A reported outburst of petulance from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggesting that women who were made sex slaves of the Japs in the last war were 'volunteers' has rightly angered many people. Despite the many sincere-sounding apologies from various Japanese officials over the past decades, one still has the impression that the nation is in denial about its behaviour in the war.
Let me set any doubt at rest. During the period 1933 - 1945 the Japanese armed forces carried out acts that place those men forever amongst the most barbaric, uncivilised, inhuman, loathsome and contempible creatures that ever walked this planet. For them there will never be forgiveness. And the rest of the world will never let you forget - never - the behaviour of your fathers and grandfathers that shames and disgraces those entire generations. And just in case these stories don't figure in your school textbooks;
In Hong Kong on Christmas morning in 1941, around 200 drunken Japanese approached St. Stephen's College, now a sanctuary for ninety-six wounded soldiers. Barring the front door was the head medic, Dr. George Black. 'You can't come in here' he called out, 'this is a hospital'. With deliberate aim, one of the soldiers raised his rifle and shot the doctor through the head. As the drunken mob surged into the hospital ward, the body of Dr Black was repeatedly bayoneted as he lay at the door. In the ward, a massacre of unprecedented ferocity took place. The Japanese ripped the bandages off the wounded patients and plunged their bayonets into the amputated arms and legs before finishing them off with a bullet. In half an hour fifty-six wounded soldiers had been massacred while the nursing staff looked on helplessly. The female nurses were then led away, to a fate one can only imagine. The patients and staff who had survived the slaughter were then forced to carry the bodies and bloodied mattresses to the grounds outside where a huge funeral pyre was prepared and lit from the college desks and cupboards which had been smashed up for firewood.