Japan MPs play down 1937 killings
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo
China claims as many as 300,000 died in the assault.
A group of MPs from Japan's governing party is claiming the Chinese have exaggerated the number of people killed by Japanese troops in Nanjing in 1937.
China claims that during the assault on the city around 300,000 people were killed by the Japanese.
In Tokyo the MPs, from the right wing of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, claimed a month-long study they organised showed 20,000 died.
At the end of the year China will mark the 70th anniversary of the attack.
They call it the 'rape of Nanking', the name of the city in English at the time of the incident.
After it fell to the Japanese Imperial Army on 13 December 1937, the occupiers terrorised the city's population. Many thousands were killed.
But some in Japan want to use the anniversary to promote their view that the death toll, cited by the Chinese, is a fiction.
China says 300,000 lost their lives in Nanjing. Some experts argue a more accurate estimate is between 150,000 and 200,000.
These lawmakers say a month-long study of historical documents suggests there is no evidence that soldiers killed any more than 20,000. What is more, they say, the Japanese did not violate international law. (my emphasis)
As anyone could expect Chinese got furious on such deliberate miscalculation: