Japan - The Rape of Nanking

In the early days of World War II, the Japanese Army invaded China. Casualties were high on both sides and on August 5, 1937, Emperor Hirohito signed a declaration that the constraints of international law would not apply to the Chinese people. The Japanese eventually forced surrender and on December 13, 1937 they entered the capital city of Nanjing or Nanking. During the occupation, over the next six weeks, some of the most brutal acts of the war were carried out against the population. In what is now referred to as the Rape of Nanking, the Japanese Army carried out mass executions, many by beheading. In one instance, 50,000 people fleeing the city were caught at the banks of the Yangtze River, and all were killed. During the occupation an estimated 20,000 rapes took place. Junior officers had contests to see who could kill the most people with a sword.

An estimated 250,000 people died in Nanking, and an additional 500,000 died in the surrounding areas during this atrocity.


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