BEIJING — China’s State Archives Administration (SAA) on Dec 12 released new archive documents on the Nanjing Massacre to refute claims that the Japanese campaign of murder and rape was fabricated.
After China won the Anti-Japanese War in 1945, many Nanjing residents submitted statements to the government on what the Japanese soldiers did to them. Many of these documents are held in the Nanjing City Archives.
In one document dated Sept 25, 1945, a Nanjing resident surnamed Yangzhang said three of her sons were killed by Japanese soldiers on Dec 25, 1937. Her second son was “kicked to death by a booted soldier”.
The archives also released a report based on postwar investigations that said “294,911 Nanjing residents were killed in mass murders, 403 were randomly killed while 203 died to bombings, adding up to 295,517.”
The Second Historical Archives of China, which is also based in Nanjing, has the written court verdict of the principal culprit of the massacre, Hisao Tani.
According to the verdict: “The evidence is certain” Tani and his troops “committed mass murders, rapes, looting and wanton destruction”. The atrocities, such as punching, beheading, gang rape and burning people alive “are unparalleled and extremely violent.”
Tani was sentenced to death and was executed on April 26, 1947.
This is the sixth in a series of archived materials that will be published in the run up to the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims, which falls on Dec 13.
The Nanjing Massacre was started from Dec 13, 1937, the day that Japanese troops took hold of Nanjing, then China’s capital city. During the six weeks that followed, the Japanese invaders raped countless women and killed more than 300,000 people.