Agony endures 75 years after Nanjing Massacre

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  • -9

    WilliB

    Not to dimish the suffering of the survivors of Japanese war crimes, but would it it not be high time for a modern Chinese government to address the horrors inflicted on the nation by the Mao regime, instead of endlessly harping on Imperial Japan? But I am not holding my breath for that.

  • 7

    Sentiments

    I think this article gives a good perspective on the issue of Imperial japan 70 years ago. Fighting for upholding a narrative of an historical event is important in every society. Revisionist will always try to change current facts to fit their own goals. In Europa there is constant efforts to try to change the facts about events caused by the Nazis. These fights over versions leads to remembering the original narratives, thus keeping them alive. From my point of view the good part with the article is that it defines the problem to a few right-wingers in Japan and not the nation or the people, which seems to be an opinion coming out from China every now and then. In Europa very few blame the living Germans for what happened back then. I think the right-wingers are a necessary component for a society to help deal with old traumas and put perspective on them.

  • 28

    Disillusioned

    The point of this article is not to compare the horrors of war, but to bring to light the fact that many Japanese politicians and military leaders are still denying and downplaying the events of this massacre. And, sadly, this was not the only massacre committed by the Japanese forces in the first half of last century.

  • 16

    zichi

    Its a stain that no amount of washing can get rid of it, and like all massacres, we shouldn't forget a single one of them.

  • 5

    avigator

    Just like Japanese always say for any kind of crime, 'Yurusenai" or unforgivable, why would you expect Chinese to assume a different perspective than the Japanese. On one account, Japanese soldiers went on a bet on who would kill 100 Chinese faster than the other. Then the article reads "he went the extra mile and killed one hundred and nine" For a country that seems to be unrepentant of its past, and this can be validated by the way the government turns a blind eye on a lot of things, (blatant discrimination and abuse of women, minorities and foreigners), as far as I know, there is also no forgiveness for this country. I believe China should literally still consider itself in a state of war with Japan until visible and sincere repentance is shown. And that has to do with their male chauvinistic society it is allowed to continue.

  • 12

    Hansaram

    The main cause of death during Mao regime, Cultural Revolution is mainly due to hunger, not murder so it's different. However, like Disillusioned said, the article is to address the fact there are many Japanese who still deny this massacre.Although, there have been many apologize made by Japanese, the apologies are consistently made null and void because there are Japanese who continually deny.

  • -9

    tokyo-star

    Seems silly that they are arguing over an order of magnitude, as either figure is utterly horrible and an ugly crime against humanity.

    But agree with WilliB, the common Chinese should look within their own borders first to see the atrocities committed by the government that commands them. Of course with all the brainwashing, this is going to be nigh on impossible.

  • -11

    jforce

    You cannot blame people for not knowing history. It's infuriating, yes. But, the generations since owe no one any apologies or compensation. I wish China would just move on. They seem happy to have all the business and tech from Japan, but then their Dictatorship government stirs up resentment of Japan just for kicks.

    We have no business pushing morality or belief on anyone, nor does Japan have to continuously apologize for crimes inflicted. Textbooks are not the ultimate enemy here either. How about teachers teach outside the box and have a discussion in class once and awhile. Oh, that's right! Kids are too busy studying for some exam or another. I've got it! Let's throw all these old politicians (men) out into the streets and call "redo". Seems like the only logical option.

    You posters are all so liberal and moral, but look at your own country where you come from and I'll bet there's a dirty little massacre in your past. Should you still be accountable for that? Oh we gave the Indians reserves and casinos - all done. Sorry about that Africa! Didn't mean to carve you up and use you. Etc etc etc...

  • -12

    pontananagoma

    We were not there, if this happened only God knows . Why don't people forget about it & move on with business , so easy to say cuz we did not witness it . So what shall we do , retaliate & drop another bomb to Japan ? All people suffered , Chinese & Japanese ordinary folk too .. This won't stop ... Tsk tsk tsk . I hope the whole humankind will end in 2012 so That this will stop ..

  • 10

    GW

    willib, tstar,

    There is a difference between China & Japan your apparently not aware of so here you go, Japanese are free to speak their minds, Chinese are NOT, if a Chinese person went on about Mao they'd be locked up in no time!

    So while I bet there are MILLIONS of Chinese that would love to bring up those parts of Chinese history, the sad truth is they'd face serious personal & family repercussions. Its not an excuse, its simply the reality in China.

    Now for Japan...........................well they have NO excuses. And Japan is & will have to continue to pay for its folly.

    Personally I wish Japan had come clean on its history so it can tell China & Korea to get lost! BUT Japan hasnt, its made its bed & is now lieing in it, what a shame & a waste!

  • 1

    Hansaram

    But Chinese dissidents say Beijing nurtures anti-Japanese sentiment as part of the Communist Party’s tightly scripted, historic claim to a legitimate right to rule. Artist Ai Weiwei said this year’s protests were “prepared” by Beijing.

    I would like to use this opportunity to praise AFP and thanks Japan Today for posting this brilliantly done article. While Japan did a lot of bad things to China, I also think the communist party anti Japanese education are being unfair to modern Japan.

    To the Japanese who condemn the war criminals and apologize, thank you. To those Japanese soldiers who commit those crime, I hope they are suffering in hell now. To those communist who try force hatred on Japanese and Japanese who deny world war crime, I hope they got punishment they deserve some day.

  • 0

    tokyo-star

    I kind of alluded to that with the commie brainwashing. The situation in China will only last so long, before the middle class starts demanding more freedoms and begins to speak against their commanders en masse. The government will not last long, and the country will surely collapse in its current form before you know it.

  • 2

    lucabrasi

    "... commie brainwashing."??!

    Feel like I'm in some 1960's junior high school locker room in Mississippi...

  • 10

    marcelito

    Would love to see this article reprinted in the major Japanese daily newspapers before the election and then hear Abe and Ishihara 's response.

  • 3

    Carcharodon

    Its a stain that no amount of washing can get rid of it,

    There is a different theory on that: Time. In a hundred years or 200 years, time will fade the stains. when no one alive was there or even met someone who was there. Look at arguably one of the most brutal conquerors of all time : Genghis Khan. I've just been listening to a series of history podcasts about the Mongol Empire. Some of the atrocities he and his steppe hordes committed make the Nanking soldiers look like choir boys, mindblowing stuff, yet over the years his legacy has evolved primarily as a military genius and bold conqueror who opened trade routes and changed the World. Though even after centuries there are places in China and the middle east and Russia that are still hurting.

    Revisionist historians in a century might be minimizing deaths, brush off the deaths in Nanking, dwarfed by Japanese postwar recovery and economic boom. Another thought - What if Japan had actually won the war? that would be a whole different story again

    and like all massacres, we shouldn't forget a single one of them.

    I agree with what you say - I don't think we should forget, yet future generations will.

  • 6

    Derek Vasconi

    I think it's imperative to bring up a huge point about China and their CONTINUING atrocious acts they are engaging in TODAY. One word people: TIBET. I agree with what one person wrote, that during the Mao regime, hunger was a driving force for some of the brutality that occurred in that era. I also realize that Chinese people today do suffer if they try to speak out and do something about their government's disgusting attempt at hiding their crimes against Tibet, but what Japan did was act like an army hell bent on destruction DURING WAR. And yes, war is awful. My heart breaks for all the Chinese who were savagely raped, brutalized, and murdered during the Nanjing slaughter, and yes, it sucks that there are Japanese government officials who deny this ever happened. BUT guess what? The whole world back then was doing some pretty awful things to each other. I'm not saying that because a war was on that what the Japanese did was ok, but many of those Japanese soldiers were in the same position as the Chinese common people are today: If they didn't go along with what was happening at the time, they too would have been killed or their families put to shame. But Tibet? What is China's excuse for this? It is probably one of the worst atrocities in terms of aggression on a population of people by a government anywhere in the world, yet the Chinese government of course all turn a blind eye to it. So you know, before Chinese officials get all riled up about what happened 70+ years ago, maybe they should look in the mirror and realize they have just as much blood on their hands. Free Tibet, then we can start talking.

  • 14

    cabadaje

    I agree that the horrors of war should not be forgotten. At the same time, they do not need to be front stage center in any given discussion, unless it is specifically concerning that massacre or the people involved. Not wanting to talk about something shameful is not a denial. No school history book of any country that I have been to has had detailed explanations of battles, so I am not going to pretend that the lack of these explanations is any sort of denial either, particularly when books specifically about battles are readily available to students. That said, when there are people who are actively denying that certain wartime atrocities took place, they must be met head-on, and no quarter can be given based on "probable doubt".

    War is a vicious, brutal, barbaric thing, and thankfully we are getting better and better at it so fewer and fewer people have to suffer or die for whatever idiotic reason prompted it in the first place. There is very little that I would find unbelievable in terms of human behavior in war, to the extent that this is the one field where I am more comfortable taking guilt as a base assumption and then attempting to prove innocence. I would even go so far as to take into consideration the non-academic (read: political) "intent" of the research, and consider any possible bias with even greater weight than normal.

    No, it isn't a fair approach to research in general, and I'm not going to pretend it is. However I will consider it balanced. The impact of deniers, the unfair way in which they can inject "probable doubt" into practically anything without having to shoulder the burden of reasonable proof, and the way in which they can pretend that they are innocently trying to present nothing more than another perspective, that is unfair as well. If the deniers are going to take advantage of human behaviour to push their agenda, then researchers/historians/anyone involved, is obligated to meet them at that level, not at some false "balanced argument" starting point. A claim for a massacre that has historical evidence, witnesses, survivors, records, and is in complete compliance with known human behaviour is not evenly balanced with an argument that there is a possibility that the massacre didn't happen. If the deniers want to be heard, they do not get to start at the same level as the argument that has already proven itself; they have to prove themselves independantly, every bit as much as the original.

    The horrors of war should be remembered in the same way that the most embarrassing moments in your life are remembered: Quietly, apologized for, put to rest, and used to grow and become a better person. They deserve neither celebration, nor lamentation, and do not need to be on constant display to the rest of the world. But they must never be denied, no matter how contrite the apology, no matter how sincere the forgiveness, no matter how far back the experience, denial must always be confronted.

  • 0

    House Atreides

    I think it's imperative to bring up a huge point about China and their CONTINUING atrocious acts they are engaging in TODAY. One word people: TIBET.

    I'd also add the genocide of Uyghurs to the list of CONTINUING atrocities. The funny thing is if you mention the atrocities of the Tibetans and Uyghurs to the Chinese, the Chinese act in exactly the same manner they accuse the Japanese of acting toward the Nanking Massacre. They tend to downplay it or deny it. Many Chinese also believe they are justified in their occupation of East Turkestan and Tibet and have no sympathy for the people being occupied.

  • 7

    lucabrasi

    @cabadje

    Single best post here for at least three years. Well said.

  • 3

    tmarie

    Will, indeed China should but what does that have to do with Japan?

    The fact that the mayor of Nagoya denied this happen just this year is disgusting and proves that Japan isn't doing enough to deal with their past. Japan still dances around the issue and ignores and it is disgusting. All while marking atomic bomb days and playing the victim but refusing to deal with the fact they they caused many to suffer at the hands of their soldiers. Neither China nor Japan will move on from matters until they face up to it all.

  • -5

    BertieWooster

    cabadaje-san,

    Whereas I find MUCH to agree with in your post, this line sticks a bit:

    **War is a vicious, brutal, barbaric thing, and thankfully we are getting better and better at it so fewer and fewer people have to suffer or die for whatever idiotic reason prompted it in the first place. **

    An awful lot of people died in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately a lot of those were just people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The PR guys call this "friendly fire" in an attempt to lessen the crime, but it doesn't work.

    I see the U.S.A., instead of entering into meaningful dialog, forcing nations into a corner and, with its huge military presence, encouraging and indulging in senseless violence. "Those who live by the sword, die by the sword."

    We have wasted FAR TOO MUCH MONEY on arms, the military and war in the last hundred years or so. If we had used the same money and energy for peaceful use, we could be living in a Golden Age.

    It's not too late. We all live on the same planet. There's nowhere else to go. Don't you think we ought to be thinking of ways to get along together rather than trying to destroy one another.

    War is indeed a vicious, brutal, barbaric thing.

    More arms, more military, more bases means more war.

    If we work toward peace we can achieve it.

    We have the choice.

    Heaven or Hell.

    It's up to us.

  • 4

    Thomas Anderson

    I can't believe there are still people who would deny, and even harass and attack the victims and anyone who wishes to speak the truth. It's completely atrocious. The Japanese people should be against any of those deniers. They are no different than Nazi deniers.

    This is one of, if not THE worst war atrocity ever committed. It's completely infuriating that there are those who deny out of purely selfish reasons. If the Japanese people are not against the deniers than they are approving of those deniers.

  • 0

    Redcliff

    @ Cabadaje

    You have posted an excellent comment well said. Your second paragraph reflects a line of thought of that of a solicitor.

  • 2

    ubikwit

    It's a fact, like Abu Graihb an other much smaller scale atrocities committed by Americans and Brits in the much more modern wars being conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    War is not so clean cut as the executive war mongers would have their populations believe before sending them off to the battlefield.

    The fact of denial is extremely troublesome, and points to some deep seated moral weakness and malaise on the part of the nationalists.

  • -2

    tokyo-star

    Bertie, if you use "We" as the general human race, then I agree with your post. The problem is religion and political factors that draw the borders of nations - utterly ridiculous. Why can't we all just get along, huh? Tell that to the people in Nanjing 75 years ago, tell that to the people in Syria today...history repeats.

  • -1

    Thomas Anderson

    WilliB

    Not to dimish the suffering of the survivors of Japanese war crimes, but would it it not be high time for a modern Chinese government to address the horrors inflicted on the nation by the Mao regime, instead of endlessly harping on Imperial Japan? But I am not holding my breath for that.

    Did you even read the article? It's about an 80 year old survivor who is still fighting against deniers, who is still harassed and attacked by the deniers.

  • -1

    Seirei Tobimatsu

    Soldiers are by definition killers. Let all be bound by international law & police. Outlaw war. A police state but a transparent consistent one.

  • 4

    gaijintraveller

    Never happened.

    At least it never happened if you believe Ishihara, Abe or approved textbooks in Japan.

  • 0

    Zenpun

    Many posters posted China turned blind eyes about Tibet, Uyghur atrocities. The same posters and their propaganda turned blind eyes about Israel atrocities and oppression to Palestinians. Unlawful bombing of Irag without the trace of WMD. Middle East spring was supported by west about better and democratic Middle East. Innocent suffered in the name of liberation and weapons testing. According Egypt experience, the revolution will never end. One dictator will replace one dictator. After all Sadam was a brain child of Uncle Sam for containing Iran. It did not turn out as happy ending. Bin laden was a hero once who kicked out Russia from Afghan. He became poisonous too.

    Nanjing massacre is documented because survivors are in their advanced age. It was one of the terrible suffering of human kind in 20th century. It is not about argument about the event. Something like a medical record for illustration of pain and suffering. New generation will understand about the consequence of extreme nationalism.

    History can not be washed like clothes. Difference between Japan and Germany is German admitted and never deny about history. In the perfect world, everything will be turn out as wine and rose whenever powerful one manipulated as friendly fire or intelligence error.Reality is different. Geo-political and strategic interest of West killed more innocent than PRC oppression. In most cases, it lacked the credibility such as Vietnam war. Comparing with that unjust war crimes, PRC sin is choir girls rehearsal.

    It is a theory of "Do as I told you so. Not as I did." I am a Saint and You are a sinner.

  • 4

    oberst

    Look at germany.
    Germany has the courage to confront history and sworn never to repeat what happened. Time for japan to do the same . There is no shame in that.

  • 2

    cabadaje

    An awful lot of people died in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately a lot of those were just people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The PR guys call this "friendly fire" in an attempt to lessen the crime, but it doesn't work.

    I'm not entirely sure what your background is, but I don't know a single military person who considers the phrase "friendly fire" to lessen the..."crime", did you call it? The implication being that it was not an accident, but done on purpose?

    I see the U.S.A., instead of entering into meaningful dialog, forcing nations into a corner and, with its huge military presence, encouraging and indulging in senseless violence. "Those who live by the sword, die by the sword."

    I would rather not mix my observable facts with my drawn conclusions. It's too easy to consider them all to be on the same level.

    We have wasted FAR TOO MUCH MONEY on arms, the military and war in the last hundred years or so. If we had used the same money and energy for peaceful use, we could be living in a Golden Age.

    And if I had a genie in a bottle, I could have done the same, but we have to deal with reality the way it is now, sucky human behaviour and all.

    It's not too late.

    Of course not. Indeed, we are making very encouraging progress. I already mentioned how our war weapons are becoming better and better, decreasing unwanted casualties. Along with it is our increasing willingness to put ourselves in danger in order to protect the innocent. We could have turned all of Iraq into a 15,000 hole golf course without endangering a single soldier, and not so long ago that not only would have been the smartest idea, but a commonly accepted one. We refuse to, however, and instead send our soldiers, some of whom we know are not going to be returning on their own, in order to avoid mass slaughter.

    Don't you think we ought to be thinking of ways to get along together rather than trying to destroy one another.

    Ought to? Why do you think the internet is so popular? Why do you think social sites have gotten to the point that they are being given awards and recognition formerly granted to people? We aren't just thinking about getting along; we are running full tilt at it.

    War is indeed a vicious, brutal, barbaric thing. More arms, more military, more bases means more war.

    Hmm...no.

    War would be war with or without military bases.

    Military bases would not exist if there was no war.

    If we work toward peace we can achieve it. We have the choice. Heaven or Hell. It's up to us.

    Wishes and dreams are nice and have their place in the world. However, it is working with what we have that gets things done. Pretending that we ever had the option of ignoring war and putting all our resources into peace is wasted energy. Recognizing that we are progressing, even if we still retain some of our barbaric heritage, motivates us to keep growing.

    We cannot deny our past. We were, not too long ago, vicious, brutal, barbaric, beings, some still are, and many who are not only wear their civilization as a thin costume. To pretend that our inner barbarian isn't just under the surface just waiting to come out is to refuse to face our shameful beginnings. If we cannot face our past, we cannot move forward.

  • -5

    lostrune2

    I read somewhere that China's then-government actually sacrificed Nanking in order to get international attention to their plight...........

  • -6

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    Well, IMHO frankly there's too much evidence to completely deny the idea that a massacre on some scale happened during that time.

    However, it is also true that the Chinese NEEDS the Nanking Massacre and needs it to be as bad as possible. Otherwise, they'll be forced to confront the embarrassment of allowing the Japanese to reach Nanking.

  • -7

    hkitagawa

    I'm against attrocities and I can't understand why past Japanese leaders took decisions to avoid it, but suppose that the history were different: That Japan did not invaded Asia. In this cenario, Soviet Union probably had succeeded to take control over all territories in Asia including China and Mongolia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Japan probably was a weak country without any root materials to contain the Soviet invasion. The soviets probably had succeeded to take control over China, Korea and Japan becoming a huge comunist nation. In this new cenario, Soviet Union had succeed to control all the manufacturing and industries in China and Japan to confront the biggest enemy: USA and Great Britain. Million of Americans, Australians, Canadians or even Brazilians had lost their lifes, including million of people in China and Japan under the soviet rule, but the fact was that a small country as little as California went to Asia to contain the soviet expansion and million of Japaneses also lost their lives. If history where different we certainly had billions of deaths everywhere.

  • 0

    Thomas Anderson

    So many "Yes, but..." justifications.

  • 2

    oberst

    wow, now we have people blaming the victims............ way to go, Japan

  • 2

    Thomas Anderson

    I read somewhere that China's then-government actually sacrificed Nanking in order to get international attention to their plight...........

    Right-wing propaganda is getting crazier and crazier... and more desperate.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    WilliB (and tokyo-star): "Not to dimish the suffering of the survivors of Japanese war crimes..."

    But you'll do it anyway...

    "...but would it it not be high time for a modern Chinese government to address the horrors inflicted on the nation by the Mao regime, instead of endlessly harping on Imperial Japan?"

    Now, how did I know I would come on this thread and see amongst the first posts people saying b-b-b-b-b-ut China should address it's own issues, literally spitting on the face of the victims. Show us an article ABOUT MAO and the atrocities he committed on his own people and I'm sure you'll get a lot of people outraged at Mao and what he did. For the time being, why is it Japanese people or people who simply wish to ignore history (or change it!) always come on here and deflect from the atrocities committed by the Japanese military or simply kick the victims by saying it's lies?

    I'm just surprised someone hasn't come on here and tried to deflect with wild statistics about modern-day prostitutes from around Asia!

    Guys, admit Japan's history -- THAT is the way everyone can move on. Not by ignoring it, not by deflecting, not by saying "we should just forget history and move on", and certainly not by denying what happened.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    oberst: "wow, now we have people blaming the victims............ way to go, Japan"

    That, and/or denial, are the only ways some Japanese can deal with the issues. If they had to admit what their grandparents and/or their country-men did their heads would literally explode. Nope, easier to deny or blame the victim. They even tell the Imperial troops who have admitted to the atrocities and gone to apologize, or wish to, that the former troops are wrong but they (who were never even born at the time) are right. Amazing!

    Worst part is that Japan's about to put one of the worst deniers in the history of J-politics onto the throne again (where he'll subsequently cry tummy-ache and run to the throne!). It seems they are constantly trying to surpass themselves in terms of how much they can regress and how low they can become.

  • 0

    Sentiments

    Well in basic communication there is a need to address each other in order to establish shared meaning. Concerning a "sincere" apology from Japan to Nanking or any other place, that will never happen simply because Chinas government and some people in China do not want to listen to the other (Japan). They are only able to listen to their own need of anger so no matter what Japan says it will not be enough. This is why this issue of historical guilt is close to pointless. Every japanese citizen I know are fully aware of the atrocities committed by the Imperial army (and of course every other army in that war) and do feel shame for their countries history. And China, I´m sure you are aware of that in a big population their will always be some people who thinks differently because they want to or cant choose differently (the right-wingers). That is just the way it is everywhere so please drop pointless demands or choose to engage in realistic communication with the other.

  • 1

    peace_zzz

    so when Japanese Youngster hate American for dropping atomic bomb to Hiroshima can be called brainwashing by Japan Government? Come on, just get real. It's just nature feeling against any criminal. And the brutal and psycopath of Japanese military is not just happened in China and Korea, but other country too. If Japan want to bring it out by deny it, I believe many young people still want to hear the truth. but I guess you can't deny without knowing the truth. and I also not believe many Japanese don't know about what happened after they have travelled to other country. If you din't want to admit it, then don't mention it. silence more do good job rather than complain and denying it

  • -3

    hkitagawa

    Everyone in Japan knows history, that is why people keep voting to maintain the pacifist constitution. People here don't blame Americans or any other country and we also don't have time doing too much overtime to discuss it, but for the China's case, even if every people living in Japan apologizes, I do not believe that Chineses will change. Also, I can't confirm if this story was real since my grand-grand father is already dead and he was just a doctor.

  • 4

    ikemen

    What happened during the Cultural Revolution, or is happening now in Tibet, has nothing to do with Nanking.

    Nanking is Nanking. Rightwingers in Japan need to stop talking about other things and just simply admit that terrible things happened in Nanking.

    As for this lady and her motives, if any of you experienced what she did, I doubt you'd simply just forget it - even after 75 years. And if the country whose soldiers did it said nothing happened, I'd say you be pretty upset too.

    Japan has nothing to gain from denying the atrocities at Nanking. Nothing.

    As for other countries - yes most countries have things to be ashamed of. Nothing wrong with acknowledging that people of your nationality did terrible things in the past. You can still acknowledge that and be a patriot.

    Most sensible people understand that.

  • 6

    Matthew Simon

    Can always count on Bertie to somehow make an unrelated topic somehow a tie in to talking trash about the US military. Way to go Bertie you have succeeded in showing your hatred again.

  • 1

    BurakuminDes

    The scum who committed these atrocities were undoubtedly among the lowest form of animals to have walked the earth through history. High time for the right-wing extremists like Ishihara to acknowledge what their dropkick forebears did instead of trying to deny their shame.

    While there are still hardcore groups of denialists of these atrocities, I can understand the anger that still burns amongst many of those in Asia.

  • -7

    hidingout

    Look at germany. Germany has the courage to confront history and sworn never to repeat what happened. Time for japan to do the same . There is no shame in that.

    I'm tired of this argument. There are plenty of deniers in Germany.

    The idea that someday everyone in Japan will supplicate themselves before the communist chinese and admit their collective guilt is nothing but a pipe dream. I applaud Xia Shuqin for going after the deniers individually (as she should) instead of blaming the entire country for the stupidity of an infinitesimal minority.

    Anyway, for those interested, this article was obviously cobbled together based off a TV report done by the AFP. In the video one can see shots of anti-Japan protest marches in which communists, carrying high the portrait of Mao, shout "down with the little Japanese".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drx5s_o3nBQ

  • -6

    WilliB

    smithjapan:

    " Now, how did I know I would come on this thread and see amongst the first posts people saying b-b-b-b-b-ut China should address it's own issues, literally spitting on the face of the victims "

    No it is not. There is plenty of ink spilled about Nanking, and nobody denies that atrocities did happen. Even the nationalists who try to downplay it don´t outright deny something happened; they only want to fiddle with numbers.

    Now when is the last time you saw anybody address the 30+ million Chinese that Mao Tse Tung murdered? Where is the outrage? The Chinese communists killed more Chinese than then Japanese ever did, but don´t hold your breath for any mention of that in China. And the Chinese communist government was active supporter of Pol Pot and his genocide in Cambodia --- do you notice any sound of apology about that from China? If you do, please tell us.

    I call hypocrisy.

  • 1

    Triumvere

    Now when is the last time you saw anybody address the 30+ million Chinese that Mao Tse Tung murdered?

    Who's denying it?

    Even the nationalists who try to downplay it don´t outright deny something happened;

    Never been to the "war museum" at Yasukuni, I take it?

  • 0

    bajhista65

    The point is... Japan should stick strictly to the history. No more lies and fabrications, just the real truth. It's History and the Japanese young generations should know. I don't see anything wrong in writing the truth. Hitler's atrocities were not a hidden from the world. Japan should acknowledged their atrocities too and lessen the tensions and hatred between Chinese and Koreans, not to mention other asian countries of the atrocities Japanese did during the WWII. I wonder why Japan is so stubborned in admitting the truth.

  • 0

    Saiaku

    It's a horrible read, but Japan has truly come far. From being a violent military, to being bombed to pieces during WW2, to being amongst the most humble, caring and advanced people of today. At least this is the impression I have gotten as an outsider.

  • -1

    Sentiments

    No I beg to differ. The point is that Japan sticks to history in their fashion. Of course there will always be some that cant understand history or refuse to accept it but almost everyone knows what happened. But maybe you are missing the point. If you cant understand the simple fact they they do know and that you have the wrong impression, then the problem isn't Japans or its people, it is your impression/opinion. Stop generalizing from individuals to the population.

  • -3

    jumpultimatestars

    No offense to that women but I believe she needs to get a psychologist to sort out her issues from the massacre, not sue more random Japanese right-wingers. The thing is, by allowing what the right wingers say to matter, you're giving them power over you in their denial. That power to hurt you over and over again. If you simply dismiss them and their useless opinions as the ass-hats that they are, that is true victory. Don't let it effect you as they are not worth anyone's time; let them rot in their own ignorance.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    Holy snapping duck poop batman! I have never had a post that received 25 thumbs up! I guess my take on the truth is very close to reality. There are many reasons I like the current Japan, but there are also many reasons not to like the Japan of years gone by. This is also the reason I am afraid to see the likes of Abe, Ishihara and Hashimoto gain power. Possibly, I am being a tad melodramatic, but having thee right-wing imperialists in power does scare me greatly.

  • 1

    ChristopherBlackwell

    All countries should be honest about the atrocities committed in their past. All countries gloss over those atrocities to paint their ancestors as some sort of saints, which none of them were.

    Japan committed many atrocities during World War II, as did the Germans, the Italians, the Russians, the the British the Americas and every other country that has been in war, any war. Okay every country, lets all come clean about the parts of our past that we rarely talk about. No everyone don't speak up at once.

  • 4

    detlef langer

    @ hidingout

    I'm tired of this argument. There are plenty of deniers in Germany.

    But you do know that denying the holocaust is a criminal offense in Germany? Besides - Germany confronting its past is not an argument but a fact.

    • Moderator

      Stay on topic please.

  • 2

    Thomas Anderson

    Everyone in Japan knows history, that is why people keep voting to maintain the pacifist constitution.

    No, they do that because they haven't dealt with history. How much does the average Japanese person know about Nanking Massacre or Comfort Women or any other WW atrocities committed by Imperial Japan? Not much.

    People here don't blame Americans or any other country and we also don't have time doing too much overtime to discuss it,

    What about the atomic bombings? Fire bombings? There's a whole load of media designed to make themselves feel poor and sorry for themselves. Some people say that Japan was forced into go to war because they were pressured by Western powers.

    but for the China's case, even if every people living in Japan apologizes, I do not believe that Chineses will change.

    It hasn't been done, so how do you know?

    Also, I can't confirm if this story was real since my grand-grand father is already dead and he was just a doctor.

    That's why we have this thing called history.

  • 5

    Thomas Anderson

    Many professors and historians in Japan STILL deny that it happened or underplay the figures or events. There's a systematic denial or underplaying of the war atrocities in Japanese education. This is obviously something that should not continue. Harassing and attacking the victims for the 2nd time is lowest of the low and Japanese people should stop those deniers and right-wingers. Japan should be ashamed to allow the denials to continue.

  • 3

    Thomas Anderson

    jumpultimatestars

    No offense to that women but I believe she needs to get a psychologist to sort out her issues from the massacre, not sue more random Japanese right-wingers. The thing is, by allowing what the right wingers say to matter, you're giving them power over you in their denial. That power to hurt you over and over again. If you simply dismiss them and their useless opinions as the ass-hats that they are, that is true victory. Don't let it effect you as they are not worth anyone's time; let them rot in their own ignorance.

    This is highly insensitive. The deniers are saying that it never happened and what she's saying is a lie. They are rejecting and dismissing the suffering that she has endured. And she should just deal with that? Right. How can you "get a psychologist to sort out her issues" when the right-wingers are ATTACKING HER?!? The Japanese right-wingers are harassing and attacking women like her just because she is telling the truth. If anything those right-wingers need to go to jail. Japan ought to be ashamed for not stopping those deniers.

  • 5

    GW

    I'm tired of this argument. There are plenty of deniers in Germany.

    hidingout,

    You do realize that when those nutjobs in Germany come out with their non-sense they are taken to task!!

    Unlike Japan where they run for PM & there are MANY deniers in political parties in Japan! Man you really need to pay more attention to what goes on

  • 0

    GW

    WilliB,

    For pete SAKE! I already explained to YOU why Chinese cant go on about Mao etc. THEY ARE NOT FREE TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS without serious personal repercussions!]

    That aint the same by a LONG SHOT as saying they agree, Chinese are pretty vocal IF they had the freedom speak WE would be hearing it!

  • -6

    YuriOtani

    Feel sad for her but a lot of people have had that experience. IMHO suggest the power of forgiving as it is very liberating to forgive your foes.

  • 3

    Thomas Anderson

    Feel sad for her but a lot of people have had that experience.

    Oh yes, seeing your family getting brutally raped and bayonetted to death is something just about everyone experience. You've got to be kidding me. Stop rationalizing Japan's war atrocities. You clearly don't "feel sad" for her.

  • 6

    Thomas Anderson

    You see this is the problem... many ordinary Japanese still deny and explain away the war atrocities the Japanese military has committed.

  • 5

    Jimizo

    @Yuri I fully agree with your sentiment but perhaps it would be easier to forgive if Japan was more forthright in acknowledging that it actually happened, didn't allow psuedo-historical insanitary views be held by high-ranking politicians and didn't attempt to whitewash events in textbooks. I

  • -3

    cabadaje

    Yuri I fully agree with your sentiment but perhaps it would be easier to forgive if Japan was more forthright in acknowledging that it actually happened, didn't allow psuedo-historical insanitary views be held by high-ranking politicians and didn't attempt to whitewash events in textbooks. I

    But where does it stop? I wish I could pass legislation to force the American politicians who publicly endorse Creationism being taught as a science to shut up. I wish I could pass a law that would prevent anyone in government office from denying the holocaust.

    Sorry Thomas Anderson, but I'll leave the ordinary man out of this; it's the people who get airtime that cause problems, not the ones sitting on their duffs at home.

    Passing laws on censorship only works in very literal societies that views laws as the result of rational thought. America views laws as political tools, and would see a law censoring an opinion as both a validation of that opinion, and even as a reason for empathy with that opinion. Japan...likes to think of itself as rational and logical, and to a great extent it is...but not as much as it thinks it is.

  • -4

    Athletes

    Now when is the last time you saw anybody address the 30+ million Chinese that Mao Tse Tung murdered? Where is the outrage? The Chinese communists killed more Chinese than then Japanese ever did, but don´t hold your breath for any mention of that in China.

    Where did you get that 30 millions static from? It is highly doubtful about your post. The casualty amount is more than WWII + Korean War + Vietnam War + Gulf War+ Afghan War + Irag War. Mao murdered people with Gun Shots. A lot of people died because of famine. He asked everyone in China to make steel back in 60s. Therefore Agriculture was suffered. Famine caused by dumb industrial policy is different from Murder.

    Mao has never used WMD like Israel or US because He could not afford it. Killing 30 millions required many and many Herculean afford. Many right wing apologist will always find some excuse for protecting the extremist unpleasant past. No wonder ring wing ideologists are getting momentum for revisiting their unfinished pre war ultra nationalism.

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/police-see-rise-in-membership-of-extremist-groups

  • 0

    AlexNoaburg

    Japan of the past is responsible for the Communist party being in power today: the war weakened the stronger Chinese Nationalist party to the extent where the Communist party was able to take over in the war's aftermath. Keep the issues separate: Nanking happened. It is not okay for it to be denied or its atrocities lessened. It is not okay for Tibet to be occupied. It is not okay for the Chinese govt to oppress free speech. Stay on issue or we'll argue in circles.

  • -2

    jumpultimatestars

    @ThomasAnderson Are they still "attacking" her physically? No. They're using words, words which have no right to be acknowledged. How respectable can a group of people be who run the yakuza for god's sake?

  • 2

    Thomas Anderson

    @ThomasAnderson Are they still "attacking" her physically? No. They're using words, words which have no right to be acknowledged. How respectable can a group of people be who run the yakuza for god's sake?

    Physically? It's possible. Have you ever been attacked or verbally assaulted by right-wingers? They are seriously nasty people. They keep sending hate mails and threats to those who wish to speak the truth about Japanese history. As if those victims need any more stress in their lives. Anyway the justifications are getting old. Why aren't Japanese people being against these right-wingers? Oh, probably because they agree with them...

  • -1

    jumpultimatestars

    Of all places in the world, you should realize that silence in Japan does not mean silent agreement. Average Japanese people aren't exactly known for loudly mouthing their opinions. The right-wingers, on the other hand...

  • -3

    CrisGerSan

    A bit puzzling why one incident which was unfortunate is used politically today. This was only one of hundreds of thousands of attacks in war that happened on an equal scale over hundreds of years of recorded history. Perspective and a wider view shows quickly that the Japanese Army at that event or some of the soldiers of it were no different from American, Russian, German, French, Italian, Chinese, and other armies over the past 600 years....let alone such events in ancient times were so widespread and so much worse that it is just not worth mentioning. There is no meaning in trying to assuage old blame on modern people and nations, it usually has a personal or political agenda attached and I think that is the case here, sorry to say. No one means to deny the pain and everyone is sorry..but for the Chinese totalitiarian dictators who continue to rule with an iron fist that brutalizes hundreds of millons it is hardly their right to point fingers trying to drag out old events. Just not worthy of this sort of attention. I regret to say that Japan Today could spend its efforts better.

  • -1

    Thomas Anderson

    Of all places in the world, you should realize that silence in Japan does not mean silent agreement. Average Japanese people aren't exactly known for loudly mouthing their opinions. The right-wingers, on the other hand...

    If you don't disagree then you are implicitly approving them. What if you stayed quiet when Nazism or Japanese Empire were gaining more power...?

  • 1

    Athletes

    It is not okay for it to be denied or its atrocities lessened. It is not okay for Tibet to be occupied. It is not okay for the Chinese govt to oppress free speech. Stay on issue or we'll argue in circles.

    It is definitely sure that some right wing sympathizer exaggerated about atrocities committed by Mao. He murdered people with Guns not with missiles. Gun have limitation of power. Mao died in 1976. Majority of posters were not even born yet. Whenever China bashing occurred Tibet will be included. Why not giving freedom to Okinawa to native or giving some part of US to Mexico and native? It is a theory of " I am a Saint and You are a Sinner." It can be called as hypocrisy and double standard too.

    No matter who want to white wash the their fore fathers sin, it will not evaporate like steam. Nanjing massacre has been documented for historical record. Besides that remaining Victims have courage to stand up the accusation of Guru of history. If the offender nationalists can honor their heroes in war shrine, there is no doubt that Victim side have right to keep their horrific suffering as historical reference. It is fair and balanced for both side.

  • 1

    flipper2

    Thank you 'Japantoday' for writing this story. Wars are always harsh however any Nation or groups of people who are in a position of power refuse to acknowledge the facts and truths of history, that Nation or its Gov is a re-offender to all those who have suffered and an insult to the surviving victims. Acknowledgment of past atrocities is the first step towards healing on both sides and a step to show the world a willingness and absolute resolution to never repeat the same atrocities. Any Gov claiming to be a Democracy should be an example for the World thus demonstrating strong leadership. What the Chinese Gov has done in other regions is also bad, however this is another example of how Communism is failing the people, therefore Democracy must be upheld by being the leaders who insist on healing through acknowledgment of past mistakes and freedom of speech.

  • 4

    flipper2

    Saying Nanjin was fiction is terrible because of all the overwhelming evidence, video footage, eye witness accounts of both American and Germans who were in the city at the time and J newspaper at the time which published the progress of the massacres. Denying is like saying no man ever walked on the Moon.!

  • 2

    Open Minded

    Cris GerSan: 20,000 to 300,000 murders 70 years ago is not an "incident". Sorry!

  • 2

    Open Minded

    Cris GerSan: let's take the absurd hypothesis that this was actually a war incident. Why not commemorating it while the war A criminals have been enshrined and are celebrated every years as national military heroes. Absurd, isn't it?

    What are doing the other belligerents currently are another - but very not acceptable - story, but by no way can be used to play down what happened to civilians not that long ago.

  • 2

    Sentiments

    Tomas obviously you feel very strongly about the guilt and shame issue. Thats fine but stop beeing a universalist and cultural racist. Japanese people probably comes in all variations and many of them have common cultural traits. But you seem to think that all of them are guilty of not knowing/ or hiding/avoiding their guilt. Some of your opinions seem to rest on empirical studies when you in fact state that if they dont think and act like you think is right then they are at fault (silence is consent). Why dont you try to open up a little and learn how they think, how they act?

  • 3

    sighclops

    The Nanjin Massacre was one of the biggest atrocities in history, and still to this day the most disturbing thing I've ever read. Whoever denies it - LOCK THEM UP and throw away the key!

  • -4

    jeff198527

    It's been 75 years. It's time for China to grow up and stop playing the role of the victim.

  • 0

    Thomas Anderson

    Sentiments

    Tomas obviously you feel very strongly about the guilt and shame issue.

    I said nothing of guilt and shame, I'm talking about the crazy right-wingers who deny war atrocities and even attack the victims and the people who speak the truth. Why aren't they being against those right-wingers?

  • 1

    cabadaje

    Why aren't Japanese people being against these right-wingers? Oh, probably because they agree with them...

    This is not accurate. While "silence is compliance" holds true in the United States, Europe, and many other western countries, it is definitely not a given in Japan. Indeed, I have to make it a special point to the people I teach to never give silence as an answer, and I have to further push the point home with an example of how in an ordinary office situation, a westerner can hear silence from a Japanese colleague as an agreement, end up looking bad, and blaming the silent Japanese person for "lying" to them. At that point, I see a sudden realization in my students eye's that the whole "silence is agreement" thing isn't just a business type, but rather an ingrained part of western culture.

    This is one of those situations where subtle, almost invisible parts of people's cultures have significant affects on their conclusions regarding foreign cultures.

  • -2

    Thomas Anderson

    This is not accurate. While "silence is compliance" holds true in the United States, Europe, and many other western countries, it is definitely not a given in Japan.

    The point is that those right-wingers are doing whatever they want because nobody is complaining.

  • 1

    cabadaje

    Then you should have said that, instead of accusing everyone of agreeing with them.

  • -1

    realist

    Over 300,000 innocent Chinese were butchered by the Imperial Japanese Army, and soon there will be a General Election in Japan, where most of the LDP candidates and their friends in Ishihara's party deny that the Rape of Nanking ever happened. Just the opposite, they are talking of arming up and becoming more militaristic and aggressive towards China again. They never learn. Those who do not acknowledge their past are doomed to repeat it. Hide the truth from young Japanese and you will see the terrible history of Japan happening again, right before our eyes. After the election, Prime Minister Abe will visit Yasukuni Shrine of Hate, too, just to pour petrol on the fire. I despAir for Japan.

  • -1

    realist

    YuriOtani san Without repentance, there is no forgiveness for sin.

  • 1

    Chubaka

    Congrats to JT for promoting a dialogue at least among English readers regarding both the atrocity and controversy of Nanjing. Many are not aware, outside of Chinese circles, that the swath of slaughter BEGAN once the IJA left Shanghai and moved towards Nanjing. Countless villages were destroyed, their inhabitants brutalized and massacred by the same vicious militarists who would later overtake Nanjing. The numbers of Chinese villagers killed may well be above what occurred in Nanjing itself, but as the IJA left few survivors on the vicious march to Nanjing, historians can only speculate.

    Some here have brought up the actions of Germany in their remembrance of the Holocaust, and it is a fitting comparison. I lived in Germany and can remember the annual commemorations announced via the West German media, as well as special documentaries and dramatizations on TV, often sponsored in part by the German government. Most Germans are well-educated on the horrors of the Holocaust as a result, the major theme being "Never Again." However, a minority of those raised in East Germany, as well as some recent Slavic, Balkan, and Islamic immigrants, form the relatively small lunatic fringe of German Holocaust deniers.

    Understanding that Japan is one of many face-saving cultures in the Far East, repeated elaborate apologies by the government for actions of Japanese militarists during WWII cannot be expected. But as previously stated, more expansive education in Japan regarding their militarist atrocities in China, Philippines, Thailand, Burma, etc., could be done. Yet even media dramatizations such as Song of the Canefields, which dealt in part with IJA atrocities against Okinawans, receive such loud protestations from right wing elements that Japanese media tends to cower and avoid such "controversial" material. Japan has not shown the "Never Again" attitude that Germany has. This compels the many nations affected by the Pacific War, China foremost among them, to do the remembering for Japan.

  • 0

    Chubaka

    As shown in this article and in some of the comments posted afterwards, typical revisionist responses to the Nanjing massacre include: 1. Minimize the number of Chinese brutalized and killed to well below 100,000. The ridiculous number of 20,000 Chinese killed, if accepted, implies that they were "collateral" casualties that occurred during street battles and as a result of individual "rogue" actions by individual Jaoanese soldiers and not organized; 2. Explain away any Nanjing atrocities as just another dark chapter of history to be found in every nation's past. For example, Japanese extremists tend to bring up America's treatment of Native Americans particularly during the 1800s, the British in India, the Dutch in Indonesia, the French in SE Asia, etc.

    Blame for any civilian casualties in Nanjing are also generously heaped upon Chinese Nationalist Army actions in departing Nanjing, which in part may be true. Yet the selfishness and incompetence of Chinese Nationalists could never justify the mass of well documented atrocities committed by Japanese officers, NCOs, and soldiers in and around Nanjing. A further embarrassment lies in the disputed roles of some members of the Imperial Family who were commanding or attached to IJA units that entered Nanjing. It is no wonder that right wing extremists will go to the extent of harassing Chinese victims of Nanjing even today. To a Japanese militarist, Chinese were a lower form of the human species to be treated accordingly.

  • -3

    nigelboy

    But as previously stated, more expansive education in Japan regarding their militarist atrocities in China, Philippines, Thailand, Burma, etc., could be done

    Expect for the fact that two of the countries mentioned above aligned themselves with the Axis and fought against the Allieds there. "expansive" education indeed. But perhaps somehwere else is sorely needed. (sigh)

    Yet even media dramatizations such as Song of the Canefields, which dealt in part with IJA atrocities against Okinawans, receive such loud protestations from right wing elements that Japanese media tends to cower and avoid such "controversial" material. Japan has not shown the "Never Again" attitude that Germany has.

    I could of swore it was the U.S. that launched so much firepower (2+ million bullets, boms, shells) without regard for human lives that they called it "typhoon of steel" where there are still thousands and thousands undetonated shells unaccounted for and remain in Okinawa. Again, "expansive" education indeed.

  • -2

    Ch1n4Sailor

    But agree with WilliB, the common Chinese should look within their own borders first to see the atrocities committed by the government that commands them. Of course with all the brainwashing, this is going to be nigh on impossible.

    Sure their OWN Government has committed plenty of crimes against its OWN people, but that's NOT what this article is about, the issue is Japan coming clean, Not the Chinese government about its internal affairs.

    The Japanese politicians and right-wing mouth pieces are literally pouring salt into open wounds in China, that's probably the biggest reason that China is making such a big deal about Senkaku. Japan has managed to make China believe it hasn't learned one single thing since WW2, China takes Senkaku as another swipe at Nanking and iit's people by the imperial army.

    This is why learning REAL history is so damn important!

  • -1

    nigelboy

    In words, if China taught REAL history including their own and more recent atrocities, this along with the Senkaku's becomes a non issue since first and foremost, they failed to practice what they preach miserably. Is it Japan's problem that the Chinese government doesn't teach their brainwashed population about their own grand scale massacre which makes this incident look like a footnote?

  • -1

    Ch1n4Sailor

    @Chubaka

    Nice post, spot on.

    Here's a timeless article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/17/opinion/17iht-edsteve.t.html

  • -3

    basroil

    realistDec. 12, 2012 - 02:25AM JST

    Over 300,000 innocent Chinese were butchered by the Imperial Japanese Army,

    It should actually read People's Liberation Army (by international estimates), IJA is thought to have around 60k by international estimates.

  • -3

    basroil

    But Chinese dissidents say Beijing nurtures anti-Japanese sentiment as part of the Communist Party’s tightly scripted, historic claim to a legitimate right to rule.

    Yes, and part of their historic claims are to say that their own atrocities of over a half million civilian deaths are irrelevant. Unfortunately, some pro-China media also wishes to ignore the deaths of over a half million people, some of which were bound to be survivors of Nanjing.

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