Film on Nanjing Massacre hits Japan's website
Updated: 2015-08-19 18:19
TOKYO - "Nanking Nanking," a Chinese film on the Nanjing Massacre hit the largest Japanese video website Niconico, while viewers' live comments exposed the ignorance of history of the Japanese netizens.
The movie, which is directed by Lu Chuan, was released in China in April 2009 and was temporarily and limitedly screened in Japan in 2011 amid strong criticism from the Japanese rightwing forces who view the movie as "anti-Japanese."
The "Nanking Nanking," also known as the "City of Life and Death," attracted over 26,000 viewers in its debut on Niconico late Tuesday and received over 22,000 live comments during the screening, according to the website.
Niconico said that showing the movie, among other Chinese and South Korean films related to the issues of Yasukuni Shrine and comfort women, is aimed at letting the Japanese audience to access to the so-called "anti-Japanese" movies produced by the two major victimized countries of Japan's aggression and colonial rule before and during WWII.
Movies reflecting real Japanese wartime atrocities, known here as "anti-Japanese" works, are always being opposed by the Japanese rightists. Angelina Julie's movie "Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," which was based on a true story, met such doom last year.
During the 133-minute screening, some or even a majority of viewers questioned the occurrence of the Nanjing Massacre, with commentaries like "stop lying," "then reporters in Nanjing at the time said they did not witness the massacre," "the massacre is fake" and "how to kill about 300,000 in a city with only population of about 200,000."
Some even said "it is OK to kill someone with strange moves in war zone" and "it is reasonable for military to loot," although there were remarks like "the Nanjing Massacre is historical fact" and "it is no good to kill civilians," or asking "are there anyone who knows about the truth?"
However, the comments clearly betrayed their ignorance of history, poor education on history and increasing nationalism among the Japanese society's right-leaning tendency influenced by the historical revisionism.
The Nanjing Massacre was well documented by China and proofs from then Japanese military documents and archives by a third party, including Germany and the United States, showed that about 300,000 Chinese were slaughtered after the Japanese army captured the then capital of China on Dec. 13, 1937.
In May, China released a piece of then Japanese military document which confirmed the change of population in Nanjing before and after its fall. According to the document, Nanjing had about 1 million population before its fall and only about 335,000 were left after the Japanese occupation.
Ties between Japan and its closest neighbors like China and South Korea have been strained due to Japan's historical revisionism that tries to whitewash or deny the country's WWII atrocities.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a statement last week to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, but he refrained from offering his apology for Japan's wartime wrongdoings and stressed that the Japanese future generations must not be "predestined to apologize" for the war part.
His statement is rapped by the media worldwide as a setback from the 1995 landmark Murayama Statement, which clearly admitted that Japan "through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations."
Despite mentioning that Japan should pass the historical facts to the future generation, the Abe administration is pressing local education committees to use rightwing textbooks in middle schools.
Three female ministers of the prime minister's cabinet and about 70 lawmakers paid homage to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine one day after Abe's statement. A total of 14 convicted Japanese war criminals, including the culprit of the Nanjing Massacre, Iwane Matsu, are enshrined in the Yasukuni.
Abe skipped visiting the shrine on Aug. 15, the 70th anniversary of the WWII end, but sent a ritual offering to the shrine. His wife Akie Abe also visited the symbol of Japan's past militarism on Tuesday.
A movie about the Yasukuni Shrine directed by a Chinese director also hit the Niconico website.
According to a survey by the website, 83 percent of 190 Japanese respondents supported the prime minister in visiting the infamous shrine with only 16 percent against, while 76 percent of 117 respondents said they backed the move to enshrine WWII war criminals in the Yasukuni in the 1970s.
About 66 percent of 465 respondents said they visited the Yasukuni and about 79 percent of 379 respondents believed they did not want to legally ban hate speeches, according to the poll.