Japan hits out as UNESCO archives ‘Nanjing Massacre’ documents

AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

Japan on Saturday lashed out at UNESCO’s decision to inscribe China’s “Documents of Nanjing Massacre” in its Memory of the World register, calling it “extremely regrettable” and calling for the process to be reformed.

On Friday the U.N.’s cultural and scientific body agreed to 47 new inscriptions, including a request by Beijing to mark documents recording the weekslong mass murder and rape committed by Japanese troops after the fall of Nanking in 1937. The city is presently known as Nanjing.

The massacre, often referred to as the Rape of Nanking, is an exceptionally sensitive issue in the often-tense relations between Japan and China, with Beijing charging that Tokyo has failed to atone for the atrocity.

Japan had called for the documents not to be included and accused UNESCO Saturday of being politicized.

“It is extremely regrettable that a global organization that should be neutral and fair entered the documents in the Memory of the World register, despite the repeated pleas made by the Japanese government,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“As a responsible member of UNESCO, the Japanese government will seek a reform of this important project, so that it will not be used politically,” the statement added.

The UNESCO decision came after a two-year process during a meeting of experts tasked with studying nominations from 40 countries.

The new inscriptions were agreed to at a meeting that ran from Sunday to Tuesday and was held in the United Arab Emirates.

Beijing’s dossier on the widespread orgy of killings of Chinese citizens and soldiers following the 1937 capture of Nanking by the Japanese military is among dozens of new additions of documentary heritage, including two sets of archives from Japan.

The Japanese materials cover the postwar internment and repatriation of Japanese by the Soviet Union and a Buddhist temple’s extensive records of its activities from the medieval to pre-modern eras in Japan.

China had also nominated “comfort women” files about the “sex slaves for Imperial Japanese troops.” But this was not added in the biennial registration by UNESCO for the documentary version of the World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage programs, which started in 1997.

The “Documents of Nanjing Massacre” submission consists of court documents from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East that convicted several Japanese as war criminals and a Chinese military tribunal, among others. They also include photos of the killings said to have been taken by the Imperial Japanese Army and film footage taken by an American missionary.

Differences over history have complicated Japan’s relations with China. Japanese officials may be concerned that UNESCO’s registration of the massacre documents could give Beijing ammunition against Tokyo in promoting its campaign to highlight what it calls “the crimes of Japanese militarism,” including the massacre, in which it claims more than 300,000 people were killed.

The Imperial Japanese military invaded China in the 1930s and the two countries fought a full-scale war from 1937 until Japan lost World War II in 1945.

China says 300,000 people died in a six-week spree of killing, rape and destruction after the Imperial Japanese Army entered Nanking.

Some respected foreign academics put the number lower but there is very little mainstream scholarship doubting that a massacre took place.

China historian Jonathan Spence, for example, estimates that 42,000 soldiers and citizens were killed and 20,000 women raped, many of whom later died.

In Japan, however, some question that view entirely, particularly among some conservatives and nationalists.

In February, a senior executive at public broadcaster NHK denied the massacre, reportedly dismissing accounts of it as “propaganda.”

Japan’s official position is that “the killing of a large number of noncombatants, looting and other acts occurred,” but it adds “it is difficult to determine” the true number of victims.

In April this year, Japan rebuffed protests about newly approved textbooks after complaints that they failed to use the word “massacre” when referring to the mass slaughter in Nanking, opting for the term “incident.”

Tokyo frequently clashes with many of its Asian neighbors over its war record, with many accusing Tokyo of failing to atone for its atrocities or recognize the suffering that took place under the yoke of Japanese militarism.

Last year China nominated the “Nanjing Massacre” files and the comfort women documents for UNESCO listing this year on the 70th anniversary of what Beijing calls its victory in the war of resistance against Japanese aggression and in the world war against fascism.

Tokyo argued that China was politicizing UNESCO and asked Beijing to withdraw the double nominations, which China refused to do, according to Japanese officials.

Japanese historian Masato Miyachi, a professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, said, “By registering the (Nanjing) materials as Memory of the World heritage, UNESCO is recognizing the authenticity of documents and their significance in the world.”

He noted that there are other UNESCO-listed documents about dark episodes in history, such as war and slavery. “If, however, the veracity of the documents submitted by China is questioned, that would undermine the credibility of the entire Memory of the World heritage,” he said.

According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the Memory of the World screening criteria concern the necessity of the preservation and custody of documents, and whether they represent historical truth is not considered.

The Memory of the World register, set up in 1992, is aimed at preserving humanity’s documentary heritage, and currently holds 348 documents and archives that come from countries all over the world.

“It is my deep and firm conviction that the Memory of the World Programme should be guided in its work to preserve documentary heritage and memory for the benefit of present and future generations in the spirit of international cooperation and mutual understanding, building peace in the minds of women and men,” UNESCO director Irina Bokova said.

One of the two sets of documents listed from Japan is a collection of some 570 memoirs, drawings and other items composed by Japanese inmates imprisoned in Siberian labor camps after the war, and lists of those repatriated afterward to Maizuru port in Kyoto.

Roughly 55,000 of the nearly 600,000 Japanese soldiers detained in labor camps in Siberia and Mongolia after the war died from forced labor, severe living conditions and malnutrition.

Before applying for registration, the Maizuru city government investigated other documents with the help of its sister city Nakhodka, near Vladivostok, in eastern Russia. Japan and Maizuru applied to register those documents in March 2014.

The other collection is the archives at Toji Temple called the Toji Hyakugo Monjo (Toji Temple’s 100 boxes of documents), comprising some 25,000 documents from the years 763 to 1711. The collection — records of the ancient temple system and social structures — was designated a National Treasure in 1997.

In the next registration phase in 2017, Japan will seek to list the records of diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who issued visas to help some 6,000 Jews flee Nazi persecution during WWII, as well as three ancient stone monuments and documents of Korean missions to Japan during the Edo Period.

  • tisho

    The level and amount of hypocrisy, delusionism and self-righteousness coming out of Japan is unbelievable. It is becoming hard to endure. I have literally no idea how are these people going to survive in the coming decades.

    • kyushuphil

      Shuji Nakamura, winner of Nobel in Chemistry last year, says they’re not.

      The Japanese, he observed with rue, cannot compete in the world’s markets. In three different key areas where Japanese came up with key inventions, they lost the international market in all three.

      If the schools would change — get their collective heads out of all that regimentation — Japan could change.

      But the schools are determined to stay infantile, regimented, shunning questions, avoiding the literacy of essay writing, sinking deeper and deeper into “kata ni hamatta.”

      • tisho

        The way i see it, there are 3 main problems. Government, media and education. The problem with the government is the insane bureaucracy controlling everything you do. Japan’s population is more than 3 times smaller than the US, yet it has one of the world’s biggest bureaucratic systems, much larger than the US. Germany is like the Japan of Europe, if you think France has a big state bureaucracy, you should see Germany, and Japan is many times worse than Germany. Rules everywhere, suffocating people, taking the freedom to think, breath and live freely out of people. The biggest issue with bureaucracy is that it kills the free market, the free market is essential to having high standards of living, and to ensure that when you are smart and work hard, you can do anything ,and you can change the society, but not in a big bureaucratic state such as Japan right now. Free market gives a social mobility, the opportunity to start from the bottom and climb the job ladder and make a lot of money, it makes it possible for individuals for create entire industries, it rewards the people who put the most effort. It is essential for competing on the world stage.

        The problem with the media is that it is controlled. The media are information cartels. That combined with the fact that almost nobody can speak any other language other than Japanese, makes them the perfect target for the government and other groups to manipulate the masses, and misinform them with an ease.

        The problem with the education is very severe. The entire curriculum must be scrapped and replaced with a new one. Kids must be taught to think for themselves, and not to obey the rules or conform to others. Problem solving is critical, but more critical is learning to think for yourself. Currently kids are taught to just obey the authority and conform to the group. This severely restrains the individual from thinking outside the box, or express himself freely out of fear of being excluded from the group.

      • Yuliya Turpakova

        Well, all systems: education, information, government are functioning well to form obedient, unenterprising passive mass to serve gigantic industry and “higher goals” which we may see in the future.

  • Liars N. Fools

    A pathetic display of revisionism and the denial of history. This does not “restore the honor of Japan” but is dishonorable in of itself.

  • Hendrix

    Today i was talking to someone (he raised the topic) about this news story, he flat out denied nanking was a massacre and blamed the chinese for propoganda.. i realised that i would be better off talking to a wall , the level of obstinate ignorance in Japan is truly incredible, they form a warped nationalistic opinion and it gets enshrined in concrete in their heads and their delusions become self perpetuating.

    • kyushuphil

      It’s the schools.

      Where 100 years ago Futabatei Shimei, Natsumei Sōseki, Fukuzawa Yukichi, and Yosano Akiko had already won the day pushing for renovated Japanese language to face all challenges from modernity, the schools all agree now on never facing challenges.

      Essay writing? All those skills possibly to see individuals better?

      Forget it. Join the group games, the regimentation, the memorization of trivia, the mindless repetitions.

      Enthusiasm for the great Japanese today who in novels do face reality? Forget it. No one in school reads Miyabe Miyuki, Kirino Natsuo, Higashino Keigo, or even Murakami Haruki. In fact, says Minae Mizumura (In “The Fall of Language in the Age of English”) no one outside a few departments of literature at the university level ever asks students to read a full novel — any novel, at any high school, from beginning to end. They all reduce themselves to the random, out-of-context short, short excerpts in the dumbed-down textbooks the ministry of ed keeps outdoing itself in lowering to ever lower mediocrity.

      TPP is coming. The global corporate predators need millions here more dumbed down, more ready to see life as consumerism only.

      And the schools are happy to oblige, letting Japan get colonized by the international corporates today in ways that great writers prevented 100 years ago.

  • vlee29au

    A disgusting display of hypocrisy and revisionism, which is truly dishonorable. The newly minted UNESCO archives of the Nanjing documents serve as a good ‘medicine’ to this troubling delusional amnesia. These obstinate government and people (revisionists) hope that these ‘inconvenient’ issues will disappear with time as the war survivors and sex slaves die away. On the contrary, there will be more ‘medicine’ to come for these ‘inconvenient’ truths.

  • Jerry Gefner

    It seems history is the judge of right and wrong and UNESCO is only to gather information without defining issues politically.

  • Willy

    The Nanking massacre did indeed happen. But to be fair… the Nazis and the Japanese were not the only bad guys in their time. Stalin and Mao each killed more of their own people than those who died in WW2. But nobody ever mentions that.

    In fact when I point it out to many Chinese, their reaction is that Mao’s victims were his own people, so they don’t mind. But they cannot accept that foreigners come in and kill Chinese.

    I wish that Mao had been more successful in reducing China’s overpopulation problem. It would have helped with many of the world’s problems today.

    • tisho

      They don’t mention that because it is irrelevant to Japan’s war crimes. It makes zero difference whether or not other countries have committed more or less horrific war crimes. Besides that, there is no other country that not only denies their internationally documented and accepted history, but also tries to whitewash it all together.

      • Emjay

        This is just nonsense.

        The point is not whether or not the history of Chinese state slaughter of its own citizens is relevant to Japanese war crimes.

        The point is that the Chinese state denies its own history, lies to its own people, and uses such things as the Nanjing Massacre to foment nationalist hatreds that serve to bolster the power of the CPC and its ongoing project of historical revisionism in the service of authoritarian rule.

        And the UNESCO decision, inadvertently or not, serves to further empower the Chinese state project.

        Memory and propaganda are actually at cross-purposes to each other and historians and bodies like UNESCO need to be very careful when one is being used to create and empower the other.

        As to the idea that no other country indulges in the kind of denial that elements of Japanese state and society indulge in here. you should read a book like Nick Turse’s Kill Anything That Moves and try to take in the simple fact of the 5 million SE Asians who died so that Kennedy, LBJ and Nixon could look like men in the eyes of the American militarist-imperialist right.

        Then look at the American refusal to apologize officially, to acknowledge the genocidal policies and the craven domestic politics that killed every one of those people. Talk to Americans and be amazed at how many have a completely false picture of that war and ask yourself again about countries that whitewash their own history and turn their own citizens into mindless zombies with the historical awareness of cockroaches.

      • Kint

        You’re wrong – you won’t find many people in positions of power in American denies that slavery happened. We learned about the My Lai massacre in our high school history books. We generally encourage honest debate about our history. Of course there are extremists, but you won’t find the official position of the US to be denying that slavery or My Lai occurred. Also, China is not a democracy like the US, Germany, or Japan. China is a authoritarian dictatorship, and its people do not enjoy the freedoms that people in a modern democracy like the US or Japan does. If you think that China is no better than Japan in that point, do you accept that Japan is no better than a authoritarian dictatorship that continuously violates human rights like China?

      • tisho

        Read my comment again, i said ”not only denies, but whitewashes it all together”. That would be the equivalent of Germany not only denying the holocaust, but teaching their kids that Israel created this false story of the holocaust, and that there were no holocaust, and in fact, Germany helped modernized the rest of Europe, in particular Poland, and that German troops helped make Jews civilized and so on. It is one thing to deny something, it is another to not only deny it, but try to create your own story and claim that you actually helped them and what not. I don’t know what is the Chinese gov. denying, but at least they are not trying to whitewash it, they don’t claim false things and make up stories, and furthermore, they don’t claim to be democratic either, they admit they are communist and they admit they have a propaganda department, Japan on the other hand claims its democracy while in reality does the exact opposite of that. And if you’re going to complain about UNESCO, then why don’t you complain about the Japan’s effort to document that island that were used for Korean slave laborers? Wasn’t that politicized? And what about these lunatics the kamikazes? Wasn’t that politicized too? I don’t hear you complain about it. And i don’t know which war in SE Asia are you referring to, but i can guarantee you that most Americans will have no problem accepting the history of their own country, the killings of the native Americans is taught at schools, unlike the killings of the Ainu people. In fact, i believe you don’t even need to provide any evidence to most Americans, they will just accept whatever you have to say without questioning it.

      • CaptainAsia

        Like China denies the mass murder of Tibetans?

    • Kint

      You’re right – except that Germany won’t deny that the Holocaust happened. Also, the US doesn’t deny that slavery occurred. Japan is a modern, democracy – are you implying that modern Japan is like China, which at the very least is an undemocratic authoritarian dictatorship, who has committed many human rights abuses? What Japan is doing is antithetical to being a modern democracy. And the issue here isn’t China or the Soviet Union – it is Japan.

      • Willy

        But where is the fairness in all this when only Hitler and Hiroshi to are demonized while Stalin and Mao who both killed many more people get adored?

        In order to be credible, one has to be fair. If not, anyone risks being demonized, because nobody is perfect.

        It would be like throwing the book at a Jay walker while ignoring a hit and run drunk driver who blew a red light.

      • Kint

        I agree that Mao is not to be adored, and neither is Stalin, but I don’t know if that is relevant to the topic at hand. Mao and Stalin is not the issue – the issue at this moment is why can’t a so-called democracy like Japan admit to historical facts? I mean, if you want to bring up grievances, we can go down the list, from how My Lai wasn’t adequately prosecuted. The issue is why can’t Japan come clean with its past? Also, your comparison is not apt – jay walking is a almost a discretionary offense – it wouldn’t be wrong for an police officer to let a jay walker off with a warning. A war crime is a very serious criminal offense.

      • Willy

        Of course, it is not reasonable to expect all war crimes to be prosecuted. Mai Lai or any of the other atrocities committed by USA are nothing compared to those committed by the Germans and Japanese in WW2, which deserve rigorous prosecution.

        But selective prosecution of German and Japanese war crimes while ignoring even bigger war crimes by the Soviet and Chinese commies detracts from the legitimacy of UNESCO, which has a history of pro communist bias.

        Prosecution should always start with the big fish in order to be legitimate.

      • Emjay

        5 million people in Laos Cambodia and Vietnam were killed in the atrocity that Americans call the Vietnam War. My Lai is just a screen used to cover up the fact that the whole war was criminally prosecuted and that simple yet astounding fact never gets admitted to by the American government not the brainwashed citizens that continue to fund its racist war machine.

        If we are going to seriously engage the issue of governments failing to own up to their failings, lets not pretend that Japan is unique.

      • Willy

        As I said… prosecution should start with the big fish in order to be legitimate. And in our time, Stalin and Mao are the biggest war criminals in terms of people killed. Any prosecution that does not start with them is illegitimate.

        Yes, the Nanking massacre did happen. Yes, the Japanese are guilty of war crimes. But its selective prosecution by a pro-communist organization is illegitimate.

      • Willy

        Of course, it is not reasonable to expect all war crimes to be prosecuted. Mai Lai or any of the other atrocities committed by USA are nothing compared to those committed by the Germans and Japanese in WW2, which deserve rigorous prosecution.

        But selective prosecution of German and Japanese war crimes while ignoring even bigger war crimes by the Soviet and Chinese commies detracts from the legitimacy of UNESCO, which has a history of pro communist bias.

        Prosecution should always start with the big fish in order to be legitimate.

      • Emjay

        “The issue is why can’t Japan come clean with its past?”

        And the answer is: for the same reasons that neither the US nor China come clean with their pasts.

        What is so difficult to understand about that?

        In my opinion, the issue really is Why is Japan singled out in this way where China and the US basically get a pass?

      • Kint

        Your opinion is wrong. I learned about the atrocities of My Lai and Agent Orange in history books in school in the US. Very few people deny that these atrocities occurred. It’s not true that the US hasn’t come clean with its past – the US absolutely does not get a pass. We debate American war crimes all the time in the US – no one is whitewashing what the US did.

      • Emjay

        And amazing as it may seem to you, I have sat in classrooms and in my home discussing the Nanjing Massacre with a number of Japanese people, some who knew next nothing about it and others, especially those from Hiroshima, who knew as much as I did. Japanese historians have debated the numbers and other aspects of the atrocity for a long time. It is simply not true to suggest that the Japanese are brainwashed or that Japan denies this ever happened.

        And neither is it true that the real atrocities of the Vietnam war are taught in American classrooms. As I have said a number of times and which keep being censored by this website, My Lai was and is a screen behind which the real atrocity is hidden.

        When Iris Chang published her deeply flawed book on the massacre, debate raged in Japan, and not just among historians and other concerned academics.

        And just as happens in the US, most people preferred to turn away from the vicious realities and adopt a sanitized version that would allow them to nod at the crime and pass on.

      • Kint

        You’re wrong that the real atrocities of the Vietnam War aren’t being taught. The atrocities of Vietnam has permeated our culture, with movies like Platoon. You’re wrong that most people want to adopt a sanitized version of reality her – why do you think a movie like “12 Years a Slave” was so popular? It is an unflinching look at an American sin. A strong nation admits its faults and is able to self criticize, and then moves on, instead of continuously trying to revise history. It may be true that Japanese historians have debated Nanking, but it’s also true that the Japanese Ministry of Education has been involved in downplaying, whitewashing, and toning down textbooks describing what Japan did in WW2.

      • Emjay

        Kint: It is clear that you love your country and you believe all of the myths that your country promotes as a kind of “truth”.

        One of the first comments in this thread was about trying to talk to a Japanese man about Nanjing. The poster said it was like talking to a wall.

        One wall is very much like another I guess.

      • Kint

        Frankly, I don’t know what you mean when you say the “real atrocity” that is being censored. I can’t debate you if you talk in generals – I’ve given you specifics, and you can’t refute what I say. It’s not so much that I love my country – it is that I can admit that my country has committed sin, and I would not want our textbooks to be censored. You fail to understand my point – this is not about patriotism. It is the ability to self-criticize and admit fault. I have admitted everything you’ve said is true, and have gone further. I’ve said to this day, My Lai wasn’t adequately prosecuted. I’ve stated facts that you haven’t refuted, including the fact that Japan has revised their textbooks to downplay the atrocities committed in WW2. Why don’t you address that fact? Why don’t you actually state your facts instead of making accusations without facts.

      • Emjay

        Last comment here. Talking to walls is not a worthwhile activity.

        You keep mentioning My Lai. As I have said repeatedly, My Lai is exactly the Big Lie that is used to cover the dozens of My Lais and the hundreds, probably thousands, of Calleys.

        The “atrocity” at My Lai was nothing more or less than US policy at the time. Millions of people were slaughtered in a needless war that everyone involved knew was pointless.

        The fact that there were countless My Lais is the real atrocity. The fact that millions died and a country devastated for internal political reasons relating only to US elections is the real atrocity.

        People in general in the US, just as in Japan, remain ignorant of the reality of what their country did.

        Unlike the Japanese, who have apologized a number of times and admitted to the atrocity at Nanjing, the US government has apologized for not one death in SE Asia and continues to kill civilians and devastate countries in the name of what you laughingly call freedom.

      • Emjay

        Kint: It is clear that you love your country and you believe all of the myths that your country promotes as a kind of “truth”.

        One of the first comments in this thread was about trying to talk to a Japanese man about Nanjing. The poster said it was like talking to a wall.

        One wall is very much like another I guess.

      • Kint

        Also, I’ve already established the China is a authoritarian dictatorship that continuously violates human rights. The Chinese do not enjoy the freedoms we enjoy in modern democracies. China also does not get a pass. So are you saying that Japan is like China?

      • Kint

        Also, I’ve already established the China is a authoritarian dictatorship that continuously violates human rights. The Chinese do not enjoy the freedoms we enjoy in modern democracies. China also does not get a pass. So are you saying that Japan is like China?

  • Willy

    The Nanking massacre did indeed happen. But to be fair… the Nazis and the Japanese were not the only bad guys in their time. Stalin and Mao each killed more of their own people than those who died in WW2. But nobody ever mentions that.

    In fact when I point it out to many Chinese, their reaction is that Mao’s victims were his own people, so they don’t mind. But they cannot accept that foreigners come in and kill Chinese.

    I wish that Mao had been more successful in reducing China’s overpopulation problem. It would have helped with many of the world’s problems today.

  • Ahojanen

    China’s move is highly anticipated. But it may be good for Japan to cool down its passion for the World Heritage inscription. Don’t overvalue the UNESCO programme.

  • 99Pcent

    I do not doubt that a mass killing took place in Nanking but I do not believe the figures put out by the Commie Chinese Party. If unesco is going to document mass killings, then how about recording 1.5 million Tibetans killed by Chinese Communist government that is still in power. Come on lets be fair about this if we are going to go in this direction. Actually Tibetans and Uighurs are still dying under the hands of Chinese. How about Unesco documents the victims of the Tokyo fire bombings and the two atomic bombs???

    • tisho

      Ok, then UNESCO should also document the victims of the Korean massacre after the Great Kanto earthquake, and the killings of the Ainu people from Hokkaido, also the victims of the Kingdom of Ryukyu also known as Okinawa, also the victims of the Unit 731, the sex slaves from around Asia but mostly Korea, the victims of the Bataan death march, and don’t forget about the POWs that were killed too. Did i missed something? Oh yeah, UNESCO should also document the Chinese that were buried alive, and also the Shanghai bombings too.

      On a serious note, i think the biggest crime against humanity is brainwashing, for which the Japanese government wins the golden trophy.

    • xexex

      “Someone else did something bad so I can do it too!!”

    • xexex

      “Someone else did something bad so I can do it too!!”

  • xexex

    “Extremely regrettable”, eh? Japan sure loves to make fools of themselves. Unreal that they skill can’t accept the realities of what they did. Unbelievable that they can keep throwing these tantrums, seemingly without feeling any embarrassment.

  • Scott Durand

    Imagine, if Japan simply said, “sorry” for this and other immoral and inhumane practices during WWII.
    That would be the moment, Japan could start rebuilding relationships with many participants of WWII in the Pacific on a solid foundation, rather than continue to deny the actions of its citizens. However, totally acknowledging your mistakes takes true courage and long term vision, something that Japanese politicians and policy makers do not possess.
    It is arrogance beyond belief to think that the world will ever forget these atrocities, however we may be able to forgive, if true remorse was displayed.
    And I thought deep apologies for wrong doings were an intrinsic part of Japanese culture.

  • Robert Matsuda

    This UNESCO’s decision is a good opportunity for Japanese to learn how the world see the behaviors that the Imperial Japanese Army did in China during the world war Ⅱ. Japanese rightists have denied Nanjing Massacre on TV repeatedly.
    Though there are arguments on the number of the death, it is true that quite a
    few European and American historians believe Nanjing Massacre occurred.
    If Japanese continue to insist that there was no massacre in Nanjing, it is not easy for Japan to gain respects not only of Asian people but also of all over the world.

  • camnai

    The photograph accompanying this story in the print edition has a sculpture of a crying baby; this image is based on film footage taken, not at Nanjing, but a couple of months earlier in Shanghai, from the ‘Bloody Saturday’ bombing by the Japanese of that city only a few months after the more famous German-Italian-Spanish Nationalist attack on Guernica in Spain. Stills from the Shanghai footage show up in many collections of 20th century news photography. Having said that, the same footage was used about 20 years ago in a documentary by a well-known artist/musician to illustrate what she claimed as her childhood experience of the bombing of Tokyo.

    • Emjay

      Yes. And if some of the folks on here attacking Japan as some sort of unique abuser of historical truth could actually think for a minute about this, they might be able to calm down and simply admit that they have a thing about the Japanese.

  • Kint

    It’s staggering that after so many years, Japan still can’t come clean with its past. The Rape of Nanking did happen – it’s a historical fact. And the fact that as a modern democracy, Japan can’t come to terms with this is beyond troubling.

  • Nobu Tarou

    As a Japanese citizen born after WWII, I am ashamed what MOFA of Japan complained about UNESCO decision to inscribe China’s documents of Nanjin “incident” (generally referred to in Japan instead of “massacre”). I don’t know if the numbers 300,000 victims as claimed by China is incorrect, but it was true that the incident happed with so many victims. If Japanese government have a lot of guts really, PM Abe must declare the withdrawal from UNESCO membership and claims to retrieve amount of donations so far made to UNESCO at Internaltional Ccourt of Justice or something, its a true challange to justice under international law as PM Abe frequently favors to mention. Have we Japanese such a guts in this world? By the way, Japanese inmates imprisoned in Siberian labor camps have never happened if Japanese troops did not ivade Manchuria in nothern China.

    • Yuliya Turpakova

      And more than that, if Russian side wouldn`t be supportive in providing enormous amount of documents from its classified archives Japan may not have become able to state this fact as a fact with confirmed figures.

  • CaptainAsia

    Ha! China is one to talk. Shock and horror at Nanjing but look at Tibet! Over a million Tibetans massacred and not a word about it in Unesco. Look at how those Chinese vilify they Dalai lama who has no guns and weapons pointed at anyone. Evil Chinese Communist Party and its manipulation of truth to suit its own purpose and increase hate in the world. Poor Tibet.

    • disqus_Rv1GqOyTeN

      You are wrong. It is UNESCO’s decision. You must be one of those un-repant Japanese.

    • disqus_Rv1GqOyTeN

      You are wrong. It is UNESCO’s decision. You must be one of those un-repant Japanese.

  • ishyg

    Just come clean. I don’t get why they try to hide their past atrocities. It’s bringing more shame to them than just admitting it.

  • Celine R

    Real vs forged photos of Nanking, or “The Reason Why when the Japanese Left Nanking, Its Population Had increased”

    http://nipponaikoku.livejournal.com/686.html

    “In the fall of 1937, the Associated
    Press (AP) distributed this photo as a Japanese soldier using a Chinese
    national as a guinea pig for bayonet practice.(…) The January
    1939 issue of Lowdown, an American magazine, commented about
    these photos that this was in fact a communist Chinese officer torturing
    a Chinese prisoner.”

  • Celine R

    More proofs of the Fabrication of The Rape of Nanjing (Iris Chang)

    http://www.jiyuushikan.org/e/photo.html

    Caption in Iris Chang’s book
    : “Arson destroyed one-third of Nanking during the massacre… Japanese troops set fire to a house in the
    suburbs”

    This photo is a fake.
    This tank was not in existence at the time of the Battle of Nanking, which took place in December 1937.

    Nanking Incident Documents
    http://tamezou.tripod.com/nanking/index.html

    • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

      It’s OUR CALL, nothing to do with you.
      We have NO REASON to be TOLD what to do, or what not to do.
      We are ADULT HUMAN BEINGS as much as WESTERN PEOPLE ARE.
      We are the people who can HANDLE our own BUSINESS do you agree with that?
      Eh?
      So just step aside, no meddling further.
      This is OUR BUSINESS, not yours.
      N・O・T Y・O・U・R・S okay?

  • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

    It feels really shameful that our government is totally highjacked by those creepy cult members now.
    The massacre is one of the gravest, most horrible deeds that man kind has ever committed.
    It is one of the most painful history records that should be highlighted, always recalled of, especially in my country, where we new generations are at.
    While we are usually aware of how to pay respect to the victims of imperial Japan, and the people from the countries victimized, sadly, lately not enough in doing so.
    I never agree with the disgraceful revisionist bearing of our current administration, I definitely require them of being DISMISSED as soon as possible, and I am not the only Japanese who need them that.
    WE ARE THE VERY MAJORITY OF JAPAN, we call for peace and amicable relationship in the region, as east Asia is our common home, our sweet home, which has no other place to be compared to.