before yesterday we saw a poor wretch killed very near the house where we are living.”1

3) A telegraph by the U.S. ambassador to Germany in Berlin sent one day after the Japanese army occupied Nanking, stated that he heard the Japanese Ambassador in Germany boasting that Japanese army killed 500,000 Chinese people as the Japanese army advanced from Shanghai to Nanking. This was discovered in December 2007 from the newly declassified U.S. government archive documents. According to the archives research, "the telegrams sent by the U.S. diplomats [in Berlin] pointed to the massacre of an estimated half a million people in Shanghai, Suzhou, Jiaxing, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Wuxi and Changzhou."   

4) "According to a Japanese Lieutenant colonel, Toshio Ohta, between December 14th and December 18th, the Japanese commanding headquarters of Nanjing Port disposed of 100,000 bodies while 3other troops disposed of 50,000."

5) The verdict of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East is as follows: - Approximately 20,000 cases occurred within the city during the first month of the occupation...The total number of civilians and prisoners of war murdered in Nanking during the six weeks was over 200,000... These figures do not take into account those persons whose bodies were destroyed by burning or by throwing into the Yangtze River or otherwise disposed by Japanese.

- The 200,000 number was mostly based on the records of several humanitarian and charity organizations who buried the remaining bodies a week to four months after the massacres began. Six charity groups buried total of 195,240 bodies from December 1937 to October 1938. Detailed bury records are available.

- From the verdict, the 200,000 number did not include victims whose bodies were disposed by Japanese (as was common in the early stages of the massacre) or by individual Chinese other than the charities groups, nor did it include those who were massacred after the first six weeks. Therefore, the 200,000 number is a conservative number. Adding the people who were murdered in smaller scale killings and whose bodies had been buried by other people, over 300,000 Chinese were massacred in Nanjing.

The truth about comfort Women

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied that the military had forced women into sexual slavery during World War II in 2007. He stated, "The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion." Before he spoke, a group of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers also sought to revise the Kono Statement. The fact is, when the Japanese government destroyed all the evidence, it is difficult for researchers to find evidences from the official records. However, The denial of the

government responsibilities of comfort women cannot be sustained because there are still many eyewitness and newly discovered evidences::

  1. On April 17th, 2007 Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Hirofumi Hayashi announced the discovery, in the archives of the Tokyo Trials, of seven official documents suggesting that imperial military forces, such as the Tokkeitai (Naval military police), forced women whose fathers attacked the Kenpeitai (Army military police), to work in front line brothels in China, Indochina and Indonesia. These documents were initially made public at the war crimes trial. In one of these documents, a lieutenant confessed to have organized a brothel and had been a visitor himself. Another source indicate that Tokkeitai members arrested women on the streets, and after enforced medical examinations, put them in brothels1

  2. Journalist Taichiro Kajimura discovered 30 Dutch government documents submitted to the Tokyo tribunal as evidences of a mass forced prostitution incident in 1944 in Magelang, Indonesia, on May 12th, 2007     .

  3. China produced almost 89 documents from the archives of the Kwantung Army in 2014. The documents provide ironclad proof that the Japanese military forced Asian women to work in frontline brothels before and during the Second World War .

  4. The South Korean government designated Bae Jeong-ja, foster daughter of Hirobumi Ito, the prime minister of Japan, as a pro-Japanese collaborator (chinilpa) in September 2007 for recruiting comfort women.

  5. According to the United States Office of War Information, the US army captured twenty Korean comfort girls and two Japanese civilians around August 10th, 1944 in the mopping up operations after the fall of Myitkyin in Burma. The interrogation showed that "in May of 1942, Japanese agents arrived in Korea for the purpose of enlisting Korean girls as ‘comfort service’ in newly conquered Japanese territories in Southeast Asia. The nature of this ‘service’ was not specified but it was assumed to be work connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy." Approximately 800 of these girls were recruited and were distributed to various parts of Burma near the Japanese Army camps. On the basis of these false representations, many girls enlisted for overseas duty and were rewarded with a sum of a few hundred yen in advance. "The conditions under which they transacted business were regulated by the Army. However, the girls were being cheated to become comfort girls. They were put under army regulation, and had to serve many soldiers and officers every day. They were sex slaves .

There are still many other survivors eyewitness evidences disclosed the evil committed by the Japanese government. During wartime, everything was controlled by the government, so how could thousands of non-Japanese girls being removed from the occupied land to serve the army and became sex slaves be without the approval of the government? The denial of these crimes is an immoral attitude and shows that the politicians are irresponsible to the victims. It seemed to suggest that Shinzo Abe and his party in the government are the successors of the war criminals.


Japan’s denial and excuses of its historical war crime responsibilities to the victimized nations are continual trample of human rights and maintain conflicts between it and victimized nations. By not officially apologizing to the victimized nations, Japan as a nation is rubbing salt against the bleeding wounds of the victimized nations. Japan is 1) sabotaging a more complete reconciliation and peace with the victimized nations, 2) continuing to create conflicts between it and the victimized nations, and 3) risking its integrity.

When Japan denies or reduces the responsibility of its war crimes, the people of the victimized nations could easily conclude that the Japanese today are in agreement with historical war crimes and feel humiliated and deprived of their human rights. As such they would continue to reject the Japanese and hostility and rancor will continue to build up because wounds from the past are not given the right condition to heal.

Not only so, but because the official documentations of the Japanese war crimes have been destroyed, Japanese are stripped of their rights to know the truth. Official textbooks and shrine honor war criminals to an extent that some younger generations in Japan actually believe that that the war criminals conducted no crimes or at least to a much lesser degree than actual fact. This kind of false or incomplete education of history continue to create conflicts such as misunderstanding, hatred, forgiveness, fighting, quarrel etc. between the Japanese and the people of victimized nations today.

The integrity of Japan is at risk when it promotes human rights but at the same time rejects its responsibilities in war crimes. Unlike the Germans who repented of their war crimes and received forgiveness from its victimized nations, Japan’s unwillingness to do hurts its integrity. The fact that all of the war criminals in Japan have been released does not mean that the human rights at that time have been fulfilled, but if the Japanese would officially acknowledge and apologize for those crimes, then it would indicate that Japan is truthfully supportive of human rights.

If Japan does not formally address this issue, than Japan’s credibility to support human rights and integrity is quite questionable. If other nations such as United States of America who helps regulates international issues, support peace and human rights, they should encourage Japanese to make apologetic public statements to victimized nations.

If Japan is for human rights and take up the responsibility and apologize for stripping the people of the victimized nations of their human rights in the past, it will cultivate the right condition for those nations to heal and build a more peaceful relationship today.

(The author is Founder and President of Culture Regeneration Research Society, Canada)