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Mao Tse-tung

PEACE TERMS MUST INCLUDE
THE PUNISHMENT OF JAPANESE WAR CRIMINALS
AND KUOMINTANG WAR CRIMINALS
-- STATEMENT BY THE SPOKESMAN
FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA


From the
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung,
Foreign Languages Press
Peking 1969

First Edition 1961
Second Printing 1967
Third Printing 1969

Vol. IV, pp. 333-36.


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@marx2mao.org (November 1999)


    page 333


    PEACE TERMS MUST INCLUDE
    THE PUNISHMENT OF JAPANESE WAR CRIMINALS
    AND KUOMINTANG WAR CRIMINALS
    -- STATEMENT BY THE SPOKESMAN
    FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA

    February 5, 1949

        The statement on the question of peace negotiations made on January 28 by the spokesman for the Communist Party of China was answered on January 31 by a spokesman of the reactionary traitorous Kuomintang government. In his reply, the spokesman of the reactionary traitorous Kuomintang government quibbled about the points raised by the spokesman for the Communist Party of China. Concerning the demand of the Communist Party of China that the reactionary traitorous Kuomintang government should be responsible for re-arresting Yasuji Okamura, the chief criminal in Japan's invasion of China, turning him over to the People's Liberation Army, keeping the other Japanese war criminals in custody and preventing their escape, the Kuomintang spokesman said, "This is a judicial question. It has nothing whatsoever to do with peace negotiations, much less can it be made a precondition for peace negotiations." Concerning the demand of the Communist Party of China that the reactionary traitorous Kuomintang government should be responsible for arresting Chiang Kai-shek and other war criminals, the Kuomintang spokesman said, "For genuine peace, no preconditions should be imposed." The statement of the spokesman for the Communist Party of China, he added, "does not seem to be serious enough in its attitude" and, moreover, "causes complications". On this, the spokesman for the Communist Party of China states: As recently as January 28, our attitude was indeed not serious enough insofar as we still spoke of the reactionary traitorous Kuomintang government as a government.

    page 334

    Does this so-called "government" still really exist? Does it exist in Nanking? There is no longer any administrative organ in Nanking. Does it exist in Canton? There is no administrative head in Canton. Does it exist in Shanghai? There is neither an administrative organ nor an administrative head in Shanghai. Does it exist in Fenghua? In Fenghua there is only a bogus president, who has already announced his "retirement"; there is nothing else. Therefore, speaking seriously, we should not have regarded it as a government; it is, at most, a hypothetical or token government. But let us go on supposing that there is such a token "government" and that there is a spokesman who can speak for that "government". Then its spokesman should realize that this hypothetical, token, reactionary, traitorous Kuomintang government has not only contributed nothing towards peace negotiations, but has in fact caused endless complications. Didn't you cause complication, for instance, by suddenly declaring Yasuji Okamura not guilty at a time when you were so anxious for negotiations? Didn't you cause further complication by sending him to Japan, along with 260 other Japanese war criminals, after the Communist Party of China had demanded his re-arrest? Who rules Japan today? Can it be said that the Japanese people rule Japan, and not the imperialists? Japan is a place you love so much that you believe the Japanese war criminals will enjoy greater security and comfort and receive more appropriate treatment there than in the areas you rule. Is that a judicial question? And why has this judicial question arisen? Can it be that you have forgotten that the Japanese aggressors fought against us for eight whole years? Does this question have nothing whatsoever to do with peace negotiations? When the Communist Party of China put forward the eight terms for peace negotiations on January 14, the release of Yasuji Okamura had not yet occurred. That occurred on January 26, and so it should be raised; it is certainly relevant to the peace negotiations. On January 31 you obeyed MacArthur's orders and sent 260 Japanese war criminals to Japan, together with Yasuji Okamura; the matter thus became even more relevant to the peace negotiations. Why do you sue for peace? Because you have been defeated in war. And why have you been defeated? Because you launched a civil war against the people. And when did you launch this civil war? After the Japanese surrender. And against whom did you launch this war? Against the People's Liberation Army and the People's Liberated Areas, which had rendered extraordinary service in the War of Resistance Against Japan. And by

    page 335

    what means have you waged the civil war? In addition to U.S. aid by means of the men you have snatched and the wealth you have plundered from the people in the areas under your rule. No sooner had the Chinese people's great decisive fight with the Japanese aggressors ended, no sooner had the external war ended, than you launched this civil war. You were defeated and you asked for negotiations, but suddenly you declared the chief Japanese war criminal Yasuji Okamura not guilty. And no sooner had we lodged a protest, demanding that you put him back in prison and be ready to hand him over to the People's Liberation Army, than you hurriedly sent him to Japan with 260 other Japanese war criminals. Gentlemen of the reactionary traitorous Kuomintang government, this action of yours is too unreasonable and is too gross a violation of the people's will. We have now deliberately added the word "traitorous" to your title, and you ought to accept it. Your government has long been traitorous, and it was only for the sake of brevity that we sometimes omitted the word; now we can omit it no longer. In addition to all the crimes of treason you committed in the past, you have now committed another, and a very serious one, which must be discussed at the meeting for peace negotiations. Whether or not you call it causing complication, the matter must be discussed; and since it happened after January 14 and was not included in the eight terms we originally presented, we therefore deem it necessary to add to the first term a new item, the punishment of Japanese war criminals. So the first term now contains two items, (a) the punishment of Japanese war criminals and (b) the punishment of civil war criminals. We are justified in adding this new item; it reflects the will of the people of the whole country. The people of the whole country demand that the Japanese war criminals be punished. Even within the Kuomintang, many think that the punishment of Yasuji Okamura and other Japanese war criminals and the punishment of Chiang Kai-shek and other civil war criminals are both natural and right. Whether you say we are sincere about peace or not, the question of these two types of war criminal must be negotiated, and both types must be punished. As to our demand that you arrest a batch of civil war criminals before the negotiations begin and prevent their escape, you hold that "no preconditions should be imposed". Gentlemen of the reactionary traitorous Kuomintang government, this is not a precondition but a demand which follows naturally from your acceptance of the term concerning the punishment of war criminals as a basis for negotiations.

    page 336

    We instructed you to arrest them for fear that they would escape. At this time, when we have not yet completed preparations for the negotiations, you are pathetically anxious to negotiate and you are restless because you have too much leisure; therefore we have assigned you a reasonable job. These war criminals have to be arrested; even if they flee to the remotest corners of the globe, they must be arrested. Since you are all infinitely compassionate and merciful saviours of afflicted mankind, since you desire to "shorten the duration of the war", !'alleviate the sufferings of the people" and "treat the salvation of the people as the primary consideration", and since you are great-hearted people, you should not cherish those who are responsible for the slaughter of millions of our fellow-countrymen. Judging by your willingness to accept the punishment of war criminals as part of the basis for negotiations, it seems you do not cherish these creatures very much. But, since you state that you find it rather difficult to arrest them immediately -- all right, then, prevent them from escaping; under no circumstances must you let these creatures run away. Just imagine, gentlemen, after you have taken all the trouble to send a delegation to discuss with us the question of punishing these war criminals, what would we talk about if it should turn out that they have escaped? What a loss of face for the gentlemen of your delegation! How then would you show your great "sincerity for peace"? How then could you gentlemen prove that you really wish to "shorten the duration of the war", "alleviate the sufferings of the people" and "treat the salvation of the people as the primary consideration", and that you are not at all hypocritical? The Kuomintang spokesman also talked a great deal of other nonsense; such nonsense can fool nobody, and we consider it unnecessary to reply. Gentlemen of the hypothetical, token, reactionary, traitorous Kuomintang "government" (mind you, the word government is in inverted commas) at Nanking or Canton or Fenghua or Shanghai! If you think that our attitude in this statement is again not serious enough, please excuse us, for it is the only attitude we can take towards you.