“In his diary of his experiences in New Guinea in 1944, the celebrated American aviator Charles Lindbergh noted the same thing: "Our men think nothing of shooting a Japanese prisoner or soldier attempting to surrender. They treat the Japs with less respect than they would give to an animal." The attitude of the allied soldiers reinforced the Japanese perception that since prisoners would be killed by the enemy anyway it was pointless to surrender, better to fight to the death. This was what happened on Okinawa, on a massive scale.
It's not easy to distinguish the Japanese army's self-induced aversion to surrender from the perfectly rational fear that the Americans would kill any prisoners they took. What is clear is that as the Pacific war progressed, the cycle of violence became increasingly brutal and blatantly racial, and the feelings of racial antipathy were decidedly mutual.”