What was Japan's reaction, has it been appropriate? Regretably it has not.
Japanese public exposure to the crimes of Nanking did not occur until the Tokyo trials, nearly a decade later, even then the story was not followed up and the issues soon disappeared from public consciousness. In Japan some right-wing researchers and nationalist critics later claimed that no massacre ever occurred; others insisted that the atrocities have been greatly exaggerated by Chinese political propaganda. Through four long decades of cold war, issues of war responsibility were covered up. Only since the mid-1980s have ordinary Japanese citizens gradually become aware that their country once fought a war of aggression symbolized by the Nanking massacre. Herbert P. Bix
The government of Japan has remained quite ambivalent about how it faces its wartime past, unlike the far more orthodox recognition of guilt and responsibility that Germany has expressed in both official and unofficial registers.
One of the most significant reasons for that ambivalence is
the deflection of the issues of guilt, responsibility, punishment, and reparations in the years immediately following the end of the war. That deflection is traceable to U.S. policy during the occupation and reconstruction of Japan (1945-52) and the emergence of the Cold War.
This came in spite of the U.S.’s role in leading the IMTFE. The long-term effect of the Tokyo trials was to punish a small number of military and civilian officials while allowing the Emperor himself as well as low-level officials, soldiers, and civilians at large—not to mention large scale structures such as institutions, legal codes, and ideology—to avoid scrutiny or self-scrutiny. The IMTFE was also easily interpretable as an instance of one-sided victor’s justice. To this day, therefore, there are a small number of Japanese in all walks of life who deny, downplay, or misrepresent the IMTFE as well as the whole issue of Japan’s role in the
And Japanese Rtightists regist.
An important subject for future study, one not explored in this book, is how Japanese conservatives and rightists, many in the Liberal Democratic Party, came to make a specialty of distorting the achievements of the Tokyo trial, just as they falsified Nanking, while progressives have struggled ever since to deepen understanding of both.Herbert P. Bix
However on the whole, there has been heated discussions.,
Unlike the debate in English, Japanese researchers have been debating – and truly debating – the incident for decades rather than only the past few years,David Askew
Takashi Yoshida's discussion of the Japanese historiography of the Nanjing massacre should serve to remind readers how erroneous is the broadbrush indictment of the Japanese people as "amnesia victims." Much of the most searching and unbiased research has emerged from Japanese historians and journalists like Yoshida. His chapter in this book is particularly helpful in unraveling the complex history of the "textbook controversy" in Japan. He is justifiably harsh in his judgment of Japanese revisionists who have sought to minimize the scale of Nanjing in order to preserve a "tidy" history, one which could evoke national pride. At the same time, however, Yoshida notes that the insularity of the revisionists has helped to motivate Japanese progressive historians to research the massacre in ever more careful detail.link
Japanese historiography and all the related debates and denial attempts that surround the Nanjing Massacre. Two main points stand out: firstly, the historiography produced by Japanese scholars is by far the most thorough, compelling, and reliable study material of the Nanjing Massacre. All specialists know that. It is unfortunate that this historiography remains largely ignored, even in Japan itself, but more evidently in the West (including by such authors as Iris Chang) and in China. Secondly, there are constant and systematic efforts made by various groups, mostly from the far right or nationalist groups, to deny the Nanjing Massacre ever occurred. These efforts represent the ripples of an underlying and deeper current among Japanese conservative politicians determined to whitewash Japanese responsibility and crimes during the war. These attempts sometimes extend beyond occasional 'blunders' by politicians into the larger public realm by way of journals and mangas. Takashi Yoshida observes that however massive the research-based scholarship on the Nanjing Massacre, it will never prevent the media from seizing and giving prominence to any controversial statement or publication by people from the 'revisionist' groups. It is and will always be the duty of historians to join in an endless battle as their opponents are not motivated by academic concerns but by ideological objectives.link
After all, Japan is a country whre freedom of speech is protected by the constituion.You can not eliminate deniers in this society.And even deniers contributes to this debetes, and the truth. Without deniers, there has been no heated debates.And historians learn to deal with evidences more carefully.I see nothing wrong with deniers who argue pursuasively.
But Japanese government should have done better. We will examine what should be done on another thread.
I think he is talking about Ienaga saburo's lawsuit.
（参考文献『東京裁判』全三巻 朝日新聞法廷記者団著 東京裁判刊行会発行）