Japan's war crimes confessions released
After releasing daily confessions of 45 Japanese war criminals, China yesterday published them in a 6,000-page, 11-volume series of books, state media said -- at least the second such set.
The books are Beijing's latest bid to highlight the Asian rivals' bloody history, with relations between them at their worst in years.
The "confessions" -- of 45 war criminals who were tried and convicted by military courts in China after the war -- have been released online by the State Archives Administration (SAA) on a daily basis since early July.
The new books will compile scans of the men's original hand-written accounts, along with translations.
They are being published as "authorities continue their drive to raise awareness on China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression", Xinhua said.
In the first "confession", dated 1954 and 38 pages long, Keiku Suzuki, described as a lieutenant general and commander of Japan's 117th Division, admitted ordering a Colonel Taisuke to "burn down the houses of about 800 households and slaughter 1,000 Chinese peasants in a mop-up operation" in the Tangshan area, according to the official translation.
China regularly accuses Japan of failing to face up to its history of aggression in Asia, criticism that has intensified since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was elected in December 2012 and has advocated a more muscular defence and foreign policy stance.
Chinese researchers say that more than 20 million people died as a result of Japan's invasion and occupation.