Web Hackers Denounce Rape of Nanjing on Japanese Sites

From howie.french@nytimes.com
Date Mon, 31 Jan 2000 10:41:14 -0500

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January 31, 2000 - NYTimes

Web Hackers Denounce Rape of Nanjing on Japanese Sites


T OKYO -- Internet hackers posted messages on the Web site of
Japan's postal service Sunday criticizing this country's wartime
role in China in the 1930s, as a series of similar attacks over the
last week began to look like a daily ritual.

At least 11 government agencies here have been attacked by the
hackers. In each incident, they have denounced Japan's involvement
in the so-called Nanjing Massacre, or Rape of Nanking, the
murderous 1937 sacking of that city by Japanese troops.

The security breaches, which have affected the Science and
Technology Agency, the Supreme Court, the Bank of Japan, the
Finance Ministry and the Defense Ministry, among others, have
deeply embarrassed the Japanese government, which has rushed to set
up a task force to catch the intruders.

Perceiving that it lags behind the United States in Internet
technologies, the Japanese government has been pushing use of the
Web for government information and services as a top priority. But
after the recent incidents, many commentators here have said that
Internet security seems to have been something of an afterthought.

"The problem with the Japanese government security in cyberspace is
that the government leaders know little about technology," Raisuke
Miyawaki, a former chief cabinet spokesman and now an independent
security analyst, told the newspaper Nihon Keizei Shimbun.

The incidents have also served to keep attention focused on Japan's
wartime role, a source of continuing tension between Japan and
China and other Asian nations that were occupied by Japanese

Tensions over Japan's wartime atrocities were revived last week
when nationalist groups held a conference in Osaka at which
revisionist historians and others gave speeches denying that there
had been any large-scale massacre at Nanjing and disparaging
Japan's critics.

China criticized Japan bitterly for the conference, warning that it
would oppose Osaka's bid to be the host city for the Olympics
unless the Japanese government took action against similar
conferences in the future.

The government of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi has said that it
would be an infringement of free speech to prevent people from
holding conferences on controversial subjects, but it has called
the Nanjing Massacre a regrettable fact of history.

Conventional historical accounts of the December 1937 attack on
Nanjing hold that the Japanese occupiers killed 60,000 to 300,000
people, including thousands of civilians and prisoners of war.

In the latest Internet attacks Sunday, a message in English holding
Japan responsible for the Nanjing killings appeared as a Web page
added to the site of the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry in
Naha, the capital of Okinawa province.

On Saturday, hackers inserted an image of a Japanese flag and a
Chinese message in red characters, including the phrase "Tokyo
Massacre," on the site of the Government Data Research Center in

On the same day, a Web site of a nonprofit organization affiliated
with the prime minister's office was attacked with a similar

Another attack erased most of the contents of the Web site operated
by the National Personnel Authority.

On Friday the Web site of the Bank of Japan was attacked at least
1,600 times by hackers, said a bank spokesman, Satoru Yamadera.

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