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Japanese war criminal confesses to killing 970 civilians

China's State Archives Administration on Monday publicized the confession of Japanese war criminal Tsutomu Nagashima, the latest in a series of similar publications.

The written confession of Tsutomu Nagashima, commander of the 54th Brigade of the 59th Division of the Japanese Army from 1942 to 1945, details the murder of more than 2,600 Chinese soldiers and civilians during that period.

Japanese troops under the command of Tsutomu Nafashima conducted 15 battles of all scales, killing 1,660 anti-Japanese soldiers and 970 civilians, burning down over 2,220 civilian houses from April 1942 to July 1945, according to his confession.

"Besides shooting, other extremely cruel killing methods such as bayoneting, hacking, beheading, exploding, burning, hanging and sending to gas chamber were also used during the battles," it says.

The release includes scans of the original manuscript in Japanese, with Chinese and English translations.

The State Archives Administration on Thursday began releasing full texts of confessions by 45 Japanese war criminals. One will be released online per day.

The move follows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and right-wing politicians' stubborn denial of war crimes in China.

Some 1,109 Japanese war criminals were held in custody in China between 1950 and 1956, according to the administration. Of them, 1,017 with minor offenses were exempted from prosecution and released in 1956 and 45 received military trials under the Supreme People's Court that year.

The administration said it is sorting archives of confessions made by the 1,017 with minor offenses to make them public as well.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 07Jul14]

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