Activist Seiji Uematsu has asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to apologize and mourn on behalf of the Japanese government for those killed during the Nanjing Massacre.[Special coverage]
In a statement issued in Tokyo on Tuesday, Uematsu said the Nanjing Massacre is one of the massive war crimes Japan committed during its aggression against Asian and Pacific nations. He lodged a protest against the Japanese government for being silent as the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre is observed in China and the rest of the world.
Uematsu criticized the Japanese government for the rising force of the country's revisionists who deny that the massacre happened.
His statement also asked Japan's foreign ministry to publish on its website internal documents and testimony from members of the Imperial Japanese Army attesting that the Nanjing Massacre happened.
Uematsu recommended that Japan's National Archives have a special room for the records of Japan's colonization and war of aggression, called a "negative legacy".
On Sunday, the Association of Movie-Viewing, an NGO in Japan, screened John Rabe in Tokyo for those who want to know about that episode of the war. The film was released in Britain as City of War: The Story of John Rabe.
Based on Rabe's published wartime diaries, the 2009 German-Chinese-French biopic directed by Florian Gallenberger highlighted the German businessman who used his Nazi Party membership to create a protective International Safety Zone in Nanjing, helping to save more than 200,000 Chinese people from marauding Japanese troops, who committed breathtaking atrocities in Nanjing, the Chinese capital at the time, in the winter of 1937-38.
Kyuko Tetsumoto, who is in her 80s, said the movie is significant and everyone in Japan should see it. Tetsumoto, who was born on the Korean Peninsula, was a child during World War II and the years leading to it. But the crimes of the Japanese army left an indelible mark on her memory.
Kunio Yamanashi, chairman of the civic group of veterans who repudiate war, said the Japanese government should squarely face the fact that Japan invaded and brought damage to other countries and should apologize for the war.
The original members of the group were former soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. They experienced the war and its brutality and did their own soul-searching about Japan's invasion.