Japanese War Crimes

Japanese war crimes occurred in China, Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and other Asian countries during the period of Japanese imperialism, primarily during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. Some of the incidents have also been described as an Asian Holocaust and Japanese war atrocities. Some war crimes were committed by military personnel from the Empire of Japan in the late 19th century, although most took place during the first part of the Shōwa Era, the name given to the reign of Emperor Hirohito, until the military defeat of the Empire of Japan, in 1945.

Historians and governments of some countries hold Japanese military forces, namely the Imperial Japanese Army, the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Imperial Japanese family, especially Emperor Hirohito, responsible for killings and other crimes committed against millions of civilians and prisoners of war. Some Japanese soldiers have admitted to committing these crimes.

Since the 1950s, senior Japanese Government officials have issued numerous apologies for the country's war crimes. Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the country acknowledges its role in causing "tremendous damage and suffering" during World War II, especially in regard to the IJA entrance into Nanjing during which Japanese soldiers killed a large number of noncombatants and engaged in looting and rape. Some members of the Liberal Democratic Party in the Japanese government such as former prime ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe have prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine, which includes convicted Class A war criminals in its honored war dead. Some Japanese history textbooks only offer brief references to the various war crimes, and members of the Liberal Democratic Party such as Shinzo Abe have denied some of the atrocities such as the use of comfort women. In addition to Japanese military and civil personnel, Allied authorities found that Korean and Taiwanese serving in the forces of the Empire of Japan also committed war crimes.

Read more about Japanese War Crimes:  Definitions, Crimes, War Crimes Trials, List of Major Incidents

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