Heads in the sand

A group of 100 Japanese politicians have got together to say the Nanking Massacre never happened.

In 1937, the city (which is now more properly known as Nanjing) was subjected to a frenzy of violence by Japanese soldiers which has gone down in history as “the Rape of Nanking”. China says about 300,000 people were killed, although the most commonly-cited figure is between 150,000 and 200,000.

That’s not to say it happened all in one go. The city, which was capital of China at the time, fell to the Japanese army in December 1937 and the violence lasted about six weeks. Atrocities committed included rape, looting, arson and the execution of prisoners and civilians.

The members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party say only 20,000 people were killed and there was “no violation of international law”.

Excuse me, but how do the extinguishing of 20,000 lives at the hands of an occupying army not count as a violation of international law? And how can this group seriously say the massacre was fabricated when they admit to 20,000 deaths?

And yet group member Toru Toida said: “We are absolutely positive that there was no massacre in Nanking.”

And I, my dear Toida, am absolutely positive you are talking complete bullshit.

The politicians base their claim on a study commissioned to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the incident.

While apparently referring to the Japanese government’s archives it seems to ignore years of historical research, the most successful of which is probably Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II.

There is also considerable graphic evidence of the various atrocities, some of which can be found on this Wikipedia entry (not for those of a sensitive nature).

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