At a time when Japan is seeking the ultimate seal of legitimacy for
its current resurgence of Militarism : a permanent seat on the UN Security
Council, Japan with a history of aggression, crimes against Humanity, with
NO signs of remorse, is NOT worthy of occupying a seat on the UN Security Council !
U.N. Secretary General
This Biological Warfare is definitely the worst case of systematic biological massacre against Humanity committed by a country in our Human History.
"The fellow knew that it was over for him, and so he didn't struggle." recalled the old former medical assistant of a Japanese Army unit in China in World War II, "But when I picked up the scalpel that's when he began screaming. I cut him open from the chest to the stomach, and he screamed terribly, and his face was all twisted in agony. He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped." The former medical assistant who insisted on anonymity, explained the reason for the vivisection. The Chinese prisoner had been deliberately infected with the plague as part of a research project.
Imperial Japan's biological killing fields are a lost chapter of history that the full horror of which is only recently been exposed and understood in all its enormity.
Japan set up Headquarters of Unit 731 in Ping Fan near Harbin and Unit 100 in ChangChun, and Mukden, now called SunYang, in China to develop plague bombs for use in WWII. The base was disguised as Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Unit. After infecting him, the researchers decided to cut him open alive, tear him apart, organ by organ, to see what the disease does to a man's inside. Often no anesthetic was used, he said, out of concern that it might have an effect on the results.
From July 1993 to Dec. 1994, the "Unit 731 Exhibition" toured Japan and presented at 61 locations over the course of one and half year. It had sent shockwaves throughout Japan. Hal Gold had collected many testimonies in his book "Unit 731: Testimony; Japan's Wartime Human Experimentation and the Post-War Cover-Up". One of the testimonies was provided by an aged former Japanese doctor Kurumizawa Masakuni.
The Chinese woman victim had regained her consciousness while being vivisected.
" She opened her eyes. "
" And then ? "
" She hollered. "
" What did she say ? "
Kurumizawa could not answer, then began weeping feebly and murmured,
" I don't want to think about it again. "
The interviewee apologized, waited a few seconds, and tried again for an answer.
He gave it though sobs.
" She said, " It's all right to kill me, but please spare my child's life. "
The research program was one of the great secrets of Japan during and after World War II : a vast project to develop weapons of biological warfare including following deadly diseases : bubonic plague, anthrax (including inhalation, skin and gastrointestinal types), smallpox, typhoid, paratyphoid A and B, tularemia, cholera, epidemic hemorrhagic fever, syphilis, aerosols, botulism, brucellosis, dysentery, tetanus, glanders, tuberculosis, yellow fever, typhus, tularemia, gas gangrene, scarlet fever, songo, diphtheria, brysipelas, selmonella, venereal diseases, infectious jaundice, undulant fever, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, tick encephalitis, plant diseases for crop destruction and a dozen other pathogens.
Unit 731 & Unit 100 were comprised of over 3,000 researchers and technicians. It was a gigantic research center focused on biological weapons - the world's most technically advanced at the time, used human as the guinea pigs, known as marutas (logs). The Japanese told the locals that the facilities were lumber mills.
More than 10,000 Chinese, Korean and Russian PoWs were slaughtered in these biological experiments.
The vivisection was routinely used for practicing various kinds of surgery says Dr. Ken Yuasa, a former Japanese doctor working in China during the War. First an appendectomy, then an amputation of an arm and finally a tracheotomy. When they finished practicing, they killed the victim with an injection.
Medical researchers also locked up diseased prisoners with healthy ones, to see how readily various ailments would spread. The doctors put others inside a pressure chamber to see how much the body can withstand before the eyes pop from their sockets.
To determine the treatment of frostbite, prisoners were taken outside in freezing weather and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water until frozen solid. The arm was later amputated, the doctors would repeat the process on the victim's upper arm to the shoulder. After both arms were gone, the doctors moved on to the legs until only a head and torso remained. The victim was then used for plague and pathogens experiments.
Victims were burned with flamethrowers, blown up with shrapnel, bombarded with lethal doses of X-ray, spun to death in centriguges, injected with animal blood, air bubbles, exposure to syphilis, surgical removal of stomachs with the esophagus then attached to the intestines, amputation of arms and reattachment on the opposite side, gassed to death in chambers .......
The doctors experimented on children and babies, even three-day-old baby measuring the temperature with a needle stuck inside the infant's middle finger to keep it straight to prevent the baby's hand clenching into a fist.
Victims were often taken to a proving ground called Anda, where they were tied to stakes and bombarded with test weapons to see how effective the new technologies were. Planes sprayed the zone with a plague culture or dropped bombs with plague-infected fleas to see how many people would die.
White-coated Japanese medics claiming to be from a government epidemic-prevention unit would arrive at villages unannounced, saying that they were there to implement hygiene measures or to administer vaccinations. After they left, the village would become sick.
The Japanese army regularly conducted "Field Tests". Planes dropped plague-infected fleas over Ningbo in eastern China and over Changde in north-central China. Japanese troops also dropped cholera and typhoid cultures in water reservoirs, wells and ponds.
Cottony material and feathers coated with anthrax bacteria were used to spread the disease in an airborne manner, as such fibers had been found to be effective in keeping the bacteria alive long enough to reach the intended human victims.
Witnesses recall watching Japanese airplanes dropping a mixture of wheat, millet, soy beans, rice, cotton fibers, paper and fabric cuttings, aerial spraying pathogens over the cities . They all had been coated with the biological organism or with fleas and brought the germs to people.
Japanese distributed infected food, cakes, drink, clothes and even children's candies to locals.
The same mass infections were being repeated all over China.
"Glanders was a disease first found in horses, and it could attack human beings," said Furmanski. Human beings' legs are most affected by the disease. "Only one out of 20 people with the disease could survive.
Medical records showed that glanders had long been wiped out in 1906, but new cases suddently broke out in the 1940s during WWII in China."
Even today, one hard-hit village in Zhejiang still bears the nickname "Rotten-Leg Village" because so many older residents are scarred by glanders from the 1942 attacks. Their flesh are still rotten and have not been healed since they were attacked - they have been suffering for almost 60 years now.
Sheldon H. Harris, a historian at California State University and author of the book, "Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare 1932-45 and the American Cover-up" stressed that "My calculation, which is very conservative, and based on incomplete sources as the major archives are still closed, is that 10,000 to 12,000 human beings were exterminated in lab experiments".
"Field Tests" were carried out all over China and Manchuria.
An in-depth study by Chinese and Japanese scholars have shown that at least 270,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed by Japanese germ warfare between 1933 - 1945.
Scholars also believe that the toll from Japanese-seeded cholera epidemics in the southern province of Yunnan alone may reach the staggering figure of 200,000 killed.
As the war was ending, Japanese purposely released all the plague-infected animals. The Northeastern China immediately became a disaster area and caused outbreaks of plague that killed at least another 30,000 people from 1946 - 1948.
These crimes are more than parallel to the coeval work of Joseph Mengele and the Nazi doctors.
Japanese military scientists killed 12 times the number of civilians as did the Nazis Angel of Death, Dr Josef Mengele.
The research was kept secret after the war in part because the U.S. granted immunity from war crimes prosecution to the Japanese doctors in exchange for their data and helped covering up the human experiment - An act utterly ignoring internattional laws and against Humanity.
U.S. itself in 1943 also set up a major Biological Warfare program at Camp Detrick, now Fort Detrick, in Frederic, MD. Instead of putting the ringleaders on trial, U.S. gave them stipends to gain some advantages in the mass destruction Biological Weapon.
On Aug. 13, 1985, British Independent Televison broadcast a documentary "Unit 731 - Did the Emperor Know ? ". It was producted by Peter Williams and David Wallace after years research, hinted broadly that Emperor Hirohito was aware of the human experiments. There was also an interview with retired Lt. Col. Murray Sanders, the first US investigator into Uint 731. Sanders claimed that Gen. Douglas MacArthur authorized him to make a deal with the Japanese if they cooperated with US Biological Warfare scientists.
The producers even sent a copy of the documentary film to the Japanese officials in London.
William and Wallace also published the book "Unit 731: The Japanese Army's Secret of Secrets". For some reason, a chapter was omitted from the American edition. The chapter was titled "Korean War". They examined evidences from the International Scientific Commission for the Facts Concerning Bacterial Warfare in Korea and supported the theory of US-Japanese culpability of using Unit 731's techniques in Korea War.
The same controversial conclusion was also reached by Professor Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman, author of their 1998 book "The United States and Biological Warfare", that "United States had an operational biological weapons system, and that it was employed in the Korean War."
NGO The Sunshine Project has discovered that even today US is still actively developing Biological and Chemical Weapon. A case will be taken to UN.
Takai Matsumura, Japanese historian and economist at Tokyo's Keio University, said germ warfare experiments were also conducted in at least 10 other cities in China, including Hailar (unit 2646/unit 80), Harbin (unit 731), ChangChun (unit 100), SunYang (unit 100), Beijing (unit 1855), Nanjing (Tama unit 1644), Shanghai and Guangzhou (Nami unit 8604), as well as Singapore (Oka unit 9420), Burma, Rangoon, Bangkok, possibly in Manila, East Indies.
There were 26 known Japan's killing laboratories in China.
U.S. silence on this issue has allowed the Japanese Government to maintain the fiction that there is not enough evidence to prove that the Chinese are telling the truth. When Japanese journalists and academics have stumbled over crucial validating evidence in government archives, the material has been confiscated and re-classified.
When neither the Japanese Government nor the U.S. was prepared to admit to either the crimes or cover-up, a small group of conscientious Japanese human rights activists, doctors, lawyers and former soldiers formed an unprecedented alliance with the Chinese.
Senior Japanese lawyers are acting for the Chinese, among them Tsuchiya Koken, the former president of the Japanese Lawyers Association. Few old Japanese soldiers who worked on the biological warfare programme have also come forward to give evidence. Their stance exposes themselves to abuse at home and accusations from ultra-nationalists that they are traitors.
"The brutality my parents generation committed in the name of war has to be resolved and addressed by my generation." said Keichiro Ichinose, one of the lawyers.
In June 1996, they formed the Association to Reveal the Historical Fact of Germ Warfare by the Japanese Armed Forces.
In 1997, 108 survivors and family members, including Wu Shi-Gen, filed a lawsuit against the Japanese Government demanding apology and 10 million yen compensation per victim of biological weapons and acts of brutality carried out by Japan's notorious Unit 731 and Unit 164. The thousands of victims included 2,100 civilians, whose personal details have been verified in China.
In October 1940, Japanese warplanes that had passed over Wu Shi-Gen's village in Quzhou, southern China, but the bombs dropped did not explode. From them poured a mixture of rice and wheat covered with fleas. Few days later, many villagers were struck down by sickness. His nine year old brother had bubonic plague.
It is an agonising disease glands swell to the size of grapefruit, limbs fill with fluid and whole areas of flesh turn deep purple. Eventually, victims die screaming. The plague killed his two-year-old sister, too.
Ms. Wang Xuan is called by some as "The Joan of Arc of China". She used to live in rural village called Yiwu on China's east coast. She shows visitors the Tragedy Pavilion which lists 1,500 plague victims, and describes how Unit 731 dropped plague-infected fleas from aircraft and killed 20 villagers a day at one point in 1942. She then leads visitors through the gray-brick Buddhist temple where the Japanese performed autopsies to gauge the impact of their biological tests.
Ms. Wang has assembled 180 Chinese victims and is now suing Japan, charging that Japan had spread bubonic plague and other diseases in China during WWII.
Eisuke Matsui, Japanese Professor of radiology at Gifu University school of Medicine, said he was compelled to uncover Japan's germ warfare in order to educate the young generation of Japan.
However, Toshimi Mizobuchi, a 76 year old real estate manager living outside the Japanese city of Kobe. He makes no secret of his years as a training officer with Unit 731. He also participated in July 1945, in training kamikaze pilots for Operation Cherry Blossoms, a military plan to use five submarines, each carrying few small aircraft to the California coast where they would attack San Diego with "plague bombs" full of infected fleas.
"They were logs to me," said Mizobuchi, "Logs were not considered to be human. They were either spies or conspirators." As such, he said, "they were already dead. So now they die a second time. We just executed a death sentence." He said reunion for the several hundred surviving veterans of Unit 731 was held almost every year. He is organizing this year's reunion.
As the war was ending, Japan waited and intended to use plague germs if American had landed on Okinawa. Ironically, Okinawans themselves never knew the plan until Jan. 1994 when the Unit 731 Exhibition opened there. Ito Kageaki recalled, "Okinawa could be thrown away if Japan could gain some military advantage." One local said, "This makes the sacrifices in the Okinawa battle even more pitiful."
Back in China, "After 60 years, we are still finding positive antibodies of bubonic plague in rats, dogs, cats and other animals. Every year a certain number of healthy people develop typhoid. Japan's germ warfare has left behind problems that still threaten our lives." said Qiu, a Chinese doctor.
Fears of another outbreak still haunt the Chinese cities.
This Chemical Warfare is definitely the worst case of systematic chemical massacre against Humanity committed by a country in our Human History.
Japan refused to acknowledge formally that chemical weapon were used, despite the discovery of huge quantity left behind.
Only in November 1995, after US declassified documents pertaining to the weapons, did the Japanese government admit that it had used "lethal gases". according to a report in 2001 by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
During the final weeks of WWII, Japanese lmperial Army truckloaded thousands of Chemical Weapons, including mustard gas and another lethal toxin and dumped them into the Nen River, northeast China. The dumping was part of a secret campaign to erase evidence of Japan's Chemical War against China.
Only recently the Japanese government begun to admit to their work on these weapons of mass destruction by Unit 516, Japan's top-secret Chemical Weapons research facility in Qiqihar, China.
On Aug. 12, 1945 former soldier Masaji Takahashi, now a 77-year-old retired barber, supervised the disposal of chemicals in the Nen, River. The order, recalled Takahashi in 1998, "was to throw them from the bridge." into Nen River.
In 1929, in defiance of the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning chemical weapons, Japan seceretly began building a production facility so secret that its location, Okunoshima Island in Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture, was erased from unclassified Japanese maps. Dubbed "Island of Great Hardships".
The facility had 6,000 workers and produced toxins 1,200 tons annually for 7.5 million weapons. Gases were also injected into shells and bomb casings at the Sone Armory in Fukuoka Prefecture; and the navy's chemical weapons plant was located in Samukawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Yoshiaki Yoshimi, professor of modern and contemporary Japanese history at Chuo University, based on the incomplete declassified U.S. Army documents at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and a six-volume intelligence report on Japanese chemical warfare, compiled by the General Headquarters of the U.S. Army Forces Pacific in May 1946, he has estimated Japan had produced 1,646,326 units of chemical weapons from 1938 through 1943.
In 1931 the "Hardships" spread to China. Japan invaded Manchuria, a resource-rich industrial region, and established Unit 516 staffed with 3,000 personnel in Qiqihar to develop and test a modern chemical arsenal. The facility perfected a variety of chemical weapons, from deadly smoke "candles" to chemical grenades, mortars and heavy artillery - all manufactured with Okunoshima's poisons.
Japanese troops used these chemical weapons almost from the day they started full invasion in China 1937. They launched 375 separate chemical attacks in a four-month campaign to conquer Wuhan.
Benjamin C. Garrett, one of the world's leading experts in Chemical Weapons, has visited China. He has found 6 types of gases the Japanese used in Chemical Weapons against Chinese:
|3.||Bromobenzyl Cyanide and Chloroacetophenon|
|4.||Diphenyl-cyanoarsine and Diphenylchloroarsine|
|6.||Sulfur Mustard and Lewisite|
It was estimated that Japan, during its 14 years invasion in China, had used chemical weapons in more than 2,000 battles and caused great casualties.
After the war, China began gathering abandoned chemical weapons and burying them in remote Dunhua County. In Haerbaling, Jilin province, there are 2 large pits, interred a vast stockpile of munitions: 670,000 artillery and mortar shells, smoke canisters, huge drums of chemicals.
It is now Asia's most dangerous dump. The two massive pits contain more than half a million munitions shells. Experts warned that an accidental explosion in Dunhua would kill everything, even grass, within a 200 kilometer radius.
Chemical ordnance in varying amounts has been found in at least a dozen other provinces (Jilin, Sangdon, Hebei, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangsu etc.), Chinese officials say.
It has been estimated that 700,000 - 2,000,000 Chemical Bombs most of them loaded with mustard gas and many of them corroded and leaking, are still scattered in China.
Japan has an obligation to remove these weapons within 10 years, under the terms of the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which came into effect in April 1997.
OPCW reaffirmed in May 2000 that it held Japan responsible for destroying all these abandoned deadly chemical weapons.
The chemical warheads have continued to injure and kill, harming as many as 2,000 Chinese and damaging the environment. The rotten chemicals leaked from these munitions are continuing to pollute people's health, rivers and underground waters.
China is now home to the world's largest chemical weapons cleanup campaign for 700,000 - 2,000,000 chemical warheads.
"This is something that has been done before, but not on that scale," said Abu Talib, a chemical weapons expert from Mitretek Systems in Falls Church, Va. in U.S., "Most of the chemical weapons around the world, you're talking hundreds and thousands -- not such a huge pile."
Whether such a monumental task can be completed by 2007, the deadline
imposed by the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, remains to be seen.
Japan also setup Opium Monopoly Bureau in China during war, used opiates to weaken Chinese resistance, and deliberately fostered drug addiction in the occupied areas of China.
To encourage addiction and further enslave the people, Japanese routinely used narcotics as payment for the labor. Heroin cigarettes were offered to children as young as ten. History professor Minser Searle Bates concluded that in Nanjing alone about 50,000 people, 1/8 of the city population were using heroin.
The huge profit from the additive drug was used to finance Japanese war machine with the creation of millions of Chinese drug addicts.
The Nanjing Massacre is one of the worst cases of systematic massacre of civilian against Humanity committed by a country in our modern History.
After losing the 2 infamous Opium War to Britain (For details, click Hong Kong - From Opium War to 1997 and Beyond) in 1841 and 1856, the Opium drug caused a disastrous outflow of China's wealth.
China, a rich country greatly admired by Marco Polo, quickly became a poor country and started to disintegrate.
By the early of this century, China was long since carved into leased colonial chunks belonging to Britain, France, U.S., Russia, Germany, other European countries, and then came the Japan.
Foreign powers introduced a whole century of humiliation and many humiliating Unequal Treaties (more than 1,100 treaties) onto China. China had become a semi-colony country.
China was not freed from this Unequal Treaty System and the addictive Opium drug until 1943.
The Meiji Restoration had successfully changed Japan from a feudal state to a modern state. Unfortunately, it also transformed Japan from a previous Western colonial victim to a Eastern colonial aggressor.
First, the Tenno government forcibly carried out the so-called "Ryukyu Disposal" and made it a colonial dependency under the name "Okinawa Prefecture".
The War of JiaWu began in July 1894 between China and Japan to assert influences over Korea.
The War of JiaWu ended with signing the Treaty of MaKwan (Shimonoseki) on April 17, 1895. Defeated, China was forced to pay a phenomenal huge indemnity 231 million taels of silver in 1895, cession of Taiwan, the Pescadores and Liaotung peninsula etc .....
After annexation of Korea and with the phenomenal huge Chinese money, Japan's economic took off immediately and was soon ready for the WWII.
Most American think of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as the beginning of WWII. But in fact, a brutal war was already raging in China for years, and nowhere was it more brutal than in Nanking (Nanjing), China.
Sept. 18, 1931, Japan created the "Manchurian Incident" and resumed its invasion and occupied much of the Northeastern part of China.
Feb. 18, 1932, Japan declared Manchuria was to be independent from China as "Manchukuo" and set up a puppet state in the name of Puyi who was the last emperor of China.
July 7, 1937, when China was still engaging in its own Civil War, Japan fabricated the "China Incident - Marco Polo Bridge Incident" and launched its full scale invasion into China.
Japan claimed that it would take only 3 months for them to conquer the whole China. Yet, not only they had to spend 3 months just to capture Shanghai city, but also suffered great casualties.
Dec. 13, 1937, Nanjing, the capital of China during the war, finally fell to the Japanese.
Feeling humiliated for not capturing China within the 3 months, Japanese military force immediately systematically started murdering civilian in the Chinese capital under the "Kill all, Loot all, Burn all" military policy.
It was a well planned, full scale revenge designed to intimidate and crush the spirit of China. Japanese soldier began an orgy of cruelty seldom, if ever, matched in Human History.
Japanese soldiers under the direct command of Prince Asaka Yasuhiko, the uncle of Japanese Emperor Hirohito, looted all the precious Chinese gold and silver national treasures, ancient artifacts, jade, rugs, porcelain artwork, painting, antiques and books in the former Chinese capital, for transport to Japan.
In the next 6 to 8 weeks, Japan committed the infamous "Nanjing Datusha" or "Nanjing Massacre", or "Rape of Nanjing".
The brutalities included shooting, stabbing, cutting open the abdomen, excavating the heart, decapitation, drowning, punching the body and eye with an awl. Thousands of civilians were buried or burn alive, or used as targets for bayonet practice, shot in large groups and thrown into Yangtze River.
"Not only did live burials, castration, the carving of organs and the roasting of people become routine, but more diabolical tortures were practiced, such as hanging people by their tongues on iron hooks or burying people to their waists and watching them torn apart by dogs."
"Many soldiers went beyond rape to disembowel women, slice off their breasts, nail them alive to walls. Fathers were forced to rape their daughters, and sons their mothers, as other family members watched."
"The manner in which these victims met their death was extremely cruel and diverse, so ghastly in fact that it made Auschwitz gas chamber appear humane."
Japanese invented games of rape and torture, turned murder into sport.
Soldiers competed in "Bushido" - KILLING CONTEST and sent the number of murders back to Nichi-Nichi Shimbun national newspaper in Japan to publish.
"I have never been to hell, but there is a hell, it was in this city," reporter for the Tokyo Times told the killing in Nanjing.
"At one time, after Nanking was captured, more than 30,000 Chinese were driven to the foot of the city wall. Machine guns then swept the crowd and grenades were thrown from atop the wall. The 30,000 people were all killed, most of them were women, children, and elderly." reported Tokyo Asahi Shimbun correspondent Yoshio Moriyama on December 14, 1937.
"Those in the second row were forced to dump the severed bodies into the river before they themselves were beheaded," The Japanese military correspondent, Yukio Omata, wrote, "The killing went on non-stop from morning until night ........".
Masatake Okumiya, now 89 was a former Imperial navy pilot. After having taken part in the Dec. 12 bombing and sinking of the USS Panay in the Yangtze River, Okumiya traveled in a chauffeur driven car for several days with an interpreter and a bodyguard to search for downed Japanese aircraft and the bodies and belongings of pilots killed during air raids over the city. "I believe that no other people went around inside and outside the walled city, combing the area like me at that time," Okumiya said.
He remembers a scene at Lake Xuanwu on Dec. 25. "There I saw numerous bodies in the lake and on its shore. They were so many that I could not count them. They were both young and old, and both men and women," Okumiya told The Japan Times. "The Chinese were bound with their hands behind their backs. About 20 soldiers were beheading the Chinese with their Japanese swords, the beheading task successively taken over by other groups of soldiers. The Chinese were forced to sit on the square so their heads would drop into the river..... The execution was like assembly line work. Some people say that in Nanjing, there were no organized or systematic killings by the Japanese army. But what I saw was nothing other than organized and systematic killings."
A December 15, 1937 entry to the diary of a Japanese soldier in the 23rd Regiment of the 18th Division, published in Tokyo Asahi Shimbun on August 4, 1984: "When we were bored, we had some fun killing Chinese. Buried them alive, or push them into a fire, or beat them toWhen we were bored, we had some fun killing Chinese. Buried them alive, or push them into a fire, or beat them to death with clubs, or kill them by other cruel means."
"Once you've killed your second or third, you stop thinking about it,'' Yasuji Kaneko describes how he grew numb to slaughter after bayonet drills using live Chinese prisoners tied to stakes.
"It was ultimately about competition," another interviewed veteran describes throwing babies onto camp fires just for laughs, "how many you killed becomes a standard of achievement."
Former Japanese sergeant major, Masayo Enomoto, says he became so inured to murder that he thought nothing of chopping up a rape victim, cooking her flesh and serving it to his hungry troops.
"Some Japanese soldiers who were hungry had killed the 16 years old Chinese boy and eaten some of his meat and sold the rest to the merchant, and we bought it from that merchant," Shinzaburo Horie said. The 79 year old former Japanese soldier trembled as he excavated his war memories. "I can't forget the fact that I ate a human being," "We should absolutely apologize to China and Korea," Horie said without hesitation. "Absolutely."
"Soldiers impaled babies on bayonets and tossed them still alive into pots of boiling water," Nagatomi said with deepest remorse. He is a doctor in Japan and has built a shrine of remorse in his waiting room. "They gang-raped women from the ages of 12 to 80 and then killed them when they could no longer satisfy sexual requirements. I beheaded people, starved them to death, burned them, and buried them alive, over two hundred in all. It is terrible that I could turn into an animal and do these things. There are really no words to explain what I was doing. I was truly a devil."
Teruichi Ukita, now 71 years old served in China in the Japanese kenpeitai, the dreaded military police, said in a tremulous voice, "It was when I had two daughters myself, I started to realize what I had done."
He was captured by Russians at the end of the war and sent to Siberia. It was when he saw fellow Japanese being killed, he said, that he belatedly realized the universal value of human life. "Watching Chinese being killed, I had no emotions," Ukita said. "It was like a game. But when I saw Japanese being executed in Siberia for stealing things, I got so angry and emotional."
Witnessed the atrocities, Reverend John Magee used his camera and recorded the Massacre in a 16mm film. It is believed to be the only documentary about this infamous massacre. He was an Episcopal pastor in charge of the so-called Nanjing International Safety Zone created when Japanese army captured Nanjing in 1937.
Angry at the Japanese atrocities, German diplomat Mr. George Rosen sent a copy of Magee's film to the Nazi government. He also included a long report which claimed that the whole Japanese army was a "Violent Killing Machine". In it, he requested that the film be shown to Hitler.
Chinese and Japanese scholars were aware of the film but were unable to locate it. Japanese then said that since there was no proof, the Nanjing Massacre never occurred.
When the German Archive at Botsdam was opened in 1990 after collapsing of the Berlin Wall, the Rosen report surfaced.
After a long search, the four rolls of the film and the diaries were finally found in Yale University Library and in the house of Mr. David Magee, Reverend Magee's son.
According to Magee's dairy, he could only record a very small part of what he witnessed since he was too busy to save lives.
John H. Rabe, top representative of Siemens company, was also the chairman of International Safety Zone ( 2.5 square mile ), recorded this unspeakable Japanese atrocities in his 2,117 pages Diary of War.
Like Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who protected Jews, Mr. Rabe and few other western foreigners risked their life and helped to save 250,000 Chinese refugees from being killed. Chinese called him "The living Budda of Nanking".
When the people of Nanjing learned that he was near starvation in postwar Berlin, they immediately collected equivalent US $2,000 in 1948 and the city mayor of Nanking even flew to Switzerland to deliver money and food to Mr. Rabe. They kept sending food every month until China fell to communists in 1949.
As the leader of local Nazi Party and Safety Zone Chairman in Nanjing, Rabe wrote a letter to Hitler about the Japanese War Crimes and asked Hitler to persuade Japan to stop the atrocities.
On Dec. 12, 1996, Ursula Reinhardt, his granddaughter from Berlin, showed the 8 volumes of diary the very first time to the public in New York. It was the Sunnyvale writer Iris Chang author of The Rape of Nanking - The Forgotten Holocaust of WWII, brought the attention of the whole world to this diary.
The English version of his complete diaries of war, is available The Good Man of Nanking - The Diaries of John Rabe
In April 1997, Mr. Rabe's tombstone was moved from Berlin and rested in the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre, Nanjing, China.
"This escapades were quite dangerous," Mr. Rabe wrote in his diary. "The Japanese had pistols and bayonets and I -- as mentioned before -- had only party symbols and my Swastika armband." He also wrote about the retreating Chinese troops, "I then had a humanitarian impulse that I later came to regret .... I advise them that they should drop their weapons and let me take them to the barracks in the safety zone .... I hope these disarmed troops would face no worse fate than being taken prisoner by the Japanese .... every one of these disarmed troops, and thousands more later seeking refuge in the safety zone, were singled out .... and immediately taken to be executed. Thousands and thousands were executed by machine gun fire or hand grenades ........"
George A. Fitch was the head of the YMCA, director of Safty Zone and acting Mayor in Nanjing during war. He had also smuggled out the Magee footage. In his book "My Eighty Years in China", he wrote on Dec. 24, 1937 the following diary entry:
"But to have to stand by while even the very poor are having their last possessions taken from them - their last coin, their last bit of bedding (and it is freezing weather), the poor ricksha man his ricksha; while thousands of disarmed soldiers who had sought sactuary with you, together with may hundreds of innocent civilians are taken out before your eyes to be shot, or used for bayonet practice, and to listen to the sound of the guns that are killing them; to have over a thousand women kneel before you crying hysterically, begging you to save them from the beasts who are preying on them ........ To commit acts of unbelievable brutality and savagery on the very people they have come to protect and befriend, as they have so loudly proclaimed to the world. In all modern history surely there is no page that will stand so black as that of the Rape of Nanjing. ........"
Minnie Vautrin, was an American missionary from a little town of Michigan. As dean of studies at Ginling College in Nanking. She shielded the desperate Chinese who sought asylum behind the gates of the college. In unswerving defiance of the Japanese, she turned Ginling into a sanctuary for 10,000 women and girls, who honored her as their "Goddess of Mercy", a "Living Goddess".
When the Japanese soldiers ordered Minnie to leave the campus, she replied: "This is my home. I cannot leave." She spent 21 years of invaluable service as teacher, education department chair and acting president of Ginling. Minnie saved thousands of Chinese through heroic acts but becoming too traumatized to save her own life.
Her tombstone bears the words "Ginling Forever".
A book based on her diary, maintained during the entire siege, correspondences, eyewitness, government documents, and interviews with Vautrin's family is available American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin.
Brackman, a reporter at the Tokyo Trial commented "The Nanjing Massacre was not the kind of isolated incident common to wars. It was deliberate. It was policy. It was known in Tokyo."
"In terms of measures and cruelty of the genocide, its duration and large numbers of people killed," says professor of history of Southern Illinois University "Neither Hiroshima nor Jewish Holocaust can rival the Nanjing Massacre."
"The manner in which these victims met their death was extremely cruel and diverse, so ghastly in fact that it made Auschwitz gas chamber appear humane."
The international community estimated that more than 300,000 Chinese were killed, and 20,000 - 80,000 women were raped within 6 - 8 weeks of continuous Rape and Massacre.
The International Military Tribunal of the Far East (IMTFE) estimated approx. 260,000 were slaughtered in cold blood (Source: Document no. 1702, box 134, IMTFE records, court exhibits, 1948).
Note - the number does NOT even include the bodies burned, dumped or buried by the Japanese Army. Many experts believe the figure was more likely to be over 350,000 in Nanjing and its surrounding areas.
That is far more people than were killed by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined (210,000 compared to Nanjing Massacre 300,000).
This is more civilian deaths in one Chinese city than the total civilian causalties of some European countries in entire war.
On the third day of Japanese occupation of Singapore, the Japanese General ordered all those Chinese, age from 18 to 55, who fought against the Japanese invading force to be interned and then were truck away and never to be heard from since. It was reported in the Japan East Asia Annual published in 1942, that over 70,000 anti-Japanese Chinese in Singapore were interned and killed eventually. A Monument was built and dedicated on February 15, 1967 by then Premier Lee Kwonyu. It should be of no surprise that many similar Japanese atrocities occurred elsewhere in thoughout South East Asia.
Yet Japan often said that Japan's aim in World War II was simply to liberate Asia from Western colonialism and project themselves as the victims instead of perpetrators of World War II because atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ignoring all the facts that Nanjing Massacare, infamous Unit 731, Unit 100, Unit 516 were the most horrific chapters against Humanity in the 20th century.
Japan is responsible for the casualties of 20 - 35 million Chinese during the 14 years of invasion,
Not to mention large numbers of Korean (9 million), Indonesia (4 million), Vietnam (2 million), India (1.5 million), Filipine (1 million), and other Asian countries Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Singapore ..........
It was a worst Holocaust against Humanity committed by Japan in WWII and NOT yet confessed.
The military Sexual Slavery is definitely the worst case of systematic violation of women rights against Humanity committed by a country in our modern History.
In 1980s, the outcry of the former sex slaves started capturing the world wide attention, and slowly has gained the wide international support.
In the beginning, Japanese government refused to admit any involvement of the state, as illustrated by Japan's position stated in the house of councilor's Budget Committee Session of June 1990 that "Comfort Women" were recruited by private sector operators.
In 1992, Professor Yoshiaki Yashimi of Chuo University unearthed document from archives of Japanese Armyed Forces proving the involvement of military authorities.
Then, the Japanese government changed a bit but continues to deny by saying that the women were not forcibly recruited.
The lawsuits filed by South Korea women including Ms. Kim Hak Sun have finally shed some light to this worst case against women's human rights in this century.
Japan did not even admit to the Sexual Salvery until 1993.
The Japan's first wartime "Facility for Sexual Comfort" was opened in Nanjing in 1938. Thousands Chinese, Korean women were forced into sexual slavery. In Shanghai alone, the Japanese military set up 90 sex stations, with about 500 women serving soldiers at each station.
Used the sex slaves, Japanese army extorted large sums of money from the women's families in exchange for their release.
Research has shown that the previous estimated 200,000 by U.N. did not take into account of China, because China came into the research picture much later than its Asian neighbors. In Shanghai alone, the Japanese military set up 90 sex stations, with about 500 women serving soldiers at each station. The actual number of sex slaves should be closer to 400,000.
Of the approx. 400,000 sex slaves, only 10 % lived through the ordeal and just about 500 are believed alive today. They were forced to serve up to 40 men a day.
No one knows the true figure. Many have concealed their past, considering it too shameful.
In Feb. 1992, the "comfort women" issue was first taken up at the United Nations by attorney Etsuro Totsuka at the commission of Human Rights adopted a resolution criticizing all form of violence against women in war situation.
In Nov. 1992, the International Commission of Jurists recommended that the Japanese Government should pay state compensation of US $20,000 to each of the victims for their physical and emotional damages. The Japanese government insisted that the recommendation from UN do not imply any legal binding, therefore, the Japan has no obligation to comply with them.
In Aug. 1994, Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama annonunced a project for "Peace and Friendship Exchanges" tried to solve this issue. The proposal was criticized both at home and aboard that Japan is not taking its responsibility of state compensation to the victims.
In July. 1995, Japanese government established a private sector fund called "Asian Women's Fund" (AWF) tried to settle the "Comfort Women" issue privately. However, the fund has been rejected by most of the victims of military slavery slavery by Japan and their support groups.
They strongly opposed the "Asian Women Fund" because the private fund covers up the war crime of Japanese government and the systematic sexual violence again women committed by a country. Most victims have refused it and say "We want no charity, but dignity".
On Jan. 4 1996, the U.N. Human Rights Commission released an official report, submitted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Radhika Coomaraswamy, on the wartime sex slavery, report by International Commision of Jurists, Geneva Comfort Women : an unfinished ordeal, and also another report by Special Rapporteur Ms. Gay J. McDougall in 1998.
In April 1996, the delegate to U.N. from China, for the first time, stated that Japan should pay state compensation to the victims of sexual slavery by Japan during WWII.
With the financial support from Japanese government, the AWF has been actively exploring its canvassing, large scale advertisement and disunited activities in victimized countries.
In Aug. 1996, 5 Filipino victims became the first group to receive 2 million yen each from AWF, together with a letter from Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. However, the 5 Filipino victims refused the letter and declared that they will continue their fight to demand official apology and compensation because the money from the private fund was not meant as a redress because Japanese government had not made state compensation.
To encourage victims to accept the "offer of atonement", Japanese government decided in Jan. 1997, to pay out extra money to be used for medical care and welfare through the AWF. Still, most victims have rejected the offer and only few accepted.
In Sept. 1997, Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation in Taiwan held an unprecedented fund raising with the support of a famous Taiwanese historian and writer Lee Auh. It successfully raised and distributed 500,000 NT (2 million yen) each to 42 victims going against AWF. In Dec. 1997, Taiwan government matched the fund and distributed another 2 million yen each to all victims rejecting AWF.
In May 1998, South Korea paid 34.5 million won (about 3.5 million yen) to 12 victims. In May 8, 1998 the payment made by the Health and Welfare ministry, comprised 31.5 million won from state coffers and 3 million won from an additional 6.5 million won donated by non-government organizaiton. South Korea will continue making payments to the remaining victims through welfare section of Korean local government.
This mass scale of Slavery Crime is the worst case of systematic slavery violation against Humanity committed by a country in our Human History.
"The Japanese were running no less than the biggest slave shipping operation since the middle passage, the African Slave Trade," California based lawyer Barry Fisher said.
It is estimated that 10 million Asians were used as slave and only 5,000 or so survivors may still be alive.
Those not shipped as slaves were used as Human Mine Sweepers or were massacred for Sport.
Most shocking is the fact that the death rate in Nazi-run PoW camps was 1.1 %; but in Japanese prisoner camps it was a staggering 38.2 %, according to The Center for Civilian Internee Right, Inc..
On Dec 7, 1941, Mitsuo Fuchida led Japan's attack on the US base at Pearl Harbor. It was Fuchida's airplane from which was transmitted the radio signal "Tora! Tora! Tora!", indicating that a successful attack was underway.
Apr 18, 1942 U.S. shocked Japan with its daring Tokyo Raid or the Doolittle Raid. Led by Jimmy Doolittle, 16 B-25 bombers broke through Japanese defenses and dropped bombs in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka-Kobe, and Nagoya. It was a one-way mission. The planes continued west to the airfield at Chuchow, China. Short of the fuel, most of planes crashed or were ditched over China. Local Chinese hid the survivors and escorted them to safety. The dramatic raid stunned Japan with the real meaning of war.
Enraged Japanese army launched operation Sei-Go to secure airfields and punish Chinese villager for helping US airmen. They burnt to the ground those villages through which the airmen had passed.
"They killed my 3 sons," related one aged Chinese man. "They killed my wife. They drowned my grandchildren in the well." Catching a villager who had sheltered an American pilot, Japanese soldiers wrapped him in a kerosene-soaked blanket, then forced his wife to set it afire. It was estimated about 250,000 Chinese civilians were murdered in the revenge.
On Aug 6, 1945, Paul Tibbets flew the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber and dropped the atomic bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima. Aug. 9 another atomic bomb "Fat Man" exploded on Nagasaki. August 15 Japan surrendered.
18 years later the two men had a chance of meeting each other at the MacDill Air Force Base when Japan's Self Defense Force sent a contingent to observe US Air Force equipment and operations.
Tibbets recalled that Fuchida told him; "You did the right thing. You know the Japanese attitude at that time, how fanatic they were, they'd die for the Emperor. Can you imagine what a slaughter it would be to invade Japan?" Fuchida continued. "It would have been terrible. You did the right thing. The Japanese people know more about that than the American public will ever know." Paul Tibbets has been credited by thousands of former prisoners-of-war and military personnel for saving their lives.
Japan, driven by the frenzy of Militarism, committed unspeakable war crimes and atrocities of such great magnitude un-matched even by the Nazi. Following table is a comparison of atrocities against PoW :
|By Nazis||By Japan|
|US PoW captured & interned in WWII||93,941||36,260|
|US PoW DIED while interned||1,121
( 38.2 % )
|US civilians captured & interned in WWII||4,749||13,996|
|US civilians DIED while interned||168
( 11 % )
Clinton Jennings of San Francisco survived through the savage Bataan Death March to prison Camp O'Donnell on April 9, 1942. It was 70 miles 5 days 5 nights death march in 100 degree heat, deprived of food and water, 7,000 - 10,000 of 78,000 US and Filipinos PoWs died. "If a fellow fell down, he was either shot, bayonetted or beaten to death. I saw bodies strung along the highway." recalled Merle Lype of Thomasboro.
At a railhead, they were loaded into hot, crowded box cars. "If you died in there, you couldn't fall to the floor even," said Rutter. At their eventual destination, Camp O'Donnell, 54,000 prisoners were crammed into facilities built for a fraction as many people. Malaria and dysentery killed thousands more.
They were then transported to Japan in "Hell Ships" and elsewhere as slave labor in 2 months trip, with little protection from the January cold. "We were throwing American bodies overboard at the rate of 30, then 40, then 50 a day all the way to Japan," Mel Rosen said, "The Death March was a Sunday stroll compared to the 3 Hell Ships." Only 200 to 300 of the 1,600 prisoners loaded on the 1st ship made it to Japan. When Rosen arrived in Japan, his weight had dropped from 155 to 88 lbs.
Of the 12,000 US PoW at Bataan, only 4,000 were alive by the end of war.
For 3-1/4 years, Melvin Routt toiled in coal mines. His weight dropped from 163 pounds to 83. Like millions in Asia, Routt and Jennings were U.S. PoW victims of the Japanese Army's wartime brutality. They were used as slave laborers in violation of the International War Conventions.
The Borneo Death Marches of 1945 from which only 6 survived from approximately 1,800 PoWs.
Numerous inhuman Slave Camps were established in Japan and all Asia. The so called "Hanaoka Incident" was probably one of the many similar "incidents". It would never have become an incident if American occupation authorities had not caught employees of Kajima Gumi digging up a Mass Slave Grave to hide the evidence of their Chinese slaves.
The slaves, recaptured after an unsuccessful attempt to escape, many were tortured to death during the non-stop 3 days and 3 nights torture without any food or water in the summer night of 1945. It was pieced together by Nozue Kenji and Yachita Tsuneo in their years long search for the truth.
16,000 PoWs and 100,000 Asian slave labourers died for the construction of the infamous 415 km Death Railway - Thai-Burma Railway which was made famous by the movie - Bridge on the River Kwai.
Another movie Return from the River Kwai, made in 1988, has never been released in North American markets. Its producer Kurt Unger is now suing Japanese Sony Corporation and seeking $15 million in damage for blocking release the movie. The court day is set in July 1997.
It tells the story of allied PoW being shipped from Thailand to Japan to work as slave laborers in coal mines. The ships were called "Hell Ships" by the PoW and some of these hell ships including Arisan Maru and Rakuyo Maru were torpedoed and sunk by US submarines with heavy loss of life because the Japanese refused to mark the ships to allow allied forces to distinguish them from combatant and combat support vessels.
Japanese distributor of movie "The Last Emperor" also intentionally edited out the documentary footage of the Nanjing Massacre that Bernardo Bertolucci had pointedly put into his film.
Another 1,400 U.S. PoWs were shipped to Manchuria, where PoWs said they were used as human guinea pig or "logs" by the infamous Japanese medical Unit 731 & Unit 100.
Near the end of the war, Japan issued the infamous "Kill Order" to its war camp commanders to kill all the remaining prisoners leaving no trace. Many believe that the Atomic Bombs and no other reasons that had saved the lives of all allied PoWs.
Frank James, now living in Redwood City, was shipped to Shenyang (Mukden) in Manchuria as a PoW in November 1942. The Japanese medical personnel wearing masks, sprayed liquid into their faces and gave them injection, took frequent blood samples and released fleas in the warehouse where the prisoners slept.
When he returned to the United States in 1945, the U.S. Army made him sign a document swearing never to discuss his 731 experiences in the camps. For 40 years, he didn't breathe a word.
In Nov. 1976 Yoshinaga Haruko, producer of TV documentary after years research: "A Bruise - Terror of the 731 Corps." became convinced that American PoWs were also used as logs.
In 1980s, Morimura Seiichi, author of best-seller novel "The Devil's Gluttony" included assertion that Allies PoWs were used as guinea pigs that drew public attention.
In Oct. 1981, it was John W. Powell's article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - "Japan's Biological Weapons: 1930-1945, A Hidden Chapter in History" brought much wider public attention and pressured US congress to hold a hearing from PoWs in 1982 and 1986.
Frank James and Gregory Rodriquez Jr. testified to Congress in 1986. However, the hearing lasted only half a day. No report was issued and no investigation was ordered.
On Aug. 13, 1985, British Independent Televison broadcast a documentary "Unit 731 - Did the Emperor Know ? ". It was producted by Peter Williams and David Wallace after years research, hinted broadly that Emperor Hirohito was aware of the human experiments. There was also an interview with retired Lt. Col. Murray Sanders, the first US investigator into Uint 731. Sanders claimed that Gen. Douglas MacArthur authorized him to make a deal with the Japanese if they cooperated with US Biological Warfare scientists.
The producers even sent a copy of the documentary film to the Japanese officials in London.
"The War should be taught in schools, and NOT just Pearl Harbor," said Routt, the ex-POW in Tracy. "Kids growing up have absolutely no knowledge of what war is really like."
The Forgotten Holocaust is definitely the worst case of systematic governmental cover-up by Western countries against Humanity in our Human History.
Unlike the Jewish Holocaust, Japanese Rape of Nanjing, Biological Warfare unit 731, 100, Chemical Warfare unit 516, Sexual Slavery, Slave Labors are barely mentioned in most histories of WWII and is absent from almost every textbook.
There are many reasons for the story of the Asian Holocaust has taken so long to get out :
After WWII, due to the Cold War between US and former communist Soviet Union, and communist China, especially after the start of Korean War in June 1950 and then the Vietnam War, evidences show that senior aides to Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Japanese court officials schemed to fix testimony at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials so as not to implicate Hirohito.
As the Cold War deepened, US facilitated the speedy rebuilding of Japan as a constitutional monarchy that would provide an anti-Communist bulwark in Asia.
Therefore after the war, U.S. conducted a half-hearted Show Trial - The Tokyo Trial which most historians agreed was a flawed trial focused only on the maltreatment of PoW ignoring the unspeakable brutalities committed against the Asians by the Japanese.
U.S. also granted immunity from war crimes prosecution to the Japanese doctors of Unit 731 & Unit 100 in exchange for their data and helped covering up Japanese War Crimes so that U.S. could gain some advantages in the mass destruction Biological Weapon - An act utterly ignoring international laws and against Humanity.
NGO The Sunshine Project has discovered that even today US is still actively developing Biological and Chemical Weapon. A case will be taken to UN.
The U.S. government not only pardoned some of Imperial Japan's top leaders, short-circuited reparations programs, reversed the dissolution of Japanese conglomerates and also waived payment of international relief funds to American PoWs after the war.
The truth was also hampered by the great upheavals that followed in China with the resuming of the interrupted Civil War which last for another 4 years un-ended with the Communist took over mainland and Nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan, then followed by another 30 long years of various irrational political chaos in mainland China.
In addition, both Chinese government competed and was eager to win diplomatic recognition from Japan and needs financial loans from Japan to rebuild China.
Also, the mainland Chinese government is fearful of this popular protest might be linked to its own Communist Party's complicity in abuse in the past, have greatly hampered the situation.
U.S. had also signed Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security with Japan on Jan. 19, 1960 to contain communist China.
Documents translated from the 731's original reports can be found at the US Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah using the Freedom of Information Act.
In 1949, after knowing the unit 731 & unit 100, Russian immediately sent a request through the International Bureau of Investigation to prosecute Ishii Shiro 731's commander and all related personnel, but the request was dismissed by U.S. government as a communist propaganda.
In response, on Dec. 25, 1949, Josef Stalin ordered the Khabarovsk Trial.
Vladislav Bogach, author of a book about the trial "Outlaw Weapon", wrote "experts proved that in one cycle, up to 300 kg of plague bacteria, 800-9", wrote "experts proved that in one cycle, up to 300 kg of plague bacteria, 800-900 kg of typhoid and about a ton of cholera were produced. In one unit, there were 13,000 rats ... The output of incubators was 45 kg of infected fleas during 3-4 months."
As the trial ended, the daily Suvorovsky natisk expressed its anger, "These are not humans the military court is trying; they are monsters and villains, and there is no proper word in human language to characterize them ...." "They have no sympathy ... The Japanese were robots."
However, unlike the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, in which high-ranking German and Japanese officials were hanged or life sentenced, in Khabarovsk trials the war criminals were mostly sentenced to terms of only 20 to 25 years. Several years later, all were quietly sent back to Japan and freed in 1956.
The interrogation reports, some 18 volumes were never released.
Many Western historians have criticized Soviet for handing down such light sentences. "My guess is that the Soviet made a deal with the Japanese similar to the one completed by the Americans" Harris said.
A 137-page counterintelligence file from the National Archives which had been declassified, makes it clear that U.S. intelligence agents not only covered up war crimes against Americans, but also aggressively protected the architect of those crimes, Lt. Gen. Shiro Ishii.
"At the request of Nationalist Chinese officials who heard about "bacteriological experiments upon Chinese and Americans as human guinea pigs," the U.S. counterintelligence corps prepared a report on Ishii, the head of Unit 731, according to a July 24, 1947, memo. The document makes it clear that a high-level U.S. intelligence officer, Col. Philip Bethune, quashed the report after informing his agents that "no information is to be released to any agent as data on subject is classified as top secret." The agent who wrote the memo, identified only by the initials WSC, also wrote that "Col. Bethune desires no further action be taken in this case. No further action was taken."
Months later, on April 15, 1948, it was noted for the record that "It is of a highly sensitive nature, and that every precaution must be taken to maintain its secrecy."
A report dated April 18, 1947 from the legal section of Gen. MacArthur's headquarters, specifying that the Unit 731 investigation was "under direct Joint Chiefs of Staff order." "Every step, interrogation, or contact must be coordinated with this section," said the report by Lt. Neal R. Smith of Report of Investigation Division, Legal Section, "The utmost secrecy is essential in order to protect the interests of the United States and to guard against embarrassment. "
Some of the reports were labeled "Commander in Chief" that leaves little doubt that US President Truman was informed of the events. President Truman also withdrew the 1925 Geneva Protocol outlawing Chemical and Biological Weapons from Senate ratification of protocol in 1947.
Vast archive of Japanese military records were in the hands of U.S. for 9 years after the war. The documents, first screened by the CIA, include hundreds of thousands of pages of War Ministry records from 1868 to 1942, Naval Ministry records from 1868 to 1939 and operational records of many units throughout the war including Unit 731. In 1948 the CIA turned over the records to the National Archives, with no indication of what, if anything, had been removed.
In 1957, the collection was ordered returned to Japan.
Concerned over the potential loss, a group of scholars including Edwin O. Reischauer of Harvard University and John Young of Georgetown University, obtained a Ford Foundation grant to hurriedly microfilm what they could. In February 1958, after about 5 % of the records were copied, Young recalled in an interview, the documents were sent to Baltimore and and loaded aboard a ship for Japan. "There was no way we could read them all," said Young, who deplored the loss.
This issue was also raised in the 1986's congress PoW hearing. John H. Hatcher, Army Record Management of US Army explained, "because the problem of language was too difficult for us to overcome", therefore all records were returned to Japan.
Subcommittee member Solomon was stunned, "to say that didn't have the expertise in this country to translate those records is almost incomprehensible." It suggested that the subcommittee members believed that there was a Cover-Up.
Peter Calvocoressi, author of the book "Total War", wrote "What seems quite incredible is that the cover-up conspiracy - for it is by no means a demonological exaggeration to speak of it as a conspiracy - was maintained throughout the three years which elapsed between the Japanese defeat and the conclusion of the Tokyo Trial ... and that ... this conspiracy was sustained for so long afterwards."
Under the cover of U.S., the Japanese government with its economic power, is able to wage a sophisticated campaign after the war: Japan portrayed itself as an atomic victim rather than an aggressor.
Japan has now being able to skirt the soul-searching for its War Crimes for more than half century.
Most people have termed it "The Forgotten Holocaust".
Not only were the perpetrators not punished after the war, Class A War Criminal Kishi Nobusuke even made all the way to became a 2-term Prime Minister of Japan in 1957. The head of Unit 731, Shiro Ishii was permitted to continue medical research in Japan after the war. Ryoichi Naito, Ishii's right-hand man, founded Green Cross pharmaceutical companies, other Unit 731 leaders joined him there. Many directors of JNIH (Japan National Institute of Health) had served in biological warfare unit and involved in human experiments. Some went on to become Governor of Tokyo, Presidents of universities, Deans of medical schools, Heads of public health agencies, Head of Japan Olympic Committee, key position in Japanese drug and medical companies, lawmakers and industrialists.
Many Japanese who had committed war crimes received full military pensions and benefits from Japanese government, but millions of their victims suffered and continue to suffer in poverty, shame, chronic physical and mental pain.
Japanese government officials and right-wingers, even some moderates, insist that all claims resulted from Japanese WW II transgression have been settled by the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty that Japan had paid the international Red Cross the equivalent of about $1 a day for missed meal and $1.5 per day for unpaid wages for PoW while the Allies agreed not to bring War Crimes charges against it, by citing the provision in Article 16 in which Allied nations agreed to waive all reparations in light of the postwar financial hardship Japan was experiencing. They also claim that Japan has paid a total of 27 billion dollars to 27 nations, transfer of Japanese capital equipment, facilities, other assets to nations abroad, and an apology was offered by Japanese Prime Minister Tomichi Murayama in Aug. 1995.
Critics simply pointed out that the bulk of $27 billion did NOT come from its coffer. It was the relief funds the Allied sent to the PoWs in the Japanese camps throught the International Committee of Red Cross and they was illegally seized by the Bank of Japan in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. Japan only returned them to Switzerland as part of the 1951 San Frencisco Peace Treaty settlement.
The returned properties were looted by the Japanese Army. They were hardly any "reparations" but solely stolen goods.
Countless artwork, ancient antiques, valuable books and intellectual properties from China and other nations are still sitting in Japan's museums and private collections to this day.
It is estimated that Japan had looted more than 2.7 million books from China. After the war only 158,873 books were returned.
A close examination of the San Francisco Peace Treaty reveals that the reparations matter was merely postponed until Japan has the financial means to pay. It was never resolved.
This treaty had caused much controversial from the very beginning. After 56 years, the treaty still remains very much controversial today.
In the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) process, the interests of Asian people and countries brutally victimized by the Japanese Imperial Army were mostly ignored.
Despite the protests by Asian countries most affected by the Japanese aggression, the treaty process excluded the participation of China (both mainland and Taiwan), and Korea (both North and South). India and Burma refused to participate. 3 signatories from Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) were actually representatives of the French colonial regime.
Only 4 Asian countries signed the treaty. Of these 4, Indonesia signed the treaty but never ratified it. The Philippines reserved its signatures and did not ratify the treaty. So in fact, the only Asian countries that supported the SFPT were Pakistan and Ceylon, both colonies of Britain up till that time.
As Harvard Professor Akira Iriye had pointed out, U.S. used the San Fransisco Peace Treaty to turn Japan from a conquered and occupied country to its military ally aiming at responding to the communist countries, Soviet Union and China.
San Fransisco Peace Treaty is therefore an unprecedented BIG Sell-Out of all countries in Asia by U.S.
Is this treaty a stumbing block to Japan's facing its past ?
For details, refer to San Francisco Peace Treaty: Has Justice Been Served and Peace Secured ?.
In 1995, on the 50th anniversary of U.N. and of the war, Japan considered and proposed a "No War Resolution" in an effort to reflect its past history. However, it was rejected by Japanese Diet mainly because it contained a formal official apology for its wartime atrocities.
On Aug 15, 1995 Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama offered an apology (NOT the true apology "shazai") of the war. But his apology was NOT passed by the Japanese parliament.
In Sept 1997 Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto also reiterated the apology. Again, his apology was NOT approved by the parliament.
In Oct. 8 2001 Japanese prime minister Koizumi, issued an apoplgy after visiting the Lugouqiao (Marco Polo Bridge), site of hostilities that led to a full scale war invasion in July 7, 1937. However, the apology was simply based on and did not go beyond the wording used in a 1995 statement by Murayama. It was his personal apology and NOT passed by Japanese Diet.
Feared that Dutch's refusal of signing the San Francisco Peace Treaty might lead the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand to drop out as well, so on the day before and the morning of the treaty signing ceremony, U.S. principal negotiator, John Foster Dulles, orchestrated a " Secret Deal " with exchange of confidential letters between the minister of foreign affairs of the Netherlands, Dirk Stikker, and Japanese Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida.
Yoshida pledged that "the Government of Japan does not consider that the Government of the Netherlands by signing the Treaty has itself expropriated the private claims of its nationals so that, as a consequence thereof, after the Treaty comes into force these claims would be non-existent."
The deal and letters had to be kept secret because Article 26 of the Treaty states that, "should Japan make a peace settlement or war claims settlement with any State granting that State greater advantages than those provided by the present Treaty, those same advantages shall be extended to the parties to the present Treaty."
In 1956, the Dutch did successfully pursue a claim against Japan on behalf of private citizens. Japan paid $10 million as a way of "expressing sympathy and regret." A year before, the British noted two other instances in which governments had made deals with Japan for reparations: a settlement with Burma that provided reparations, services and investments amounting, over 10 years, to $250 million; and an agreement with Switzerland that provided "compensation for maltreatment, personal injury and loss arising from acts illegal under the rules of war."
The letters were finally declassified in April 2000, by which time most potential claimants were probably all dead.
With the " Secret Deal " and by withholding documents, the U.S. has significantly contributed and played a major role in Japan's historical amnesia.
Japan subsequently signed treaties with other States, including the war claims settlements.
Both U.S. and Japan purposely ignored without honoring the provision of Article 26 and continues to deny its bounded responsibility to compensate its wartime victims to this day.
Japan also argues that individual victim cannot sue a state, and also argued that China had voluntarily give up the right of reparation from Japan in 1972 when Beijing and Japan established diplomatic ties.
However, Prof. Etsuro Totsuka of Kobe University in Japan pointed out the following :
This article of the 1907 Hague Convention was understood to have been customary international law and it was succeeded by Art. 91 of the Optional Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Japan acceded to it on Oct 21, 1953 and bound China in 1956. Therefore, It guarantees individual victims the right to compensation.
Also in the second sentence of Art. 7 of the IV Geneva Convention reads, "No special agreement shall adversely affect the situation of protected persons, as defined by the present Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon them.” Therefore, the guarantee under Art. 148 cannot be adversely changed by any other international agreements.
Therefore, these 2 articles clearly prohibited Japan and China to absolve Japan of the individual rights to compensation under the said Joint Communique, in particular, if it comes to the issue of grave war crimes.
In 1978, under the cover of U.S., Japan shamelessly moved 1,068 War Criminals' memorials into Yasukuni Shinto shrine to be worshipped as National Heroes.
In July 1996, on Japan's "Day of Cease-Fire", known as the "Day of Surrender", the Japanese Royal Family and Prime Minister Hashimoto went to the Yasukuni Shrine to pay official tribute there. In doing so, they effectively bestowed the status of "National Heroes" upon more than 1,000 convicted War Criminals.
The Japanese ruling LDP party and right wingers even incorporated the worship as the national policy that the cabinet ministers should officially pay tribute to the shrine. Japan Foreign Affairs Committee has even approved a motion on November 28, 1996 asking all visiting Heads of State to pay homage at the shrine to their War Criminals.
Japan's "Peace Constitution Article 9" prohibits Japan from having an army. So, instead of an army, Japan has a Self-Defense Force (SDF). It was called an "emasculated" military force since it was forbidden to resort to military action unless attacked.
However, encouraged by US, The Self-Defense Forces is now the best equipped and most modern army in Asia. Its military spending in 2000 was US $46 billion, 2nd largest in the world, even outstrips Britain's in total spending and manpower.
German leaders consistently apologize for their past aggression in the clearest possible terms. Former Chancellor Willy Brandt once even fell to his knees at the site of the Warsaw Ghetto in the tribute with the utmost sincerity to those who died there at the Nazi hands.
While the Yushukan Museum celebrates the Japanese suicidal fighting spirit, the Potsdam exhibit blames the Wehrmacht, Germany's army for bringing shame to the country.
Germany has chosen to examine their history in microscopic details and admit German culpability for the war. By contrast, Japan has long censored textbooks to conceal Japanese atrocities in China and Korea. To avoid embarrassment, the Japanese teachers purposely arrange NOT to get as far as the WWII by the end of the school year.
In Germany, it is a crime to utter what is called "the Auschwitz lie" - denial of the death camps. In schools, Germany has hammered students with anti-Nazi education and the concept of Zivilcourage. But for more than five decades, the Japanese have danced and dodged around the edges of their War Crimes and atrocities.
Germany has also made generous acts of atonement and has paid 88 billions Mark in compensation and reparations to Jewish Holocaust victims and will spend another 20 billions Mark by 2005. Yet, Japan has virtually paid nothing and continues to maintain an innocence that contrasts vividly with Germany's profound self-examination.
On Dec. 10, 1996, a draft reconciliation treaty was made to the public that Germany will apologize for Hitler's invasion of the former Czechoslovakia, and Czech will express regrets for the postwar expulsion of 2.5 millions of Sudeten Germans.
The joint declaration was signed on January 21, 1997.
The debate has been smoldering in Japan for the past 50 years. Japanese history Professor Saburo Ienaga, who has become for many the living conscience of Japan, has launched 3 highly publicized lawsuits against the Department of Education. Based on his own research, he wrote a high school textbook which included Japan's terrible War crimes : Nanjing Massacre and infamous Unit 731.
Time after time again, his manuscripts were sent back from the Education Department. He was asked to delete a reference to the Japanese "aggression" in China and told to use the words "military advance" instead. Regarding the Nanjing massacre, he had to haggle with education officials over the number of Chinese civilians killed. As for the infamous Unit 731, it was made clear that any mention of its existence would quite simply bar the book from publication.
In 1965, Mr. Ienaga sued the Education Department, arguing that textbook screening violates freedom of expression and education guaranteed by the Japanese Constitution.
In 1967, he filed a 2nd suit seeking the reversal of a 1966 rejection of an application for approval of the textbook. Ienaga lost both suits.
In 1970, when the Tokyo District Court ruled on the 2nd case, it said the review system was illegal and a form of censorship when ideological and philosophical considerations arose during the approval process.
In 1975, the Tokyo High Court dismissed an appeal by the Education Ministry against the ruling on the 2nd case. But the Supreme Court later overturned the judgment and ordered a retrial, leading the high court to rule against Ienaga in 1989.
In 1984, Ienaga filed a 3rd suit over a description in his history textbook about the Japanese Imperial Army's notorious Biological Warfare Unit 731.
In May 1997, a joint committee with representatives of the Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA) and the National Association of Japanese Canadians' (NAJC) Human Rights Committee, has begun a campaign in support of the Ienaga textbook screening suit in Japan.
August 29, 1997 Japanese Supreme Court finally ruled that it was illegal for the textbook screeners to urge Ienaga to delete the description about Unit 731 and ordered the government to pay 400,000 yen in damages to 83-year-old historian Saburo Ienaga, although it ruled that the system of screening school textbooks is constitutional.
Although the Japanese government has now admitted to the existence of Unit 731, but officials have repeatedly stated that no documents exist that verify the unit's activities.
Noriko Omori, a lawyer who has been involved in the lawsuits for nearly 30 years, said she will continue fighting against the screening system outside the courtroom in order for Japanese children to be able to nurture their own thinking."
Because of his old age and poor health, Ienaga decided not to file another lawsuit. "I believe I have helped open a hole to let in the fresh air." said Ienaga.
The partial victory ends his 32 years legal battle started in 1965.
Ienaga was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He passed away in peace on Dec. 2, 2002 at age 89.
"Japan is a very strange country, truth cannot prevail," Nagase Takashi another former imperial solder, says in a mock incredulous voice. "So I am a citizen of the world and NOT a Japanese." Mr. Nagase is also a devoted crusader for a just cause.
He dares to do the unthinkable in Japan. He calls the Japanese Royal Family the War Criminal Family, saying the Emperor should either commit harikiri or become a Shinto priest. Herohito could have stopped the war at any time. And he never took any responsibility.
Japan has successfully brainwashed its own people by glorifying Convicted Class A war Criminals as national Heroes and publicly denied the atrocities - Nanjing Massacre, Unit 731, Unit 100, Unit 516.
80 % of the Japanese now do not know that Japan had ever invaded another country, he says. "They only know the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima and we lost the war." Mr. Nagase believes Japan DESERVED the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because the atomic bombs immediately stopped the war, saving numerous lives of Japanese, PoWs, and civilians in Asian countries.
The largest PoW suit was filed in Tokyo district court on January 30, 1995 by the Miami-based Center for Internee Rights. The suit, representing 33,000 U.S. military PoWs, 14,000 civilian internees and thousands more Dutch, British, Australians and New Zealand survivors, asks for an apology and $22,000 individual compensation from the Japanese government. After many court appearances and testimony this case will be decided by the Tokyo District Court in 1998. The final plaintiff testimony was given in Tokyo court on February 19, 1998.
Karn Parker, an international human rights lawyer fighting in the U.N. and Japanese courts over the last 4 years for the "Comfort Women" which Japan did not even admit until 1993, said Japan's refusal to compensate victims directly could partly be attributed to lack of pressure from other countries, especially the United States and China for political and economic reasons. "It does seem the Japanese government wants these old ladies to die one by one until the whole thing blows over," said Elaine Kim, an Asian Studies professor at UC-Berkeley.
However, things have finally started to change after the collapsing of communist Soviet Union, and the normalization of relationship between U.S. and communist China.
On Dec. 3, 1996, U.S. Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) which has focused almost exclusively on Nazi war criminals despite its mandate to pursue both Nazis and their allies, finally took its FIRST STEP toward redressing this imbalance by adding the FIRST 16 Japanese war criminal names on the "Watch List" (Holtzman Amendment) since it was legislated in 1978 for denying more than 60,000 Nazi German, Austrian, and Italian war criminals entry to U.S.
This is a tiny step the U.S. government recently made to correct its willfully blind policy toward Japan's war crimes but of great significance. As Kei-ichi Tsuneishi, a Japanese Professor at Kanagawa University, says "The decision is likely to shock and wake up the Japanese."
However, Japanese government has declined to cooperate with efforts by the Justice Department to put the names of several hundred surviving veterans of the germ warfare operations on a list of suspected war criminals barred from entering the United States. Eli Rosenbaum, the director of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigation, says Japan has refused to provide even the birthdays for the dozens of Japanese suspects on the list.
On Jan. 4 1996, the U.N. Human Rights Commission released an official report, submitted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Radhika Coomaraswamy, on the wartime sex slavery, report by International Commision of Jurists, Geneva Comfort Women : an unfinished ordeal, and also another report by Special Rapporteur Ms. Gay J. McDougall in 1998. The reports are founded on years investigation and recommends that Japanese government should assume state responsibility and
The support of the U.N. report is growing around the world. You can participate in the petition campaign in demand that the UN recommendations be accepted by the Japanese government.
Germany now appears to have regained the trust of her neighbors while in vivid contrast, the current Resurgence of Japanese Militarism continues to invite suspicion from Asia.
On Sept. 17, 1987, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Redress
Bill HR442 for the wrongful internment of Japanese American during WWII :
and constitutional rights.
In 1988, the Japanese Canadian also successfully managed to get
However, Cliff Chadderton, chairman of the National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada, has been trying unsuccessfully for the past 12 years to get compensation from Japan for the Canadian PoW since 1985. The PoW were captured by the Japanese on the Christmas Day 1941 in Hong Kong. They spent four years of extreme hardship as slave labourers. Many died in the Japanese prison camps. Mr. Chadderton said, "It is a legal debt owed by the Japanese".
Dec. 12, 1998 Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy said Canada has lobbied Japan unsuccessfully on the subject for some time. The government decided that time was too important for the aging vets to waste it on prolonged legal fights, so it paid up on its own to each PoW Cad $24,000.
During the 14 years invasion into China, Japan not only manufactured huge quantity of Biological Weapons, it also mass produced chemical weapons by its top-secret Chemical Weapons research facility Unit 615. Japan had used these destructive weapon in more that 2,000 battles against the Chinese and caused great civilian casualties. It has been estimated that 700,000 - 2,000,000 Chemical Bombs most of them loaded with mustard gas and many of them corroded and leaking, are still scattered in China.
Tokyo finally acknowledged the existence of Chemical Weapon Unit 516 and is now helping to preventing the disaster, on the quiet. But Japan's efforts already come too late for approx. 2000 Chinese had already been injured by these abandoned deadly chemical weapons.
On Feb. 9 1997, as a signatory of Chemical Weapons Convention banning chemical weapons, Japanese government finally proposed that it may plan to build a large factory in Northern China to destroy these deadly weapons. After the treatment the extreme poisonous solid remainder - Arfrodic must be transported back to Japan for disposal. So far there is no concrete agreement. International chemical weapon prevention organization has pressed Japanese government to cleanup the weapons in 5 years, but the Japanese government said may need 10 years due to the large quantity of these deadly Chemical Weapons. According to UN regulation, the chemical weapon must be destroyed by 2007.
Many deaths resulted e.g. owing to the poison gas released while dredging the Songhua River in Heilongjiang Province, and poison gas leaked out during sewerage construction on Guanghua Avenue in Mudanjiang City etc. Victims of these deadly Chemical Weapons are now suing Japanese government and demanding compensation. The will be hearing in Tokyo court in July, 1997.
On Feb. 12, 1997 Mrs. Li XouYing, a Nanjing Massacre survivor, who is now 79 years old, tearfully recalled in the Tokyo court about the atrocities she had suffered 60 years ago : She was 19 years old with 7 months pregnancy. To avoid being raped, she forcefully smashed her head against the brick wall determined to suicide. She didn't die but fainted. After she woke up, she found herself lying on a cot. Then a Japanese soldier came to rape her. She again fought fiercely. Other soldiers came and used their bayonets keep stabbing her again, again and again for a total of 37 times during the fight. She lost her 7 months old fetus. She was later rescued by Mr. Magee and miraculously she survived. Magee used his camera and recorded her terrible conditions on film.
The 20-minutes film is now being used as the proof in the lawsuit against the Japanese government. Ms. Li and 9 others including some 731 survivors went to Tokyo to testify. "Japanese Government MUST apologize and compensate for the massacre." demanded 79 years old Mrs. Li in the court, "I want the whole world to known that it was such an In-human War." Their trip to Japan was organized and sponsored by a group of 200 courageous and conscientious Japanese lawyers, scholars and others so that the Japanese can be better educated through the court hearing.
In total there are ten plaintiffs. Four of them attended the hearings for examination.
The final hearing will take place on December 2, 1998 and it is expected that the decision will be issued by the end of March 1999. Click here to help and gather signatures for letter drive in support of these victims. This lawsuit is supported by the Society to Support the Demands of Chinese War Victims (SuoPei) Other SuoPei cases are:
On March 20, 1997 the U.S. Justice Department added 17 more names to the "Watch List" (Holtzman Amendment)barring these Japanese War criminals from ever entering U.S.
On March 27, 1997 the Center for Internee Rights (CFCIR, Inc.), representing former PoWs and civilian internees brutalized by Japanese forces, turned over 100 additional names of suspected Japanese war criminals to the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. the "Watch List" (Holtzman Amendment) has more than 60,000 Nazis, but has only 33 Japanese names added since 1996.
On June 27 1997, Frits Kalshoven, a legal expert, Dutch professor emeritus at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, appeared as an expert in international humanitarian law suit filed by 46 former Philippine sex slaves in 1993 seeking 20 million yen each in damages for being forced to serve as "Comfort Women" during WWII.
The Japanese government insisted that individual war victims cannot sue a state based on international law and the postwar peace treaties have already settled the issue. Kalshoven pointed out that Article 3 of the Hague Convention of 1907 clearly implies, although it doesn't spell out, that individuals have rights to claim compensation against a state.
On June 23 1997, Kalshoven also appeared as an expert witness in another damages suit in which 8 former Dutch PoWs and civilian internees, are demanding 2.2 million yen each.
Chinese citizens have for years been barred by their government from making claims for compensation from Japan. The number of surviving victims has continued to fall. The few alive are now more than 80 years old.
In July, 1997 the Nanjing municipal government finally decided to trace massacre survivors, victims and witnesses. With the help of 10 thousand high school students including some Japanese student reps from 14 schools of Japan as summer camp activity, about 2630 survivors were found. The Nanjing City Notary Association also issued them with certificates in batches. Hope the Nanjing government will soon do more to help survivors in their endeavor to obtain justice.
On July 25 1997,
Resolution HCR 126, condemning Japan for its atrocities in WWII is also being
introduced by Congressman Lipinski, Stump, and others. It calls for
the Japanese government to :
please call on your local congressional reps and US senators to support this important bill. The bill was cosponsored by 78 members of House of Representatives. Over 12,000 petitions had been gathered from every State in the Union in support of this legislation and over 50 veterans and military and human rights organizations are supporting HCR 126. Although it did not pass in the 105th Congress, a similar resolution will be introduced as soon as the 106th Congress is started in 1999.
On August 11 1997, 108 Chinese filed a law suit involving the former Japanese Imperial Army's germ warfare in Tokyo District Court demanding $9.39 million compensation and apologies from the Japanese government. This was the latest in a series of court cases against Japanese WWII crimes. Kouken Tsuchiya, the plaintiffs' chief lawyer, said they needed such long time to gather evidence before filing suit because the Japanese government had covered up the germ warfare. The Japanese Imperial Army carried out germ warfare despite a ban under the 1925 Geneva convention.
On Sept 22, 1997, Japanese steelmaker, Nippon Steel Corp. and the families of 11 Koreans have reached an out-of-court settlement for a lawsuit filed 2 years ago for using them as forced labor during WWII. The company will pay more than $163,000 in "condolence money" to each of the victims. "We are not completely happy with the settlement, but we wanted to focus more on the positive side -- the fact that a Japanese company is paying money for the victims and their memorial services," Akihiko Oguchi said. The families, however, plan to continue their legal fight against the Japanese government. Nippon Steel and many other corporate giants today, have said they only operated under government orders. Companies, including NKK Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kajima Corp., face similar lawsuits.
In Germany, the Federal Compensation Law for slave labour were established in 1953. Claims are valid for damage to health, persecution and for being kept in prison-like conditions.
On Oct 7, 1997, 37 Japanese lawyers and scholars of a group established earlier this year, including lawyer Koken Tsuchiya, the former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Hosei University Professor Yoko Tajima and novelist Ayako Miurars, will push for legislation that would make Japanese government directly compensate foreign WWII victims. The group will urge a nonpartisan group of Diet members to introduce 2 bills, One bill would be aimed at investigating "violations of international humanitarian law" committed by the Japan before and during WWII. The other would enable a provisional payment by the government to the comfort women.
Nov. 1997, South Korean National Assembly decided to prohibit entry of war criminals into South Korea.
On Dec. 10, 1997 the Tokyo District Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Chinese former slave laborers during WWII. The lawyer Takashi Niimi said the group will appeal. In February, Judge Sonobe angered the plaintiffs when he, during an oral hearing, suddenly announced that the court would wrap up its deliberations without questioning the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs immediately filed for dismissal of the judges, but the Tokyo High Court rejected the motion. "An unjust ruling like this has not only hurt the Hanaoka victims," he said, "but also has downgraded the credibility and dignity of the Japanese justice system."
The plaintiffs claim that 986 Chinese were forcibly brought from China to Hanaoka copper mine in Akita and were slaved into hard labor for Kajima-gumi, the predecessor of Kajima Corp. In June 1945, the Chinese revolted and were soon rounded up and tortured. In the end, 113 Chinese died by torture. They sued the giant construction firm in June 1995, demanding 5.5 million yen each in damages for malnutrition, slave labor and torture.
On Jan 12, 1998 Japan tried to apologize to Britain to smooth the visit of Emperor Akihito to Britain in May, for the suffering of prisoners during WWII. Japan also offered 1.3 million fund for the grandsons of the British PoWs to study in Japan for 1 year. But the veterans in both England and Canada rejected it as too little and too late. "There are several ways in which you can say sorry in Japanese without in any way apologizing. If it is not the form of Japanese that says, 'We apologize' [i.e. use "shazai" not "owabi"], I say so what ?" said Roger Cyr. "They were waiting for us to die then and they are waiting for us to die now." said Arthur Titherington.
On the very same day, Germany agreed to establish a fund of 200 million marks to compensate Jewish victims in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. They were barred from receiving the substantial compensation because of Cold War politics. Payments will be released over a period of 4 years starting in 1999.
In Hong Kong, Mr. Ng Yat-Hing, the chairperson of the Hong Kong Reparation Association, tells another fact that from 1941 to 1945, HK was under the control of Japanese Imperial Army. During this dark period, all other currencies were forbidden except the Japanese Military Yen, called Gunpyo. HK residents were forced to hand out their HK and foreign currency, gold, jewelry etc to exchange the military bill. Whoever disobeyed were executed. All the gold and valuables were either shipped back to Japan or used to buy military materials. The exchange rate at that time was 4 HK dollars for 1 military yen. After the war, they immediately became worthless paper. Many families had become broke over night. For decades, the Association has been unsuccessfully demanding the Japanese government to take the responsibility of exchanging the military bill, which totals 768 million, back to HK dollars. In August 1993, they filed a law suit with the Tokyo District Court. There has been 28 hearings in the Japanese court. The Japanese government is still trying to forgo its duty.
On June 17, 1999 the Tokyo District Court rejected their request. Presiding Judge Seiichiro Nishioka acknowledged that the exchange of HK dollars with military bill was compulsory. He said, "Whether the plaintiffs should be compensated is not a matter to be decided by the courts but one to be decided by the Diet." "We are not demanding for war compensation, we are demanding Japan to pay back their legal debt", said Mr. Ng. They will appeal to the Tokyo High Court.
In November 1980, the court had also rejected a similar compensation request from a group of Taiwanese residents.
On March 12, 1998, the Japanese Supreme Court will rule : In 1987, Mr. Shiro Azuma, a retired Japanese soldier, published "My Nanking Platoon" a diary describing his days in Nanjing. It described criminal acts committed by the Japanese Imperial Army which included savage killings, malicious rapes and countless war atrocities. One war crime described was committed by the soldier, Mituharu Hashimoto. Hashimoto and his former officer Hideo Mori claimed the diary is a collection of lies. The Tokyo Lower Court ruled against Azuma. Mr. Azuma wrote in his recent letter, "On March 12, 1998 exactly at 2 pm, I will testify in the Supreme Court, and I will tell the truth of the Nanjing Massacre. The seats for the public hearing will, without doubt, be filled with the Kaikosha Society, the group of the old Japanese Imperial army officers...... I am 86 year old now, but I will fight to death like a young man, but this time is not for the Emperor but for the Justice and the History."
On 23 Dec. 1998 Dismissing the appeal, presiding Judge Koetsu Okuyama of the Tokyo High Court said Azuma's diary describes some Imperial Japanese Army actions that cannot be recognized as fact. Expressing strong disapproval of the ruling, Azuma's lawyers said they will appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
On Apr. 6, 1998, a US $11 millions movie " Pride - The Fateful Moment" about Tojo's trial and execution was released by Toei Co. in Japan. Gen. Hideki Tojo, a class-A war criminal, was Japan's prime minister in 1941 and gave the go-ahead for the attack on Pearl Harbor. He stepped down in 1944 to take responsibility for the fall of Saipan. The movie's cast said they wanted to correct what they called misconceptions. Tojo, they said, took Japan to war in self-defense and to liberate Asia from control by white Western colonizers.
The growing popularity of such views here can be seen by the crowds that lined up to see the movie, making it one of the top-grossing domestic films of last year with proceeds of $169 million. By contrast, only a handful of theaters dared to show "Nanjing 1937," a Chinese film released at almost the same time. Right-wing protesters even slashed the screen at a Tokyo theater where the film was shown.
On Apr. 21, 1998 failing to give any specific arguments or evidence Kunihiko Saito, the Japanese Ambassador to Washington took the extraordinary move of attacking the well-documented, international best selling book The Rape of Nanking - The Forgotten Holocaust of WWII, at a press conference in Washington DC. Ambassador Saito criticized the book as "contain(ing) many extremely inaccurate descriptions and one-sided views on the case." In response, Iris Chang asks the ambassador to name the "erroneous" parts of her book and challenges him to debate her on national television.
In addition, Saito sternly warned members of the US House of Representatives not to sponsor the HCR 126. The bill currently has 63 cosponsors and various victims groups and veterans groups are pushing for its passage prior to the adjournment of the 105th Congress. Over 12,000 petitions have been gathered from every State in the Union in support of this legislation and over 50 veterans and military and human rights organizations are supporting HCR 126.
Rabbi Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote a protest letter to Japanese Ambassador Saito for failing to provide "any specific details to back up your serious allegations." In April 28 reply to the rabbi's letter, Ambassador Saito merely quoted from the war apology read by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on Aug. 15, 1995 and offer no specific back up for his allegations. But the apology in 1995 was not passed by Japanese parliament.
On Apr 27, 1998 calling the army's actions an example of sexual and ethnic discrimination and a "fundamental violation of human rights", Japan's Yamaguchi District Court Judge Hideaki Chikashita ruled that Japan must compensate the 3 South Korean women forced into sexual slavery during WWII with $2,300 each. The lawsuit was filed in 1992 by 10 women who demanded about $4.2 million in compensation for the pain they had suffered. However, the court rejected claims by 7 of the women, who had demanded in the same lawsuit that the Japanese government pay them for being slaved to work during the war. Seita Yamamoto, attorney for the 3 women, said he would appeal for more money and apology. Some are outraged," he said. Still, he called the ruling a big step in the right direction.
Japanese government has refused to compensate individual war victims, arguing that postwar treaties settled all wartime claims. Japan has paid $760,000 to former sex slaves, but through a privately funded body "Asian Women's Fund" so it could skirt admitting official responsibility. Many women have refused to accept money from the fund, which they say reflects Japan's failure to show true remorse for its wartime actions. Japanese government spokesman Kanezo Muraoka called the ruling "regrettable". Both the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Seoul declined comment. The ruling is likely to profoundly affect other 5 pending cases and encourage others to file similar lawsuits.
On May 26, 1998 Japanese Emperor Akihito visited England while survivors of PoW turned their backs and booed the newly arrived Emperor. Some protesters whistled Colonel Bogey, the tune associated with the film The Bridge over the River Kwai. Many wore red gloves to symbolize the blood they said was on Japan's hands. They were seeking $22,800 compensation and an sincere apology.
June 22 1998 Author Iris Chang has challenged to a public debate six Japanese scholars who say the 1937 "Rape of Nanking" never happened. "These revisionists are engaged in a second rape of Nanking - the Rape of History," she said. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks Nazi war criminals, likened Japanese revisionists to those who say that accounts of the Nazi Holocaust were fictionalized or exaggerated. "Japan cannot be trusted as a member of the community of nations until it once and for all, sincerely and genuinely, apologizes for its deeds during World War II -- beginning with Nanking," Cooper said.
June 25, 1998 Yoshio Shinozuka, Takemitsu Ogawa and Shiro Azuma are all aging Japanese veterans who repeatedly have admitted participating in WWII atrocities, and wanted to bring their quest for redemption to the US and Canada. Mr. Shiro Azuma got a severe cold and abandoned his plan to go abroad. Ironically US and Canada barred Shinozuka from entering the country due to their past war crimes.
The US Justice Department barred Shinozuka as a result of a 1996 decision to add suspected Japanese war criminals to the "Watch List" (Holtzman Amendment), which contained names of more than 60,000 Nazi war criminals. But the list has only 33 Japanese names added since 1996.
Shinozuka argued that those like himself who want to tell the truth about war crimes should not be on the "Watch List" (Holtzman Amendment).
Saburo Ienaga, a professor of Japanese history who has battled with mixed success to get Japanese high school textbooks to include the facts of the country's conduct in World War II, suspects that the U.S. government fears Shinozuka's testimony would embarrass American officials. "He will cause them problems, not because of what he did, but because of what he knows."
They were scheduled to take part in a historical tour called "The Forgotten Holocaust of WWII in Asia." and forum of "A Glimpse of Reconciliation-Unit 731 Photo Exhibition". It was organized by The Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia. It traveled five cities: Toronto, New York, Washington, D.C., Vancouver and San Francisco from late June to early July. Mr. Koken Tsuchiya, a senior lawyer from Tokyo, was leading the delegation. He is also the chief attorney for the lawsuit of 108 Chinese germ warfare victims against the Japanese government.
Of the 3 eyewitness, only Dr. Takemitsu Ogawa was allowed to enter into the US to give his testimony. In recalling the basis of Japanese military training, Ogawa explained that it was a training of killing with the three-all policy: kill all, burn all, and loot all. Even with the thorough education system at the time to brainwash the Imperial soldiers, many were not psychologically fit to kill and developed autonomic ataxia with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal fever, incontinent urine, asthma, spasm, paralysis of one side of the body, etc.
"The soldiers knew that if they deserted the three-all order, they would be shot dead. In those extreme situations, they showed abnormal symptoms - that was extreme autonomic ataxia," Ogawa explained. One of "The soldier was so afraid to return to the battlefield that he killed himself." Ogawa's testimony sheds light on Japan's experience on the war -something that its government and people had for a long time kept silent about.
July 31 1998, Japanese new agriculture minister Shoichi Nakagawa, who is opposed to describing Japan's wartime atrocities in school textbooks, said that Asian women may not have been forced to work as sex slaves in Japanese army brothels during WWII. A few hours later, he retracted them. "They were forcibly recruited," He said at a later news conference. The new Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi played down the incident.
In the past Japanese cabinet ministers have frequently made similar public comments DENYING atrocities Japan committed during WWII, with some losing their posts over the statements. As in January 1997, Seiroku Kajiyama, a LDP contender for the premiership, claimed that "comfort women" had provided sex to Japanese troops "for money."
Feb. 1999 Nobukatsu Fujioka, a professor at Tokyo University and the chairman of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform which aims to erase all Japan's atrocities from text book, "Comfort women were not sexual slaves" said the professor. They were simply prostitutes taken to war zones by private brokers," Fujioka told a luncheon at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.
August 23, 1998 Banned from entering North America, four Japanese veterans of WWII confessing in Tokyo to horrific atrocities in China, before a global Internet audience and over a satellite video link to panelists at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Click here to view and listen to the testimonies of Japanese Witnesses.
Hakudo Nagatomi said he had witnessed part of the six weeks of slaughter from late 1937 to early 1938 at Nanking. Later, as a member of the Imperial Army's tokumu kikan (intelligence force) in China, he had "burned to death" two children inside their house, a crime for which their mother confronted him at a trial in China after the war. "I am so sorry," said Nagatomi, weeping. "I would like a judge to punish me. That is the only way I can repent."
Two of the other Japanese veterans Shiro Azuma and Yoshio Shinozuka, had both been denied entry in June to the US and Canada for their suspected involvement in "crimes against Humanity. Azuma has become well-known in Japan for publishing a diary he kept as a soldier in Nanking that details atrocities. He has since been threatened many times by rightists in Japan, and accused of libel and fabrication by other Army veterans, including his former platoon commander, who are suing him in court. Azuma said he had personally bayonetted to death 37 Chinese civilians, "old men and women, some cradling children in their arms, just like potatoes on a skewer."
Shinozuka, a member of the Imperial Army's infamous "Unit 731" said he took part in the mass cultivation of fleas to carry bubonic plague, and of typhoid, paratyphoid, cholera, plague and anthrax germs. He also took part in the live vivisection of five Chinese prisoners who had been infected with plague germs to test their deadly efficacy. At Unit 731, Shinozuka and his colleagues would dismissively refer to these guinea pigs by their code name--"maruta" (logs).
A former co-member of the Unit 731 "youth corps," Kanetoshi Tsuruta said he also took part in the Nomonhan offensive, dumping liquid from an oil drum into a river which had been laced with typhoid bacilli.
Sheldon Harris, professor emeritus of history at California State University and author of the book, "Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare 1932-45 and the American Cover-up" stressed the enormous scale of Japan's top-secret biological warfare (BW) effort and of the atrocities committed in the process. "My calculation, which is very conservative, and based on incomplete sources as the major archives are still closed, is that 10,000 to 12,000 human beings were exterminated in lab experiments. Most were wiped out in four to six weeks, but sometimes it took 6 months," Harris told the satellite conference.
In addition, BW "field tests were carried out all over China and Manchuria," in which "a quarter of a million innocent people were wiped out ... This was a massive undertaking by the entire Japanese scientific community of the time," Harris told the global audience, "there were BW laboratories in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanking, Singapore, Rangoon and Bangkok," he said.
"The U.S. government is as culpable for inaction as Japan, and the Canadian, British, Dutch and Australian governments knew about it ... While the US "bears a major responsibility" for the coverup of Unit 731, the greater responsibility lies with Japanese."
Tokyo panelist Koken Tsuchiya, the chief lawyer for 108 Chinese victims and relatives of victims of Japanese biological warfare, said, "I am embarrassed as a Japanese by the attitude of the Japanese government of not revealing, on its own, information about BW activity and issuing an apology."
Akira Fujiwara, emeritus professor of history at Hitotsubashi University, added, "There are still politicians in Japan today who deny that the Imperial Army committed atrocities in Nanking. Those who speak out against the atrocities at Nanking receive threatening letters from rightists .... Like Auschwitz symbolizes the atrocities committed during the war by the Nazis, so does Nanking symbolize the worst atrocities committed by the Japanese Army"
Sept 22, 1998 Following Volkswagen's lead, Siemens announced its own plans for a 20 million mark fund to compensate former slave laborers forced to work for the company by the Nazis during WWII, in addition to the 7.2 million marks it had paid to the Jewish Claims Conference in 1961 to provide humanitarian help for the victims. Along with Siemens and Volkswagen, Krupp, Daimler-Benz, Audi and BMW are named in a New York lawsuit seeking a portion of the company profits for thousands of former slave laborers.
Oct. 9, 1998 The Tokyo District Court rejected claims by 46 Filipinas who said they should be compensated for being forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during WWII. The judge ruled against the women saying they could make no individual claims against a nation without international laws to support the action. Lawyers for the women argued that the 1907 Hague Convention requires a nation to pay compensation if it violates the terms of the convention.
The ruling is in stark contrast to two special reports issued by the United Nations that have proposed that Tokyo compensate individuals forced into sex slavery during WWII. official report, submitted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Radhika Coomaraswamy, on the wartime sex slavery, report by International Commision of Jurists, Geneva Comfort Women : an unfinished ordeal, and also another report by Special Rapporteur Ms. Gay J. McDougall in 1998.
Oct. 9, 1998 Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi issued his country's apology which was more sincere than those made in the past to the South Korean people for its 35 years of wartime brutal colonial rule. A joint declaration made by Obuchi and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, said Obuchi "expressed deep remorse and extended a heartfelt apology to the people of South Korea, having humbly accepted the historical fact that Japan inflicted heavy damage and pain on the people of South Korea through its colonial rule." But he made no mention of sex slaves. It was the first written apology ever issued to an individual country by Japan for its actions before and during WWII.
The South Korean leader promised Obuchi a gradual opening up to Japanese cultural imports, banned since the Japanese occupation ended in 1945. Japanese movies, popular songs and even cars are prohibited in South Korea. Obuchi offered Kim a loan package to beat its economic downtrun. Many insisted that Japan must pay compensation to the "comfort women".
Nov. 26 1998 Chinese President Jiang Zemin arrived in Tokyo for a six-day visit, becoming the first Chinese head of state to set foot in Japan. However, Japan's inability to apology for its wartime crimes to China was back onstage in a big way. This suggests a sinister failure by Tokyo to renounce its past or to mend its ways. It also casts doubt on the sincerity of previous Japanese attempts to apologize to its neighbours. It also reflects the power of right-wing groups within and outside Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
At the same time, the Tokyo District Court tersely rejected a lawsuit filed in 1995 by WWII PoWs and civilian internees demanding an apology and US $22,000 compensation for each detainee. "I spit on the doorstep of the Diet. There's no justice in this country." Arthur Titherington, a former PoW said after the ruling. "Germany has been able to mollify the world about its wartime past because they didn't hide things, like Japan did," Yasuo Kurata said.
Nov. 30 1998 The Tokyo District Court dismissed a damages suit filed in 1994 by seven Dutch men imprisoned by Japanese military forces and a Dutch woman forced into sexual slavery during WWII, seeking $22,000 each in compensation. Lawyers for the plaintiffs had argued that Article 3 of Nov. 30 1998 The Tokyo District Court dismissed a damages suit filed in 1994 by seven Dutch men imprisoned by Japanese military forces and a Dutch woman forced into sexual slavery during WWII, seeking $22,000 each in compensation. Lawyers for the plaintiffs had argued that Article 3 of the 1907 Hague Convention allows individual victims of war to claim damages from the nation whose armed forces violated rules of war, such as humanitarian treatment of PoWs and respect for the life and rights of residents in the occupied territories. Presiding Judge Taichi Kajimura acknowledged both the inhuman brutal treatment against the plaintiffs and its illegality. Nevertheless, he dismissed the plaintiffs' claims for compensation, saying international law does not give individuals the right to seek redress for suffering during war. The government maintained that the Hague Convention, which Japan ratified in 1911, stipulates state-to-state relations and cannot be applied to individuals.
The recognition of both the inhumane brutal treatment against the plaintiffs and its illegality "is very important -- in relation to the Hague Convention of 1907," said plaintiff Gerard Jungslager "We are going to appeal because individuals' rights have not yet been recognized.... However, the most important step is that the first step has been set in the right direction."
Feb. 1999, Twelve giant German companies, IG Farben, Allianz AG, BASF AG, Bayer AG, BMW AG, DaimlerChrysler AG, DegussaHuels AG, Dresdner Bank AG, Fried Krupp AG Hoesch Krupp, Hoechst AG, Siemens AG and Volkswagen AG, have agreed to compensate slave labourers and other Nazi era victims. It was estimated that the total would be 2.5 billion. Deutsche Bank chief executive Rolf Breuer described the fund as a milestone, similar to 1.9 billion settlement reached by Swiss banks of Holocaust claims last year.
March 28, 1999, In Japan Tokyo, a controversial $12 billion yen national museum, Showa Hall Museum was officially opened. It is Japan's first museum about the WWII. However, inside there is nothing about Japanese war crimes - comfort wowen, Nanjing massacre, Unit 731, germ warfare, not even Pearl Harbour, Hiroshima etc. Kazuo Ohashi, a pacifist, was so outraged by Showa Hall he has filed a lawsuit with his supporters accusing the government of misusing tax money to build it. "It's a sham," Ohashi said. "The museum contains nothing about the war." His lawsuit is pending in a Tokyo court.
Apr. 1999 In a landmark settlement, giant steelmaker NKK Corp. agreed to pay US $34,000 to a South Korean man who was forcibly brought to Japan for slave labor during WWII. This is the second court-brokered settlement of such a suit. The first payment by a Japanese company to a plaintiff -- a bereaved family receiving payment from a company in the first case. Kim Kyung Suk, 72, filed his lawsuit in 1991 demanding 10 million yen in damages and an apology from the company. Though the court admitted NKK's wrongdoing, it dismissed any responsibility of the steel giant, saying the 20-year statute of limitations had already run out. His lawyer, Kazuyuki Azusawa, says the threat of losing a subway contract in Seoul may have prompted the settlement, "Japanese companies are not sincere,".
May 1999, Canada ALPHA is launching a postcard sending campaign to support a Canada Federal Bill C-479 Recognition of Crimes Against Humanity Act. The purpose of the Bill is to mandate the establishment of an exhibit in the Canadian Museum of Civilization to recognize the crimes against Humanity as defined by the United Nations that have been perpetrated during the twentieth century. If this Bill is passed, then exhibits on the systematic and organized atrocities and crimes against Humanity committed by the Japanese military machine throughout Asia before and during WW II will be included in the national Musuem of Civilization. Please ask all your Canadian friends to send an electronic postcard to the Members of the Canadian Parliament to petition for their support to this Bill C-479.
July 1999 Please call your California legislator immediately asking them to support 2 important bills, i.e. California Assembly Joint Resolution 27 and S.B. 1245. AJR 27 urges Japanese Government to formally issue a clear and unambiguous apology for their atrocious war crimes during WWII and to immediately pay reparations to the victims of these crimes. S.B. 1245 supports compensation to all slave and forced labor victims used in WWII.
Aug. 24, 1999 The California State Assembly approved the resolution AJR 27 by urging Japan to apologize for its wartime atrocities and offer individual compensation to American veterans, former sex slaves and other victims. They also passed laws extending the statute of limitations for WWII lawsuits to 2010. It was a major step in gaining national attention for a burgeoning movement by Japan's war victims. The resolution maintains that the Japanese actions are not enough, and calls on the Japanese government to issue a "clear and unambiguous apology." It calls on U.S. Congress and the President to also seek an apology and reparations from Japan.
July 1999 9 Taiwanese women forced to work as sex slaves are taking the Tokyo government to court demanding 10 million yen each in compensation and an official apology. At least 2,000 Taiwanese women were forced to work as comfort women but only about 40 disclosed their grief.
Aug 9, 1999 Japan's parliament voted 166 to 71 enacted bitterly contested legislation enshrining as national symbols the rising sun flag and the imperial hymn Kimigayo as the national anthem. Comdemned by hundreds protesters demonstrated outside the building because of their connection with Japan's militarist and imperial past.
Aug. 27, 1999 In a 15-2 resolution, the U.N. Subcommission on Human Rights rejected Japan's reasons for denying government compensation to women forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese military during WWII. It stressed that under international law, governments are responsible for war crimes and other rights violations committed by their soldiers. The Japanese governments "shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation".
Aug. 1999 Ralph Levenberg filed a class-action suit under a new California law that authorizes any World War II slave-labor victim to sue for compensation. The defendant is Nippon Sharyo, one of Japan's biggest makers of railroad cars. Levenberg is demanding compensation and a clear, no wiggle-room apology. Levenberg's lawyers already have other big Japanese corporations in their sights, including heavyweights like Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Both firms were named in a suit Levenberg filed earlier this year in a U.S. federal district court and both could face litigation under the new California law.
If companies in Europe are moving, however reluctantly, to close the final accounts of the war, their counterparts in Japan have not yet begun. At least 46 war redress suits have been filed in Japanese courts, Not one case has been won. According to attorney Yoshitaka Takagi, 3 cases have been settled out of court, including a forced labor case against steel giant NKK Corp. In 2 cases, the courts ruled that the plaintiffs had been wronged, though they declined to order restitution, saying it is up to parliament to decide whether and how to compensate victims.
Sept 3, 1999 A California based lawyer Barry Fisher urged the Japanese and U.S. government, Japanese companies to disclose wartime documents that would expose facts about the forced labor of American prisoners of war in Japan during WWII, whereas the German government recently disclosed papers that revealed over 500 firms were involved in the Holocaust.
Sept 13, 1999 500 American ex-PoWs used as slave labor during WWII are seeking an apology and compansation. The lawsuit, which seeks nationwide class-action status, was filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, N.M., against five Japanese companies - Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Mitusi & Co., Inc., Mitsubishi International Corp., Nippon Steel Corp., and Showa Denko, They used POWs to produce war goods between 1942 and 1945. Such actions are illegal under the Geneva Convention and various treaties that Japan's wartime government promised to honor. Eli J. Warach, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the lawsuit comes more than 50 years after the war because evidence and information withheld by U.S. agencies during the Cold War was only recently declassified. Several ex-PoWs also said U.S. officials warned them in 1945 and asked them to sign secrecy document not to discuss their experiences.
Sept 22, 1999 The Tokyo court ruled that it does not acknowledge the right of a foreign individual to seek compensation for war damages from Japan. The lawyer of 10 Chinese plaintiff, Hiroshi Oyama complained that the decision was based less on the law than on the judges' personal political views. The plaintiffs will appeal, said another of their lawyers, Harumi Watanabe. They demanded compensation for suffering caused by wartime biological experiments, the Rape of Nanking and the firebombing of Yong'an city. The Japanese government has acknowledged that during the war its Unit 731, based in the Chinese city of Harbin, conducted experiments with bubonic plague, anthrax and cholera on thousands of Allied prisoners of war and Chinese civilians.
Oct. 27, 1999 Members of the LA-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and the New York-based Alliance in Memory of Victims of the Nanjing Massacre met with Attorney General Janet Reno and Pentagon officials. The activists said US officials promised to persuade Japan to supply information about human experiments in WWII. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., sent a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi urging that his government release the documents. If not complied, Lantos said he plans to sponsor legislation in Congress that would declassify U.S. documents relating to WWII in hopes of finding information. Meanwhile, Cooper and other activists want Washington to modify the amnesty granted to Japanese veterans or express some regret. "If the U.S. will acknowledge its moral error perhaps that will inspire the Japanese to look at this black hole," Cooper said.
Nov. 4 1999 Japan's leading journalist Honda Katsuichi reflected on the Nanjing Massacre to the world through the internet. Click here to listen. He also discussed his new book The Nanjing Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan's National Shame.
Dec. 7, 1999 On the anniversary of Japan's attach on Pearl Harbour, New York lawyer Edward D. Fagan, best known for his billion-dollar lawsuits on behalf of Jewish Holocaust survivors, filed a class action lawsuit against the Japanese industrial giants Mitsui, Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon Steel Corp. on behalf of former prisoners of war who were used as slave laborers. A total of 18 class action lawsuits have already been filed in the U.S, with dozens more planned.
Nov. 8, 1999 US. Congressmen introduced Resolution H.3254 codifying WWII war crimes claims. H.3245 is a parallel bill to Resolution S.1856, introduced last Thursday in the Senate, to amend title 28 of the United States Code to authorize Federal district courts to hear civil actions to recover damages or secure relief for certain injuries to persons and property under or resulting from the Nazi regime and its wartime allies including Japan. It furthers the resolve of the U.S. Congress to bring proper closures to outstanding WWII civil liability issues.
November 10, 1999 Resolution S.1902 was introduced to review and examine wartime documents related to Japanese war crimes from 1931 to 1948, declassify them and released to the National Archive for public access. It is a parallel bill to a US Senate resolution S.1379 passed by unanimous consent in both the Senate and the House last year to declassify all Nazi war crime records through a similar interagency.
Dec. 17, 1999 German, U.S. and east European officials agreed to setup a US $5.2 billion fund to compensate Nazi-era slave and forced labourers, about $8,000 for each in a concentration camp and about $3,200 for each non-concentration camp forced labourer. Payment would start in the middle of year 2000.
Dec. 24, 1999 Japan finally announced that its government will spend US $27.7 million dollars to destroy all their Chemical Weapon left in China during WWII. It is estimated 700,000 - 2,000,000 chemical bombs still scattered in China. Many of them are corroded and leaking and have caused many causalities to the Chinese. As a signatory of Chemical Weapons Prevention Treaty, Japan is pressed by the International chemical weapon prevention organization to cleanup in 5 years, but the Japanese government said 10 years are required due to the large quantity of these deadly Chemical Weapons. According to UN regulation, the chemical weapon must be destroyed by 2007.
Jan. 2000 Officials in the Japan's 3rd-biggest city of Osaka said they had no choice but to let a nationalist group hold a conference, ironically in the Peace Museum, with the theme "the biggest lie of the 20th century" insisting that the 1937 Nanjing Massacre never occurred. The same citizens' group organised a screening of the Japanese film Pride - The Fateful Moment which depicts WWII leader Hideki Tojo as a heroic warrior rather than a Class A War Criminal at the same facility in 1998.
Voices dismissing or greatly playing down Japan's wartime crimes are regularly heard from Japanesee political, academic and media establishment. The governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, for one, has frequently called the Nanjing Massacre a lie. In the past Japanese cabinet ministers also frequently made similar public denying comments with some losing their posts over the statements. In January 1997, Seiroku Kajiyama, a LDP contender for the premiership, even claimed that "comfort women" had provided sex to Japanese troops "for money".
Jan. 19, 2000 U.S. Nebraska State Senator Don Preiester of Omaha and 12 of his Senate colleagues have introduced Legislative Resolution 298 (LR 298) condemning the atrocities Japanese military committed in the WWII and demanding the Government of Japan to offer formal apology and compensations to its victims. A similar resolution passed in California, namely AJR 27, which was introduced by Japanese American Assemblyman Mike Honda of San Jose.
Jan. 27, 2000 To underline that Germans intend to remain aware of Nazi evils, German government decided to build a monument just south of the landmark Brandenburg Gate. The monument will consist of a vast field of 2,700 close-set concrete slabs resembling stones in a graveyard. Jan. 27 is also Germany's annual Day of Remembrance for Victims of Nazism, established in 1996.
Feb 1, 2000 Resolution HR 3561 was introduced in the US House by Brian Bilbray. It is a parallel bill to the Senate Resolution S.1902, the Japanese Imperial Army War Crime Disclosure Act on Nov. 1999. HR 3561 & S.1902 are to create an interagency work group, fully funded for 3 years, to review and examine wartime documents related to Japanese war crimes from 1931 to 1948, declassify them and released to the National Archive for public access.
Feb. 2000 In a speech to Israel's Parliament, Johannes Rau, the German president said, "I ask forgiveness for what Germans have done - for myself and my generation, for the sake of our children and our children's children."
May 15 2000 Senate Resolution 174 was introduced. The resolution calls attention to the atrocities committed by Japan against the Chinese and others during WWII. It also called on the Government of Japan to issue a formal apology and reparations to the victims of its war crimes.
May 18, 2000 Trying to blunt fears of Asian countries about a resurrection of Japanese militarism, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori apologized for any "misunderstandings" for endorsing the nationalists' view that Japan is a "divine country" whose emperor has a pipeline to the gods, but he refused to retract his comments, which he said were meant to reflect "Japan's eternal traditional culture." The WWII invasions were fuelled by Shintoism, a religion which held that Japan's emperor had a mandate from the god to take over Asia. Defeated, constitution was rewritten to separate religion and politics.
But the old militarism lives on among Japan's ultraright, who glorify the country's war history and play down documented war atrocities. Japanese Prime Minister Mori made his statement Monday to a group of legislators and Shinto leaders in a speech marking the 30th anniversary of the Parliamentarian Conference for Shinto Politics League, of which he is a founding member. Opposition parties called for Prime Minster's resignation. Mr. Mori apologized again a week later and still refuses to withdraw it.
May 24 2000 Japanese Emperor Akihito started a state visit to the Netherlands, Dutch. To remind Japan of its war crimes and unfinished responsibilities, the Foundation for Japanese Honorary Debts (JES) organized a series of activities during the state visit, which were supported by many international peace organizations, including veteran and grassroots organizations from Japan, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, US and Canada. Many observers commented on these activities as a powerful moving force facilitating a new milestone in the international redress movement against Japan.
JES also sponsored the exhibition of photos and stamps in the Hague. Entitled "Unfinished Matters: The Other Face of Japan", the exhibition focused on the Nanjing Massacre, the Military Sexual Slavery, and the Unit 731 unit. The very first of its kind in Europe. To further enhance public awareness of Japan's unfinished business, JES organized protest marches in Amsterdam and Hague. to coincide with the arrival of Emperor Akihito. Joined by several hundred supporters, many put on the JES jacket imprinted "Pay Your Debts" in both Japanese and English.
July 6, 2000 German Parliament passed a bill setting up billions dollar slave fund for the Nazi-era slave and forced laborers. They formally apologized to the victims "for what Germans did to them". The vote on the compensation fund bill was 556-42, with 22 abstentions. It is being financed 50-50 by German industry and the government. It was signed on July 17 and formally established the 10 billions marks (US $7.5 billion) slave fund. More than 3,127 German firms have pledged money. "This closes one of the last open chapters of the Nazi past," said the German Chancellor, "We are setting down a durable marker of historic and moral responsibility."
July 12, 2000 Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp. a Japanese machine-toolmaker has reached a settlement with 3 South Koreans who served as forced laborers during WWII. settled a lawsuit filed by the South Koreans in Sept. 1992. It is the first time that a compromise of this kind has been made at the Supreme Court. It is the third such settlement, following a compromise between Japan Steel Corp. and former Korean workers recruited during WWII. Kensuke Imura, president of Nachi-Fujikoshi, said in Toyama that the company will pay the Koreans "settlement money," but he did not specify the amount. The plaintiffs had sought a total of 20 million yen in damages, 5,200 yen in unpaid wages and a public apology.
About 60 lawsuits seeking compensation payments for forced labor during the war are being heard throughout the country.
Aug. 15, 2000 9 members of Japan Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's Cabinet went into Yasukuni Shrine and bow deeply before its altar to offer their prayers. The Prime Minister himself, already under fire for comments that stirred memories of Japanese Militarism, stayed away. Among those honored at the shrine are the Japanese war-time prime minister, Hideki Tojo, and many other Japanese military leaders convicted of WWII war crimes. For people in Asian, Yasukuni Shrine is a symbol of Japan's brutal militaristic past.
Sept 4 2000 Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo prefecture, turned a hitherto boring annual earthquake drill into one of the largest military exercises most Japanese have seen since WWII. More then 7,000 uniformed soldiers participated in the streets of central Tokyo with tanks and helicopters. Many questioned the need for a military drill on this scale. "Ishihara wants to change the Constitution and turn Japan into a big military country again." said Atsuo Nakamura, an opposition member of Paliament. Japanese Prime Minister visited the basement command room of Japan's Self defence Forces to monitor the drill.
Oct 14 2000 In room 103 of Tokyo district court, Japan was at war with her own History. It was the first testimony of its kind, former Japanese soldier of notorious Unit 731, Yoshio Shinozuka, 78, told the court he participated in mass production of cholera, dysentery and typhoid germs. He also assisted in the vivisection of Chinese civilians during WWII. He said one of his reasons for testifying was disappointment with the government's efforts to come clean about the war. "What I have done was something that nobody should have done as a Human Being." he said.
Nov. 2000 The first case of its kind to be tried in Chinese courts, Xia Shuqin is suing Asia University professor Osamichi Higashinakano and writer Toshio Matsumura for distorting the truth about the Nanking Massacre. Xia is also seeking compensation and public apology from Matsumura, author of "Big Doubts about the Nanking Massacre," and the Tentensha Publishing House for printing the two books.
Nov 7 2000 Since Japan has refused to compensate British PoW of Japan for their suffering in WWII, and time was too important for the aging vets to waste it on prolonged legal fights, British Government announced its own compensation for PoW, £10,000 each, at a cost to British Government of 180 million £. Canadian governmnet did the same in 1998, paid up on its own to each PoW Cad $24,000.
Nov 29 2000 Major Japanese construction firm Kajima Corp. agreed to set up a US 4.6 million fund to compensate 986 victims of WWII slave labor worked in Hanaoka mine. 418 out of 986 Chinese died due to the brutal conditions. However, at the same day Kajima issued its own statement that :
All three points above were blatant lies. The Global Alliance demands that Kajima Corporation to retract its Statement by Feb 12 2001 and continue with appeals to other Kajima clients and world communities to pressure Kajima. About 60 suits have been filed against the Japanese government or Japanese companies for compensation for slave labor during WWII.
Dec 7 2000 Japanese court rejected a lawsuit filed by nearly 80 aging Filipino women demanding apology and US 9 million in compensation for being forced to work as sex slave. Some of the women were as young as 10. "I will fight till I die," said plaintiff Carmecita Ramel. "They are all criminals, the Japanese government." Last week the court also rejected a former Korean sex slave's demands for compensation. approx.400,000 women were forced to work as sex slave by Japan in WWII.
Dec 27 2000 President Clinton signed into U.S. Public Law 106-567, the "Intelligence Authorization Act for F/Y 2001," in which the the original S 1902 of "Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act of 2000" is included as Title VIII. It now allows the public for the first time in over 55 years to have access to hitherto classified U.S. documents which are expected to shed more light upon the extent of the war crimes committed by the Japanese Imperial Government during WWII. But some researcher remain skeptical because the law's "national security" exemptions.
Jan. 24 2001 At the end of WWII, retreating Japanese military dumped swarms of unleashed fleas tainted with cholera, typhoid, anthrax, bubonic plague and other diseases in China's southwestern Zhenjian province and over the city of Ningbo, south of Shanghai. 2 Chinese doctors said in Tokyo District Court. The lawsuit filed in 1997, about 180 Chinese plaintiffs are demanding compensation and an apology from the Japanese government.
The attacks had killed 50,000 people in 6 years. "After 60 years, we are still finding positive antibodies of bubonic plague in rats, dogs, cats and other animals. Every year a certain number of healthy people develop typhoid. Japan's germ warfare has left behind problems that still threaten our lives," Qiu said. Fears of another outbreak still haunt the city. After decades of denial, Japan only acknowledged few years ago that Unit 731 existed but has refused to confirm its activity.
Jan. 2001, Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori publicly referred to the Sino-Japanese War as the "China Incident". His view reflects the thinking of some senior Japanese politicians.
Feb 8 2001 The Tokyo Hight Court refused to hear an appeal by a group of Hong Kong residents asking Japan to honor military bills issued by the occupying Japanese military during WWII. The Japanese Imperial Army occupied HK between 1941 and 1945 and forced residents to exchange HK dollars, foreign currency, gold and jewelry for bills insured by the Japanese military. Anyone disobeyed were executed. Japan then used the money to buy war supplies. At the end of the war, the Allied Forces instructed Japan to declare the bills had no monetary value. Many families became broke overnight The bills stated they could be coverted into yen at par value.
17 HK residents filed the case against Japan in 1993, demanding their money back and compensation totaling Yen 768 million. The Tokyo District Court threw the case out in 1999, saying the bills had lost their value and the group had no grounds to claim the money. Since that decision, five claimants have died. "We are not demanding for war compensation, we are demanding Japan to pay back their legal debt", said Mr. Ng. They will appeal to the Tokyo Supreme Court.
Feb 21 2001 During a meeting of LDP supporters in Akita Prefecture, former Japanese Defense Minister Hosei Norota blamed the US for forcing Japan into the war and shameless said: "Colonialism in Asia was rooted out to the hilt thanks to the Great East Asia War."
Feb 24 2001 In the Hague war crimes court, the international tribunal has convicted the 3 Serb commanders in the Bosnian town of Foca in 1992 and 1993, where hundreds of women were abducted and sexually enslaved by Bosnian Serb soldiers. They received prison terms of 28, 20 and 12 years. The judges ruled that mass rape is a crime against Humanity, the 2nd most serious category of international crimes after genocide.
Feb 26 2001 Resolution No. 7 similar to the two bills passed in California and similar to HR 126 (US Congress) has been introduced in the West Virginia Legislation. The resoluton is calling on the Japanese Government to offer a formal apology and compensation to wartime victims.
Mar 2 2001 In view of the growing anger of people over Japanese government's move to authorize school textbooks that many critics said distort its wartime history, Korea and China called in the Japanese ambassador to deliver their protest. In protest, South Korean has frozen all military exchanges and canceled plans to further open its market to Japanese music tapes, cartoons and video games.
Many Japanese Historians and History Educators put forward their appeal We Cannot Entrust History Education to a Textbook That Distorts History . There is also the International Scholars’ Appeal.
May 14 2001 Asian Human Rights Commission has initiated an urgent appeal for you to sign online Statement of Concern about Japanese History Textbook
A book published last Sept challenges the official history of Japanese Emperor's wartime role " Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan" by Herbert P. Bix, a Boston-born historian who teaches at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.
Bix reveals new information on the degree to which the U.S. government systematically deceived the whole world. As cold war deepen, US needs Japan as an anti-communist bulwark in Asia. Evidences show that senior aides to Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Japanese court officials schemed to fix testimony at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials so as not to implicate Hirohito.
Bix, using official records that will be difficult for the Emperor's apologists to refute, shows Hirohito knew all the war crimes in China, and involved deeply in early strategic decisions as Japan's army marched through China, approved an alliance with Hitler and Mussolini, and the plan to attack Pearl Harbor. In Japan, some politicians are now joining scholars in calling for a reassessment of the Emperor's new clothes. "The Hirohito diaries should be made public," says Diet member Taro Kono.
Apr 25 2001 Within hours of becoming Japan's new prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi told in his first news conference Japan's Peace Constitution Article 9 should be amended to legitimize the use of military force. Koizumi has refused to reverse the approval of new distorted high school textbooks. he also intends to pay an offical visit to Shinto shrine on Aug. 15.
May 24 2001 After 60 years, US slaved PoW are still seeking justice. Their efforts have run into opposition from an unexpected source - U.S. State Dept. The State Department has filed papers in federal court in California stating the treaty prevents the courts from hearing the lawsuits. "The government has betrayed us. They will probably stall the lawsuit until we are all dead and gone." Henry Cornellisson said.
July 18 2001, the House of Representatives voted 395-33 to amend an appropriations bill that would prohibit the departments of Justice and State from using money to prevent former PoWs from seeking a fair hearing against Japanese companies. A House bill designed to help tJuly 18 2001, the House of Representatives voted 395-33 to amend an appropriations bill that would prohibit the departments of Justice and State from using money to prevent former PoWs from seeking a fair hearing against Japanese companies. A House bill designed to help the veterans in court sponsored by Rep. Mike Honda, would let federal courts ignore a key section of the 1951 controversial San Francisco Peace Treaty that waived all claims against Japanese nationals for crimes committed during the war. "If the bill passes, it will open up the process and remove the roadblock the State Department has put up," said Linda Goetz Holmes author of a newly publish book Unjust Enrichment: How Japan's Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American PoWs .
There are now 35 separate civil suits that cite as defendants some of the world's largest corporations, including Nippon Steel, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsui Mining USA. You can support them to pass "The Justice for US PoWs Act of 2001" (H.R. 1198) so that Japanese companies will be forced to take responsibility for their cruelty and atrocities.
May 30 2001 German Parliament approved compensation fund of US $4.5 billion to slave laborers, about $7,000 each to people forced to work in slave labor camps, but less to those forced to work in factories. Half the money is to be paid by more than 6,000 German companies including DaimlerChrysler, Bayer, Bertelsmann, Deutsche Bank, Hugo Boss, Mannesmann and Allianz. The other half is being paid by the government. Most recipients live in Eastern Europe.
Germany has already paid more than US $60 billion in reparations since WWII.
Jun 21, 2001 Tokyo District Court dismissed a Sex Slave case, ruling individuals did not have the right to demand compensation from the Government. 5 women from Shanxi province, China filed a lawsuit in Tokyo in 1995 demanding an apology and 20 million yuan (US 6 million) in compensation from Japan. One died in 1998, leaving 4 to pursue the case. The women had already filed an appeal. Of approx. 400,000 sex salves, no one knows how many still survive. They were forced to serve up to 30 - 40 men a day. Many have concealed their past, considering it too shameful.
In 1998, the Yamaguchi District Court recognised the Japan's use of so-called comfort women and ordered the payment of 900,000 yen in compensation to 9 former Korean sex slaves, but the ruling was later overturned.
Jul 12, 2001 Tokyo District Court ordered Japanese government to pay 20 million yen to a former Chinese forced labourer. However, the victim is paid for his suffering as a fugitive, NOT as slave laborer. Liu Lianren of Shandong Province was sent to a mine on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido in 1944 after the military abducted him. Liu escaped in Apr 1945, and went into hiding until Feb 1958. He didn't know the war had ended. Liu filed suit in March 1996. His relatives took it over after his death.
The judge said Japan should be held responsible for Liu's suffering as a fugitive NOT as slave, who was brought to Japan at the Japanese government's behest. Lawyer Toru Takahashi said his only regret is that the court fell short of ordering the Japan to pay compensation for subjecting Liu to forced labour. Japanese government has filed an appeal.
Some 114 Chinese are seeking redress from Japan and its private firms in 8 other trials, while 3 other suits are expected to be also filed by former forced labourers from China.
Aug. 13 2001 In protest over Japanese Prime Minister's visit to the Shinto shrine and whitewashing Japan's war crimes in the new textbooks, 20 South Korean cut off tips of their little fingers. They plan to mail the severed pieces to the Japanese embassy. The signs near the shrine refer to the Tojo and other war criminals as martyrs. In Seoul, Kim Yun-ok said, "The Japanese enshrined at Yasukuni are the very ones who raped our grandmothers."
Aug. 15 2001 According to few survey, the school districts across Japan are now refusing to use the government approved distorted new textbook that glosses over Japan's wartime atrocities. "It could lead us down a mistaken path again." said Yukio Wani.
Sept. 2001 A lawsuit seeking $1 trillion in repatriations from the Japanese government was filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago. The suit uses declassified documents to argue that former Japanese Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida told the Dutch government that the 1951 treaty did not mean the Allied powers were forfeiting the right of their citizens to sue Japan for wartime damages.
Sept 10 2001 A Jewish history museum with 3,000 square meters, the largest in whole Europe, formally opened in Berlin, Germany.
Oct. 8 2001 Japanese prime minister Koizumi, during his one day visit to Beijing, issued his war apoplgy after visiting the Lugouqiao (Marco Polo Bridge), site of hostilities that led to a full scale war invasion to China in July 7, 1937. He also visited a War Museum. However, the apology was simply based on and did not go beyond the wording used in a 1995 statement by Murayama. His personal apology was NOT passed by Japanese Diet. Even so, Koizumi left open the possibility that he may visit Yasukuni Shinto Shrine again next year.
Oct. 19 2000 Judge William McDonald of the California Superior Court in Orange County ruled, in three slave labor suits, two against Mitsubishi and one against Mitsui, that it is the courts, not the executive branch, that determine the meaning or applicability of the treaty; that the court has a right to hear the PoWs claims.
The PoWs point out that Japan made payments to Britain, Holland, and Switzerland after the treaty, money that was used by those governments to compensate PoWs. Article 26 obliges Japan to give the same advantages to all other nations if, after the San Francisco Peace Treaty, better terms are reached with individual nations.
Nov. 1 2001. Over 900 people filed a lawsuit against Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi for his visit to the Shinto shrine in August. They argued that his official visit to the shrine had violated constitution which was rewritten after the war to ensure the separation of religion and politics.
Nov. 29 2001 The entire Japanese government, not just the military, was involved in the decision to provide sex slaves, Japanese researchers said at an international conference in Los Angeles on Japan's war crimes. After Japan invaded Manchuria, China in 1937, Japanese government created the Imperial Conference, composed of the emperor, the military and the leading Cabinet ministers. This body made all important decisions including approving the "comfort women", historian Hirofumi Hayashi of Kanto-Gakuin University in Yokohama said.
Other research presented indicates that the actual number of sex slaves may have been closer to 400,000 than the 200,000 previously estimated by a United Nations human rights agency. Su Zhi Liang, a history professor from Shanghai Teachers University, noted that the U.N. estimate did not take into account China, because China came into the research picture much later than its Asian neighbors. In Shanghai alone, the Japanese military set up 90 sex stations, with about 500 women serving soldiers at each station.
Nov. 29 2001 Los Angeles Superior Court judge, rejecting the US federal government's contention, has again refused to dismiss a Koreatown resident's slave-labor lawsuit against Japanese companies. Now a U.S. citizen, 79-year-old Jae-Won Jeong was forcibly taken to a slave labor camp in 1943 to break limestone by hand at a quarry for Japan's Onoda Cement Manufacturing Co. in the northeastern tip of the Korean peninsula.
Judge Lichtman said he was struck by the DOUBLE STANDARD in U.S. government's position concerning slave-labor that the U.S. government has not objected to suits seeking compensation for Nazi slave-labor victims but did in the suits against the Japanese companies.
10 Dec 2001 A documentary film "Japanese Devils" about brutal role of Japan's 14 years invasion to China between 1931 - 1945, has been awarded with film prizes in Germany and Portugal. 14 veterans of the Imperial Army testify to their own brutal participation.
"Once you've killed your second or third, you stop thinking about it,'' Yasuji Kaneko describes how he grew numb to slaughter after bayonet drills using live Chinese prisoners tied to stakes. "It was ultimately about competition," another interviewed veteran describes throwing babies onto camp fires just for laughs, "how many you killed becomes a standard of achievement."
Former Japanese sergeant major, Masayo Enomoto, says he became so inured to murder and so steeped in the idea that the Chinese were sub-human that he thought nothing of chopping up a rape victim, cooking her flesh and serving it to his hungry troops.
Director Minoru Matsui said his main reason for making the documentary was to counter Japan's tendency to "sugarcoat" history. "The biggest reason for making the film was to preserve a record," producer Kenichi Oguri said. "After making it, we held a preview. Some young Japanese said they didn't even know Japan had fought a war with China."
Jan 1, 2002 In Nanjing, about 20,000 Chemical Weapon metal canisters lay buried atop the Yellow Beard Mountain, showing for the first time that Japanese forces deployed Chemical Weapon during their invasion of the capital city of Japan's infamous Nanjing Massacre in 1937.
The digging finally wrapped up in Dec. 2001 on unearthing and moving them to a special storage site.
The size of the chemical weapon, experts say, is enough to put Yellow Beard Mountain near the top of the list of places around the world.
Most startling is the fact that the stockpile in Nanjing represents just a tiny fraction of the chemical weapon in China left behind by Japanese army.
China is now home to the world's largest chemical weapons cleanup campaign for 700,000 - 2,000,000 chemical warheads.
"This is something that has been done before, but not on that scale," said Abu Talib, a chemical weapons expert from Mitretek Systems in Falls Church, Va. in U.S., "Most of the chemical weapons around the world, you're talking hundreds and thousands -- not such a huge pile."
Whether such a monumental task can be completed by 2007, the deadline imposed by the international Chemical Weapons Convention, remains to be seen.
Japan only admitted in November 1995 that it had used "lethal gases" during war.
The weapons have continued to injure, kill and damaging the environment. 18 alleged postwar victims are finally to get a hearing in a Tokyo court in Feb or March after years of filing suit for compensation.
According to court records, the injuries to plaintiffs were sustained during the leak of a mustard gas bomb in 1974, in which sailors aboard a ship on a local river were poisoned; a leak of barreled poisonous gas in Mudanjiang in 1982; and the explosion of a poison gas bomb in Shuangcheng in 1995, and four other cases. The plaintiffs want an apology from the Japan and 360 million yen in compensation.
Jan. 1 2002 Chu Chung Wen is not a U.S. postal worker or a recipient of an anthrax-tainted letter. He is an elderly man living in China, one of thousands who suffered anthrax infections caused by Japanese germ warfare. Chu and his mother developed swollen lymph nodes when the infection spread from the skin to internal tissues.
He contracted anthrax in 1942 while working as a slave laborer for a Japanese-occupied airport located in the village of Nan Zi. "more than half the people repairing the airport" came down with the "unknown disease" Chu recalls. Japanese military disseminated anthrax germs, as part of the waged bacteriological attacks in the Chinese east-coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangxi.
Now a restitution trial for Japanese biological warfare is going forward in a Tokyo court. The plaintiffs are demanding apology and compensation for the deaths of their relatives killed by biological warfare carried out by Japan's notorious Unit 731 and Unit 164. The thousands of victims included 2,100 civilians, whose personal details have been verified in China.
In a prepared statement for the trial, a 78-year-old Japanese veteran, Yoshio Shinozuka, confessed: "From July to November 1940, I participated in the production of typhoid, paratyphoid, cholera, plague and anthrax germs" at Unit 731 headquarters.
Feb 2, 2002 It is rare that a foreign-written book becomes so critical in explaining another country's history to its own people. The "Embracing Defeat" by John W. Dower have sold about 122,000 copies in just few months in Japan. The extraordinary popularity of this 900 pages history about postwar Japan raised a deep question - Japanese people understanding of their own country's history.
Many Japanese say they have now understood their country's WWII history for the first time.
Feb 10 2002 In Japan, at the Fukuoka District Court, the Japanese government said in a statement that Koizumi "did not visit the shrine in his capacity as the prime minister". The lawsuit was filed by 211 people demanding 100,000 yen each in compensation that the visit violated the constitutional. Similar lawsuits have also been filed in Chiba, Tokyo, Osaka and Ehime prefectures.
In 1991, the Sendai High Court ruled that a 1985 Yasukuni visit by then Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone violated the Constitution. Japan's two other high courts handed down similar rulings in 1992.
Mar 22 2002 U.S. medical expert Dr. Martin Furmanskihave specialized in research into the biological war waged by the Japanese and historian Sheldon Harris emeritus professor of history at California State University researched this field for 20 years, in their fortnight long trip to China, have proved that a bacterium called glanders was used by Japanese troops during WWII. "Glanders was a disease first found in horses, and it could attack human beings," said Furmanski. Human beings' legs are most affected by the disease. "Only one out of 20 people with the disease could survive."
Medical records showed that glanders had long been wiped out in 1906, but new cases suddently broke out in the 1940s during WWII in China."
Even today, one hard-hit village in Zhejiang still bears the nickname "Rotten-Leg Village" because so many older residents are scarred with glanders from the 1942 attacks. Their flesh are still rotten and have not been healed since they were attacked - they have been suffering physically and mentally for almost 60 years now.
Apr 21, 2002 Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a surprise visit to the war Yasukuni Shrine that also remembers convicted war criminals, drawing sharp criticism from China and South Korea. Koizumi made no effort to disguise, "My visit was as Japan's prime minister," he told reporters after the visit. During the last August visit, Koizumi had refused to specify if he was going in an official or private capacity.
Apr 26, 2002 In the first such ruling in Japan, Japanese court ordered Mitsui Mining to pay $85,000 to each of 15 Chinese forced laborer to work for it in WWII. Almost immediately Mitsui Mining filed an appeal. The company said Mitsui Mining shouldn't have to bear the responsibility, "Basically, it's a matter of government policy." The Japanese government, however, has so far denied its responsibility.
May 9, 2002 The Tokyo District Court ordered author Toshio Matsumura and Tendensha, the publisher of book "A Big Doubt About the Rape of Nanking," to pay a Chinese woman Li Xiuying 1.5 million yen for calling her accounts of the Rape of Nanjing a fabrication.
Li, now 83, sued Matsumura and his publisher in 1999. She was 18 and pregnant at the time, narrowly survived after suffering 37 sword slashings by Japanese soldiers who had try to rape her. Li's separate damages lawsuit demanding Japanese government compensate for her injuries is still pending at the Tokyo High Court.
May 25, 2002 There is a growing movement among Bataan veterans to force Japan for apology and compensation. Of the 12,000 US PoW at Bataan, only 4,000 were alive by the end of war. Marching for days in terrible heat, beaten and deprived of food and water, estimated 7,000 to 10,000 of the 78,000 US and Filipinos PoW died. They were then transported to Japan in "Hell Ships" and elsewhere as slave labor.
With little protection from the January cold, PoWs frozen to death. "We were throwing American bodies overboard at the rate of 30, then 40, then 50 a day all the way to Japan," Mel Rosen said, "The Death March was a Sunday stroll compared to the 3 Hell Ships." Only 200 to 300 of the 1,600 prisoners loaded on the 1st ship made it to Japan. When Rosen arrived in Japan, his weight had dropped from 155 to 88 lbs.
Mel Rosen, now 83 a retired colonel living in Falls Church, Va., is the lead plaintiff in a $1 trillion class-action lawsuit against Japan filed in Sept 2001 in federal court in Chicago. "The Japanese are waiting for us to die off," he said, "I have been waiting 60 years for an apology from Japan".
"The [US State Department] fought tooth and nail to help the people who suffered at the hands of the Nazis," Rosen said, "In our case [Resolution H.R. 1198], it would help us if they just shut up. In fact, they're fighting tooth and nail for the Japanese."
Aug 15, 2002 On 57th anniversary of surrender, 5 Japanese cabinet ministers and Tokyo's governor made their visit to the controversial war shrine. Yasukuni Shrine memorializes 1,068 War Criminals including 14 CLASS-A War Criminals. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made his official tribute to the war shrine Aug 13, 2001 and Apr 21, 2002 drew sharp criticism from both China and South Korea.
Aug 27, 2002 Germany and Canada has signed an agreement that Germany will pay pensions starting next year to German-speaking Canadian Jews who were living in Eastern Europe during WWII.
Germany has paid similar pensions to Jews and non-Jews living in Israel and the US since 1995.
Aug 27, 2002 After 27 court hearings since 1998, and with former Unit 731 Japanese soldiers came forward as witnesses, Japanese court had no choice and finally recognized for the FIRST TIME that Japan had conducted Biological Warfare in China during WWII. But the court rejected the demand for apology and compensation of 10 million yen ($83,430) each by 180 Chinese victims. Kohken Tsuchiya, lawyer said, "It's still a loss for the plaintiffs so we would like to appeal."
However, the Japanese government still denies that its army ever used biological agents.
This partial victory came 4 days before Dr. Sheldon H. Harris, Emeritus Professor of History at California State University, passed away in peace. Dr. Harris was author of the groundbreaking book "Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare 1932-45 and the American Cover-Up", that helped to focus international attention to defeat the repeated denials, blatant lies and continuing cover-up by both Japanese and U.S. governments.
Sept 6, 2002 Covered head to toe, Japanese and Chinese specialists in chemical weapons disposal were digging in a wooded area in Heilongjiang. It is the latest effort to find and remove chemical weapons including mustard gas and lewisite - a fluid that emits poisonous vapours. Estimated 700,000 - 2,000,000 Chemical Warheads were left behind in China by Japan's Imperial Army. The experts showed reporters four 75 mm artillery shells loaded with mustard gas that were unearthed in April.
Lawyers for Chinese plaintiffs are suing Japanese government because the leaking Chemical Weapons have already caused some 2,000 deaths since the end of war. The digging will continue until Oct. 1, 2002.
Jan. 14, 2003 Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited again the Yasukuni shrine provoking protests from neighbors victimized by Japanese aggression. Yasukuni Shrine memorializes 1,068 War Criminals including 14 Class-A War Criminals. It is considered a symbol of Japanese wartime military imperialism. This was his 3rd time since he became prime minister.
Back in Sept 1999, two federal courts in New Jersey ruled in favor of a German company barring claims of a slave laborer. Nonetheless, Germany and its industry recognized their responsibility and continued to negotiate until the Slave Fund (US $5.2 billion) was established. David Harris said "Those nations who hide behind the legal technicality will ultimately find that the wall comes tumbling down."
Haruki Wada, Tokyo University Professor once wrote about encountering a Chinese farmer near Shanghai. The farmer told him, "The Japanese soldiers had come to my village, and cut off one of my arms. Then they raped and killed my wife and my daughter right before my eyes. But I do NOT hate Japanese people, because they are also the victim of Japanese Imperialism, and we shall work hand in hand to create a war-free world."
The Japanese Professor Haruki Wada wrote: I would NOT dare face to the same farmer, read out that despicable No War Resolution of the Diet, and say to him, "This is how we have come to feel after 50 years."
Kaoru Okano, another Japanese Professor of politics at Meiji University said, "Japan, which made use of this important resolution for political means, has been made a laughing stock of the world."
In 1995, on the 50th anniversary of U.N. and end of the war, Japan considered and proposed a "No War Resolution" in an effort to reflect its past history. However, it was rejected by Japanese Diet mainly because it contained a formal official apology for its wartime atrocities.
Aug 15, 1995 Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama offered an apology (NOT the true apology "shazai") of the war. But his apology was NOT passed by the Japanese parliament.
In Sept 1997 Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto also reiterated the apology. Again, his apology was NOT approved by the parliament.
In Oct. 8 2001 Japanese prime minister Koizumi, issued an apoplgy after visiting the Lugouqiao (Marco Polo Bridge), site of hostilities that led to a full scale war invasion in July 7, 1937. The apology was simply based on and did not go beyond the wording used in a 1995 statement by Murayama. It was his personal apology and NOT passed by Japanese Diet.
Perhaps because a Chinese saying, " Repay Evil with Virtue ", many Chinese say - " We can Forgive, but not Forget ". However, as Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, has pointed out, "We can only forgive what we know". He has also provided foreword in the book The Rape of Nanking: An Undeniable History in Photographs.
The Japanese war Yasukuni Shrine memorializes 1,068 War Criminals including 14 CLASS-A War Criminals. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made his official tribute to the war shrine the 3rd time on Jan. 14, 2003 since he became prime minister.
Imagine if German government publicly denied Nazi's war crimes and flatly refused to offer any apology and compensation to the victims, then Chancellor of Germany went to a Nazi shrine and paid tribute to Hitler and Goebbels, Do you think U.S., Britain and other Western countries will remain silent ?
Japan is responsible for the casualties of MORE than 40 millions in Asia, including Americans. Japanese government thumbs its nose at the survivors by denying its responsibility and then honors the perpetrators, U.S., Britain and other Western countries do remain SILENT ..... Double Standard ... Evil Cover-Up ... Evil Conspiracy ... or Axis of ... ?
|1.||Sincere soul searching||Yes||No|
|2.||Confession of war crimes||Yes||No|
|5.||Compensate slave labors||Yes||No|
|6.||Compensate sex slaves||N/A||No|
|7.||Identify war criminals||Yes||No|
|8.||Punish war criminals||Yes||No|
|9.||Open war time records||Yes||No|
|10.||Return looted properties||Yes||No|
|11.||Include history in school textbook||Yes||No|
|12.||Include history in museum||Yes||No|
|13.||Tribute to victims||Yes||No|
|14.||Condemn war crimes||Yes||No|
|15.||Abolition of Militarism||Yes||No|
|16.||Worship war criminals||No||YES|
In fact, the cover-up is a cover-up of State-Terrorism by U.S. - U.S. "With-Us-With-Them" mockeryy to its own war against Terrorism.
"It is sometimes said, "Instead of clinging forever to the past, we should proceed with an eye to the future." If we simply brush aside the war crimes of the past without clearly establishing responsibility, we will be unable to hold aggressors accountable for similar crimes should they be repeated."
Even professed neutral nations like Sweden and Switzerland have had the courage to take a painful look back at their WWII record; can Japan be allowed to do any less ?
One would truly become speechless, if recalls the fact that Japan extorted a phenomenal huge sum of JiaWu war reparation in 1895 from China, i.e. 231 million taels of silver on top of Taiwan, the Pescadores and Liaotung peninsula etc .......
And later in year 1901, China also had to pay 450 million taels of silver in 39 years with 4% yearly interest for the Boxer war indemnity to eight foreign countries i.e. U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria, and Japan.
Of which Japan got 34.7 million plus interest of 41 million taels of silver.
China could not pay the phenomenal huge indemnity and had to borrow money from several Western countries and paid heavy interest.
The Total cost to China just to pay Japan alone was a staggering capital 265 million plus interest 321 million taels of silver (i.e. Total 586 million taels of silver in 1895, about 7 times China's annual revenue) in the name of victory in war. Those money was NOT returned to China.
San Francisco Peace Treaty reveals that the reparations matter was merely postponed until Japan has the financial means to pay. It was never resolved.
Yet, Japan has been maintaining that no single yen should be paid to any Chinese after its own defeat. According to the Japanese military record, 2.8 million Japanese soldiers were killed during WWII, of which nearly 2 millions Japanese soldiers were killed in China.
It is estimated that China's direct economic loss due to Japan's 14 years invasion is US$ 63 billion, and indirect economic loss comes to US$ 500 billion and casualties 20 - 35 millions Chinese.
The annual commemoration of the victims of Hiroshima provides a strong basis for the resistance to the dangerous of nuclear wars. However, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (total causualties 210,000 compared to Nanjing Massacre 300,000) was a DIRECT consequence of Japan's invasion of Asia, rejection of Potsdam Declaration and refusal surrender in July 1945.
Unless Japan sincerely apologies [i.e. "shazai" NOT "owabi"] for its crimes, and takes full responsibilities, Japanese people's cry for "No More Hiroshimas" is actually a slap in their own government's face.
Mr. Jintaro Ishida, 79, had served in the Japanese navy during the war, After he retired as a school teacher in 1988, he decided to travel through Asia spreading the word about the horrors of the 2 atomic bombs. Instead of sympathy, he said, he sometimes found hostility. " I was shocked to discover that the bombs were dropped to stop Japan." he said.
So he began reading wartime accounts, searching through the records of war crimes trials and systematically visiting the sites of massacres. "Wherever I went," he said, "the survivors had only one question : How could the Japanese have been so cruel ??? " "These stories were beyond anything I had expected," he said. "How could they have done this? Did they have no conscience ?"
His decade long search has resulted an extraordinary book " The Remains of War: Apology and Forgiveness" published 2001. Its Japanese title is "The Killers and the Killed"
The constant reminders of the atrocities of GermaThe constant reminders of the atrocities of Germany's Nazi regime is now recognized as a major preventive measure against the revival of Nazism in Germany. To bring attention to the most Inhuman war crimes against Humanity in 20th century committed by Japan can prevent the current resurgence of Militarism in Japan and anywhere in the world as well.
Japan, with world's 2nd largest military budget, once again capable of an awesome military buildup. This time includes Nuclear Capabilities.
Japanese "Peace Constitution Article 9" prohibits Japan from having an army. Instead of an army, Japan has a Self-Defense Force (SDF). However, encouraged by US, Japan has re-armed its SDF into Asia’s best equipped and most modern military army.
With world's 2nd largest military budget of close to $50 billion, Japan even outstrips Britain's in total spending and manpower. Its navy in particular scores high among experts for its sophistication.
Some of its 51 nuclear reactors are operated beyond commercial terms. Japan spent 6 billion US$ for 10 years to build the Neutron Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) Monju to accumulate the key technology for nuclear weapons.
Recently Japan's most powerful politicians have begun to voice breaking with policy of pacifism ratified in a parliamentary vote in 1971 - the three non-nuclear principles - never to own, produce or allow nuclear weapons on Japanese territory.
Huge weapons-grade uranium and plutonium stockpiles, enough for thousands of nuclear bombs, combined with rockets that could be converted into missile launchers enable remorseless Japan to deliver Nuclear Bombs in only 30 days.
Former German President Richard von Weizasecker in a speech that marked 40th aniversity of WWII, stated, "Whoever refuses to remember the inhumanity is prone to new risks of infection."
Japan's "Peace Constitution Article 9" forbids use of force outside Japan. Rather than revising the Constitution, Mr. Koizumi simply decided to re-interpret it liberally with Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. Taking advantage of U.S. war in Afghanistan, Japan dispatched warships overseas for the FIRST TIME in the postwar period, to the Indian Ocean in support of the U.S. war against Terrorism in Afghanistan.
The dispatch of Warships to the Indian Ocean is a small but significant step in Japan’s efforts to modify "Peace Constitution Article 9" and re-arm itself.
From history, we know that Militarism is State-Terrorism.
Ironically, this cover-up is in fact a cover-up of State-Terrorism by U.S. - U.S. "With-Us-With-Them" mockery to its own war against Terrorism.
Now Japan is seeking its ultimate seal of legitimacy for its current resurgence of Militarism : a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
If Japan wants to play a larger political role in the world or to secure a Permanent Seat on the UN Security Council, Japan must settle its past.
After 58 years of denial and cover-up without a formal sincere apology [i.e. "shazai" NOT "owabi"] and compensation to the victims, Japan has committed the "2nd Rape of Nanjing - Rape of History".
Denial will not make the past go away. Only by facing the Truth of History with courage as Germany, can Japan bring the wounds of war to a final closure.
Until after a truly sincere soul-searching, Japan remains as a country
without - SOUL.
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