SDHF Newsletter No.185 The Nanjing Incident-Japanese eyewitness 3
The Nanjing Incident: Japanese Eyewitness Accounts
-Testimony from 48 Japanese Who Were There-
By Ara Ken’ichi
No. 3: Chapter 1 Nanjing, as Observed by Journalists
3. Yomiuri Shimbun Newspaper
4. Domei Tsushin Newspaper
October 25, 2017
We present No. 3 in this series, which contains Chapter 1: Nanjing, as Observed by Journalists, 3. Yomiuri Shimbun Newspaper (four staffers) and 4. Domei Tsushin Newspaper (three staffers).
Statements from reporters from these newspapers are nearly the same in key areas as statements by reporters of the Asahi Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun, presented previously in No. 2 of this series. They neither saw a massacre nor heard of a massacre. Furthermore, in their company group meetings, “massacres” were not at all raised as a potentially significant news item.
Some reporters mentioned that they saw “massacres”, but this merely meant that they saw corpses of Chinese soldiers or executions of plain-clothed soldiers operating outside of the bounds of international law. These are, in fact, universal on battlefields. So, at the time, no journalist thought they saw a “massacre,” and, consequently, did not raise these occurrences as topics in their meetings.
However, at the post-war Tokyo Trial, the Japanese army was accused of having committed a “Nanking Massacre”. With such an accusation, journalists then began to wonder, “Was what I saw related to the ‘Nanking Massacre’?” Perhaps they thought that the Chinese prisoners they saw must have been executed, and so on, assuming there was, indeed, a “Massacre”.
For example, Mr. Futamura, photographer for the Hochi Shimbun said, “During my stay in Nanjing, I never saw anything like that at all. After the War, people often asked me about this but I have no memory about it. For sure, I would want to know about this.
… I thought and I remember that I saw a huge hole inside the Castle.” Even a 20 meter x 30 meter pit becomes “evidence” of a “massacre”.
Not only journalist but academics also show a similar way of thinking—making up stories concerning the “Nanking Incident” based on the assumption that that there was a “Nanking Massacre”.
Questions are welcome.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact