China and Japan: Agreeing on History? Interview with Japanese Historian Shinichi Kitaoka – Helen Vatsikopoulos

Professor Shinichi Kitaoka from Tokyo University, former deputy Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, heads the Japanese side of the China-Japan Joint History Research Committee. From Australia Network:

… Helen Vatsikopoulos: But how do you do that on something as divisive as the fall of Nanjing? What is your personal opinion? Do you call Nanjing a massacre or an incident?

Prof. Shinichi Kitaoka: Certainly there are many Japanese and Chinese killed and raped in Nanking, mostly by Japanese soldiers, and mostly Japan is responsible for that. But not 100 per cent.

Helen Vatsikopoulos: So not 100 per cent? What is it then?

Prof. Shinichi Kitaoka: As you know, it is very difficult to categorise what kind of percentage, but, Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of China, ordered to fight and defend Nanjing, knowing that it was undefendable. And he himself ran away from Nanjing. He left many Chinese soldiers, and then Japanese soldiers rushed into the city.

So some of the responsibility lies on the part of Chinese leadership. But I do not deny that most of the responsibility was on the Japanese side. [Full Text]



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