A book comprising of testimonies of Japanese World War II veterans on their wartime atrocities was published in Chinese in Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu Province Thursday, the eve of the 65th anniversary of the notorious Nanjing Massacre.
The book, titled The Battle of Nanjing -- a Search of Sealed Memories, consists of testimonies from 102 Japanese veterans who participated in Japan's invasion of China from 1937 to 1945, especially the battle of Nanjing.
In the book, compiled by Japanese peace advocates headed by Matsuoka Tamaki who interviewed some 250 veterans across Japan, the former soldiers, in their 80s and 90s, confessed to committing atrocities in Nanjing, including murder, rape and robbery.
On December 13, 1937, Nanjing, then capital of China, fell to the invading Japanese imperial army. In the following weeks, the Japanese soldiers brutally murdered more than 300,000 civilians and disarmed soldiers and over 20,000 cases of rape were recorded by foreign observers, giving the massacre another name, the Rape of Nanking.
At a ceremony in Nanjing Thursday, Matsuoka said that she and other Japanese volunteers involved in the collection of the testimonies hoped to "tell the truth to our people". Japanese conservatives deny the Nanjing Massacre, calling it a fabrication.
Zhu Chengshan, curator of the Memorial Hall for Victims of the Nanjing Massacre, thanked Matsuoka and her colleagues for their efforts and called the newly published book a "precious record of history".
The Japanese version of the book was published in Japan in August. Its Chinese version has some 400,000 characters.
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2002)