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Japan marks 76th anniversary of World War II defeat

77 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Rest In Peace” to all those souls lost, around the world, to the tragedy that is senseless war.

30 ( +32 / -2 )

Thank goodness the Allies won the war.

17 ( +39 / -22 )

Beginning 2013, Abe stopped acknowledging Japan’s wartime hostilities or apologize in his Aug. 15 speeches, scrapping a nearly 20-year tradition that began with the 1995 apology of Socialist leader Tomiichi Murayama.

Never underestimate the abilities of regressive, neo-liberal warmongers to roll back the progress of socialists.

The only "arrow" Abe and his proxy Suga ever cared about was the rehabilitation of their militarist ancestors.

0 ( +25 / -25 )

Emperor Natuhito is a real statesman,

Suga only a strawberry fielder!

40 ( +43 / -3 )

David BrentToday  04:54 pm JST

Thank goodness the Allies won the war.

Umm.,,,if we had really won there'd be no threat from Russia and China today. And certainly no North Korea.

I'd say we "sort of" won.

-1 ( +26 / -27 )

dagonToday  05:13 pm JST

Beginning 2013, Abe stopped acknowledging Japan’s wartime hostilities or apologize in his Aug. 15 speeches, scrapping a nearly 20-year tradition that began with the 1995 apology of Socialist leader Tomiichi Murayama.

Never underestimate the abilities of regressive, neo-liberal warmongers to roll back the progress of socialists.

The only "arrow" Abe and his proxy Suga ever cared about was the rehabilitation of their militarist ancestors.

Nonsense. In 2015 Abe addressed both houses of the US Congress and apologized for WWII. And got a standing ovation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAsaOKamY3E&ab_channel=PrimeMinister%27sOfficeofJapan

2 ( +21 / -19 )

Japan is still under occupation.

-40 ( +7 / -47 )

Thank goodness the Allies won the war.

The Allies usually refers to the western allies. At least in Germany and eastern Europe. If you are including the Soviet Union which bore the overwhelming burden in defeating the Axis, your statement would be correct.

-17 ( +9 / -26 )

Nonsense. In 2015 Abe addressed both houses of the US Congress and apologized for WWII. And got a standing ovation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAsaOKamY3E&ab_channel=PrimeMinister%27sOfficeofJapan

An example of the power of 外圧, those eyes on Japan that can often make the leaders perform extraordinary feats rarely seen in Japanese administration.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Emperor Naruhito, in contrast, expressed “deep remorse” over his country’s wartime actions in a carefully nuanced speech

Courage and respect for emperor Naruhito - very different from our PM who is more worried about local politics and how to win the elections...

30 ( +33 / -3 )

Suga said Japan never forgets the peace that the country enjoys today is built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war.

He is correct in that the peace Japan enjoys today is built upon the sacrifices of the allied soldiers who died in the war, fighting the Imperial forces aggression. A great debt is owed to them all.

26 ( +31 / -5 )

Germans regret they chose Hitler and let him kick started WW2.

Japanese regret they lost the Second World War and suffered two nuclear raids!

The difference!

-2 ( +26 / -28 )

Germans regret they chose Hitler and let him kick started WW2.

German capitalists chose Hitler, not the masses.

-14 ( +8 / -22 )

Suga better start dusting that resume off, he’s a total failure as a leader.

in any other country he’d be long gone by now.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

It is too bad that when Japan started modernizing in the mid-18th century, they followed the British imperialist model of capitalism for modernizing the economy. So Japan needed colonies.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

The postwar world and geopolitics have since changed considerably. In Asia quite ironically communist China is now seeking to establish a "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sopher" under its autocratic rule.

Referring to the wartime past, Beijing has tried to demonize Japan. But much unlike to its militant People's Liberation Army invading and devastating neighboring states (Korea, Vietnam, to name a few), the postwar Japan and its defense forces have fired no single bullet overseas.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Germans regret they chose Hitler and let him kick started WW2.

Did Japanese have a choice?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

OssanAmerica...

Umm.,,,if we had really won there'd be no threat from Russia and China today. And certainly no North Korea.

There is no threat from either. They are both reacting to threats from the US and its allies.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Sigh, Suga highlights Japanese victim hood in an aggressive war they launched and during which committed atrocities. The sacrifices that gave Japan its current peace were not those of the unfortunate military cattle driven to their deaths by a militarist elite intent on the pursuit of an empty military glory but of the Allies (all of them) who brought an end to the suffering.

My respect to the Emperor Naruhito, a man with a better grasp of reality and a conscience.

Eric, learn some history, Hitler was voted in to power in a democratic election by the German people. The Allies refers to all those who stood against what is loosely called the Axis powers, the term Western Allies has and is used in a more restrictive sense when referring to the British Empire and Commonwealth, USA and free forces of the occupied countries.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

It's a good thing Japan lost, I remind my Japanese friends. If they'd "won," they'd still be fighting. Think Afghanistan.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Mr KiplingToday  06:16 pm JST

OssanAmerica...

Umm.,,,if we had really won there'd be no threat from Russia and China today. And certainly no North Korea.

There is no threat from either. They are both reacting to threats from the US and its allies.

"Intelligence Chiefs Say China, Russia Are Biggest Threats To U.S."

https://www.npr.org/2021/04/14/987132385/intelligence-chiefs-say-china-russia-are-biggest-threats-to-u-s

9 ( +15 / -6 )

LagunaToday  06:21 pm JST

It's a good thing Japan lost, I remind my Japanese friends. If they'd "won," they'd still be fighting. Think Afghanistan.

And if they'd been occupied by the Soviets.....Think Korean Pennisula or Berlin.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

It's a good thing Japan lost, I remind my Japanese friends. If they'd "won," they'd still be fighting. Think Afghanistan.

I remember a female coworker wondering if she’d be able to vote if Japan hadn’t been defeated by the allies.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

P. SmithToday  05:15 pm JST

Dear Japan:

You’re welcome for democracy and freedom.

Yours,

America

The CIA funded the LDP in the 1960s. There's hardly a party less committed to democracy to be found anywhere.

https://www.nytimes.com/1994/10/09/world/cia-spent-millions-to-support-japanese-right-in-50-s-and-60-s.html

5 ( +12 / -7 )

"Intelligence Chiefs Say China, Russia Are Biggest Threats To U.S."

If intelligence chiefs say it, it must be true. Not as if secret police lie.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Suga better start dusting that resume off, he’s a total failure as a leader.

You really think he'll need/want a job afterward?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Turns out the Emperor was always more fitting as a leader than the Prime Minister/Shogun.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Good dynamic speech by Suga. Even though with his plate full due to Covid he retains his dignity and higher nerdy levels.

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

Suga said Japan never forgets the peace that the country enjoys today is built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war.

Why on earth do they keep repeating this nonsense? Japan enjoys peace today simply because they lost the war.

Suga did not offer an apology to the Asian victims of Japanese aggression across the region in the first half of the 20th century

There's a reason why Germany enjoys good relations with the rest of western Europe.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Suga said Japan never forgets the peace that the country enjoys today is built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war.

The Japanese lives lost were a total and complete waste. The war was unwinnable and many in Japan knew it but yet the Emperor prevailed along with his deluded military confidants. It was a tragedy ending in a nuclear hell. The peace that exists today is despite the insane war effort Japan initiated at Pearl Harbor and the millions who died for a lost cause.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The Jewish Peoples keep reminding us of how they were persecuted, the Japanese Keep getting reminded of how they were so cruel to the neighboring nations... so as time goes on, wouldn't it simply make sense to stop bringing these matter to the forefront , but to move on, and show that we have learnt from the mistakes of past ? The Japanese aren't going around taking other people's land or persecuting anyone else these days.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

This is why you can't believe Japanese apologies. They express regret then then go back on their words later. For example, the museum at Yasukuni shrine paints Japan as a victim.

Another example is at Battleship Island (Hashima Island) where the Japanese promised Korea and UNESCO that they would explain at the site that

""there were a large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions in the 1940s at some of the sites".

But the Japanese didn't do that and went back on their word.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The Japanese aren't going around taking other people's land or persecuting anyone else these days.

Nah, they're claiming dokdo island in Korea. They won't stop there.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

From what little I have been able to find out, the Japanese leaders who planned and started the war knew what they were getting into.

They knew that they could never conquer China, except for select areas, and yet invaded anyway, hoping to terrorize the Chinese into submission.

They knew that they could not defeat the US in a prolonged war, but started the war anyway, hoping the Allies would give up without a fight.

Doing something that one knows ahead of time has only a very, very small chance of success is not a sign of wise leadership. At least Germany, under Hitler, had a chance of winning. The Allies decided not to target Hitler for death because he was such an incompetent leader. After the invasion of France, Hitler was of more value to the Allies than to the Germans.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There are millions of stories about WW II, and here is one more.

I dated a Korean woman who had traveled to California. I don't know where she learned it, but she spoke very good English. She told me that her father was a laborer in Hiroshima at the time of the A-bomb. She and the rest of his family did not know if he was alive or not. Communications between Korea and Japan at that point were almost non-existent. Somehow he managed to get back home to Korea. He came into the house in the middle of the night. Not wanting to wake everyone up, he quietly found a place to sleep. In the morning they found out that he was among them and alive.

On another note, the young Korean woman mentioned that she was distantly related to the last Emperor of Korea, and was welcomed by some in the Korean community in California, which at that time was very small.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

From what little I have been able to find out, the Japanese leaders who planned and started the war knew what they were getting into.

When they didn't sink any US aircraft carriers at Pearl harbor the Japanese would have known that they could not win the war. No Japanese leader had the balls to save millions of asians and their own people.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Victors usually dictate the surrender of their conquest,sometime a little humiliation,make those learn from their lesson

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ableko45

Actually, After the pearl harbour, Japan had a second opportunity to win against the US. It was the battle of midway, but they suffered a defeat as a Japanese journalist of that time escaped to help the USA to decode Japanese communications and made USA aware of Japan's plans. He escaped to USA after he found out and gathered evidence about Unit 731 and Nanjing massacre but after the 2 nukes were dropped, he instantly regretted that decision and committed suicide the day after.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@ableko

It was after the defeat at Battle of midway that the Japanese knew they couldn't win against the Americans.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Their is nothing honorable to any Japanese,who participated in this war,they were not defending Japan,but participating in a unjust war,no German leader to this day,have justified what Germany did,they have vanquish Nazism,from all of German,and Japanese should do the same

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"Japan marks 76th anniversary of World War II defeat"

Curious headline, considering that people in Japan do as much as they can to avoid even acknowledging defeat in that war. The date of 15 August in the Japanese language is known as "終戦の日," simply "End of War Day." Japanese aren't alone in being reluctant to acknowledge defeat in war. Many Americans will tell you that the U.S. wasn't militarily defeated in Vietnam.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan often claims victimization for being the target of nuclear attacks; yet had their own efforts to develop atomic bombs been successful, Japan would not have hesitated to use them.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Japan is still under occupation.

You do realize that your so called “occupiers” are bought and paid for by the very Japanese government you state is “occupied”. You know, the people that the Japanese public continue to vote for and continue to keep in office.

Please either get an education or cease and desist your pungent stench of misinformation.

If there is any occupation (which there’s not) it’s self inflicted.

I for one thing the entire deal was a tragedy on all sides. Normal people blindly pointed in a direction and let loose to kill or be killed.

Japan bit off more than it could chew, was put back in a box, America got luck on more than one occasion and here we are today.

Remember the past in hopes of a better future, but don’t dwell on it but become better because of it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Nonsense. In 2015 Abe addressed both houses of the US Congress and apologized for WWII. And got a standing ovation.

And to show his gratitude his wife very soon went to yasukuni.......talk about utterly INSINCERE!!!!

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/05/22/Japan-prime-ministers-wife-visits-controversial-war-shrine/2741432316173/

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Suga said Japan never forgets the peace that the country enjoys today is built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war.

Sadly absolutely incorrect unless he is talking about the deaths of allied soldiers!!

The peace Japan enjoys is precisely because it LOST the war....PERIOD!! I shudder to think what would have happened had Japan won.....scary stuff, instead we have almost 76years if denial with the exception of a few decent souls like Muruyama san

And three cheers for current Emperor for his words!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@GW

The peace Japan enjoys is precisely because it LOST the war....PERIOD!! 

The reason Japanese leadership refused to surrender is because Japanese feared Americans would do to them what Japan did to their conquering lands and American/British POWs. ie Rape of Tokyo, millions of Japanese women dragged away at gun point to be made as comfort women to American troops, etc.

Did Japanese know American benevolence sooner, they may have surrendered sooner.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

1glennAug. 15  09:58 pm JST

From what little I have been able to find out, the Japanese leaders who planned and started the war knew what they were getting into.

I read, and I wish I could still find the article, that the decision to go to war was based in part on a report indicating that US forces were weak enough that victory was possible. However, the officer (a general?) compiling the report had guessed that this was what the high command wanted to hear and based it on data about US military capability from 1919.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pukey2Aug. 15  08:06 pm JST

"Suga said Japan never forgets the peace that the country enjoys today is built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war."

Why on earth do they keep repeating this nonsense?

Purely because it sounds good, I think.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Many Americans will tell you that the U.S. wasn't militarily defeated in Vietnam.

They won't admit that they only war they weren't defeated in was WWII, and that was after the allies had already taken care of most of it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan often claims victimization for being the target of nuclear attacks; yet had their own efforts to develop atomic bombs been successful, Japan would not have hesitated to use them.

You do know that speculation does not make an argument right? You have no idea whether Japan would have hesitated to use them. You speculate that they wouldn't. But here in the real world, we only know what did or didn't happen. Speculation like yours is what people use to justify starting wars, trying to make themselves look like future potential victims to justify their current actual bad actions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan is still under occupation.

America is here under the SOFAgreement. If they decide to stop agreeing, America has to leave.

So no, it's not an occupation. Both countries have agreed that the Americans are allowed to be here, until and unless the Japanese tell them not to be.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I go to Yakusuni Shrine Yearly. Wonderful Omiyage and place to think about how absurd war is.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Japan marks 76th anniversary of World War II defeat

I find it a strange headline - defeat or war's end?

I've met so many Japanese who talked of the relief of the war's ending. They had little concept of victory or defeat. It was just a chaos in their lives.

Once you enter a war, you've already lost. I was taught that at school in Scotland. I think it applies anywhere.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Paper tiger Republican,complaining about Trump Afghan quagmire,these Republican have not seen the legal justice that will be meaded out against them this fall,

2 ( +2 / -0 )

While Korean leaders are trying to get more vaccine from Moderna Japanese leaders are going to Yasukuni shrine lol

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

SuperheroAug. 15  05:14 pm JST

Emperor Natuhito is a real statesman,

Suga only a strawberry fielder!

Man, that's a good phrase you made there. 'Strawberry Fielder'. I forgot about Daryl Strawberry and his infringements and 'Jesus discovery'. Of course we all know about the Beatles classic hit, and there's a drink by that name too.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Emperor Naruhito’s job is surely very complicated when he has to face revisionist politicians in the LDP.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Hmm. Seventy-six long years have passed since 1945.

I clearly remember that hot summer day in Puli, Taiwan. When I returned home from a play, I saw a raft of people gathered in front of a newspaper building near my home, hanging down their heads, some even sobbing and weeping. I asked a person what had happened, and he said Japan had lost the war. People had gathered there to hear the emperor announce live on the radio that he'd accept unconditional surrender clauses stipulated in the Potsdam Declaration.

I remember feeling a great sigh of relief to hear that. I felt nothing sad at all, for I knew there would be no more air raid warning sirens from tomorrow on. The nearby city of Taichung had been reduced to rubble by daily B-29 air raids, it was said.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So no, it's not an occupation. Both countries have agreed that the Americans are allowed to be here, until and unless the Japanese tell them not to be.

Considering Japan pays for the US military to be here, it's a bit different than "allow"

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

'Suga said Japan never forgets the peace that the country enjoys today is built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war."

Rubbish.

Japanese imperialism impoverished Japan. McArthur was much like a rock star but postwar Japan remained, as someone wrote, an economic morgue. It was the Korean War that kickstarted the Japanese economy.

Take the photographic industry for example. War photographer David Douglas Duncan shocked the world by announcing that Japanese camera lenses were as good as German lenses. And the scramble was on produce cameras and lenses. Takachiho Camera changed its name to Olympus Camera.

The Japanese came to be known a brilliant precision workers of domestic by in the 1950s.

The U.S. left Yasukuni for the Silly Willys. Meanwhile, the work of reconstruction went on without them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"never forgets the peace that the country enjoys today is built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war."

Perhaps it's the translation which makes Suga's comment seem strange but as others have already stated, Japan was fighting a war of aggression and conquest and the only reason there is "peace" now is because its armies and ideologies died in defeat.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yes and this day is not even in japanese calendar as public holiday.

Like usual day...?

Very strange...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I wrote above: "Seventy-six long years have passed since 1945." By that statement I meant to say that U.S. forces are here for too long. They were originally stationed in Japan as occupation forces (from 1945 to 1951) and then treaty-sanctioned forces (from 1951 until today). 

There has been no discontinuity of the U.S. military presence in Japan, including Okinawa, for the past 76 years, a century in 24 years. In other words, Japan's real and virtual occupation by U.S. forces has continued seamlessly for 76 years thanks to the bilateral treaty officially called the “Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan”. 

It may be safe to say then that that treaty is working as clever gimmicks to make virtual occupation keep going on forever.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Japan marked the 76th anniversary of its World War II surrender on Sunday with a somber ceremony in which Prime Minister Yosihide Suga pledged for the tragedy of war to never be repeated but avoided apologizing for his country's aggression."

His failure to apologize, as well as the visits to Yasukuni by lawmakers (including former PM Abe), and Suga's donation, are why Japan is not only doomed to repeat its mistakes, it's already actively engaged in them. In fact, I bet Suga and Co probably buy into the revised history that Japan was not an aggressor, but was "defending Asia" with not only its colonialism (where it taught people other than the 15 million or more it raped and massacred "how to take a bath and modern education"), but the attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent war of attrition, etc. Japan's not a victim, and as long as they cry that it is, the nation is doomed to repeat its past. Suga is glorifying that fact.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan marks 76th anniversary of World War II defeat With ministers visit to Yasakuni.

There tittle fixed.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man" - Mahatma Gandhi

0 ( +3 / -3 )

zichi,

Why does Japan remember the defeat of the war?

I have never thought of Japan’s defeat of the war that way. Probably, it's because Japan has never lost a foreign war in its long history. Japan succeeded to narrowly win over Mongolian invading forces not once but twice during the 13th century thanks, in part, to seasonal storms or typhoons. It won wars against Qing China and Imperial Russia. 

So, losing a war was an epoch-making experience for the people of land of the gods. This may be the reason why the war-defeated Japan started to commemorate the day of the surrender, August 15, 1945, remembering the millions of war-dead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

About the Battle of Midway; it was indeed a turning point in the war. However, had all three American carriers been sunk, instead of just one, the massive building program that FDR had started even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ensured that America would have more carriers than Japan by the end of 1943. The dozens of additional carriers, in addition to the massive training program for pilots and crew, meant that it would have been very difficult for Japan to win in a prolonged war, and the Japanese leaders were aware of that.

Besides the program to build carriers, the program to build submarines meant that commerce from Southeast Asia was interrupted. The war against the West was started to ensure that the Japanese military would have the resources it needed to wage war, mostly in China, and the submarine blockade of Japan meant that the war could not be resourced.

As for the assertion that a Japanese reporter gave America the information it needed to win at Midway, where is there any data supporting that claim? Any at all? In this day and age, it is very easy for misinformation to spread on the internet. We need to have enough common sense to distinguish likely from unlikely.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry in a statement urged Japanese officials to show “sincere remorse through action”

Yes! That's right! The Japanese remorse from L.D.P. was unsincerely! If you ever visited the "Yasukuni Shrine", you learnt the written illustrations were blaming other countries and glorifying Japan's own reasons was legitimate and heroic!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

jeancolmarAug. 16  09:27 am JST

'Suga said Japan never forgets the peace that the country enjoys today is built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war."

Rubbish.

Japanese imperialism impoverished Japan.

Japan's fascist regime destroyed Japan's economy but the Korean War and the US occupation force helped it rebound. Many of my uncles served during that war and went to japan for liberty. By the time the occupation ended in 1952 Japan was already rising again. Of course transitioning to democracy really helped.

Dr.Cajetan CoelhoAug. 16  05:10 pm JST

"Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man" - Mahatma Gandhi

Even Ronald Reagan stated in early 1984 that a nuclear war is unwinnable and must never be fought. I hope and pray that nuclear weapons are never used in war again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichiAug. 15  05:01 pm JST

Suga makes no mention of the brutal harm done to other nations and POW's by the imperial forces across Asia and instead make Japan a victim.

Teach the truth, tell the truth, spread the truth. So those terrible decades are never repeated again in history.

At least from those ashes, Japan has been a country at peace for 75 years. But still, there are others in the centre who want something else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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