By Wang Shanning
Recently, a civil group in Kamogawa City, Japan, published a book titled The War and Life in Kamogawa: Testimonies from 50 Witnesses, which contains testimonies of those Japanese WWII participants. The investigation and collection of information and data for the book began five years ago, exactly on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.
According to a report on September 13 in Japan’s Chiba Daily, Takashi Shinoda, the 75-year-old editor-in-chief of the book, is a member of the civil group named “Talking about Wars in Kamogawa”. He said that the book is intended to record how the war has affected the lives of ordinary people.
Many precious testimonies were collected. A witness who was only 12 years old at the end of WWII stated, “At that time, we had almost nothing to eat, and soybeans were the only food for us.” Another witness who was only 8 years old at that time said, “My elder sister’s schoolbag was hit by bullets from machine guns.”
In addition, a former member of the 731 Unit responsible for the research and development of bacterial weapons in the Japanese occupied northeast China during the WWII said, “There were many Chinese and American captives locked up in a place similar to an underground prison. The bodies of captives who died from bacterial weapon experiments were sent to a crematorium-like area and burned to ashes.”
As time passed, fewer and fewer people knew the truth about the war. At least five of the witnesses who had provided testimonies had passed away before the publishing of the book. Takashi Shinoda expected the book would help more people understand the truth of the war.