Independent’s David McNeill wrote the background stories of the tension between China and Japan over the ‘Rape of Nanjing’, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the massacre.

Why are we asking this now?

Next week is the 70th anniversary of the infamous Rape of Nanjing, when Japanese soldiers went on an orgy of rape and murder in the then Chinese capital. Dubbed the “forgotten holocaust” by its most famous contemporary chronicler, Iris Chang, the massacre is the subject of no fewer than a dozen new American, German and Chinese movies, including the $53m (£26m) Purple Mountain, helmed by Con Air director Simon West. Nanking, released in China earlier this year, is reportedly already the most watched documentary in Chinese history.

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