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For or against a charge of crimes against humanitarian law - Essay Example

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The Rape of Nanking Holding Japan Legally Responsible for Crimes against Humanity Name of of Professor Introduction The notion of war crimes can create dreadful and frightening images for many people: rape, genocide, concentration camps, attacks of cities, execution of prisoners of war (POW)…
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For or against a charge of crimes against humanitarian law
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Download file to see previous pages However, the Rape of Nanking surpasses this contradiction as one of the most atrocious in the history of humankind. This long forgotten atrocity of the Second World War is a crime against humanity, both in the legal and human point of view. War crimes are defiance of the rules of war or, generally, of international humanitarian law, that sustain individual criminal liability (Chang 1998). Even though constraints on waging war date back roughly in the 6th century BC in China, by the time of the First World War, nations had recognized that particular infringements of the rules of war, a great deal of which had been written in the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions, were crimes (Yamamoto 2000). The history of every nation narrates some disreputable and detestable episodes that peoples of other nations still denounce and the people of that offending nation would want to disregard, forget, or even, in some cases, rationalize. Among these controversial events in human history is the Rape of Nanking which is incomparable due to the extraordinary level of attention given to it for an unusually duration of time. In spite of the effort and time of large numbers of people who have tackled this issue, nevertheless, there seems to be no agreement over such important issues as to the manner of and reason for the occurrence of Rape of Nanking and the extent of the slaughter. The manner American scholars have viewed and treated the topic of the Rape of Nanking are critically blemished, leading to a faulty scrutiny and assumption (Yamamoto 2000). As a result, large numbers of American people embrace the assumption of such a defective analysis and knowledge and build their own perspectives, several of them anomalous, about the occurrence and about the Japanese perpetrators generally. The most severe case of how the absolute recognition of the traditionalist perspective spreads out is as illustrated below (Yamamoto 2000: 4): Consider that the United States, on all fronts, lost 323,000 in the four years of World War II. Or that at Auschwitz the Nazis killed on average 350,000 every two months. The Japanese killed roughly the same number in a few months without the benefit of the technology of mass murder available to the Nazis and without the advantage of concentration camps… What’s more, the Japanese troops weren’t ‘specialized’: nothing comparable to the Einsatzgruppen [task forces] existed in their military. These were the boys next door… the Rape of Nanking reminds us how recently Japan emerged from its medieval age; a scant 140 years ago, less than 100 at the time of the Rape. A reader of this passage may claim that this is a judgment of a fanatic and that most people do not agree with it. However, I must argue that this description, though disgusting and unbelievable it may seem, is rationally made. The author of this passage is nevertheless more rational or realistic than other writers who claim that the number of fatalities is at 300,000 and insists that the government of Japan should acknowledge its legal accountability for the acts of violence and pay damages to the victims (Yamamoto 2000). Given that the number of lost human lives in Nanking had actually been that sizeable as to challenge all time-honored knowledge, one may embrace the assumption contained in the above excerpt: the Japanese people were, and perhaps remain, innately bizarre. If the Japanese peop ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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