China concludes latest anti-Japanese propaganda campaign

China on Saturday wrapped up its latest anti-Japanese propaganda campaign amid continuing sharp disputes with Tokyo over territorial claims and history.

State media published the last of 45 confessions of convicted Japanese World War II criminals, that of a military police commander accused of ordering dozens of executions.

The campaign was launched this summer in response to statements by Japanese politicians and public figures seen as minimizing Japan’s brutal eight-year invasion and occupation of much of China in the 1930s and 1940s.

Those included comments by officials at public broadcaster NHK, one of whom denied the Nanking massacre — in which China claims 300,000 civilians and disarmed soldiers were killed — happened at all. Another downplayed the Imperial Army’s use of sex slaves, an issue that has chilled Japan’s relations with South Korea as well.

Prior to that, China had outraged by Japan’s nationalization of East China Sea islands claimed by Beijing two years ago, as well as a visit in December by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to a Tokyo shrine honoring the war dead, including Class-A war criminals such as wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.

Along with launching successive waves of anti-Japanese vitriol, China has frozen high-level diplomatic contacts and regularly sends patrol boats to challenge Japanese craft near the uninhabited islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan.

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