Monday, November 5, 2007

Japanese War Criminals Alive and Kicking

Someone linked me to an article recently that describes the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Navy during WWII. Such horrendous acts as blowing up Red Cross and merchant vessels and then slaughtering or torturing any floating survivors, cruel medical experiments, and methods of execution ranging from beheading to sledge hammer to the head to burying alive and crucifixion.

British Historian Mark Felton has written a book documenting the horrors of these acts, Slaughter At Sea: The Story Of Japan's Naval War Crimes.

From the article:

According to Felton, officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy ordered the deliberately sadistic murders of more than 20,000 Allied seamen and countless civilians in cold-blooded defiance of the Geneva Convention.

"Many of the Japanese sailors who committed such terrible deeds are still alive today," he said.

"No one and nothing has bothered these men in six decades. There is only one documented case of a German U-boat skipper being responsible for cold-blooded murder of survivors. In the Japanese Imperial Navy, it was official orders."

Imperial soldiers at work exterminating Allies

What bothers me is that even 60 years later, and after overwhelming historical evidence and eyewitness testimony, the Japanese government refuses to formally apologize for war crimes and does nothing to prosecute those responsible for them. Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe refused to admit that the Imperial Army and its contractors kidnapped women from Korea and China and forced them into sexual servitude, and the true nature of the evil and hatred that existed in Japanese society during the time of the Empire is totally diluted or ignored in modern Japanese education.

As much shame and embarrassment as it may cause the Japanese to admit wrongdoing, it must be done if they are ever to be taken seriously as a peaceful nation or are given any of their military power back.



Blogger Patrick Cowsill said...

Japan's incoming PM Taro Aso's family also profited from slave labor. You might want to check out Jack Edward's Banzai You Bastards for a Taiwan account of this. Ghost Soldiers, by Hampton Sides, The Secret Camera, Terence Kirk, Bataan Diary, Chris Schaefer and Prisoners of the Japanese, Gavan Daws are all worth reading.

October 16, 2008 at 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Chantal said...

Well written article.

November 11, 2008 at 8:44 AM  

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