« Manifesto for a better Global Conversation | Main | Gag X-mas gifts for single people »

December 19, 2004

Comments

Paul T

The blog is accessible in China according to a friend in Beijing...wonder how long this will be tolerated?

blah

"This is how Walmart manages to be so cheap."

Show me where the Shenzen factory makes this phone only for Walmart and I'll condemn them too.

Uniden EXP7241 2.4 GHz Cordless Phone - $14.97 - Wal-Mart
Uniden EXP7241 - Uniden 2.4Ghz Cordless Black - $17.88 - ElectronicsOutfitter
Uniden EXP7241 2.4 GHz Extended Range Cordless Technology EXP7241 - $18.95 - DigitalEtc.com

Easycure

And the State Department's comment is.....?

morris

勞動者的悲哀!

話題:日企深圳友利電公司16000人大罷工,大家支援一下同胞們!
在這篇報道寫完之前,我一直在努力的克制著自己的情感,“不在沈默中爆發,就在沈默中滅亡”。16000多人正義的呼喚在日本人的眼裏總是顯得那麽的弱小無力。一次又一次的罷工事件在不斷的拷問著許多人的良知。
  深圳市友利電電子公司坐落於深圳市寶安區福永鎮塘尾村,英文名爲:uniden。是一家日資企業,此處現在共有員工16000多人,其中男員工大約1000人(多爲研發人員和管理人員),其他都爲女工(年齡大約16——30周歲),多爲生產線員工。日方管理人員現有400多人,uniden公司來中國投資已經有15年以上的歷史,主要以生産無繩電話機、IP電話機及對講機等通訊産品産品爲主。
  此次罷工事件是uniden公司自成立以來的第四次大規模的罷工事件,前幾次都在日方和部分中方管理者還有基本些政府部門的“合作”下給平息了,但每次罷工後都會炒掉一大批所謂的“不聽話“的員工。從此以後某些人的腰包是越來越鼓了,我們勞動者所得的權益卻是越來越不如以前了。
  罷工事件開始導火索:西元2004年12月10日,星期五,uniden的大部分員工突然在工作郵箱裏面都收到了一份轉發的郵件,內容如下:
  倡議書
  1勞動合同書上雙方協定中第八項第三條取消
  2承諾書簽定取消,因所有證件在招工時經人事部確認過,有問題人事部要承擔一切責任
  3員工宿舍用水問題和飯堂伙食要儘快改善
  4元旦假期返回車費要適當報銷(同2000前一樣)
  52000年公司勞動部門承諾成立工會至今未完成
  6病假有底薪60%工資,員工病假、産假爲什麽沒有,反而要倒扣生活費
  7依據勞動合同書第四項勞動安全和社會保險中第三條,員工爲何無任何保險(社保只有股長級以上有)
  8工作滿十年的員工依據勞動法規定:甲乙雙方同意簽定合同,應是無限期的合同,不可以無條件的終止合同。
  9借用身份證售貨員像往年一樣更改從事登記表格和廠證姓名,其他外餐外宿費津貼、年終獎、年資,進廠年、月、日不可更改。(原因:人事總經理李林、秦曉斌利用職權招工,收介紹費,安排假身份證售貨員進入公司要負全部責任)
  10公司必須撤除人事部高級經理要林、秦曉斌,他倆人在公司利用職權招工,收介紹費,製造公司各種不符合實際要求,弄得人心惶惶,工作不安心,要開除他倆,離開公司。
  11新員工進廠不得收介紹費。
  12按勞動法規定,住宿費不能從基本工資裏面扣除工資。
  13不可以隨意調班,要調班就安排再多一點到春節放假,讓員工回家團圓。
  14勞動法規定工作滿一年的員工公司不再與員工簽定合同時,要多補發一個月的工資。
  15公司內股長級以下結婚的職員可以申請外宿補助
  以上下班5項希望在12月10日下午16:00之前答復,若達不到要求,我們會儘快有所行動
  全體員工
  看完後大家都隱約感覺到下午可能會有事情發生。果不然,下午16:00,從工廠生産部裏面走出來的人越來越多,工廠內草坪上、工廠旁邊的馬路上,到處都是罷工的uniden員工。可以想象一下,將近1萬人的場景是什麽樣子,罷工從此刻在已經開始了。矛盾的産生已不是一天了。所有生産部的員工都自發的走出來了,不是實在受不了,這些十七八歲的年輕女孩誰都不會跑出來的,而是像機器一樣日復一日的“運轉”著。
  此時還沒有參與罷工的有技術大樓裏的開發部、電腦部,人事部、採購部。
  勞動糾察的車爲誰而來?
  下午一輛勞動糾察的車開進了uniden,停在人事大樓的門口,走出來幾個人,直奔人事部辦公室而去,車間外面的馬路上到處都是站著的罷工員工,據記者觀察,從糾察的進廠到離去,竟然沒有向外面的罷工員工詢問相關情況。
  員工的行動在繼續
  此時已經是晚上21:00左右,記者收到一份傳單,格式跟開始看到的一份不太一樣,看起來也正式多了,其內容如下:
  倡議書
  親愛的同胞們,以下權益是我們應該得到的,不是任何人施捨的,請大家鼓起勇氣來,爲維護自己的合法權益而一起努力。我們相信所有來中國投資的外次企業都會自覺遵守我國的法律,我國良好的投資環境和勤勞智慧的人民也會給他們帶來豐厚的利潤與回報。
  爲維護我們員工的正當、合法的權益,現在我們需要同日方法人代表進行談判,我們不承認任何日方委派的中國人員代表。(我們將聘請律師和翻譯與之談判)
  我們應得的權益如下:
  1:工資待遇:員工基本工資不得低於深圳市最低工資標準(參考:560無/月)。注:基本工資不包括住房補貼、伙食補貼、加班費在內的其他任何福利。
  2:按國家規定,公司必須爲每位員工輸《社會養老保險》、《工傷保險》、《醫療保險》《住房公積金》以及《失業保險》。
  注:《住房公積金》非深圳市戶口可不辦理,但要在每月的工資中給予補助(按深圳市政府規定標準辦理)
  3:女員工在職期間如遇産期,最低可享受1個月的有薪産假。
  4:加班費:平時按基本工資的150%計算,假日按基本工資的200%計算,法定節日按基本工資的300%計算,如遇到國家長假,可作適當的調休,平時調休按平時加班計算。
  5:依照《工會法》條例成立員工工會,改善員工同雇主的關係。
  6:員工病假期間不得扣除員工的基本工資。
  7:員工每月加班累加到達36小時以後,公司不得強迫員工加班。
  8:所在公司不能提供住房、伙食的,必須給予住房、伙食補助(按所在當地的消費水平定)。
  9:企業不與員工續簽勞動合同時,必須給員工按1個月的基本工資乘以工作年限進行補助。
  10:以上條款最終根據相關法律爲准。
  我們保留繼續抗議的權利,知道滿足我們的合理要求爲止。
  請大家齊心協力作好先面幾點:
  1:分小組選出自己的代表
  2:成立小組代表
  3:如同意請簽名後交給各自的代表
  深圳市勞動保障熱線:0755-12333
  社保局寶安分局檢查科:0755-17881427
  法律諮詢電話:0755-285205412633404826520395
  友利電全體員工
  2004-12-10
  請大家相互傳閱,複印,注意環保,請勿亂扔!
  記者隨機現場採訪了部分生産部員工,以下是談話內容:
  1.李小丫,女,現年17歲,初中畢業來自湖南農村
  記者:你們現在的工資是多少錢一個月?
  李小丫:480元/月,但是每個月要從中扣掉200元伙食住宿費,扣來扣去就不多了
  記者:一天需要工作多少個小時?
  李小丫:11個鍾
  記者:現在準備那天開工?
  李小丫:不知道
  記者:上次休息什麽時候?
  李小丫:上個月機器受不了休息了一天
  2.吳春美,女,現年25歲,初中畢業來自農村,來UNIDEN4年
  記者:你現在的工資是多少錢一個月?
  吳春美:500多
  記者:有沒有其他福利?
  吳春美:不知道
  記者:不知道?公司沒有跟你們辦理《社會養老保險》《工傷保險》《醫療保險》嗎?
  吳春美:沒辦法啦
  記者:你們現在每年加薪嗎?
  吳春美:加
  記者:加多少?
  吳春美:15塊,但是要扣掉12塊
  記者:。。。靠。。。
  記者:你們還有其他福利沒有?
  吳春美:沒有了
  記者:工作累不累?
  吳春美:當然累了,每天10幾個小時又沒有節假日
  記者:沒有節假日?
  吳春美:你才知道啊?
  不尋常的一天(第二天)
  西元2004年12月11日周六
  1.日本人在行動
  日本人對這樣的事件的反應速度總是非常的快,早上一大早就把生産部門的科長級別的人召集在一起開會了,許多上白班的女孩子又來到了工廠,有一部分人開始議論:“別人上班我也上班”。一股陰雲似乎又開始籠罩在了每一個人的心頭。日本人有他們的應急方案,他們太瞭解中國人了,“中國人辦事,聚攏的時候辦不好,散了就別想了”。正如記者上午看到的日方管理者一樣,臉上還帶著微笑,就象他們一個頭宣佈的一樣:“大家今天回去休息,下星期一早上正常上班時就一切都過去了。。。。。”
  2.正義的回音,技術大樓的支援
  相比之下,在我們可愛的工人同胞眼裏,技術大樓裏面的人因該屬於那種級別高很多很多的人了,說出來的話可能更有威信一點了。
  早上8:00,技術大樓的人都來上班了,看來大多數的中國人的臉上都不是那麽的愉快,大家其實都心知肚明。日方領導看起來似乎也有點不尋常,大早就把各個team的人召集在一起開了2次會議,強調工作嗎?
  大家忙碌著,11:00多的時候,整棟大樓的人的手上都有了昨天發出來的《倡議書》了,這時候UCIT的全體員工走出來了,開發部的部分員工也走出來了,走向了採購部、人事部等部門。
  3.不和諧的聲音出現了
  本記者現在才明白老百姓爲什麽痛恨“叛頭”,“漢奸”了。
  李林,秦曉濱(HRSeniorManager),掌管著人事行政大權,當自發的人們走到人事部門口時,這對狗男女同時出現了,氣急敗壞的問道:“你們幹什麽?你們不准過來,不要影響我們的工作?”
  開發部的Manager(黃濤),特點就是與日方人員同吃同住,日本人美其名曰:“高級翻譯”,其實老百姓都知道“高級翻譯”是幹什麽的啦。此時的它正在UCIT做另外一件事:“我現在要統計一下你們在這裏的人的名單”,事情怪了,副理都在招呼都不用打了,明顯不尊重UCIT的老闆“老方”及下面的員工嘛,明眼人都知道他想幹什麽。
  不過話又說回來,本欄記者還是蠻佩服這些人的膽量的。大家以後對走狗有下面一條公式可以套用,請大家記得魯迅先生的一句話:“要痛打落水狗”!
  1.膽子大,不怕死
  2.大家都說YES(我同意)的時候他說NO(我反對)
  3.尾巴對著主子,牙齒對著你
  4.日本人的行動在繼續
  日本人在一起非常團結,這是記者非常敬佩的,他們面對突發事件一般都能在很早的時間內做出決定,中午午餐後宣佈:“下午大家回去休息,周一上班,下午13:45技術大樓關閉”。關了大樓,難道他們也休息嗎?記者認爲不會,果然大家走後,他們又回到了office,無非是想:“化整爲零,各個擊破”,可惜從我們祖先這裏學過去的東西還用得不太高明。
  5.技術大樓的共識
  有人向記者透露整座技術大樓的人出來後,並沒有馬上離去,而是在一起在某些方面達成了共識,支援所有員工的合理要求,這裏本欄記者希望“勝利永遠站在正義的一方”。
  需要每個人站出來說話的時候到了
  到目前爲止,本欄記者還沒有見到生産部門的代表的出現。難道所有的人都被日方買通了?我想不可能,就算買通了又怎樣?難道你們每個人就不能選出各自的代表嗎?現在大家向你們伸出援手的時候,你們應該站出來了。你們自己的權益難道不關心,要等別人來同你們爭取嗎?
  罷工事件的損失
  據消息人事向本欄記者透露,可能會對“沃爾瑪公司80萬台電話機本月交貨訂單”造成影響。據說沃爾瑪公司下訂單前對公司進行考核時給的是紅牌,限期2個月整改。
  員工的正當權益得不到有效的維護,1萬多人的影響面還是相當廣的。
  據記者統計,目前在中國投資的大部分外貿都相當豐厚的利潤回報,其中歐美,港資企業都能自覺最手我國相關法律。但是也有一部分企業抱著來中國“不撈白不撈”的心理,滿足了一時的利益,這無疑於“殺雞去卵,自取滅亡”!
  相關事件重播
  據消息人事透露,日本企業現在大部分都聚集在福永、沙井一帶,可能這裏的投資環境最適合日企。前段時間附近的EPSON,松下等日企相繼發生員工罷工事件,但是都在某部分人的手裏被無情的扼殺掉了,所以說這次罷工事件成功與否還得靠所有員工的堅持。
  下周預計
  罷工事件將繼續進行......
  題後記:
  看著花季年齡一般的女孩,一雙雙佈滿老繭的手,一雙雙渴望、期盼的大眼睛,我們的心一刻也不能平靜,爲什麽這樣的事一次又一次的發生?看來“法治道路,任重道遠,勞工的權益保護還需要全社會的參與”!
  記者:風瀟瀟與塘尾報道
  這是有利電公司的網址
  http://www.uniden.com.cn/
  我們的員工現在需要社各界的支援,現形勢對我們的員工不利,我們有很多的員工向媒體求助,但都沒有下文,相關部門也是不聞不問。
  明天是12.13南京大屠殺紀念日,我們不希望看到中國同胞再次被鎮壓。。。。。。。。。。
(www.xici.net《記者之家》有更多消息)
回復第1帖
internet:第2帖[昨天23:16]編輯十
我痛恨日本鬼子,更痛恨漢奸!
沒有漢奸就沒有鬼子!!!!
抵制日貨;抵制日貨;抵制日貨;抵制日貨...
回復第2帖

jsjhpc:第3帖
[昨天23:37]編輯九
跟蹤報道:我向你們的良知呼喚-記深圳友利電(日資)公司罷工事件
  今天是《南京大屠殺》67周年紀念日,一個讓所有中國人流淚的日子。在電腦前敲鍵盤的我卻怎麽也抑制不住自己的情感,任憑淚水嘩嘩的流。一是爲死去的亡靈,二是爲正在受苦受難正在爲爭取自己合法權益而掙紮的同胞。
  員工的呼聲
  早上8:00,UNIDEN公司技術大樓樓下,正如前天大家離去時所說的一樣,大家都沒有去打卡,拒絕上班,這時候有很多員工正在聯繫深圳的相關媒體同政府部門,但是此時的他們就象集體打過疫苗一樣,沒有一個回應,16000多人的聲音此時是這麽的微弱。而生産部門的員工由於6:00鍾就到了,聚集在外面的操場上馬路邊,大概有7000人左右。8:15分,技術大樓的員工一起走向了操場與生産部門的員工匯合,場上頓時響起了雷鳴般的掌聲。。。
  由於生産部還有部分代表要在10:00左右才能到,所以先到的員工代表這時候在同員工交流瞭解情況。
  9:00多鍾的時候,從uniden公司的大門走出去大約600,700女工,他們超107國道走去,她們想通過堵住107國道來引起媒體的注意,然而等待她們的是全副武裝的警察同治安隊人員,有的女工在路上被推倒了,有的頭髮被撕亂了,但是她們還是爬起來,哭著朝目第地前進。後來聽說打概有500人到了,但是被更多的警察給轟了回來。我們可愛的媒體呀,老百姓需要你們的時候,你們現在在哪里?在哪里?
  10:00的時候我們先到的代表走到臺上,向大家喊話,告訴大家,今天是爲所有的員工爭取應得的權益站出來的。uniden公司從2000年員工大罷工時向員工承諾建立工會,爲什麽現在還沒有建?廠方可以隨便炒員工,壓扣工資,制定不平等條款,上下班搜身,甚至帶治安隊人員進車間抓將被炒掉還在上班的女員工,爲什麽?因爲員工是弱勢群體,我們現在要自己保護自己,我們要成立自己的工會來保護我們的員工,來保護大家的合法權益。台下響起一陣又一陣的掌聲,員工們一雙雙期待的眼睛看著我們的代表。同時先到的代表呼籲台下誰願意自告奮勇的出來爲員工說話,一個女孩這時候勇敢的站出來了,又一個也出來了......一會兒臺上就站滿了人。她們告訴她們爲什麽站上來?她們的經歷,她們用最樸實的話來打動台下每一個員工的心。。。。
  這時候,我的眼睛濕潤了,長這麽大還沒有見過這麽激動人心的場面。
工會籌委會成立
  台下的工人們同時發出聲音,“我們同意,我們支援”,火爆的場面令我畢生難望。經過大家自告奮勇同台下工人的推薦,此時臺上已經有50多位員工站了上來。此時Tom陳(此次工會籌委會成員,曾去日本留學3年),herry(開發人員)還有所有臺上的員工向大家宣佈:“現在uniden工會籌委會成立,上面人員暫時爲工會籌委會會成員,現在將代表大家同日方人員進行談判,請大家今天回去明天早上8:00在同一地點匯合,我們將把進展情況向大家彙報,此時任何廠房或政府上來說話,我們都不答應。”
  下面一起發出呐喊:“好。。。。。”
  而此時,塘尾派出所的人員正在忙碌著在旁邊拍攝臺上的所有人員,有員工問是新聞單位嗎,是新聞單位歡迎上臺來。但是沒有回答,繼續拍,有員工阻止,他們惡狠狠的把鏡頭對著我們的員工,“信不信我把你抓起來”?
  他們難道忘了今天是什麽日子?
回應人:tty2004發表日期:2004-12-1323:25:38
艱難的開始
我們的工會籌委會會成員向大家宣佈後讓大家離去,現在已經是中午13:00多的時間了。此時大家也都餓了,同時所有成員也要在一起商討下一步的動作,所以大家就近找了一家湘菜館在一起吃飯,邊吃邊談。
在宣佈成立工會籌委會後,我們立即與深圳市總工會取得了聯繫,並詢問員工自發成立的工會合不合法,市總工會給我們的答復是完全合法,並叫我們同寶安區福永鎮工會組織取得聯繫,我們及時的與福永鎮工會組織取得了聯繫,對方告知下午14:30左右會到塘尾村委跟我們談。
而此時uniden公司的大門內正一輛接一輛的豪華轎車,大致看了一下全是進口貨,而他們的主人正是我們可愛的政府官員,此時的他們正在與uniden的所謂管理者正在一起出謀化策(本來不想這麽說,但是後來發生的事讓我不得不這麽想)。
在我們吃飯的過程中,突然跑進來兩個穿得非常體面的中年人,告訴我們找我們找得好辛苦,說他們是新聞單位的,寶安區電視臺的。想瞭解一下我們現在的情
況。很多人都高興了一把,但是開始談著就聽口氣不對勁,我們就有工友問:“你們的記者證能不能拿出來看看?”他們說:“在車上,我們出去拿”。我們有工友跟了過去,但是沒想到他們越跑越快,跑上車馬上開車走了。
看來日本人針對這樣的事件確實向某些朋友說的一樣,在國內預先演習推算了多遍。
此時所有的人也感到艱難才剛剛開始。
補充日期:2004-12-1323:26:26
沒有結果的談判
下午15:00,福永工會的人來了,但是不是在開始時同我們說的在塘尾村委,而是被人先請到了uniden公司人事大樓。此時我們也通過討論,最終確定了10個人選(後來加了2人),都是開始大家一起選出來的代表中挑選出來的。其他爲後備人員,向我們的談判人員聯繫並彙報外面發生的情況。當我們12個代表走進人事部大樓的時候,有20幾個人正從裏面出來,挺著肥碩的肚腩走向員工聚集的操場,這時候我們每個人都有一種不詳的預感。
我們的代表都坐在談判桌前去了,而剛才那批人卻走到了我們的臺上。有一些瞭解情況的老員工立即趕了過去,告訴其他女工,說它們想利用我們籌委會人員在談判的時候向一些不瞭解情況的員工宣佈說同我們達成了協定,叫大家回去上班,確實如此,因爲他們那幫人趁我們籌委會人員不在的時候隨便抓了4個女員工,逼著她們答應條件並簽字。
大家感到情況危機,因爲中國人一旦有人去上班了,另外這些人也會跟著去。我們立即向談判組的成員做了彙報,叫他們立即終止談判。過了幾分鐘,henrry跑了出來,此時那幫人已經上到了臺上,請大家記住他們。他們自己說他們是寶安區勞動部門的工作人員,還有生産部經理陳樹川(也就是人事部狗漢奸李林的妹夫)等人正在臺上歪曲事實,這時候henrry一個人跑了上去,舉起雙手。這時候台下一下子掌聲雷動,henrry(呂遠)向大家宣佈:“我叫呂遠,電腦部java工程師,我們的談判現在正在進行,我們現在沒有達成任何協定,叫大家按早上說的做!”此時塘尾派出所的所長正在拿著DV拼命的拍henrry,並且一直追到了會議室裏面,同胞們以後henrry同我們任何一個成員有什麽不測,請全國同胞們爲我們主持公道,這幾個人脫不了干系,因爲我們有女同胞現場聽到塘尾派出所的所長說找個機會要把henrry等人弄進去。
:00-1-12:2:5
白色恐怖沒有結束

大家出來的之前,塘尾派出所的工作人員一刻也沒有停止,他們手拿dv不停的拍我們的員工,只要有幾個人聚在一起,他們就過去了。難怪日本人在中國這麽放心,原來我們有這麽好的投資環境,我們的納稅人血汗錢真的沒有白花。由於派出所的人不斷的揚言要抓我們的員工,現在我們確實感到了危機四伏,我真的擔心我明天就見不到了我親愛的朋友。如果早就料到世道是這樣的,我真的該早點勸他們不要參與,因爲罷不罷工都對他們的生活不會帶來更大的影響,因爲他們拿著較高的工資,這些員工的福利跟他們沒有太大的關係,但是不管怎樣,就如他們罷工前所說的那樣:”我們不能看到我們的同胞受壓榨而視而不見。“
同胞們,請你們一起來支援我們,最近的新聞都在報道,中國政府都在督促”沃爾瑪“成立工會,難道你們願意看到我們同胞這樣子嗎?如果你有正義感,請你把我們這幾天發生的真實事件發送到你能夠發到的地方,謝謝大家啦!


我將繼續對此事進行跟蹤報道。

2
回復第3帖

Bell

Now, four month later, the workers of Uniden are on strike again,but this time maybe the worker's strike will not develope smoothly,because the goverment intervenes hardly and suppresses the workers.But it seems that the workers put their foot down the goverment's repression and bid defiance to Uniden.

Bell

here is the link to Chinese Comment
http://www.blogcn.com/gbook.asp?userid=719336&gid=5359184

abc

http://www.malaysia-today.net/Blog-e/2005/04/nanjing-massacre-deepest-of-wounds.htm

Nanjing Massacre: The deepest of wounds
The Chinese call it a war crime. The Japanese describe it as an 'incident'. David McNeill reports from Tokyo on how the Nanjing massacre still haunts an uneasy relationship.

Last weekend, 15-year-old Akari Shimoda sat down to dinner in Tokyo and watched in amazement as snarling protesters in Shanghai shouting "Japanese pigs out" filled her television screen. The demonstrators surrounded the Japanese consulate in the city and pelted it with rocks and bottles before smashing shop windows, overturning cars and beating Japanese students.

"It's a scary country," said Akari, who says she does not understand the phrase "repent for war crimes" on the placards of the protesters. "The police just stand around and let them act."

Does she know why the protesters are angry? "Not really. I think Japan did something to China in the past, I'm not sure what. It was so long ago."

Japanese children's ignorance of Asian history, thanks to a curriculum that glosses over imperial Japan's brief but brutal colonial adventure until 1945, has been a source of controversy in Asia for decades. The contrast in China, where every 15-year-old is taught that wartime Emperor Hirohito's brainwashed troops butchered and looted their way across their country for 14 years, could not be starker.

This contested history, stoked by growing economic and regional rivalry, helps explain why distrust and suspicion lurk beneath the surface of a booming bilateral trade relationship.

"There is so much hate between our two countries," says Alice Lee, a saleswoman in Guangzhou, southern China. "Even though I like Japanese culture and products, we Chinese find it hard to forgive them for what they did to us in the past."

Japanese troops poured into the wartime capital city of Nanjing on 13 December 1937, after suffering heavy casualties in Shanghai. They then began a six-week orgy of medieval raping, killing and looting, carrying out what the United Human Rights Council called "the single worst atrocity during the World War Two era in either the European or Pacific theatres of war".

An American eyewitness, Minnie Vautrin, who kept a diary, wrote on 16 December 1937: "There probably is no crime that has not been committed in this city today." Witnesses said soldiers practised with bayonets on tied-up prisoners, burnt others alive and set dogs on children.

Pregnant women were raped and bayoneted, decapitated heads were put on spikes or waved around like trophies, hundreds of unarmed civilians were mown down with machine guns and dumped in rivers and open graves.

Tillman Durdin, the New York Times reporter who called the rape of Nanjing "one of the great atrocities of modern times", described a car journey to the city's river front. "The car just had to drive over these dead bodies. And the scene on the river front, as I waited for the launch ... was of a group of smoking, chattering Japanese officers overseeing the massacring of a battalion of Chinese captured troops."

The most famous witness was John Rabe - the so-called Good Man of Nanjing, an Oscar Schindler-type businessman who ran the local Nazi party but became leader of an international safety zone that reportedly saved 250,000 lives.

After weeks watching children and old women being repeatedly raped then murdered, often with extreme cruelty, he wrote in his diary that the suffering "dumbfounded" him. Exactly how many were killed in Nanjing is one of the most bitterly contested statistics of the Second World War.

The best-known account, by the Chinese-American author Iris Chang, who committed suicide earlier this year and who said she "felt rage" and suffered nightmares during her research, claims more than 300,000 Chinese died and at least 20,000 women were raped. Her 1997 book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, was the target of a vitriolic campaign by neo-nationalists in Japan who said it was full of lies and exaggerations.

Today, Nanjing is another of China's booming, rapidly modernising cities, a metropolis of more than four million people with wide tree-lined streets and a new highway stretching to Shanghai. The city memorialises the winter of 1937 in a sparse concrete bunker in the south-western suburbs where the figure "300,000" is carved in four-foot black lettering on the museum wall. Inside, an exhibition of pictures of mutilated corpses and glass cases containing the bones of the victims concludes with a visitors' book.

"I cried when I learnt what my country did," reads a comment from one of the many Japanese visitors.

In the catalogue of Japanese war crimes in China, Nanjing is rivalled only by the gruesome experiments of Unit 731, which was then the most elaborate biological warfare programme ever created; a four-mile complex of squat buildings in Ping Fang, south of Harbin, that turned diseases such as typhoid, anthrax, smallpox, cholera and dysentery into mass-produced killers.

The atrocities included dissection of live prisoners in an attempt to determine the effects of pathogens on the human body.

Yoshio Shinozuka, who was just 16 years old when he was dispatched by authorities in Tokyo to help the Unit 731 scientists, remembers the first time he assisted in an experiment on one of the prisoners who were known asmurata, or logs.

"I knew the Chinese individual we dissected alive," he recalls. "At the vivisection I could not meet his eyes because of the hate in them. He was infected with plague germs and, as the disease took its toll, his face and body became totally black. Still alive, he was brought on a stretcher to the autopsy room, where I was ordered to wash the body. I used a rubber hose and a deck brush to wash him ... The man's organs were methodically excised one by one." The results harvested by military scientists from these experiments were, by 1940, being used to spread typhoid, cholera and plague across China.

Teams of soldiers were sent to dump pathogens in rivers and water supplies. When these methods proved too slow and soldiers ended up poisoning themselves, military brains were racked for more efficient delivery systems. Shinozuka and his colleagues were put to work cultivating fleas.

When Japanese planes flew over Chongshan village in Zheijiang Province in 1942, the residents remember seeing a black cloud descending from the skies. Within days, many residents developed high fevers, headaches and swollen lymph nodes; the symptoms of flea-borne plague - the same disease that wiped out much of the European population in the Middle Ages. Within two months, about 400 people, or one-third of the village's population, had died.

Estimates of casualties from Japan's germ warfare programme in China from 1932 to 1945 vary, but the most careful English- language study so far, by the American historian Sheldon H Harris, says that even by late 1942 the casualty count "fell into the six-figure range". Outbreaks of disease continued long after the scientists - whose parting gift was to release thousands of disease-ridden rats before dynamiting the germ factories - melted back into post-war civilian life back home.

Few Japanese students know anything about Unit 731, even though, after years of denial, a Japanese court ruled in a landmark lawsuit three years ago that the germ warfare programme did exist. Most Chinese know the whole sordid tale, including the bitter sting at the end.

While Shinozuka and other Unit 731 minions were sent to Chinese prisons as war criminals, the military mandarins who had built the programme and boasted of its war-winning potential to Tokyo were protected in exchange for their research findings.

In newly released documents published by historians over the past decade, American military scientists emphasised the "extreme value" of the intelligence information gained in Japanese germ-warfare tests. "The value to the US of Japanese biological warfare data is of such importance to national security as to far outweigh the value accruing from 'war crimes' prosecution," wrote one. The military seal of approval meant immunity for the key figures, including the programme's architect, Shiro Ishii, who died in Tokyo in 1959 without ever spending a day in court.

Many went on to have lucrative post-war careers in the medical industry. Unit 731 and its aftermath ranks, according to the veteran Japanese civil rights lawyer Keiichiro Ichinose, with the worst of the Nazis' war crimes. "The government here has got to come to terms with this before it can move forward with the rest of its Asian neighbours," he says.

Japan's way of moving forward since the war has been to sign normalisation agreements with its former enemies, ending all claims for compensation, and to hand over billions of dollars in development aid, an apology of sorts that means not having to say the word sorry.

But its failure to make a clean break with the past has allowed the issue of war guilt to be manipulated by Beijing, which has ratcheted up patriotism, anti-Japanese and anti-US rhetoric as the social fallout from two decades of breakneck capitalism has grown. And as disputes over resources and territory worsen, this patriotism threatens to take on a life of its own.

As Japanese businesses and consulates in China cleaned up after another weekend of rioting, one of the sadder sights on television was diplomats on both sides insisting that they had not said sorry. "It is Japan who should apologise first for its war history," said Wu Dawei, the Vice-Foreign Minister. Meanwhile, Japan's Foreign Minister, Nobutaka Machimura, was telling the press in Tokyo that he had not expressed "deep apologies" during a private meeting with Li Zhaoxing, his Chinese counterpart. "I said no such thing," he said. After all these years, sorry, it seems, is still the hardest word.
What it says in the Japanese textbooks

The history textbook at the centre of the dispute between Japan and its neighbours is just one of eight selected by Japan's Ministry of Education for use in secondary schools. In it, the Japanese invasion of Asia is called the "war in Asia and the Pacific" and the word "invasion" changed to "advancement", or replaced with neutral phases like "extension of the battle line".

References to Unit 731 are dropped. The 1937 Nanjing massacre is changed to the "Nanjing incident" and the casualties played down, with the implication that China invented the episode - a common contention among Japanese nationalists; Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo's governor, famously called the massacre a "Chinese lie".

References to "comfort women", or an estimated 100,000-200,000 sexual slaves from across Asia forced to service imperial troops, are not included.

The 1943 Greater East Asia Conference, held in Tokyo, was said to be working for the "cooperation of each country and the elimination of racial discrimination", even as imperial scientists were experimenting on Chinese prisoners in Unit 731 like animals in a zoo.

The benefits of Japan's brief colonial rule of the Korean peninsula are extolled and China is essentially blamed for its own subjugation for rebuffing Japan's attempts in the 1920s to deal with the country "in a spirit of co-operation".

War in China was prolonged, the textbook says, because of the tactics of the Chinese Communist Party, which formed an alliance with the Nationalists in the 1930s. The population in Japan's colonial outposts around Asia "co-operated" to defeat Western imperialism.

This approach is combined with the sometimes selective use of facts: readers are told that Japanese people tried to save Jews from the Nazi Holocaust but not that imperial scientists were also conducting Nazi-style experiments on Chinese and other Asian prisoners; that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been judged a crime on a par with the Holocaust and the African slave trade, but not that the Japanese war machine also enslaved millions of Asians.

The Japan that emerges from the pages is moderate, stoic and put-upon; a reluctant warrior steering a tortuous path between the Scylla of national security and the Charybdis of Western colonialism. It is a comforting picture, but not one that the rest of Asia is likely to agree with

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Global Voices


  • Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?

  • Donate to Global Voices - Help us spread the word
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2004

license

My book:

Consent of the Networked
Coming January 31st, 2012, from Basic Books. To pre-order click here.
AddThis Feed Button