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Newspaper correspondents accompanying the army that captured Nanjing were more or less aware of the atrocities by the army. They witnessed innumerable atrocities during the so-called “sacred war,” which was in fact a war of aggression. Yet they dared not remonstrate to the military, deeming it wiser to shut their eyes and to excuse the brutality as an unavoidable wartime evil. The irresponsibility of war correspondents, ourselves included, is reprehensible in its disregard of humanity.
Despite the fact that the military committed unspeakable brutalities, the government issued a statement declaring that Japan would consider Chinese people its friends. Such contradictory actions were characteristic of all Japanese policies on China, resulting in spreading hostility toward Japanese among Chinese people. This hostility remains the bitterest in the more than one-thousand-year history of relations between China and Japan. We must acknowledge the crimes committed by the militarists, epitomized by the Nanjing Massacre, as an ineradicable blot in our history (Takashi Yoshida, The Making of the “Rape of Nanking”: History and Memory in Japan, China, and the United States (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 49.