9th February 1938
Japanese authorities in Nanking, under the command of General Matsui, have finally reigned in the violence.
Reports vary, but it appears that between 20,000 and 80,000 females were raped. I use the term females instead of women as some of them were young girls under the age of 8. Elderly women were not spared either. The majority of the rape victims were either stabbed, shot or strangled to death. Chinese men and boys were often forced to rape their own mothers, sisters or children.
Shops and houses were looted, then sealed up with the occupants inside and set alight. Japanese soldiers have been allowed to summarily execute any Chinese citizen, even resorting to firing indiscriminately into groups of people for sport.
Around 90,000 Chinese troops were taken as prisoners of war. Few, if any, survive today. The POWs were trucked out of the city, then systematically tortured and/or murdered. Bayonet practice on live prisoners, soaking in gasoline before being burned alive, live burial, decapitation or simply being mown down by machine gun were all employed as a means of disposing of the inconvenience of prisoners. The Japanese have no regard for an enemy who surrenders, hence they have no hesitation in disposing of them. Japan is not a signatory to the Geneva conventions, brought about by the International Red Cross.
The Japanese press have widely reported the suffering of the subjugated Chinese, with the view that it is both acceptable and expected that these people of an inferior race be treated thus. Japanese reporters have witnessed the carnage and filmed or photographed many of the atrocities. The Japanese newspapers even followed two Japanese officers, reporting on the body count of a ‘decapitation competition’, like some sort of macabre sporting event. The original contest was first to 100, but in the the heat of the battle to take Nanking, the score was 105 to 106, with it being unclear who surpassed 100 first. The two officers then decided to make it first to 150. The newspaper report, which was published in mid December, but has only recentlycome to light in the West, read “‘Incredible Record’ [in the Contest to] Behead 100 People—Mukai 106 – 105 Noda—Both 2nd Lieutenants Go Into Extra Innings”.
General Matsui has now brought the majority of the violence to a halt and restored some form of discipline to the ongoing occupation of Nanking. Both Prince Asaka and General Matsui are to be recalled to Japan.