World / Unspeakable cruelty of wartime Japan

Japanese war criminal confesses to burning 50 civilians dead in China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-06 21:58

Japanese war criminal confesses to burning 50 civilians dead in China

Photo released on Sept 6, 2015 by the State Archives Administration of China on its website shows the image of Japanese war criminal Bunpei Nozawa. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - A handwritten confession by a Japanese soldier from World War II describes troops setting fire to about 100 homes in East China's Shandong province in September 1941, burning some 50 Chinese civilians to death inside their homes.

The State Archives Administration (SAA) of China published the confession by Bunpei Nozawa on Sunday.

Nozawa, born in 1920, joined the Japanese invasion in 1940 and was captured in China in August 1945.

Nozawa recalled that the civilians killed in the fires included the elderly and children.

He wrote he burned down two homes himself with one old woman lying in bed inside one of the rooms.

Nozawa also confessed to multiple cases of rape and murder from September 1941 to May 1945.

In one of the worst cases, which occurred in January 1945, the battalion commander ordered troops to attack peasants and they killed 20, he wrote. Two of them were killed under his direct command.

Nozawa's confession is the 27th in a series of 31 written statements by Japanese war criminals published on the SAA website in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

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