Hirohito believed himself to be a deity, a god, and it was his godly desire, to conquer China, then the U.S., and to become Emperor of the world. In 1937, Japan launched an all-out war on China, concentrating its forces on the commerical center of China, Shanghai. Japan justified this crime by falsely claiming it was "protecting China from its inner turmoil," and that the long term consequences of war and invasion would be good for the world and especially East Asia.
Shanghai was soon under siege by the Japanese army which had been preparing for war, for over 20 years. After 3 months of fighting, and the loss of 300,000 men, The Nationalist Chinese army fled to Nanking, which was the cultural center and capital of China.
Although the wealthy, the powerful, and government leaders began to flee, over 300,000 refugees had sough refuge in Nanking, i.e. refugees who had fled the maurading Japanese armies.
Another 250,000 of Nankings citizens had sought refuge in the Nanking Safety Zones
The Japanese soon began bombing Nanking, targeting those areas which were most densely populated with civilians.
In December 13. 1937, the Chinese Nationalist government inexplicably ordered Chinese defenders to retreat. Nationalist generalis and officers abandoned their men, most of whom were never informed that a retreat had been ordered. Although they continued to meet with heavy resistance, the Japanese army soon overwhelmed the remaining Chinese defenders, and marched into Nanking. Because the nationalist Chinese military leadership chose to flee rather than fight, sevently thousand Nationalist Chinese soldiers were left without any type of leadership and sought to escape. Chinese soldiers tossed away their uniforms and rifles and tried to blend in with the stunned citizens and refugees of Nanking.
The city of Nanking thus quickly fell to the invading Japanese. The Japanese military, however, was not satisfied with conquering the city and instead went on an 8-week orgy of incredible violence against the women, children, and men of Nanking, committing horrible atrocities and crimes against humanity, including beheading, bayoneting, torturing, burning, and burying alive, Chinese women, children, babies, and old men.
Thousands of Chinese men, women, and children, were herded together, and beheaded or used for bayonette practice. Thousands of Chinese civilians were gathered in large groups and doused with gasoline and set on fire. Japanese soldiers often through grenades or shot into the flaming, screaming crowds of burning people.
On December 16, 1937, the Japanese rounded up more than 50,000 people who were then murdered, in mass, at the foot of the Mufu Mountain. These unarmed Chinese men and women, were machine gunned, beheaded, bayonetted, or set on fire.
According to some eye-witness accounts: "First, the Japanese doused the people with gasoline and then they opened fire on the crowd with machine guns. When the bullets hit their bodies, the gasoline caught fire. The refugees' burning bodies quivered from head to toe causing the whole scene to flicker from the light of the gasoline fires on their bodies. The Japanese soldiers stood by laughing hysterically." (Source: Nanjing Historical Archives, "A Record of the Miserable Conditions in Enemy Occupied Areas," Volume V).
Japanese soldiers in fact made a game of of torturing and gang-raping women and children, and were encouraged by their officers to invent new and amusing ways of killing and torturing their captives. Murder, rape, and torture, including burning and the rape of children, were in fact believed to be a good way for bolstering the morale of their soldiers, and contests were held to see who could kill the most Chinese.
Tens of thousands of Chinese women, including those in their 90s or as young as 3, were gang raped, tortured, and then murdered by stabbing, beheading, or being set on fire and burned alive. The most desirable and beautiful of Chinese women would often be taken captive and raped over several days by hundreds of Japanese soldiers, after which these women would be killed. High ranking Japanese officers encouraged their men to not just rape and kill these women, but to torture them, such as by cutting off breasts, or vaginas, or by disembowling these women. Cutting off breasts followed by a bayonett to the vagina, was thought to be great sport and yet another amusing way to boost the morale of the Japanese soldiers.
"Every day, twenty-four hours a day, there was not one hour when an innocent woman was not being dragged off somewhere by a Japanese soldier" (Source: Dagong Daily).
Japanese soldiers tore out the eyes of children. Babies were torn from their mother's arms, and shot, stabbed, clubbed, or dashed against the road or the sides of buildings. Pregnant women were cut open and their fetus's torn from their bodies. Within a few weeks there were so many bodies on the street that international agencies begged the Japanese authorities to allow them to bury and dispose of rotting corpses. The Japanese refused. The rotting corpses served a purpose: To terrify the Chinese
Similar atrocities were in fact taking place throughout Asia. According to the International Military Tribunal of the Far East, the Japanese murdered 280,000 unarmed Chinese civilians in Nanking, alone.
Millions of Asians were in fact being tortured, murdered, and exposed to deadly biological weapons of mass destruction by the Japanese Imperial army. Torture and terrorism, were in fact Japanese military and Imperial policy. Japanese soldiers were rotated through Nanking, the capital of China, to obtain "killing practice" so they would be willing to perform similar atrocities against other helpless people and innocent men, women, and children.