The number of people murdered in Nanjing by the Japanese

Mass graves of the massacre victims uncovered

Map of NanJing and locations of massacres

Over 300,000 Chinese were murdered by the Japs in NanJing -- by counting the number of people murdered in large scale massacres and individual killings.

Some Japanese estimates of the number of death were as few as 6000, which have been discredited.

Hata Ikuhiko, one of the leading historians of the war in China, wrote in 1986 that "illegal murders" at NanJing ranged from 38,000 to 42,000.
(Ref. The Nanking Incident, Tokyo, 1986, p214. )

However, then Jap. foreign ministor Hirota Koki told the truth. In a document sent by Hirota Koki to the Japanese Embassy in Washington in January 17, 1938, he stated "based upon investigation, over 300,000 Chinese killed".
(ref. National Archives, Washington, D.C., Released in Sept. 1994)

Besides the photos and films taken by eye witness. The 190-page official document sent to Berlin from the Nazi Embassy at NanJing was most revealing. The manuscript was recently released by Potsdam Archives in 1991, and it fully confirms the duration and magnitude of the massacre.

The verdict of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East reads in part:
Approximately 20,000 cases occured within the city during the first month of the occupation...The total number of civilians and prisoners of war murdered in Nanking during the six weeks was over 200,000. ... These figures do not take into account those persons whose bodies were destroyed by burning or by throwing into the Yangtze River or otherwise disposed by Japanese.

The 200,000 number was mostly based on the records of several humanitarian and charity organizations who buried the remaining bodies a week to four months after the massacres began. The summary of the records is shown in the table below, which demonstrated that six charity groups buried total of 195,240 bodies from 1937.12--1938.10. Detailed bury records are available.

From the verdict, the 200,000 number did not include victims whose bodies were disposed by Japanese (as common in the early stages of the massacre) or by individuals Chinese other than the charities groups, nor did it include those who were massacred after the first six weeks. Therefore, the 200,000 number is the most conservative number. Adding the people murdered in smaller scale killings and whose bodies had been buried by other people, over 300,000 Chinese were massacred in Nanjing.