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New film has Japan vets confessing to Nanjing rape, massacre

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This woman and her tireless work might actually start the ball rolling for real dialogue on Nanking.

Respect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Admittance is an act of atonement, denial is the beginning of truth, justification is an act of evil

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Few veterans showed any remorse. That is simply a part of Japanese character along with playing the victim and lack of empathy. However touchy subject and China will always have their number.

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This attitude of veterans not showing remorse is not only japanese, I saw a long time a report on the ukrainians milicians who assisted the nazis in slaughtering jewish families. They were describing their job like a routine task: killing the mother first so that she doesn`t see her child dying, such humanity ! Men can become killing machine very easily without showing any remorse, because war is in our nature.

Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Nanjing, not the Nazis.

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This should be required annual viewing for each middle school in Japan (of course we know that won't happen). And Ret Gen Toshio Tamogami should be forced to sit though it ten times......

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Her documentary, shown for the first time outside of Japan at the Hong >Kong International Film Festival last Sunday,

Was this ever shown in Japan? Did it make news?

attempts to set the record straight.

The only "record" that she's setting straight is the ridiculous "nothing happened" complete denial position of the right wing. The average Japanese knows the Nanking Massacre happened, a great many civilians were killed (although the numbers are in dispute) and that a great many womem were raped. This is pretty much common knowledge all over the world. "Average" excludes teenagers and people in their 20s cause for the most part they don't know anything about anything anyway.

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This is the viewpoint of Japanese government (in Japanese), not total denial.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/taisen/qa/08.html

not enough tho.

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When we argue with Americans about the cruelty and criminality of their atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the Great Tokyo Air Raids which killed huge number of unprotected ordinary citizens, they never fail to bring the Nanking Massacre agaist us.

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"Japan has fringe groups that deny any atrocity took place"

Yeah, that fringe group is referred to here as the Japanese Government.

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Neo, thats like saying the US had the right to nuke all of the middleast after 911.

The fact is its simple. The Japanese where told they where superior to all others. So they had no remorse in treating there 'lessers' like they did. Its a sad warning of what that type of thinking does to a people.

Souryeki, "Men can become killing machine very easily without showing any remorse, because war is in our nature." Very true and we've had along time to figure out how to harness that energy.

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"Japan has fringe groups that deny any atrocity took place" Yeah, that fringe group is referred to here as the Japanese Government.

That's incorrect. The only thing that they disagree with are the numbers.

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Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Nanjing, not the Nazis.

Fair enough.

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God bless Tamaki Matsuoka for her tireless, fearless work. Not only did she persevere, but she did so against her own country history and culture of ignoring what's in front of you. There are those out there who give a s.

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look forward to watching it on NHK .... oops forgot - that isnt going to happen is it?

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@souryeki stimulates thinking of how Japanese soldiers could have been capable of the Nanjing horrors.

Chinese and Japanese perceptions of this war are totally different

I don't think this will change untile people who took part on both sides have been long gone. Well researched films like this are important but it might take a few more decades before both sides are able to rationally come to terms.

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Is it possible - just a little - that the Imperial Japanese Army's policy of genocide and rape against the Chinese may eventually be noted in Japanese textbooks? If so, young Japanese may gain a little more insight into how the victims and their grandchildren still feel.

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I raise my hat to her.

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BurakuminDes -

Policy? Not even Matsuoka takes that line. Suggesting that it was a policy is historical revisionism on par with those who say nothing ever happened.

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Great news ! Making reparations for it's WWII atrocities is paramount for Japan being fully accepted into Asia and moving into the future, and Nanking is particularly horrific. The first step is admission, and ignoring these things won't make them go away.

Tamaki Matsuoka is going to have a very hard time getting this shown in Japan ( many people are too comfortable with the myth that the Japanese are victims of WWII ) but, thankfully, we now have the internet, so more people can access information.

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"Japanese veterans admitting on camera they forced themselves on Chinese women and mowed down Chinese refugees with machine guns."

Oh, I have no doubt the fringe groups, as well as the government (they have done it before), will simply say that the people who were actually there (ie. soldiers and victims) have 'foggy memories', while they themselves, who were never there, remember it perfectly. Tojo's granddaughter will make her usual appearance saying how great her granddad and the occupation were, and that this woman's book is all lies, and others will try to whitewash it by claiming the numbers are not that high and are 'in dispute', etc.

Good on this woman for completing a very difficult task. I've no doubt that with other documentaries and films that leave the Japanese claiming attack on their culture, etc., they'll find a way to make themselves the 'victims' of this movie.

"Few veterans showed any remorse."

While this is not limited to Japanese, it seems that only in Japan do the MAJORITY of troops never show remorse. I read some saying in regards to this once, with a former troop saying, "A man away from home has no neighbours," and explaining that they were not at home, in Japan, and had no one to watch over them and make sure they did nothing bad. Therefore, it was not their fault.

During its period of colonial rule around East, South East, and even Western Asia in parts of India, the Japanese slaughtered more than any other group on the planet in recent history. Quite disgusting how many people out there will deny atrocities like Nanking.

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hokkaidoguy: So no officers up the chain of command knew of this?

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manfromamerica: Relax, bro... it was just an example, and the lack of remorse for the atomic bombings is one of the most poignant comparisons. In contrast, you could look at the German chancellors who go to Auschwitz every year and prostrate themselves at the memorials, asking for forgiveness.

Of COURSE it's not limited to Americans and Japanese.

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This is good news for Japan and only after coming to terms with the horror, will the county progress. Not a situation entirely unique to Japan either, as we all have skeletons in the cupboard. The problem for Japan is; the won't look until they're dragged out of the cupboard and put on display. Even then there will be many naysayers. The Japan Times online in the special news presentations 'witness to war' have some very interesting stories (and videos) by J military now coming to terms with the deep horrors they were a part of ... Great stuff. And be fair Moderator, leave that in the post unlike previously when you've felt threatend by another site's info ...

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paulinusa: So no officers up the chain of command knew of this?

Knowledge of an event does not equal policy.

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War is hell. All armies commit atrocities at one time or another. The key difference is whether it's systematic or sanctioned by commanding officers or higher authorities. That's when it really becomes a war crime.

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I guess it comes down to how you define "policy". And I do believe some war criminals (commanding officers) have been convicted because they "looked the other way".

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Yeah. What Smith said. I think that the operative word is "fringe groups deny." I would also say that anybody who thinks that this represents Japan of 2010 is pretty much out there on the fringe.

What does this movie really accomplish? I have seen documentaries 20 years old and older where Japanese soldiers admit that it happened and admit taking part in it. The reasons that it occurred are also generally acknowledged. Although I am sure that some people are VERY interested in this, I think it is pretty irrelevant. What is it like to base one's entire existence on something that happened three generations ago? I am certainly glad I don't know.

I am very glad to see that China has devoted itself to making sure it renounces and deplores similar situations occurring with out of control military units in Darfur, Rwanda, etc.

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Denial of these atrocities can be construed as acceptance of them, and as such, current Japanese governments can be viewed as continuation of the imperial rulers during te war.

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I admire this woman. She is helping to let this nasty poo rise so we can all see it.

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I don't think anyone credible denies atrocities occurred. The problem is with the scale. It's not clear there were nearly that many people living in that region at that time (150K).

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Probably, I'm in one of the infamous fringe groups.

In wikipedia, there is a good summary of Nanking dispute edited by American

Nanking Massacre controversy and denial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre_controversy

Admittance by Japanese army after so called Nanjin Massacare http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTiLFdwhDes&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NH_a94fzEw&feature=PlayList&p=FF9D1A1014A4E65C&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=2

As for the movie director,Tamaki Matsuoka, I've read one of her books,南京戦 閉ざされた記憶を尋ねて―元兵士102人の証言, regarding Japanese soldier's interviews. One of soldiers, born in 1926, stated that he had raped so many girls in Nanking in 1937. By calculating backwards from his age in Nanking massacre 1937, he would have been 11 years old at that time. There was no such young soldier in the military. Plus all the interviewees and even military units were anonym. Well, quite reliable. If she uses the same interview in the movie, the Japanese government should give her People's Honor Award.

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Good on her. Will this be shown in Japan?

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I think it's important to set the historical record straight, the truth is important as is honesty, however making a huge fuss about this now is just pointless as is talk of reparations or prosecution of the offenders. The vast majority of the victims are already dead, so reparations would just go to the Chinese government, and putting old men in prison is equally insensible.

All that can be done now is to correct the text books, admit what was done and make a commitment that it will never happen again. Trying to live in the past or turn back the clock to correct the past just isn't realistic.

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My understanding is that at least some of this stuff was open knowledge and reported in Japanese newspapers at the time. Things like beheading contests, and who can kill the most Chinese.

But the thing is, by focusing on what did or did happen in China, people are diverted from the really big questions about WW2. The role of the Emperor, the lack of a rational objective for the war, the incoherent strategy and tactics, and the general complete incompetence of the Japanese military leadership. Avoiding those questions has been the right-wing objective all along, and arguing about China helps them do that.

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Yeah Frungy, the problem is that those text books dont contain any of this info and as time goes by any info of Japanese wrongdoing is being erased. Apparently people like 5SpeedRacer5 dont think that it's relevant for young Japanese to know about atrocities that their country had committed. For someone who have stated before that he doesnt want to be an apologist for ignorance, he(or she) sure comes off as one. Is it not relevant for Americans to learn about slavery? Is it not relevant for Germans to learn that their country slaughtered millions of people just cause they were different? Remember, the old saying is as true today as it was when it was first said; those who forget the history are doomed to repeat it. It's pathetic to hear people like SpeedRacer try to justify whitewashing of history; he (or she) sure seems to bring up other countries' history when he/she needs to make the point, but not Japan's, not when it doesnt fit with his/hers narrative. Bottom line is, history, even when it's unpleasant, needs to be taught so new generations wont repeat the mistake of the past.

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Oh, and I would give the point that "modern Japanese would never do something like this so there is no point in teaching it" some credit if in fact there were no sentiment of racial superiority in modern Japanese society; however, even people like SpeedRacer know that in reality it is not the truth. Last time I've checked, Japan is not exactly a beacon of human rights and international understanding. In the country where people are denied housing, employment opportunities, and business patronage based solely on the fact that they are of different race, teaching about what implications of those beliefs can lead to sure seems like a relevant thing to do. We do it here in the US, and we have a hellova better human rights record in our "modern" history.

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This is really good for Japan, both nationally and internationally. If these problems are dealt with, and not denied or ignored, justice will find a home in Japan, and many people will heal, and feel better. It's a new day.!!

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@guest, yeah, it would have been good if the film was actually shown on Japanese TV, which it isnt.

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the japanese soldiers are cruel! they should be castrate!

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5SpeedRacer5 : 'I think it is pretty irrelevant'

???

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I've been to the Yasukuni museum and therein learned the truth: the so-called vicitims of Nanjing were all spies dressed as civilians.

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Elephunk: yeah, it would have been good if the film was actually shown on Japanese TV, which it isnt.

Yeah, curse those nasty Japanese TV execs for not running the film before it's debut.

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if the city had 200,000 citizens at the time as is generally agreed, it is quite possible the murder toll could be around 300,000 as we count in some simple facts:

1) it was the CAPITAL of the country. millions fled in front of japanese army advancing from shanghai to seek refuge in presumed safety of the capital, the seat of the government etc.

2) chinese gov. victim count includes surrounding counties as well, nanjing as a geographic unit rather then administrative one.

personal opinion; when you count in different accounts by relatively objective sources the picture of berserk army unleashed on campaign of terror on civilians for as long as two whole months, at least tacitly approved by the officer corps seems to me undeniable. the end result might be some tens of thousands people more or less but it does not make that much of a difference in the big picture, which is as nasty as it gets.

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I think people need to read all of Speed's post and not just bits of it. He said this new documentary is irrelevant because there are others like it. He is correct, I have seen others like it. However, I welcome this new one because Japanese are still ignorant about all this.

Speed also never justified whitewashing anything. He suggest living life based on something else, probably something more positive. He never said to forget, ignore, or to whitewash. He simply pointed out that some people have never moved beyond 1937. I am sure that he as well as I would very much like for this to be acknowledged more in Japanese school texts.

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I doubt if this will be shown in Japan. The theaters all fear intimidation by the right-wingers and their sound trucks. It happens with publishers, too. Poor excuse for a democracy.

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He never said to forget, ignore, or to whitewash. He simply pointed out that some people have never moved beyond 1937.

It's as hard for some people to move beyond 1937 as it is for Japanese to forget Hiroshima '45.

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It's never easy to recognize the failings within ourselves, but self-examination and much introspection is greatly needed, on every level. I understand both perspectives -- you must face the truth, however hard or unpleasant it may be, but once you have done so, and made your peace with things (and whatever that will entail), there must come a time to move on in life as well.

Good for her, in continuing to do the right thing here.

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Like Speed and HeyLars, I recall seeing a couple of TV programs over the years on Nanking. Cannot remember which channels - I think one was Chikuya Tetsuya. The programs were rather graphic and definitely featured ex Imperial Japanese army soldiers on camera both who had witnessed (unsuccessfully tried to stop his comrades)and several who admitted actively participating in it.This is not new.

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"What is it like to base one's entire existence on something that happened three generations ago? I am certainly glad I don't know."

It is nice that you have an opinion on such a delicate matter however your opinion completely ignore China's perspective of the issue..

I think it is important for people to learn about this tragic event...especially in today's world where war is still very much in practice. Japan is a great country today, however it has a violent past which needs to be recognised if only for the effort of preventing such a mode of thought in future generations. We are not incapable of performing such senseless acts again.

The tragedy of war does not seem to be understood by all as we still partake in it today, and hopefully the tragic events of the past such as Nanjing and Hiroshima can help shape a future society that sees war for what it is...

my 2 cents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's see. . . Your point is what, aj201? That Nanjing and Hiroshima/Nagasaki are morally equivalent? That the military forces that perpetrated Nanjing and Hiroshima are equally criminal? Please clarify.

Moderator: Stay on topic please. Comparisons between Nanjing and Hiroshima/Nagasaki are not relevant to this discussion.

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Nearly 60 years later ... shameful

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I've been to the Yasukuni museum and therein learned the truth: the so-called vicitims of Nanjing were all spies dressed as civilians.

These victims have been raped and killed for real; even if this is meant to be a April's fool joke, there is a limit to how inhuman the posts can be.

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These victims have been raped and killed for real; even if this is meant to be a April's fool joke, there is a limit to how inhuman the posts can be.

It's no joke, kyoken; you can go there and read it, too.

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She is an admirable person to take on this task. I can't imagine the harassment she must have got from thos right wingers. I hope she continues and whilst this happened many many years ago there are things that the young japanese could take away from watching the movie.

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Shame on the Japanese soldier! They bring shame to their country, nation and their people as well! Japanese should face the facts that their ancestors are cruel and inhumane! Learn from the experience and prevent to do it again,

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I know that Japan did some horrible things and that some Japanese people out there try to negate that. Full credit to this woman and I agree that it should be properly documented, commemorated and taught. But is it only me, or does the “religious-like" fervor of some of those out who write comments on here extolling Japan/the Japanese to repent (I know they have, but they don't really mean it!) for these crimes committed 75 years ago?

I understand why Chinese like to bring it up – it has been drummed into everyone and conveniently used by the Communist Party to provide a sense of nationalism/common enemy, consolidate the state, and best of all it helps overshadow the most horrific man-made disaster ever – the 36+ million who died in the Great Chinese Famine.

But really, I would like to ask how many of you outraged Japan bashers are willing to hold your own countries up to the standards you expect of Japan, in a truly objective manner? I suspect many of you are not even aware of some/many of the eye-popping things that your forebears have done. Maybe this was not on the scale of Nanking, but unsavory nevertheless.

For example, please tell me how the firebombing of Tokyo, where 100,000 died in a night, is so different from Nanking….because it was done from a couple of kilometers up in the air instead of face to face? (Sorry, but “well because they started it” doesn’t excuse it.) The Allied armies raped just as well as the Japanese in Nanking – look up “Rape during the occupation of Japan” in Wikipedia if you don’t believe me. I could go on about the “take no prisoner at all” approach of US soldiers or “souveniring” of Japanese soldiers’ skulls/ears/fillings.

I know that Japan has been protected by the US since WW2, but you have to admit that it seems to have learned its lesson since the last war and its behavior is now exemplary (same for Germany). The same cannot be said for a lot of other countries, where either on or off-the-battlefield behavior is certainly no better than during WW2.

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I don't think that anyone would dispute that World War II was a horrible time in Human history, and that Wholesale slaughter and rape and pillage were committed on all sides.

Do the Sins of my Father become my sins? No.

However, there are more than enough People, Countries, and Cities that live in pain and aguish from the sins of our fathers. Is it so hard to let the truth come to light, and thus show some understanding and remorse for the actions in the past?

I for one think it is dishonorable to not desire the truth in all things, and to also leave a person/soul in anguish when a few words or gestures can ease what my predecessors have done.

Most people of Japanese descent have relatives that fought in World War II. You must accept the shame to a certain degree, or there is no motivation to CHANGE.

Trying to hide that truth adds insult to injury, and pointlessly prevents the healing process.

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nice one nash!

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Two years ago, around Yasukuni time, I watched a program on TBS(at least I think it was TBS). It was a debate between David Spector and a couple of right-wingers over a book called The Rape of Nanking. Spector pretty much had his lunch eaten by the panel at the debate. Everyone at the studio concluded that the right-wingers were correct in their assertion that this book was total fabrication. Spector caved at the end of the program and agreed with them also. I think Japan has a long ways to go before it comes to terms with the destruction it caused during that time.

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Japanese must face the truth! their ancestors are like that! dont hide the truth! brave to kill and rape, brave to stand up and say 'Yes! i did it!' this called gentlement, not a coward!

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What's really amazing is she got so many old vets from the Nanjing massacre to appear in her movie. The issue isn't about whether or not it happened - but about the Japanese government's until recent adamant refusal to acknowledge the event (which requires an apology). Saying "we feel your pain" is not quite the same as "sorry, my bad".

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if the city had 200,000 citizens at the time as is generally agreed, it is quite possible the murder toll could be around 300,000 as we count in some simple facts:

1) it was the CAPITAL of the country. millions fled in front of japanese army advancing from shanghai to seek refuge in presumed safety of the capital, the seat of the government etc.

2) chinese gov. victim count includes surrounding counties as well, nanjing as a geographic unit rather then administrative one. hhh

??? If so, could you please explain why the population of Nanking increased to 250000 right after the so called Nanking massacre? . According to Dr.Lewis S. C. Smythe (1938), an American professor of Sociology at the University of Nanking (金陵大学) during Nanking massacre, “at the time the city fell (December 12-13), its population was between 200,000 and 250,000”.

I would not say there was no killing. “Of the 6,750 persons violently killed and injured, only 900 (or 13 percent) came to grief through military operations.” (Smythe 1938). Although this is not complete count survey but a sampling survey, it is the only statistical source by a third party. If you have learned statistics, you could understand the accuracy. The error between 6,750 and 300,000 is a terrible joke.

Since he belonged to The International Committee for Nanking Safety Zone at that time, Please don't call it a fabrication. It’s a kind of primary source. In history, it is commonsense to focus on primary sources, isn’t it? because secondary sources tend to be distorted arbitrarily by editors. I mean both Chinese and Japanese sides. Actually, they are doing it.

WAR DAMAGE IN THE NANKING AREA (Page 4 for the population, Page 28 for the sampling method) http://history.gr.jp/~nanking/LSCSmythe.pdf

The links of my sources in the previous comment are not working properly. Something is wrong with the comment system. Google “Nanking Massacre controversy and denial”, and see the pictures taken by North China Daily News, Asahi shimbun and Mainichi shimbun right after Nanking massacre, which are also primary sources. (If you are in China, you might need to break the great firewall).

And google “Cheers for Japanese forces” "wikimedia battle of nanking"“The Truth of The Nanjing of 1937.12 - 1938.2”. What were they doing in Nanking right after the so called massacre?

The last one is a movie “ Nanking” shot by Ken Akimoto in 1938.

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

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"It is nice that you have an opinion on such a delicate matter however your opinion completely ignore China's perspective of the issue.."

This is so tired. You have no idea who I am or how much I know about this issue. China has a perspective. Everyone has a perspective. Maybe the perspective you lack is that this is not a new issue. Guess what? It has been going on for almost 70 years. Learn about it and all of its perspectives for another 30 years and then come back and tell me what I am ignoring.

This is a new film about a tired topic. There is nothing new about this film. Nothing at all.

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Well, it looks like some people got REALLY bent out of shape by my statement of the obvious. Just off the top of my head, I have seen two BBC documentaries of this. I have read three books from different perspectives, and I have seen two Japanese documentaries. Each of them had three or four eyewitnesses telling what they saw, did, or heard. Each of them included Chinese accounts as well. I knew about this before I entered junior high. How many people know that some of the most reliable reports from the area while it was occurring were from Nazis? How many people know a map of the old city well enough to know why the civilians could not get away? How many people know the conditions of the invading Japanese armies and what they had been through during the prior month?

This film apparently provides no new information beyond some gory details and descriptions of rape. It will never be shown to students. Maybe the other documentaries will be. Hey. War is heck. A year's subscription to the History Channel can pound that message home. Oh. Who am I kidding. A year's subscription to the Christian Science Monitor will show you how bad war is.

Little about that place and time is controversial. I think Elephunk has some axe to grind because he found the need to drag slavery, naziism and all the rest into it. People who live in the past and who think that they can exorcise hate by dwelling on it are welcome to try. I am pretty sure it does not work.

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Nash. I agree. You are right. What I am not so sure about is that the denial is a strong force in Japanese culture. The black trucks run around and there are always right wingers trying to change history, but you get that from the left too.

Personally, I think that the average Japanese person knows that things were wrong there and in other places during the war. But WHOM they should apologize to and exactly for WHAT seems very unclear, so actually phrasing that apology, especially officially, does not happen. I mean... unconditional surrender is the harshest treatment any country ever gets in war. Along with the war trials and post war hangings, I can understand why many Japanese feel that they paid for their transgressions. 900 Japanese military personnel were killed after trials. 20 thousand were detained for up to 7 years, and almost all prisoners taken by the Soviets died.

And what does a Japanese person say when they do not know what to say? Think of any Japanese person you know... in my experience, they say nothing. But they do know shame, and they are human, and they seem peaceful. Germany officially apologized to Israel in 1956. Japan probably should have gotten it over with then. We can all see what it has turned into. The facts will only get more muddled as time goes on. The numbers go up and down. Every year it seems there is some new film or protest to get everyone all excited.

Will an apology make all that go away? I agree with Nash that it is worth a try. On the other hand, how are these people going to sell their books and films? I am quite certain that any sincere, earnest apology could be picked apart and ridiculed. Probably peace is the best apology. Who can refute that or criticize it?

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Shame on the Japanese soldier! They bring shame to their country, nation and their people as well! Japanese should face the facts that their ancestors are cruel and inhumane! Learn from the experience and prevent to do it again,

That's what most people who have sympathy with Chinese victims feel. Most Japanese people avoid critiquing the imperial government's totalitarian politics that diffused a warped sense of 'patriotism' to mislead so many Japanese to the war aggression, for the sake of ancestor's moral character. They are not aware that these two are the sort of different matters.

This is a new film about a tired topic. There is nothing new about this film. Nothing at all.

In terms of providing new findings, “no.” However, it should provide opportunities to us for the critique of the identities and past memories from these soldiers' perspectives. The JP imperial regime constrained them into military trainings during wartime. A hegemonic discourse of post-modern JP society has caused an amnesia or memory loss about the Great East-Asia/Pacific War. These soldiers represent those who were caught in a cultural dichotomy between the past and present as their nation was transformed into democracy after WWII.

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I think probably most Japanese feel that having the sh&t bombed out of their cities, millions of civilians killed, most of a generation of males, their armed forces, shipping fleet and most key infrastructure wiped out, then their women raped and hundreds of war criminals hung when the occupying troops arrived was probably sufficient payback for their sins. It is easy to imagine just wanting to get on with life after the war.

(Japan has given billions of dollars in aid to China and Korea subsequently and apologized on countless occasions - so yes, please explain how much soul-searching is required.)

For those of you who still are not satisfied that enough contrition is being shown for this event from 73 years ago, then by all means tell us which country you are from. I am sure we can come up with something in your country's closet that isn't taught about adequately/is conveniently glossed over and/or which your government has not properly apologized for.

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I don't understand why people are still digging up a past that has already been dug up, dusted, and polished. Give it about 20 more years and all those involved will either be dead or too old to care and this will become another sad statistic in the numerous shortcomings of humanity. This is not the last time we'll see an event like this.

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BurakuminDes at 10:29 AM JST - 1st April Is it possible - just a little - that the Imperial Japanese Army's >policy of genocide and rape against the Chinese may eventually be noted >in Japanese textbooks?

There was no such policy. If there had been the casualties would have been on an entirely different scale. Not to mention that it would have been something o prosecute at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials.

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Darren White at 10:47 AM JST - 1st April Great news ! Making reparations for it's WWII atrocities is paramount >for Japan being fully accepted into Asia and moving into the future, and >Nanking is particularly horrific.

China and Japan officially settled all reparation and WWII related matters in the Sino-Japanese Treaty of 1972 which was further ratified by the Treaty of 1978. It was Chou En Lai himself who declined PM Tanaka's offer of reparation and opted for ODA instead.

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This should be shown to high-school aged adolescents. If it's hisory, then there's no excuse.

250 vets can't all be lying, especially when they get old and conscience gets even the most wicked of them.

Maybe Spain should take action here, given they have a very strong record prosecuting war crimes.

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The vets want to die in peace. So many soldiers that were part of past atrocities, either directly or indirectly, eventual fess-up to what they've done or what they've seen. Most of their fellow soldiers are dead and they don't have to worry about their scrutiny; and they realized too long ago that their emperor was no god. Even the Japanese soldiers know the truth can't be hidden... although some here still deny history and blame the victims.

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The rape of Nanjing is a stain on Japans history that will forever stain its people. However the people have moved on and accepted what happened there is no shame for those who have they are absolved for the crime threw there guilt and humility. Its not the people who are the problem but the Government.

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Though all sides were guilty of terrible things in World War Two, Japan needs to acknowledge the terrible things its army did during the war, just as they constantly remind all their citizens about the terrible things done to them during the war by the Americans. That was the purpose of the film.

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Thoughout history, the Japanese governments have continually hidden truths,lied outright and rewritten text books .

They are known thoughout the world as a the leader of untruth and propaganda. They still do it today.

How sad for those victims to have never had a formal recognition, nor an apology, and have to watch the ancestors of those brutal men, paying respect every year at the gravesites of those war criminals.

How sad,

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I don't understand why people are still digging up a past that has already been dug up, dusted, and polished. Give it about 20 more years and all those involved will either be dead or too old to care and this will become another sad statistic in the numerous shortcomings of humanity. This is not the last time we'll see an event like this.

You want to know why? Because there are always the key players who employ the rhetorical strategies that can be roughly described in four folds: 1) refashion the national history as an official account of memory in a way to cover up the worst part;2)silence and truncate the voices that oppose to Japanese government's position; 3) humiliate and stigmatize those who attempt to reveal the event in a very demeaning way; 4)silence and truncate the voices of the Chinese victims and Japanese soldiers through the revisions of Japanese history textbooks.

To right-wing politicians and conservatives, the biggest problem is that Japan cannot ‘move on’ because so many former soldiers-- regardless of their remorse toward brutal killings-- are in a Catch 22 between memory loss and trauma today.

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A true, patriotic Japanese will make efforts such as these to come clean about the past and in the process patch up relationships with Japan's (still) embittered neighbours.

It does seem that the Japanese are hampered by a very specific culture that encourages blaming the other and seeing yourself as the victim in every situation, not to mention avoiding difficult subjects at any cost. Yet transparency is the way forward and maybe, just maybe, they'll start to tell the truth about this, even if it is very embarrassing indeed. And you know what? Maybe after that happens, they'll get sympathy in return for some of the atrocities their population suffered. It's all about relationships and being a human being.

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I asked some Japanese people around me how much they know about what happened during WW 2 and what Japan did. They knew a lot more than I thought. Of course I was speaking to adults, not kids. Sure, it should all be in the textbooks, but the point is the information is out there and most educated adults know about (correct) Japanese history in detail.

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This should be required annual viewing for each middle school in Japan (of course we know that won't happen).

When I was in high school, every year on the anniversary of Hiroshima we had to see a documentary.

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I think it is sad that Japan continues to try to deny the facts about the Rape of Nanking. Over 300,000 people were murderd and raped by the Japanese Imperial Army. I find it particularly appalling that in this movie, and in the research, hardly any of the rapists showed any remorse for their actions. Sickening. Tell the truth to your children, Japan, or you will suffer the consequences for generations, and maybe even repeat past sins, because you deny historical facts and do not learn from them.

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Japan will NEVER allow this documentry to be shown inside Japan, same as they wont allow the film "the cove", to be shown exposing the dirty little secrets of japans annual slaughter of whales.

The government protects it's public from the truth by employing well paid human BS machines using tax payers money to keep them clueless.

Congratulations and respect to Tamaki Matsuoka, she is now a hero to those who never had the chance to stand up for themselves, and a heroine for doing the unspeakable, speaking out against japanese government policy.

I only hope she has a thick skin and locks her doors at night. How sad!

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Sharyn;

Japan will NEVER allow this documentry to be shown inside Japan, same as they wont allow the film "the cove", to be shown

This movie has been screened multiple times across Japan and there are more screenings planned. Which part of "shown for the first time outside of Japan" didn't you understand?

http://d.hatena.ne.jp/s84/

As for The Cove, it's has limited screenings already and will get wider distribution across Japan this month.

Both films are important for Japanese to see, because the truth is important. But if you're so concerned about the truth, make sure you yourself have all the facts before you being propagandizing nonsense that "Japan" bans films within its own borders.

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Unagidon The movies are being shown in obscure locations, so that not many people can see them. There is such a thing as subtle censorship as well, you know. Japan DOES ban films and books within its own borders - those are facts. Japanese people have yet to see the wonderful documentary made about Emperor Hirohito at the time of his death in January 1989. (or was it really December 1988?) The reason for this was it contained a few home truths about the dear old gentleman, which the LDP government at the time would never allow their people to see. It is not "nonsense" that Japan bans films and books within its borders.

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When I was in high school, every year on the anniversary of Hiroshima we had to see a documentary.

this documentary portrays japan as the victim, i assume?

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Japan wasn't, but citizens of Hiroshima were. Uncontrolled anger is also evil. Fighting against evil does not necessarily make one "good side." America wasn't really "good."

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Japan wasn't, but citizens of Hiroshima were. Uncontrolled anger is also evil. Fighting against evil does not necessarily make one "good side." America wasn't really "good."

Here we go again...

This is must be the standard line that all Japanese are taught to use, when confronted with any facts of history, that don't show Japan as a Victim...

"Oh, well America did it too!"

No.... America never invaded and killed 300,000 people in Nankin, innocent civilians, there isn't any comparison at all.

And Unless you are 85+ years old, it's highly unlikely YOU, "Kumasan" participated in any of these atrocities, and no one is blaming you, but what the world really needs to hear from Japan, and people like you, is that you understand what happened 60+ years ago, so that it will never happen again...!

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I purchased a copy of Nanjing Nanjing, bought this journalist's book to read and waiting for my half chinese daughter to become old enough to read and see them and more that welcome to let other homies to review them. Do yoi think why?

However, Japan's wrong doing can nevet justify massacres of non militant residents conducted by American military. And Americans still do it repeatedly even in this century. Go figure.

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Excuse me but I do my part of educating the next generations so they don't go wack and make bloody mistakes again. So as many others I personally know.

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However, Japan's wrong doing can nevet justify massacres of non militant residents conducted by American military. And Americans still do it repeatedly even in this century. Go figure.

Wow, nothing to do with Nanking. I suppose the Nanking massacre was a good thing since Americans used nuclear bombs. No? What's your point?

Apologists and (lame) excuse-makers tire me out like nothing else.

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I brought Hiroshima in my argument because it was already there on the thread by the time I got here, dude.

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and I am not using that as execuses for Nanjing either, where in my post are you reading that from?

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Magurotamago and the other ill-informed. I know this topic inside out, and all I will say in order to save myself from exploing in rage, is that it did happen. The difference between Germany and Japan is that Germany has admitted to what they did, and is a proigressive society. Japan is the exact opposite.

Disgusting.

I hope the cinema execs have the balls to run this everywhere here.

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There are people who dislike today's communist China and tend to side with nationalistic-Japan on the issue of NM. If they must politicize this incident then they must understand that the then Nanking was actually the capital of Republic of China ruled under the KMT (Chinese Nationalist Party), when China was actually an ally of the USA. USA even sent the Flying Tiger squad over to China to aid the Chinese forces against Japanese daily fun-bombings on Chinese cities on civilian targets.

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Japan or US or China don't matter, killing civilians on purpose is sick. They knew nothing about what was going on at the war front, and punished for no reason. It is injustice, Japanese or Chinese.

You sick prejudice people who criticize me, read my posts carefully, I never denied Nanjing Massacre.

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@Kumasan1969 I read your comments. I understand you. don't be upset with those comments towards you. you actually agree with what J troops had done in C. The situation between C and J is so complicated. It tangles up with emotion, truth, unwillingness and inevitability.

It hard for the people who was deeply hurt and now have to accept an obscure answer. I guess this takes place in both C and J.

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CreekDeTorrens... excellent post. Its all about revenge and reparation. The Japanese committed horrible atrocities throughout China and Asia. And it seems many people are under the misguided notion that this is not taught in school, it is. The Japanese citizens paid a horrible price for these atrocities, but for a Japanese to say this brings up the "Japan as victim" cliche that people claim all Japanese use. They do, because the citizens of Japan were victims. But they blame the Imperial Army for what happened as much as they blame the US military for opting to use nukes. However you don't see many calling the US evil for what happened, unless it has to do with the use of nukes. One of the reasons this will never be forgotten by the Chinese is that it was not they that exacted retribution on the Japanese but the US and Russians. Also their leaders after the war were so focused on various other agenda they basically signed away any hope of getting future reparations. But sure, any type of propaganda that rehashes the old wounds does serve a purpose of sorts because it sparks debate and gets people thinking about it.

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In war all people are victim, from the innocent 10 year old burned in his home from a firebombing or Atomic Bombing to a woman raped by troops to the troops themselves who were conscripted and forced to take up arms and live on the land in constant danger of being killed.

War is the ultimate failure of humanity, to try and see one side as good and the other as bad is too simplistic and falls back on a dichotomy that is artificially created by both sides to aid in motivating the people to pick up arms and do things that they would never do on their own.

How do you judge a target as worthy or a war as “good?” You win the war and write the history.

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well, I think I agree with JHansen that war is the ultimate failure of humanity, but Chinese and Americans had the all the rights to fight back. Those glorious warriors of Chinese Liberation Army are heroes and such. Japan was clearly wrong to start that war, and I can even say that it was good Japan lost the war.

Nanjing, or Hiroshima, or carpet bombing of cities,etc, were failure of humanity and betrayal to what we are as humans. Those who define the entire nation as "they" and intentionally murder civilians in a such large scale is nothing more than sick maniacs, and whoever involved with such operations should be ashamed. There is a line which must not be crossed to stay human.

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Japan is lucky the U.S only dropped two.

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if you soldiers are smart enough to understand this difference, the world could have been a much better place... sigh, and then make the same mistakes over and over.

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as kumansan said, just as japan did that, USA and china also did. I'm not siding with japan but what USA did was bad too, the bombing killed so many inocent people and the after effects affected so many more.

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A nationality is just a small part of what you are. It is unjust to judge people by nationality and punish them all together of what many of them are not responsible to. If patriortism is of such a short circuited nature, it is much better to be an anarchist than a patriotic citizen.

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Like they say the first casualty of war is the truth. But the truth of the matter is the rest of the world knows what Japan committed in China. What galls the world is the Japanese arrogance and refusal to acknowledge the actions of their army at Nanjing and they're also forgetting their treatment of civilians in the occupied areas of China. What you don't realize was those two devices were an ultimatum to your army and your government to surrender or face a horrible consequence. No one likes to see civilians caught in a crossfire, but your country didn't leave us much choice. Alot of our commanders wanted to follow through on a quote Admiral Halsey spoke of "After we're through the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell!". Many felt here the Japanese populace was so pumped up on it's own propaganda they were willing to go down fighting for a lost cause. Trust me guys if you pushed the Allies a little further, they would have tried to make good on that promise. Fortunate for Japan, more moderate commanders said, lets' give Japan to opportunity to surrender little longer. Lucky for Japan the Emperor relented. What is irksome is that war is over. The world on wants you to acknow what you did and then move on. The world already knows we dropped two bombs but that isn't the issue here.

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I see the evilness and hatred in the quote you posted too. Those Japanese soldiers who did cruel things and those who spoke of genocide are the same kind of people. Evil.

I am not. I am glad that I value life regardless of nationalities.

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@bigsurchiba,

I think you have made a good point there. China and Korea really did miss out on the opportunity to exact revenge on Japan. While of course the nationalistic agendas of both governments play a big role, if it had Korean and Chinese troops fighting in Okinawa and occupying parts of the main islands afterwards, then perhaps both countries would be a bit calmer today.

As an aside, I wonder if any South Koreans blame the Japanese for the break up of their country and Korean War. There has to be a strong case for Japan leading to all the communism in East Asia in the aftermath of the war.

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another issue that won't go away, YES its important to know History we all know about Pearl Harbor & Hiroshima. BUT we have moved on since then. Now as much of a JP lover i am im NOT gonna deny they didn't do that(Nanking) of course they did. they just want to sugar coat it say it was exaggerated & all that stuff. IF china wasn't such a censoring communist country MYBE more people would believe them. they took 2 photos that were used in a news paper & went crazy over we(USA)are antichinese, jelous of chinese, trying to Stop chinese. uh BUSH is going/went to the Olypics he said he supports the Olypics (NO responce from chinese poeple)

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SiouxChef at 04:55 PM JST - 1st April These victims have been raped and killed for real; even if this is meant >to be a April's fool joke, there is a limit to how inhuman the posts can >be. It's no joke, kyoken; you can go there and read it, too.

I have been to the museum at Yasukuni and there is no mention of every civilian in Nanking being "spies". What is mentioned is that a great number of Chinese troops threw away their uniforms and disguised themselves as civilians, a known historical fact not even disputed by Chinese historians. It is also generally accepted that this fact added to the confusion as the invading Japanese troops had to stop and question all male civilians to check if they were actually soldiers.

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The atrocities committed by the Japanese imperial army in every place they occupied are well documented and its willingness to sacrifice it own people are just as well documented ( just have to look at Okinawa for that)

The question here is how relevant are the differing accounts of what happened in Nanjing the number and severity of victims given by the Chinese are probably exaggerated but the numbers and severity given by the Japanese are a fantasy.

As for all the references to what the Americans did they are completely irrelevant, but for all those who have made them her are a few things to think about the type of aerial fire bombs used by the USA were based on the design used by the Japanese imperial army from 1937 to 1943 on Chinese cities, and had Japan succeeded in inventing the Atomic bomb first would it have used it. I think most sane people would have to agree they would have. Just look at how easily they were willing to sacrifice their own young men on suicide charges and Kamikaze flights.

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5SpeedRacer5 at 11:58 PM JST - 1st April Germany officially apologized to Israel in 1956. Japan probably should >have gotten it over with then.

I believe that Japan apologized to China (PRC) for WWII for the first time in 1972 when PM Tanaka visted China met met with Mao Tse Tung and Chou En Lai. It was then that Japan offered to pat China reparations which Chou En Lai declined prefering ODA money instead. The Sino-Japanese Friendship Treaty of 1972 was drawn up thereafter. This followed the US opening relations with China in 1971.

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I still think judging people by countries as one unit, and killing civilians adults and children all together, is wrong. Would it have been better if Japan carpet-bombed Nanjing and killed the same amount of people? I do not think so. Are you going to justify this wrong doing if something happens to North Korea?

We are primarily individuals, our nationalities are not #1 of our identities. It is wrong, it is completely and inarguably and everlastingly wrong to destroy good and evil all together for the sake of evil ones. Nanjing, Hiroshima, Auschwitz, Viet Nam, Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Fallujah. All the same to me, bloody murderers. Whoever join militaries(or SDF or whatever the alternative names are) of any nation is sick. They ignore this simple fact and go after bogus heroism.

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My earlier post won't earn me any friends but my intention was to make a point. What the rest of the world wants to see and hear is just an acknowledgment and maybe some act of contrition then things can focus on the present time. As for the evilness of Admiral Halsey's quote. It's what America felt at the time but here's something you don't know. It was said he recanted when he saw the Japanese as human beings like us and realized how an entire populace can be misled by a few power hungry individuals. How about forgetting this 'war' and concentrating on the now?

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UltraMarine68, yeah, I am getting sick of all this, and I agree.

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The Japanese Imperialists did horrible stuff back in the day. Everyone knows about it, the emperor and PM's have apologized. When will it be "enough"?

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jackseoul at 11:54 AM JST - 7th April The Koreans have not been invaders of any nation in probably 700 hundred >years or so.

No - Over 240,000 Koreans served in the Imperial Japanese Forces during WWII the vast majority joining of heir own free will because of the pay and benefits as evidenced by the number exceeding recruitment quotas. "Forced" recruitment of Koreans was not implemented until 1944, whereas Koreans in the IJA had already invaded Manchuria, China and Southeast Asia. Some of the Korean soldiers especially the POW guards in the Phillipines were especially briutal to allied POWS and several were brought up on charges at the Tokyo WAr Crimes Trials. They also enjoyed the services of the Comfort Women System. Yes - All these Korean soldiers technically could be called "Japanese soldiers" because Korea was a colony of Japam from 1910-1945 and all Koreans were given Japanese citizenship. A subterfuge yes, but still arguable.

They have been in-fighting amongst their own kingdoms to unite the peninsula for hundreds of years... alas, it is again split into two. Unfortunately, it may take a very long time for the two nations to be brought back together again if ever.

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