CCTV Programs on the Japanese Army’s Torture of POWS during WWII

On May 1, 2015, two days after the visit of the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, to the United States, during which no official apology about Japan’s War time atrocities was forthcoming, China Central TV aired a five minute interview with WWII camp survivor Ronny Herman de Jong as the beginning of a series of programs on the topic of the Japanese Army’s torture of POWs during World War II.

Beginning and ending with her immediate reactions after watching the movie Unbroken which premiered in the U.S. on Christmas Day but is still banned in Japan, they showed Ronny’s mother’s secret camp diary, pictures from her book In the Shadow of the Sun and its striking front cover with the Japanese war flag. Another part of the interview was filmed at the Peregrine Book Company in Prescott, Arizona.

Although In the Shadow of the Sun has been out of print for many years, Ronny repeated the story about the cruel treatment in Japanese concentration camps for women and children in Part One of her second book Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy (Amazon Worldwide) which is also available in print and as e-book from many online distributors all over the world. This book includes two exhibits of the Japanese War Crimes Files, declassified in the year 2000. One of them, Exhibit “O”, was the order issued on August 1, 1944 for the disposition (murder) of all POWs, commencing in September 1945. The bombs were dropped just in time!

CCTV Chinese news reaches nearly one billion viewers in China. Their international channels reach more than 100 million people in more than 120 countries. Distribution of the CCTV News channel is being expanded month by month.

Following is the English Translation of the Chinese text: 


During WWII, the Dutch in Asia also suffered from the Japanese Cruelty. In Indonesia, during the Japanese occupation, 42,000 Dutch soldiers were captured, 100,000 Dutch residents were confined in concentration camps, most of them died. Ronny Herman de Jong, a Dutch American, at the time was among the confined. Ronny’s mother kept a secret diary, which became evidence of this dark period of time. On Ronny’s birthday, she went to see the movie UNBROKEN; the scenes of the Japanese soldiers’ cruel treatment of the prisoners of war brought back her memories.


Ronny was born in the Dutch East Indies, in Surabaya, which is now East Java’s capital. Her father was a Dutch Military Pilot. At the time, he had to leave with the retreating Dutch military forces, and left his wife and 2 daughters behind. After the Japanese invaded the island, the 3 year old Ronny and her mother, as well as her younger sister, were put into the camp.


During the 3 1/2 long years of the camp life, Ronny’s mother and her daughters experienced a lot of cruel things. Ronny’s mother kept a secret diary, recording their experience and how they witnessed the Japanese killing and torturing of the women. This black diary Ronny’s mother kept at the bottom of her trunk to avoid Japanese discovery.


Ronny said that the pages were torn off by her mother recorded the Japanese cruel treatment in the latter part of their camp life. Her mother, on the one hand, experienced the torture of the treatment; on the other hand, was afraid of the discovery of the diary by the Japanese. Therefore she tore off those pages. Many years after the war, when her mother told her those memories, her mother could not stop crying.


After the war, Ronny and her mother went back to Holland and reunited with their families. Later they immigrated to America. She wrote 2 books according to the diary and her experience. In the Shadow of the Sun and Rising from the Shadow of the Sun. In the 3rd book published recently, she recorded the experience of several survivors of WWII in the Pacific. She said that she hopes that many more people, especially the Japanese people, can see these facts, and that the Japanese government should admit the war crimes and apologize to the survivors.

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