Sharing the Responsibility: Japan's holocausts
13/12/1937 - 3/1938: Rape of Nanking or "Nanjing Datusha" (369,366 Chinese killed, and 80,000 women raped)
18/4/1942: 250,000 Chinese civilians murdered in retaliation for Chinese help to USA airmen
23/12/1943 - 14/2/1944: Rape of Manila (all male Filipinos 14 and older condemmed to die, 100,000 killed)
1937-45: Forced prostitution or "jugun ianfu" (400,000 Chinese women, 250,000 Korean women, 90% death rate, largest and most deadly mass rape recorded in history)
1933: Shiro Ishii'ss medical experiments in Manchuria (victims vivisected while still alive)
Only nation that used biological weapons in WW II
1939: Shiro Ishii's biological experiments in Harbin, China (10,000 prisoners died)
1940: Air bombing of Chinese villages with germs of bubonic plague (october 1940, Quzhou), cholera (1940, Yunnan), anthrax, etc (200,000 die)
Only nation that used chemical weapons in WW II
10 million Asians were used as slaves and only 5,000 or so survivors may still be alive.
Death rate in Japanese prisoner camps: 38.2 %
25/4/1943-6/44: 16,000 PoWs and 80,000 Asian slave labourers died constructing the Thai-Burma railway
Japan is responsible for the casualties of more than 20 millions in Asia
"Another country that got away relatively easily from its war crimes is Japan. If one counts civilian casualties only, Japan's invasions were far more brutal than Germany's invasions. They killed, enslaved and raped millions of civilians. Japan was the only country to use chemical weapons, and it pioneered biological warfare by dropping plague, cholera and anthrax germs on Chinese villages. The number of people submitted to medical experiments in Japan's secret labs is much higher than the number of German prisoners who suffered the same fate. Nobody will ever know the number of "sex slaves" who were used (probably more than one million) and who died (sources say up to 90%). Prisoners of war in German camps were not mistreated (only 1% died) but prisoners of war in Japanese camps were used as slave labourers (and 31% died). If one includes China and all the occupied countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc), Japan caused the death of about 12 million civilians, far more than those caused by Germany
Laurens van der Post, writing of his experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese, immortalised them in these words ~ For four years we were in the hands of a lot of lunatics: for us it was a mediaeval war. It couldn't have been more horrible. We were faced with death and brutality of the most extraordinary kind; we were utterly powerless minute by minute. That was a war within a war. This quotation was chosen by Tom McGowran to preface his collection of extracts from the newsletters of the Scottish Far East Prisoner of War Association which, together with a few items from other sources, has been published by the Cualann Press
BEYOND THE BAMBOO SCREEN.
The extracts are reminiscences written by survivors of the war's worst atrocities. Statistics tell only a part of the full story ~ for example, that of the 85,000 captured at the fall of Singapore, one third died in captivity ~ and only those who read books such as this will be able to understand the horrific way in which the prisoners died, and the inhumane way in which the survivors were forced to live. (When the Japanese troops burst their way into the Tanglin Military Hospital they bayoneted not only the patients in the beds, they bayoneted also the patients on the operating tables as well as the doctors and nurses treating them.)
Red Cross parcels were never distributed to the prisoners ~ they fed their captors instead. Occasionally a starving man would endeavour to recover something from where the parcels were stored, but the retribution if caught would be to be beaten unconscious and then to be tortured, sometimes to death,sometimes not. Japanese torture is bestial, as these accounts, written by survivors who are not professional authors, bear irrefutable witness.
The book rightly discusses the contentious question of the justification for the use of the atomic bombs at Nagasaki and Horoshima. There are two factors of prime importance to this issue. The first, too often forgotten, is that instructions had been issued to all Camp Commandants that in the event of Allied invasion of Japanese-occupied territory, all PoWs were to be exterminated in whatever way was most convenient to local circumstances. At the War Crimes Trials one of the documents attesting this was Document No 2701, and a translation of its text is included in t
Remembering Hiroshima lines on the fiftieth anniversary O, fortunate man: Wrists bound, knees bent, head bowed, Staring into the shadowed trench; The blade is swift, the slice is sure.
Sightless, he sees what might have been. Crushed into a basket, the wicker constrains The drowning man's despairing, hopeful struggle, While the clear salt water scalds his lungs.
. . . Or,
Trailed behind the boat as sharkbait, Leaking blood to attract the sport And excite the laughter.Perhaps, at dusk, Strung by his thumbs to a branch, (His toes, even with the rocks attached, Yet still failing to reach the ground) He awaits the morning's bayonet drill.
His friends had had it worse. Old Joe, Trussed with barbèd wire, mouth stopped, Pumped through his nose with water, Died beneath the boots that jumped and split His distended stomach open To their wearers' laughter.
But the destruction of the body is nothing. The ritual is spiritual. They do it for the pain;
And, yet, better, for the agony And for the ecstasy the agony gives them.
O, how they love their cruelty, These little yellow men.
Thank God: he hadn't been a woman, A pleasured nurse, gang-raped through the long night hours, Tortured near to death, Taken to the beach to wash Irremediable stains From broken body, And machine-gunned standing in the surf Or, disembowelled to win a bet: The soldier won (it was a boy); The woman lost (the child, her life)
As God's blood dripped into the gutter.
And now, in the last few seconds of a lifetime, Deep inside that shadowed trench He sees his children playing in the sand, Their mother, mourning, watching. The blessèd blade sings its dirge: The blood spurts, mushrooms, Driven by the final heartbeat.
The trench is black. His head Falls into the abyss.