Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
Blog [Japanese]
HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 11 - 17  > How Japan’s war of aggression estimated to have killed 20 million people?
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2018 July 11 - 17 [PEACE]

How Japan’s war of aggression estimated to have killed 20 million people?

July 16, 2018

Historians say that Japan’s past war of aggression claimed the lives of more than 20 million people in other Asian countries and three million Japanese. However, in a bid to play down the impact of Japan’s act of aggression, conservatives, rightists, and the Liberal Democratic Party insist that these figures are exaggerated.

The governments of China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and several other Asian countries make public the numbers of their nationals killed in the war against Japan. The figures total between 20 million to over 30 million, not including the numbers of victims in Myanmar, Singapore, and the Korean Peninsula.

In a Diet meeting in December 1993, Yoshioka Yoshinori, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors at that time, introduced the above-mentioned data and asked the government what it thinks of the figure of “between 20 million to over 30 million”. The government did not deny its legitimacy.

Although the figure regarding war casualties is no more than a rough estimate because of the insufficiency or lack of related statistics available, many historians believe it to be reliable.

The Welfare Ministry officially states that 3.1 million Japanese nationals were killed in the war. Of them, 2.3 million were military or civilian personnel and 0.8 million were civilians at home and abroad, according to the ministry’s webpage.

The JCP Program states, “The war of aggression killed more than 20 million people in other Asian countries as well as more than three million Japanese people.”

Japan’s war of aggression started as an invasion of northeastern China in 1931, which escalated into a full-scale war against China in 1937 and then into one encompassing a wide area of the Asia-Pacific region. The war, which ended in 1945, caused tremendous death and destruction in Japan and other Asian countries.

> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved