Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 7 years ago

Is Japan really still denying the Nanjing Massacres?

I've read this is several articles and reports. Just wanted to verify whether or not this was true before writing my history report.

9 Answers

  • 7 years ago
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    Japan is NOT a monolith. There are a few right wing neanderthals who say it never happened, but most know of it. Not that they think of it much - it's old history. And if you want to pass judgement on them, try passing it on yourself for what whites did to Native Americans in the 19th century, what Brits did in India, Ozzies did way back when and so on.

    • It's funny that you forgot to put what the German Nazi's did to Jews.

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  • 7 years ago

    You would only find claims that Japan denies the Nanjing Massacre by the Chinese and pro-Chinese writers. Since you're working on a school report, I doubt you have enough Japanese to go to primary Japanese sources including actual Japanese history textbooks. Nanjin Massacre deniers in Japan are embittered because Japanese textbooks include mention of a Nanjin Massacre. Chinese and pro-Chinese writers are embittered because they consider the figures in Japanese textbooks to be understating the supposed casualty count. But that's hardly a denial.

    But since you're asking if Japan is really denying or still denying the Nanijn Massacre, it sounds like you've only read up on Chinese or pro-Chinese sources that are available in English. You will necessarily end up with a dim view of Japan's past and present. But that may be more the result of China's aggressive outreach in English and Japan's lack of the same.

    The biggest claim that the Chinese and pro-China side makes of Japanese denial is of the existence of a textbook that denies or doesn't mention the Nanjin Massacre. This starts with a group of embittered Japanese denialists who decided they have to write their own textbook with their own conservative agenda. Their first edition was published in 2001, and about 2% of high schools use it today.

    Consider in contrast that 30% of Japanese teachers belong to the unincorporated entity that is the Japanese Teachers Union, which has a very strong left-wing agenda and considered to be (more like actually was) pro-Socialists, who would be teaching things that any conservative would consider unpatriotic. The split between Japanese Communists and Japanese Socialists is topic for another paper, but they both had allegiances that looked more towards Beijing and Moscow than to Tokyo.

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  • 7 years ago

    This is actually old news

    Some of the textbooks were left out with the nanjing massacres in some schools. They supposedly just left it out just like the USA treatment of native americans.

    The bilinguals schools with english have the updated books with accurate history if I do recall

    I think they left it out due to shame for the older generation

  • Shido
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    The Nanking Massacre is mentioned even on the government-censored school history textbooks in Japan.

    Source(s): Japanese
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  • 7 years ago

    Kids learn very little about it at school. They'd have to do their own research to really find out about it. Kind of like how the typical American doesn't know what's really going on in Iraq now and doesn't know about the provocations in the Middle East that led up to 9/11.

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  • 3 years ago


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  • 7 years ago

    The 'Nanking Massacre' in which the Prosecution claims the 'massacre of 300,000', has never been so proved. However, any other unjustifiable killings by Japanese troops are regarded as punishable war crimes during the battles against the Chinese Army, and these should be processed under the international humanitarian law.

    Before the battle of Nanking, the commander General Iwane Matsui ordered the Japanese army to be very careful not to kill any civilians. During the battle, every civilian took refuge in the Nanking Safety Zone. Japanese army did not attack it, and there were no civilian victims, except for several who were accidentally killed or injured by stray shells. According to the Documents of the Nanking Safety Zone, the committee members in China reported to the world about the number of victims in Nanking battle was 49 people in 1938.

    John Rabe, later handed a letter of thanks for this to the commander of the Japanese army.

    December 14, 1937 Dear commander of the Japanese army in Nanking, We appreciate that the artillerymen of your army did not attack the Safety Zone. We hope to contact you to make a plan to protect the general Chinese citizens who are staying in the Safety Zone….We will be pleased to cooperate with you in any way to protect the general citizens in this city.

    --Chairman of the Nanking International Committee, John H. D. Rabe--"

    If the Japanese military wanted to massacre every Nanking citizen, it would have been very easily done if they only bombarded the Nanking Safety Zone. The Japanese military did not attack it, but rather protected all the people of the Zone. In the mind of General Matsui, the purpose of the war was not to take the land, but to save Chinese civilians from the Chinese civil war, killing among the Chinese themselves.

    James Espy, the vice American Council at Nanking, reported to the American Embassy at Hankow concerning the aspect of the city right before the fall of Nanking as follows :

    Monition should be made here, however, that the Chinese themselves are not altogether exonerated of depredations, at least to some extent, before the entry of the Japanese. During the last few days some violations of people and property were undoubtedly committed by them. Chinese soldiers in their mad rush to discard their military uniforms and put on civilian clothes, in a number of incidents, killed civilians to obtain their clothing.

    After the Japanese occupation, did the population of Nanking decrease by more than 200,000?

    Let’s look at many historical records. On Dec 8,1937, Tang Sheng-zhi, who was Chinese commander, warned that all the noncombatants should assemble in the Safety Zone, and the citizens rushed into the Safety Zone for the safety.

    As the result, there were no people within the castle except in the Safety Zone. John Rabe, the Safety Zone Committee (TSZC) member, wrote in his diary in Dec 10, when the Nanking battle began, the Nanking population was 200,000. TSZC described in the Document No.9 dated in Dec 17, "On the 13th when the Japanese entered the city, we had nearly all the civilian population in the Safety Zone, so the number 200,000 is no doubt.

    For TSZC, it was absolutely necessary to know the accurate number of people in order to distribute food to those refugees. After the Japanese victory and occupation took place, TSZC in its document dated on December 17, and in subsequent documents, consistently recognized this number. Afterwards how did the population of Nanking change? TSZC documents read that in January 1938 the population was 250,000.

    Lewis S. C. Smythe, professor of Nanking University investigated the population with the help of many Chinese staffs on February 1938. He wrote a report which shows the population of Nanking was 250,000 or 270,000 as of the end of March 1938. The Nanking City Administrative Office of the Nanking Restoration Government, which was established on March 28, 1938, registered 277,000 inhabitants. Japanese soldiers killed 300,000 Chinese people in Nanking city?

    Why many Chinese people came back to Nanking after Japanese occupied the city?

    Why Mao didn't announce about the massacre in the international mass media conferences from 1937 to 1938?

    Why Chinese government could not prove the murder of 340,000 when The International Military Tribunal for the Far East was opened?

    The British newspaper North China Daily News, which was published in China in English on December 24, 1937, eleven days after the Japanese occupation of Nanking, carried a photo taken in Nanking by their photographer. The photo was entitled "Japanese distribute gifts in Nanking." In the photo are Japanese soldiers distributing gifts, and Chinese adults and children receiving the gifts and rejoicing. Is this the scene of a massacre?

    How can Japanese admit the wrong history such as the Nanking Massacre?

    What do you think?

    Source(s): Recent scientific research has revealed that there are no photographs attesting to a massacre in Nanking. At least 143 pictures are distorted, are fabricated, or are used for the Nanking Massacre pictures which were from different areas and different times by Chinese government. Analyzing the “Photographic Evidence” of the Nanking Massacre Some photographs in the second sino-Japanese war with primary source material Analyzing the “evidence of moving pictures ” of the Nanking Massacre Rescue operation of Japanese soldiers What Japan fought for
    • Calvin5 years agoReport

      Be careful not to kill civilians??? HAHAHA... then why is it that Japanese planes were bombing civilian targets as prime directive??? That one is undeniable, from military intelligence not just from chinese sources..
      And it didn't happen in just Nanjing, but ALL of the chinese cities!!

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Revisionism Tokyo-style

    Japan's leaders still won't acknowledge their country's wartime atrocities.

    January 18, 2013|By Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman

    This month 75 years ago, the people of Nanking, China's ancient capital city, were in the midst of one of the worst atrocities in history, the infamous Rape of Nanking. The truth of what actually happened is at the center of a bitter dispute between China and Japan that continues to play out in present-day relations. Many Chinese see Japan's election last month of ultraconservative nationalist Shinzo Abe as prime minister as just the latest in a string of insults. And it was recently reported that Japan is considering rolling back its 1993 apology regarding "comfort women," the thousands of women the Japanese army sexually enslaved during World War II.

    In 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army, captured Nanking on Dec. 13. No one knows the exact toll the Japanese soldiers exacted on its citizens, but a postwar Allied investigation put the numbers at more than 200,000 killed and at least 20,000 women and girls raped in the six weeks after the city fell.

    In 2006, we traveled to China and to Japan to interview victims and soldiers who took part in the massacre. One former Japanese soldier explained, without a hint of regret: "We all drew straws, and the man who pulled out the one marked first, he brushed off her face tenderly and treated her pretty, yes, and then proceeded to rape her. As their daughter was being raped, the parents would come outside and gesture to us, 'Please spare her!' They'd bang their heads on the ground and plead with us. We'd take one girl and five of us would hold her down."

    In China, a 79-year-old man tearfully described how, at 9 years old, he watched a soldier bayonet his mother to death as she breast fed his brother. Another man saw his 13-year-old sister sliced in half by a Japanese soldier after she resisted being raped. Elderly women told harrowing stories of the rapes they endured as young girls.

    It was the mass rapes in Nanking and the brutalization of an entire populace that eventually convinced Japanese military leaders that they needed to contain the chaos. Japanese soldiers began rounding up women and forcing them to serve as sex slaves in so-called comfort stations.

    This is what most historians believe. But not in Japan, where a large faction of conservatives, led by Abe, denies that the Japanese military forced women into sexual slavery. They maintain that any suggestion to the contrary is simply anti-Japanese propaganda and probably spread by China. At the furthest end of the spectrum, the minimizing turns to flat-out denial; one professor we interviewed at a top Japanese university adamantly insisted there were no killings or rapes in Nanking.

    Not surprisingly, all this minimizing and denial enrages the Chinese and others in Asia. But this is a familiar pattern.

    Abe has visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo and has said he plans to visit again as prime minister. This is the place where the souls of more than 2 million Japanese war dead are said to be enshrined. Among them are 14 men convicted at the end of World War II of what are known as Class-A war crimes, including Iwane Matsui, the general who led Japanese forces in Nanking. To the Chinese, every visit by an official is like ripping open an unhealed wound. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went there six times, and his 2005 visit resulted in anti-Japanese riots in China.

    It seems unlikely that the region will erupt into armed conflict over three tiny islands or repeal of the apology. And it can be argued that the move to amend the constitution shouldn't be a cause for great alarm because Japan already has a well-armed self-defense force.

    What is alarming is that the leaders of Japan — and a large and vocal minority of its citizens — have an understanding of their country's wartime history that is grounded primarily in fiction. The Rape of Nanking is not in dispute. There is abundant eyewitness testimony from foreign observers, victims and Chinese and Japanese soldiers; contemporaneous news accounts; horrifying forensic and photographic evidence; and even film footage, surreptitiously shot by an American missionary.

    Japanese denial in the face of all this ensures that a historical event will continue to fan the flames of anger and distrust. The sooner the facts are recognized and Japanese leaders renounce paying tribute to mass killers and rapists, the sooner true healing can begin.

    Bill Guttentag is a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He and Dan Sturman directed the documentary film "Nanking," which won a Peabody Award in 2009.

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