The Three Alls Policy, which is also known as the Burn To Ash Strategy and Sanko Sakusen in Japanese, was a policy that was adopted in China as a response against the Hundred Regiments Offensive in December 1940. The three alls described in the policy are “kill all, burn all, loot all” which includes killing Chinese civilians, stealing resources and the like, and also raping innocent Chinese women or some Vietnam comfort women. The idea was first initiated by Major General Ryukichi Tanaka in 1940, but it was General Yasuji Okamura who implemented the policy in 1942. Okamura was stationed in north China when he decided to divide the 5 provinces of Shandong, Shensi, Hebei, Chachaer, and Shanhsi under 3 different categories such as “Pacified”, “Semi-Pacified”, and “Unpacified”. The Three Alls Policy was officially approved on December 3, 1941 by the Imperial General Headquarters.
The policy also aimed to put walls and digging trenches in order to further pacify the territories that they were able to seize control of, and to also kill enemies disguising as locals. The term Sanko Sakusen was first coined when former Fushun war criminals were released in 1957 and shared their experiences during the World War II. They wrote the book entitled ” The Three Alls: Japanese Confessions of War Crimes In China”, where the Imperial soldiers revealed and shared their experiences and crimes that they committed under Yasuji Okamura’s reign as General. The book’s production was halted prematurely when the publishers received death threats from Japanese militarists. In present day, the Three Alls Policy is still a very controversial topic. Nationalists groups completely deny Japan’s involvement in the implementation of the policy, since the name of the policy is in Chinese. The Three Alls Policy is confused with the Koumintang’s own scorch earth tactics, as it was also used in northern China and involved both Japanese forces’ and Chinese civilians. The tactic would involve destroying every house in order to possibly deny Japanese troops resources and shelter.
Image from Wikipedia and justiceforcomfortwomen