Recorded in the pages of the long history of humankind are innumerable heartrending memories which amplify the wrath and hatred towards Japan.
Those wounds are imprinted so indelibly and incurably that the hot-blooded outcry of souls―an outcry compelling people to writhe in anger―are reverberating around as yet.
It is not only in Korea where Japan did commit the atrocity of massacre of Koreans.
One of such atrocities is the genocide of Koreans perpetrated by the Japanese imperialists in Jiandao region in October 1920, a hundred years now.
This incident is recorded in history as “Jiandao large-scale punitive operation” or “large-scale punitive operation in 1920.”
From olden times, the northeastern region of China, then called as “Jiandao” region, was inhabited by many Koreans.
Particularly in eastern Manchuria, over 80% of the local population were Koreans who had migrated in large numbers to the region after losing their means of livelihood by the Japanese invasion of Korea and its harsh colonial rule which had started from the year 1905.
In October 1920, the bloodthirsty Japanese imperialists mobilized and deployed to the China’s northeastern region a large number of forces including the troops once dispatched to Siberia, 3,000-odd soldiers of a regiment under the Ranam 19th Division and the police force, and drove them into committing mass murder under the pretext of launching “punitive operation” against the Independence Army operating in the region.
In 15 days alone from October 4 to 18, the Japanese imperialists, crazed with a human slaughter, became frenzied in exterminating the Korean nation, driven by the “three-point policy” calling for killing everyone, burning everything and plundering everything.
In the areas of Hunchun, Wangqing and Helong alone, the Japanese imperialists committed the most vicious atrocities of savagely massacring over 30,000 Koreans and burning over 6,000 houses.
Indeed, not a single day passed without seeing the bleeding of our compatriots in every place where the Japanese imperialists left their filthy footprints behind.
The “punitive operation in Jiandao” was the product of the policy of annihilating the Korean nation by the Japanese imperialists, and it is merely the tip of the iceberg of the aggression, plunder and massacre committed against Korea.
Throughout the 40-plus-year-long occupation and rule of Korea, the Japanese imperialists committed the gravest crime against humanity unprecedented in history, such as slaughtering over 1 million innocent Koreans, putting into deathtrap over 8.4 million young and middle-aged Koreans by drafting them into the compulsory labor and the military conscription, and turning 200,000 Korean women into sexual slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army.
Yet, the successive Japanese governments have been doggedly denying this crime, to say nothing of an apology and compensation.
The Japanese authorities are taking the lead in criticizing an admission of their past crime as “self-torment” and in deleting the fact of crime from textbooks. Not being satisfied with it, they are adamantly struggling to distort and hide their bloodstained past history of aggression by brazenly visiting Yasukuni Shrine – which preserves the mortuary tablets of A-class war criminals – and revering the specters of militarism as “glorious spirit.”
The historical fact of the most heinous inhumane crime committed by the Japanese imperialists against the Korean people can never be erased, nor the wounds of bitterness left to the hearts of the Korean people ever be healed even after a hundred or a thousand years.
As long as Japan does not liquidate its past crime, it won’t sleep in peace, and the future of Japan, denying the history, will be fated to be dark and that darkness will inevitably run deeper day by day.
Pak Hak Song
Researcher of Institute for Studies of Japan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Democratic People’s Republic of Korea