SDHF Newsletter No. 396 The Road to the Greater East Asian War Part 20, Chapter 5 : Japan and World War I-4
THE ROAD TO THE GREATER EAST ASIAN WAR
Nakamura Akira, Dokkyo University Professor Emeritus
(English Translation: Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact)
Part 20, Chapter 5: Japan and World War I-4
At the beginning of 1920 the objective of Siberian expedition, i.e., the rescue of the Czech Corps, was near fruition. At that point Japanese narrowed their operations down to the direct defense of their Manchurian and Korean interests, announcing their plan to withdraw troops in near future. But then, a totally unexpected incident arose – an event of an unspeakable nature: the Nikolayevsk Massacre.
Nikolayevsk is a town situated on the bank of Amur River opposite Sakhalin, where the river’s estuary flows into the Sea of Okhotsk. At the begging of 1920 Nikolayevsk was inhabited by approximately 750 Japanese: civilian, an Army garrison, and Navy signal corps. Ehen Allied troops withdrew, 4000 communist partisans (Russians, Koreans and Chinese) surrounded and besieged the town. The partisans entered into a truce with Japanese garrison, which turned out to be a ruse, and took control of Nikolayevsk. They then proceed to establish a revolutionary court that held trials and executed the “guilty.” On March 12, the third anniversary of Russian Revolution, fighting broke out between the communists and Japanese soldiers. The communists annihilated most of the garrison and threw some 150 civilians into prison.
A Navy officer who was in Nikolayevsk at that time and witnessed the atrocities, managed, with great difficulty, escape to Vladicvostok. He kept an account of atrocities committed by the communist partisans as he witnessed them, which appeared in the 20 April 1920 edition of Osaka Mainichi Shinbun.
The radicals did not act on the spur of the moment. They had obviously made careful plans.
During the first phase of their savagery, Russians were their victims. The communists surrounded the homes of wealthy Russian. After brazenly robbing them of all their assets, they held all residents – old and young, men and women – into their houses and barricaded all exits from outside. Then the communists set fire to the houses and, showing no remorse whatsoever, incinerated their inhabitants.
The targets of second phase were pro-Japanese Russian intelligentsia. They robbed, raped, and slaughtered intellectuals, unleashing pitiless brutality against their unfortunate victims, whether government officials or private citizens. During the third phase, the monsters ruthlessly and unrelentingly bared their poisonous fangs, this time setting upon my compatriots. (omitted)
The mob of rioters then gathered in public space, where they satisfied their loathsome lust at the expense of my female compatriots. Their depravity knew no limits, as they amused themselves by severing their victims’ limbs, slashing or chopping off fingers, arms, and legs, making certain to cause much pain as possible during their murderous rampage.
The atrocities knew no end. The shameless attackers placed horse side by side and selected their next Japanese victim, male or female, it mattered not to them. They tied one of their quarry’s legs tightly to the saddle of one horse and the other leg to the saddle of the other. When the horses were turned loose and sped off, the victim’s body was soon torn apart ……
Unbearable to further reading, Ill stop here. Finally, Vice-Consul Ishida and his wife and 382 civilian Japanese residents and 351 Japanese soldiers were killed in Nikolayevsk.
Japan’s historians, history textbooks, newspapers are wont to exaggerate atrocities allegedly committed by Japanese troops. But for inexplicable reason, they have been silent about the worst massacre of the 20th century, one in which more than 700 Japanese fell victims to communist.
George Bronson Rea, long time editor in chief of Shanghai-based Far Eastern Economic Review wrote:” Had Japan been permitted to act alone in Siberia, the Communist program for the domination of Asia would never have passed the paper stage. … The dispatch of an American army in Siberia made Asia safe for Communism.”
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Chairman