Japanese war criminal confesses to slaughtering Chinese civilians

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A Japanese soldier admitted to a massacring and raping innocent civilians in China during World War II, according to a written confession released Wednesday.

The State Archives Administration (SAA) published the hand-written confession by Kazuto Tsukamoto, who was born in 1919, joined the Japanese army in 1939 and was captured in China in August 1945.

In the document, Tsukamoto wrote that he and other soldiers descended on Dangyang County in Hubei on Dec. 25, 1943 and carried out murder, arson and looting.

About 100 villagers, including newborns, children, the elderly and pregnant women, were set on fire, bayoneted, shot and their heads "broken in two with stone," he wrote.

About 100 houses were razed and the Japanese pillaged a temple on Jinfeng Mountain, destroying many artifacts, it added.

Tsukamoto also detailed how he raped a Chinese woman and tortured anti-Japanese underground operatives during interrogation.

In July 1942, Tsukamoto raped a woman while holding her at knife point, after he found the 20-year-old hiding under a bed in Jiangshan County, Zhejiang Province.

The war criminal also said he "bloated 12 underground operatives with water during interrogation, trampled on their bodies and dripped hot wax oil over their naked bodies", in Dangyang County, Hubei, in November 1944.

"Japanese soldiers slashed to death 11 operatives and shot the other in the chest with a handgun before beheading him with a katana," he said in the confession.

The shocking admission is the 30th in a series of 31 handwritten confessions from Japanese war criminals being released online by the archives as China marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

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