1st Edition

China Rights Annals Human Rights Development in the People's Republic of China from October 1983 Through September 1984

By James D. Seymour Copyright 1987

    Based on four visits by the journalist author to China from 1971 to 1989. He details the horrors of the Japanese Army's seizure and capture of Nanjing in December 1937. The harrowing testimony of the Chinese victims and the Japanese perpetrators are juxtaposed with PR army announcements.

    This book is based on four visits to China between 1971 and 1989 by Honda Katsuichi, an investigative journalist for Asahi Shimbun. His aim is to show in pitiless detail the horrors of the Japanese Army's seizure and capture of Nanjing in December 1937. Unvarnished accounts of the testimony - Chinese victims and Japanese perpetrators - to the rape and slaughter are juxtaposed with public relations announcements of the Japanese Army as printed in various Japanese newspapers of the time. The bland announcements of triumphant victories stand in bitter contrast to the atrocities that actually took place on the scene. The story unfolds with horrible detail as we watch the triumphant progress of the Japanese army whose troops were bent on rape and killing in the so-called "heat of battle." Yet by recalling the testimony of Japanese soldiers and reporters who were on the scene, as well as reproducing dispatches by Japanese Army authorities at the time, Honda makes it clear that the atrocities were part of a studied effort directed by the Japanese high command to impress the Chinese people with the power of its army and the folly of resistance to it - the estimate of 300,000 killed in these "military operations" is no exaggeratoin. Honda has worked with other Japanese journalists and scholars who have attempted to reveal the truth of the Nanjing massacre, provoked by the efforts of right-wing Japanese, including, sadly, many government officials, to whitewash the whole incident, even to the point of contending that a "massacre" never happened. This gripping account of the atrocities and cover-up joins other exposes - Chinese and now German - in keeping alive the memory of this shameful event.


    A graduate of Yale University, James D. Seymour received a Ph.D. in Public Law and Government from Columbia University. He has taught at N.Y.U., the New School for Social Research, and Columbia and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at Columbia's East Asian Institute. Professor Seymour is the author of China: The Politics of Revolutionary Reintegration (1976) and The Fifth Modernization: China's Human Rights Movement, 1978-1979 (1980), the co-author of Introduction to Comparative Politics (1984), and the editor of SPEARhead: Bulletin of the Society for the Protection of East Asians' Human Rights.