Although the total deaths in SE Asia and the West Pacific will never be known, the death toll in China alone was estimated at 34 Million. According to historian Tien-Wei Wu, they included: (1) The massacres of Pingdingshan, Laohegou, Nanjing (Nanking), Hainan, Zhejiang, Changgu, Changde, Cangwu, Guangxi, Guizhou, and Hebei, 6 Million; (2) deaths caused by biochemical and germ warfare, 1 Million; (3) civilian deaths caused by the poisoning of opium the sales of which was revived through a monopolistic system by the Japanese, about 0.5 Million; (4) civilian deaths by air bombing, 1.5 Million; (5) civilian deaths in moving people out of their burned villages to 13,450 concentration camps, 1 Million; (6) slaughtering under the slogan "Sanko Seiseku" (Kill All, Burn All, Loot All), and flooding the rivers by bombing the dikes, 3 Million; (7) deaths among the enforced laborers, (20% of the total 30 Million), 6 Million; (8) deaths caused by hunger, diseases when relocating refugees in 20 provinces and 600 counties, 6 Million; (9) military deaths in the battlefields, 9 Million.
The statistics alone do not tell the full story. The degree of brutality and human suffering was unparalleled in history. The Japanese soldiers used captives for bayonet practice, held decapitation contest, buried them alive, disemboweled women after raping. They roasted and burned captives after dousing them with gasoline.
These war crimes were exposed in the "Rape of Nanking," reported by Western reporters, missionaries and a German Nazi, John Rabe. The crimes were evidenced by the photos and diaries belonging to the Japanese soldiers themselves. They were further witnessed and convicted by the International Tribunal in Tokyo. This matter was treated in detail by Iris Chang's recent book.
Starting in 1932, the Japanese Army began to conduct experiments and manufacture biochemical and germ weapons by raising tens of thousands of rats infected with diseased fleas carrying the plague, cholera, typhoid and anthrax. The experiment center was Unit 731, near Harbin, Manchuria, headed by Ishii Shiro. Subordinate labs were established in 63 places in China. Deaths resulted from the injection of germs and dissection of at least 3,000 live prisoners, of whom included hundreds of Americans.
Germ warfare was waged against Chinese troops 1,131 times, and possibly in Saipan against Americans. It was intended to launched in San Diego, USA in September of 1945. The Chinese who died of such infections numbered 1 Million..
The facts regarding these germ experiments were not disclosed because the U.S. military authority granted immunity to Ishii Shiro and his subordinates in exchange for their cooperation in continuing of the study. In 1981 "The devil's Gluttony" written by Seiichi Morimura was published; the realities of Unit 731 was widely known. In 1989 bones of more than 100 people were found at ruins of the former army medical school in Tokyo. These were later identified to be Chinese used as specimens in the germ warfare lab.
RAPE AND SEXUAL SLAVERY
More than 200,000 Korean, Chinese and Philippine women were forced into situations of sexual slavery and mass rape, called "comfort women." These were denied by the Japanese until 1992. Then the Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto admitted when he was in Korea, and, later, set up a token Asian Women's Fund for some 300 women, while ignoring the scope of crime and the majority of victims.
THE CRUEL TREATMENT OF ALLIED POWs
Allied prisoners of war held by the Japanese totaled more than 320,000, and suffered extreme tortures. Their death rate was 27% as compared to 4% of those captured by the Germans in Europe. In the Bataan Death March (April, 1942), some 76,000 were forced to walk for 140 miles under 105 degree heat without water and food; many were tortured with vicious physical abuse and slain. The death toll was between 8,000 and 12,000. Many Allied POWs were forced to build, with only hand tools, the 250-mile Burma-Siam Rail Road, which included 680 bridges across high mountain peaks and no-man's land. Among 62,000 enslaved laborers, 12,000 died. Some 140,000 POWs were shipped to Japan to work in crumbling coal mines, which resulted in numerous deaths.
Almost all of the U.S. prisoners of war rescued at the end of World War from a total of 47,553 were afflicted with diseases caused by malnutrition and deprivation and have suffered from life-long illnesses, psychological and emotional trauma and financial hardships.
TOTAL PROPERY LOSS
Total property loss during the war was astronomical. In China alone, the military loss was estimated, in 1947, to be over US$120 Billion, and the civilians' property damage, US$180 Billion.
JAPAN'S NO-APOLOGY ATTITUDE
Japan has never officially apologized for initiating the war nor has it admitted its war crimes. The historical evidence and reasons follow:
1) The so called, "Unconditional Surrender," was not carried out in realty. Emperor Hirohito, was not punished but remained as head of the State. His direct involvement in war crimes was evidenced by the fact that an imperial family member issued a "Kill All Captives" order prior to the Japanese troops' entrance into Nanjing. In the Tokyo Tribunal, only Hideki Tojo and six other Class A War Criminals were sentenced to death. The total convicted were 28. In China only Tani Hisao and three others were sentenced to death for the crimes committed in the "Rape of Nanking." The other 45 were convicted. The total accused in all the Far East countries were 5,700, with only 3,000 convicted, as compared to 80,000 were accused in Nazi Germany. The Nazi criminals were totally eliminated from German government after the war, while many war criminals in Japan resumed important political posts.
2) The cold war between US and USSR ensued right after WWII. The US-Japan Peace Treaty was signed in 1951, when US needed the cooperation of Japan, to provide military bases. The reparation was light, and set up examples for China and other Asian countries.
3) China faced a civil war and paid little attention of the problems to reparations. Neither did the other Asian and Pacific Rim nations for similar reasons.
In 1968 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution stated that the prescription of reparation to victims of war crimes has no time limit.
The Government of Germany has formally apologized to the victims of war and set up a Reparation Fund. Its payments, up to the year 2030, will equal US$88 Billion.
In 1988, the United States Government acknowledged its unfairness in detaining Japanese-Americans during World War II. It paid each detainee $20,000 with a letter of apology.
Japan's reparations to Asian countries were only US$6 Billion, almost none to the victims, while the compensations for its own people totaled US$388 Billion, and for its own military, US$410 Billion.
On April 21, 1998, Japanese Ambassador to the US, Kunihiko Saito, attacked Iris Chang's book, "The Rape of Nanking,". saying, it "contain(ing) many extremely inaccurate descriptions and one-sided views on the case."
Then the No. 1 war criminal in Japan, Hideki Tojo was made into a movie, which glorified him as a hero and kind grandfather. Tojo was the Japanese prime minister during World War II, who was responsible for the invasion of China, SE Asia, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.. It was apparently a conspiracy of the right wing politicians, entrepreneurs, educators and the entertaining circle.
On March 12, 1998, a 86-year old Japanese retired soldier, Shiro Azuma, appeared on Japanese Supreme court to defend his diary on his witness of the Nanjing Massacre.
On April 27, a judge at Yamaguchi local court in Japan, Hideaki Chikashita, sentenced that three South Korean women who were forced to serve as "comfort women" was violating basic human rights.
In June and July, previous Japanese soldiers along with Military Surgeon Takemitsu Ogawa and attorneys led by Koken Tsuchiya made a photo exhibition tour of war atrocities in USA and Canada. The attorneys also represented 108 victims of germ-warfare to bring a lawsuit against the Japanese Government.
We finally see some Japanese also join us to fight the injustice of their Government.
WILL THE JAPANESE NEO-FASCISM RISE IN POWER?
Clause 9 of the Japanese Constitution currently states that its military forces are limited to defense, not to wage a war. However, there are suggestions to revise the Constitution. Many recent ministers, on behalf of the Government, went to worship the National Shrines, which including the spirits of past war criminals. Their intention is apparently to restore the national militarism. Under the name of self defense their army, navy and air forces are built up. In 1997 Japan threatened to take over Diaoyutai, an island 120 miles from the shores of Taiwan.
Remember that during World War II, the United States was transformed from a consumers' economy into the No. 1 arsenal infrastructure of the world within four short years. With the highly developed industries and the expansion of right-wing influence in Japan, it is possible that it will become a warmonger again.