О насVOSTOK Magazine - это первое независимое медиа об обществе, культуре, истории и политике стран Ближнего и Дальнего Востока. Мы пишем обо всем, что кажется нам важным и интересным.
"In 1938 Chiang Kai-shek tried to prosecute Japan for massacre in Nanjing but other countries didn't listen to him. Why? Because there was no massacre", – Hyukata Naoki, director of NHK, the biggest Japanese broadcasting corporation, 2014
If in the first half of the XX century there were people more terrifying than German fascists, those were the Japanese. According to different estimates, Germans killed from 4,869,860 to 5,894,716 Jewish people, while Japanese murdered at least 3,695,000 Chinese civilians, and we must remember that also Koreans, Malaysians, Indonesians and other peoples of South-Eastern Asia became victims of the imperialists from the islands. Japanese soldiers mercilessly slaughtered other Asians, but they have never persecuted Jewish and often hid them despite the alliance with Germany. Japanese lacked anti-Semitism. They saw nothing wrong in the Jewish. But where does the hatred towards other Asians come from? Actually, there was no hatred. It was just that at some moment Japanese had acknowledged themselves as a "blessed nation" and decided to teach other Asians (and later non-Asians) how to live correctly. Correctly means in the Japanese way, of course. So the bloody mess made by Japanese in Asia in the first half of the XX century was some kind of enlightenment. One could speak for hours about the horrible means of such enlightenment. But today we are going to discuss only one of many military crimes of Japan, which they, however, have been denying lately: the Nanjing massacre.
In 1928 Chinese moved the capital from Beijing to Nanjing, and soon after that the population of the latter city increased from 250,000 to several millions. Most of those who moved to Nanjing in the 1930s were refugees from the north of China where military action between China and Japan was taking place. In July 1937 the full-scale Sino-Japanese War broke out. It ended only with the Japan's capitulation in World War II in 1945. 11 November, 1937 Japanese had occupied Shanghai and by December had approached Nanjing. They entered the city on December, 13, and the Nanjing massacre which lasted for 6 weeks started immediately.
According to different evaluations, from 200,000 to 500,000 people were killed, thousands of Chinese women were raped by Japanese soldiers. Citizens and captives were burnt, buried alive, fed to dogs, beheaded, tortured and stabbed with spears. Japanese were extremely cruel. December, 16, the conquerors gathered about 5,000 citizens and captives (officers included) on the shore of the Yangtze River, shot them with machine guns and threw the bodies into the water. December, 18, Japanese conducted another execution of several thousands of people, those who survived were stabbed with spears, and then the bodies were poured with kerosene and burned.
Two Japanese officers (Mukai Toshiaki and Noda Tsuyoshi) had a rather odd competition: they made a bet on who would murder one hundred Chinese first. By the moment the "heroes" were interviewed by Japanese papers, Noda had killed 105 people, while Mukai – 106. They could not decide on who the winner was, so the competition continued: the "champion" would be the one to reach 150 first. There is no accurate information about the ending of the dispute. I just want to mention that in December, 1937 Tokyo Everyday Newspaper (東京日日新聞 Tōkyō Nichi Nichi Shinbun) described the competition as a "noble achievement" that could "glorify the nation".
Foreign citizens who lived in Nanjing in November, 1937 created an international committee led by German John Rabe. The members were mostly missioners and workers of Nanjing University. Their primary purpose was to save at least some part of Nanjing citizens, so in December they established the so-called Nanjing safety zone – a territory of 5 km2 where about 200,000 people managed to hide. 650 of them lived in the own house of John Rabe. The Japanese entered the safety zone very seldom as John was a member of Nazi Party and a "big fan" of Hitler. As Japan was Germany's ally, they had to shut their eyes to this. Nevertheless, Japanese visited this zone sometimes and captured several hundreds of people (mostly women), who they later would rape or kill. February, 5, 1938 – the international committee with the aid of American, British and German diplomats sent the Japanese government a list of war crimes committed on the territory of the safety zone. The list included 450 points. Here are some of them:
Point 10 – December, 15, at night Japanese soldiers broke into the building of Nanjing University and raped 30 women. Some of them were raped by 6 men.
Point 14 – December, 16, 7 girls aged 16-21 were kidnapped from the Military College. December, 18, 5 of them returned, every one of them had been raped 6-7 times daily.
By the end of January, 1938 the massacre had practically ended. The collaborative government was established, the order was restored. Safety zone refugees were sent back to their homes. By May, 1938 Nanjing safety zone had ceased to exist.
In conclusion, I want to add that a lot of Japanese officials deny the fact of Nanjing massacre taking place. For instance, Ishihara Shintaro, Tokyo's governor in 1999-2012, said in one of his interviews: "They say that Japan had committed a holocaust, but that's not true. This story is made up by Chinese". In the most popular Japanese history textbook (about 51,2% of Japanese students use it) "Nanjing Incident" is described in brief: "In December of the same year  Japanese soldiers occupied Nanjing. During the occupation, a lot of Chinese people had been killed, including children and women". Actually, Japanese try to not remember their past deeds, and the military criminals are worshipped as keepers of peace of the Land of the Rising Sun in the Yasukuni Shrine ("Shrine of Peace in the Country").