After the occupation of Nanking, the Japanese troops
pursued Chiang Kai-shek. But in 1938, for the
purpose of blocking the Japanese advancing path,
Chiang ordered his troops to blow up an embankment
of the Yellow River to collapse it, knowing many
Chinese farmers around the river would be killed by
At the time there was also a heavy rain, and it
became a very tragic incident that the water covered
11 cities and about 4,000 villages, killing about 1
million Chinese people. Besides, another 6 million
people also died because the course of the Yellow
River was changed by this artificial disaster, and
around the river occurred a terrible famine.
Moreover, Chiang troops began to plunder in the
stricken area, being troubled with a lack of food.
By this disaster, no Japanese soldiers died, but
only the Chinese people were killed. Being surprised
to see this tragic incident, the Japanese troops
began to help those still alive, gave them medical
treatment, took preventive measures against
communicable diseases, and rebuilt the embankment.
Thus, while Chiang's troops were killing the Chinese
people, the Japanese troops were saving the Chinese.
Chiang also started to spread propaganda that this
disaster was caused by the Japanese, but later, the
foreign press found out it was Chiang's lie.
Besides, Chiang stated he was pleased to have
blocked the Japanese advance for half a year. In his
mind he had no concern for Chinese compatriots.
Alas, what was his war for? Chiang Kai-shek whom the
USA supported was such a man.
The common practice of Chiang's troops, as well as
of Mao Zedong's troops, were plundering everywhere
they went, and destroying roads, factories, watering
facilities, etc., not to leave any of them for the
Japanese. So, the Chinese economy was greatly
damaged by them, and farming and industries were
destroyed here and there. The most miserable were
farmers who comprised most of the Chinese
In contrast, the Japanese troops, who came there,
struggled to save the farmers from the very
beginning and rebuilt the Chinese economy. The big
battles between the Chinese troops and the Japanese
ones ended after about one year and a half, and the
Japanese occupied about 40 % of the Chinese
population and 54 % of the arable land. The Japanese
immediately began to rebuild the farming, roads,
factories, watering facilities, etc. That surprised
the Chinese farmers because it was the first time
they had ever seen such saving military forces. The
true People's Liberation Army was the Japanese army,
not the Chinese one.
That is why there still are aged Chinese people who
speak well of the Japanese of those days, even under
today's anti-Japanese policies of the Chinese
Already in 1938, the Japanese government spoke about
the recovery plan of Chinese agriculture, and
carried it out. And as a result, farming in the
areas which the Japanese occupied made a rapid
recovery and progress, as well as light and heavy
industries. Japan spent a large amount of money of
about 4.7 billion yen in total during 1938-1945 at a
time when the Japanese national yearly budget was 2
billion yen. This was not spent for the war, but to
save the Chinese.