Japan occupied parts of China from the early 1930s and until it's defeat by the Americans in 1945. In December 1937 the Japanese invaded Nanking, a city that normally had a population of about 200K but had grown to more than a million due to people fleeing other invaded cities and taking refuge in Nanking.
By mid January of 1938, the Japanese had killed more than 300K of the people in Nanking ....even children were not spared. There are varying reports of anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 women being raped and killed and even children as young as 10 yr old suffering the same fate.
If you want to know more..(warning: gruesome pics).. go here and here.
The Japanese give their own version here disputing the number and circumstances.
Hard to believe that a tiny country like Japan had an army that could invade and occupy more than a dozen countries around it .... and not very long ago, that too.
NANJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Sirens wailed at 10 a.m. Thursday in Nanjing, as 9,000 people from around the world attended a peace rally to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.
Large wreaths were presented and the People's Republic of China national anthem was sung, before people bowed three times and took part in a silent tribute.
Nanjing, capital of eastern Jiangsu Province, bears painful memories of Japan's invasion of China during World War II.
More than 300,000 Chinese people, including infants and the elderly, were massacred after Japanese troops occupied the city in December 1937.
In a keynote speech at the rally, Yang Weize, secretary of the Nanjing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, said, "It (the Nanjing Massacre) is the darkest part in modern civilization for human beings.
"As we review history and mourn the dead," Yang continued, "we engrave the lesson in our minds 'falling behind will suffer beating, only development can make us strong.'"
People from the United States, Canada, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Greece, Nepal, the Republic of Korea and Japan attended the rally held at a square in front of the Memorial Hall of the Victims for the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders.
Zhu Chengshan, memorial hall curator, said it had been the 10th year in a row since the international peace rally was held on the massacre anniversary.
"We believe it is a good practice to promote world peace," Zhu said......