Because they thought the enemy were like them. They thought that if for instance Tokyo fell, then it would be the rape of Tokyo (just like they did the rape of Nanjing).
It’s well known that when the Philippines fell the Japanese were very surprised of the amount of U.S prisoners and they were simply not prepared to house so many prisoners but i ask…
How many U.S soldiers would surrender if they knew that slavery, torture, starvation, humiliation and maybe death was going to await them at the Japanese prisioner camps?
Not many. Many would have fought to the death. Just like the Japanese fought rather than falling to the horrors they thought would await them at the hands of the westerners.
I’m actually now thinking in the female fighters of the middle east.
We have heard the cases of Syrian, Israeli, Kurdish, and other female fighters against ISIS that choose suicide over capture. Quite simply because they know that what awaits them. It’s rape, slavery or at least execution.
There were some Japanese women who committed suicide over capture for the same reason.
I don’t think they knew about the rape of Nanjing. But I think they were warned by soldiers and officials of what may happen to them.
Can Zhang gave an amazing answer (sorry I don’t know the link ) but I think it needs some more comments with this..
Disclaimer: Western Allies, Japan, Soviets, Chinese, and Axis all committed atrocities, but all on different levels. We just cannot compare the worst of the Allies with the worst of the Axis. They are on different levels.