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43rd Division (People's Republic of China)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

43rd Division (1949-50)
Active1949.2 - 1950.12
CountryPeople's Republic of China
BranchPeople's Liberation Army
Part of15th Corps
EngagementsChinese civil war

The 43rd Division (Chinese: 第43师) was created in February 1949 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948,[1] basing on the 25th Brigade, 9th Column of Zhongyuan Field Army. Its history could be traced to 1st Independent Brigade of Taihang Military District, formed in late 1946.

The division was a part of 15th Corps. Under the flag of 43rd Division it took part in the Chinese civil war.

In December 1950 the division was disbanded.

This division is not related to 43rd Airborne Division, now a mobile asset of 15th Airborne Corps.

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Produced by The Riben Guizi Production Committee Yasukuni Shrine - On August 15th, the anniversary of Japan's Defeat Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Stop praising our deceased relatives as war heroes. Stop praising our deceased relatives as war heroes. Revere our War Dead Prime Minister Pray for our Dead Stop praising our deceased relatives as war heroes. "...he never came home, "and I was never able to see him again. "In this way, war is a place where "people murder and are murdered." Traitor! Shameless! You shameless asshole! Shameless idiots! "No matter what it takes, it is up to us women, “who birth and raise children, "to create a world without war, "to construct peace..." "The war heroes who rest in Yasukuni Shrine, "are war heroes who fought to protect this nation. "If you don't like it, get out of Japan! "Get the hell out of Japan!" Japan did not fight a War of Aggression At this rate, the Imperial System will collapse. "Stop the violence! "Right Wing groups, no more violence! "We lost family, too! "We lost family, too!" Our fathers and grandfathers bore arms in the name of a holy war, in fact a war of aggression. What did they do in that war... Although much has been said of how that war victimized the Japanese, there has only been silence and denial about how we victimized others. In remembering the war, it is easy to speak of our victimization, but difficult to address our own aggression. Yet that aggression reveals the true face of war, exposing as it does the terrible, weak natures of human beings. We give our truth to future generations, so they are not condemned to repeat our transgressions. RIBEN GUIZI JAPANESE DEVILS RIBEN GUIZI JAPANESE DEVILS Confessions of Imperial Army Soldiers from Japan's War Against China In 1931, TSUCHIYA Yoshio, then 20 years old, passed the physical for the draft, and joined the Manchurian Independence Protection Force. My family, was the poorest in our village. There was no one poorer in our village then. Becoming wealthy... TSUCHIYA Yoshio Former 2nd Lieutenant, MP Becoming wealthy... TSUCHIYA Yoshio Former 2nd Lieutenant, MP TSUCHIYA Yoshio Former 2nd Lieutenant, MP being rich, at the very least, means building your own house. TSUCHIYA Yoshio Former 2nd Lieutenant, MP TSUCHIYA Yoshio Former 2nd Lieutenant, MP To be seen as a prosperous man To be seen as a prosperous man I just had to build a house. I figured I'd go to Manchuria, find work on the rail road, maybe, and send money home for a house. It was just impossible to find work. Not back then, not in Japan. Figured I'd go to Manchuria, make something of myself, and send money back to my father, for him to build a house with. That's why I volunteered. In September, 1931, on the outskirts of Mukden, the Manchurian Railroad was bombed. In fact a plot by Japan's Kwantung Army with designs on Manchuria, the Japanese blamed the attack on China, and launched a full-out offensive. Known as the Manchurian Incident, it inaugurated 15 years of Japan's war in China. I was overjoyed, about there being a war. I was extremely happy. I couldn't imagine such wonderful, good fortune. That's how I felt. I never dreamed Japan would lose. I was sure we'd win. That war might be good or bad, or dangerous, never even entered my head. I felt I'd struck a fortune, that this was my golden chance. Because of course Japan is so cramped. So if we could grab Manchuria, Japan would get awful rich. And that I would, too. That's the delusion I fell under. I was happy. In no time at all, Japan occupied Manchuria, installing Manchukuo, a puppet government, and continued its invasion. When the League of Nations criticized Japan's aggression, Japan withdrew from the League. Defying world opinion, next Japan seized Jehol Province, annexing it to Manchukuo. By signing an armistice treaty with the Chinese government, Japan forced China to recognize its control of Manchuria. About that time, Tsuchiya passed the military police test, and took up a post with the Qiqihar Military Police. Until Japan's defeat, 12 years later, Tsuchiya was a distinguished MP, dedicated to eradicating resistance forces in Manchuria. We'd tear through the town, whatever town, and surround an area. Then we went house-by-house, arresting all the Chinese who looked suspicious. We'd arrest 'em. After they went to bed, around 2 or 3 in the morning, we'd rush in and surround the town and then enter each and every house, and kick 'em out of bed, while they slept. And we arrested all the suspicious-looking young men, with hardly any investigation. Because they hadn't done anything, you see. And then, the Police Control Committee and the MPs gathered. All the chiefs of the police sections gathered, to allot each section Strict Disposals. "5 for your section, 3 for yours, "for a total of 13," or something like that. And they'd announce the date when we'd all do the Strict Disposals at the Western gates of Qiqihar. Because the Kwantung Army Commander ordered the Japanese Army, that it was all right to kill them on the spot. The Right of Strict Disposals. We all called them "Strict Disposals." You see, Strict Disposal meant "to kill." That's what Strict Disposal meant. Strict Disposal was a synonym for murder. Without benefit of trial, just kill any Chinese you wanted. "Hey, Tsuchiya," I was told, "Go watch the Strict Disposal at the Western gates." And I said, "Yes sir." I'd just become an MP, you see. "Go watch." So I went. I got on a horse and raced off. My very first time. And what I found was hundreds of Chinese watching too. So there were policemen there and holes in the ground. And they were forced to sit there like this, next to the holes. So I got off my horse and went over there and there was a Chinese commander. And he screamed something or other, and bang, bang, bang. There were 15 of 'em. Blow away 15 of 'em with rifles. From right here, from behind, bang. Bang and their brains go splattering. Bang. Their brains splatter every which way. Bang, bang. And some of it splattered on me. It made me want to run away. So that's what Strict Disposal turned out to be. They weren't guilty of anything, but you got credit for it anyway. Killing lots of people also proved your loyalty to the Emperor. It was an honor. Get you a Golden Kite Medal. It improved your honor as an MP. So in your monthly reports, you'd fill out "So many Strict Disposals." That got you credit. And everybody did it. Here, there, everywhere. ...There was a powerful pro-Soviet spy ring based in Qiqihar, run by Cho Keimin. We arrested four, including his brother, I'm not sure about others. But then... How do you say... We tortured the brother and cracked their organization. So we arrested 'em, arrested over a dozen, but only 8 of 'em were actually involved. Cho Keimin absolutely refused to talk. No matter how much we tortured him. He said, "I'm a Chinese patriot, "I don't have it in me to surrender to you. "Go ahead, kill me if you want. "No matter what happens, "I'll never surrender to you, to the Japanese." A truly remarkable man. There was all kinds of torture. The worst torture was forcing them to drink water. The way it worked was, there'd be a low bench, made of wood. You made them lie face up on it, and force their head back like this. And then you tie them back, like this... And then you'd straddle them, forcing them to swallow lots and lots of water, their head lowered. Through their nose and mouth. Then you put a towel over their face. Because, if you cover their face... Each time they gasp for air, water gets into their lungs. But if their lungs fill with water, they'll die. So you give them a little air. Covering them with a towel briefly, means they get a little air, so they don't die. But you keep dumping lots of water, from a big kettle. Pouring... Keeping water out of the lungs... So it goes into the stomach. And very soon, it starts to swell. And when its swollen, since he's lying down... If you shove on the stomach the water gushes out. And you do it over and over again. It makes them talk, oh, yes it does. But they don't know anything. So even if they want to talk, they can't. But you think, "Screw this bastard! "Make him swallow more, more." That's what we called Water Torture. There's that branding iron... Branding... I'm not sure what it's called, but it's like a hot iron. In those days, hot irons were like this. And you set it in a fire. In the flames' til it's bright red. You take it and press it on their backs. And smoke rises from their burning flesh. The room fills with the smell of burning meat. You can't stand the stink. It's so awful, even if you're the one doing it. Doing it, I started to sweat greasy sweat. Can't believe there's such awfulness in this world, and you keep doing it. And then you take wood, like a log, you know. You know those poles. You split the log three ways. Into pieces like this. Shave it on both sides, so it looks like this. And you lay them on the ground, three pieces. And you make them sit on that wood, like this, but bare legged. Just like this. So the flesh on their legs would tear along here. Their skin would rip, like this, in 3 places. And you press down on them. It hurts and you can see the bone. You can see the bone, here. 100-Some Prisoners Escape On New Years' Eve, 105 prisoners escaped. They ran, their leg irons still on, jangling. Some died along the way. Bad frostbite, it was December 31, after all. So... After this incident... There was an emergency call-up, and we were sent out to capture them. And we caught... I think we caught half of 'em. The Police Control Committee debated, and decided on Strict Disposal of any we caught. The next year - the incident had happened December 31. On January 4, they performed Strict Disposal of everyone we'd caught. Strict Disposal... Killed 'em. Under MP Command. And the Cho Keimin incident, one day after killing the escapees on the 4th, then on Jan. 5th, that next day, they killed the 8 from the spy ring. We Japanese all thought of Chinese the same way. We called 'em "Chinks." "Chinks," you know. Didn't treat 'em like humans. We didn't think of "Chinks" as human, they were sub-human. If we thought they were human we couldn't have been so cruel. If we thought they were living people... We thought they were scum. We did those cruel things imagining they weren't human. We also believed the Emperor was a direct descendant of God. And that our orders were from that Emperor. So in that war, we felt free to do anything because of Imperial orders. After the war, in Tsuchiya's formal apology to the Chinese, he confessed to his responsibility as an MP in Qiqihar, for the murders of 328 people, and the arrest, torture and imprisonment of 1,917 others. The internal strife between the Chinese Nationalists, and the Communist Party's Red Army, ended in a cease-fire in December 1936, after Chiang Kai-shek was placed under house arrest. The opposing sides entered talks and considered joint Nationalist- Communist military opposition to the Japanese. On July 7, 1937, Chinese and Japanese forces clashed at the Marco Polo Bridge, outside Peking. Even today, it is unclear, who provoked the confrontation. Under military pressure, the Japanese government vowed to punish China and plunged into full-scale war. Within 6 months, they had occupied 5 northern provinces. When China and the USSR signed a non-aggression pact against Japan, Japan signed the Anti- Comintern pact with Germany then Italy In China, the front expanded towards Shanghai, then Nanjing. Nanjing, the capital, surrendered, but the Nationalists resisted, moving their government to Szechuan. The Japanese Army then massacred prisoners and Nanjing civilians. Depending on the source, estimates of the number killed range from 10,000 to 300,000. However, culpability for war crimes is not a matter of numbers killed. NAGATOMI Haukudo, a university student was a protégé of the right-wing activist, Toyama. Nagatomi toured Nanjing shortly after its occupation as a member of the Patriotic Student Union. Soldiers warmed themselves around bonfires they had built. NAGATOMI Hakudo Former Sergeant, Army Soldiers warmed themselves around bonfires they had built. NAGATOMI Hakudo Former Sergeant, Army The Chinese people stood in line forever, waiting to be issued their Citizen's Passes. I remember an officer saying: "Listen, you kids from Tokyo, "at first, we found so many soldiers hidden "among the Chinese, "we gathered them all, "dumped gasoline over their heads, "and burned, incinerated them. "After that we lined them up, we lined them all up, "aimed our machine guns at their backs, and rata tat tat... "killed them all." That's what the officer said. There were 100, maybe 200 people, all standing around, listening to him. The officer spoke through an interpreter. I wanted to hear what he had to say: "Now that the Japanese, the Imperial Army, "has entered Nanjing, "you have nothing to fear." He used a Chinese expression, "Your lives will be tranquil." That's what he said. However, there were lots of Chinese soldiers among the crowd. He told them, "Chiang Kai-shek, "hasn't paid you Chinese soldiers "for a very long time. We salute your labors. "Now that the Japanese, the Imperial Army is here, “we'll pay your salaries, feed you and give you quarters. "We'll also give you employment. "We'll even pay your back-wages. "So you should all step forward." That's how they separated the soldiers from the common peasants. Nearly 20 people stepped forward. Immediately then, soldiers took them, and made them get into cars. We students from Tokyo were ordered to travel with them, so we climbed onto the trucks. What shocked me, was the sight of thousands, tens of thousands, or corpses lined up on the banks of the Yangtze River. All lying dead. Because of the terrible cold, all the corpses, were frozen completely solid. We rode down the one narrow road among the corpses, endlessly down that road, with those 20 or so prisoners with us. Then we finally arrived at a rail road bridge. They made them sit, made the prisoners sit down, and the officer said: "Tokyo students, "these soldiers are yours, do whatever you want, "but you have to kill them." And so because the Patriotic Student Union members regularly practiced karate and judo, and the like, we started throwing them, pushing them around, and so on. But they didn't die so easily. So the officer said: "Watch, I'll take this one "and show you how to kill. "This is how you do it." With that, he swiftly drew his sword, and poured water on it. Poured water on it, and then, taking the soldier in front, he jerked him forward, pulled his neck forward. He made him stick out his neck. And then from behind, he yelled and in a single stroke... he sliced through his neck at an angle. His head had been cut off cleanly cut off. It fell forward. And then, blood started spurting everywhere, from his arteries. The Chinese behind him, who saw this were in shock. And of course they didn't want to die. They got up quickly and started running, running straight for the Yangtze River and diving in. So then, I grabbed a rifle from a Japanese soldier, and hanging above them, waited 'til they came up for air, then shot 'em, bang. I didn't want to look weak beside the other students. I had to show them that I was strong. That's why I borrowed that rifle, and shot 'em that way. But even so, it was the first time I'd killed anyone. My whole body was shaking, and I felt shrunken. I can't even remember no matter how hard I try whether we killed those 20 people, with rifles or with swords... How exactly did we kill them... But we did indeed kill them all, right there... After serving in the Special Service Agency, Nagatomi joined the North China Forces, and was active in the Information Agency After Japan's defeat, he joined the Shanxi Residual Japanese Army, and fought alongside the Kuomintang Forces, against the People's Liberation Army until 1949. The Communist Army united with Chiang Kai-shek's National Revolutionary Army creating a joint anti-Japanese Nationalist-Communist front. China's anti-Japanese position solidified. Japan, hoping to establish a sympathetic regime, announced its intention to ignore the Nationalist government, shutting down prospects for peace. Japan's stated goal was to ally Japan, Manchuria and China, into a New East-Asian Order. Declaring a holy war, she expanded military operations. SHINOZUKA Yoshio was 16 in 1939, stationed with the Youth Detachment of Unit 731, the Kwantung Army's Infectious Disease Prevention Unit, outside Harbin. SHINOZUKA Yoshio Former Corporal, Army The Nomonhan Incident - Japanese-Soviet conflict in Mongolia - had begun then. In the afternoons, under the pretext of "research" we were charged with mass production of various disease bacteria. We were making Dysentery, Typhus, Paratyphoid... all in huge quantities. In vats the size of oil drums... Although they seemed sturdier than oil drums. We put the bacteria in the drums, and I think we added some amount of glycerin. And then soldered them shut. We put 2 drums in a wooden crate and added dry ice, I think. We wrapped the crate in straw matting and tied it with rope. Supervised by Petty Officers we took these drums, there were maybe 2 or 3 Petty Officers, assigned to us. 2 of us boys from the Youth Detachment carried each crate. I only went to that place... Just once. It was a night train, traveling at night. That's how we got them to Hailar. At Hailar, we loaded them onto trucks, military trucks, from what was considered the frontline base at Nomonhan. Once we'd brought the drums that far... At that point, we turned them over to the Ikari Risk Unit - they had different orders than Ishii's 731 Unit - the Infectious Disease Unit, Risk Unit actually meant Suicide Unit. We turned them over to the Risk Unit. About 2 of the boys who'd joined the unit with me could drive, so they wound up in the Ikari Risk Unit. From their whispered conversations after they got back, I understood that the bacteria had been dumped into a river, upstream of the Khalkha River. With the German-Soviet Non-aggression Treaty signed, and the outbreak of World War II, the Japanese suffered heavily in the face of concentrated Soviet strength, signing their own cease-fire with the Soviets. Among the soldiers, the Japanese soldiers evacuating from Nomonhan, many had infectious diseases. We were ordered, to analyze their feces, I was eager for the assignment. The fact is, most of the men, from our unit, who went to Nomonhan wound up receiving medals. Despite all the Japanese soldiers being infected with disease, why were they awarded medals of valor, and others? Because Nomonhan was a massive defeat for Japan I remember being puzzled by this at the time. But looking back on it now... Japan had succeeded with germ warfare. Not in spite of, but because so many Japanese soldiers were infected, it proved that bacteria could be employed as a military weapon. I now believe that this was the lesson of Nomonhan. After the Youth Detachment disbanded, Shinozuka was officially assigned to Unit 731. When I was assigned to the unit... Cholera, and the plague, what we now call Anthrax, Anthrax and Cholera... The Unit had begun mass producing these. Studying preventive vaccines, against the relative strengths of our manufactured bacteria... Could our bacteria overpower the vaccines, and cause infection? That was our mission. We used 5 Chinese people for this study. "Used..." is not correct... We murdered them brutally. We were testing the plague. We began by testing the strength of the vaccine. One of them was reserved as a control and was not vaccinated. The other 4 were inoculated. The vaccine, a special vaccine, had been developed in Unit 731. We gave all of them shots of bacteria. The person we hadn't vaccinated was on the verge of death in 3 days' time. During the dissections, I was ordered to remove the internal organs. One section would be preserved as bacterial culture. The other section was chopped up, there was a glass petri dish for each different organ, and following written instructions, we smeared them onto dishes. This is the kind of work I did when I first joined the Unit. That's how it was. After we finished our work in the unit, we always sterilized our own bodies very carefully. Then we left. That was my first experience, but we killed 2 other people in the same way. Regarding the other 2 people... It wasn't us, and they weren't... yet near death... Partly for these reasons, we turned them over to the Clinic. Over to the Unit 731 Clinic. We referred to those people as "logs." Whenever we did vivisections, it was usually very late at night, by the time we finished. On such nights, we returned to our quarters, to take our baths with many others who had done similar work. Our conversation would run, "How many logs did you fell?" "We felled 2." This kind of exchange was completely normal in those late night hours in the bath house. We believed that our subjects had all engaged in behavior that deserved the death sentence. So we thought, one way or another they'd be executed. That's what we believed. So we thought, they might as well... be of some service to Japan. Given what we believed, it is a fact that we had absolutely no sense of guilt. It came down to our... thinking it was for our country, that we didn't have any choice. It's true that for us... Ultimately... even our superiors... Even Ishii, our Unit Commander, would often say... There was no explanation. "You have to do it. You have to do it." That's all. Once, I participated in the dissection... Of one of my buddies. He was a good friend. When a low-ranking Japanese soldier got infected with the plague... The plague is very fast, once you contract it. Consciousness fades. Japanese went especially fast. So of course we couldn't take them to an Army Hospital. Besides which, no Japanese soldier had any business contracting the plague. So they couldn't go to any ordinary Army Hospital. For these reasons, because we had to preserve secrecy, we ended up holding them, along with the other imprisoned vivisection subjects. There was a Clinic, so they must have had treatment, but almost no one came out of there alive. That dissection... I helped once... It was unbearable. Even with my then dim understanding, I thought, "I'll wind up like this." So I was desperate to get out. I was due to become a soldier soon, and I vowed I'd never return to Unit 731. I remember that very clearly. When members of my own squad caught the plague, I remember once again, that I burned maybe 2 of their corpses. It was outdoors. We piled up firewood. Bodies burn very quickly without any internal organs. The organs would've been removed in dissection. I did one after another of those kinds of things. In the 10 years before Japan was defeated, Unit 731 killed some 3,000 people with human experiments for biological weapons development. They engaged in germ warfare in many parts of China. After the war, the United States exonerated the unit leaders of war crimes, in exchange for their research data. In vast China, the Japanese schemed to expand their territories. Through its Army in Manchuria, and its China Detachment, troop strength ballooned, and Japan reached its domestic limits for reinforcements. In the name of Japan-China peace, Japan installed former KM T Wang Ching-Wei as the head of the Nanjing Government. China's only lawful regime, but it was only a puppet regime. Japan only actually controlled "Points-and lines," major cities, arteries and rail roads. The un-proclaimed war, dubbed The China Incident, stalled into long-term engagement. The U.S. challenged Japan for annulling the Japan-US. Commercial Passage Treaty FUNYU Taisuke Former Sergeant Major, Army Unless we beat, Chiang Kai-shek and the Soviets, Japan could not be secure. And it was also, for the Emperor, for the Japanese people. So young men had no choice... but to shoulder weapons and go to war. That's what we'd always been told, and what we believed. When you went off to war, you told your parents, "This is my last farewell. "I have no intention of returning home alive. "My mind is made up, "and it's time for me to go." So I went off to Manchuria, crying tears. So when we went to become soldiers, we knew we're leaping into an unknown world, sacrificing, surrendering our lives, in that leap, and we no longer had any regrets about losing our lives. We were going to win the war. And within that context, I couldn't be outdone by others. I felt that way... At least twice as much as most others. EBATO Tsuyoshi Former Sergeant, Army EBATO Tsuyoshi Former Sergeant, Army I never convinced myself the war Japan was fighting I never convinced myself the war Japan was fighting was the Holy War that the men who ruled Japan insisted it was. And yet... military service was one of the three duties of a Japanese citizen. And I had absolutely no intention of evading the military physical. In those days, evading the physical, meant evading military service. If I'd done that, society would not only have ostracized me, my whole family would have been seen as traitors. So finally, when the inevitable arrived, I was resolved. Back then we constantly saw the returned remains of the war dead. We were constantly, always seeing them. So the call to military service, meant death on the battlefield. Essentially, you had to resolve to die. And that turned out... to be a shock. Many of my students... I was in Ueda at the time, so at the Ueda station... decked out in my red sash... On the day when I finally mobilized, my students assembled formally, lined up from the station, all the way to the river. They waved the flag of the Rising Sun and cheered me on my way. In that moment, I resolved that fighting, not only for those who had raised me, but also for those children who would bear Japan's future... That fighting for them, would eventually lead to peace for Japan... How else could I think about it... I realized that I was going to die for their future, for peace. When I saw it in that light, I finally reconciled myself to my fate... And I went to war, knowing I would die. Taking advantage of the French surrender Japan, which had reached a stalemate in China, planned a military expansion into southeast Asia. She intended to cutoff U.S. and British supply lines to Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Government, and acquire oil and raw materials. This expansion led to the vision of the Greater East Asia (Bo-Prosperity Sphere, under which East Asia and the South Seas would be united under Japanese influence. My first week at the front, we were completely pampered. The seasoned soldiers who'd been there longer, they celebrated our arrival and let us play. But after that first week, they made an especially pale recruit their whipping boy, jeering, "Hey, you... "That's the end of your selfishness. "The first week you were a guest, "but not anymore." Then, without a word, they started beating him. Even though he'd done nothing. And then there were the spot inspections. At night, after dinner, before lights out, we'd line up in our room for roll call. And then, most nights, they'd do spot inspections. For instance, say you've got a leather pouch that holds ammunition. You know... "Hey, you, go get it. "It's hanging by your bunk, go and get it." If it was at all dusty, he'd wipe it with his finger, and beat you up. “Get your shoes,“ if they weren't polished right, "Get your rifle." If it wasn't maintained, they'd beat you on the spot. I was relatively... Well, as we used to put it... I had a knack for things... I worked hard at everything and did well. My superiors always looked out for me. So the first month passed, and then the second, and I couldn't help but feel glad that I'd become a soldier. That's how I felt. When I'd finished grade, I mean elementary school, I couldn't go on to middle school. And we'd had a fire at our house and we were in trouble. So I was helping with the farming. But my older brother was physically weak, and couldn't do men's work. So I was taking his place, helping my parents out. When I became a soldier, that was all over. Everything in the army... all boiled down to, protecting the Emperor, that's it. I protected my superior officer, that's all. And no matter what calamity came, it never touched me. At the time, I didn't see how you could beat that. So I was serious about laying a foundation for my military future, and I was very diligent in fulfilling my duties. I lived through the kind of hell, that I had no idea existed in Japanese society. Especially because I had a university education, I received absolutely brutal treatment at the hands of seasoned soldiers who came from rural farms. First, I was slapped back and forth, without reason for having an attitude. But they didn't slap with their hands. They used their regulation slippers. The rubber ones were especially painful. Some were leather. They slap you with those. Once when they slapped me, my face swelled up, and it upset my mother when she saw me that way. That's why usually... When we were out drilling, the 2 assistant instructors were the only veterans, so that was fine. But back in the barracks, each squad had 2 dozen soldiers. A dozen of us greenhorns, and an equal number of veterans. And they were vicious. Beating us dispelled their gloom and gave them pleasure. So for instance, Present Arms... If your rifle wasn't well-maintained, they'd have you bring it. Hold the rifle at Present Arms like this... But the rifle was so heavy... You'd never last 5 minutes and if you lowered it because it was unbearable, you'd get slapped around and you'd do it again. Then there was mutual slapping. They made the newer soldiers face each other in rows. Lined them up, and said, "To punish you for "such-and-such behavior today, “you'll slap each other back and forth now.“ And made us slap each other. But you couldn't slap your comrades. So the older soldiers would say "This is how you do it!" and show us an example. The one he slapped, would slap his partner back seriously, out of pain and frustration. And the partner he slapped, got serious too, wanting revenge. It just kept escalating. The old hands found this just hysterically funny. There were no limits to the punishments they dreamed up. It was truly shocking. One routine, was called Crying Cicada. The way Crying Cicada worked... There was a pillar we propped all the rifles against. They made us hold onto that pillar, and cry like cicadas. And they'd say, "These cicadas have weak voices." “They're not crying loud enough.“ Beat us until we did. That was Crying Cicada. Then there was the Nightingale... There's the bunks. We had to crawl under the bunks, crying out like nightingales. Of course our cries were too weak. Over and over again, we cried like nightingales, crawling under the bunks. We were grown men... It did make me want to cry. But what I hated the most, was called Miss Prostitute. It was a kind of punishment for things they didn't like. They made you poke your face between the propped up rifles and wave and call in a high falsetto "Say, there, mister, come on." But if you weren't feminine enough or you were too quiet, they'd beat you again, until they'd finally OK'd you. Or if they disapproved of your shoes, they'd put a rope around your neck, and "Go Around the Squads." They'd tie a pair of lace-up boots around your neck, one boot on each side, and send you to each squad: "Private such-and-such, here on business." "What business?" "I didn't polish my boots right, "and I'm here for instruction." And the veterans would laugh, saying, "They're pretty clean, why don't you lick them?" that's how they abused us. I was 29 years old at the time. I could never become an officer... SHIKADA Masao Former 2nd Lieutenant, Army A reinforcement soldier, nearly 30 years old was bunked next to me. But this new soldier, Sumida, was somewhat, what we'd now call, "mentally retarded," and he was kind of slow. So he was the constant target of the veterans' brutality. They'd beat him, and back at the barracks at night, if he had a weary smoke after dinner, our superiors tore into him, “Recite the Military Precept.“ He had to memorize that... And then there was that endless Military Pledge. “Our military is under the command of the Emperor... "Originating with Emperor Jinmu..." Had to memorize that whole long, dumb thing. And so with all of that, Sumida had a total nervous breakdown. One morning, when we were getting ready, he was dawdling. So I look over and realize this 30-year old has wet his bed. Between the vindictive punishments, and the humiliation, he really couldn't take any more. So I felt sorry for him and covered up for him. Rolled the bedding up and told him to wash it later. "Shikada, over here!" My superior called me over. I wondered what it was. "Grit your teeth!" he said. I wondered what was next. "How dare you 1st year recruit! "Insolent bastard! Mind your own business." They never came out and accused me of covering up the wet bed. "Mind your own business!" "You're insolent for a 1st year soldier." He'd taken off his slippers... Actually, slippers were made from military boots, the ones with tacks in the soles. They'd cut them down into slippers. So he held that slipper and double-slapped me, on both sides of my face. No matter how tight you clamp your teeth, they chew the inside of your cheeks apart I thought, "He got me good." instinctively clenching my fists, I thought, "You bastard," and was ready to attack him. So the corporal says, "Gonna assault a superior officer?" “You'll get military detention, which is a criminal record.“ I was young, 24, and he was 21 or 22. "You bastard," I thought. By then, I was really full of rage. But the minute he said that, I thought of my father, nearly 70 when I enlisted. He'd come to see me at the barracks then. My father was the village chief, and the village would be disgraced if I got a criminal record here. If I bore it, I wouldn't disgrace them. So I realized that and grit my teeth hard, and just dug my heels in. Our breakfast was on the table. The corporal said, "Drink this!" He took a steaming hot bowl of miso soup and dumped it down my throat. It hurt so badly I could have leapt out of my skin. So that's what I faced, as a 1st year soldier. And so I swore, "Damn! I'll become an officer candidate "and show you bastards!" I swore then and there, I'd become an officer. It really fired me up. Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy and the Soviet Neutrality Treaty, then pushed ahead to the south, and in China. Elite Japanese troops in China were sent to the southern front but Japan's military presence in China remained massive. 700,000 in the Kwangtung Army in Manchuria, 680,000 troops in China. Japan's military incursion into French Indochina provoked outrage in U.S., England and Holland. The U.S. took retaliatory measures against Japan. The Japanese military maintained its hard-line on China and Indochina, and resigned itself to U. S.-Japan hostilities. At a diplomatic impasse, the entire Konoe Cabinet resigned. The new Cabinet elected Tojo Hideki as prime minister. The 12th Battalion of the Chinese Detachment Army mostly engaged the Communist 8th Route Army in Shandong Province. That's where I underwent 3 months basic training. SUZUKI Yoshio Former Sergeant Major, Army SUZUKI Yoshio Former Sergeant Major, Army Already in training, we were forced SUZUKI Yoshio Former Sergeant Major, Army SUZUKI Yoshio Former Sergeant Major, Army to charge at living humans to kill them. To charge at living humans to kill them. They talked about POWs, but in the Japanese army, any Chinese we caught were called POWs. Didn't matter if they were peasants or what. There were 3 men tied to stakes, all ready for us. I had applied to be a petty officer, so I got to go first. My squad leader signaled me, shouting, "Forward, forward, thrust!" But, it was by no means easy to thrust my bayonet into a living person. I'd never killed anyone before. Still if I was clumsy at it, it would affect my whole military career. So I showed no mercy or leniency. It was an order. I always carried out orders to the letter, much more than anyone else. You had to be really aggressive. So I just did it, I thrust into the man, killing him with the first blow. But after I stabbed him, I certainly can't say I felt right... And after I stabbed him, many, many others did the same. He was tied to a stake. All of his organs were dangling. Because they tied the hands up high, they couldn't join their hands to beg, but at first at least, they'd cry out desperately, “Help!“ When you think about it, you really can't imagine anything more pitiable, really... We were unshackled from any idea of humanity. "Attach bayonets!" That was the command to draw bayonets and attach them. KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army to draw bayonets and attach them. KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army On "Charge!" I moved forward. KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army But the other guy was tied up. KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army So we charged forward. KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army But the truth is, I'd never been so scared. But the truth is, I'd never been so scared. The guy doesn't fight back. I've got my rifle and I charge but my hands slipped I got there, I lost my strength. Don't know why, but I was scared. And he just stared at me. So naturally I thrust at him, but my hands slipped. Only thrust him so deep, frankly. Then the Lance Corporal shouted, "You!" Slapped me 10 times. Made me do it over about 3 times. I never did manage to do it right that time, that's the truth. But there was a guy my rank, named Gouda, a monk from my home prefecture. A little monk, like a novice. He couldn't even try, just sat down on the spot. "Spare me," he said. So the Lance Corporal beat and kicked him. Then we had to do it again the next day. We just had to keep doing it. Finally, I stabbed his stomach, not his chest. It went straight through. The chest isn't like that. The ribs get in the way. So the Lance Corporal says, "I'll show you how it's done, watch me." So we just watched. A bayonet's about this wide, about 20 millimeters. It's about this thick, 3 or 4 millimeters. It's a bayonet. It's tight between the ribs. You can't just stab there. Not just like that. But the Lance Corporal had a trick. He thrust and twisted it flat. Made the bayonet thin and it slipped right in. That's how we learned the trick. That was how I first killed someone. So what I learned was that in order to kill someone, you twist it flat and thrust. The gut's never lethal, the chest always is. Flatten the bayonet and thrust. So gradually, I killed one, then two, and finally it's a daily competition. "How many'd you kill? I got 2" "I got 3" A daily competition. So I didn't feel a thing killing people. Once you've killed your 2nd or 3rd, you stop thinking about it. In my mind I was just killing Chinks. So I wasn't scared at all. But the first time, I was really scared... Gaining popular support, the Communist 8th Route Army grew In 1940, it launched the Hundred Regiments Offensive, targeting Japanese positions and supply lines, delivering a devastating blow to the Japanese forces. In return, the Japanese began a relentless mopping-up operation, focused on anti-Japanese strongholds. The Chinese called it "the Three-ails Campaign." Kill all, burn all, loot all. Destruction, slaughter, plunder. These became Japan's explicit goals. Around dawn, we encircled an entire village. And a platoon of men attacked. But there was no sign of any enemy. That was when Colonel Yamaochi, the colonel, ordered us to set it on fire. In a flash fire consumed the once quiet village. The chickens were squawking, and the... You could hear the houses crackling in the flames. The sounds of sorghum popping, dogs barking, people screaming... Like all hell had broken loose. I think... In under an hour, just about the whole village had burned down. And we trained our machine guns and gunned down every last one of the villagers who tried to escape to the mountains. As for those in the village, the soldiers either bayoneted them or shot them. Anyone who couldn't move, just burned to death, with their home. The smell of people burning, of flesh... It's a very strange smell indeed. It wafted everywhere. The unit commander triumphantly ordered the unit to advance... After we'd advanced 2 kilometers, we could see 5 or 6 homes on our left, nestled into the mountains. So the commander said, "Who wants to burn them down?" I leaped right out front, saying "I'll do it" and went to set the fire. The peasants didn't have an inkling. The children were out feeding the chickens, playing, a picture of peace. But having volunteered, I had no choice but to burn. So I started setting fires. They were all desperate. Not a man in sight. Only old ladies in their 60s and children. They drew water, desperately trying to put out the flames, but of course they couldn't. And I then I went over to set the last remaining house on fire. The house was relatively new, so I thought I'd take something first. I went all the way to the back of the house, and saw someone sleeping on a bed. Wondering who, I lifted the covers, and found a woman who had just given birth to a baby. She must've been 34 or 35. She was shaking violently, unable to speak. She'd just given birth. A chill came over me, like ice water pouring down my neck. It just crept over me. But my next thought was: "How dare this Chink!" that's what I felt. "How dare this Chink have a good time and make a baby!" I was seized with this boiling rage. "I'll just burn her to death." I rushed outside and was about to start the fire, when I saw a 60 year-old grandma, standing in the doorway, desperately... Begging me. She was begging me to spare their house. But I kicked her aside, and I tossed burning sorghum into the doorway, and millet husks, just kept tossing them until there was a mountain of them. Kept throwing flaming things in, and tossed in bundles of millet too, until the doorway was choked with smoke. You couldn't see inside. And I closed the front door tight. From the outside, you could see bright red flames blowing out through the windows. I heard death screams inside. At that moment... How can I say this... I couldn't keep myself from wondering why I'd done it. What came to me at that moment, were the words my mother gave me as I was leaving for war: "if you have to kill in the war, that's fine, "but whatever you do, don't touch women and children." Her words suddenly came to me. Because that was exactly what I'd done. I'm not sure... That was still the first time I'd done it so maybe I still had a shred of conscience left. That I'd done something bad. "I didn't do this. "I was just following the commander's order, hate him." That's what I told myself to ease my conscience. And then, without a backward glance, I walked straight back and jumped into my marching unit. The so-called, “Hostage recovery tactics“ were unbelievable. Our grenade launcher and light machine gun had been taken, and 2 of our men had been taken hostage. So we embarked on a horrible retaliatory subjugation mission . The so-called advance troops... spread out into the village, and everywhere I looked, we were killing. Killing every last villager. And even then I thought that the most vicious thing, was the way they treated the women. They stripped them and dragged them to the road. The villages always had a road down the middle with houses on both sides. They stripped every last woman, and dragged them there. At the time, we were still privates, in our first year. So our superiors told us new soldiers, "Stab 'em." It was... This was back in the fall... After returning from the campaign when I burned houses. It wasn't long after that, I think. So we were forced to stab them, and stab them we did... Stabbed them one right after the other. But that wasn't good enough for the older soldiers... So after we'd finished... They chose a woman already dead, and stabbed her genitals with a bamboo spear. And they left their spears inside them. And said, "Don't touch it this is how you kill." They showed us by example... It was so... The organs had spilled out all over the road. And there were so many of us milling around as we did it. In that kind of situation, HO one... None of the women put up any resistance. On top of that... Bayoneting a woman, doesn't exactly feel good. I remember wondering at the time, why we had to go this far. I remember that. But if you didn't do it, they called you a coward, a chicken. And once you were a coward, if you got that reputation, you'd never get promoted. “Whenever! engage in combat, your lovingly made amulet “is at my breast, a source of endless joy" I completely lost my humanity, I lost my human conscience. I was just like a brutish fiend. The more I killed, the more I began to enjoy it. In the winter, the soldiers would start a roaring bonfire, and warm themselves at it, bring a baby, and throw it into the fire, and we'd all just laugh. That's the sort of state the majority of Japanese soldiers were in... I believe so... In the 8th Route Army territory, we burned everything in sight. Burned everything, killed the villagers, the women. Because they'd have kids. And those kids would grow up to defy the Japanese army. The old people hadn't got long anyway, so them, too. These were orders from the very top. Chinese villages all had ramparts. Large villages had brick ramparts 5 meters high. Small ones had mud walls. And inside the walls was a path a meter wide for pedestrians and there were gates at the east, west, south and north. Just 4 points of entry. That's where we'd start the fires. And then the soldiers, that's us, we'd stand outside the four gates with our rifles aimed and when they came out, desperate, we killed them all. When they finally came out... Machine guns, rifles, we killed them all with those. It was awful, even we thought it was awful. But it was fun, being the ones doing the killing. They rarely crawled over the walls. They mostly stayed inside, running in confusion, dying. That's what I've done... ...Find some guy, and if there's a woman, make 'em have sex. And when you think he's about to climax, shoot your gun at him. Just did it for the hell of it. An awful thing... Shoot 'em dead when he's feeling good. All over. That's truly murdering for arousal. It was ultimately about competition. I was conscious of being a Japanese soldier. And no soldier wants to hear, "I knew he didn't have the guts." So how many you've killed becomes a standard of achievement. And the military's a strange place. In Japan, in your country, arson and rape and murder are felonies. But in the military, the more crimes you commit, the better your record. ENOMOTO Masayo Former Sergeant Major, Army we raided the village. But all we found... were the abandoned women. There was nobody else there. And so... Because we found those women, and there were lots of soldiers, all of our buddies, we, how do you say... We made the women, we stripped them naked and made them lie down on top of watermelons, that's right. There was no military purpose, just “Imperial Army Comfort.“ No enemies around. No information to be gained. We just... that night... Spent the night in the village. So we stripped 'em. And shoved cloth... Up their vaginas, poured gasoline on and set them on fire. And of course all of our... Company commanders watched. They weren't spies or anything. Just a message that we'd been in that village. In other words, it was... Often... In Japanese... We called it entertainment, or Comfort Troops. It was that... You set them on fire while everyone watched and you didn't just burn the woman but you burned her house down. Imperial Government Reaches Grave Decision Negotiations on Japan-US. relations breakdown over China-Japan War Tripartite Pact and Southern Advances Japan's sneak attack on Hawaii precipitates the Pacific Wan. Using its advantages, within 4 months of the outbreak of war, Japan occupied vast territories in southeast Asia. At the time, everyone in Japan was overjoyed. To have beaten England and America. Led by the Emperor, we held sway over Asia. It hadn't been a dream. We Japanese were a great people. We were possessed by these conceited notions. In January, 1942, Yuasa was posted as an Army doctor to the Japanese Army hospital in Shanxi Province. YUASA Ken Former 1st Lieutenant Army Medical Corps The hospital director told the officers to gather in the dissection room, for surgical training. That's what we were told. There were 2 Chinese prisoners standing there. One of them was tall, taller than I am, with broad shoulders. He must've been 30 or so, dressed in relatively good peasant's clothes. He just stared at the floor. I assumed he was either, part of the then 8th Route, now People's Liberation Army or a Communist Party member. He never flinched. The other man, next to him, was of medium height, medium build in his 40s or 50s. A peasant, no doubt. He held out his bound hands, and was nearly crying, “Aiya, aiya.“ That's right, there were two operating tables set up, a Red Cross nurse assigned to each. They were laying out amputation knives, scalpels and scissors. The clitter-clatter of metal... He knew we would cut him, he'd be the subject of a surgical experiment, so he was crying. But what's most terrifying when I think back now, is that all of us there, the doctors, nurses, and the unit army doctors assembled there for training, about 4 of each, along with the 2 surgeons present as instructors, along with the medical assistants, everyone was smiling . We were going to cut up living people and we were all smiling. That's right. None of us were able to express any of our fear or loathing or pity. We made them inhale Chloral Ethanol, a total anesthetic. They struggled a little, but soon were quiet. First we did an appendectomy. Usually, to find the appendix you insert 2 fingers, and then you remove it surgically. But we doctors weren't skilled. Probably our first time. And a normal appendix isn't hard, it's slippery and hard to hold. The first excision fails, then another, then another, until finally the whole appendix is remove. The vermiform appendix was awful... Then suture. Next, when a bullet strikes the stomach, the feces causes antegrade peritonitis. So you clean it and join it. We practiced that procedure. I don't remember whether it was that time or the next, I looked at the raw material sleeping there and was seized with the desire to try it myself. I took the amputation knife, and sliced it right off. I had no sense that this was a person, it was just a thing. I sliced his arm right off. Then I sawed the bone off, of course. That's what I did. Then while they practiced other things... If a bullet strikes the chest, hemorrhaging causes suffocation. You do a tracheotomy. It's done swiftly, the blood's bright red. Because it's full of oxygen. After about an hour and a half of that, the surgery was over. And after that, the unit doctors and nurses left. It was left to us newly-posted doctors and medics to clean up. And the peasant was no longer breathing so we dug a hole and dumped him in. But the stronger one, the one from the 8th Route Army, was still breathing... So our hospital director said to practice injecting his heart We drew blood, and injected air, the air took so long to reach the brain, he didn't die. The medic instructed me, and I filled a 5cc syringe with Chloral Ethanol, the anesthetic... I took that soldier's left arm, and into his vein, man it was thick, and by the time I'd injected half, 2.5cc into his vein, he died of respiratory failure. We did 10 vivisections there on 6 different occasions as part of my medical training. Once, what happened was... The hospital director said "A Japanese drug company wants..." There's the cerebral cortex. There are hormones called steroids, effective against asthma and arthritis. They needed research samples. I remember the drug company had sent 10 bottles. So after each vivisection, we took brain samples and sent them off bit by bit. Basically, we did anything. And one time... This was entirely my own idea. I wound up instructing 23 medics. I figured that soldiers, only 3 months out of Japan, were still gutless. By teaching them anatomy on Chinese vivisection subjects, I thought they'd learn better. That's what I thought. In fact, there were illustrated manuals and drawings, as well as models... I was utterly heedless of Chinese lives. Not the least bit. We were winning, so I could do anything. That's how fanatical I'd become in my beliefs. I phoned the MP myself, and he turned over a subject. I anesthetized it, and cut open the stomach, pointing out, "Here's the heart, the stomach, the intestines." One of the medics collapsed from anemia. That happened, too. Once, 40 of us had gathered for medical education. We'd all been called to a military prison, Taiyuan. Before then, I'd never really known. When we got there, I entered, and saw 2 men blindfolded. Their hands were bound, I'm not sure, in front or behind them, but they were crouched. Then a prison guard came, one with a white rank badge: "Do it?" Pulled out his pistol and bang, bang, bang, bang. 2 bullets into each. No anesthesia. 10 of us grabbed one of them and took him into the next room. Another 10 grabbed the other, also, the next room. And that's where we start practicing surgery, just like I told you before. The man in charge said: "Keep them alive "until you've extracted the bullets." But we're no good. They were bleeding, there was no oxygen, no head stimulants. But it must have been the agony. It was the unbearable pain that finally killed 'em. I'm not sure when. But that didn't concern me. All we were supposed to do was to practice our surgery. And then it was bang, bang, bang, bang. Four more shots. There were 40 of us and 4 Chinese. We vivisected them... In order to destroy 8th Route Army supply bases, the Japanese relocated peasants into specific areas, under a Joint Housing Strategy All other areas were off-limits to Chinese inhabitants. You'd climb a mountain or a high place and look down. If you saw houses, you burned them down. If you saw people, if you're close, your rifle, if far, your machine gun, kill 'em. That's all we did, day after day. Two 8th Route Army soldiers, right at the very peak, no more than than 5, 6 meters away, smack into 'em. And the 8th Route Army, saw we were superior, in terms of numbers as well. Only 2 of 'em. They raced just ahead of us, jumped down to a lower cliff. The cry, "Enemy!" went up. So course our soldiers came running. And then I used my pistol got both escaping men. Killed 'em. In a field not 200 meters away, we found a man in his early 40s. In those days, in the villages, you rarely saw anyone of his age working the fields. "You involved with those 8th Route Army soldiers?" "No" "Didn't stay here last night?" "No" “OK, c' mere .“ I tied his hands behind his back with rope, took him to a tree, and strung him up over a branch. When you're strung up your hands behind, gradually, as the arms rise, your shoulders dislocate and you wind up strung up like this. So then I started a little fire below, toasted his behind put a fire to his dick, then torture. Still knew nothing. Then he gets groggy. In those days, a single "Hey" from the unit leader calling, "Over there" and a soldier brought a shovel, started digging a hole. Made the prisoner sit by the edge of that hole. Next I called up a newcomer. A quiet soldier, lily-livered kid. "Time for your training." Put the bayonet on his rifle, and made him charge from 7, 8 meters away... So the average kid just went green got close, started shaking and couldn't stab. "Do it over," I said, and made 3 soldiers charge him. The man had completely lost consciousness. And finally, I shot him twice in the back with my pistol dumped him in the hole, threw dirt on him and went home. In that No Housing Area, I took my squad and climbed up a mountain. We saw a house in the valley. I immediately sent a runner to my commander. "Found a house in the valley." He replied my squad should dispose of it. So I left my squad's main force as lookouts on the mountain, and 2 soldiers and I went down to that house. We found 2 boys there, about 5 and 3 years old. When we entered the house, there was a really old man lying there. Looking cold. "Get out!" "Run!" Won't budge. Figured if I burned the house, he'd come out. "Hey Goto, bring those sorghum and millet husks in here" I ordered Goto and Matsui, the two soldiers. Stuffed the house with sorghum and millet husks. "Set it on fire!" They set it on fire. Gradually starts to burn. Grandpa can't move. The two boys are sobbing trying to help their grandpa, but they're too little to do anything. They're screaming and crying and running around. But I knew we couldn't leave 'em there. Before long, the 8th Route Army would pass by. And we couldn't have them saying what we'd done that day. I realized that we had to dispose of them. "Goto, Matsui, you shoot 'em one each!" And from less than 10 meters away, they shot the two kids dead. Then, soon enough... the fire spread to the roof, the roof ridge collapsed and that old man burned to death. Whenever we came to that kind of place, we'd take back anything useful for the Japanese to use. Everything else, we searched everywhere including the cellar and drag out every last thing, and burn it. Pots and pans, we crushed, so they couldn't use 'em. So even if the 8th Route Army came, they couldn't use any of it. In June, 1942, the Japanese suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Midway, but Imperial Headquarters announced it as a huge victory, deceiving the populace. On the Chinese front, the Japanese began destroying Chinese air bases south of Zhejiang, in order to prevent their use by American planes. With the U.S. counter- offensive in full swing, Japan faced acute shortages of domestic labor and raw materials. The Tojo Cabinet resolved to import Chinese labor into the homeland, initiating Compulsory Seizure, or labor kidnappings. The idea was to export Chinese, their labor potential, to Japan, gathering them forcibly with military troops. This was the Compulsory Seizure Campaign. I participated in it in the autumn of 1942, for three months from September to November, in Shandong Province. And we were an Army... The 12th Army. We had supreme power throughout Shandong... It was a 12th Army operation. I think it was called the Togo Operation. About 15,000 Japanese soldiers were mobilized for the operation. KOYAMA Ichiro Former Sergeant, Army Healthy men between 15 and 45, capable of hard labor, that's what we were looking to capture. That's what we did. I was involved in the mountain region. We lined up side-by-side, each about 50 meters apart, so a single squad was strung out to across 500-600 meters. Then the next squad, we formed an endless line. We were consistent, hung Japanese flags from the ends of our rifles, we moved forward... arbitrarily grabbing anyone in sight and shoving them into our net. If they tried to run, we'd aim our guns, to stop 'em. Just our 43rd Battalion alone, pulled 400 or 500 Chinese into a village. And we culled them down, until we had about 300 who would be of real use. That's how many we'd caught. The farmers were especially unfortunate, because they'd taken lunch out to their fields and that was the last their families heard of them. Vanished, like they'd been spirited away. I'm sure that their families were really desperate. We also collected lots of cows and pigs. There must've been 300 of them... In the evenings, we made the peasants, who were chained together drag them all the way to the station, collection points where box cars would arrive. As we all marched down the mountain, it was truly a strange sight. Along string of humans chained together. Around them, Japanese soldiers, bayonets ready, one soldier for 15 or 20 men, walking beside the line of Chinese and the cows and horses shuffling along, in the midst of it all. An endless column. All the way up the mountain I thought, "That's quite a haul." Right inside the station, which wasn't very big, there was a red brick warehouse, for temporary rain storage and such. Metal doors, clanged shut. Just perfect... That's where we shoved our prisoners, packed them like sardines. No window or anything, a single tiny air vent in the ceiling. That was all. The next morning, it was still pretty early, apparently the box cars had arrived. Our sub-captain and the other officers went to check... To the station. And we stayed in our quarters, we had separate quarters. The sub-captain returned. He was laughing out loud. I was wondering why, when he and the others said, "We dragged 'em all the way here and half of 'em goners." Then a 2nd Lieutenant said, "Well, if we don't have enough, we'll get more." I heard them talking like that. Of course they hadn't fed them, given them water, or let them relieve themselves. So they had to do it inside. The fact is, they treated them just like cows, pigs or cats. Treated people just like you'd treat animals. "Half of 'em goners..." They just started cackling... That's how careless they were about human life. I've had to think about that... After the war, the Foreign Ministry reported that, of the 38,935 Chinese sent to Japan under compulsory seizure, 6,830 died. There was a Wheat Gathering Operation. Basically, we plundered wheat. Those operations were directly implemented by operatives of Japanese conglomerates like Mitsui and Mitsubishi. They conducted house-to-house searches of the villages. Plundered every last grain of wheat. Well I happened upon, a grandma, an old woman... She was carrying a small bag of wheat. When I tried to take it from her, basically, she clung to my ankles begging, "Please spare my wheat. "I have an invalid I have to feed. "This is all I have, please don't take it." She clung to my ankles, crying, begging. But my ears were deaf, as far as I was concerned so I kicked her aside, kicked that grandma aside, and took her wheat. But that old lady kept following me. So near there, in that village, there was a creek, a small marsh. I dumped her into it. There were others like that, too. About 20 villagers in all, I pushed 'em all into the creek and machined gunned them all right there. But there wasn't much water in that creek, it became a river of blood. So that's how, under orders to plunder wheat, we committed murder. On the southern front, the U.S. forces retaliated with overwhelming strength, and the Japanese forces began their retreat. Tojo Hideki coined a new slogan, "Know not the shame of being taken prisoner " The suicides committed by so many Japanese on various Pacific islands, were a tragedy for the Japanese forces, disallowed surrender. In Europe, the Italian flank of the Tripartite Pact surrendered unconditionally Japan gathered leaders of her southern territories for an East Asian conference, who pledged to fight the war, and protect the East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere. But this was no more than a farce, far removed from an actual war that was tilting away from Japan. With the Cairo Declaration, the U.S., England and China proclaimed that they would fight jointly for Japan 's unconditional surrender On the Chinese front, the 8th Route Army made guerilla forays from liberated territories, as Japanese forces engaged in a war of attrition with the Nationalists, now bolstered by the U.S. The China Detachment's 11th Army was, mainly engaged with Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Army But the 39th Division, in Hubei Province, was the force closest to the Nationalist capital, Chongqing. TOMINAGA Shozo Former 1st Lieutenant, Army I was ordered to lead a platoon. My company commander took me to meet my men. That's where I first set eyes on the soldiers I was to lead. What shocked me, was the look in their eyes. Hardly human. The eyes of tigers, of panthers. They had murderous, triangular eyes. They were brave warriors who'd been in the thick of battle again and again. I had no experience at all. Knew nothing of war. Could I really manage to command these guys? They shook my confidence in my ability as a leader. Starting the next day, the officers-in-training assigned to that regiment, there were 22 of us in all. From the next day, we all began a week-long training session for field platoon leaders. Our education began. The last day, at the end of that week, they tested our courage, of the new officers. We had to slice the head off a living person. 2nd Lieutenant Tanaka began by saying, "This is how you cut off a human head." Then he showed us by example. There were 20 or so Chinese prisoners, blindfolded off to one side. Apparently, they'd been taken in an operation right before I arrived. Stood behind, held the sword high, at an angle. All at once with a yell... The head flew 2 meters. Fountains of blood spurted from the carotid arteries, and then it rolled and plopped into a hole. It goes without saying, that this was a first for us. How do you say, the awfulness of it... I saw it and was paralyzed. My body went rigid. Then we had to do it, starting on the far right. I was 4th in line and it was my turn. In that moment, I thought, "Can this be allowed?" After all, I'd read my Kant, his Critique of Pure Reason, and the idea of personal responsibility, I considered myself something of a Humanist. And the thought "Can this really be allowed to happen?" crossed my mind. But if I screwed up then, I knew I'd be done for. All I had to do, was exactly what he'd just shown us, I told myself as I walked. And that's exactly what I did, and I sliced the neck easily. In that instant, something thudded in my belly. Something like confidence, I'm not exactly sure what. But some of the others, there were 22 of us in all, lost their grip and only wounded the Chinese, who reeled like madmen. The officer screamed, "Stab him from behind," but they missed. "Outta the way!" Then 2nd Lieutenant Tanaka came over, kicked him, and sliced off the head. So that's how it went on. By the time all 22 were finished, it was a sea of blood. And finally, there was only one prisoner left. Tanaka looked at the officers and said, "Anyone want to volunteer?" A veteran 1st Lieutenant raised his hand. He walked forward, carrying a package. Apparently he'd recently purchased a real sword. And he wanted to try it out. His movements were an absolute picture of calm. Just like a walk in the park. He undid his package pulled out his sword, sliced, and done. Watching him move, I thought I'd have gone out of my mind in his situation. But he'd pulled it off in the most matter-of-fact way. I was really shocked. That night at roll call, I faced my men I didn't feel the slightest inferiority. Nor did I see an evil look in their eyes. No doubt the moment I'd sliced off a head for myself, my own eyes had changed. None of us saw anything wrong with the other. And then again, that something like confidence... Though they were hardened warriors, I felt no tinge of reserve or inferiority. And very soon, I found myself in battle, over and over again, commanding "Charge!" The regimental commander told us the entire village population was in communication with the enemy. Thus, all guerilla troops and any positions should be decimated. And we should kill everyone, including all women and children. Remove as many material goods as possible, and burn all houses to the ground when we left. His direct orders from battalion headquarters. So we drank a toast in celebration, and set out. This village, Hakuyoji, was a village of about 100 houses. I was leading the platoon, so I divided the 30 or so men under me into 3 squads. And we basically aimed at small clusters, of 6 or 7 homes. We set up a machine gun at the very edge, and on my command, opened fire as they slept. There was a river and we knew they'd run to it. That's exactly what we wanted. Set up the machine gun, and aim for the riverbanks I ordered them to shoot anyone who escaped. We split into 3 squads and waited for dawn. And then, in the distance, almost 1,000 soldiers surrounded the village, and I heard shots everywhere. Looking down from a low hill, I saw an old woman with bound feet, struggling along the riverbank, alongside old men fleeing with children. I saw some men watching, obviously bewildered and then someone ordered "Shoot 'em on the riverbanks!" So then they started with the machine guns, rata tat tat. Must've killed 30 of 'em there. By the time this had gone on for 30 or 40 minutes, impatient guys started setting fire to thatched roofs and you could see smoke rising all around. Figuring things were more or less taken care of, my aide and I entered a large house. I went in and found a young woman, lying down in bed, shivering. One look and it was obvious she was sick. The instant my aide and I entered, her father, a peasant... tried to shield the bed with his body. As soon as I entered... her father, bowed down on his hands and knees before me, and putting his head to the ground, said, "Taijin, Big Man, please spare us. "My daughter is sick. "Please spare my daughter her life. "I'll do whatever you wish, please." Damn, the more he apologized, the more we felt we were being humiliated. I thought how dare they insult us. I said, to my aide, "These peasants "are also defying Japan. "Start by stabbing that woman. "Don't waste the bullet. Stab her to death without shooting! “Hurry! Stab her, kill her!“ I started screaming, and just then, her father, the peasant, starts hanging onto my ankles. Just as I said, "How dare you!" Bang! There was a single shot. Smoke spread throughout the tiny room. I'd shot the sick daughter before her own father's eyes. As soon as that was done, I said, "Bring him over here." And so, my aide and I, dragged the peasant by his arms and took him outside. Other squads had dragged others outside, maybe 5 or 6 of them. We strung the Chinese peasants together with rope, including the man I'd brought out, and then took the pigs and chickens that the soldiers had killed, pigs dripping blood, their guts ripped open, and sacks of grains, and loaded them onto the peasants' shoulders and backs. "Burn it all!" At my command, they set the whole place on fire, including the woman I'd killed. We burned her, before her father's eyes. As a result, the entire battalion, wound up killing 200 and some or so people. All of them innocent peasants, women and children. It was Special Forces, Volunteer Forces Special Operations, really. We concealed our Japanese military affiliation, no loincloth. Not even a pencil, made-in-Japan. Grow out your hair. And when necessary, we wore uniforms identical to the Chinese Nationalists' and returned to set fires... KUBOTA Tetsuji Former Sergeant Major, Army When we infiltrated the Chinese as spies, it was scary. In such cases, when we stopped in a village to rest, there were still villagers... Who'd serve tea and thank us, 'cause of our uniforms. But when we left, we'd kill about 5 older men. We couldn't fire guns, right? We'd stab 'em there'd be blood... Threw 'em down a well. I was the officer-in-charge. I watched it all, those things. All I cared about was my own life. I didn't even think about those villagers' lives. ...We'd lost 3 Japanese, and 1 wounded, was the message. Within a week, we'd arrested 5 people we figured had information. Tortured them thoroughly. An officer from the Medics Corps experimented with shooting air into their veins to see how long they'd last. We did that. We needed an order from the Battalion Commander for vivisections. But you know, lower officers took over, just lost control, and did those anyway. Even I could see the purple lumps, surging from their arms across their bodies. "Not dead yet, not dead yet." Really, purple clumps surging through their flesh yet they don't die. I thought, "Well, even "if a doctor gets oxygen in a vein, it doesn't kill..." But finally, he just wouldn't die, so we dug a hole and killed him. The other 3... There were 5, sent 1 to headquarters. The other 4, we vivisected 1 . The rest, we made 'em dig their own graves, and stood 'em in front. And you know, some officers never killed anyone. "You kill 'em." "You kill 'em." "You kill 'em." "I don't want to." "You're gutless." "I'll kill 'em," says a veteran and he does. "You're next," like that. Give 'em a smoke before they kill... But you know... Peasants always begged for their lives 'til the end. But I... I'd have my rifle aimed, to be sure they didn't escape. ...Yeah, that petty officer and the officer are both still alive. "You killed 'em right?" "Yeah, what else could I do?" A company commander on the banks killed 4 or 5. On the banks of the Yangtze River, concealed from the houses there. Kill 'em and into the river... That unit, where our Machine Gun Company #1 was stationed, was even nicknamed Unit Murder. Especially during my days in charge of Information... We abused POWs, civilians, that is. Even if we tortured them, they rarely ever confessed. Of course, I never knew whether or not they were really spies. Don't know, so they can't talk. Looking back, I assume that was mostly the case. No matter how we tortured them they never said a word. If anything, they became more defiant. We kept them in there over a month. But even then, they wouldn't crack. Well, finally, I'd really had it. I had already, beheaded several men... So everyone gathered to see me demonstrate. All of them watching. At the time, I was actually bragging. "See a Kendo - fencing master wield a sword. "It's not just any old beheading. "My technique is different. "I leave a layer of skin at the throat, "that's how a master does it," because I was 4th Rank. "Now watch." I strike a single blow, but then I hold my strength. And in a flash, the head is severed... and dangles forward. And then the blood gushes, spewing up almost 15 cm and he stops breathing. Then I kick... the head into the waiting hole. "Did you see that?" I was so proud of myself. So I went home after that beheading. That night, I have to say, I didn't feel that great. I went out drinking to dispel my gloom. I don't know what kind of phenomenon it is, but I had nightmares about it for the longest time. After I got married, my wife said “You cry out in your sleep.“ In the past few years, I haven't had them so often. Maybe I'm getting older. I'm not sure, but in the nightmares, I'm being chased, or something like that. We were sent to gather supplies. Mainly we were plundering KOBAYASHI Takeshi Former Corporal, Army Mainly we were plundering KOBAYASHI Takeshi Former Corporal, Army KOBAYASHI Takeshi Former Corporal, Army but we had to get rid of the villagers. KOBAYASHI Takeshi Former Corporal, Army Set up 2 machine guns, and shot 'em. Shot 'em and checked that they'd all run away. "Good, time for us to get ours." It was every man for himself. This was a large walled village. There was a Lance Corporal Murakami. We were always together on these plundering missions, never apart He'd always grab me, "Let's go together." So we went, and we entered what was a big house. And there was an old man in his 70s, lying down. Lying on his bed a young woman near him. She was about 20 years old. So he says, "Hey, Kobayashi, looks like we found ourselves "some nice booty." This is great. And underneath the bed, they had some eggs. So the girl gets these eggs out. She must've been saving them for her father, I guess. She gets them out, "Take these, but please spare us." "Please spare my father." Lance Corporal Murakami throws the eggs away, and says, "Do something about this father," like it was an order, so at first... I started peeling off the covers, but that girl won't, she keeps covering him, she kept holding on to him. So finally, I just had to kick her aside. And then I dragged her father off the bed, dragged him down. Over in China, they mostly had dirt floors. So I pounded him against that. And kicked him and all, and just killed him like that. And so, now that she was all alone, Lance Corporal Murakami went in, and raped her. "Hey, Kobayashi, now it's your turn." So I went in, and I raped her too. And then... As we left, that girl came flying out and seeing her father, she screamed, "Japanese Guizi Devils! "Unforgivable!" I didn't really understand, but her whole appearance was pretty awful. I couldn't stand it and just flew out of there. But if I hadn't done that sort of thing, I couldn't have been part of the group. It was just... It was like a... See a woman, can't rape her. See someone, can't kill. Can't just steal things. They shunned you. Even your best buddies, wouldn't even look at you. Chinese Returnees Journal - Former War Criminals Murder, plunder and arson. You could say you were ordered to do it. But when it came to rape, you can't say you had orders. It happened during the war, it was a problem that came up all the time, but you can't blame it on superior's orders. If you confessed to it, you felt you had to take personal responsibility for it. I've told other people about everything else but this story... I've never told anyone. When I wrote my experiences in that journal, my wife didn't even know about it. She didn't say anything... It's very difficult to speak publicly... About this sort of thing... The veterans loved to rape. We always looked for women. We'd chase women down instead of enemy soldiers. We'd enter a house, and behind closed doors... And when we went, it was always in pairs. While one did it, the other was outside, keeping watch. Making sure nobody came. They'd take turns doing it. Way at the back of the house was a woman, sitting, hugging a 4 year old child. So the veteran said, "Kaneko, go stand guard." I went outside. Then from inside, I heard the woman screaming and crying... I heard the veteran shouting. In a little while, the veteran came out, dragging the woman by her hair. I asked what had happened, "This damned bitch, won't let me do it," he says. "I'm gonna kill her, come on." Still holding her by the hair, he dragged her away. A little ways ahead was a public square with a well. He said, "Grab her legs." So I grabbed her legs, and the veteran pushed her back against the edge of the well. I lifted her legs and splash, dumped her in. But there was a child, we'd completely forgotten about. It was crying, “Mama, mama,“ circling around and around the well. But it's so short, it can't see over the edge. The child goes home, returns dragging a chair, a box gets up on the box, and looks in the well. Don't know what it saw, but without a single "Mama," it jumped, and splashed to the bottom of the well. When we saw that, even we were shocked. "We can't just leave 'em that way, throw in a grenade." So I threw a grenade into the well. Now that I've had children, and even have grandchildren, and they get to be that age, the memory always comes back. Of course it was terribly cruel. How can I express it... It's always stayed with me. When we came to a village, first, the veterans looked for women and gathered them in one place. And when night fell, we'd sneak visits. 7 or 8 soldiers would gang rape 1 woman. That's what we did and the company commander looked the other way. Pretended not to see. As far as I know, no one was ever sent to military court for rape. Company commanders never said a word, ignored it. Would've damaged their own records. And we all knew that. So out on a campaign, we got as much as we wanted. So looking back, our seeds were in a whole lot of women. That's something I feel, frankly speaking. All soldiers do it. Anyone says he didn't is lying, I think. You could die any time. Young soldiers, maybe 22, 23. Even the older ones, sergeants are 24, 25. So you see a young woman, you rape her. So whenever we went on a campaign, to this village or that, everybody did it. You see, rape is... how do you say under Military Code, rape on the battle field gets you the firing squad. That's the law. So you couldn't do it openly. Everybody hid it. And after you'd raped, you couldn't walk away, 'cause word might spread. So you killed 'em right there. Erased the proof. Everybody did it. After you raped, you killed everyone. The China Detachment began destroying Chinese Air Force bases to prevent U.S. bomber raids, initiated a massive, continental campaign for control of the Beijing-India supply line, but failed to capture any territories. At the same time, on the Southern front, where air and naval forces succumbed to U.S. strength, suicides became common among the isolated Japanese troops. Taking responsibility for the loss of Saipan, Tojo's Cabinet resigned. Japanese forces were left with only one strategy against the U.S. The Suicide Bombing Squads, which utterly discounted human life. Japanese forces in China sacrificed air supremacy to China and the U.S., and were collapsing against Chiang Kai-shek's successful alliances with the great Western powers and Mao Tse-tung's persistent strategy of enveloping Japanese forces in the sea of the Chinese people. With an American invasion of China imminent, the China Detachment began bolstering anti- U.S. positions and embarked on a campaign to wipe out the 8th Route Army There were 40 peasants who'd failed to escape, and wound up with our Battalion. Of those, there were 30 men, who we spread out among our 7 companies. For inspection. 4 men were assigned to us. At the time I was a novice, an assistant instructor. "I'm a peasant, please don't kill me." They all made this desperate plea. There was one boy with them, he was 14 or 15 years old. He really affected me. He said, "Only my mother and I are left..." "Please let me go home... "Don't kill me." As it happened, my own mother... was almost 70... And she lived all alone. That's why, his words, really... pierced my heart However, I was incapable of granting his plea. Injustice, things not being just, is always a part of war. I couldn't do a thing. That's what I kept telling myself. And I turned all 4 men over to our utility men, whose job it was to tie them to stakes. A machine gun company is different from a regular rifle company. Rifle men attach the bayonet to their guns. But we couldn't do that. No such thing in a machine gun company. We just had a small bayonet on our belts. That's what we charged with. That's how we stabbed. So, on the command of "Charge!" we drew, and everybody rushed forward like madmen, but then they stopped. Couldn't stab, and most stopped. "Idiots! Charge the enemy!" at the instructor's voice, they started again, but those bayonets were tough too high, too low, off to the side, and the instructor pointed to any actual wounds and said, "That's right! Done." And finally the first 4 soldiers finished, then the next batch did the exact same thing. Repeated the same thing, 7 or 8 times. And then the lesson was over. But afterwards... I had no idea human intestines were so incredibly long. All 4 of the Chinese were dead, their entrails hung all the way to the ground. That night, they gave us all liquor in celebration. The rookies had passed inspection. All the veterans were saying, "Congratulations, congratulations. "Finally, you men have become real soldiers," and slapped them on their shoulders and whatnot. But the kids all looked like death warmed over. The dark mood hung on... Land-mine sweeping... Making Chinese peasants sweep for landmines was... At the time we called Chinese "coolies," like the bearers who carried provisions and whatnot. Coolie means Strength to Suffer. And regardless of the operation with the Japanese Army, you went to the Labor Bureau, and ordered them to assemble X number of coolies by a certain time. The Labor Bureau would allocate a certain number per village, and assemble them. ...They'd rounded up about 100. And those peasants, the coolies, either carried the loads themselves or brought donkeys if they had them. They loaded the provisions onto the donkeys but they were the first to hit the mines. The roads were mined, so we were ordered to use the fields but even when we walked there, a soldier hit a mine. So what the commander decided was to make the Chinese, who had been carrying our provisions, some of them, carry double loads... and put 20 of them in front of us. He lined them up in a single row across, ahead of us, followed by several Japanese guards armed with rifles to prevent escape. Unbelievable. We used live civilians as mine sweepers. We made them step on mines. Well, after that there weren't any more Japanese casualties... There weren't... But among the 20 who walked ahead, as I remember, about 4 or 5 were blown up or wounded or died. And so, if one of them was wounded, we'd dump them there, keep moving forward. Never mind the dead, keep moving. That's the sort of thing we did. We captured Chinese who hadn't escaped, or we'd found in the fields, and used them as coolies. And we used them throughout an operation, but the Chinese assumed they'd be set free when the operation was over. They'd stuck it out, desperate, waiting to be freed. But when the operation's about to reach its destination, it occurs to our men we can't set them free, they could give away our positions. I happened to be in Battalion HQ then. And the company commanders all asked the Battalion commander what to do with all the prisoners, the coolies. "Go ahead and dispose of them as you see fit," the commander said. "As you see fit." Well that meant do what we always did. So the company runners took their orders back. That night, as I walked down the road, I heard pounding feet, lots of yelling, and bloodcurdling screams. They were killing about 50 or 60 men at once. Unbelievably brutal... What they did... The next morning I noticed, the pond had gone red. Corpses floating... We left them there, and moved on... At the time, I was totally numb. I just thought, "They're at it again." "Oh, man..." The U.S. steps up its bombing of the Japanese mainland. Japanese forces commit suicide on Iwo Jima. U.S. forces begin landing operations on Okinawa. In the European theatre, Germany surrenders to the Allies. With the landing of U.S. forces on the Japanese mainland inevitable, the military continues to pin its hopes on a final battle, intoning, "Imperial Country Fight to the Death“ "100 Million Suicides" The soldiers of the China Detachment, unaware of straitened circumstances at home, continued to wage their campaign. What was awful was.. That for a month-long operation, we had only 2 days' worth of rations... in our backpacks. "Procure the rest locally." Well, procure the rest locally, meant grab it where you can. You stayed in civilian homes. In summer, you just threw them out. Tossed the owners outdoors. And in China, there wasn't much to burn. So you smashed all their furniture. Smashed it and cooked rice over it. And in the summer, we'd boil water and dump it in a huge pot and take baths. Smashing all their furniture to build our fires. And in winter, well, we'd throw them all outdoors and keep fires all night long, in the middle of the floor surrounded with bricks, cooked rice. Made a hole in the roof for a chimney. Otherwise smoke filled the house. Once we entered a village, we'd kill the pigs, the chickens, eat all the vegetables. A whole battalion is about 1,000 men. 1,000 soldiers all taking over a village like that. We'd wipe it out. Apparently it took a village 8 years to recover economically. Let's see, our detachment was stationed there about 2 weeks. And because of that there was no more meat to be found. And then, one day... In the 1st Company... We heard a rumor that someone had eaten human flesh. Hadn't had any meat forever. None to be found. No vegetables in the villages either. But you see, strange as it sounds, there was a young woman. No one else was around, I was the only one there, so I raped her. And after I did her, I killed her. It occurred to me then, there's no meat, I'll give them this meat. I was Sergeant Major then, and was in charge of the company mess. So I figured I'd hand this meat out to them. As soon as I thought of it I killed her. Every village has cleavers. So I cut it up, just taking the best pans of her meat. I did it on my own, and afterwards reported to the company commander. I said, "This isn't pork." Told him exactly how and why... It was human meat. Told him to make up a company report Make it up as meat sent by the Battalion HQ, that we were feeding the men. The company commander said nothing. I'd taught him everything he knew. I'd taught him, he'd just turned 1st Lieutenant. There weren't any officers. Finished officer candidate school and became company commander. He'd been at war 3 years. I was in my 6th year. Company commander was speechless. Just kept saying "Yes, yes." So we called over all the units' KP guys, told 'em we'd gotten meat from Battalion HQ. Handed it all out there. Everybody was sure happy to have it. Nobody'd eaten meat in over 2 weeks, after all. It tasted... Tasted better than pork... Japan ignored the Potsdam Declaration, intended to provide a final opportunity for surrender, but on August 15, 1945, after the atomic bombs hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviets entered the war against Japan, Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration, accepting unconditional surrender 575,000 of the Japanese soldiers who were in China when Japan surrendered were interned in Siberia and assigned hard labor by the Soviets. 55,000 of them died there without repatriation. In China, the Nationalists and Communists fought 4 more years, before the victorious People's Liberation Army established the People's Republic of China, in October of 1949. In July, 1950, the Soviets turned over 969 of the Japanese soldiers still held in Siberia to the People's Republic as anti-Chinese war criminals, and held them in the War Criminals Administration in Liaoning Province. Another 140 Japanese soldiers, who stayed on after the defeat and joined the Nationalist fight against Liberation Forces in Shanxi were confined under the Shanxi War Criminals Administration. The 14 witnesses in this film, were among those held in those facilities. Following Chou En-Lai's motto "Even war criminals are human, “respect their Humanity,“ the newly created People's Republic gave these war criminals humane treatment. Staff at both facilities overcame their personal enmity Any corporal punishment or verbal abuse was forbidden, and prisoners were treated with extraordinary warmth and humanity in every way, from food, medical care and exercise, to education, and culture. The war criminals, who had expected severe punishment, were both profoundly moved and remorseful. Their treatment eventually awakened their own consciences. They acknowledged their crimes during the occupation and apologized to the Chinese people. In June, 1956, after six years of confinement in China, a Special Military Tribunal was convened under the Supreme Court of the People's Republic;. Of the 1,062 Japanese held, only 45 were indicted. Those who'd died or committed suicide were excluded. Tearing a baby from its mother's womb, SUZUKI Hiraku Former Lieutenant General, Army Tearing a baby from its mother's womb, SUZUKI Hiraku Former Lieutenant General, Army SUZUKI Hiraku Former Lieutenant General, Army I dashed it against the ground. SUZUKI Hiraku Former Lieutenant General, Army Slashing a pregnant mother's womb, burying alive... Throwing grass on top, to burn to death... And using all manner of weapons, rifles, machine guns, I deceived all the villagers at once, and victimized so many, a total of 1,280 or more, peaceful citizens, in the Three All Campaign. I killed approximately 119 FUJITA Shigeru Lieutenant General, Army I killed approximately 119 FUJITA Shigeru Lieutenant General, Army FUJITA Shigeru Lieutenant General, Army rightful Chinese citizens, FUJITA Shigeru Lieutenant General, Army FUJI TA Shigeru Lieutenant General, Army and 12 prisoners. and 12 prisoners. I also acknowledge that I burned down approximately 100 civilian homes. I am now painfully aware of how brutal my deeds were, how bereft of humanity I was. My acts truly deserve your enmity. I committed grave crimes. I await and accept the severe sentence of the Chinese people. NAGATOMI Hakudo Former Sergeant, Army NAGATOMI Hakudo Former Sergeant, Army I commanded a Special Plot Information Unit I commanded a Special Plot Information Unit In Shanxi Province alone, I killed 130 people capturing Chinese people and killing them all. When I found houses, I burned them. When I found animals, horses, cows, I plundered, seizing them for our army They called me, the King of Hell. That's what they called me. That's how many heads I severed. When I captured 2 young ladies, they asked me to spare them, I assumed they were female spies for the 8th Route Army, I made them dig graves in a field, and buried them both alive, covering them with dirt. Though both young ladies, clasped their hands and begged, I smothered them with dirt, burying them alive. Also, I threw a man into a burning house, just like that, burning him alive. The moment his head caught fire, he died. The suffering of the Chinese people, must have been so terrible. It is beyond my imagining. I attacked with machine guns and rifles, wounding, but not killing at once. If they did not die at once, but were wounded, wounds... They cried "Help, help" but no one helped them. "Father, mother." Their suffering, their sadness. What it must have been like. None sentenced to Death or Life Imprisonment, their terms ran 8 to 20 years, including all previous confinement. Most were released before serving their full terms. The other 1,017 war criminals were treated generously, spared any indictment and rapidly released, between June and August of 1956. Eleven years after defeat, they were allowed to return to Japan, their home. When they returned to Japan in 1956, the government had announced economic expansion and modernization. The popular slogan was, "The Postwar is over!' But upon their return, they were greeted by suspicion that they had been brainwashed by Communists. Under secret police surveillance, they encountered many obstacles and taunts as they searched for jobs. War Exhibition for Peace Did the Chinese do this to the Japanese? No, they didn't. They didn't? I was able to kill people as though it didn't mean a thing. It's as though every part of me was soiled, unclean. I became a vile human. I truly sank to the level of a brutish fiend. When you returned to Japan, you were accused of being brainwashed. When you returned how were you welcomed by your family, community? How did they treat you? I should've just said, "Thanks to you, I'm finally home." Instead I said, "I'm a person who did terrible things. "Thanks to China, I'm back home. "I'm grateful to China." That's what I told them. And that was the problem. They decided that I had been brainwashed in China. That's what they thought. So no matter how hard I looked for work, I couldn't find any jobs. No one would hire me. I had no choice but to start as a milkman. But not a single family would accept my milk deliveries. "5 years in the Soviet Union, 6 in China, "11 years with the Reds, "he must be a terrible Red. "Can't be seen with a Red." The first time my memoirs were published in "Invasion," my wife read them... She was shocked out of her skin. "So this is what you did over there." Nobody back here had a clue, that the Imperial Army was killing civilians over there. They all believed we'd been off fighting a just war. That we'd faced the enemy, been lucky to live and come home. That's all. And she asked me, why I had to speak out. No matter what happened, if I'd just kept my mouth shut... Why'd I have to go blabbing things that brought shame on me. My wife couldn't understand that. The true face of war... Saying truthfully what I've done, is what telling the real truth means. No matter how shameful it is for me, I have to admit it. Otherwise, my words have no meaning. Lately, she seems to understand, but she sure didn't at first... We doctors, and our nurses, we justified it as orders. If we didn't do it, we'd be punished for disobeying. We didn't have even a shred of guilt. Thought it was unavoidable. But no one said a word. That was the problem. It was war, after all, and many things happened. But nobody said a word. This is also true... of the murder, rape, plunder, all the terrible things that all the other Japanese soldiers did. Couldn't talk, wouldn't talk. Still a million people like that still alive today. Do their consciences torment them? I wonder what they think... When we were leaving, our Chinese teacher told us, "Go home and make fine families, have children. "Make fine families... "But don't ever pick up a rifle and invade China again... "Never again." I am now 80 years old, For the rest of my days, I will talk about the war, the war of invasion, I will bear witness, with as much detail as possible, to the younger generation I'll say, "This was the war." Forget theoretical concepts of wars and other wars... This is what actually happened. I must find a way to tell the younger generations, that we must never commit such transgressions again. That's the very least I can do to atone for my sins. It is impossible to modify or deny the past. However, those who close their eyes to the past are blind to the present. Whoever refuses to remember the inhumanity is prone to new risks of infection. - Richard von Weizséicker The Witnesses: TSUCHIYA Yoshio Former 2nd Lieutenant, MP NAGATOMI Hakudo Former Sergeant, Army SHINOZUKA Yoshio Former Corporal, Army EBATO Tsuyoshi Former Sergeant, Army FUNYU Taisuke Former Sergeant Major, Army SHIKADA Masao Former 2nd Lieutenant, Army SUZUKI Yoshio Former Sergeant Major, Army KANEKO Yasuji Former Corporal, Army ENOMOTO Masayo Former Sergeant Major, Army YUASA Ken Former 1st Lieutenant Army Medical Corps KOYAMA Ichiro Former Sergeant, Army TOMINAGA Shozo Former 1st Lieutenant, Army KUBOTA Tetsuji Former Sergeant Major, Army KOBAYASHI Takeshi Former Corporal, Army Staff Camera, sound: OGURI Ken'ichi Music: SATO Ryosuke Assistant to the Director: HANAI Hiromi Film Development: YOKOCINE D.l.A. The Producers wish to thank: Chugoku Kikansya Renrakukai The Organization of Prisoners of War The Organization to Document Huludao DIRECTORS SYSTEM CO., LTD. AIHARA Hiromi Foundation "Umverteilen!" Berlin SUMOTO Yukiko-Schwan rubelt-medien, Dr. Ortdud Rubelt Producers: MATSUI Minoru OGURI Ken'ichi Written, Edited, Directed by: MATSUI Minoru Produced by: The Riben Guizi Production Committee English subtitles by: Linda Hoaglund


  1. ^ 《中央军委关于统一全军组织及部队番号的规定》,
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