Opinion / Editorials

Truth about Japan's atrocities

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-04 08:40

In order to achieve the status of being a "normal country", the Shinzo Abe administration in Japan has been doing everything it can to bury the country's criminal war record. With their false sense of pride, Abe and his cronies haven't hesitated to lie and deny younger generations access to the truth.

Lies are lies. Liars are liars.

Yet calling Abe a liar hardly helps, because without personal experience of those gruesome days, few know what truly happened. Hence, the decision by China's State Archives Administration to publish the handwritten confessions of convicted Japanese war criminals is worth applause, because it provides solid counter evidence to what the brazen Abe and his like-minded compatriots are peddling about their country's war of aggression.

Abe himself has questioned the international definition of the nature of the war, the legitimacy of the Far East Military Tribunal, even the existence of the "comfort women" issue. And his administration has been tirelessly censoring victim countries' mentions of Japanese war crimes, shamelessly trying to blame its victims for sabotaging harmony in the neighborhood.

Arguing with the unrepentant Japanese over that part of history is tiring and unavailing. They are beyond reason. They are also determinedly imposing their selective amnesia on the entire world.

It is best to just let facts do the talking.

That the State Archives Administration has finally decided to share with the world the firsthand accounts of some of the perpetrators of those crimes is a tremendous contribution to upholding the truth of history.

For example, the written confession of Suzuki Keikuin, lieutenant general and commander of the 117th Division of the invading Japanese troops, outlines horrible incidences of murder, rape, conscription of "comfort women" and the use of chemical weapons.

At the pace of one person's confession a day, the written confessions of all 45 Japanese war criminals convicted by the Chinese government will be published. Together, they will provide a vivid collage of Japanese aggression in this country.

It is worth pointing out that the State Archives Administration keeps nearly 200,000 pages of written confessions by convicted Japanese war criminals. These are precious historical documents that should be made available to the public.

So it is good to know that the written confessions of 1,017 Japanese war criminals who were exempted from criminal penalties and released under the principle of "differentiated and lenient treatment" will also be made public in due course.

(China Daily 07/04/2014 page8)

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