Date of letter:July 15, 1993
Address of author:Chengdu City, Sichuan Province
Date of event:1944, 1949
Location of event:Hunan Province
Name of author:Qiao Peng
Name(s) of victim(s):Qiao Guangding (Qiao Peng’s younger brother)
Type of atrocity:Others, Rapes, Slave Laborers, Murders (OT, RA, SL, MU)
Other details:The Japanese army invaded Changsha City, Hunan Province on June 17th, 1944, and then started to attack Guangxi Province. During the march, the Japanese army recklessly burnt, murdered and raped Chinese civilians, and forced Chinese people to be their slaves. In 1944, when Qiao Guangding was working as a laborer, he was caught by Japanese invaders to be slave laborers and then got killed at the young age of 17 due to his inability to carry military goods.
Mr. Tong Zhen:
We learned from the newspaper and magazine articles that you are seeking justice for the Chinese victims who were ravaged by the Japanese army during the Second World War. You are also making a great effort helping the victims to make claims for reparations from the Japanese Government. We feel proud and are delighted that in China there is someone like you who is concerned about the well-being of his country and its people.
Look back into the history, there were many cases of Chinese being oppressed and insulted by the aggression of foreign forces. In the past, the Chinese Government could only surrender to the foreign invaders, and therefore the suffered Chinese people had no choice but to take the suffering as predestinated or bad luck. When the Second World War came to an end, despite the fact that China was a victorious country, the injured Chinese people did not receive any compensation.
After the founding of New China, the Chinese people have finally risen to their feet. Because China is strong and powerful now, the foreigners do not dare to take advantage of the Chinese people anymore. However, Chinese are still very poor, while Japanese, who invaded China, have become rich. Based on humanity, they should pay reparations to the Chinese victims of the war, but they refused to do so. On the other side, our government only emphasized the friendship with them, and neglected those distressful victims who were crushed by the war. This is hard for me to understand.
Now Mr. Tong Zhen, representing the Chinese war victims, is asking the Japanese government for reparations. This is ‘quite good’. It represents the wishes of us who are victims of the war. Most Chinese people have no idea of how to claim reparations from Japan, and do not know that Mr. Tong is building this unprecedented reparation project with his full heart. So I propose that Mr. Tong take the responsibility to establish organizations for this cause across the nation, to spread the words of the importance and the necessity of claiming reparations from Japan. With expanded influence, hoping that all the war victims will be united to take action so that this reasonable demand will be realized.
Best wishes to Mr. Tong for a successful career and good health.
Attached is my indemnity claim. Please pass it on for me.
Chengdu Railway Branch Office
July 20th, 1993
Japan’s reparations to Chinese civil victims of the war
It has been nearly 50 years ago when The Second World War swept the globe, but the grief and indignation of the victims and their families have never been eased. We strongly urge that the Japanese Government to compensate the Chinese people they have killed during their aggression towards China.
On June 17th, 1944, after the Japanese army invaded Changsha, Hunan Province, they continued and occupied Hengyang on August 8th. After that, the Japanese invaders marched into Guilin, Liuzhou in Guangxi Province, and all the way to Dushan, Guizhou Province. During their march, the Japanese army recklessly burnt, murdered and raped Chinese civilians, forced Chinese people to be their slaves and eventually killed them all. Qiong Yao, the famous female writer from Taiwan wrote clearly in her autobiography :” In 1944, Sino-Japanese War swept across the entire China. Wherever the Japanese army passed, they killed people, set fires and plundered everything…… In fact, the places where Japanese treaded were plunged into an abyss of misery and devastation. They cruelly killed the old, the weak, women, children, scholars, farmers, artisans or merchants and all”. The Japanese army also forced Chinese civilians to be their slaves (called coolie by Japanese) to transport military goods and materials, treating them as animals.
The victim Jiang Guangding (nicknamed Ding Shan), male, was born on May 13th, 1927. He was from Chalin Village, Longxu Township, Dongan County, Hunan Province, and worked as a laborer in Wang Bingyong Rice Store, Lengshuitan Street, Hunan Province. In 1944, the Japanese army invaded Lengshuitan, capturing Jiang Guangding to be their coolie. When the Japanese army marched to Quanzhou County, Guangxi Province, because of Jiang’s young age and poor health, he was unable to carry the heavy military goods for the Japanese, and thus was killed by them at his early age of 17 years old. That happened near Baizhula Village, Baibao Township, Quanzhou County.
We are the families of the victim. After Guangding was taken by the Japanese army, we yearned for his return every day and night, but never heard any news about him. Much later, we found out that he was brutally murdered by the Japanese army.
The Sino-Japanese War has been over for 48 years, and the diplomatic relations between the two nations have been normalized for more than 20 years. However, the Japanese Government had never provided any consolation and reparations for the sufferings caused by the Japanese army’s cold-blooded atrocity in China, especially for those who were murdered by the Japanese army. We feel extremely indignant at it.
Now that Japan is an economic super power in the world, the Japanese Government subsidized the warfare expenditure of 9 billion US dollars to several national forces in Middle East War, and also dispatched the army to join the UN peacekeeping force in Cambodia, which needed a large amount of money. If it was not because of the Kuril Islands dispute, Japan would even grant aid to Russia. Since Japan has sufficient capital to put into international affairs which are irrelevant to its country, why can’t it pay for the due compensations owed to the Chinese victims once trampled by the Japanese army? Who can understand the mental pains and tortures we have been experiencing for the last decades caused by the Japanese army’s savage act? During every festival when family members gather, we feel the pain thinking about how our innocent kin was killed by the Japanese invaders. If our kin were still alive, he would have children and grandchildren, and enjoy a happy life. But all of these have been ruined by the Japanese evil invaders.
That is why we now have to deliberately ask the Japanese Government to indemnify 100,000 US dollars for us as the families of the victim, in order to make up for part of our suffering and trauma. We, the victim’s families, hereby entrust Mr. Tong Zeng to represent us to claim the reparations from the Japanese Government, which we think is very reasonable.
Victim’s family members:
Younger brother: Jiang Peng (former name: Jiang Guangjia), now a retired worker of Labor & Capital Division, Chengdu Railway Branch Office, Chengdu Railway Bureau, State Ministry of Railways.
Home address: No. 13, Building 56, Railways Dorm, North Renmin Road, Chengdu City
Youngest brother: Jiang Hong (former name: Jiang Guangding ), now a retired worker of No. 408 Geological Prospecting Team, Hunan Bureau of Geology.
Home address: Hospital Dorm, Shuikou Town, Ling County, Hunan Province
Older sister: Jiang Qiuying, living in Xiaoshe Village, Fanlongxu Township, Dong’an County, Hunan Province
July 15th, 1993