The Royal Asiatic Society – of Shanghai and of Beijing – invite you to discover some surprising, lesser known aspects of what happened in China and Japan during World War II. Why do we know so little about the horrors of the following two massive attacks, in contrast to the Nanjing Massacre and atomic-bomb blast at Hiroshima?
Japan unleashed massive retaliatory campaigns in China after Tokyo was bombed in April 1942 by the U.S. Doolittle Raiders. Villages in Zhejiang and Jiangxi were ravaged by murders, rapes and biological warfare; up to 250,000 Chinese died. Melinda Liu, Newsweek's Beijing Bureau Chief and an officer of RAS Beijing, will show her short film on the Doolittle Raiders; her late father had helped rescue some of the aviators after they landed in China.
The firebombing of Tokyo unfolded during the evening of 9–10 March 1945 – and killed far more Japanese than died at Hiroshima five months later. John D. Van Fleet, secretary for RAS Shanghai, will outline the events of that evening.
Why are these two incidents so little known? Join us for a screening of Liu's ten-minute documentary, other images from the era, and a discussion that analyses some surprising aspects of WWII history.