TOKYO, July 6 (Xinhua) -- "I have taken every opportunity to relate my own experiences and the war crimes committed in the aggressive war against China in a bid to make the next generation remember the history," said a former Japanese war criminal in an interview with Xinhua Monday.
"My duty is to unveil the dreadfulness and gruesomeness of the war, and tell students in various schools about my experiences in the war so as to prevent the recurrence of the historical tragedy, " said 89-year-old Kiyoshi Sakakura, a war-time Japanese soldier, expressing deep remorse for the war crimes he committed in the war.
Soon after being recruited in the Japanese army in December 1940, Sakakura went by sea to Qingdao, China, and was subsequently transported to Jinan and Taian, where he began to fight the aggressive war against China. In August 1945, he was taken captive by the Soviet Red Army and sent to Siberia in October. In 1950, Sakakura was transferred to Fushun War Criminal Management Center and imprisoned there.
As a child, Sakakura began to receive militaristic education. " Born into a poor family, I yearned to become a soldier and serve my country," he said.
"I thought my involvement in the aggressive war was to open up a bright future for myself and was in the national interests, so we followed the policy of 'burn all, kill all, loot all,' and committed flagrant crimes," said Sakakura, adding that he killed three people altogether, and committed arson, grilled the captives and pillaged villages during the war.
Voicing his apologies for the heinous crimes he committed against the Chinese people, he said he felt thankful to the Chinese people, who were most lenient with the war criminals like him.
The old man said that he began to reflect on the aggressive war and the crimes he committed during the six-year imprisonment at the Fushun War Criminal Management Center, where he also read books such as On Imperialism.
"I was given a new life there," he said.
Sakakura said he has taken various opportunities to relate his experiences as well as his crimes in the war since he came back to Japan, in the hope that this period of history will never be forgotten.
"In the remaining years of my life, I will also write them down, leaving the historical truth to future generations," he said.
In 2007, his book on Japan's war-time policy of "burn all, kill all, loot all" was published.