Introduction :  Who Were “Massacred”?

The city of Nanking fell to the Japanese army on December 13, 1937.

No record exists that the Japanese army went on a “killing spree” of innocent citizens and refugees in Nanking.
Almost all those who died in Nanking were soldiers killed in combat, or combat-related incidents.

If one is indicted of a “massacre” in Nanking, surely that must mean homicide that went against international law and custom.
So how many, and who were killed “illegally” under war-time international law?
What were the circumstances under which Nanking casualties died?

Asking these questions to himself, historian Masami Unemoto, formerly a tank unit leader in the Battle of Nanking, made a list of all possible casualty groups in Nanking, in a report (issue no. 11) on the Battle of Nanking published by Kaiko-sha, an association of former officers of the Japanese army.

Classification of the Battle of Nanking Casualties

 I. Killed in Action

 1.Soldiers who died while defending Nanking.
 2.Soldiers shot while retreating or trying to escape from the city
 3.Stragglers* who were shot
 4.Guerillas in civilian clothing, who were discovered and executed
 II. Killed in  combat-related incidents  1.Individual soldiers who surrendered, but were killed
 2.Citizens who were in the combat zone and either cooperated with the Chinese army, or were accidentally killed
 3.Citizens mistakenly identified as guerillas and executed

 III .Killed in illegal action

 1.Soldiers taken in as prisoners, who were killed
 2.Non-resisting good citizens (including women and children) who were killed*

* stragglers = soldiers who had escaped from the combat zone, but not willing to surrender or give up fighting
* Many were mostly killed from bombs that accidentally fell on them
Most accusers of the “Nanking Massacre” deliberately seem to lump together all of the above casualty groups as the victims of a “massacre”. *
I hope the visitors to this site keep in mind the above groups of casualties before reading “20 Reasons Why the Massacre Story is a Lie”.

How Many People Were Illegally Killed? Claims of China, Tokyo Trial, Japan

After WWII, the Tokyo Trial (International Military Tribunal of the Far East ) was held by the Allies to punish Japanese war criminals
The tribunal accused the Japanese army of carrying out a massacre in Nanking, but made illogical and sloppy judgements about how many were killed.
It claimed first that 127000 bodies were buried, and that over 200,000 were massacred.
However it claimed at the trial of General Matsui Iwane, who headed the Nanking campaign, that over 100,000 people were massacred there.
Since then, China has been inflating the figure. Today, China says that 300,000 people were massacred in Nanking.*
Iris Chang claimed in her best-seller Rape of Nanking that as many as 400,000 people might have been massacred.
Oddly, the number keeps increasing with the passage of time.*

* China has consistently inflated the number of victims of war with Japan:
1945 China’s report to the United Nations: 1320,000
1948 Report by Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government 4380,000
1950’s Chinese textbooks 10 million
1985 Chinese announcement, on 40th Anniversary of War Against Japan 21 million (this figure becomes official from then on in museums and textbooks)
1995 Jiang Zemin’s speech in Moscow 35 million ( this became the official figure in museums and textbooks)

In Japan, war-time history studies that went against the judgements at the Tokyo Trial had long been taboo. Historians who supported the Tokyo Trial, particularly relating to the Nanking Incident, became the main stream in the academia. They include the late Dr. Tomio Hora (200,000 victims) of Waseda University, and Dr. Tsukushi Kasahara (over 100,000 victims) of Tsuru University. Professor Ikuhiko Hata (400,000 victims) was considered the “middle-roader”. However, there were those who consistently denied the accusation, such as the late Yoshiaki Itakura (6000 – 13000 victims), Masami Unemoto (3000 – 6000), and the late Masaaki Tanaka (0) and more recent historians and researchers, such as Professor Osamichi Higashinakano (0) of Asia University. Recent developments, including democratization in Taiwan which has helped unearth new evidence from former Nationalists, the recent re-discovery in Beijing of a Japanese film taken in Nanking, which had been known to exist but considered lost in war, and extensive studies of photographic “evidence” offered by China, all point to the fabrication of a “massacre” story.

Massacre Without A Witness

Although a large-scale killing spree of citizens supposedly took place in Nanking, it’s strange that at that time, no Japanese or Westerner saw such action, or large amounts of bodies lying around.
In addition, it should be noted that perjury did not constitute a crime at the Tokyo Trial.
In China at that time, a rampant tactic for Chinese soldiers was to wear civilian clothing and fight as guerillas, so it was possible that some civilians might have been killed by mistake, but such action would have been within the boundaries of mistaken identities, and hard to avoid under the circumstances.
Thus the articles on the Battle of Nanking, written by New York Times reporter Durdin or Chicago Daily News reporter Steele make readers believe that the execution of guerillas in civilian clothing, who had hidden in the Safety Zone, were not what they were, but the execution of ordinary citizens.
The Chinese government and related books totally and deliberately ignore this fact, and one-sidedly claim to this day that tens of thousands of people were massacred in Nanking.
The Japanese government also makes absolutely no efforts to clarify issues on accusations related to WWII.
However, there is no proof whatsoever that the Japanese army indiscriminately killed ordinary citizens in Nanking.

back to "Chapter 2: 19 Reasons to Deny the Massacre."