Letters to the Editor: August 18

The Rape of Nanking; Contributions of Canadian Scientists.

The Rape of Nanking

It is certainly appropriate to remember Victory in Japan Day. It is also a time to remember the catastrophic effects of having to resort to atomic bombs in order for Japan to capitulate and end the war in the Pacific. Many Japanese people suffered and died because of the bombing, and this too should be remembered.

But there is another related human-inspired catastrophe that preceded World War ll and should also be acknowledged: “The Rape of Nanking.” In 1937 the Japanese invaded China for the third time in that decade. The Japanese army was very well trained and armed, and quickly defeated the Chinese army. At that time the capital of China was the city of Nanking, with a very large population of peasants and disarmed Chinese soldiers. Within six weeks, the actions of the Japanese soldiers resulted in the slaughter of 350,000 people and the rape of 80,000 women. The Japanese soldiers were encouraged by their senior officers to treat the Chinese in totally barbaric fashion. Houses and complete villages were set on fire. Thousands of civilians and disarmed soldiers were arrayed for execution by beheading, raked by machine gun fire, bayoneted, doused with gasoline and burned, and buried alive.

This form of warfare by the Japanese was repeated throughout China and resulted in the deaths of millions of people. Since the end of WWll, with much aid and influence from the United States, Japan has developed as a successful, democratic country, but a country unwilling to face up to this terrible part of its history. Japanese Governments have yet to express remorse for the behaviour of its military. In fact quite recently, in a CBC broadcast, a Japanese spokesman said that Japan today should not have to apologize for a country’s past bad events.

The Kimberley library has a copy of the book “The Rape of Nanking” for those interested in learning more about this epic tragedy.

Peter Moody, Kimberley

Canadian Scientists

Canadian scientists have really shown the world marvelous scientific discoveries In 1922 Frederick Banting discovered insulin and since then, countless diabetic lives have been saved. Recently Canadian scientists from Winnipeg have discovered a vaccine for ebola that is showing very positive results in Africa.

Our present Conservative government of Stephen Harper tried to muzzle our great Canadian scientists back in 2013. Maybe Canadian citizens should muzzle Stephen Harper and his government in the upcoming election.

Canadian scientists need to be supported 100 per cent as they have made our world a better and safer place.

Michael Jones, Kimberley