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'Children of the aggressors' - Japanese war babies adopted by China

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“What if the situation had been the other way around? I wonder if the Japanese would have acted the same way,” he said.

Not a chance in hell.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Having read many touching stories like this one of Japanese orphans lost and adopted in China, I would think most humans if not everyone would show their sympathy and care for those innocent children, unless I am proven wrong about the average Japanese people regarding the question at the end of the story.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

China and Japan could be really good friends. There's not any Chinese threat. Such a pity Western anti-China propaganda apparently brainwashed tons of Japanese.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

China and Japan could be really good friends. There's not any Chinese threat. Such a pity Western anti-China propaganda apparently brainwashed tons of Japanese.

Ugh right, which is exactly why China made islands in contested waters which are capable of being used for military purposes. The fact Chinese military spending has increased exponentially also means that there is 0 Chinese threat. Got it.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

A moving story indeed. On this of al days, instead of the persistent bickering and negative comments, let's look forward in a spirit of cooperation and humility, and let's hope that these situations never again arise for any reason. we are after all all human beings whatever our race.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

China isn't a threat. It is trying to defend itself by American/Japanese threat.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

“Japan was an invader for them, clearly,” Nakajima, who now lives in Tokyo, told AFP.

Don't tell Abe this.

He will argue that the definition of invasion is "unclear" and "yet to be established".

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Ugh right, which is exactly why China made islands in contested waters which are capable of being used for military purposes. The fact Chinese military spending has increased exponentially also means that there is 0 Chinese threat. Got it.

With friends like you who needs enemies. Read what you quoted, the COULD be friends, and yes they could be, but there is too much distrust created by politicians. The tourists are different, they love Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

With friends like you who needs enemies. Read what you quoted, the COULD be friends, and yes they could be, but there is too much distrust created by politicians. The tourists are different, they love Japan.

That was sarcasm, yubaru.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

“What if the situation had been the other way around? I wonder if the Japanese would have acted the same way,” he said.

I wonder if this is a rhetorical question?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Now, it's time to move on. Japan has tiptoed meekly around the world stage, bowing their collective heads in shame, for long enough.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

These things happen in all wars, and there will always be people that will save the children no matter the color, ethnicity, nor religion.

The cultural revolution as he mentioned made it difficult for him and others to go back to seek those who helped them. The Chinese government has yet to apologize to its own people for all the millions it killed of its own.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

The legacy of the war still strains diplomatic ties between Tokyo and Beijing. China says more than 20 million of its citizens died as a result of Japan’s invasion, occupation and atrocities.

Meanwhile 1.6 million Chinese die every year from air pollution in China. China complains about something that happened over 70 years ago but can't manage to stop killing its own people while expanding its own grip on the surrounding areas.

I truly feel sorry for all that suffered at hands of the Japanese military during WWII but I do think it's time that China starts living in the here and now and do something about the issues within their own borders caused by their own citizens that end up killing their own.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"China and Japan could be really good friends."

@Alex80 When have we and China ever been good friend? Or Us and Korea? Or China and Korea? Never has happen, never will.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

A democratic China - on the mainland, beyond the island nation Taiwan ROC, would prove a great friend to Japan and other advanced democracies.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe China also needs reminding about the Korean War. Didn't the Chinese helped Kim Il Song and his North Koreans to commit blatant aggression against the South Koreans? Look what has happen now to their fierce bull dog North Korea, and its cruel and aggressive actions? Didn't a few Chinese Generals initially threatened to nuclear bomb Tokyo during the Senkaku/Diaoyu spats, when the Government bought over the islands from the Japanese owner? Also, how did North Korea get the delivery systems for their nuclear-tipped missiles that now threatens to obliterate Japanese Cities & even American ones too? These are REALITIES that the Japanese people and free loving people MUST know . Who are the potential threats and WHY PM Abe is upgrading the security part of the Constitution to protect Japan and its allies in the Region. Look at China & North Korean websites and note constructive criticisms are "blocked off/censored" unlike this one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow! The article is a mish-mash and hard to clearly understand, but it seems that a couple ten thousand survived out of 1.5 million! That is worse odds than front line soldiers. It must have been pure hell.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My most grateful to the Soviet Red army liberation of Manchuria the in August 1945. These are real actions of defeating the imperial college Japanese empire. It was their first Blitzkrieg the into Manchuria in a month's time brought that occupied land from the the Kwantung army and o Siberia to prinsoner camp. Unlike USA false claims of helping China to defeat the Japan, the same Americans jurisdictions of occupied Japan gave AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL to war criminals like Kishi Nobusuke back to power and is the cause if Sino Japanese empire tensions of today. These orphans owed a gratitude to the Soviet red army, they should goto the Russian graveyard in northern Ireland China to pay a respect in their lifetime. By the way, I doubt the Japanese government , ever wants these orphans back if NOT their existences has exposed to the news

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Nakajima only made brief contact by telephone with his adopted mother—who could only shout “Lai Fu! Lai Fu!” before the call was cut off.The two never talked again and Sun Zhenqin died in 1975."

So sad.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This story clearly illustrates that people as individuals often try to do good but as soon as they represent a large group things go bad. This is why we need regulations to make sure people in power serve the people that elected then instead of playing these dumb power struggle games.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Knowbetter "I truly feel sorry for all that suffered at hands of the Japanese military during WWII but I do think it's time that China starts living in the here and now..."

This is a common sentiment here. The idea being that people can only do one of these. They cannot do both. Leaving aside government propaganda, I have a hard time telling anyone they have no right to their suffering. I don't know, maybe I could take the comment more seriously if Knowbetter could explain his or her own extreme suffering through war and degradation. Although, it still wouldn't have any bearing on the principle that people have their own experiences of what their suffering means to them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

how many hearts and minds moved by this story in japan? I love to see this the numbers

2 ( +2 / -0 )

how many hearts and minds moved by this story in japan? I love to see this the numbers

Unless it was printed in one of the major newspapers relatively few I would wager to say, and THAT is the sad part.

Much of what you read here on JT is not seen by the average Japanese person.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@cardsfan5: the article is a true story of the humanity of the Chinese side, so why can you respect that? If the situation was the other way around, can you say Japan has the same humanity?, or for that matter can you say Japanese people can forget and tell the Chinese "no more apologies" 70 years later?

And you digressed to talk about the islands: well, you should be reminded that Japan itself is not innocent. Okonotori island was nothing but a man-made island built to bolster Japan's claims (borders) which the UN declined to recognize fully. The Diayou/Senkaku islands claims by Japan are no stronger than China's version, and Japan/Abe last November conceded to finally realize that China is entitled to her own claims/views about these islands.

As for the South China sea, other claimants are doing the same thing and their claims are not stronger than China's. And since Japan and USA themselves have rejected International Tribunals' decisions against them in other cases, China has even more reasons to stick to her stance.

@Alex80: So, yes, I agree with your objective view that the only and real threat is from the USA, and hence China's stance regarding the South China sea etc. How would USA feel if China, Russia etc. had bases surrounding USA? And now Japan is really pushing her luck trying to do the same by acting as a menace to China's security (Japan already "stole" the Diayou/Senkaku islands and making nonsense claims on the islands too that are rejected by Russia and Korea) without having atoned for her own brutal aggression (but whitewashing everything and acting self-righteous by twisting the facts of history) and without having learned her lessons from WWII.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The Soviet Army took thousands of Japanese as slave labor and thousands of women as sex slaves. One of the reason so many died is because the Soviets killed them or degraded them so bad they committed suicide. Not one in ten survived or returned to Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So sad that he couldn't see his adoptive mother again. She cared for and raised him for 13 years, from age 3 to 16, all of his childhood. She must have missed him dearly. How lucky he found his birth mother, but still a pain in his heart that he never saw his adoptive mother again. What a terrible chapter of WWll, made worse by both governments after the war.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The soviets declared war against Japan two weeks after the war was over to steal the Kurile islands and of the slave laborers, which included many Koreans. Have you ever seen the videos of Japanese and Korean women nude running a gauntlet of red army troops before they were ravaged, raped and many killed.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The Soviet Army took thousands of Japanese as slave labor

My father-in-law was one of them, he was conscripted by force to fight in Manchuria and was taken prisoner at was end, he caught malaria and almost died but fortunately lived and made it back to Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

>China isn't a threat. It is trying to defend itself by American/Japanese threat. what by claiming islands and seas that their neighbours clearly have more rights over!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Very bitter sweet story, this. Some wonderful stories of the power of empathy and humanity in the midst and aftermath of what must have been hell. Some rather shocking sections as well:

while roving groups of sword-wielding male migrants stabbed women and children to death to end their suffering.

This is the same mentality that drove the military to murder civilians in cold blood in places like Saipan and Okinawa - to me one of the most horrifying and incomprehensible acts possible. The insanity of this beggars belief and is absolutely and completely beyond my comprehension. Sociopathic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thank you for sharing such a bittersweet story. The cut off phone call... oh man. So much love possible in this world that even during a war It shows that mothers no matter where there are have the strength to make a difference.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"China isn't a threat. It is trying to defend itself by American/Japanese threat. what by claiming islands and seas that their neighbours clearly have more rights over!"

This is erroneous and ignorant of the basic facts.

Even the current Tribunal conceded that sovereignty issues regarding these islands is not within their jurisdiction. The key point is that China has demonstrated that these islands have been in their control for such a long time (not to mention their discovery by China), and the Philippines and Vietnamese recent claims to these islands are opportunistic. Philippines is betting on a Tribunal decision regarding the outline/border lines of these islands that could entitle them the same sovereignty issue that is not even a legal issue (nor is within the Tribunal jurisdiction) in the first place! So any decision, as some media has suggested, would be like a mockery of the whole proceedings. The Diayou/Senkaku islands issue is even more dubious pertaining to Japan's claims (hence Japan's conceding last November that China has a right to her own views/claims).

Even Obama conceded recently that China's claims do have some validity.

So the only to settle this is by war, as some posters have also suggested in other articles/posts. But... USA will not sacrifice its men and worse, risk its economic tie-up with China, by fighting for these islands and having the whole Asia-pivot blow up in its face, believe me. Like I did, you should research or have a candid talk with some of the high ranking smart officers stationed in Asia to get a clear picture of the USA's limits (including firepower, men, enormous risks, etc), as everybody knows whatever is being planned by the USA-Jpn-Phi-Viet, China is preparing more (esp as all plans are so easily accessed by China these days). Not to mention Russia, who will not allow USA to take control of this area as well.

But... what does this have to do with the somber yet moving humanity story in this article?

Can the posters here for once respect and accept that Chinese people do have a much stronger sense of humanity (than Japan , for example) instead of using every story to attack China but without first looking at the big stick in USA/Japan's eyes? As I asked, if the situation was the opposite, can you say Japan would show the same humanity or 70 years later forget and not get angry if "no more apologies are needed"? If you cannot answer a full "yes," then you can't DENY the Chinese do indeed have more humanity than the Japanese.

As I urged many times, please show some fairness and objectivity, as you might learn something from such stories regarding China and Chinese people instead of always being blinded by Abe and Washington and their self-righteous hypocritical anti-China endless noise and propaganda.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

A very touching article...it was an afp news wire story -- agence france press -- french news agency -- but unfortunately afp does not have a wide readership in english and zero in japanese so this news was not read by japanese in japan. Too bad. Its an uplifting post war story! Bravo jt for running it!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Quite a moving story, so sad that the guy never got to see his adoptive mother again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“What if the situation had been the other way around? I wonder if the Japanese would have acted the same way,” he said.

Not a chance in hell.

It would be the same as in it was in China - some Japanese people would, and many (most?) wouldn't. But to think that it wouldn't happen at all is ridiculous.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Chinese have never, in general, had this general aversion to adoption that you see in Japanese society. I know of many Chinese who have adopted members of family.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Can the posters here for once respect and accept that Chinese people do have a much stronger sense of humanity (than Japan , for example) instead of using every story to attack China but without first looking at the big stick in USA/Japan's eyes? As I asked, if the situation was the opposite, can you say Japan would show the same humanity or 70 years later forget and not get angry if "no more apologies are needed"? If you cannot answer a full "yes," then you can't DENY the Chinese do indeed have more humanity than the Japanese.

Your premise is incorrect here. Chinese humanity is not determined by the Japanese willingness, or lack thereof, to make a proper apology. Only Japanese humanity can be determined from that. So whether the Chinese have more humanity than the Japanese cannot be determined by the reader answering 'yes' or 'no' to your question.

The Chinese have shown a major lack of humanity in their dealings with the Uighur and the Tibetans. This would be a more accurate place from which to determine which country has more/less humanity. But that said, it's not worth the time and effort to make that comparison. Rather both countries should make moves to improve their humanity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When have we and China ever been good friend?

You'd have to go back over a 1000 years ago when China and Japan were on friendly terms. Japanese students made 14 missions to China's Tang Dynasty court to study. The emperors of China also sent valuable gifts to the Japanese which are still in Nara and Kyoto

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even in my humble existence, I'm willing to bet my very life that Japan, despite their bravodacio,was one of, IF NOT, the poorest country in the world. I know quite a few people may want to skin me alive, but I've said it loud and clear. So next time they want to talk about SANGOKUJIN - people who extended them immeasurable magnanimity, from countries in S.America Asia and elsewhere. Yet, today, Japan thinks it dropped from ET . The " migrant" couldn't return home,but among the many reasons, will be, they had nothing to return to or for.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“What if the situation had been the other way around? I wonder if the Japanese would have acted the same way,” he said.

I would be surprised if none had done so. We seem to be talking about a small minority of children that were taken in by Chinese families.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An extraordinary story. Proof that the human spirit can triumph over politics

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You'd have to go back over a 1000 years ago when China and Japan were on friendly terms. Japanese students made 14 missions to China's Tang Dynasty court to study

You don't have to go so far back. In early 1900 many Chinese leaders such as Zhou En Lai 周恩来, Lu Xun 魯迅, Jiang Jie-shi 蒋介石 Sun Yat sen 孫文 came to Japan to study.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ Tinawatanabe. The Chinese leaders indeed came to Japan, this was after Japan beat Russia and they wanted to learn how to unshackle themselves from colonialism and seek solidarity, but, as usual, the greedy and serpentine nature of the Japanese could not allow that. China ended on Japan's dinner plate.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

People who think nobody in Japan would have acted like that are silly, of course. I still remember the sad story of a Japanese man who sacrificed his life to save his female Chinese workers on 3/11. You people are lacking any respect to him and great people like him.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Cogito Ergo Sum

You are very ungrateful to the Japanese who worked hard for China. Japan even built a statue of Lu Xun 魯迅. Also Guo Moruo 郭沫若 came to Japan to study.

Deng Xiaoping 鄧小平asked Konosuke Matsushita 松下幸之助 of Panasonic to help Chinese electric companies and Matsushita worked so hard for China. China received lots of financial and technical assistance from Japan. The relation was good until China intensified anti-Japan after Tiananmen Incident 1989.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You are very ungrateful to the Japanese who worked hard for China. Japan even built a statue of Lu Xun 魯迅. Also Guo Moruo 郭沫若 came to Japan to study.

Yeah, you are so ungrateful! How dare you be ungrateful full to the Japanese who killed and raped 100s of thousands throughout China! You should know that, that was the best thing that ever happened to China!!!!! Sarcasm/

But, back at you, Tina. Why are you so ungrateful to America? We built Japan up into the once thriving country that dinosaurs, such as yourself, so stubbornly defend. Where is my thank you card? It's only about 70 years late and I'm still waiting!!!! Sarcasm/

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japanese people should be grateful to the US that forced by threating war their country to open imposing an unfair and racist trade? And of course, also Chinese can't be grateful to Japanese, come on.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@tinawatanabe Building statutes does not mean friendly relations between nations. Canada and USA are friendly...when have we ever had that type of relation with China?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

cardsfan5, no evidence of "raped 100s of thousands" you probably took it from a propaganda book written decades after the war by a young Chinese American who later committed a suicide. You should be more careful.

I said ungrateful to the Japanese who worked hard for China. There are many Japanese who worked for Japan-China friendship after the peace treaty. No country extended finantial and technical assistance to China more than Japan. Why do you have to damage my effort for good relation by bringing up the war?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

no evidence of "raped 100s of thousands" you probably took it from a propaganda book written decades after the war by a young Chinese American who later committed a suicide. You should be more careful.

Who cares how she died? Hell, even if it mattered, it doesn't, how many "brave" Japanese youth were forced into suicide by the government of Japan? You hardly criticize them, so quit criticizing a tortured soul, who took her own life, you shameless biggot. As for the evidence, the IJA murdered hundreds of thousands and brutally raped countless scores more women. It's funny how you only have the courage to criticize SK, yet have nothing to say in regards to the Filipina women, and European women raped by the IJA.

No country extended finantial and technical assistance to China more than Japan. Why do you have to damage my effort for good relation by bringing up the war?

Yup, Japan did it out of feeling a benevolence. "The Japanese" are truly a superior race! I'm sorry, it really was stupid of me to bring up WW2 in an article about WW2.

Japanese people should be grateful to the US that forced by threating war their country to open imposing an unfair and racist trade? And of course, also Chinese can't be grateful to Japanese, come on.

Racist trade? Oh, do tell. Please. So, China should be grateful to Japan, but Japan shouldn't grateful to America? Double standard much? Oh wait, I forgot, America is the most evil nation on earth.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@cardfan: so you don't know the Western inequal treaties towards China and Japan? You should study. Bye.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@cardfan: so you don't know the Western inequal treaties towards China and Japan? You should study. Bye.

What an incredibly intelligent rebuttal to everything I said. I stand corrected.

Bye bye, Alex-chan

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@cardsfan: the rest you had said it's absurd since I NEVER SAID Chinese people should be grateful to Japanese. I said they can't and I meant also they mustn't.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@ Tinawatanabe. Do remember that, just like Greece gave its culture and all to the Romans, China gave Japan almost everything.Japan , like all recipients of such, just added on that. Let's say that the good things Japan gives or is doing to China ,is just returning of the favor. I wish it was minus the unnecessary genocide. By the "Favors" Japan does its victim countries is some form of psychological ablution. Doesn't Japan feel good?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tina.

Deng Xiaoping 鄧小平asked Konosuke Matsushita 松下幸之助 of Panasonic to help Chinese electric companies and Matsushita worked so hard for China. China received lots of financial and technical assistance from Japan. The relation was good until China intensified anti-Japan after Tiananmen Incident 1989.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Currently, Mitsubishi has been working to make China industrialization. China has been investing to US so that US is not bankrupted. A few daya ago, Obama said he wants to make US thar does not have to beg China to borrow money.

About JAPAN adopting foreign children, Ms Miki Sawata, eldest daughter of Mitsubishi owner decided to raise abandoned babies on shambled Tokyo street, demanded J govt give her back one of her mansions confiscated by govt then ratsed more than 3,000 mixed orphans, So some Japanese do adopt babies who are not Japanese

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A bittersweet yet hope-inspiring story. Even in the desolation, misery and darkness of war, it's difficult to be not moved by the acts of a few who have hearts of compassion. Nakajima's account of not being able to talk with her adopted mother is simply heartbreaking.

May mankind learn some lessons in humanity afforded even by these dark episodes of history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Cogito, You had peace treaty with Japan. What good would it do keep ciriticizing Japan? Japan has a good relation with Taiwan, which is the people Japan had a war, not the Communist China. I hope you come to Japan and study history from non-china perspective.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Tinawatanabe No, I nor my country had any peace treaty with Japan. My country is Far from Asia continent, but through great personal tragedy brought about by the Japanese, I'm convinced Japanese are the most evil people on the planet earth. Given that it happened very recently, I can only imagine what it was like pre- 1945. I'm very glad Japan lost the war,heaven knows what tragedy awaited earthlings had they won.Tina, haven't you seen the stories told by the former IJA soldiers on NHK? I've seen, I've read and I have the greatest teacher of all- terrible personal experience for indescribable evil Japanese. I can only compare to a Dracula, when a Dracula thirsts for blood, nothing can stop it except by driving a stake in its heart. Japanese do get blood thirsty.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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