Report from Mr. Tanahashi 2007

A World Without Armies
Report on the international conference
“Remembering Nanjing (Nanking)”
70th anniversary of the Nanjing Tragedy

November 22 – 25, 2007
Nanjing Normal University and Nanjing University
Nanjing, China


In this watershed event Chinese, Japanese, and Westerners gathered to witness testimonies of the survival and visit massacre sites, including the Nanjing Anti-Japanese War Sources Museum. During the first two days, they also attended an art show, women’s symposium, and memorial service, while sharing thoughts and feelings with one another. During the last two days, participants listened to summaries of papers given by Chinese and Japanese historians. In the culminating event, two Japanese actors performed their creation titled “December Hell: The Nanjing Sorrow.” These events drew from one to three hundred participants, packing the conference halls and auditorium. Local and international newspapers, radio stations, and television stations covered this historic conference.


The international conference “Remembering Nanjing” is the first occasion in seventy years where Chinese and Japanese citizens gathered in Nanjing to exchange thoughts and feelings on the Nanjing Massacre.
In 1937, Japan invaded China. The “Rape of Nanjing (the capital of China at the time)” was gigantic in scale, brutal in method, and momentous in strategic importance. Thus, the Rape of Nanjing symbolizes the seven-year Sino-Japanese war. Most Japanese tend to avoid the issue, being unaware of the enormity of the suffering and resentment of Chinese people. The Japanese government sensors and discourages using the word “invasion” in textbooks that cover the Sino-Japanese war. Japanese revisionist historians’ efforts to deny the responsibility of Japanese troops is gaining popularity. For the past seventy years, Sino-Japanese political relationship has been undermined by bitterness and distrust between the two nations. Those who are concerned about the dysfunctional relationship between China and Japan have long awaited to see citizens of both countries face the painful history together and heal from the wounds of the past violence.
International participants learned and witnessed the appalling history on site, and engaged in dialogue and emotional exchange. Listening to music, viewing art, and conducting a memorial service at a massacre site, participants started to develop a rapport. Some of the participants have vowed to continue this process of healing between the two nations.
While most societies carry appalling heritages as victims or perpetrators but the sincere effort for healing is sometimes absent or invisible, the initial success of the Sino-Japanese dialogue can be an inspiring model for those in other parts of the world.


To face the painful past with open heart is essential between the Chinese and the Japanese for building trust and genuine friendship. The improved relationship can lead to the reduction of armed forces in these countries and other part of East Asia in the future. We believe that the establishment of an East Asian Union is the most logical way toward East Asia without Armies.


November 22, Thursday

Welcome Zhang Lianhong
Greetings Haruhiko Murakawa
Testimonies by survivors Chang Zhiquiang, Zhang Xiuhong
Music Chinese students
Remarks Takashi Tsumura
Visiti to the Zhonghua Gate Castle
Visit to the Nanjing Anti-Japanese War Sources Museum
Welcome Wu Xianbin, Founder
Participants’ self-introduction and sharing the feelings (Haruhiko Murakawa, moderator)

November 23, Friday

Visit to the Yangziji Massacre Memorial Site
Briefing by Wang Weixing
Memorial Service (silence and offering flowers)
Visit to the art show “Sino-Japanese War: Reflecting and Remorse” by Kazuaki Tanahashi, with 41 Chinese calligraphers and students,and Alex Rudinsky from USA. Introduction by Zheng Zhong. Statement by Kazuaki Tanahashi, Zhu Ming, and Xing Zhengjun

Women’s Symposium: “Sino-Japan War and the Nanjing Tragedy,” (Joan Halifax, moderator), Part One:
Wang Xuan: “The Sex Crimes during the Sino-Japanese War”
Jing Yihong:” War and Women: Around the Rape of Nanjing”
Piano performance: “Captive’s Hymn” Kazuyuki Kusayanagi
Women’s Symposium: “Sino-Japan War and the Nanjing Tragedy,” (Joan Halifax, moderator), Part Two:
Kuniko Muramoto
Mayumi Oda
Shintaido relaxation exercise (Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito and Masashi Minagawa, instructors)
Participants’ sharing thoughts and feelings in small groups (Haruhiko Murakawa, moderator)

November 24, Saturday

Shintaido relaxation exercise (Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito and Masashi Minagawa, instructors)
Participants’ sharing opinions and feeling (Haruhiko Murakawa, moderator)
Remarks, Heinz-J�・rgen Metzger from Germany

The Second Symposium on Sources for the Nanjing Massacre, Parts One to Three:
Sun Zhaiwei , “On the newly discovered sources of the Nanjing Massacre”
Tokushi Kasahara, “Newly discovered text and photos: An artilleryman’s field diary.”
Duan Yueping, “Evaluation of the Nanjing Massacre sources.”
Dai Yuahzhi, “An illustration in the Rabe Diary: Small clinic at the swage plant south of the Sheyu River”
Michiyo Arakawa, “Internet debate on Nanjing Incident and ‘The Road to Nanjing: A Group to Protect Truth”
Gao Xiaoxing, “Violence by the Japanese Navy during the Nanjing Massacre”
Yong Suhua “Comparative study of sources on victims of the Nanjing Massacre: A sample study of the lists of diseased people in Tanshan District”
Zhang Lianhong, “The first study of the British navy ship H.M.S. Ladybird incident”
Zheng Shoukang, “Luosen and the Nanjing Massacre”
Cui Wei, “Japanese troops’ destruction on the property of the neutral nations during the Nanjing Massacre”
Hiroshi Oyama, “Contents and significance of the International Symposium: For facing the past and promoting reconciliation in East Asia”
Zhai Yian, “Thoughts on the Nanjing Massacre from the perspective of ‘civilization history’: Study of Minoru Kitamura’s Nanjing Massacre”
Zhu Jiguang, “A change of the study patterns on the Nanjing Massacre by Chinese historians”

November 25, Sunday

The Second Symposium on Sources for the Nanjing Massacre, Parts Four and Five:
Ma Zhendu, “Study of resistance by Chinese soldiers and citizens in Nanjing during massacre by the Japanese troops in 1937”
Xu Kangying, “Study of atrocities at Xiaguan District by the invading Japanese troops during the Nanjing Massacre”
Fei Zhongxing, “Analysis of the forty-seventh gathering and massacre in East District of Nanjing”
Xu Liqang, “Uniqueness of interviews in War in Nanjing: The Soals of Injured Victims”
Jing Shengming, “Completed construction and social characteristics of Nanjing before massacre by the Japanese troops”
Yi Qing, “Reinvestigation of Investigation of the Photographic Proofs of the Nanjing Incident”
Wang Yongzhong, “The Jinling University refuge camp during the Nanjing Massacre”
Kazuharu Saito, “How has Nanjing Incident been taught in Japan and China? Centering around the descriptions in the textbooks”
Cheng Zhaoqi, “From ‘the Tokyo Tribunal’ to the Tokyo Tribunal”
Harumi Watanabe, “Japanese court rulings on Nanjing Incident cases”
Yan Haiqian, “Post-war sociological views of the tribunal on the Nanjing Massacre”
Cao Dachen, “The legal status of police in the Japanese Consulate in Nanjing: Centering around activities of the consulate police during the Nanjing Massacre”
Wang Xuan, “Current state of investigation on “the red leg disease” in Zhejiang Province and related international scholarship”
Jiang Xiaoxing, “Analytical study of interviews on the Nanjing Massacre by Nanjing Party historians in 2007”
Wang Weixing, “Positions and strategy of the Japanese troops and causes for the Nanjing Massacre”
Meng Quoxiang, “Moral of the Japanese troops and cultural damage to Nanjing”
Yang Xiaming, “Analytical study of the violent system of the Japanese troops in Nanjing”
Zhang Sheng, “Viewing the strategic choice of the Japanese troops through the case of the Nanjing Massacre”
Su Zhiliang, “A visit to a comfort place of the Japanese troop: A sample study of Lijixiang Comfort Place”
Zhu Shouyun, “Thoughts on the relationship between the Nanjing Massacre and the comfort women system”
Shi Zhiyu, “Analysis of the causes of atrocities by the Japanese troops in Nanjing”
Viewing “December Hell: Nanjing Sorrow,” created, directed, and performed by Yoshiharu Watanabe and Ryoko Yokoi
Farewell dinner (Zhang Lianhong, Yang Xiaming, and Wu Xianbin, guests of honor)

Participants and Audience

Main event: 65 from China, 24 from Japan, 3 from USA, and 1 from Germany, plus audience.
Scholars’ symposium: 46 from China, 32 from Japan, plus audience (31 presenters).
Play: 300 in the audience, including 66 from Japan.
(plus reporters)

Effects on Participants

The vivid and highly emotional recollections of the two survivors brought forth graphic images of the brutal actions inflicted by the invading troops in Nanjing. All participants were deeply shaken. Although the initial interaction between Chinese and Japanese participants was awkward and intellectualized, they grew increasingly expressive as the conference progressed. Some of the Japanese participants wept and wailed while bowing to the ground at the massacre memorial site. It also happened by viewing the artworks, watching the play. They later spoke about the cathartic release of long-repressed guilt.
Participants learned about the current thinking of Chinese and Japanese historians by listening to their summaries and reading their papers in the symposium proceeding. A number of Chinese and Japanese expressed their hopes to continue the dialogue that the conference sparked. Most Japanese participants want to Nanjing with friends for the gatherings in the future.

Media Coverage

The event was reported by four Nanjing newspapers (some on front pages), Japanese national newspapers, and a Nanjing radio and television. Organizers wer interviewed by a Norwegian television and a U.S. public radio.

Film and Photo Documentation

Filmed by a Chinese crew led by Wu Xuanbin and Alex Rudinsky from USA. Photo by Peter Cunningham from USA and Tsuyoshi Mieda from Japan.

Future Plans

Haruhiko Murakawa plans to bring scores of Japanese students to Nanjing in 2008. Some Japanese participants have started discussion on building a memorial monument on the Yangzi River by people of Japan. Presented papers of the academic symposium will be published. Film and photo images will also be published.

Historical references

In order to reflect the diversity of historical interpretations, the organizers of the conference have selected descriptions of the Japanese and Chinese text books:

Description of a Japanese textbook, 1:
On the evening of July 7, 1937 , an incident that someone shot at the Japanese troops in exercise took place at Hugouqiao in the suburb of Beijing. On the following morning they were in combat with the Chinese Nationalist Party troops (the Hugouquiao Incident). A solution was sought on-the-spot, but the Japanese side ordered a large-scale dispatch of troops, and the Nationalist Party Government also ordered mobilization of troops. Following this, the Japan-China War went on for eight years. In August of the same year, an incident that two Japanese soldiers were shot to death took place in Shanghai where foreign reservations are concentrated. Ignited by this occasion, a total war between Japan and China started. Hoping that taking Nanjing, the capital of the Nationalist Party Government, would make Chang Kaishek surrender, the Japanese troops occupied Nanjing. (At this time a large number of people were killed and injured by the Japanese troops: the Nanjing Incident.) [Note: The Tokyo Trial determined that the Japanese troops killed a great number of Chinese civilians when they occupied Nanjing in 1937 during the Japan-China War. Furthermore, some points of doubt based on evidences have been presented regarding reality of this incident, and debate continues even today.] –Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho (New History Textbook), Mikiji Nijio, et al. Tokyo: Fusosha. 2001.

Description of a Japanese textbook, 2:
On July 7, at Hugouquiao in the suburb of Beiping (Beijing) an incident that Japanese and Chinese troops clashed with each other (the Hugouquiao Incident). A truce was reached on-the-spot, but with the intention to give a strike on China, subdue the movement to resist Japan, and obtain resources and market in Northern China, the Konoe Cabinet decided to dispatch troops, and called it “Northern China Incident.” After the battle spread to Shanghai in August (the Shanghai Incident), it was renamed “China Incident” in September, and Japan went into total invasion war against China without declaring war (Japan-China War). In spite of the Japanese expectation that China would be subdued with a single strike, the resistance of China, forming a unified racial front-line against Japan, was strong. Japan poured a large number of troops and occupied Nanjing, the capital of Nationalist Government, in December. At that time, the Japanese troops killed a great number of Chinese people, including surrendering soldiers and prisoners of war, engaged in depredations, arsons, and criminal assaults, and were internationally accused for the Nanjing Massacre. The number of those, including combatants, who were killed, during the weeks before and after the occupation, is estimated as at least ten or more thousands. –Japanese History B, Kojiro Naoki. Tokyo: Jikkyo Publications, 1997.
Description of a Chinese textbook:
After the Hugouqiao Incident, the Japanese army amassed a great number of reinforcing troops and launched a large-scale campaign toward Beiping, Tianjin, Shanghai, and other regions. Japan depended on its military power and intended to fight and win quickly, destroying China in three months. At this critical time for the survival of the Chinese race, people in the entire country united and launched a collaborative campaign against invasion, which was unprecedented in modern Chinese history … In December 1937, the Japanese army occupied Nanjing. At that time, they killed unarmed citizens and prisoners of war by cruel methods, including shooting, burning, burying, cutting, and military dogs biting. This created extreme human misery―the Nanjing massacre… According to statistics the the number of unarmed Nanjing residents and Chinese soldiers who had laid down weapons Japanese army slaughtered during the six weeks of its occupation of Nanjing, reached more than 300,000. The Nanjing massacre is one of the atrocities that the Japanese invading army inflicted on Chinese people. –History, vol. 1, the eighth grade. Beijing Normal University Press, 2001.


Nanjing Friendship Fund (NFF), Nanjing (Prof. Zhang Lianhong of Nanjing Normal University, President NFF)
Nanjing Normal University Research Center for the Nanjing Massacre
The Japanese Committee for the International Conference “Remembering Nanjing”
NFF Japanese Branch
NFF U.S. Branch
The Japanese Committee for the International Symposium: The 70th Anniversary of the Nanjing Incident
Nanjing University Institute of Chinese History Studies
China Lawyers Association
Nanjing Lawyers Association
A World Without Armies


Joshin Robert Althouse, USA
Peter Cunningham, USA
William Jonston, USA
Heinz-J�・rgen Metzger, Germany


In 1996, Haruhiko Murakawa organized the Asian World Work in San Francisco, a workshop led by psychologists Arnold and Amy Mindell to discuss the effects of the atrocities inflected by Japanese troops.
In 1997, Joan Halifax and Kazuaki Tanahashi participated in the Auschwitz retreat organized by the Zen Peacemaker Order. In 2000, they met Zhang Lianhong, Yang Xiaming, and other historians in Nanjing. Together they established the Nanjing Friendship Fund. Since then, Tanahashi has visited Nanjing every year to prepare for the conference with his Chinese colleagues. In 2006, Haruhiko Murakawa founded the Japanese Committee for the International Conference “Remembering Nanjing.” In the same year, at Zhang Lianhong’s suggestion, the conference became coordinated with the academic symposium.


Funds for operating the conference were raised by the sponsors in China, Japan, USA, and Europe. Grants were given by the Flow Fund (USA) and A World Without Armies.

The role of AWWA

Kazuaki Tanahashi, founding director of A World Without Armies, collaborated with the Chinese organizers from the earliest stage of planning to its fruition. AWWA also provided some of the operation funding.

Call for Support

AWWA is the only international citizens’ organization in the world that focuses on the demilitarization of nations. Your support is crucial for actualizing a world without war in a practical, step-by-step way.
The Nanjing Friendship Fund endeavors to promote scholarly studies on the Nanjing Massacre and provide services to victims and families. (AWWA also receives donations on behalf of the NFF.)

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