Today marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the ending of the attempt of Japan to conquer East Asia and form a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. In that attempt, Japanese forces murdered some three to ten million civilians. This figure does not include civilian deaths caused from military operations which resulted from Japanese aggression or famines that ensued. It is estimated that some 20,000,000 Chinese died as a result of Japan’s invasion. Approximately a million Filipinos died during the military occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese. The video above depicts the battle of Manila in which 100,000 Filipino civilians died. During lulls in the fighting, Japanese troops would engage in orgies of rape and murder, with decapitation being a common method of killing. Special targets were Red Cross workers, young women, children, nuns, priests, prisoners of war and hospital patients.
Victory by the US and its allies brought this Asian Holocaust to a stop. Perhaps something else to recall on Catholic blogs each August.
As the New York Times remembers Hiroshima, Richard Fernandez asks us to name the two greatest losses of civilian life in the Pacific war. (“Hint. In both cases the civilian casualties were greater than Hiroshima’s. In one case the event took place on American soil.”)
Meanwhile, Donald Sensing (Sense of Events) thinks it’s past time for Western churches to stop treating Japan as victim every Aug. 6 and 9:
I refuse on principle to pollute God’s ears with prayers dedicated only to Hiroshima Day and the dead of those cities while ignoring the tens of millions of Japanese-murdered souls who cry for remembrance, but do not get it, certainly not from the World Council of Churches and its allies who have no loathing but for their own civilization. If the prayers of the WCC’s service are to be offered, let them be uttered on Aug. 14, the day Japan announced its surrender, or on Sept. 2, the day the surrender instruments were signed aboard USS Missouri. Let our churches no longer be accessories to Japan’s blood-soaked silence but instead be voices for the millions of murdered victims of its bloodlust, imperialist militarism.
(HT: Bill Cork).