Japanese carried out countless atrocities - from large scale Nanking massacre to individual officers competing who would the first to behead 100 Chinese - during the Second World War.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Comfort Women, Nanking Massacre, WWII Japan, Hunt for Japanese WW2 Gold, WWII Kamikaze.
10 Japanese Atrocities From World War II
(1) Laha Airfield Massacre (February 1942). This ghoulish event, which killed more than 300 Australian and Dutch POWs, followed the Japanese capture of the Indonesian island of Ambon. Allegedly as an act of reprisal after the Allies destroyed one of their minesweepers, the Japanese randomly selected POWs and executed them via beheading and bayonet near the island`s airfield. They then repeated the process three more times during the month. (2) Alexandra Hospital Massacre (February 14–15, 1942). Just a day before the British surrendered Singapore, Japanese soldiers stormed Alexandra Military Hospital and slaughtered its occupants, including the medical staff and patients.
Over 4,000 Japanese children were left in China after Japan's defeat
For Gao Fengqin, the worst WWII horror took place in the last days: "I still remember the day my mother took me to a small restaurant to meet my new Chinese mother. I had noodles and when I finished, she stood up to leave. I gripped her leg, crying for her not to go." By the end of 1945, 1.66 million Japanese troops and civilians had moved in northeast China to colonize it. On Aug. 9, 1945, the Soviet Red Army marched into the region to end of the war and Japan's Kwantung Army was soon defeated. Amid the chaos Japanese refugees swarmed into the train stations to flee to the coast, hoping to catch a boat back to Japan.
Torn Memories of Nanjing: Japanese WWII veterans admit to Nanjing atrocities on film
Activist Tamaki Matsuoka is challenging Japanese views of the country's World War II record with a documentary film on the Rape of Nanking. Her film, Torn Memories of Nanjing, uses both the memories of Japanese war veterans and accounts by Chinese survivors of the massacres of 1937-1938. The film captures soldiers admitting for the first time to mass rape and to the masscre of unarmed civilians. This contradicts the accepted wisdom in Japan, where history textbooks whitewash atrocities during Japan's invasion of China, and WW2 veterans are believed to have battled and lost an honourable fight.
Japan's Gestapo: Murder, Mayhem and Torture in Wartime Asia [book review] (Article no longer available from the original source)
"This book is not for the fainthearted," warns the first line. And it's no exaggeration: Mark Felton describes in the physical, sexual and emotional torture used by the Japanese military police. What Felton labels "Japan's Gestapo" is Kempeitai, set up in 1881 in response to the invasion of the Western world. By the time WWII started, the Kempeitai was an integral part of the Japanese security apparatus. Deeply involved with the government, the Kempeitai was more powerful than the Nazi Gestapo. It handled combat, espionage, the running of civilian and POW camps, propaganda, biological and chemical warfare, and medical experiments.
Private Arthur Haines's account of Japanese WWII massacre for sale
Private Arthur Haines was in a Singapore military hospital with malaria in 1942 when Japanese troops stormed the building and killed over 200 people. He witnessed the grim killings of his comrades, doctors and nurses who were either bayoneted, shot or suffocated to death. After being taken POW he wrote a 4 page letter, disclosing how a private waved the white flag to Japanese troops only to be bayoneted, while one captain played dead in order to survive. He heard the cries of a group of his colleagues who were taken into a courtyard and systematically killed. The document, along with Pte Haines' other militaria, will be auctioned off.
Counterstrike: Imperial army 'forced' Okinawa mass suicides
Researchers of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa agree that the Imperial army "forced and steered" civilians to commit mass suicide during the only full-scale ground battle in Japan during World War II. Hirofumi Hayashi, an authority on modern Japanese history, expressed the view in a statement passed on to the textbook-screening panel, which is deliberating requests to reinstate references about the military's role in forcing civilians to commit suicide. Hayashi said he responded to a request from the Textbook Authorization Council, which advises the education minister, and had asked a number of researchers on the battle to file their views.
Alive and safe, the Japanese soldiers who butchered 20000 seamen
The perpetrators of some of the worst atrocities of World War II remain alive and unpunished in Japan. "Slaughter At Sea: The Story Of Japan's Naval War Crimes" by historian Mark Felton reveals that the wartime behaviour of the Japanese Navy was far worse than their counterparts in Kriegsmarine. Officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy ordered the sadistic murders of 20,000 Allied seamen. "Many of the Japanese sailors who committed such terrible deeds are still alive today. ... There is only one documented case of a German U-boat skipper being responsible for cold-blooded murder of survivors. In the Japanese Imperial Navy it was official orders."
Japanese veteran haunted by WWII surgical killings in Mindanao
Over 60 years had passed but Akira Makino still suffered nightmares about Filipino hostages and the injections that made them unconscious. Every time he woke up to the flashbacks of killing scenes, he shut his eyes and tried to turn his mind away. But he felt he had to speak out about his wartime experiences to as many people as possible during the final years of his life. "These were nothing but living-body experiments. My captain combat-surgeon often showed us human intestines, and said this was the liver and that was that and so on..." Makino began making his statements on Japanese war atrocities just last year.
Japan's wartime deeds and horrors not easily forgotten in China
The Marco Polo Bridge, where a skirmish on July 7, 1937, provided the spark for Sino-Japanese war, is one part of China where the history of Japan's brutal invasion seems destined never to be forgotten, despite slowly warming ties. The old imperial bridge is preserved inside a park, yet modern Beijing is creeping up on once a remote outpost of the capital. "Remember history well, do not forget the past," enjoins calligraphy inside the low-rise building, which receives 300,000 visitors annually, some 10,000 Japanese. The exhibits show graphic pictures of decapitated Chinese and rusting swords.
Japan navy conducted medical experiments on Filipinos
The Japanese navy conducted surgical training on Filipinos, including women and children, during the Second World War and then killed them, a repentant medic who said he took part was quoted saying. Akira Makino was stationed on Mindanao island in the Philippines, where about 30 people were operated on as part of medical training before being strangled to death between Dec 1944 and Feb 1945. It was believed to be the first account of such atrocities by the Japanese Imperial Navy in the Philippines. The Imperial Army's Unit 731 conducted medical experiments on Chinese prisoners during the war.
Japanese wartime medic admits experimenting on live victims (Article no longer available from the original source)
An former high-ranking Japanese military medic Akira Makino has revealed that he vivisected the bodies of living people in the Philippines during World War II. He is preparing to speak on his wartime experiences in the near future. It is already known that Unit 731, a secret unit of the former Imperial Japanese Army, performed vivisections on Chinese in Manchuria but Makino's testimony is the first from an expert relating to vivisections in the Philippines. "I was unable to resist orders, and I did something cruel. As the number of people with wartime experience decreases, I have a responsibility to speak the truth about the war."
Japanese soldiers competed to be first to behead 100 Chinese (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Tokyo Court dismissed a damages demand for alleged defamation over publications that said two Japanese soldiers competed against each other to be first to behead 100 Chinese soldiers during war in 1937. The Tokyo Nichinichi Shimbun reported in articles in 1937 that the two second lieutenants carried out the "hyakunin giri kyoso" (hundred head contest) to see who could behead 100 Chinese soldiers first, while on their way to Nanjing. The Asahi published a series of articles in 1971 based on accounts of Chinese survivors of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, mentioning the killing contest by the two soldiers.
War Lives On at Museum of the Biological warfare experiments
Exhibit shows Japanese biological warfare experiments carried out on thousands of Chinese prisoners from 1939 to 1945. Researchers estimate 3,000 Chinese were killed and 300,000 sickened by the hideous wartime experiments. In the case of Unit 731 much of the picture was blurred until the 1980s and 1990s, when documents uncovered in Japan, China and the US gave scholars a better idea of what went on. Some Chinese prisoners were dissected live and without anesthetic, for instance, while others were cremated before they were dead.