CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Monday, December 23, 2013

BEFORE THE WAR: RAPE OF NANKING, JAPANESE ATROCITIES COME HOME TO ROOST

 

A Japanese maple

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photoExhausted soldiers Remembering the soldiers who fell in the Bataan Death March.

 
 

Filipino citizens that were lined up against a wall and killed by the Japanese, Ermita, Manila, Philippines, Feb. 1945

Filipino civilians were hiding in the basement of a nearby building in Ermita. The Japanese found them and told them they should come with them for protection from the advancing Americans. Instead they were taken to this stone wall and shot by the Japanese. One lived to tell of what happened. Here a Filipino resident of the district tries to identify the bodies. After the Battle for Manila a dead Japanese officer was found to have written orders to eliminate all non-Japanese.

Innocent Filipino civilian citizens running from the horrors of war, Manila, Philippines, Feb. 1945

During the battle for Manila innocent civilian citizens running from the horrors of war and hidden Japanese snipers that were shooting at anyone that wasn't Japanese that came into their gun sights.
Those of us that have never gone through these horrors have no idea of what it could have been like. Seeing their friends and family members, their children and parents brutality murdered in horrific ways and numbers. I feel so sad and I have wonderment how so many were able to go on with any semblance of a happy life.

The Battle for Manila from February 3 to March 3 1945, fought by U.S. and Japanese forces, was part of the Philippines' 1945 campaign. The one-month battle which culminated in a terrible bloodbath and total devastation of the city was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater, ended almost three years, 1942-1945 of Japanese military occupation in the Philippines. The city's capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur's key to victory in the campaign of reconquest.
The battle for Manila was the first and fiercest urban fighting in the entire Pacific War, from the time MacArthur started his leapfrogging campaign from New Guinea in 1942, leading to the invasion of Japan in 1945. Few battles in the closing months of World War II exceeded the destruction and the brutality of the massacres and savagery of the fighting in Manila.
A steel flagpole at the entrance to the old U.S. Embassy building in Intramuros, which was pockmarked by numerous bullet and shrapnel hits, and still stands today, a testament to the intense, bitter fighting for the walled city. In this category, Manila joined the company of Warsaw as the most devastated cities of World War II, as well as being the host to some of the fiercest urban fighting since Stalingrad....
Filipinos lost an irreplaceable cultural and historical treasure in the resulting carnage and devastation of Manila, remembered today as a national tragedy. Countless government buildings, universities and colleges, convents, monasteries and churches, and their accompanying treasures dating to the founding of the city, were decimated. The cultural patrimony (including art, literature, and especially architecture) of the Orient's first truly international melting pot - the confluence of Spanish, American and Asian culture - was eviscerated. Manila, once touted as the "Pearl of the Orient" and famed as a living monument to the meeting of American,Asian and European cultures, was virtually wiped out.......
The Worst Kind of Tragedy in The Philippines' History!!!!....


100-year-old photos show a still-medieval Japan and the disaster of WW2

 

Inside the Chrysanthemum kingdom: 100-year-old photos show a still-medieval Japan and the disaster of WW2

  • Country only began trading with other countries following the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854

For years it had remained shut off from the rest of world and shrouded in mystery. Isolated from the West, 18th century Edo flourishes culturally and economically, becoming one of the liveliest cities in the world. But foreign forces are coming.

 

 

Memoirs of a Geisha: Geishas enjoy a summer's day in a landscaped garden in this 100-year-old photo by Tamamura Kozaburo

Memoirs of a Geisha: Geishas enjoy a summer's day in a landscaped garden in this 100-year-old photo by Tamamura Kozaburo

Unique insight: The rare collection of images show Japan just before its industrial revolution

Unique insight: The rare collection of images show Japan just before its industrial revolution

The collection of 100-year-old photos were taken to try and attract tourists to the country after the lifting of the bamboo curtain at the beginning of the 20th century

The world's secret garden: The collection of 100-year-old photos were taken to try to attract tourists to the country at the beginning of the 20th century after the lifting of the bamboo curtain

The collection of 100-year-old photos were taken to try and attract tourists to the country after the lifting of the bamboo curtain at the beginning of the 20th century

Maiko: Picture was taken in Kyoto, Japan. Her name is Toshimana, a Maiko in Kyoto, Japan.

 

Mysterious: Japan remained cut off from much of the world until the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854

Mysterious: Japan remained cut off from much of the world until the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854

Iconic landmarks such as the Kintai-kyo bridge, built in 1673, and the Great Buddha of Kamakura, first constructed in 1252, appear much the same at the beginning of the 20th Century as they do today.

 

But while the monuments themselves may look unchanged, the surroundings are now packed with tourists and often surrounded by skyscrapers to house the ever-growing population which has more than doubled from 49,852,000 in 1910 to 128,056,026 in 2010.

The photos were taken by Tamamura Kozaburo to try to attract tourists to Japan after the country opened up to the rest of the world following the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.

The convention opened the Japanese ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to U.S. trade for the first time in 200 years and ensured the safety of shipwrecked American sailors.

But before the convention, Japan had cut itself off from the rest of the world for more than two centuries and was lagging behind in new technologies.

Landmarks: The Imperial Palace Osaka was completely isolated 100 years ago

Landmarks: The Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan, was completely isolated 100 years ago

The past and the present: The Imperial Palace is now surrounded by modern skyscrapers in Tokyo

The past and the present: The Imperial Palace is now surrounded by modern skyscrapers in Tokyo

A bygone era: A lone fisherman is captured coming in to shore

A bygone era: A lone fisherman is captured coming in to shore

Water under the bridge: The Kintai-kyo bridge still stands today

Water under the bridge: The Kintai-kyo bridge, built in 1673, still stands today

Spot the difference: Today the Kintai-kyo bridge is lit up at night and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan

Spot the difference: Today the Kintai-kyo bridge is lit up at night and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan

It was only when Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy steamed into the bay in Yokohama with four warships - the Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, and Susquehanna - in 1853 that the channels of communication were forced open. This eventually lead to the Convention agreement the following year.

Japan soon undertook drastic political, economic, and cultural transformations to emerge as a unified and centralised state to try to put itself on an even keel with the West.

It's industrial revolution began around 1870 as national leaders hoped to catch up with the West by building railway lines, better roads, and invested heavily in modern industry such as textiles, including cotton and silk.

By 1910, Japan had come out triumphant in a war with Russia and become the first Eastern modern imperial power. It was around this time that this collection of photos were taken to show off Japan to the outside world, which had previously been rigidly introverted and anti any foreign or outside influence.

Photographer Kozaburo was the first to produce tourist shots for Japan with an album of 51 collotype black and white photographic prints, which were painstakingly inked in by a team of 100 colorists, and gave Europe one of its first glimpses of life inside the previously secretive state.

 

Out at sea: A few fishing smacks are seen off the Japanese coast which would later become an international port

Out at sea: A few fishing smacks are seen off the Japanese coast which later became an international port

Rural village: The black and white images taken by Kozaburo were painstakingly inked in by a team of 100 colourists

Rural village: The black and white images taken by Kozaburo were painstakingly inked in by a team of 100 colourists

Country retreat: The Japanese would eventually become renowned for their beautiful gardens

Country retreat: The Japanese are still renowned for their beautiful gardens 100 years on

These photos show Japan at a prosperous time, when it was starting to build itself into a dominating world power during a period of rapid economic growth and on the cusp of significant technological advancement.

But as Japan began to catch up with the rest of the world powers, it began to exert its brutal power by declaring war on surrounding countries such as China.

This provoked condemnation from the West and tensions with America began to further escalate over its control of Japan's oil resources, eventually leading to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour and entry in to World War II.

But these hand-coloured prints show untouched Japan before its disastrous losses in World War II forced the country to surrender. They  are mounted in an oblong folio within its original box and are expected to fetch £800 at auction through Woolley and Wallis auctioneers of Salisbury, Wiltshire.

 

Classic temple: A Buddhist shrine set alone in the mountains

Classic Japanese temple: A Buddhist shrine set alone in the mountains.  

Clare Durham, Asian art expert at Woolley and Wallis, said: 'Japan had been closed off until the 1860s so it was still relatively new to Europeans.

'The photos were taken at a time when everything Japanese was of great interest to people in Europe and at a time when photography was in its infancy.

'They offer a fascinating look at the geisha culture at this time. It is a really interesting historical snapshot of Japan and its cities 100 years ago.

'It has come to us from a person in the south west who has had the album for a while now.

 

 

Unspoilt: Mount Fuji dominated the skyline of the rural countryside

Unspoilt: Mount Fuji looks much the same 100 years ago as it does today

Braving the rapids: Ladies travelling along a dangerous mountain river in a wooden boat

Braving the rapids: Ladies travelling along a dangerous mountain river in a wooden boat

Idol: Locals appear to be climbing over the Great Buddha of Kamakura

Tourism spot: Locals appear to be climbing over the Great Buddha of Kamakura, first built in 1252

Iconic: Great Buddha Kamakura is approximately 13.35 metres tall and weighs 93 tonnes

Iconic: Great Buddha Kamakura is approximately 13.35 metres tall, weighs 93 tonnes, and is today one of the most visited landmarks in Japan

'This would appeal to anybody who has an interest in Japanese culture but it is also a really nice album to dip in and out of for anybody interested in photography or art.

'The geisha is emblematic of what Japanese culture was at that time and the photographer was a specialist at capturing it.

'Japan had been closed off and there was a huge interest in the country at that time and it was almost like the country was being discovered all over again.'

The photo album will go to auction at Salisbury on November 15.

Authentic: Japanese theatre was promoted to try and attract tourists

Authentic: Japanese theatre was promoted to try and attract tourists

Back in time: A rural village street is completely untouched by machinery

Back in time: A rural village street is completely untouched by machinery

Division of the classes: A peasant woman entertains a child with a handmade toy

Division of the classes: A peasant woman entertains a child with a handmade toy, left, and Geishas look at their reflections in a landscaped garden pond, right

Geisha's look at their reflections in a landscaped garden pond

 

 

 

Working hard: Women picking tea leaves

Working hard: Women picking tea leaves in long dresses with garments protecting their faces from the sun

Lasting tradition: Japanese woman wear traditional outfits - similar to those worn 100 years ago - to pick tea leaves today

Lasting tradition: Japanese woman wear traditional outfits - similar to those worn 100 years ago - to pick tea leaves today

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A Japanese soldier stands guard over part of the captured Great Wall of China in 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Empire of Japan and the Republic of China had been at war intermittently since 1931, but the conflict escalated in 1937. (LOC) #

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Japanese aircraft carry out a bombing run over targets in China in 1937. (LOC) #

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Japanese soldiers involved in street fighting in Shanghai, China in 1937. The battle of Shanghai lasted from August through November of 1937, eventually involving nearly one million troops. In the end, Shanghai fell to the Japanese, after over 150,000 casualties combined. (LOC) #

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First pictures of the Japanese occupation of Peiping (Beijing) in China, on August 13, 1937. Under the banner of the rising sun, Japanese troops are shown passing from the Chinese City of Peiping into the Tartar City through Chen-men, the main gate leading onward to the palaces in the Forbidden City. Just a stone's throw away is the American Embassy, where American residents of Peiping flocked when Sino-Japanese hostilities were at their worst. (AP Photo) #

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Japanese soldiers execute captured Chinese soldiers with bayonets in a trench as other Japanese soldiers watch from rim. (LOC) #

Chinese General Chiang Kai-shek, right, head of the Nanking government at Canton, with General Lung Yun, chairman of the Yunan provincial government in Nanking, on June 27, 1936. (AP Photo)

An actor dressed as a Japanese military soldier jumps and kicks a man acting as a villager during a performance at the Eighth Route Army Culture Park, one of two theme parks, in Wuxiang county, north China's Shanxi province, on October 20, 2012. Visitors to the theme parks pay to participate in a dress up action play with performers, where they can choose to role play as soldiers from the Japanese army or the Eighth Route Army, with professional sound and lighting effects. A live-action show and the parks, located near the former headquarters of the Eighth Route Army, a military group controlled by the Communist Party of China during the Chinese Civil War and the Second Sino-Japanese War, cost the Wuxiang government around 500 million RMB ($80 million) to construct

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On Feb. 5, 1938, A Chinese woman surveys the remains of her family, all of whom met death during Japanese occupation of Nanking, allegedly victims of atrocities at the hands of Japanese soldiers. (AP Photo) #

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Buddhist priests of the Big Asakusa Temple prepare for the Second Sino-Japanese War as they wear gas masks during training against future aerial attacks in Tokyo, Japan, on May 30, 1936. (AP Photo) #

 

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A pall of smoke lingers over this scene of destruction in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 7, 1945, a day after the explosion of the atomic bomb. Nearly 80,000 people are believed to have been killed immediately, with possibly another 60,000 survivors dying of injuries and radiation exposure by 1950. (AP Photo) #

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The searing heat from the nuclear explosion above Hiroshima scorched the roadway of this bridge across the Ota River, about a half a mile from the focal point of the bomb burst. The areas shielded by the concrete pillars and railings were left undamaged, creating permanent "shadows" on the bridge deck. (NARA) #

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Hiroshima atomic bombing survivors receive emergency treatment by military medics, on August 6, 1945. (AP Photo) #

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The shadow of a handle on a gasometer left an imprint after the August 6, 1945 atomic bomb explosion, two kilometers away from the hypocenter in Hiroshima. (AFP/Getty Images) #

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A badly burned nuclear bomb victim lies in quarantine on the island of Ninoshima in Hiroshima, Japan, 9,000 meters from the hypocenter on August 7, 1945, one day after the bombing by the United States. (AP Photo/The Association of the Photographers of the Atomic Bomb Destruction of Hiroshima, Yotsugi Kawahara)

 

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A Japanese soldier walks through a completely leveled area of Hiroshima in September of 1945. (NARA) #

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Only days after the bombing of Hiroshima, the second operational nuclear weapon was readied by the U.S. Called "Fat Man", the unit is seen being placed on a trailer cradle in August of 1945. When the Japanese still refused to surrender after Hiroshima, U.S. President Truman issued a statement saying in part "If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth." (NARA) #

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"Fat Man" was dropped from the B-29 bomber Bockscar, detonating at 11:02 AM, at an altitude of about 1,650 feet (500 m) above Nagasaki. An estimated 39,000 people were killed outright by the bombing a further 25,000 were injured. (USAF) #

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This picture made shortly after the August 9, 1945 atomic bombing, shows workers carrying away debris in a devastated area of Nagasaki, Japan. This picture obtained by the U.S. Army from files of Domei, the official Japanese news agency, was the first ground view of the nuclear destruction in Nagasaki. (AP Photo) #

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The only recognizable structure remaining is a ruined Roman Catholic Cathedral in background on a destroyed hill, in Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. (NARA) #

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Dr. Nagai, medical instructor and x-ray specialist at Nagasaki Hospital, a victim of atomic radiation caused by the nuclear bombing. A few days after this photo was made, Dr. Nagai passed away. (USAF) #

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People walk through the charred ruins of Nagasaki, shortly after an atomic bomb destroyed much of the city. The explosion generated heat estimated at 3,900 degrees Celsius (4,200 K, 7,000 °F). (USAF) #

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On August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria, sending more than a million soldiers to attack Japan's Kwantung Army. The Soviets quickly defeated the poorly-prepared Japanese, putting further pressure on them to surrender to the Allies. Here, a column of tanks appears on the streets of the Chinese city of Dalian. (Waralbum.ru) #

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Soviet soldiers on the bank of the Songhua River in Harbin. The Japanese-occupied city was liberated by Soviet troops on August 20, 1945. Some 700,000 Soviet troops occupied Manchuria by the time Japan surrendered, (Yevgeny Khaldei/waralbum.ru) #

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Japanese soldiers surrendering their rifles as a Soviet soldier records information in a book in 1945 (Yevgeny Khaldei/LOC) #

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A Japanese prisoner of war at Guam, Mariana Islands, covers his face as he hears Japanese Emperor Hirohito making the announcement of Japan's unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945. World War II had come to an end. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy) #

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Sailors in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii listen to radio and cheer as Tokyo radio states Japan has accepted the Potsdam surrender terms on August 15, 1945. (AP Photo) #

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A huge crowd in New York's Times Square jubilantly welcome the news that the Japanese had accepted the Allies terms of surrender on August 14, 1945. (AP Photo/Dan Grossi) #

 

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The scene aboard the battleship Missouri as the Japanese surrender documents were signed in Tokyo Bay, on September 2, 1945. Here, General Yoshijiro Umezu signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Armed Forces of Japan, Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (behind him, in top hat) had earlier signed on behalf of the government. Both men were later tried and convicted of war crimes. Umezu died while in prison, Shigemitsu was paroled in 1950, and served in the Japanese government until his death in 1957. (AP Photo) #

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Dozens of F4U Corsair and F6F Hellcat fighter planes fly in formation over the USS Missouri, while the surrender ceremonies to end World War II take place aboard the U.S. Navy battleship, on September 2, 1945. (AP Photo) #

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American servicemen and women gather in front of "Rainbow Corner" Red Cross club in Paris, France to celebrate the unconditional surrender of the Japanese. (NARA) #

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An allied correspondent stands in the radioactive rubble in front of the shell of a building that once was an exhibition hall in Hiroshima, Japan, one month after the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare was dropped on the city by the U.S. The explosion took place almost directly above the dome. (AP Photo/Stanley Troutman)

 

The real war was tragic and ironic beyond the power of any literary or philosophic analysis to suggest, but THE YOUNG GENERATION especially, the meaning of the war seemed inaccessible. Thus, as experience, the suffering was wasted. The same tricks of publicity and advertising might have succeeded in sweetening the actualities of Vietnam if television and a vigorous, uncensored, moral journalism hadn't been brought to bear. Because the Second World War was fought against palpable evil, and thus was a sort of moral triumph, we have been reluctant to probe very deeply into its murderous requirements. The young in Japan has not yet understood what the war was like and thus has been unable to use such understanding to reinterpret and redefine the national reality and to arrive at something like public maturity. Thus the denial of the Japanese government to inform them in their past atrocities will haunt this generation if war breaks out, and remembering, they are now in the other shoe.

Unit 731 was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (19371945) and World War II.
It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese personnel. Officially known by the Imperial Japanese Army as the Kempeitai Political Department and Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory, it was initially set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan to develop weapons of mass destruction for potential use against Chinese, and possibly Soviet forces.

Chinese military troops stand at attention for visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Bayi Building in Beijing, on September 18, 2012. Panetta was on the second official stop of a three-nation tour to Japan, China and New Zealand.

A Japanese soldier stands guard over part of the captured Great Wall of China in 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Empire of Japan and the Republic of China had been at war intermittently since 1931, but the conflict escalated in 1937. (LOC) #

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Japanese aircraft carry out a bombing run over targets in China in 1937. (LOC) #

Japanese soldiers involved in street fighting in Shanghai, China in 1937. The battle of Shanghai lasted from August through November of 1937, eventually involving nearly one million troops. In the end, Shanghai fell to the Japanese, after over 150,000 casualties combined. (LOC) #

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Peiping (Beijing) in China, on August 13, 1937. Under the banner of the rising sun, Japanese troops are shown passing from the Chinese City of Peiping into the Tartar City through Chen-men, the main gate leading onward to the palaces in the Forbidden City. Just a stone's throw away is the American Embassy, where American residents of Peiping flocked when Sino-Japanese hostilities were at their worst. (AP Photo) #

First pictures of the Japanese occupation of

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Japanese soldiers execute captured Chinese soldiers with bayonets in a trench as other Japanese soldiers watch from rim. (LOC) #

 

The competition was reported in a Tokyo newspaper, and it was clear that two soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army were partaking with extraordinary enthusiasm. ‘Incredible record in the contest to behead 100 people!’ screamed the headline with gruesome relish. ‘Mukai 106 - 105 Noda - Both 2nd Lieutenants go into extra innings.’ According to the report, two junior officers had a wager to see who could decapitate 100 Chinese soldiers first.

City Of Life And Death

Brutal history: A scene from the new film City Of Life And Death.  But they hit their target so quickly that they decided to set a new goal of 150. The date was December 13, 1937, and the Japanese Imperial Army was in the process of ruthlessly conquering Nanking, which was then the capital of China.

Ten years later, the story came to the attention of the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal. Second Lieutenants Mukai and Noda were extradited from Japan and executed.  Hitler and Stalin may have killed millions more by gassing or starving, but the sheer velocity of the Nanking massacre is what takes the breath away.  In just six weeks, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers and civilians were slaughtered by the Imperial Army in and around Nanking.  Quite how many hundreds of thousands has never been agreed.  China claims 300,000. The official tribunal put the death toll at 200,000.  The more conservative elements of Japanese society have always argued that the figures were wildly exaggerated. Where some revised it down to 100,000, or even less, others went so far as to question whether the killings took place at all.  You might imagine that nearly three-quarters of a century on, none of this matters any more. But the massacre is a historical event that refuses to be consigned to the past.  To many Chinese and Japanese alike, it still matters intensely. While the argument about massaging the figures and the extent of Japanese guilt continues to simmer, the smoking bonfire of the conflict cannot be extinguished. And while that remains the case, relations between two of the world’s biggest and most important economies will never be normalised. This month not one but two new films about Nanking are out in British cinemas.  Watching them is a brutalising experience. The first, called City Of War: The Story Of John Rabe, tells the story of a German resident and Nazi party leader in Nanking who set up a safety zone in the city. Like Oskar Schindler, whose story was told in Schindler’s List, Rabe helped to save the lives of thousands of civilians.

Nanking

Barbarity: 20,000 Chinese women were raped by Japanese soldiers in Nanking during the 1930sCity Of War includes a reenactment of the beheading contest. But for the sheer scope of violence, it finishes in second place to the other film, City Of Life And Death. Though Rabe is featured in this film, too, the main characters are Chinese and Japanese. City Of Life And Death is one of the most unsparing films about the horrors of war ever made. There are mass shootings and executions, crowds indiscriminately mown down and men shot at the stake by firing squad. Victims dig their own mass graves.  A barn full of hundreds of screaming prisoners is locked and incinerated. The carnage is indescribable. In the charnel house that is Nanking, Japanese soldiers drunk on death kill like addicts getting a fix. Nor does the film flinch in visiting the other horrific aspect of Japanese crimes: the rape of 20,000 women, most of whom were then killed.  In one scene a woman lies numbed, as if in a self-protecting coma, while a group of eager soldiers queue up. A few frames later, her naked body is tossed on to a cart already loaded with female corpses. The viewer is at least spared the uniquely ghastly method of ritualised mutilation, which was to stab the rape victim afterwards with bayonets or bamboo. Nor is there any overt reference to another aspect of the Imperial Army’s sadism: the random slaughter of children. Babies were speared on bayonets. Pregnant women were raped. One was raped at full-term, then stabbed in her womb.

While China continues to refer to this bloodstained moment in Chinese history as the Nanking Massacre or the Rape of Nanking, in Japan they call it the Nanking Incident, as if it’s some slightly embarrassing faux pas committed by a drunken uncle a few years back. So what was the background to such atrocities? It was in 1931 that Japan invaded Manchuria. The trigger was a bomb attack on a stretch of railway on the Chinese coast leased by Japan. The bomb did little damage, feeding speculation that it was planted by the Japanese themselves.

IMG_7172.jpg

Civilians were 'shot down like the hunting of rabbits in the streets' by soldiers . However, the Imperial Army promptly occupied several cities along hundreds of miles of coastline.  Resistance from the Chinese began only once the communists and nationalists buried their differences and agreed to unite.  That was in 1937. As a result, the Japanese army took huge casualties and several bloody months to subdue Shanghai. Nanking was next.  The Chinese leadership anticipated a heavy defeat and withdrew the majority of their troops. A rump of 100,000 mostly untrained soldiers remained, many of whom later fled, forcing civilians to hand over their clothes to them before they left. Civilians were prevented from fleeing by the blockage of the roads and port.  The conditions could not have been more perfectly created for what happened next. And it’s not difficult to see why, for many, this is a wound that stubbornly refuses to heal. According to Japanese historians and politicians, the deaths, such as they were, were a legitimate consequence of war. Yes, punishment was threatened for soldiers who ‘dishonour the Japanese army’. But according to a journalist travelling with the army, the rapid advance on Nanking was fuelled by ‘the tacit consent among the officers and men that they could loot and rape as they wish’.  A small number of remaining Westerners, mostly Americans, were able to keep a record of events as they unfolded. Among them was a rookie reporter for the New York Times.  At the waterfront he saw ‘a group of smoking, chattering Japanese officers overseeing the massacring of a battalion of Chinese captured troops. They were marching about in groups of about 15, machine-gunning them’.In just ten minutes he saw 200 prisoners meet their deaths. The Japanese were evidently enjoying themselves. The Japanese government had agreed to attack only those parts of the city containing Chinese troops. Civilians fled to the Nanking safety zone, but it turned out to be no guarantee of salvation. John Magee, an American missionary who had lived in Nanking for more than 20 years, witnessed civilians ‘shot down like the hunting of rabbits in the streets’.

He captured on film examples of Japanese crimes, including the murder in one house of 12 residents, from grandparents to babies.

Nanking

'We stabbed and killed them, all three - like potatoes in a skewer,' a Japanese soldier recalled The females, including teenagers, were raped and horrifically mutilated.  ‘The slaughter of civilians is appalling,’ wrote Robert Wilson, a surgeon in the University Hospital, in a letter home on December 15.  ‘I could go on for pages telling of cases of rape and brutality almost beyond belief.  ‘Two bayoneted corpses are the only survivors of seven street cleaners who were sitting in their headquarters when Japanese soldiers came in without warning or reason and killed five of their number and wounded the two that found their way to the hospital.’  ‘Rape! Rape! Rape!’ wrote the Reverend James McCallum.  ‘We estimate at least 1,000 cases a night, and many by day. In case of resistance or anything that seems like disapproval, there is a bayonet stab or a bullet.’  John Rabe reported the same figure: a tariff of 1,000 rape victims in one night, including one woman behind his garden wall.  She was raped, then stabbed in the neck.  ‘You hear nothing but rape,’ he wrote.  ‘If husbands or brothers intervene, they’re shot. What you hear and see on all sides is the brutality and bestiality of the Japanese soldiers.’  A Chinese witness recalled a pregnant woman being raped, then stabbed.  ‘She gave a final scream as her stomach was slashed open. Then the soldier stabbed the unborn child and tossed it aside.’  It’s not as if the only witness accounts were from neutrals or victims. A Japanese soldier called Azuma Shiro later recalled capturing nearly 40 old people and children, including one woman with a child in each arm.

‘We stabbed and killed them, all three - like potatoes in a skewer. I thought then that it’s been only one month since I left home ... and 30 days later I was killing people without remorse.’ An English language teacher called Minnie Vautrin kept a diary.  ‘There probably is no crime that has not been committed in this city today,’ she wrote on December 16.  ‘Thirty girls were taken from the language school last night, and today I have heard scores of heartbreaking stories of girls who were taken from their homes last night - one of the girls was but 12 years old.’  Her diary refers to scenes ‘that a lifetime will not erase from my memory’.

Nanking

Japanese soldiers raped up to 1,000 women a day - anyone who resisted was stabbed or shot.  After a breakdown, she returned home in 1940 and a year later committed suicide.  Prophetically, she wrote: ‘How many thousands were mowed down by guns or bayoneted we shall probably never know.’  And that is the nub of the argument between China and Japan that continues to this day.  If anything, in the past decade it has intensified. Where Germany has long since admitted its guilt for wartime genocide and made Holocaust denial a crime, Japan has passed no equivalent legislation.  Ten years ago, a Nanking survivor - who was eight when she saw seven family members murdered and heard her mother and sister being raped and then killed - sued two Japanese authors and their publisher for allegedly distorting the truth about the event.  Hiding under a quilt, she had been stabbed three times. She bore witness at the war crimes tribunal in 1945.  And yet one of the writers, a professor, said in an interview that there was ‘no record’ proving the massacre had taken place.  For Japanese schoolchildren there was, indeed, very little record.  In Japan, history lessons have tended to ignore the atrocities committed by the Imperial Army. Textbooks tell their own version of the truth while Takami Eto, a senior Japanese politician, described the Nanking massacre as ‘a big lie’.  For much of the past decade, China refused to hold bilateral talks with Japan because its then prime minister kept visiting the shrine memorial to Japan’s war dead in Tokyo.  Among the dead are several convicted war criminals held responsible for the Nanking massacre.  Now we have the latest instalment in this toxic saga with the release of City Of Life And Death.  It is an immensely powerful film, brilliantly directed by Lu Chuan, a young star of the Chinese cinema. When the film opened last April in China, it caused a storm of protest. On his official blog, Lu received a number of death threats. The interesting thing about these violent responses is that they did not come from Japan. They came from China. Lu’s crime, in the eyes of some, has been to humanise the enemy. One Japanese soldier is seen wandering through the scenes of horror looking profoundly shaken by the senseless acts of savagery perpetrated by his compatriots.  The idea that a Japanese soldier might have feelings turns out to be deeply shocking to some Chinese. Some detractors called for City Of Life And Death to be deleted from the history of Chinese cinema. It was not included in the official list of films celebrating the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. It was also withdrawn at the last minute from the Chinese equivalent of the Baftas. Despite the furore, City Of Life And Death made $20million (£13.1million) in its first two weeks.  The film has been seen elsewhere in the world. Two weeks ago, it won best movie at the Asian Film Awards.  But however much it humanises the enemy, there is one country in Asia where there is no immediate prospect of a release.

File:Iwane Matsui rides into Nanjing.jpg

 

 

 








n August 1937, the Japanese army invaded Shanghai where they met strong resistance and suffered heavy casualties. The battle was bloody as both sides faced attrition in urban hand-to-hand combat. By mid-November the Japanese had captured Shanghai with the help of naval bombardment. The General Staff Headquarters in Tokyo initially decided not to expand the war due to heavy casualties and low morale of the troops. However, on December 1, headquarters ordered the Central China Area Army and the 10th Army to capture Nanking, then-capital of the Republic of China.

Relocation of the capital

After losing the Battle of Shanghai, Chiang Kai-shek knew that the fall of Nanking would simply be a matter of time. He and his staff realized that they could not risk the annihilation of their elite troops in a symbolic but hopeless defense of the capital. In order to preserve the army for future battles, most of them were withdrawn. Chiang's strategy was to follow the suggestion of his German advisers to draw the Japanese army deep into China utilizing China's vast territory as a defensive strength. Chiang planned to fight a protracted war of attrition by wearing down the Japanese in the hinterland of China.[13]

Leaving General Tang Shengzhi in charge of the city for the Battle of Nanking, Chiang and many of his advisors flew to Wuhan, where they stayed until it was attacked in 1938.

Strategy for the defense of Nanking

In a press release to foreign reporters, Tang Shengzhi announced the city would not surrender and would fight to the death. Tang gathered about 100,000 soldiers, largely untrained, including Chinese troops who had participated in the Battle of Shanghai. To prevent civilians from fleeing the city, he ordered troops to guard the port, as instructed by Chiang Kai-shek. The defense force blocked roads, destroyed boats, and burnt nearby villages, preventing widespread evacuation.

The Chinese government left for relocation on December 1, and the president left on December 7, leaving the fate of Nanking to an International Committee led by John Rabe.

The defense plan fell apart quickly. Those defending the city encountered Chinese troops fleeing from previous defeats such as the Battle of Shanghai, running from the advancing Japanese army. This did nothing to help the morale of the defenders, many of whom were killed during the defense of the city and subsequent Japanese occupation.

Approach of the Imperial Japanese Army

Japanese war crimes on the march to Nanking

An article on the "Contest to kill 100 people using a sword" published in theTokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun. The headline reads, "'Incredible Record' (in the Contest to Cut Down 100 People) —Mukai 106 – 105 Noda—Both 2nd Lieutenants Go Into Extra Innings".[14]

File:Republic of China Armed Forces Museum Nanking.jpg

Sword used in the "contest" on display at the Republic of China Armed Forces Museum in Taipei, Taiwan

Although the Nanking Massacre is generally described as having occurred over a six-week period after the fall of Nanking, the crimes committed by the Japanese army were not limited to that period. Many atrocities were reported to have been committed as the Japanese army advanced from Shanghai to Nanking.

According to one Japanese journalist embedded with Imperial forces at the time, "The reason that the [10th Army] is advancing to Nanking quite rapidly is due to the tacit consent among the officers and men that they could loot and rape as they wish."Prince Asaka appointed as commander

File:Asakanomiya yasuhiko.jpg  

Prince Yasuhiko Asaka in 1940

File:Chinese head, Nanking massacre.JPG

Head of a Chinese man beheaded by Japanese is wedged in a barricade near Nanking just before the fall of the city.[28]

In a memorandum for the palace rolls, Hirohito had singled Prince Asaka Yasuhiko out for censure as the one imperial kinsman whose attitude was "not good." He assigned Asaka to Nanking as an opportunity to make amends.[29]

On December 5, Asaka left Tokyo by plane and arrived at the front three days later. Asaka met with division commanders, lieutenant-generals Kesago Nakajima and Heisuke Yanagawa, who informed him that the Japanese troops had almost completely surrounded 300,000 Chinese troops in the vicinity of Nanking and that preliminary negotiations suggested that the Chinese were ready to surrender.[30]

Prince Asaka allegedly issued an order to "kill all captives," thus providing official sanction for the crimes which took place during and after the battle.[31] Some authors record that Prince Asaka signed the order for Japanese soldiers in Nanking to "kill all captives"[32] Others claim that lieutenant colonel Isamu Chō, Asaka's aide-de-camp, sent this order under the Prince's sign manual without the Prince's knowledge or assent.[33] However, even if Chō took the initiative on his own, Prince Asaka, who was nominally the officer in charge, gave no orders to stop the carnage. When General Matsui arrived in the city four days after the massacre had begun, he issued strict orders that resulted in the eventual end of the massacre.

While the extent of Prince Asaka's responsibility for the massacre remains a matter of debate, the ultimate sanction for the massacre and the crimes committed during the invasion of China were issued in Emperor Hirohito's ratification of the Japanese army's proposition to remove the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners on August 5, 1937

Battle of Nanking

Siege of the city

The Japanese military continued to move forward, breaching the last lines of Chinese resistance, and arriving outside the walled city of Nanking on December 9.

Demand for surrender

At noon on December 9, the military dropped leaflets into the city, urging the surrender of Nanking within 24 hours, promising annihilation if refused.Meanwhile, members of the Committee contacted Tang and suggested a plan for three-day cease-fire, during which the Chinese troops could withdraw without fighting while the Japanese troops would stay in their present position. General Tang agreed with this proposal if the International Committee could acquire permission of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who had already fled to Hankow to which he had temporarily shifted the military headquarters two days earlier.

John Rabe boarded the U.S. gunboat Panay on December 9 and sent two telegrams, one to Chiang Kai-shek by way of the American ambassador in Hankow, and one to the Japanese military authority in Shanghai. The next day he was informed that Chiang Kai-shek, who had ordered that Nanking be defended "to the last man," had refused to accept the proposal.[citation needed]

Assault and capture of Nanking Pursuit and mopping-up operations

Soldiers from the Imperial Japanese Army enter Nanking in January 1938

Japanese troops pursued the retreating Chinese army units, primarily in the Xiakuan area to the north of the city walls and around the Zijin Mountain in the east. Although most sources suggest that the final phase of the battle consisted of a one-sided slaughter of Chinese troops by the Japanese, some Japanese historians maintain that the remaining Chinese military still posed a serious threat to the Japanese. Prince Yasuhiko Asaka told a war correspondent later that he was in a very perilous position when his headquarters was ambushed by Chinese forces that were in the midst of fleeing from Nanking east of the city. On the other side of the city, the 11th Company of the 45th Regiment encountered some 20,000 Chinese soldiers who were making their way from Xiakuan.[13]

The Japanese army conducted its mopping-up operation both inside and outside the Nanking Safety Zone. Since the area outside the safety zone had been almost completely evacuated, the mopping-up effort was concentrated in the safety zone. The safety zone, an area of 3.85 square kilometres, was literally packed with the remaining population of Nanking. The Japanese army leadership assigned sections of the safety zone to some units to separate alleged plain-clothed soldiers from the civilians

 

7

Chinese General Chiang Kai-shek, right, head of the Nanking government at Canton, with General Lung Yun, chairman of the Yunan provincial government in Nanking, on June 27, 1936. (AP Photo) #

8

On Feb. 5, 1938, A Chinese woman surveys the remains of her family, all of whom met death during Japanese occupation of Nanking, allegedly victims of atrocities at the hands of Japanese soldiers. (AP Photo) #

 

 

 

 

File:Senkaku-uotsuri.jpg

 

Why Japan Can't Compete With China

 

Tokyo officials are relying on retirees and aging ships to fill a temporary shortfall in coast guard manpower -- a move that reveals the broader limits of Japan's capabilities.

RTR38DN3-615.jpgReuters

As China keeps extending its interests abroad, some predict that neighboring countries will form a coalition to counter it. Any of three states could take the lead on building such an alliance: India, South Korea, or Japan. Each has a different mix of technological, economic, and diplomatic power that -- when combined with the resources of other states -- might keep Beijing hemmed in, or so the theory goes.

But if there's one leading state that could be eliminated from this possibilities matrix soon, it's Japan. That's because it lacks another kind of capital -- human capital.

Japan has a population of 128 million, not even a tenth the size of China. This wouldn't be a huge problem, except that the Japanese are also a lot older: the median age there is 44.6 to China's 35.2. Even the median South Korean is much closer in age to the median Chinese than to her Japanese counterpart.

Technology can help shore up people deficits -- automation and complex electronics beget efficiency. But only to a point. Beyond that, the need for more manpower begins to eat away at Japan's technological and industrial advantages.

And it isn't as though Japan's got the shiniest infrastructure, either. Take the country's coast guard, which offers a good example of the country's limits. For the past year, Japan has been embroiled in a major territorial dispute with China over a set of islands in the East China Sea. It's the coast guard that's shouldered much of the responsibility for standing up to China in these waters. The forces arranged on either side are tenuously balanced -- for now. But looking ahead, Tokyo officials worrythey won't have enough ships to defend what they know as the Senkaku islands (or what the Chinese call the Diaoyu islands):

While [Japan's] coast guard has 51 patrol ships that are 1,000 tons or more, China already has 40 such vessels, and is making progress on converting old warships for use in patrols, in addition to building new ones. The concern for Japan is that China may quickly overtake its coast guard in the numbers of large-scale ships patrolling the East China Sea.

The natural response is to build more boats. But that'll take time -- not to mention more men. All told, it'll be about five years before the 150 new seamen and four new patrol ships Japan's ordered will be ready for service.

Japan doesn't have a half-decade to wait around. So commanders have whipped up an emergency solution: They'll bring 10 ships out of mothballs -- all of which are a quarter-century old or more -- that would otherwise be turned into scrap metal. Even better, they're going to be crewed by old people.

Okay, that's unfair. We probably aren't talking about senior citizens manning the deck guns like Peter Berg made them do in Battleship; many of these "retirees" likely ended their service at a relatively young age. Even so, the case reveals some of Japan's long-term challenges. Put simply, we're talking about a fully developed country that's approaching the limits of its human resources. This is a problem for Japan that is neither new nor going away: over the next 50 years, its population is expected to contract by another 30 percent.

Japan's existing capabilities make it a strong candidate to lead a counter-China coalition right now. But with each passing year, the country falls further behind.

China is most countries "largest trading partner" because it is currently the world's factory. Most of this trade is from goods made in China. Keep in mind, as Chinese wage increases, SE Asian nations like Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines are increasingly becoming area where factories are escaping to find cheaper sources of labour.

China's loss are these Asian nation's gain. Filipino president, Aquino, was recently courting Japanese companies that have been escaping from Chinese manufacturing due to anti-Japanese sentiment.

As far as "containment" of China. With America's "pivot" towards Asia, you would see that other Asian nations are increasingly binding together (and to America) to counter-balance Chinese-influence in Asia. They are binding together to fight Chinese territorial claims, which is the basis for the multilateral approach that the ASEAN nations are building.

We've also seen countries like Vietnam and the Philippines asking the Japanese to take a larger military role in Asia (countries that have suffered from Japanese WWII aggression) . The Japanese are preparing to sell subs and boats to them (as well as Australia). Basically, equipment to fight China.

Regardless of how China sees Japan from 70 years ago, Japan is a country that have been in 0 wars, invaded 0 countries, and been in 0 military conflicts since then.

The same cannot be said of China, which has invaded Tibet, has gone to war with Taiwan, which has been at war with India, fought the Russians, in military conflicts with Vietnam and Philippines in the last decade. Supported dictatorships in N. Korea, Myanmar, and Iran. And now calls large swaths of Asia their own based on vassal state statuses from the Ming Dynasty.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) hold on the populace (especially the middle class portion) is not predicated on brutal totalitarianism for the most part. Instead, it's a velvet-glove authoritarianism that allows most Chinese people practically all the economic freedoms afforded to most in the West in exchange for making politics and government a verboten topic of inquiry. For most apolitical Chinese, this quid pro quo worked (and still works) because the stable political environment built and nurtured by the CCP allowed for the double-digit economic growth that has a) been sustained for almost 30 years, b) has lifted hundreds of millions from absolute poverty, and c) has given China the economic heft to become a great, respected, and feared nation. To most Chinese, that litany of positive outcomes is good enough to sustain the legitimacy of the CCP as the rightful institution to rule over China. And despite this quid pro quo, some Chinese people, especially netizens, are far from servile. They write up exposes, conduct independent investigations, and pressure the government through mass public opinion drives to follow its own (rather progressive) laws that are on the books or to establish new laws when a scandal threatens public safety. The Chinese, in other words, are not pushovers. And the CCP, which placates them far more than represses them, knows this all too well.

Other than the heavy hand of bureaucracy, and the endless duplication of petty bureaucratic hierarchies this tends to foster, the place runs rather smooth. One of the things for which China rightly deserves opprobrium and condemnation is in its treatment of minorities. The Chinese as a whole (or at least the Han ethnicity majority, who control everything in China) are terribly racist. The last things on their mind are how minorities, such as the Tibetans and the Uyghurs, are being denied their human rights. Since the Han represent close to 95% of the total population of China, they really don't much care or mind if others who are non-Han are being economically and/or politically excluded or repressed. They think of themselves as naturally superior and all other minorities as naturally inferior. Their notion of ethnic relations is still literally stuck in the 19th century eugenic/Social Darwinism that gripped European and North American societies. The Chinese Communist Party simply reflects this reality, and responds accordingly.

Suffice to say, Japan is not any different. The Japanese polity is sickly, with all the corruption and stasis that has prevented it from radically reforming institutions that still hobble its society and economy. The Japanese are also equally as racist as the Chinese, still treating immigrants and outsiders with contempt. For example, Japanese of Korean descent, some now in the 5th or 6th generation in Japan, are still denied citizenship. So please spare me the pro-Japan angle. The Japanese are just as bad in some respects as the Chinese.File:Kitakojima and Minamikojima of Senkaku Islands.jpg

The territorial dispute between China and Japan over the East China Sea Islands escalated today as two Chinese patrol ships arrived near the islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The Beijing-sent vessels are a display of China’s outrage over Tokyo's £16.4m purchase of the largely barren islands from their private owners last week. The quarrel over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan, has been heating up in recent months after the governor of Tokyo proposed buying the islands and developing them.

Senkaku or Diaoyu: The islands in the East China Sea have long been the centre of a China-Japan dispute but has escalated after Japan's purchase

Senkaku or Diaoyu: The islands in the East China Sea have long been the centre of a dispute between China and Japan which has escalated after the latter's purchase this week

Swift response: IN reaction to the news of the Japanese central government's £16.4m purchase of the largely barren islands from their private owner, Beijing sent two patrol boats to the area

Swift response: In reaction to the news of the Japanese central government's £16.4m purchase of the largely barren islands from their private owner, Beijing sent two patrol boats to the area. But Japan's central government announced its own deal this week with the Japanese family it recognizes as the owner.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters the government budgeted 2.05 billion yen (£16.4 million) for the purchase ‘to maintain the Senkakus peacefully and stably.’The central government does not plan to develop the islands, going against Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara’s plans.

‘Ishihara put the national government in a very difficult spot. He pushed them into doing this now,’ said Sheila Smith, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

senkaku_islands_locator.jpg

But she said this was a ‘good outcome’ as Japan cannot afford to let the dispute hinder its vital ties with China, its top trading partner.

Ms Smith said Tokyo needs to be able to work through problems with Beijing in order to maintain that trade serves both nations

But Beijing sees the purchase as an affront to its claims and its past calls for negotiations and, despite Tokyo’s attempts to calm the dispute, responded with fury.

Tokyo Mayor Shintaro Ishihara talks to the media after reports China had purchased the islands

Property of Japan: Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has previously said that he wants to see the islands developed

‘The determination and the will of the Chinese government and military to safeguard their territorial integrity are firm,’ Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said in a statement.

‘We are closely monitoring the development of the situation and reserve the right to take necessary measures.’

Carlyle Thayer, an expert on regional security at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said the sending of the Chinese patrol boats ‘ups the stakes’ although it is unlikely that the Chinese boats would go within the 12 nautical miles around the islands that are considered Japanese territorial waters.

‘It's a tit-for-tat response because China is extremely sensitive about sovereignty matters,’ he said.

Japan's coast guard said it has not taken any special measures in response to the Chinese patrol boats although it continues to monitor the situation.

'Japan has a pretty robust navy, a very strong and active professional coast guard. It's all posturing. It's a game of who blinks first,’ Thayer said.

Beijing's anger has been accompanied by heated reporting in China's state media with a commentator in the People's Liberation Army Daily called Japan's move ‘the most blatant challenge to China's sovereignty since the end of World War II.’

China on Tuesday also started broadcasting a daily marine weather report for the islands.

About a dozen protesters gathered outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing chanting, ’Japan, get out of China.’

The protests have spread, with a number of people waving placards and the Chinese flag and shouted ‘Defend the Diaoyu Islands’ outside the Japanese Consulate General in southern Guangzhou and about 200 people marched in Weihai in Shandong province, singing the national anthem, local media reported.

Rising tensions: Protesters in Hangzhou, China, hold placards and banners at a demonstration against Japan's claim of the disputed islands

Rising tensions: Protesters in Hangzhou, China, hold placards and banners at a demonstration against Japan's claim of the disputed islands last month

Top Japanese government officials maintain that the flare-up hasn't affected official ties with China, although Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada acknowledged that emotions on both sides were being fanned by activists.

China also has announced coordinates marking out the waters off the Diaoyu Islands that it considers its territory.

The coordinates are another step, along with recent announcements of China's intention to use law enforcement vessels, to defend its sovereignty claim, said Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, northeast Asia project director for the International Crisis Group.

‘It's primarily about being seen as taking action to pave the way for further actions to assert China's sovereignty,’ she said.

Claims

In Tokyo, Gov. Ishihara renewed his calls for the islands to be developed for future use by fishermen.

‘It appears that the matter is decided,‘ he told reporters. ‘They say they won't do anything, but China's leaders are still criticizing the plan."

Ishihara said he was freezing the 1.4 billion yen (£11.2 million) donated toward his purchase plan for the islands and would only release the funds to the government once it was clear whether a port or other facilities would be built.

He also suggested that Japan cooperate with the Philippines and Vietnam, which also have disputes with China in the South China Sea.

‘We shouldn't see this as an issue that only concerns Japan,’ he said.

Japan has claimed the islands since 1895. The U.S. took jurisdiction after World War II and turned them over to Japan in 1972.

Land grab: The protests in China came after Japanese activists swam to the islands and raised their national flag on the disputed territory

Land grab: The protests in China came after Japanese activists swam to the islands and raised their national flag on the disputed territory

Disputed: A Japanese activist waves the country's flag after landing on a group of islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese

Disputed: A Japanese activist waves the country's flag after landing on a group of islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

 

 

Japan accuses China of encroaching in its waters after three ships closed-in on disputed islands

Tensions between Japan and China deepened this week as a territorial row over a group of disputed island intensified. Japan lodged an official protest after three Chinese ships entered, what it considers to be, their territorial waters in the East China Sea. The move has prompted renewed efforts to cool tensions between the rivals in a long-running feud over ownership of the islands.

Latest flare-up: Japan Coast Guard vessels with a Chinese surveillance ship near the disputed islands

Latest flare-up: Japan Coast Guard vessels with a Chinese surveillance ship near the disputed islands

Rocky relations: The Senkaku islands on the East China Sea which Japan, China and Taiwan all claim ownership of

Rocky relations: The Senkaku islands on the East China Sea which Japan, China and Taiwan all claim ownership of

A map showing the location of the disputed islands in relation to south east Asia

The ongoing row threatening relations between Asia's biggest economies could further be complicated by Taiwan - which also claims ownership of the rocky isles.

A group of Taiwanese fishermen said as many as 100 boats escorted by 10 Taiwan Coast Guard vessels would arrive in the area later on Monday.

China's Xinhua news agency said in the morning that two civilian surveillance ships were undertaking a 'rights defence' patrol near the islands, citing the State Oceanic Administration, which controls the ships. One fishery patrol vessel was also detected inside waters claimed by Japan.

By afternoon, all three Chinese vessels had moved further away, the Japanese Coast Guard said.

China and Japan, which generated two-way trade of $345 billion last year, are arguing over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, a long-standing dispute that has erupted in recent weeks.  Sino-Japanese relations deteriorated sharply after Japanese government decided to buy some of the islands - called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China - from a private Japanese owner.

The move, which infuriated Beijing, was intended by Japan's government to fend off what it feared would be seen as an even more provocative plan by the nationalist governor of Tokyo to buy and build facilities on the islands.

In response, China sent six surveillance ships to the area, which contains potentially large gas reserves.

There were scenes of violent disorder as anti-Japan protests erupted in China.

Japanese factories were forced to temporarily close in China and expatriate workers advised to stay indoors after angry demonstrations spilled on to the streets.

There were violent attacks on well-known Japanese businesses in China, such as car-makers Toyota and Honda, in the country's worst outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in decades.

Activists protest against China in Tokyo as the territorial row over the islands intensifies

Activists protest against China in Tokyo as the territorial row over the islands intensifies

A demonstration in China. The long-standing dispute erupted when the Japanese government bought some of the islands from a private Japanese owner

A demonstration in China. The long-standing dispute erupted when the Japanese government bought some of the islands from a private Japanese owner

Two Japan Coast Guard boats, centre and right in foreground, sail ahead of a fleet of Chinese surveillance ships near the islands

Two Japan Coast Guard boats, centre and right in foreground, sail ahead of a fleet of Chinese surveillance ships near the islands

China's Xinhua news agency said of this latest development in the ongoing row: 'In recent days, Japan has constantly provoked incidents concerning the Diaoyu islands issue, gravely violating China's territorial sovereignty.'

It added that the ship patrols were intended to exercise China's 'administrative jurisdiction' over the islands.

It said: 'Following the relevant laws of the People's Republic of China, (the ships) again carried out a regular rights defence patrol in our territorial waters around the Diaoyu islands.'

Sino-Japanese ties have long been plagued by China's memories of Japan's military aggression in the 1930s and 1940s and present rivalry over regional influence and resources.

Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai will visit China on Monday to discuss Sino-Japanese relations with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, the Foreign Ministry said.

The arrival of Taiwan vessels in the area could complicate the potentially fraught game of cat-and-mouse being played near the islands, where mainland China has launched an effort to assert sovereignty by sending government ships into the disputed waters.

Taiwan television showed the boats leaving Suao port in heavy rain, sporting banners and large Taiwan flags.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated sharply after Japan bought the islands, which are called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China

Relations between the two countries deteriorated sharply after Japan bought the islands, which are called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China

The islands have long been the target of demonstrators. This image, taken last month, shows a boat of activists pinned into submission by Japan's coast guard patrol

The islands have long been the target of demonstrators. This image, taken last month, shows a boat of activists pinned into submission by Japan's coast guard patrol

The Taiwan fishing group said their boats would sail around the islands to reassert their right to fish there and did not rule out trying to land on the rocky isles.

Taiwan Defence Minister Kao Hua-chu told parliament that the military was ready for any contingency, but did not elaborate.

Taiwan has traditionally had friendly ties with Japan, but the two countries have long squabbled over fishing rights in the area. Beijing deems Taiwan to be an illegitimate breakaway province, and the two sides both argue they have inherited China's historic sovereignty over the islands, which are near rich fishing grounds and potentially huge oil and gas reserves.

The latest flare-up in tensions over the islands comes at a time when both China and Japan confront domestic political pressures. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's government faces an election in months, adding pressure on him not to look weak on China.

China's Communist Party is preoccupied with a leadership turnover, with President Hu Jintao due to step down as party leader at a congress that could open as soon as next month.

Noda leaves for New York on Monday to take part in the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly, and attention will focus on whether he refers to the dispute.

Worries are simmering that the row could hurt the economic ties that closely bind China and Japan. China is Japan's largest trading partner. In 2011, their bilateral trade grew 14.3 percent in value to a record $345 billion.

Tokyo's Nikkei China 50 index, composed of stocks of Japanese companies with significant exposure to the world's second-largest economy, shed about 1.3 percent on concerns over the dispute.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said Japanese car manufacturers saw a 90 percent drop in showroom traffic and a 60 percent fall in sales in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, the largest market for Japanese brands, since the beginning of the anti-Japan protests

 

Pinnacle Islands, are a group of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan in the East China Sea. They are located roughly due east of Mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands.

After it was discovered in 1968 that oil reserves might be found under the sea near the islands, Japan's sovereignty over them has been disputed by the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China(ROC, commonly known as Taiwan) following the transfer of administration from the United States to Japan in 1971. The Chinese claim the discovery and control of the islands from the 14th century. Japan controlled the islands from 1895 until its surrender at the end of World War II. The United States administered them as part of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands from 1945 until 1972, when the islands reverted to Japanese control under the Okinawa Reversion Treaty between the United States and Japan.

The islands are an issue in foreign relations between Japan and the PRC and between Japan and the ROC. Despite the complexity of relations between the PRC and ROC, both governments agree that the islands are part of Taiwan as part of Toucheng Township in Yilan County of their respective divisions. Japan does not officially recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state,[3] and regards the islands as a part of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture and acknowledges neither the claims of the PRC nor ROC to the islands. The Japanese government has not allowed Ishigaki to develop the islands.

Records of these islands date back to as early as the 15th century. They were referred as Diaoyu in books such as Voyage with a Tail Wind (simplified Chinese: 顺风相送; traditional Chinese: 順風相送; pinyin: Shùnfēng Xiāngsòng) (1403)  and Record of the Imperial Envoy's Visit to Ryūkyū (simplified Chinese: 使琉球录; traditional Chinese: 使琉球錄; pinyin: Shĭ Liúqiú Lù) (1534). Adopted by the Chinese Imperial Map of the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese name for the island group (Diaoyu) and the Japanese name for the main island (Uotsuri) both mean "fishing".

The first published description of the islands in Europe was in a book imported by Isaac Titsingh in 1796. His small library of Japanese books included Sangoku Tsūran Zusetsu (三国通覧図説 An Illustrated Description of Three Countries?) by Hayashi Shihei. This text, which was published in Japan in 1785, described the Ryūkyū Kingdom. In 1832, the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland supported the posthumous abridged publication of Titsingh's French translation.

The first reference to the islands in a book published in English was Edward Belcher's 1848 account of the voyages of HMS Sammarang. Captain Belcher observed that "the names assigned in this region have been too hastily admitted." Belcher reported anchoring off Pinnacle Island in March 1845.

In 1870s and 1880s, the English name Pinnacle Islands was used by the British navy for the rocks adjacent to the largest island Uotsuri-jima/Diaoyu Dao (then called Hoa-pin-su, 和平屿, "Peace Island"); Kuba-jima/Huangwei Yu (then called Ti-a-usu); and Taishō-jima/Chiwei Yu. The name "Pinnacle Islands" is used by some as an English-language equivalent to "Senkaku" or "Diaoyu".

One islet of the group – Uotsuri

The collective use of the name "Senkaku" to denote the entire group began with the advent of the controversy in the 1970s.

Japanese and US control

Japanese workers at a bonito fishery processing plant on Uotsuri-jima sometime around 1910. The Japanese central government formally annexed the islands on 14 January 1895. Around 1900, Japanese entrepreneur Koga Tatsushirō (古賀 辰四郎?) constructed abonito processing plant on the islands with 200 workers. The business failed in 1940 and the islands have remained deserted ever since. In the 1970s, Koga Tatsushirō's son Zenji Koga and Zenji's wife Hanako sold four islets to the Kurihara family of Saitama Prefecture. Kunioki Kurihara owned Uotsuri, Kita-Kojima, and Minami-Kojima. Kunioki's sister owns Kuba.

The islands came under US government occupation in 1945 after the surrender of Japan ended World War II. In 1969, theUnited Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) identified potential oil and gas reserves in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands. In 1971, the Okinawa Reversion Treaty passed the U.S. Senate, returning the islands to Japanese control in 1972. Also in 1972, the Taiwanese and Chinese governments officially began to declare ownership of the islands.

Since the islands reverted to Japanese government control in 1972, the mayor of Ishigaki has been given civic authority over the territory. The Japanese central government, however, has prohibited Ishigaki from surveying or developing the islands.[17][23] In 1979 an official delegation from the Japanese government composed of 50 academics, government officials from the Foreign and Transport ministries, officials from the now-defunct Okinawa Development Agency, and Hiroyuki Kurihara, visited the islands and camped on Uotsuri for about four weeks. The delegation surveyed the local ecosystem, finding moles and sheep, studied the local marine life, and examined whether the islands would support human habitation.

From 2002 to 2012, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications paid the Kurihara family ¥25 million a year to rent Uotsuri, Minami-Kojima and Kita-Kojima. Japan'sMinistry of Defense rents Kuba island for an undisclosed amount. Kuba is used by the U.S. military as a practice aircraft bombing range. Japan's central government completely owns Taisho island.

On 17 December 2010, Ishigaki declared January 14 as "Pioneering Day" to commemorate Japan's 1895 annexation of the Senkaku Islands. China condemned Ishigaki's actions. In 2012, both the Tokyo Metropolitan and Japanese central governments announced plans to negotiate purchase of Uotsuri, Kita-Kojima, and Minami-Kojima from the Kurihara family.

On 11 September 2012, the Japanese government nationalized its control over Minamikojima, Kitakojima, and Uotsuri islands by purchasing them from the Kurihara family for ¥2.05 billion. China's Foreign Ministry objected saying Beijing would not "sit back and watch its territorial sovereignty violated.

A long-standing conflict over the sovereignty of a group of eight tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea has resulted in dozens of anti-Japanese protests across China, some violent. The dispute came to a head after the Japanese government nationalized control of three of the largest islands earlier this month, purchasing them from a private Japanese family for more than US$25 million. The island group is called Senkaku Islands by the Japanese, Diaoyu Islands by the Chinese, Tiaoyutai Islands by Taiwanese, or the Pinnacle Islands by English speakers. Beyond national pride, potentially large gas reserves and fishing rights have raised the stakes, and China is now moving to assert its claim to the islands, contain the demonstrations at home, and respond forcefully to what it sees as a major Japanese provocation.

An anti-Japan protester tears Japanese Rising Sun Flag during a rally outside the Japanese Consulate General in Hong Kong as they demanded that the Japanese government release Chinese activists arrested in Japan after landing on Uotsuri Island, one of the islands of Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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Uotsuri island, part of the disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku isles in Japan, Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea, in this June 19, 2011 photo. Uotsuri is the largest of the island group, with an area of 4.32 square kilometers.(Reuters/Kyodo) #

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Thousands of Chinese protesters take part in a demonstration in Chengdu, Sichuan province against Japan's claim of the Diaoyu islands, as they are known in Chinese, or Senkaku islands in Japanese, on August 19, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Chinese demonstrators stage an anti-Japanese protest over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, China, on September 15, 2012. There were protests in many major cities in China, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Harbin, Qingdao and Hong Kong. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) #

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Officers stand guard as people shout slogans and hold Chinese flags during an anti-Japanese protest over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing, on September 15, 2012. Hundreds of people protested in front of the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Saturday amid rising tensions over disputed East China Sea islands as police struggled to quell the angry demonstration.(MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Chinese demonstrators clash with policemen at barricades during an anti-Japanese protests outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, on Saturday, September 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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Demonstrators damage a window on a Japanese Seibu department store during a protest against Japan's decision to purchase the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province, on September 16, 2012. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu) #

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A demonstrator swings an iron bar to smash goods at a Japanese-funded shopping center during a protest in Qingdao, Shandong province, on September 15, 2012. (Reuters/Stringer) #

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Carts are piled up in a damaged area of a Japanese JUSCO department store after a group of Chinese protesters ransacked it, in Qingdao, northeast China's Shandong province, on September 15, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Anti-Japanese protesters are confronted by police as they demonstrate over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, on September 16, 2012 in Shenzhen, China. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images) #

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Police walk past a closed Japanese restaurant covered with Chinese national flags as anti-Japanese protests continued outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands issue, on September 17, 2012. The mouthpiece of China's Communist Party warned on on September 17 that Japan's economy could suffer for up to 20 years if Beijing chose to impose sanctions over the escalating territorial row. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's PC3 surveillance plane flies around the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, on October 13, 2011. (Reuters/Kyodo) #

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The city government of Tokyo's survey staff sail around the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, on September 2, 2012. The city government of Tokyo sent a ship to survey the group of disputed islands, as it considered purchasing them. (Reuters/Kyodo) #

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Activists burn Japanese flags during a demonstration over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, outside the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong, on September 16, 2012. (Antony Dickson/AFP/Getty Images) #

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An anti-Japanese protester throws a gas canister during a demonstration on September 16, 2012 in Shenzhen, China. Protests have taken place across China in the dispute that is becoming increasingly worrying for regional stability. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images) #

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A Chinese man holds a national flag during a protest outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, on August 15, 2012.(AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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Riot police block protesters from accessing the American consulate during a protest against Japan's decision to purchase the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, in Chengdu, on September 16, 2012. Torrid protests against Japan broke out in Chinese cities for a second day on Sunday, prompting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to urge Beijing to protect his country's companies and diplomatic buildings from fresh assaults. (Reuters/Jason Lee) #

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A view from the Tokyo city government's survey ship of one of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, on September 2, 2012. The Tokyo city government rented a nearly 2,500 ton survey vessel to take 25 experts around the islands to determine how they could be used if bought.(Reuters/Chris Meyers) #

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A boat, center, is surrounded by Japanese Coast Guard patrol boats after Chinese activists descended from the boat to land on Uotsuri Island, one of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, in the East China Sea Wednesday, August 15, 2012.(AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Masataka Morita) #

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Activists holding Chinese and Taiwanese flags are arrested by Japanese police officers after landing on Uotsuri Island, one of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, in the East China Sea, on August 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Masataka Morita) #

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Onlookers view a large protest banner at the Silk Street market, which is famous for selling counterfeit designer brand goods, as anti-Japanese protests continue in Beijing over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands issue, on September 17, 2012.(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Members of a Japanese nationalist group land on Uotsuri island, part of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, on August 19, 2012. Several Japanese nationalists landed on on the rocky island in the East China Sea at the heart of a territorial row with Beijing, sparking protests in several Chinese cities and a diplomatic rebuke from Beijing. (Reuters/Chris Meyers) #

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Unidentified members from a Japanese nationalist group and local assembly members are seen after landing on a Uotsuri island, part of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, on August 19, 2012. (Reuters/Kyodo) #

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People hold banners and shout slogans as they attend a rally to protest against Japan's claim on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang province, on August 19, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

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An activist waves a burning Japan-US combined flag during a demonstration over a group of disputed islands, as people make their way to the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong, on September 16, 2012. (Antony Dickson/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Officers stand guard as people hold Chinese flags and banners during an anti-Japanese protest outside the Japanese embassy, on September 15, 2012. Hundreds of people protested in front of the Japanese embassy in Beijing on September 15 amid rising tensions over disputed East China Sea islands as police struggled to quell the angry demonstration. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Chinese paramilitary policeman is hit by a traffic cone as he tries to hold back protesters from storming the Japanese embassy in Beijing, China, on Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

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An anti-Japanese protester bleeds from the nose as riot police look on, during a demonstration over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, on September 16, 2012 in Shenzhen, China. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images) #

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Chinese protesters kick barricades during an anti-Japan protest outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing, on Sept. 15, 2012.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

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Chinese demonstrators stage an anti-Japanese protest over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, outside the Japanese Embassy, on September 15, 2012 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) #

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A Chinese riot policeman shields himself from eggs and water bottles thrown by protesters during an anti-Japanese protest outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, on September 15, 2012. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A protester throws a police helmet to the ground as fellow demonstrators take pictures during an anti-Japan protest in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on September 16, 2012. (Reuters/Stringer) #

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Water splashes from a bottle thrown by a demonstrator at the main entrance gate of Japanese Embassy during a protest in Beijing, on September 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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A Chinese paramilitary policeman reacts as a giant Chinese national flag is pulled by protesters towards the Japanese embassy in Beijing, China, on September 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

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A Chinese demonstrator jumps and kicks a fence set up by paramilitary policemen during an anti-Japan protest outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, on September 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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A paramilitary policeman guards an entrance of the Japanese Embassy, eggs and paint splattered on its wall, in Beijing, China, on September 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

Hunt for China's secret nukes: Obama orders the Pentagon to find ways to 'neutralize' store of up to 3,000 nuclear weapons

The United States military will need to consider conventional as well as nuclear means to ‘neutralize’ China’s underground nuclear weapons storage facilities, according to a Pentagon authorization signed into law this month. The new National Defense Authorization Act, which President Barack Obama signed on Tuesday, January 2, orders the head of the U.S. Strategic Command to submit a report by August 15 on the ‘underground tunnel network used by the People’s Republic of China.’ That report must include information on ‘capability of the United States to use conventional and nuclear forces to neutralize such tunnels and what is stored within such tunnels.’

New means: The U.S. military must consider both conventional and nuclear capabilities to 'neutralize' China's underground nuclear weapons storage facilities, according to a Pentagon authorization signed into law

New means: The U.S. military must consider both conventional and nuclear capabilities to 'neutralize' China's underground nuclear weapons storage facilities, according to a Pentagon authorization signed into law. The news was reported by Gannett’s Defense News on Monday. A Georgetown University team led by Professor Phillip Karber, a former Defense Department strategist, conducted a three-year study to analyse and map out China’s complex tunnel system, which extends 3,000 miles. The university’s 2011 report, ‘Strategic Implications of China’s Underground Great Wall,’ concluded that the number of nuclear weapons estimated by U.S. intelligence was incorrect. U.S. intelligence estimates have put the number of nuclear warheads that China has in its storage facilities, at most, at 300. Karber’s team estimated that there may be as many as 3,000 nuclear weapons hidden within a extensive underground network in multiple locations throughout the large Asian country. NDAA sections 1045, 1271 and 3119 highlight U.S. congressional concerns over China’s nuclear and military modernization efforts, according to Defense News. Bonnie Glaser, a specialist on China at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said she doubts that those NDAA sections will have any major impact on policy in regards to U.S.-China relations. ‘The intelligence community tracks China’s nuclear weapons closely — is a federally funded research and development center going to find a new threat?,’ she told a Gannett reporter. Glaser said she believes the new reporting requirements signed by Obama are a reaction to Karber’s research, which makes him one of a few challengers suggesting that U.S. intelligence estimates are incorrect. Karber is taking little credit for the latest NDAA requirements, which some have begun calling the ‘Karber effect.’ ‘I believe a number of events, not least of which being Chinese testing and deployment patterns, have motivated this tasking, and I will leave to others to assess what part our research played in stimulating or adding motivation to it,’ he said.

New findings: A Georgetown University team estimated that there may be as many as 3,000 nuclear weapons hidden within a extensive underground network in multiple locations throughout the large Asian country

New findings: A Georgetown University team estimated that there may be as many as 3,000 nuclear weapons hidden within a extensive underground network in multiple locations throughout the large Asian country

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