China’s anti-Japanese propaganda warfare in the United States
By Moteki Hiromichi,
China’s anti-Japanese propaganda warfare in the United States
In the present as well as in the past, the Chinese government endeavors to
survive by staging anti-Japanese campaigns worldwide. What are they actually
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact
On October 26, 1997, Chinese President Jiang Zemin paid a floral tribute to U.S.
naval personnel at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and gave a speech,
emphasizing that the Chinese were friends of the Americans in the fight against the
militarist Japanese. I remember thinking, half-mockingly, “How dare that this man,
with pomade-glistening hair, went through so much trouble to drop in Hawaii to give
such a speech.” Now I greatly regret that it was a big mistake to underestimate him
In August 1994, the Chinese Communist Party set up an educational platform based
on anti-Japanese, patriotic-Chinese principles. In the following year, 1995, it
launched a patriotic campaign celebrating the 50th anniversary of the armistice of the
War. In educational and public policies, the Chinese Communist Party used anti-
Japanese, patriotic ideology, which also became its raison d’etre. The Chinese
Communist government was in a difficult situation. It was no longer able to assert its
validity by maintaining the Marxist idea of human liberation, and so the Chinese
Communist Party finally came to the conclusion: in order to convince the people of its
validity, its last resort was to emphasize that the patriotic Communist Party saved
China from the militarist Japanese aggressors.
The main battlefield of anti-Japanese campaigns is America
However, in order to maintain the Chinese empire, it is not enough to spread anti-
Japanese and patriotic propaganda domestically in China. The Chinese Communists
are fully aware that if they can prove the validity of their assertions through worldwide
campaigns, they can consolidate their integrity toward their people and further
realize their superiority in global affairs. And the major battlefield to stage the global
propaganda campaign is, in fact, America. If the anti-Japanese campaign can gain
momentum in the U.S., victory is guaranteed for the Chinese side. This scheme
basically applies both at the present time as in the prewar years.
Anti-Japanese organizations in the U.S. that cornered Japan into waging a war
It has been clearly proved that there was no such incident as the so-called “Nanking
Massacre” at the time the Japanese Army fought to seize Nanking 70 years ago. It
was well-known that Mao Zedong never once referred to the “Nanking Massacre” in
his lifetime. Furthermore, the recently uncovered top-secret document of the
“International Propaganda Office of the Nationalist Party’s Propaganda Department”
revealed other convincing facts: in spite of the fact that the International Propaganda
Office held 300 press conferences inviting foreign journalists over a period of nearly
one year, spanning the Battle of Nanking, they did not once mention that civilians
were slaughtered in Nanking nor that prisoners of war were unlawfully executed by
Japanese troops. Of course, the Chinese government itself never officially condemned
Japan for the Nanking Massacre at that time.
The confidential document further revealed that although there were no evidential
source materials to solidly base an accusation of a “massacre”, the Chinese had
behind-the-scenes foreign agents accuse Japan of a “Nanking Massacre” through
strategic propaganda. They secretly hired a Manchester Guardian correspondent
named Harold Timperley, who was then in Shanghai, as an advisor to the Propaganda
Department and had him edit a propaganda book on the Nanking Massacre entitled
What War Means. The book was published by Victor Gollancz, a left-wing British
publisher, with the pretext of neutrality. Naturally, the costs and expenses of the
publication were entirely covered by the Nationalist Party’s Propaganda Department.
At the same time, the Chinese government itself didn’t say a word about a massacre,
which clearly shows that the incident called the “Nanking Massacre” never took
place. However, this propaganda book came to play a major role in later years.
Timperley spread photographs of a massacre that were forged
Timperley did not stop there. In 1938, he became supervisor in charge of the Trans
Pacific News Agency, an undercover public relations firm, which was established in
the United States by the Nationalist Party. Via this fake news agency, myriad
“evidential” massacre photographs forged by the Propaganda Department were
randomly sent to news agencies throughout America, many of which are seen even
today. Moreover, Timperley joined the Institute of Pacific Relations, a world-class
think tank focusing on Asia-Pacific issues, in his capacity as an Australian delegate
and participated in the work of publishing a booklet decrying Japan’s aggression.
Through these maneuvers, the dominant opinion became that all of the blame for the
conflicts on the Asian Continent rested totally on Japanese militarist mores. The
maneuverings also changed the nature of the relationship between Japan and the
United States. Though both countries had shared a good, reciprocal economic
relationship, the two eventually parted as enemies, destined to fight each other.
The Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia
After World War II, there were various anti-Japanese bodies organized by Chinese
immigrants living in the United States, but there was no longer a powerful, nationwide
anti-Japanese organization. It was in the form war crimes accusations,
influenced by the New Left in the United States and Japan, that anti-Japanese
movements became, once again, very active. In 1987, an organization called the
Chinese Alliance for Memorial and Justice was established with the purpose of
demanding an apology and reparations from Japan. This society evolved into the
Alliance for Preserving the History of WW II in Asia. In 1991, the Alliance for the
Memory of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre was established. Subsequently, one
organization after another of the same creed was created in other parts of the world,
including Canada and Hong Kong.
And finally in December 1994, thirty of those bodies were combined to form the
Global Alliance for Preserving the History of the WW II in Asia.
It is not evident whether the Communist Party’s Propaganda Department had a direct
hand in organizing the “Global Alliance”, but the formation of this group is in
accordance with the anti-Japanese, pro-Chinese educational policy set up by the
Chinese Communist Party. In fact, it turns out that this policy is the sole reason that
Jiang Zemin took the trouble to stop in at Pearl Harbor and to advertise that the
Chinese are America’s friend and fought together against Japan. This “Global
Alliance” is the very mastermind behind the recent U.S. House “comfort women”
resolution scheme. In fact, Representative Mike Honda commented in a press
conference that he owed the successful passage of the Resolution to the efforts of the
Iris Chang reportedly came to be interested in the Nanking Incident after she
attended a public relations event held by the Global Alliance, and Chang was later
recruited to write The Rape of Nanking. It would appear that she was singled out to
write a book as part of the activities of the Global Alliance. In collecting source
materials, Chang was given full cooperation by the Chinese Academy of Social
Science and the Nanking Massacre Memorial Museum, probably under the auspices
of the Global Alliance. Chang’s book was also promoted by various sectors, such as
the Global Alliance groups, pro-Global Alliance human rights activists, and a Jewish
group (The Simon Wiesenthal Center). Thus, the Nanking Massacre, born out of a
propaganda plot devised by the Nationalist Party in the prewar years, returned as a
powerful theme of anti-Japanese, patriotic-Chinese propaganda contrived, this time,
by the Chinese Communist Party in 1997, sixty years after the Nanking Incident.
Jiang Zemin made his Pearl Harbor speech the same year.
The 70th anniversary of the Nanking Incident
This year, 10 years after Zemin’s speech, is the 70th anniversary of the Nanking
Incident. Seizing on this particular occasion, some 12 film-related projects are
reportedly under way in the U.S., China, Hong Kong and elsewhere to depict the
Nanking Incident. It is likely that the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda
Department, the Chinese Academy of Social Science and other related groups are
involved, either directly or indirectly.
The first to come out is a documentary titled Nanking, produced by AOL Vice
Chairman Ted Leonsis and filmed by a Chinese production company, Purple
Mountain, in Hollywood. The Global Alliance seems to have had a hand in the
making of this film.
Production of five more films is said to be in progress
The film took part in the Sundance Film Festival, hoping to boost public attention,
and won a minor award. The film was later shown in China with little fanfare, but the
Chinese government may try to run a promotional campaign for the film this coming
December, the month when Nanking was captured. In the United States, the film is
scheduled to be showing in several cities in December.
Production of the following five films is reported to be under way:
1. A Chinese and British joint production of Purple Mountain, based on Iris Chang’s
The Rape of Nanking, and directed by Simon West.
2. China’s state-owned Suzhou Cultural Industrial Group has already started
shooting a movie in Nanking in collaboration with Omega Entertainment. The
film is slated for completion by the end of this year.
3. Famous Hong Kong-based Director Yim Ho is planning to make a film Nanking
Xmas 1937, but the director is having difficulty in getting the script approved by
4. National China Film Group and Suzhou Broadcasting are reportedly to provide
the money for Director Lu Chuan’s Nanking! Nanking!, but they are having
trouble getting the final approval of the script.
5. Director Stanley Tong, known for casting of actor Jackie Chan, is now filming
The Diary, which is hopefully slated for release on December 13. The assistance
of the Chinese government has reportedly been granted. Regarding the film,
business contacts are now being made by interested parties from Germany, the
U.S. and Japan.
The Chinese government has seemingly learned a hard lesson from the anti-
Japanese demonstration tumult
On the other hand, after it had a bitter experience handling the recent anti-Japanese
demonstration tumult, the Chinese government seems to be very cautious in dealing
with these Nanking films. While Nanking-related films are welcome coming on the
occasion of the 70th anniversary, they may be quite threatening if those films
adversely affect the relationship between China and Japan, especially now that the
Beijing Olympics and Shanghai Expo are at hand. This may partly explain why some
of the filmmakers are having trouble getting their scripts approved. It is hard to
predict how things will turn out this coming December, but certainly the Chinese are
hoping from the bottom of their hearts that those films attract more public attention
overseas in the United States and Japan than in China.
Anti-Japanese propaganda: the House resolution condemning Japan on the issue
of the so-called comfort women
The issue of the comfort women was first brought up and presented to the United
Nations Human Rights Committee by a group of Japanese human rights activists, and
the Committee took up the issue following insistent highlighting of the comfort
women as “sex slaves” by a lawyer named Totsuka Etsuro. Consequently, the Human
Rights Committee adopted the Coomaraswamy Report, which is nothing more than
fabrication and distortion of historical facts. In synergy with this report, leftist human
rights advocates like Representative Mike Honda began campaigning and submitted
in the United States House of Representatives a resolution blaming Japan for the
miseries of the comfort women. A powerful supporting group of this campaign was
the Global Alliance. Or more precisely speaking, Mike Honda had been submitting
resolutions in cooperation with the Global Alliance since 2001, and finally in 2006,
the resolution was unanimously supported by the U.S. House International Relations
Previously, as the Republicans were the majority party of Congress, the resolution
never got to a full House vote. However, since the Democrats later won the midterm
election and became the majority party, the situation drastically changed. Under this
advantageous circumstance Representative Mike Honda submitted the resolution once
again on January 31 and it is well known how things developed thereafter.
The Japanese government did not refute the bill as completely baseless
In the face of a human rights issue, which is an absolutely golden or holy cause in
the United States, President Bush, Republicans and other conservatives had no
alternative but to silently approve the resolution, without casting a shred of doubt
over its claims. Worst of all, the Japanese government itself did not try to refute the
unjust accusation of the resolution by thoroughly presenting the historical facts.
Rather, it was emphasized that the Japanese government had already made due
apologies. However, human rights advocates and supporters of the resolution
responded that if “the Japanese Imperial Armed Force’s coercion of young women
into sexual slavery” was a historical fact as the resolution states, then such a shameful
crime shall never be forgiven. It is a natural consequence that such an allegation will
win overwhelming support from the mass media.
We, the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, have been struggling tooth
and nail to get the historical facts widely known by sending letters and conducting
various publicity activities for American lawmakers and the mass media.
Unfortunately, the Japanese government’s attitude to this issue sends a false message,
as if it admitted to the allegation that the comfort women were coerced into the ordeal
by the Japanese military, and that made it all the more difficult for us to try to change
the generally adverse opinion to our favor.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Nanking Incident, and quite
unexpectedly it also turned out to be a year of anti-Japanese campaigns, highlighted
by the U.S. House Resolution condemning Japan on the comfort women issue. It must
certainly be a windfall for the Anti-Japanese Global Alliance, which is ceaselessly
accusing Japan of war crimes. Anxious to spread the effects of this victory all over
the world, the Global Alliance held a meeting, assembling human rights activists from
all over the world, including Japan, in Los Angeles on October 3rd through 7th. There
were nearly 50 people present and they also held a demonstration.
How can anti-Japanese efforts be a great cause in America?
It is a strange phenomenon that China’s promotion of anti-Japanese and patriotic-
Chinese principle should gain recognition not only within China, but also
internationally, especially in the U.S. But there is a reason for this — “human rights”.
It is evident, beyond doubt, that China is today the world’s worst violators of human
rights. And yet, China is denouncing Japan as violators of the great cause of human
rights: the issues of the comfort women and the Nanking Massacre. I think this is
nothing more than black humor. Strangely enough, this kind of black humor, or
rather, black propaganda, is well accepted in America.
The historical view based on the Tokyo Trials accounts for this strange twist.
According to this particular view, the War, which started with the Sino-Japanese
Incident, actually broke out not because Japan felt it necessary to strike back for
having its rights and interests unjustly violated, but because Japan had aggressiveness
in its nature, at all times remaining an autocratic, feudalistic and militarist state even
after the Meiji Restoration. This historical view is not necessarily peculiar to the
United States, but in America during the New Deal era, overwhelming Communist
influences permeated the entire country and as a result this historical view became
dominant. The aforementioned Institute of Pacific Relations, at that time a worldleading
think tank on the Asia-Pacific issues, made a pamphlet decisively concluding
that Japan was entirely to blame for the conflicts on the continent by virtue of its
feudalistic and militaristic nature. This is the typical example of the view at the time.
This view sounded quite plausible to American ears. While Japan was an absolute
monarchy with an emperor at the top, China was a republic, just like America. This
simple statement was quite convincing to Americans. In reality, Japan was a
constitutional monarchy and the Diet, with democratically elected members, held the
right to approve the national budget. On the other hand, China was an ultra-dictatorial
state where fair elections were seldom held, freedom of speech was nonexistent, the
majority of the people were illiterate, and laws were hardly observed; China was far
from democratic and progressive. (I don’t think China has changed much since then.)
If a feudalistic nature was the main cause of the war, the conflict in China was most
certainly derived from China’s own extremely feudalistic nature. Actually, China
brought about the conflict.
However, Americans, with strange illusions toward China and the Chinese
Nationalist government, used this favoritism and succeeded in both creating anti-
Japanese propaganda and decreed that the ruling opinion in the U.S. is that the
Japanese are villains. This contributed to steering the Sino-Japanese conflict toward
the war between Japan and the U.S.
The only weapon to fight against black propaganda is historical facts
Today, the anti-Japanese assertions by the Chinese government are also based on
this historical view. The view maintains that the progressive and patriotic Communist
Party defeated the reactionary and feudalistic Japanese aggressors and, thus, saved
China. This is exactly what Jiang Zemin meant to say at Pearl Harbor.
The claim that Japan is to be blamed for the War is based on this historical view
and widely accepted among human rights advocates, which came to gain further
support by the New Left, which had strongly protested against the Vietnam War. As a
consequence, although it is commonly understood that the issue of Japan’s
responsibility for war crimes was finally and definitely resolved by a peace treaty, a
new campaign began to spread, bringing back old issues and demanding Japan admit
responsibility for the war and reparation all over again. Chang’s The Rape of Nanking
came out of this current, and the comfort women issue first rose in Japan and then
spread to the U.S.
This trend is a true blessing to the Chinese anti-Japanese campaigners. They
unilaterally make accusations of past war crimes with no reference to what actually
happened, and when they are faced with counterarguments, the current attitude of the
mass media is to reject them as politically incorrect, without any hope of fair
discussions. Thus, they can easily have their way. It is the privilege of victims
(though, in fact, they were provokers of the war) to say whatever they like and have it
accepted as true. This is exactly what happened during the arguments over the recent
Keep disclosing lies hidden in the anti-Japanese propaganda
How, then, can we counter this trap? We can only continue exposing their lies,
thoroughly and insistently. In reality, the issue of the comfort women was actually the
best opportunity for bringing lies to light, for official U.S. documents describe in
detail that the so-called comfort women were merely prostitutes and that their
incomes were nearly 25 times as high as those earned by sergeants. With this
evidence up-front, we tried to argue persuasively, but unfortunately we failed to have
our point widely heard. However, there was the possibility that we might be able to
discuss the issue in the public arena. Had our point been discussed and taken up in
earnest, the allegation of the coerced sex slaves would have certainly proved to be a
sheer lie, and their argument would have stopped there, nowhere left to go. This point
was so simple and clear that it was the best opportunity, but we missed it, anyway.
However, we are lucky enough to learn that the Chinese are going to hold on to the
issue and keep using it, which leaves us a good chance to thoroughly present
Communism is made up of lies
The same is almost true of the Nanking Incident. This issue needs a little more
detailed explanation and may not be so simple to deal with. However, fundamentally,
we have won the battle on this issue. Last April, when PRC Prime Minister Wen
Jiabao visited Japan, the Committee for the Examination of the Facts about Nanking
(Chairman: Kase Hideaki) submitted to the Prime Minister Open Questions on the
Nanking Incident. The open questions were five fundamental and important points
and we are sure it is almost impossible to properly answer them. In fact, we have not
yet received answers from the Prime Minister. He could be utterly at a loss for words.
These questions have been disseminated to the world and we intend to inform the
public of this issue as occasions arise.
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn says: “We must say consistently that it is a lie.
Communism is supported only by lies.” When the lies were exposed, the Berlin Wall
fell and the solid-looking Communist regime abruptly collapsed in an avalanche. So
too will historical lies that are disguised as humanitarianism. When lies are exposed,
the assertions supporting the lies will fall in an instant. So, after all, we need not be
too pessimistic about things as they are now.
P.100 Photo by the Mainichi Shimbun
P.102 Jiang Zemin ( in 1998, photographed by the Mainichi Shimbun)
P.106 American citizens in front of the White House ( August 14, 1945,
photographed by the Mainichi Shimbun)
P.109 PRC Prime Minister Wen Jiabao (April 2007, photographed by the Mainichi