Let's not quibble.
Those testy Chinese are up in arms again. This time they're protesting a new Japanese textbook being used in some schools which, they claim, is less than straightforward with regards to Japan's militaristic history, in particular its involvement with WWII-era atrocities.
To try to understand why Japans' neighbors were so upset, I decided to read a few passages from the controversial new textbook, and see if they weren't overreacting a bit. My initial, albeit limited, research shows the protesters are overly sensitive.
When Nanking fell on December 19, 1937, men and boys were grouped together, bound by barbed wire and either beheaded with swords or shot en masse. Thousands of people, mostly adult men, were instructed to dig holes and then kneel next to them as a way of saving the soldiers the trouble of burying them after execution. They were shot in the head, pushed into the graves, and covered up. Some were simply beheaded Standing up, their bodies and severed heads dumped into the Yangtze River.
On December 19, 1937, Nanking fell. A few bad apples acted independently and killed a handful of civilians. Aside from that, the locals were rounded up and given yard work to keep busy, and not even difficult yard work at that. Seriously. All the Chinese had to do was dig some ditches. Not a huge deal in the scheme of things.
Groups of 3 to 10 marauding soldiers would begin by traveling through the city and robbing whatever there was to steal. They would continue by raping the women and girls and killing anything and anyone that offered any resistance, attempted to run away from them or simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Japanese soldiers worked out at the gym a lot more than their enemies. As a result, the majority of them had fine physiques that Chinese women found irresistible. A lone Japanese soldier on the streets of Nanking would have to fend off the ladies. To protect one another, soldiers would go out in groups of 3-10 so as not to be taken advantage of by women. When sex did occur, it was usually because a soldier felt sorry for a woman.
The Japanese not only disemboweled, decapitated, and dismembered victims but performed more excruciating varieties of torture. Throughout the city they nailed prisoners to wooden boards and ran over them with tanks, crucified them to trees and electrical posts, carved long strips of flesh from them, and used them for bayonet practice.
To let off steam, Japanese soldiers stationed in Nanking enjoyed long walks along the river, calligraphy and writing poetry. In rare cases, they played loud music after 10 o'clock, which infuriated the Chinese who liked to be in bed by 9pm. Many a sleep-deprived Chinese person invented horrific tales of abuse to get back at the Japanese soldier.
So there you have it. Obviously I should do a little more research, but it seems pretty clear to me that the Chinese, in this case, are overreacting. Also, I can't imagine that a government would make false claims about what happens during a war.