The Nanking Massacre and The Text Book Controversy

by B. B.

A student essay from Dr. Elliot Neaman's History 210 class (historical methods - fall 2002)

© Elliot Neaman / PHDN
Reproduction interdite par quelque moyen que ce soit / no reproduction allowed

Beginning in December 1937, Japan, at war with China, moved into the Nations Capital of Nanking. During the six to eight weeks that followed the Japanese army proceeded to destroy the capital city, kill and torture hundreds of thousands unarmed soldiers and civilians, as well as rape and murder tens of thousands of women and girls in China. During this period, with World War II in full swing, the on goings of Asia were muted by international media, who focused on the events in Europe. However, the atrocities that took place in China during December and January of 1937 are equally as horrific as those that took place in Europe. How is it that countries throughout the world study World War Two with little mention of the atrocities that took place in China? How has the Japanese government been able to escape responsibility, while Germany has taken public responsibility, paid millions of dollars in reparations, and even drafted legislation to protect those who died at the hands of the Nazis? In this Paper I will examine how Japan has covered up the Nanking Massacre, but most important is how Japanese revisionists and deniers use their power in the government to shape a history that will maintain the nation’s foreign reputation while giving a watered down, more palpable story to its citizens.

In order to understand why and how the Japanese government covered up the actions by the Japanese army during WWII, it is important to know what happened in Nanking. The text reads like a horror story, however, as you scroll through endless pages of horrific, mind numbing tragedy you can’t help but wonder what comes next. It is truly unbelievable that human beings could possibly commit these acts, and what is even more alarming is that many people living in the United States, Europe, and even in Japan have no idea that the massacre in Nanking ever took place, and those who do, know very little. While awareness is being raised and more and more survivors and veterans are coming forward with their stories, it has been almost 70 years since the Japanese occupation of China, and much of the world is still in the dark. From the media to the text books, the Japanese government has made sure that the Nanking “incident” as some deniers call it would be told in a way that would be most beneficial to Japanese society, and whether the government, the press, or the publishers censored the massacre, one thing emerges, the cover up and denial of the Nanking Massacre has been a long and collective action in order to maintain Japan’s local and global personality.

When Japan invaded Nanking, the primary commander of the forces, General Matsui, was out of commission due to a bout with tuberculosis. In his absence Prince Akasaka Yasuhiko took full control of the army around Nanking. Although Akasaka was not as highly ranked as other officers, his Royal blood and familial ties to Emperor Hirohito gave him the authority to override almost any other officer in the Imperial Army. While sick, General Matsui sent a message that all Japanese forces were to act with the utmost respect and professionalism. Furthermore, the general stressed the importance to treat the city and the people well. However, when Prince Akasaka learned that the Japanese army was about to enter Nanking where 300,000 Chinese soldiers and half a million civilians were prepared to surrender, the orders took on a different tone. “By the time Japanese troops entered Nanking, an order to eliminate all Chinese captives had been not only committed to paper, but distributed to lower-echelon officers” (Chang, 41). The orders were systematic and highly organized. With out this level of organization it would have been far more difficult, if not impossible to kill that many people in such a short period of time. The Battalion was broken into groups. Each group was assigned a number of people as well as a time and location. The prisoners were collected in groups of fifty, taken to fields on the outskirts of Nanking and executed. This was only the beginning. What the Japanese soldiers did with Nanking and the men, women and children living there was a different story, one that lacked in organization but compensated by unanimous participation.

Over the next six weeks the Imperial Army ruined Nanking as well as the lives of most of the civilian living there. “After the soldiers surrendered en masse, there was virtually no one left to protect the citizens of the city. Knowing this, the Japanese poured into Nanking on December 13, 1937, occupying government buildings, banks, and warehouses, shooting randomly in the streets, many of them in the back as they ran away” (Chang, 46). When I have discussed the massacre of Nanking with other students, many of them ask, how do we know any of this is true? Many people wonder why more people in Europe didn’t do more to help the Jews, and as Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman explain in their book, Denying Histoy, a lot of people didn’t believe the stories they heard about the Nazi’s treatment of the Jews, in Europe as well as in the United States. The atrocities committed were so outlandish it was hard to actually believe that somewhere else in the modern world acts of this nature could be taking place. However, many of the foreign journalists living in Nanking were able to gather information as well as pictures and films in order to solidify the facts and eventually pass their information onto the western press. John McCullin, a Journalist living in the safety zone wrote on December 19, 1937. “It is a horrible story to try to relate; I know not where to begin nor where to end. Never have I heard or read of such brutality. Rape! Rape! We estimate that at least 1000 cases during the night and many by day…those who are suspected to be soldiers, as well as others, have been led outside the city and shot down by the hundreds – yes, thousands…Woman are being carried off every morning, afternoon and evening” (Chang, 154). Along with McCullin, several other journalists documented similar cases and experiences, and when they were finally able to send their work to the United States, their claims were met with skepticism. The Safety Zones articles ran in readers digest, and one subscriber wrote, “It is unbelievable that credence could be given a thing which is so obviously rank propaganda and so reminiscent of the stuff fed the public during the late war” (Change, 156). Chang asserts that several other subscribers had similar responses. Readers digest, believing that the stories were true and overwhelmed by the amount of information sent to them by the members of the safety zone, continued to publish the accounts, pleading with the public that the accounts were true. Luckily, the accounts were also covered on film, which is living proof of atrocities committed in Nanking.

When the Japanese government caught wind of the leaking press they embarked on an aggressive propaganda campaign. “In January Japanese news men came to Nanking to stage pictures of the city for distribution throughout Japan and the rest of the world” (Chang, 150). The Chinese captives were ordered to participate in random celebrations throughout Nanking while brandishing Japanese flags, and on January 8, 1938, a Japanese Newspaper was able to get the story they needed. “Men and women, old and young, bent down to kneel in salutation to the Imperial army, expressing their respectful intention…Soldiers and the Chinese children are happy together, playing joyfully on the slides. Nanking is now the best place for all countries to watch, for here one breaths the atmosphere of peaceful residence and happy work” (Shin Shun Pao [Japanese News paper], as qtd in Chang, 150). Disgusted and terrified the Safety Zone journalist quickly reacted to the wave of Japanese propaganda. James McCullen wrote, “Now the Japanese are trying to discredit our efforts in the safety zone. They threaten and intimidate the poor Chinese into repudiating what we have said…Some of the Chinese are even ready to prove that the looting, raping and burning was done by the Chinese and not the Japanese.” George Finch explained that “in March, a government radio Station in Tokyo, flashed this message to the world: Hoodlums responsible for so many of the deaths and such destruction of property in Nanking have been captured and executed. They were found to be discontented soldiers from the Chiang Kai-shek’s Brigades. Now all is quiet and the Japanese army is feeding 300,000 refugees” Finally Lewis Smyth explains that “the latest is from a Japanese paper that they have found eleven Chinese armed robbers who were to blame for it all! Well, if they each raped from 100 to 200 women per night and day for two weeks and got away with the reported $50,000 dollars they were pretty powerful Chinese…” (Change151 – 152). The media war between the Japanese and the members of the Safety zone continued during the Japanese occupation of Nanking. What is important to note is that from the very beginning the Japanese did not want word to get out, and when it did, they were more than willing to lie to the world and their own people in hopes of keeping things quiet. Although the stories from survivors, veterans, and historians have come forward since then, the Japanese conservatives and ultranationalists in the government continues to minimize if not all together deny the massacre.

History of Japanese Textbooks

Since the end of WWII, the Japanese government, the Ministry of Education, as well as many conservative and nationalist groups have fought text book writers, publishers, and historians in an effort to maintain an “official” story of Japanese war-time atrocities, namely the massacre of Nanking. “Although some bravely fight to force Japanese society to face the painful truth, Many in Japan continue to treat the war crimes as the isolated acts of individual soldiers or even as events that simply did not occur” (Chang ,200).

Following the War trials in which almost two hundred thousand wartime political, social, and economic leaders were forced to leave office, “5,211 teachers and administrative staff members who supported wartime militarism and nationalism were purged from schools and boards of education” (Fogel,73). Along with these actions a ban was placed on teaching history due to the fact that most of the textbooks supported these militaristic and nationalistic views. However a year later, in November, 1946, Japanese History was permitted to be taught in schools, however, strict control was enforced by the Ministry of education. And although the Massacre is mentioned in these early texts, it is limited and barely scratches the surface. In one Japanese text book entitled The course of the Nation,( V2, 1946), Information about the massacre reads as follows: “Our army devastated the capital of China, Nanjing” (as qtd. In Fogel 74). I believe the historian who wrote this section of the text received the highest accolades for his achievement in relaying the massacre in such an informative yet concise manner. Since the first textbook was written Japanese historians and educators have embarked on a struggle between the Ministry of education as well as conservative and nationalist factions.

In1946, A committee was designed to discuss, research and critique traditional Japanese history and how it is conveyed in textbooks under the “Emperors system.” The ideology of this group represents the ideology of many Japanese people who believe that the truth about Japanese war time atrocities should be relayed to the public, is said best in the forward to the committees publication How historians view the Emperor System, “History will become science only if it serves the people, and the people must regard historical science [Marxism] as a guiding compass.” Fogel explains that Rekken ( the name of the committee) participants rejected the wartime history education that was used to teach “unscientific imperial myths and morals,” as well as to justify national sacrifice for the emperor and Japanese expansion overseas” (74). Essentially this passage clarifies the two schools of thought concerning Japanese War time atrocities. Those who believe that the truth should come out, and the events should be put in the past, and those that believe that by exposing the truth, Japan will be shaming themselves in the world’s eye, as well as dishonoring the state and the Emperor.

The emergence of the cold war caused more than ten thousand Japanese communists and sympathizers to be purged from the government, at the same time many of the supporters of wartime militarism who were purged from the government less than a decade earlier where allowed to office. Allied with America and facing the threat of communism a reactionary, conservative government gained tremendous power in Japan, and as a result took control over the textbooks being published. “The Japanese democratic party demanded that school textbooks be compiled by the state. It also published a booklet, Ureubeki kyokasho no mondai, (deplorable problems in textbooks) in 1955, which insisted that Japanese textbooks were polluted by dangerous distortions and should be called “red textbooks.” The ministry of education subsequently increased its control over textbook authorization, and one-third of school textbooks were rejected for not meeting new government standards (Fogel, 76). As a result of the cold war, the 1950’s represented a reactionary time for education, one that focused on Patriotism and National pride in Japan and its history. “The Ministry demanded that textbooks avoid tough criticism of Japan’s role in the pacific war, and the government regarded as inappropriate any description of Japan as invading China. From the mid 1950’s to 1970’s, therefore, the description of the massacre completely disappeared from school textbooks, mirroring this conservative shift of the ministry of education” (Fogel, 76). In 1946 the one sentence used to describe the massacre was more than existed in any official Japanese textbook during the 20 years that followed.

Beginning in 1971, Honda Katsuichi began researching the “behavior of the Japanese Military during the Sino-Japanese war from the Chinese perspective” (Fogel, 79). He visited villages, conducted interviews, researched demographics before and after the war and tried to bring to light the truth about the Japanese military during this period. Honda “stressed that neither the government nor journalists had made an effort to face up to Japanese atrocities in China.” He also argued that Japan consistently focuses on how they suffered during the war, but fail to mention any of the atrocities they committed, and finally he would help to explain why China is nervous about relations with Japan as well the revival of Japanese militarism (Fogel 80). Responses to Honda varied. Many people were refreshed by his approach and offered their support, however, many conservatives, and nationalists criticized and threatened Honda. Stating, “War is like that. Other armies were also committing atrocities during the war” (Fogel, 80). Honda attributed these comments to a century of reactionary ideals resulting from the Emperors system, the same reactionary ideals that Rekken argued against in 1946 (see above). In Honda’s second book he asserts that his goal is to “study what the reactionary government does not want us to teach ourselves” (as qtd in Fogel, 81). Honda realized that although he was successful in raising awareness he could not do it alone.

Saburo Ienaga, a scholar of Japanese history as well as a textbook editor, was considered to be the most influential scholar in bringing the atrocities committed by the Japanese army during WWII to light. “In 1965, Professor Saburo Ienaga initiated a court case in Tokyo by suing the Japanese government which, through "textbook screening", had been controlling history taught in secondary schools. Professor Ienaga argues that the textbook screening violates freedom of expression and education guaranteed by the Japanese Constitution, it is therefore unconstitutional and illegal”(Ienaga textbook screening suit)..In 1970 the Tokyo district court, ruled in favor of Ienaga, and in 1975 the Tokyo high court also ruled in Ienaga’s favor. As a result mention of the massacre began to show up in Japanese textbooks. Only two of the six Japanese textbook publishers included the massacre, however, it was a step in the right direction and it was clear that conservatives and nationalists were losing their control over the content of Japanese Textbooks. Regardless, discrepancies in statistics and semantics still plagued the textbooks.

The ministry of education argued that many of the passages that Ienaga included in the textbook, might be interpreted by readers as “meaning that the Japanese Army unilaterally massacred Chinese immediately after the occupation.” One such passage stated, “Immediately after the occupation of Nanking, the Japanese army killed numerous Chinese soldiers and civilians. The incident came to be known as the Nanking Massacre.” Although Ienaga protested considerably, the passage was changed, however to Ienaga’s credit rather than being erased the Ministry of education was forced to compromise. The new passage read: “While battling the fierce resistance of the Chinese armed forces, the Japanese armed forces occupied Nanking and killed numerous Chinese soldiers and civilians. This incident came to be known as the Nanking massacre” (Chang, 206). Although this was a victory for progressives who were fighting to include the massacre in Japanese history textbooks, it is important to recognize Azuma Shiro, a Japanese soldier who occupied Nanking, who wrote in his Diary, “I thought how could they have become prisoners, with the kind of force they had – more than two battalions – and with out even trying to show any resistance…Although we had two companies, and those seven thousand prisoners had already been disarmed, our troops could have been annihilated had they decided to rise up and revolt” (as qtd in Chang 43). Not only does this passage prove that many of the measures taken by the Japanese army were unnecessary, it proves that there was no “Fierce resistance of the Chinese armed forces” as the Japanese Ministry of Education asserts.

As a result of the contributions by historians and scholars like Honda and Ienaga, The Nanking massacre began getting more and more coverage as well as being recognized by educators and textbook publishers. During the 1980’s we see yet another shift from progressive success to conservative control. In 1981, the Local Democratic Party (LDP) subcommittee on text book issues, in response to the success of the progressive movement as well as the verdict in Ienaga’s lawsuit, vowed to draft legislation that would once again put control of the textbooks back in the hands of the government, who would restrict information that demoted patriotism as well as “tone down words used to describe Japanese aggression during the Asia pacific war (1931-45)” (Fogel, 85).

While exclusion of the massacre was no longer a possibility the conservatives embarked on a war of words that would plague the 1980’s. Many deniers have fought to use the word “incident” instead of Massacre, and even the word aggression was to strong for the ministry of education, who explain that the word “contains negative ethical connotations” (Chang, 207). A common “dispute is the government’s insistence to avoid the negative expression: "aggression" and instead, to use "military advance" of the Japanese army into China” (Ienaga’s text book screening suit). In the book A Detailed world History, A popular Japanese History textbook, the phrase, “the Meiji government’s repeated wars and aggressions” was changed to “The Meiji government’s continued expansion policy” (Fogil, 85). Almost any negative word that the LDP (Local democratic party) could change, they did, however, following several national and international stories which covered the stronghold of textbooks by the government the new revisions became international news.

In 1982, the Chinese government officially protested the actions of the government to censor textbooks, the South Korean government did the same, and soon enough Vietnam joined the bandwagon and demanded that the Japanese government correct wartime descriptions of the Japanese occupation of Vietnam. In response to the mounting pressure and International outrage, on August 26, 1982, the government promised to correct descriptions in their textbooks. “In November the text book standard began to require necessary concern for international understanding and international cooperation” (Fogel, 86). It had been almost 40 years since the war trials and Japanese conservatives continued to argue that the massacre was a mere fabrication designed to shame the Japanese and strip them of their national pride. The decision on August 26, 1982 only infuriated them more resulting in a campaign of revisionist propaganda. In 1984, conservative revisionist, Tanaka Masaaki Published a book in which he stated that “there had been no indiscriminate killing at all in Nanking and the so-called Nanjing massacre was a fabrication, mere propaganda manufactured by the Tokyo trial and the Chinese government” (Fogel, 87). Along with Tanak’s book several other nationalists and conservatives published articles and issued statements that focused on how progressives and scholars were shaming Imperial Japan. Once again the conservatives and nationals revert back to a common theme, “Imperial Japan.” However, this concept is an anachronistic idea, and only serves as an excuse to why Japanese wartime atrocities should not be exposed, furthermore it stresses a fear harbored by conservatives and nationals, that if the truth gets out, the Japanese people will loose faith in Japan, and Japan will be shameful in the eyes of the world.

The 1980’s were a success for progressives, and the Nanking Massacre was now included in many Japanese textbooks. The LDP (supported by conservatives and nationalists) attempted to tighten control, but after international outrage the government was forced to make concessions. In 1984, Ienaga sued the Ministry of education for the third time, claiming that the Ministry was again, trying to censor the content of textbooks by forcing Ienaga to represent Japanese wartime atrocities in “better light” (Fogel, 88). Tanaka, the conservative revisionist who led the campaign to exclude harsh words from textbooks concerning Japanese wartime atrocities also sued the Ministry of Education in 1984. “Tanaka demanded the deletion of the terms aggression and the Nanking Massacre from Junior high and high school textbooks and seven million yen in compensation for the suffering that he and his supporters endured during the 1982 textbook dispute” (Fogel, 89). The lawsuits stayed in court for three years, when the Tokyo high court told Tanaka that there was no psychological suffering, Tanaka and his supporters were simply upset by the decision in 1982. Tanaka appealed this decision and in 1989 the Supreme Court dismissed the case. The 1980’s ended with a victory for progressives, historians, educators and victims. The Nanking Massacre was recognized throughout Japan, taught in the schools, and control over content was stripped from the LDP’s Ministry of Education. By the end of the 1980’s all Japanese textbooks included mention of the massacre, most of the textbooks discussed the atrocities committed by the Japanese army, and several even mentioned the death toll as reported by the Chinese government (300,000 deaths). For the first time since Japanese occupation of China, the Japanese education system began focusing on the role of Japan as the victimizer, not as a victim, and as a result victims of Japanese wartime atrocities were finally being recognized.

In 1993 Hosokawa Morihiro became the first non-LDP prime minister in eighty years. Following the success of the progressives in the eighties, this new government focused on the victims of wartime atrocities in hopes of leaving the past in the past. On August 10th the new Prime Minister issued a statement, that the Asia-Pacific war was both aggressive and unjust. One year later, “Murayama Tomiichi, a member of the Japanese Socialist Party, became Prime Minister and led a coalition government that agreed to offer an apology for past aggression to other Asian countries” (Fogel, 96). During this period again we see members of the LDP as well as other nationalists and conservatives “de-emphasizing Japanese aggression during the war,” many still referring to the massacre as a “fabrication” (Fogel, 97).

Regardless of the success of many historians and progressives to include the massacre in textbooks, in 1994 the ministry of education “forced a textbook author to reduce the number of killings during one day of the Nanking massacre from twenty-five thousand to fifteen thousand people. The original version of the textbook cited a diary account that twenty-five thousand captives had been ‘put away’ in a single day. But under pressure from the ministry, the textbook publisher backed down and shortened a quotation from the diary so it read: “The Sasaki unit disposed of 15,000 people” (Chang 209). This is flagrant revisionism and in this case there is little concern for the facts, which were written in the soldiers diary. The death count was simply to high for the conservatives in the government to digest, and 15,000 seemed to be more palpable.

However, in 1997 seven new textbooks were published. All the new books mentioned the massacre and five of them printed the death count as estimated by the Chinese government (300,000 deaths), the remaining two books estimated the death toll at 200,000. After decades of struggle, the Nanking Massacre had become a recognized piece of Japanese history. The conservatives and nationalists continue to argue that the massacre is a fabrication, designed to dishonor Imperial Japan, to strip the county of national pride and to shame the Japanese people. We can not ignore the fact that “the ordinary people of Japan who consider it important to face Japanese wartime aggression...were sufficiently numerous to confront revisionist challenges. It was they who encouraged war memorials in their communities to exhibit not only Japanese wartime suffering but also Japanese wartime aggression” (Fogel, 101).

The revisionists say that by negatively portraying Japanese wartime atrocities we run the risk of eroding national pride and cultivating national shame. This seems to be an empty claim, considering that the Japanese people have been integral in bringing Japanese wartime atrocities to light. Each year more veterans and survivors come forward explaining their experiences in Nanking, each year conservative and nationalist revisionists claim that not only are these stories fabricated, but even if they were true they shouldn’t be published for the whole world to read, and the last thing we should do is teach this to our children. The issue is not black and white, and “schoolteachers have continued to teach Japanese wartime history from the viewpoint of both victim and perpetrator” (Fogel, 105). However, Japanese revisionists refuse to compromise and as a result the Nanking massacre can never be placed in Japan’s past as a part of history. The story will continue to be investigated, debated and rehashed, and regardless of new witnesses, diaries, and academic research, revisionists will stand firm, decaling that the Nanking massacre is a lie designed to shame Imperial Japan.

The same conflicts that existed between the conservative and national revisionists and those who believe that Japan should own up to their wartime atrocities in the 1940’s still exist today. The issue of control and screening of history textbooks is still heated. And like the 1980’s the textbook conflict is once again an international issues concerning many Asian countries.

According to the Taipai Times, in April 2001, the Japanese Ministry of education approved eight new additions of high school textbooks during the month of April. The article explained that all of the textbooks being used in Japan mention the use of “comfort women” or sex slaves during the war, however, of the eight new books being introduced, only three books even mention “comfort women.” Furthermore, not one of the proposed books cites the number of victims as the Chinese governments approximated (300,000), a figure that is used in many of the textbooks in circulation at the time. Several of the texts cite the toll as “more than 100,000” or “approximately 200,000,” while other versions simply say “a large number of Chinese [were slaughtered]” (En-Han Lee, 2001). Several Asian countries who fought with Japan during the Asia-pacific war brought to light the fact that this revisionism “runs counter to the sentence imposed upon the 25 Japanese class-A war criminals sentenced by the international Military Tribunal for the Far East after the end of the war. The article, which safeguarded this decision (Article 11of the San Francisco Peace Treat), explains that Japan accepts the decision of the tribunal to take responsibility for wartime aggression. Many countries feel that by trying to gloss over Japan’s wartime atrocities, Japan is in breech of the decision by the tribunal during the Tokyo War Crime Trials.

One of the eight proposed books that received the most criticism was a history textbook written by a group of Japanese nationalists. Although all of the proposed books drew heavy criticism, this particular text created outrage in several countries, primarily China and Taiwan and South Korea. The Chinese government has protested several aspects of this book, and after 100 changes, the Japanese government refused to make any further changes to the content of the textbook. On April 5, 2001, the Foreign Minister to Japan issued a statement saying: “The Education Ministry panel screened the history text impartially, dismissing criticism from China and South Korea that the book still contains justifications of Japan’s aggression against China and Korea before and during WWII” (Japan Times, 2001). The Next month, on May 18, 2001, the Japan Times ran a story containing a list of grievances concerning the textbook, drafted by the Chinese Foreign Minister. The list questioned almost every detail concerning the Sino – Japanese war, however regarding the Nanking massacre the Minister said: “the textbook only contains a brief mention of the Nanjing Massacre and says the nature of the massacre is still subject to debate to this day, thus casting doubt on the historical facts in Nanjing and the conclusions of the Tokyo Trials on War Crimes” (Japan Times, 2001). Besides protest from the Chinese government several people including war victims from all over Asia came together in Tokyo in June to speak out against the right wing revision of history. The Conference was called the “International Asian Solidarity Conference on Textbook Issues in Japan – prohibit the use of distorted history textbook,” Although the title of the conference is in need of some “revision” or at least some editing, “participants are expected to come from South and North Korea, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Taiwan. They will include two South Korean women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Army and a Malaysian survivor of a wartime massacre” (Kaneko, 2001). The conference not only focused on protesting the book, but to develop a long term plans among Asian people to stop Japanese revisionism.

Throughout the course of this paper several emerging themes have developed. Japanese conservatives and nationalists live in fear that the wartime atrocities committed by the Imperial Army, if exposed, will ruin Japanese National pride. They have been exposed, and the only group in Japan who is hurting the country’s National pride and international face is the Japanese nationalists and conservatives, by continually minimizing and denying Japanese wartime atrocities. The country has shown over the past several decades that they are willing to take responsibility for their aggression. Besides the fact that it is undeniable, it is a way to put the matter to rest, to apologize to the countries who suffered, and to move on. The Nanking Massacre as well as other cases of Japanese aggression should be in History books, not on the front page of several major Newspapers in 2001. As new facts come forward which continue to prove that the Nanking massacre did in fact happen, revisionists and deniers continue to preach from the same sermon. No evidence has come forward to indicate that the Nanking massacre was a fabrication, however, whenever asked you can be sure that any respectable revisionist or denier will tell you that the massacre is a fabrication designed to shame Japan, that what happened in Nanking happens in every war, and that the “comfort women” were in fact paid prostitutes who made a fortune off of the Japanese soldiers. These stories have continued, unchanged, since the war. During occupation of China the Japanese created stories for the rest of the world in hopes of discrediting foreign journalists, today they still pretend that it didn’t happen. The facts are on the table, and their claims are groundless, however, at the end of the day, the Nanking massacre is in every textbook in Asia as well as Japan, and although the right will not stop trying, it is clear that their efforts are in vein.

work cited

Chang Iris. The Rape of Nanking. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.

En-Han, Lee. “Rewriting History is Inexcusable.” Taipei Times On-line. 13 April, 2001.

“No more revisions for history text.” The Japan times Online. 5 April, 2001.

“China takes issues with text’s views, omissions.” The Japan Times Online. 18 May, 2001.

Kaneko, Maya. “War victims to speak out against contentious history texts.” The Japan Times Online. 6 June, 2001.

Fogel, Joshua A., ed. The Nanking Massacre in History and Historiography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

“Ienaga Textbook Suit.”

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