Tell the truth of Nanjing Massacre to prevent repeat of tragedy, says son of Japanese veteran

HIROSHIMA (Japan) - The son of a Japanese war veteran has called for reflections on the Nanjing Massacre, as 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the tragedy.

"It's important to tell people what happened in Nanjing and to pass on the historical truth to younger generations so as to prevent war tragedies from happening again," said Mr Toshio Yamamoto, son of a Japanese veteran who took part in Japan's invasive war against China in the 1930s and 1940s, according to Xinhua news agency.

Mr Yamamoto made the remarks on Saturday (July 22) at the "Sealed Memories: No More Nanjing" exhibition held in Hiroshima.

His father Takeshi Yamamoto was sent to China in November 1937 as a soldier of the invading Imperial Japanese Army, Xinhua reported.

In a diary, his father wrote about the atrocities committed by the Japanese troops and how he himself had become a "killing machine" because of the war.

"Back in Japan, I dared not even kill a snake," the elder Mr Yamamoto wrote, according to Xinhua.

Besides his own experiences, the elder Mr Yamamoto also wrote about what he heard about the Nanjing Massacre, such as how Japanese soldiers killed tens of thousands of Chinese civilians, as well as how the bodies were burnt and dumped into the Yangtze River.

The elder Mr Yamamoto returned to Japan after the war and wrote a memoir based on his diary. He wanted to pass on the memories to future generations, Xinhua reported.

Said the younger Mr Yamamoto, as quoted by Xinhua: "The Japanese government should reflect on the war and let the younger generations know about the truth about war."

Mr Yamamoto added that he is opposed to the Abe administration's attempts to revise the pacifist Constitution and other moves that could bring Japan to war again.

Hiroshima, which suffered an atomic bombing in 1945 because of Japan's invasive war against its neighbours, he added, according to Xinhua.

Japanese troops brutally killed some 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers following the capture of Nanjing in 1937.