New documents uncovered by Jilin Provincial Archives showed that the population of Nanjing where the notorious massacre took place decreased sharply during the War of Chinese Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945).
A total of 89 wartime documents were recently made public by the Jilin Provincial Archives. The documents, once kept by the invading Japanese army in northeast China where a major Japanese military base was established during the war, revealed details of atrocities Japanese troops committed in China.
Among the documents, six concerned Japanese army's invasion of Nanjing. Some Japanese newspapers within the documents published on December 23, 1937 depicted the gruesome killings during the Nanjing Massacre. A report by Osaka Daily News states that Japanese soldiers killed 85,000 people within three days, and in one case, bodies were scattered over several kilometers between a port to a river. "Dead bodies stretched for 1,000 to 1,500 meters to the lower reaches of the Yangtze River," the report said.
A report on an investigation into "restoration of public order by Nanjing Kempeitai" by Commander Ooki Sigeru on February 28, 1938, said that the population of Nanjing was about one million before December 1937, when the Nanjing Massacre took place. But at the end of February 1938, the number was only about 330,000.
The Chinese Government claims that around 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers were killed by invading Japanese troops during the massacre. However, some right-wing figures in Japan have attempted to deny the massacre by claiming the population in Nanjing before the Japanese occupation was no more than 300,000.
Yin Huai, head of the Jilin Provincial Archives, said that the documents have provided new evidence to refute those people who have doubted the Nanjing Massacre. These files have been revealed as a response to denials of Japan's wartime crimes in China.
(Reporting from Jilin Province)