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Yasuji Kaneko (金子 安次 Kaneko Yasuji?, born January 28, 1920[1]) is an ex-soldier of the Imperial Japanese Army, and a former detainee of both Siberian Internment by the Soviet Union during 1945-1950 and Fushun War Criminals Management Centre in China during 1950–1956. He is known for his extensive war crimes testimony, including his involvement in the Unit 731 and the Nanking Massacre.[2] He is a member of the Association of Returnees from China.


According to his testimony he raped many Chinese women during the invasion of China. [3]

"They cried out, but it didn't matter to us whether the women lived or died," Kaneko said in an interview with The Associated Press at his Tokyo home. "We were the emperor's soldiers. Whether in military brothels or in the villages, we raped without reluctance."[3]

In an interview with the Japan Times on September 26, 1996, Yasuji stated "I murdered 100 people or more by torture."[citation needed] He also claimed that he joined the Nanking Massacre and murdered and raped many Chinese people.[citation needed]

He testified during a private trial Yun Chung-Ok sponsored in December 2000: "Comfort women were expensive. Therefore, I kidnapped, raped, and killed the Chinese woman." [4] Kaneko has also admitted to participating in the use of chemical and biological weapons against Chinese as part of Unit 731.[5]

In the Japanese documentary Japanese Devils, which features 14 Japanese soldiers retelling their roles in war crimes committed by Japan during World War II, Kaneko describes an incident in which he and his unit surrounded and wiped out an entire village for the thrill of it, rather than any threat it offered. The reviewer notes that all soldiers interviewed in Minori Matsui's film were ex-POWs of the Chinese government and subjected to a long "re-education" that may call their testimony into question. However, the reviewer, Mark Schilling felt that "they give impression of being not communist controlled-robots but elderly men who have little time and nothing to lose" .[6]


According to Japanese historian Ikuhiko Hata, Kaneko's testimony is not consistent with well known historical facts. Hata argues that other historians have not utilised Kaneko's testimony, including Yoshiaki Yoshimi, an activist for Japanese war crimes responsibility. Additionally, according to Toshihiko Tanabe,[7] Kaneko was born in 1920 and volunteered for military service in 1940, therefore he could not have participated in the Nanking massacre,[1] which occurred in 1937. Also, his division was located in Chintao, so he could not be a member of Unit 731, which was working in Manchuria, far Northern China.[8]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Kaneko-san no Sensou(「金子さんの戦争」) Kumai Shinichirou (熊谷伸一郎)リトルモア
  2. [1][2](Japanese)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hiroko Tabuchi (March 1, 2007). "Japan's Abe: No Proof of WWII Sex Slaves". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
    Hiroko Tabuchi (March 4, 2007). "Soldier confirms wartime sex slavery". Japan Times. Archived from the original on 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  4. [3] (Japanese)
  5. [4][5][6](Japanese)
  6. Mark Schilling (December 5, 2001). "Face to face with Imperial evil". Japan Times. Archived from the original on 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  7. 田辺敏雄 (2003). 検証旧日本軍の「悪行」——歪められた歴史像を見直す. 自由社. ISBN 4-915237-36-2. 
  8. Ikuhiko Hata 「終戦特集を検証する-「空想虚言症」の記憶にさいなまれる『朝日新聞』」 諸君 30(11) 1998.11

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