May 03

五三濟南慘案 The Massacre of Ji Nan on May 3, 1928

Written by 007 on Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 at 12:30 am
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— 白丁
The martyr’s name is Cai Gong Shi (蔡公時). Ji Nan (濟南) is a city in the Shan Dong (山東) Province. Here is a brief background of Cai before he was murdered by the Japanese. He was born in 1881 in Jiu Jiang (九江) of Jiang Xi (江西). When he was 18, he had risked everything to organize a progressive group called the “Beware of Stains” (慎所染齋). Later, it was banned by the Manchu government. He then traveled to Japan and attended school. After he heard Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s speech, he was so moved that he joined Sun’s United Democrats Society (同盟會). He and Sun’s comrade Huang Xing (黄興) returned to China and worked secretly in Jiangxi to overthrow the Manchu. After Sun’s Revolution in 1911, he joined the Kuomintang’s campaign against Yuan Shi Kai (袁世凱). The first campaign was a loss and he had to flee to Japan again. He studied in Tokyo’s Imperial University. Yuan Shi Kai seized all his property in China and his first wife died in grief and fear.

Because Cai was proficient in Japanese and had excellent diplomatic skills, the Kuomintang (KMT) government in Nan Jing appointed him as a member of the Commission and Director of Foreign Affairs in April 1928. His primary responsibility was to be in charge of the Office of Negotiation and to deal with the foreign powers in Shan Dong (山東).

On April 9 1928, Chiang Kai-Shek(蔣介石)sent his Northern Expeditionary Army (北伐軍) into Shan Dong with the purpose of defeating the warlords there. The Japanese, who had a sphere of influence in the area, never wanted China to be free from these menacing warlords. They decided to sabotage Chiang’s army’s mission. Using the excuse of protecting its nationals in the area, Japan sent troops into China. Cai happened to be representing the KMT government in Shan Dong at that time. On May 1, 1928 the fourth Northern Expeditionary Army Corps arrived in Ji Nan and the Japanese army in the city built fortifications, roadblocks and mined the streets. It also formed the so call “Japan’s Volunteer Group” and claimed to be protecting the lives and properties of its nationals. In the morning on May 1, 1928, Ruan Ji Min (阮濟民) of the first Northern Expeditionary Army entered the city of Ji Nan. When four of his soldiers were looking for apartment in the city, the Japanese kidnapped them. The Japanese killed them and cremated their bodies. At the time, China and Japan was not at war but the Japanese was ambushing and killing the Chinese soldiers. In view of the seriousness of the provocation and still tried to avoid an arm conflict with Japan, commander Fang Zhen Wu (方振武) went to the Japanese Consulate to protest. The Japanese promised to temporarily remove all the roadblocks and halt the terror. But it actually sent in more troops and even raided the Office of Negotiation in Ji Nan. The officials who worked there barely escaped alive.
Diplomat Cai arrived in Ji Nan immediately to talk with the Japanese. But on May 2, Kazuhiko Fukuda, head of the Japanese Sixth Division, ordered his troop to massacre Chinese civilians in Ji Nan. On May 3, Cai and 18 members of his office arrived at the Office of Negotiation in Ji Nan City. His staff replaced the portrait of SunYat Sen and hoisted the Chinese “Blue Sky and White Sun” national flag, which had been removed and destroyed by the Japanese. He was awaiting the Japanese to come to talk. Suddenly, gunfire broke out all over the city. Japanese soldiers had blocked off the streets leading to and from Cai’s office.

At 10 am on the fateful day of May 3rd, Cai phoned the Japanese Consulate and protested. The Japanese first denied they were aware of such. Then at 4 pm on the same day, the Japanese troops stormed the diplomat’s office and disarmed everyone inside. At 9:00 pm that evening, Japanese soldiers started to loot and destroy everything. They tore up all the documents, maps, the Chinese “Blue Sky White Sun” national flag and the portrait of Sun Yat Sen. An angry Cai fiercely protested, “We are inside the Chinese government’s diplomatic office and we are all unarmed. Your action is illegal!” Because his Japanese was fluent, the Japanese understood him clearly and they became more furious. They knocked him on the floor and butted him with their rifles. They also tied up his18 staff. When Cai heard what Fukuda was telling his soldiers to do with these diplomats, he exclaimed to his staff, “The Japanese are going to strip us naked and kill us with their bayonets! We will die for our country!” The other Japanese soldiers started to stab the other diplomats with their bayonets and swords. A Japanese soldier ran up to Cai and tied him up. They cut his ears and his nose off and took his eyes out. Without his eyes, ears and nose, a bloody, gruesome and pained Cai was still yelling at the Japanese, “The Japanese are killing unarmed diplomats. This is a national humiliation! An international crime! They are worse than beasts!” A Japanese officer named Watanabe approached Cai and inserted his sword into Cai’s mouth. He then turned his sword several times inside Cai’s mouth, cutting out his tongue. Waving his bloody sword, he told the soldiers to drag everybody out and kill them. They were all dragged outside, flogged and then shot to death.

Miraculously, there was one lucky diplomat who escaped this infamous “May 3rd Ji Nan Massacre”. His name was Zhang Han Ru 張漢儒. He later recalled every moment of this horror. Besides Cai and the other diplomats, the Japanese had killed over six thousand Chinese in Ji Nan. On May 10, 1929, the Japanese army finally withdrew from Ji Nan. This Japanese atrocity was before the official war which officially started in 1937.
The Japanese burned Cai and the other diplomats’ bodies beyond recognition. Cai’s second wife was able to collect the ashes. But following years of battle resisting the Japanese and then the Communists, no one knew what happened to the ashes. At that time, overseas Chinese donated money to build a bronze statute of Cai. When war was raging on with the Communist, the KMT moved the statue to Singapore and placed it inside the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Villa. Cai’s son was only 6 and his daughter was one when he died. In the chaos, his daughter was adopted by his friend and remained in Mainland China. His wife took his son and went to Taiwan with the KMT. The daughter never knew her family’s history.  In 1992, she and her brother finally reunited in China. She changed her name to Jin Ming (今明) to signify that she has finally realized her true beginning. The bronze statue also returned to Ji Nan from Singapore in 2006.

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33 Responses to “五三濟南慘案 The Massacre of Ji Nan on May 3, 1928”

  1. TonyP4 Says:

    There are many forgotten history pieces needed to be retold and remembered. This is one of them.

    Notice that the poem is beautifully written by the author.

  2. JXie Says:

    If I recall correctly, in Chiang Kai-Shek’s diary around that time, the word he used the most was 忍. Eventually he went around Jinan and continued northward. At the time, even if all warlords were united under Chiang, the Chinese military power was no match of its Japanese counterpart. In another decade or so, Chiang’s army had to face the IJF head on — it fared better than it would’ve been in 1928…

  3. JXie Says:

    BTW, Chiang’s army did kill some Japanese civilians prior to Japan’s incursion. China’s version was that those were some 10s of drug dealers, and Japan’s version was that those were normal civilians and the number was much higher. Either way, the lesson is that when you play with a weak hand, you’d better be very careful not crossing the line.

  4. TonyP4 Says:

    @JXie #3.

    IJF had its plan to capture Asia by force long time ago. It was a kind of excuse of using Jap civilians. Later, the capturing a Jap soldier was part of the well-planned plot. China did not give a lot of resistance due to the civil wars.

    They almost succeeded if they did not underestimate US’s military might and the willingness to send soldiers to fight for Asia – very grateful for US in doing so.

  5. JXie Says:

    TonyP4, for sure Japan had been eyeing for the whole Asia for a long time especially after its victory of the first Sino-Japanese war. That war was reasonably even matched. But after that, China was saddled with large war debts, and mired in nonstop civil wars; Japan on the other hand, won the Russo-Japanese war and grew by leaps and bounds…

    What limited Japan’s choices in the next several decades were other powers, i.e. the US and the UK. Not that those other powers love China over Japan — they just couldn’t stand a single power controlling the whole Asia, all a part of the Great Game if you will.

  6. Raj Says:

    What limited Japan’s choices in the next several decades were other powers, i.e. the US and the UK. Not that those other powers love China over Japan — they just couldn’t stand a single power controlling the whole Asia, all a part of the Great Game if you will.

    JXie, yes the colonial powers didn’t want one power dominating Asia. First it was stopping the Russians, then it was limiting the Japanese. Clearly the Americans couldn’t allow Japan to overrun China, which is why they brought the embargoes in. But does that mean that if Japan had been satisfied with Manchuria it could have “got away with it”? I guess that they could have done. Would have completely changed Asian history.

    And what would that have meant for Europe? No Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, no reason for Germany to declare war on America, no reason for America to enter WWII?

  7. TonyP4 Says:


    #1. American’s propaganda why they send soldiers to fight for China in WW2. Quite good.


    #2. I tuned down what I wrote about Nanjing as follows.


    I recommend every Chinese watch some movies about Nanjing. I hope some Japanese to watch them too, esp. the young generation – the old one will never change and they just bring their crime to the graves with them. The one I watched is about our respected Mr. Rabe, who had saved a lot of Chinese.

    It turned humans into animals (Japanese), and humans into Saints (Mr. Rabe). I am still angry with those interviews with Japanese soldiers. They’re war criminals. One talked about nothing fun to rape a 12 (or 13) year old girl. One 12 (or 13) year old girl wanted to be raped to save herself and her grand pa.

    The denial of Japan on this incident makes all human beings angry. Thanks to Iris Chang for writing the book on Nanjing and everyone making the documentary Nanjing (available from Netflix). How these soldiers feel if their 12 year old grand children were raped?

    The toughest victims were the children of those victims whose parents were killed, raped and tortured. Do you blame these folks for not buying Japanese products for life? Why these war criminals still are bragging instead of running for their lives like the German war criminals is beyond me. Are Chinese too forgiving? I would forget and let by-gone be by-gone but cannot if the criminals do not admit their crimes.

    The Japanese suffering from the 2 atomic bombs are TOTALLY JUSTIFIED. Most died in dignity. Without the two bombs, US would invade Japan and many innocent folks would die. Violence against violence is usually not my cup of tes, but it makes perfect sense here.

    The citizens in Nanjing were raped, tortured and murdered. Babies were tossed to the sky and died. 250K died (350K official) in Nanjing alone. The Japanese should remove the war criminals from the “Shrine of war heroes” where the prime ministers regularly pay respect – (to war criminals???).

    The Letters from Iwo Jima portrays the Japanese soldiers as kind human beings. They are animals. Hollywood and the west do not understand the east. They are just ignorant as usual.

    If there were a God, I do not think Japan is not as prosperous as today. Or, the God is not fair.

    I’m not a violent guy and this movie just drives me to my limit with unbearable sorrow. We should not spread hatred. However, as one American (forget his name) said: if we do not learn from history, we would likely repeat history.

  8. raventhorn4000 Says:

    TONY P4,

    On the other hand, one occasionally see the humanity in our “enemies”.

    I have read stories about former Japanese soldiers who went to visit China in the 1980’s. Some begged Chinese people for forgiveness.

    Sometimes, conscience binds us in humanity beyond the nationalism and hate.

    *Unfortunately, there are still many Nationalists in Japan who continue to deny history and force feed the sanitized version of history to the Japanese children.

    I do not think Chinese people are all that forgiving. But I think Japan has more than China to worry about.

    If Japan becomes militant again, all of Asia would not stand for it. South Korea and North Korea would be the first to do some revenge.

    I think honestly, the South Koreans and the North Koreans are more likely to confront Japan. Think about it, Japan occupied Korea longer and more brutally (in terms of percentage of population killed and enslaved), than it did with China.

  9. Bai Ding Says:

    The next militant in Asia may not be Japan. I worry about any governments who use nationalism for their own political purpose.

    Of course, Japan is capable too if given the chance. Sizes don’t matter. Knowing the strong character of the Japanese people and its homogeneity, they can achieve anything and become anything they want. Before the Americans landed in Okinawa, the government ordered the Japanese there not to surrender but kill themselves. I was told that over 100,000 jumped over the cliff. And they did it in an orderly fashion. Man, those people actually lined up to jump. Just getting in line voluntarily is something we are lacking.

    Each nation must be responsible to keep its people informed of ALL its history. Allow them free views of the world. Don’t let one group or one view or one party to dominate the views and policies of a nation. That’s what happened in Japan and Germany. And don’t keep everyone up all night thinking about only the Japanese.

  10. TonyP4 Says:

    I heard the same story. It is dumb loyalty. May be all kingdoms and all empires should be abolished and replaced by elected governments if not already so. What do the queens and kings of Britain, Denmark, Japan… contribute to the welfare of their countries?

    With the internet, no country can keep information out of reach of their citizens.

  11. richard Says:

    The Letters from Iwo Jima portrays the Japanese soldiers as kind human beings. They are animals. Hollywood and the west do not understand the east. They are just ignorant as usual.

    This is an example of profound ignorance on the writer’s part. US propaganda about Japan preceding, during and after the war was extreme,depicting them as apes and monkeys, short and squat with buck teeth and big eyes or wearing thick glasses. They were referred to as “biological vermin” on the record by top military leaders at the time.There was an uproar in America about the depiction of the Japanese soldiers in Letters from Iow Jima as too humane, as not living up to the stereotype. No one was hated by the Americans like the Japanese soldiers; they were more hated than the Germans. TonyP4 makes the tragic error of thinking Letters from Iwo Jima represents America’s love for the Japanese soldiers of WWII, when nothing could be further from the truth. It reflected the author’s and the director’s eagerness to tell a story of a young man in an impossible situation, and many Americans were furious that in so doing they made some Japanese soldiers appear to be humane. Tonyp’s blanket assertion about Hollywood also betrays a considerable level of ignorance, as most Hollywood films in no way celebrate the German or Japanese enemy soldiers. And of course, Letters to Iwo Jima does not do that either. It tells the story of a soldier, a human being, an individual caught in the madness of war. While you may feel sympathy for that soldier and his plight, the film in no way exonerates or celebrates the brutality of the Japanese invaders, and indeed it underscores the insanity and irrationality of this soldier’s leaders. To not grasp that fundamental element of the film belies the commenter’s ability to comment from an objective standpoint.

    TonyP4’s is the kind of comment I’m always wary of, where the writer comes out with two fists swinging, pointing at questionable or non-existent “evidence” he then uses to support his own dubious conclusions, dropping the usual cliches (Hollywood and the West don’t understand China/Japan) and, mocking the sincerity of Japanese soldiers who come back to China to apologize. In this mindframe, there is no forgiveness, no consideration of time and place, no nuance, no room for original thought. The Japanese were pure evil, the Americans are pure egoists and China haters, Japanese who regret their past actions and try to make up for them are fakes and liars, and we stay safe and warm with our set beliefs – ignorant and enraged, perhaps, but still safe and warm.

    Mandatory disclaimer: The Nanking massacre was one of the most evil and unforgettable events in human history. As with all such events, the reasons they took place and why the perpetrators acted as barbarically as they did are often complex and cannot be explained with comfort-inducing simplicities such as “they were devils.” They may have been devils and there may be no forgiveness for them. But a lot needs to be taken into account to truly understand the tragedy – the era, the war history, the soldiers’ orders and attitudes and culture. None of this can justify, but it can explain. This is true also of Nazi concentration camp guards, al qaida suicide bombers, the American guards at Abu Ghraib and the soldiers who fired on the civilians outside of Tiananmen Square 20 years ago. No, they are not all equivalent. But they are case studies of people committing extreme actions that seem inexplicable upon first glance.

  12. raventhorn4000 Says:

    About as two fisted as “seven years in Tibet”, Kundun, and “Red Corner”.

    I would not be so extreme as some in the description of any ethnicity, but Hollywood has celebrated some pretty dubious films as “truth”.

  13. Samantha Says:


    I agree with you on the point that the reasons behind the atrocities during Japanese invasion are complex which require analysis on Bushido mentality, the growing power of Japanese imperial military of the time and the military strategy that stemmed from both underestimate of the Chinese resistance and the desire for quick conquer.

    That being said, I cannot find anywhere TonyP4 has suggested the repent of some Japanese soldiers to be fake as you accused TonyP4 or others is guilty of.
    From what I know, Nanjing Massacre had been hotly debated within Japan since 1970s. Yes, there are still deniers today but we should recognize that there are also scholars and ordinary people that admit and ultimately shamed of such atrocities even happened in the first place.

    As to why it seems particular hard for some Japanese people to acknowledge their past atrocities, one has to look into the distinctive Japanese psyche. At least in part it comes from a purified/sanitized view of self in Shinto and a deep sense of shame that they couldn’t bear should they accept having committed such atrocious acts by their own people (possibly their own grandfathers!).

    Nevertheless, none of these can exonerate their unrivaled brutality. They should be remembered. The most important issue now is to make sure the history will not repeat which I think is highly unlikely. To me, it is time to move on. Considering their genuine help (with hardly any bad mouthing) during the Sichuan earthquake last year, I do see their kindness given decades of grunge over the perceived anti-Japan sentiments.

    We are all humans not gods, we all make mistake

  14. TonyP4 Says:

    Richard, your argument is full of holes. Please read my post #7 and your #11 again and I think emotion gets the better part of you. Most likely you’re from EU, and I’m used to the complaints from this part of the world.

    Letters from Iwo Jima is a small paragraph in my post. I should say Hollywood should make a movie about Nanjing or any Asian country raped by Japanese to portray the animal natures of Japanese soldiers.

    I have no hatred towards Japanese and I condemn spreading hatred. I just want the Japanese to admit the crime and the top government officials not to pay respect to war criminals.

    I hate the royal government of Japan at the time. When the emperor wanted to become God and the citizens followed blindly, evil acts followed. However, the soldiers who committed crimes like raping, killing babies, contesting in chopping heads… should be prosecuted. The ones still bragging should go to hell!

    Please let me know what I wrote without ‘evidence’ esp. in post #7.

    ‘TonyP4 makes the tragic error of thinking Letters from Iwo Jima represents America’s love for the Japanese soldiers of WWII’

    Where did I say that?

    Agreeing with me or not (not important to me), please watch the documentary on Nanjing (available from Netflix) to find the truth yourself (important to all of us).

    Samantha, thanks for clearing the ‘guilt’ that I was falsely charged.

  15. Raj Says:


    I just want the Japanese to admit the crime and the top government officials not to pay respect to war criminals.

    How can “the Japanese” admit “the crime”? By all shouting “we are sorry” at the same time? There have been numerous apologies over the years, and even Wen Jiabao has acknowledged that. China and Japan can work together to do things, like write common entries for their textbooks, but you can’t keep asking for more and more apologies.

    Japanese people are getting increasingly annoyed on this from what I find. If you want good relations with Japan you have to accept the apology and look for practical things to do. If you just want Japan do dance to your tune then one day it may decide to just sit down and leave China standing on the dance floor without a partner.

    As for paying respect to war criminals, who in the Japanese cabinet has openly praised or honoured an individual war criminal and how did they do so? Please don’t raise Yasukuni, because millions of soldiers are honoured there. It’s little different from the Cenotaph or any other monument, etc designed to honour war dead.

    However, the soldiers who committed crimes like raping, killing babies, contesting in chopping heads… should be prosecuted.

    News flash – there were war crimes trials after 1945. Thousands of people were charged. Do you think every single German soldier who committed a war crime was charged? No, because it was impossible to organise such an investigation, let alone find the evidence. That’s going to be even harder now. There’s a good reason why prosecutors go after the officers, politicians and the like – because they give the orders, sign documents, etc.

    The ones still bragging should go to hell!

    That sounds pretty emotional to me, Tony……..

    By the way, richard is American.

  16. Ian Says:

    Hi .. I am currently a student at UMBC taking Chinese history courses (currently taking 1644-1912) under Professor Yip. Thank you for this great history lesson. We are currently learning about Sun Yat-Sen’s revolution and this is great information.

  17. raventhorn4000 Says:


    The Yasukuni shrine people in charge, privately funded organization, consciously decided to admit the names of over 1000 convicted war criminals, including 16 class A war criminals convicted of Crime against Peace.

    It was not a blanket decision that accidentally included the war criminals. The names were individually picked and approved.

    March 29th, 2007 A book of documents was released by Japan’s National Diet Library called “A New Compilation of Materials on the Yasukuni Shrine Problems”[3] including declassified documents from the Occupational Government, the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry and Yasukuni Shrine. The documents purportedly draw a connection between the Japanese Government and the war criminal enshrinement.[4]

  18. raventhorn4000 Says:

    The book, titled “A New Compilation of Materials on the Yasukuni Shrine Problems,” is a compilation of declassified government documents and minutes of meetings between government officials and representatives of the shrine.

    And sorry, it was 14 class A war criminals, not 16.

  19. JXie Says:

    The Japanese explanation to the inclusion of convicted war criminals in the Yasukuni Shrine, as I understand it, is that those were Japanese who died for Japan. The shrine doesn’t judge their sins but rather commemorates their acts of dying for Japan. It’s the Japanese way, if you will. There were a lot of Japanese ways before its defeat in WW2. Gen. MacArthur got to decide which ways stayed and which ways had to go. It kind of comes down to the fact that other Asian countries didn’t really defeat Japan. In communication, it’s not about how you said it, but rather about how you were heard. In this case, Japan would care much less about how its messages are heard by its Asian neighbors than by the US, and to a less extent for a long time after the WW2, by former Soviet Union.

    At a personal level, the Shrine thing certainly annoys me but doesn’t get me too worked up. What really pisses me off is the lack of any compensation to the ASIAN forced laborers and comfort women, and the whole Japanese strategy is waiting for them to die off. Some of the comfort women were early teenage girls who were kidnapped and forced to serve the Japanese soldiers. Immediately after the WW2 at least I understand the concern of not knowing the potential cost, but well into the 80s/90s when Japan had tons of aid money to sprinkle around yet couldn’t muster any decency to compensate those little people whose lives were ruined…

  20. raventhorn4000 Says:

    The Shrine and the Comfort Women/War Slave laborer issue is a double whammie.

    But both are about the symbolism.

    Japan will rather give loans and aid money, as “loans” and “aids”, than to label any such packages as “compensation”

    To admit them as “compensation” and earmark them as “compensation” would be admission of guilt.

    Similarly, to remove the war criminals from the shrine would also be an admission of guilt.

    *But really, is it all that surprising?

    Look at US, another Democracy, dropped over 80 million cluster bomblets on Laos. Now it gives aids to remove the unexploded bombs, but it also won’t call it “compensation”.

    It would rather give loans and aids and racial quotas to Native Americans and African Americans for past slaveries and exploitation than to call them “compensation”.

    *It’s all about what we call things.

    “Compensation” means you were wrong. “Aids/Loans” means you are being generous.

    In that respect, Democracy or not, US or Japan, everyone likes to “save face”. It’s hardly an attribute only for Communists and Chinese.

  21. raventhorn4000 Says:

    On the Japanese rationality, frankly, it makes no rational sense.

    That shrine was originally built to enshrine the victims of the Boshin War, ie. the war dead.

    If that’s the case, then they should also enshrine all the victims of WWII as well. Indeed, they have enshrined some of the Taiwanese and Korean conscript soldiers who died fighting for Japan in WWII. Taiwanese family’s requests to have them removed from the shrine have been denied.

    In that aspect, it is not a shrine to the war dead, but a celebration of Japanese Nationalism, since the selective nature of the enshrinement reflects that only those who died for Imperial Japan are enshrined.

    *In contrast, I would point out the Memorial of the Little Big Horn, where Native American soldiers and US soldiers literally “buried the hatchet” together at the site of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and established a memorial of the War Dead.

    That’s a true memorial for the War Dead! You bury the dead from BOTH sides of the conflict, and signifying peace through memory.

    The Japanese Shrine buries only 1 side, and thus it celebrates its nationalist history.

  22. TonyP4 Says:

    Nanjing pictures (be warned it could make you sick).


    Select the first picture and then ShowSlide feature.

  23. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I have Iris Chang’s book, it made me pretty sick.

    BTW, Iris Chang died under rather strange circumstances. Some attributed it as a suicide due to the stress of her work on that book. I have no doubt that if I had to work on that book, and find out all the gruesome details for research, I would have psychological problems too.

    From the limited information I know, I know it was really bad, worse than I can ever imagine X 10. That’s enough knowledge for me. I don’t need the details and the images.

  24. Allen Says:

    My take about Japanese apology is simple. Whether Japan apologizes or not, China needs to exercise the demons of the Japanese curse. China does not need or depend on a Japanese apology. China must move on. China can now define who it is, and has its future in its hands now. That’s all it matters.

    The sweetest revenge is to take our own destiny in our own hands.

    Of course, the right thing is for Japan to make a sincere apology – preferably while some of the stakesholders in WWII are still alive. If they don’t, they lose an opportunity. Again – apology or not – the chance at redemption and reconciliation – it’s Japan’s – not China’s – to lose.

    China – move forward!!!

  25. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I would agree with Allen.

    Reconciliation is Japan’s to have or to lose. It’s up to them.

    If they want to keep pissing off the neighbors, it’s their own fault. China will move on, as it has done for 4000 years, after numerous invasions from outside. Mongol rule in China caused millions of deaths, but bloody revenge is not the Chinese way.

    Chinese ambition is in peace thrive.

  26. Raj Says:

    Of course, the right thing is for Japan to make a sincere apology

    Allen, this is one reason a lot of Japanese don’t see why they should even bother. For them their apologies will never seen as being “sincere” by Chinese people. That probably isn’t fair for most Chinese, but one can understand their POV all the same.

    Given Wen Jiabao has acknowledged the apologies it’s all a bit late anyway. I doubt there will be apologies that go significantly past what has been said previously, though we may all be surprised. The only people to blame for that is the Chinese government. It made an expedient decision for the sake of diplomacy, so if you want Japan to make a further-reaching statement you need to petition Beijing to have them ask for it officially. Tokyo isn’t going to bow to Chinese nationalist sentiment if the government itself won’t speak up (especially whilst Chinese continue to buy Japanese goods).

  27. Allen Says:

    @Raj #26,

    You wrote:

    Allen, this is one reason a lot of Japanese don’t see why they should even bother. For them their apologies will never seen as being “sincere” by Chinese people. That probably isn’t fair for most Chinese, but one can understand their POV all the same.

    Apology is not simple statement making – nor elaborate statement making – or the dressing up of elaborate rituals of apologies.

    Apology is the facing up to one’s own history – such as on a scale and depth that the Germans underwent in the aftermath of WWII.

    Apology is the willingness to change a nation’s soul by owning up to history.

    I can see why many Chinese would want to demand Japan to sincerely apologize. But the truth is, I think, only the Japanese themselves can truly and sincerely cleanse and own up to their dark history.

  28. Wukailong Says:

    @raventhorn4000 (#21): “That’s a true memorial for the War Dead! You bury the dead from BOTH sides of the conflict, and signifying peace through memory.”

    I agree a lot with this. It’s great, but how common is it? Apart from this example you mentioned, I don’t know of any other monument where both sides are buried. Perhaps it is because in most modern wars, the winner was thought of as morally superior, and it just wasn’t justifiable to bury people from both sides.

  29. TonyP4 Says:

    Do they have a voice?
    – the babies tossed in the sky and died later
    – the girls raped and murdered
    – the 12 year old wanted to be raped to save herself and her grand pa
    – the guy who was forced to rape a corpse and died later
    – the guys whose heads were chopped for contest…

    Thanks to Iris and others making movies about Nanjing to give them a voice outside China.

    Where is the justice?
    – the evil empire still survives while no long ago they caused millions to die
    (Jap, you should learn from the French)
    – the criminals were bragging raping 12 years old
    – the top officials paying respect to war criminals
    – the text books about this incident are altered
    (Jap, look at pictures in my last post to start)
    – the first blockbuster movie from the most influential movie maker is about how humane the Jap soldiers were

    Give me a break! At least do not side with the devils.

  30. raventhorn4000 Says:


    I think Germany did a pretty good job of burying the hachet with the victims of Nazi Germany. They have memorials for their fallen soldiers, and memorials for the Jewish concentration camp victims. Of course, they also actually “compensate” the victims too.

    Here lies the difference, their compensation is not huge in amount, compared to the suffering caused, (Only about 65 billion Euros to date), but at least they call it “compensation”.

    For Germany’s case, it’s obvious that just by calling it “compensation”, it went a long way to make amends with the victims. Consider the horrible suffering in the victims of Holocaust, it’s a small wonder that most of Germany’s neighbors have forgiven it largely.

    Of course, Germany has de-nazified its citizens, and outlawed the Nazi party completely, and banned any Nazi paraphernalia, as did France.

    All of these made Germany much better standing than Japan in the current day.

    *Germany is stronger today, and German reunification could not have happened if it acted like Japan after WWII.

  31. JXie Says:

    But does that mean that if Japan had been satisfied with Manchuria it could have “got away with it”? I guess that they could have done. Would have completely changed Asian history.

    And what would that have meant for Europe? No Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, no reason for Germany to declare war on America, no reason for America to enter WWII?

    It certainly is possible the history would’ve unfolded that way. Even if Japan had been more patient and waited for a couple of decades… Chances are the tension at the European side would’ve eventually dragged most other powers into a major war anyway, the perfect timing would be then — heck, it could’ve even just sat there and waited for an exchange of whole Asia with supporting the strong side in Europe.

    BUT, on the other hand Chiang was getting better in consolidating power and gradually building up industry in China, and China always had the manpower just not the knowledge (education) and production (industrialization). I tend to believe Japan couldn’t wait much longer because in a decade or 2, it might not even be able to win the war. I read it somewhere that in 1935, Shanghai was the 3rd largest stock exchange after New York and London…

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