A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Japanese court rules newspaper didn't fabricate 1937 Chinese killing game

[JURIST] A Tokyo court has ruled that a contest by Japanese soldiers in 1937 to behead Chinese soldiers did occur, and was not fabricated by the media, as claimed by families of the Japanese soldiers concerned. Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun [media website, in Japanese] ran a story in 1937 detailing a game between two army lieutenants, Toshiaki Mukai and Tsuyoshi Noda, as to who would be the first to decapitate 100 Chinese soldiers. The contest took place prior to the Nanjing massacre [BBC News backgrounder] where an estimated 250,000 Chinese civilians were murdered by an invading Japanese army, though Japanese officials deny such a large-scale massacre occurred. Families of the lieutenants, who were later executed, sued Mainichi Shimbun and another newspaper, Asahi Shimbun [media website], for 36 million yen ($330,000) arguing that the contest was fabricated. Tokyo District Court Judge Akio Doi dismissed the case saying, "the lieutenants admitted the fact that they raced to kill 100 people. We cannot deny that the article included some false elements and exaggeration, but it is difficult to say the article was fiction not based on facts." AFP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.