Nanking Massaker: 1937 & 2012

Der Brügermeister von Nagoya,
Takashi Kawamura, gerät in die Kritik.

Seine Leugnung des Massakers der japanischen Invasionsarmee im Jahre 1937 führte zu vielen reaktionen in Japan und in China.
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Uns erreichte die folgende "Aufforderung" des YWCA Japan
(Deutsch und Japanisch).

Weiter unten geben wir 3 Zeitungsartikel aus der Japan Times wieder.

YWCA Japan 27.02.2012
Naoko MATANO, Vorsitzende
Mikako NISHIHARA, Generalsekretärin


An den Bürgermeister der Stadt Nagoya, Herrn Takashi Kawamura,


zum Widerruf der Leugnung des Massakers von Nanking und zur Wiedergewinnung des Vertrauens japanischer und chinesischer Bürger

Am 20. Februar 2012 hat Takashi Kawamura, Bürgermeister der Stadt Nagoya auf persönlichen Ansichten beruhende Äußerungen getätigt, welche das Massaker von Nanking als historische Tatsache anzweifeln. Wir, der YWCA Japan, verlangen von T. Kawamura, seiner Verantwortung als Amtsträger gerecht zu werden, indem er diese Äußerungen zurücknimmt und sich dafür einsetzt, das beschädigte Vertrauen der japanischen und chinesischen Bürgerinnen und Bürger wiederzugewinnen.

Umfangreiche Forschungsarbeiten japanischer und chinesischer Historiker belegen, dass die Armee des japanischen Kaiserreiches in Nanking eine große Zahl von Zivilisten ermordet und Häuser geplündert hat. Diese Tatsache als Bürgermeister aufgrund persönlicher Einschätzungen zu leugnen ist gedankenlos und zeugt von Ignoranz gegenüber der Großherzigkeit der Bürgerinnen und Bürger Nankings, die trotz jener Ereignisse Japanern mit Freundlichkeit begegnen. Scheinbar um eine Auseinandersetzung mit Geschichtsinhalten bemüht, hat Herr Nakamura die bewundernswerte Menschlichkeit der Nankinger Bürger missbraucht, um historischen Revisionismus zu betreiben. Dies verurteilen wir aufs Schärfste.

Sogar die japanische Regierung gesteht in einer offiziellen Stellungnahme ein, dass nach dem Einmarsch der japanischen Armee in Nanking (1937) Morde an zahlreichen Zivilisten und Plünderungen begangen wurden und erklärt: „ Wir sind uns bewusst, großen Schaden und Leid verursacht zu haben und empfinden hierüber tiefe Reue und Schuld. Wir sind entschlossen, keine weiteren Kriege zu führen und den Weg einer friedlichen Nation zu gehen."

Die betreffenden Äußerungen des Bürgermeisters treten den Schmerz der Menschen von Nanking, die beim Massaker ihre Angehörigen verloren haben, mit Füßen und sind eine Beleidigung für die vielen Bürgerinitiativen und Einzelpersonen, die wie der YWCA als Basisbewegung in den über 60 Jahren seit Kriegsende für den Frieden eingetreten sind und dadurch Vertrauensbeziehungen zwischen japanischen und chinesischen Bürgern aufgebaut haben.

Daher fordern wir Herrn Kawamura mit Nachdruck auf, seine Äußerungen vom 20. Februar 2012 zurückzunehmen, die Städtepartnerschaft zwischen Nagoya und Nanking wieder aufzunehmen, und seiner Verantwortung für die Wiederherstellung des Vertrauens japanischer und chinesischer Bürger gerecht zu werden.

Der YWCA Japan

Übersetzung: Nikolas Scheuer, Berliner Missionswerk

Zur Regierungserklärung vgl.: Ministry of Foreign Affairs MOFA

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Aichi governor to Nagoya mayor: Fix Nanjing mess

NAGOYA — Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura on Monday urged Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura to quickly address the deteriorating ties between the city and its Chinese sister city, Nanjing, over the mayor's contentious denial of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.

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Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura (left)
and Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura
attend a press conference Feb. 1.
at the prefectural headquarters. KYODO


"I am very concerned," said Omura about the downturn in ties sparked by Kawamura's Feb. 20 remarks that he believes only "conventional acts of combat," not mass murder and rape of civilians, occurred in Nanjing in 1937.

"As a friend, I have given my personal advice since last week by calling him or meeting with him," Omura said.

"I strongly hope he will cool the situation down as quickly as possible and maintain the friendly relationship with the city of Nanjing," he said.

Calling attention to the fact that a difference exists between Japanese and Chinese estimates of the number of Chinese civilians massacred in a joint report released in 2010, Omura said of his own view, "I would like to evaluate these estimates."

In the report, the Chinese side says the victims numbered more than 300,000, but Japanese academics cite various estimates ranging from 20,000 to 200,000.

In reaction to Kawamura's remarks, Nanjing said Feb. 21 it will suspend exchanges with Nagoya for the time being, according to China News Service. The two cities formed sister city relations in 1978.

Source: The Japan Times: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012



EDITORIAL, Japan Times, February 28, 2012

Inappropriate remarks on Nanjing

In a Feb. 20 meeting with visiting officials from Nanjing, which has friendship ties with Nagoya, Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura touched on the Nanjing Massacre, which took place from December 1937 to early 1938. He stated that there were "normal military operations" in Nanjing but that it seemed the "Nanjing incident" did not take place.

Many Chinese reacted strongly online, some of them criticizing Nanjing officials for failing to rebut the mayor in the meeting. Later Mr. Kawamura stated that his views are not new and that he has openly stated for years that he believes the claims of "several hundreds of thousands" killed in Nanjing is inaccurate. The lack of eyewitnesses was "fairly decisive" in supporting his views, he stated.

Although it is difficult to determine how many Chinese the Japanese Imperial Army killed in Nanjing, Mr. Kawamura's statement is inappropriate in view of past accounts and studies.

In 1983, Kaiko-sha, a succeeding group of the original Kaiko-sha, a society of Imperial Japanese Army officers established in 1877, started collecting accounts from former soldiers about what happened in Nanjing. On the basis of some accounts, a Kaiko-sha report in 1985 gives two estimates on the death toll. One estimates that between 3,000 and 6,000 Chinese were killed. The other states 13,000. The report also apologized to the Chinese people. Some remaining reports from army units and officers also state that the Japanese Imperial Army killed many prisoners of war.

In an interview with The Japan Times, Mr. Masatake Okumiya, then an Imperial Navy pilot and later a staff officer for air operations during the Pacific War, said that he witnessed on Dec. 25 and 27, 1937, Imperial Japanese Army soldiers executing Chinese at Xiaguan, a wharf facing the Yangtze River. By counting the number of trucks used to transport those executed, Mr. Okumiya estimated that at least about 500 Chinese had been killed, calling it "large-scale slaughter." He thought the view that a total of about 40,000 Chinese were killed in Nanjing was nearer the truth. (See "Imperial veteran recalls Nanjing mass executions" Jan. 5, 1999.)

In a January 2010, 549-page report on joint Japan-China history studies, started at the initiative of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Japanese side affirmed that "collective and individual killings by Japanese forces occurred" in Nanjing and noted that Japanese studies gave varied estimates of the number of victims: 20,000, 40,000, etc., with the highest estimate reaching 200,000.

Japanese politicians should refrain from making reckless statements about what happened in Nanjing. Viewed from abroad, such statements only serve to make Japan appear insincere and uncaring.

Source: The Japan Times: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012


Nagoya mayor won't budge on Nanjing remark

By JUN HONGO, Staff writer, Japan Times Online, February 23, 2012

Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura on Wednesday refused to retract his contentious comments about the veracity of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and said he is ready to visit the city to explain his views.

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Takashi Kawamura

Speaking Monday to a group of Chinese Communist Party members from Nanjing, Kawamura said he was skeptical about whether the Imperial Japanese Army actually raped and slaughtered thousands of Nanjing residents during the war.

The city of Nanjing responded by suspending exchanges with Nagoya, while Beijing assured him it had "solid evidence" proving the massacre took place.

"I don't have any intentions of retracting my comments or apologizing," Kawamura told reporters Wednesday. Nagoya and Nanjing became sister cities in December 1978, and the mayor was optimistic the relationship would stay on good terms.

"Our friendly ties with the city of Nanjing will remain unchanged," Kawamura said.

Disputes over the Nanjing Massacre are a constant source of friction in Sino-Japanese relations, and Kawamura's comments are merely another example of the skewed perceptions held by Japan's politicans.

In May 1994, then Justice Minister Shigeto Nagano, a former chief of the Ground Self-Defense Force, said the Nanjing Massacre was a "fabrication." Nagano, who played a key role in having references on the sexual slavery perpetrated by the Imperial army deleted from history textbooks, resigned after the comment caused outrage in China.

Three months later in August 1994, then Environment Agency chief Shin Sakurai stepped down after stating Japan "did not intend to invade" Asia.

Similarly in 1995, then Management and Coordination Agency chief Takami Eto said Japan did "some good deeds" during its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, resulting in the veteran lawmaker being booted from the Cabinet.

However, Kawamura's comments come at a crucial time in bilateral relations as the two sides prepare to mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties this year.

Activities to honor the anniversary kicked off with a grand ceremony last Thursday in Beijing, with pop music sensation AKB48 scheduled to perform as a part of the commemoration ceremonies Sunday in Shanghai. A series of events are also scheduled to be held throughout the year in other cities, including Nanjing Japan Week, which kicks off March 9.

SKE48, a similar idol group from Nagoya, was set to visit the city as well but is apparently reconsidering in light of Kawamura's actions.

With Xi Jinping expected to succeed Hu Jintao as China's new leader later this year, Tokyo is eager to avoid sparking any controversy with Beijing so it can present an amicable relationship.

Kawamura said Monday that only "conventional acts of combat" took place in Nanjing and that the likelihood that mass murder took place there was doubtful.

Nanjing, the former capital of China, fell to the Imperial army on Dec. 13, 1937. Beijing says 300,000 soldiers and civilians were slaughtered during the invasion.

But loss of historical records in both Japan and China has made the task of determining the number of victims elusive to this day. Most Japanese experts claim Beijing's figure is off, but their estimates range from at least 10,000 to more than 200,000.

Source: The Japan Times: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012