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Abe skips reference to WWII remorse in his speech

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe broke with two decades of tradition Thursday by omitting any expression of remorse over Japan’s past aggression in Asia on the anniversary of its 1945 surrender.

facepalm

3 ( +16 / -13 )

There is nothing wrong with honouring your war-dead - but to break from convention and civility and refuse to even acknowledge the millions of children, women and men from many nations who were killed by your ancestors, millions in their own land - as is done by civilised people - is truly disgusting and unforgivable. Shame on this grub - his behaviour will catch up with him very soon.

30 ( +47 / -16 )

What a nutter! What is it with this group?

Admit the wrong, move on and learn from past mistakes. It's what we teach our younger generation.

19 ( +31 / -12 )

The man (and I use the word in its loosest possible meaning) is not only a total numpty, he is a disgustingly dangerous numpty. The Emperor should knock a bit of sense into him with a slap up the back of the head, perhaps using that big wooden box on the table.

“I will never forget the fact that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now was built based on the sacrifice of your precious lives,”

No it wasn't.

24 ( +35 / -11 )

By all means commemorate those who were killed while serving, or fighting for Japan, but please also acknowledge those killed by the very people you commemorate.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

the emperor said: “I pray for world peace and our country’s all-round development.”

But

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe broke with two decades of tradition Thursday by omitting any expression of remorse over Japan’s past

Oh dear, something of a faux pas Abe, disagreeing with the Emperor, even slightly. I'm sure that'll lose you points with the traditionalists. Looks like your little stunt backfired.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

No it wasn't.

Well, at least you got one thing right. The peace and prosperity Japan enjoys today is because they proved themselves capable of doing what ROK and communist PRC will seemingly never learn to do. They accepted their beating like a man; set it aside and learned to engage, work with - even become friends with the country that had just annihilated them using previously unheard of weapons of mass destruction.

I'm sure there's a lesson in there for someone ... now who would that be ...

0 ( +21 / -21 )

cleoAug. 15, 2013 - 02:51PM JST

“I will never forget the fact that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now was built based on the sacrifice of your precious lives,”

No it wasn't.

Exactly, I never get this comment that the PMs churn out every year at this time of the year. Even as a child I was taught to opine with reason and completed with examples. Why doesn't this happen in Japan and this BS would be shown to be the BS it is.

The culmination of Japan's wars of expansion was a country totally detroyed in 1945 and a populace on the verge of starvation.

If they want to glorify the power and wealth that Japan became in the post-World War 2 world, they ought to build a statue to the forgotten salaryman or Japanese engineer.

19 ( +29 / -10 )

So shameful and so stupid. Mr Abe gives weapons to the enemies of Japan by such a childish behaving. Soon, no trade is coming to the Japan, and what will happen to Abenomic miracle magic then?

Mr Abe is enjoying prosperity, of course, but many Japanese suffer for 20 years. Why he can say war criminals made a peace world? Such nonsense.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

@BurakuminDes - Yeah sure, like every other nation on earth apologizes for their past acts of aggression every year, much less 68 years after the event like the Japanese are expected to.

How much time do you (or anyone) devote to apologizing and feeling remorseful about people killed in wars by you own country (or members of your own family) many decades ago?

A child born when Japan invaded China in 1937 would be 76 years old now, and one born when the war ended in 1945 would be 68. Those who perpetrated the madness are gone and as dead as the ideology that fueled it. It has no relevance to the vibrant democratic nation Japan has become since 1945, much less anyone born in Japan after that time.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

a classless move. He really is his grandfather's grandson.

11 ( +22 / -11 )

That was cold and distorted. The PM has a good heart, but it is presently a little misplaced and too confined.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Well, at least you got one thing right. The peace and prosperity Japan enjoys today is because they proved themselves capable of doing what ROK and communist PRC will seemingly never learn to do. They accepted their beating like a man; set it aside and learned to engage, work with - even become friends with the country that had just annihilated them using previously unheard of weapons of mass destruction.

As far as countries go, China and Korea are both doing quite okay, 2nd and 15th largest economies in the world. They are 1st and 3rd largest trading partners of Japan, boosting each others economy with nearly 400 billion dollars worth of trade per year.

And your point was?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@ SecularBeast - if this shameful period has no relevance now - why is Abe ridiculously claiming modern Japans prosperity and peace is due to the "2.5 million Japanese who gave their lives"? If he can respect them, he should damn well show some respect to the victims. BTW - if you take off your sakura-coloured glasses for a second - do some research. You will find that civilised leaders of civilised nations DO respect and mention the former enemies and other innocent victims killed in war. Many of them even have monuments erected to them. You are defending the indefensible.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

The culmination of Japan's wars of expansion was a country totally detroyed in 1945 and a populace on the verge of starvation.

If they want to glorify the power and wealth that Japan became in the post-World War 2 world, they ought to build a statue to the forgotten salaryman or Japanese engineer.

Excellent point.

Statue of the Japanese salarymen who worked overtime without pay.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

That's a headslapper.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Burakumin - Name me the countries who apologize for their past acts of aggression (or are expected to show grovelling remorse) year after year many decades later for past wrongs that the living populations took no part in. Where are the monuments of which you speak? Only Japan and Germany are expected to endure this clap-trap ad infinitum.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

This is what he said.

Address by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Sixty-Eighth Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead Thursday, August 15, 2013 [Provisional Translation]

In the gracious presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and with the attendance of bereaved family members of the war dead and many distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, I hereby commence the annual Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead.

I deliver this address on behalf of the Government of Japan before the souls of those who fell on the battlefields thinking of their homeland and concerned about their families as well as the souls of those who perished amidst the destruction of the war and those who lost their lives in remote foreign countries during the aftermath of the war

.

The peace and prosperity that we now enjoy have been built upon the sacrifices of you who gave up your precious lives while thinking of your beloved children and wives, praying for the happiness of the mothers and fathers you left behind, and wishing that the mountains and riversides of your hometowns would be lush with greenery. We will never forget this, even for a moment.

Words are entirely inadequate as we pray for peace and offer our thanks as we mourn the passing of these souls. I would now like to close my eyes for a moment and quietly bow my head, reflecting on this past.

Since the end of World War II, Japan has single-mindedly done its very best to follow a path of peace, placing value on freedom and democracy.

In order to transform the world into a better place, tomorrow even more so than today, Japan has been extending a hand of support to various countries and regions from not long after the war ended.

Domestically, we have arrived at the present day by helping each other out and overcoming socioeconomic changes and crises wrought by natural catastrophes any number of times.

We will carve out the future of this country as one full of hope, as we face history with humility and engrave deeply into our hearts the lessons that we should learn. We will make contributions to lasting world peace to the greatest possible extent and spare no effort in working to bring about a world in which all people are able to live enriched lives.

I will conclude my address by once again offering my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the war dead and for the good health of the members of their bereaved families.

Shinzo Abe Prime Minister of Japan

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I actually applaud Abe for not saying any remorse for WWII if he truly didn't believe in the remorse of Japan's action.

At least he's telling his true feelings and speaking honestly to the public and as the top leader and representative of Japan by actually not saying that any remorse for WWII.

He also didn't pledge to not engage in any future wars for Japan. I think this is the bigger non-statement if he is planning to engage future war for Japan.

I heard his speech in Japanese so I know exactly what he meant and how he meant it. He was a former PM for Japan so he knows what he should say (if he follows tradition) and what he shouldn't not say.

Now we know where he stands. If that's what Japan and the Japanese voters want. Good for you. Your voice is heard. Now we will see if your actions will follow through.

I would like to rename its SDF to Army, Navy and Airforce. An offensive military because that's what they really are.

Then I would like to see Japan raise its budget spending with clarity and transparency to about 3% just like most developed nations.

Then I would like to see if the voters will still prefer the direction Japan is heading. If so, its a whole new world in Asia.

Finally, the shadow comes out to the light.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

Great photo of Abe sitting with all his mates!

He is a nutcase that is trying to be different just for the sake of being different. All of these right-wing narrow-minded goons should be receiving treatment for paranoid delusions.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

@ SecularBeast - take a trip to Turkey - Gallipoli. You will find memorials - and yearly speeches by leaders of Turkey, Britain, NZ and Australia - remembering the fallen of all sides. Take a trip to the Imperial War Museum in the UK where you will find displays to respect the german former enemy. Take a trip to the fantastic Australian War Memorial in Canberra and you will find two fully restored Japanese subs and countless other artefacts of the former enemy on display for commemoration and reflection. Visit NZ or Australia on their most sacred day, April 25, and I guarantee you their respective heads-of-state and PMs remember to acknowledge and pay respect to ALL who fell. Likewise Germany. I doubt anyone wants fake apologies - but failure to even acknowledge the millions of non-japanese victims is quite frankly sickening.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

I am so tired of hearing this every OBON ...

8 ( +14 / -6 )

This should not only worry our neighbours since our government obviously don't have remorse over our crimes in WWII but the more important thing is we ourselves need to worry because Abe's not going to send his son to the front line but he has no problem sending ours. This nationalise thing has gone too far, we need to vote out this nutter.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Since the end of World War II, Japan has single-mindedly done its very best to follow a path of peace, placing value on freedom and democracy.

...unlike china which slaughtered 30,000,000 of its own in the cultural revolution by china's own estimates, 100x more than nanjing again by china's own estimates.

In order to transform the world into a better place, tomorrow even more so than today, Japan has been extending a hand of support to various countries and regions from not long after the war ended.

and funny how china and korea have taken the millions of dollars in aid without complaint when they were trying to catch up with japan economically.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

I will never forget the fact that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now was built based on the sacrifice of your precious lives

What exactly is this guy smoking? Japan's "peace and prosperity" is due to the fact that they were clobbered, occupied, and conned into doing what the U.S. wanted them to do, which is buy U.S. debt with dollars spent by Americans conned in buying Japanese products.

Their whole economy, and their whole post WWII history is a sham, to say the least.

Sad to say, but Japanese soldiers died for NO reason, other than the belligerent expressions of colonial desire by short term thinking leaders.

But pretend all you want there, Abe, most folk are clueless anyhow, including you.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

@Burakumin - I'm Australian, so I know all about the Gallipoli memorials and ceremonies. In that case the respective nations have accepted apologies and 'buried the hatchet', with no lingering animosity.

The same goes for Japan in Australia where many families lost family members fighting the Japanese (including mine in Papua New Guinea and Borneo), but we don't expect the Japanese to eternally grovel and be remorseful for past wrongs or get overwrought at the Japanese honoring their war dead. Apologies have been made and accepted and that's the end of the matter. Imperial Japan is long gone.

The only nations pulling their hair out over Japanese visiting the shrine are China and Korea, for purely political motives. To an outsider like me it just comes across as the politically immature nurturing of a victim's mentality many decades after the source of the angst and the perpetrators have gone - and a smidge of envy over Japan's post-war economic success.

The Japanese have issued endless apologies and pumped trillions of yen into the Chinese and Korean economies - but it's never enough for them to be satisfied - and at some point Japan is going to have to say "enough is enough".

3 ( +14 / -11 )

SecularBeast: "The only nations pulling their hair out over Japanese visiting the shrine are China and Korea, for purely political motives."

Yeah, except you forget Taiwan is also quite upset about the visit, as are people from other nations. In fact, a lot of the bleating of supporters of this kind of thing are the ones pulling their hair out over China and Korea. China and Korea ba-a-a-ad, Japan g-o-o-o-od.

Okay, but let's say you honestly believe that Japan has done enough in terms of reparations and apologies; you still have a bigot at the helm who claims he will 'mend ties' while he refuses to admit atrocities.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Japan needs leaders who command respect based on their abilities and accomplishments. The inept children and grandchildren of shady elites shouldn't be dragging this country down to their level.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

In Britain we honour our war dead on November 11 every year. There is never a mention of our former enemies.... it's about British and Commonwealth soldiers who fought and died for King/Queen and country. Why shouldn't the Japanese be allowed to do the same? The Germans honour their dead too: Day of Commemoration of Heroes. So why not Japan?

5 ( +16 / -11 )

I wish the emperor would have slapped Abe in the face.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

I suppose an outright apology would sound hypocritical coming from Abe's mouth. But at least he talked about reflecting on history. Still, I wonder if Asia would still be a European colony if Japan had not started the war. Considering how enthusiastically Britian tried to maintain the Raj in India and France tried to maintain its colonies in SE Asia after the war, I'm pretty sure that without the war, Asia, and Japan, would still be the colony of European countries. The Pacific front of WWII was a great evil, but it was the lesser of two evils.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Groucho: Just for that I'm not going to give you the job I was going to give you.

Chico: What job?

Groucho: Secretary of War

Chico: Alright, I take it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

as well as the souls of those who perished amidst the destruction of the war

I read that as acknowledging (in a rather vague manner) all the civilians who died, whether they be Japanese or non Japanese.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@SecularBeast

Yeah sure, like every other nation on earth apologizes for their past acts of aggression every year, much less 68 years after the event like the Japanese are expected to.

I'm a leader to myself and my family, not a country. But I DO feel sorrow for the the massive amounts of Native Americans my country has killed. It's called consciousness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hidingout wrote on AUG. 15, 2013 - 03:06PM JST

<<>> The peace and prosperity Japan enjoys today is because they proved themselves capable of doing what ROK and communist PRC will seemingly never learn to do. They accepted their beating like a man; set it aside and learned to engage, work with - even become friends with the country that had just annihilated them using previously unheard of weapons of mass destruction. I'm sure there's a lesson in there for someone ... now who would that be ... <<>>

Well said, hidingout.

For 20 odd years Japan diligently inserted expressions of remorse over Japan’s past aggression in Asia on the anniversary of its 1945 surrender. For 20 odd years China and South Korea still complained that Japan does not fully express remorse over Japan’s past aggression in Asia. So in 2013 the Japanese PM’s speech removes references to remorse over Japan’s past aggression in Asia. And still complaints.

It would seem people just want to complain.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Who cares if he skips some part about remorse, he's there to mourn the war dead. Should Australians apologize every ANZAC Day for invading Turkey? I think not.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Mitch Cohen wrote: AUG. 15, 2013 - 03:30PM JST

<<>> As far as countries go, China and Korea are both doing quite okay, 2nd and 15th largest economies in the world. They are 1st and 3rd largest trading partners of Japan, boosting each others economy with nearly 400 billion dollars worth of trade per year. And your point was? <<>> That Japan succeeded in befriending its enemy in war. Very good point, actually.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Still, I wonder if Asia would still be a European colony if Japan had not started the war.

Excellent!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

gaijinfo wrote on AUG. 15, 2013 - 04:28PM JST

<<>> What exactly is this guy smoking? Japan's "peace and prosperity" is due to the fact that they were clobbered, occupied, and conned into doing what the U.S. wanted them to do, which is buy U.S. debt with dollars spent by Americans conned in buying Japanese products. Their whole economy, and their whole post WWII history is a sham, to say the least. Sad to say, but Japanese soldiers died for NO reason, other than the belligerent expressions of colonial desire by short term thinking leaders. But pretend all you want there, Abe, most folk are clueless anyhow, including you. <<>> Lol, you’re funny.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

For 20 odd years Japan diligently inserted expressions of remorse over Japan’s past aggression in Asia on the anniversary of its 1945 surrender. For 20 odd years China and South Korea still complained that Japan does not fully express remorse over Japan’s past aggression in Asia. So in 2013 the Japanese PM’s speech removes references to remorse over Japan’s past aggression in Asia. And still complaints.

Yes Japan has apologised for 20 years, but why do you ignore that there are general undertones of revisionism and denial in Japanese government? Abe denies coercion of comfort women, Kawamura denies Nanjing massacre to which Ishihara agrees? There is a systematic failure within the Japanese government to acknowledge their past.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

So what do you propose Mitch?

That the Education Ministry change their history books and start teaching the children the true history of Japan? I hope so! Then, maybe, I'll be able to buy a gun here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That Japan succeeded in befriending its enemy in war. Very good point, actually.

The very important difference is that Japan attacked USA first, so Japan is not really a victim. More like the bully who got whooped.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

That the Education Ministry change their history books and start teaching the children the true history of Japan? I hope so! Then, maybe, I'll be able to buy a gun here.

How does changing history books lead to buying a gun?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

As Lee Kwan Yew, who himself was a Japanese collaborationist, observed, the Japanese were the cruellest colonialists one could have ever imagined.

Dog, I dare you to say that to the South and Central Americans.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

unimpressive and undignified speech however U.S. may not ignore it all together.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@smithinjapan - Yeah you have to be careful when you say 'the Taiwanese are also upset' at the shrine visits. Taiwan is dominated by descendants of mainland Kuomintang Chinese refugees who seized the island from the 'real' Taiwanese during the White Terror in 1949 and imposed martial law for the following 37 years to crush all local political dissent. Of course the KMT mob are going to follow the same anti-Japanese line as the CCP as they both fought the Japanese.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Germans honour their dead too: Day of Commemoration of Heroes. So why not Japan?

On 27 February 1934, the National Socialists introduced national holiday legislation to create Heldengedenktag (Day of Commemoration of Heroes), cementing the observance. In the process, they completely changed the character of the holiday: the emphasis shifted to hero worship rather than remembering the dead. Joseph Goebbels as Propaganda Minister, issued guidelines on content and implementation, instructing that flags no longer be flown at half-mast. The last Heldengedenktag was celebrated in 1945.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Let's suppose we take any 2 countries, and swap their history textbooks. For example, the Japanese learns history from Korean text books and vice versa. What do you think will happen? How much of history is really one truth? History is written by people, and people make their own interpretations. Or is there an absolute truth, and if so how are we able to access such an unbiased reality especially after the fact?

Every country has inherent pride in their birthplace and nationalism is only natural. Shouldn't each country be allowed to have their own interpretation of history and what it should contain or not contain? Such is sovereignty, no? There are many religions in the world and there is enough violence due to the differences in beliefs. So is this the case with historical interpretation? What about political beliefs?

Today is the commemoration day for the end of WWII. Abe is speaking to the Japanese people. If he were to address a foreign country, then his comments may be different.

"We will make contributions to lasting world peace to the greatest possible extent and spare no effort in working to bring about a world in which all people are able to live enriched lives."

A fine comment, I think. This is his commitment as the PM to the Japanese people.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

@Billyshears Regardless of what they call it, the Germans still remember their war dead. So should the Japanese.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Thunderbird, I like this comment :)

What exactly is this guy smoking? Japan's "peace and prosperity" is due to the fact that they were clobbered, occupied, and conned into doing what the U.S. wanted them to do, which is buy U.S. debt with dollars spent by Americans conned in buying Japanese products. Their whole economy, and their whole post WWII history is a sham, to say the least. Sad to say, but Japanese soldiers died for NO reason, other than the belligerent expressions of colonial desire by short term thinking leaders. But pretend all you want there, Abe, most folk are clueless anyhow, including you.

So tue!!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Nice post Onsen

But you lost me at

This is his commitment as the PM to the Japanese people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Thunderbird So, are you saying that most African countries would be better off under the rule of the likes of the British, French or Belgians? The British made a disgracefully belated apology for atrocities in Kenya and it is a stain on its integrity. European colonialism was a disgraceful chapter in history and Japanese colonialism was an even more vicious form of it. Dog already pointed out the moth-eaten nonsense of those who call Japan liberators rather than brutal invaders and all countries that were guilty of it should be taken to task when attempting to either brush it under the carpet or something like 'at least the trains ran on time'.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

All readers, stay on topic please. Africa and Europe are not relevant to this discussion. Please focus your comments on what is in the story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mitch Cohen at Aug. 15, 2013 - 06:07PM JST wrote: The very important difference is that Japan attacked USA first, so Japan is not really a victim. More like the bully who got whooped.

The point is still to "befriend your enemy". Japan has succeeded here while China and South Korea haven't.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Abe a 2 head snake that's why china and korea ignored his summit. how can they trust him? abe never learn his mistakes.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Not stupid at all. 2 decades of explaining remorse are enough. It's good to see Abe breaking the norm. I can already see the propaganda spread in China about an invading Japan!

4 ( +14 / -10 )

It has been 68 years. Let it go, people

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Thats it. Lets move on and forget about war that was created by people already dead.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Screw the past. Everyones so happy now!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You know, not mentioning it at all is smarter than saying something stupid here, especially considering China would jump at any words that they might not like...

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The reason I suggest letting it go is a very simple act of psychology. If you continue to blame a group of people for something that a majority of them had nothing to do with and act like they did it. they will initially be hurt and confused, and try to settle differences. If it persists, they will begin to resent you. How long it takes them to do something about it depends on the patience level of the people in question. Japan is out of the guilt stage and is slowly transitioning to resentment.

I'd prefer to nip this in the bud in the early stages

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Seems there is much emotion here and very little logic or intellect. World War II, Japan is allies with Hitler. Japan does not respect the Geneva Convention. Hitler does not respect the Geneva Convention. The souls lost in World War II only paved the way for prosperity in that they lost the war. Lost their lives needlessly because the Japanese war monger Tojo. The prosperity that Japan received was because America rebuilt Japan should not commemorate those who died killing innocent people. Japan should repent. Now their leaders will once again lead them to doom as they worship their leaders. Stop thinking as others are leaders and begin to lead, teach your children to do what is right and not just what the government says. Japan needs to stop justifying their aggression for world dominance. World war 3 here we come.

-4 ( +8 / -11 )

Now we know where he stands. If that's what Japan and the Japanese voters want. Good for you. Your voice is heard. Now we will see if your actions will follow through.

I would like to rename its SDF to Army, Navy and Airforce. An offensive military because that's what they really are.

Then I would like to see Japan raise its budget spending with clarity and transparency to about 3% just like most developed nations.

Then I would like to see if the voters will still prefer the direction Japan is heading. If so, its a whole new world in Asia.

Finally, the shadow comes out to the light.

That's all very well, and I like the melodramatic flourish of your last sentence. However, none of these things - none of them - are happening in isolation.

The SDF can be renamed army and so on once the constitution has been changed. And that's not something that will happen in isolation either. There's a very good reason why that is likely to happen now. Sometimes voters don't like where things are heading but feel wider events are forcing them into particular choices.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There was no "sacrifice" of Japanese young lives. Only murder. Sacrifice implies a higher cause; the good of someone or something. This was a war for domination, plain and simple. And dominate, murder, slaughter, they did. The concept of attacking and destroying the lives of all peoples of Asia to "protect" them from Western imperialism is still a trope of the LDP and Abe and his like today. But the real answer to whether or not this is the case lies in the resistance of the countries Japan attempted to destroy. The destruction of Japan, the resistance to Japanese slaughter, was Asian peoples, organizing themselves to kill their murderers. This is concept number one for conceiving of the history of the war. Everything else follows from this understanding. Japan should be deeply ashamed to have such a man as its Prime Minister.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

As far as countries go, China and Korea are both doing quite okay, 2nd and 15th largest economies in the world. They are 1st and 3rd largest trading partners of Japan, boosting each others economy with nearly 400 billion dollars worth of trade per year.

What does any that have to do with what I posted? Peace and prosperity in Japan came when the Japanese worked with their (former) enemy to build a better future. Japan achieved miraculous things (human rights, education, health care, technology, individual wealth) in just a few short decades. In fact they went so far and so fast that even though they've been sitting on their asses for the past fifteen years, ROK and PRC still haven't caught up.

And your point was?

Obviously sailing over your head.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Thanks Onsen for the exerpts. The speech sounded like those of U.S. Presidents during Memorial day. "Sacrifice", "Peace and prosperity" "freedom and democracy". Heard it ad nauseum but I guess it's OK for them but not for Japan double standards often played by many posters.

-16 ( +8 / -24 )

Shameful! He does wrong for the country and he will pay the price soon. A short lived premiership!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I have to agree with hidingout and fds!

Come on China and Korea! Grow up and move on!

2 ( +11 / -9 )

What does any that have to do with what I posted?

You praised Japan for its ability to get along with a former enemy (USA) and criticised China and Korea's lack of ability to do the same with Japan. So I pointed out that China and Korea were Japan's 1st and 3rd biggest trading partners. You seem like I made a completely irrelevant point?

Peace and prosperity in Japan came when the Japanese worked with their (former) enemy to build a better future.

You mean like China and Korea have with Japan, in trading terms?

Japan achieved miraculous things (human rights, education, health care, technology, individual wealth) in just a few short decades. In fact they went so far and so fast that even though they've been sitting on their asses for the past fifteen years, ROK and PRC still haven't caught up.

And that is news to me how? Japanese are absolutely brilliant at just about everything they do, and Korea will probably never catch up with Japan, in a broad sense. As a country with a tiny land and very little natural resources, you could do a lot worse than Korea. It's not a race.

So, what's your point?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

no denying that during that WW2 atrocities were commited by both sides... but the far east requirement that Japan should offer "profound remorse" and "sincere mourning" every year for the past 68 years is a bit much. A society 70 years removed from the events of that time shouldn't still be held accountable, whether or not past governments appologized properly or not..

1 ( +8 / -7 )

After creating so much furor amongst Japan's neighbours, expressing any remorse on his part would be like committing hara kiri; a noble thing to do on his part though. Well, at least he tried to show himself as not a hypocrite even though he is very much one.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

A society 70 years removed from the events of that time shouldn't still be held accountable

That's right. Sons are not responsible for his father's crime. However the problem is if that son denies his father's crimes and starts accusing the victim of lying and extortion, like we have seen with the comfort women issue.

The reason why apologies are still demanded is that Japanese people (politicians especially) have expressed as many denials of atrocities as the apologies offered.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

A child born when Japan invaded China in 1937 would be 76 years old now, and one born when the war ended in 1945 would be 68.

i guess lucky he/she wasn't one of the babies/children used as bayonet target practices.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Let me get this straight...

China is upset because the Japanese PM didn't make a pledge to renounce war.

Just wondering when was the last time China pledged to renounce war?

I guess China's strategy is to get everyone looking back and away to help create less opposition as they move forward (to wherever China seems to be going)! Seems very hypocritical to me but judging by the number of blind followers that China has brainwashed on JT it does seem to be working to some degree...

4 ( +9 / -5 )

@jbird

Good point. Sometimes actions speak louder than words! Foe example, China has increased it's military spending by DOUBLE DIGIT increases for 20 consecutive years yet they "strongly protested and advised the world to be cautious" when Japan increased it's military spending for the first time in 11 years AND that increase was by a HUGE 0.8%! Hell, it didn't even make a single digit and certainly does seem to be a reaction to outside pressure.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

What Japan learned from experience of World War 2 is not having a War against US because every countries except Japan knew that Japan cannot be a victorious nation of World War 2. Even Japan is sometimes blamed that Japan just follow US, but making Japan-US relations worse is the biggest thing which Japan must not do to survive in this current situation with ROK and China.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Of course he does, he does not care for the innocents abused, killed by the Imperial army, just the Japanese soldiers, not the innocents raped or killed by them...

Apologies oh yeah..

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Abe can lead the Japanese stroll into mediocrity. Meanwhile the US, European and Korean manufacturers are having a field-day in China! Why is it so difficult to admit what Japan did? Unless of course you are ashamed and want everyone to forget or let go! Except for the Filipinos, who currently have dispute with China, nobody in ASEAN stands with Japan on this issue. In fact the Filipinos are also against the Yasukuni visits. They only want to egg Japan on as far as the Diaoyu islands are concerned.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Onsen's posting of the speech was nice- I must approve since the speech did not glorify war, and instead states this "We will carve out the future of this country as one full of hope, as we face history with humility and engrave deeply into our hearts the lessons that we should learn. We will make contributions to lasting world peace to the greatest possible extent and spare no effort in working to bring about a world in which all people are able to live enriched lives.:

you don't need to live in the past and constantly apologize.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

“I will never forget the fact that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now was built based on the sacrifice of your precious lives,” WOW! Japan's current peace and prosperity was based on lives of WAR CRIMINALS? Something is wrong with this man.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe broke with two decades of tradition Thursday by omitting any expression of remorse over >Japan’s past aggression in Asia on the anniversary of its 1945 surrender.

Because there weren't any remorse then and there aren't any now.

No sense of keep lying to others and themselves.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"The peace and prosperity Japan enjoys today is because they proved themselves capable of doing what ROK and communist PRC will seemingly never learn to do. They accepted their beating like a man; set it aside and learned to engage..."

I laughed and laughed... until I realized it's meant literally, not as an ironic, self-deprecating, sarcastic-at-Japan's-own-expense joke.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Congratulations, Mr. Abe...for showing your true colours and futher raising the ire of your Asian neighbors!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Reading Abe's speech in it's entirety, then reading news "reporting" like that here in JT, and it is painfully clear how news agencies can twist readers impressions and thoughts by selective examples from the speech. Actually, Abe's speech seems quite good and not repeating the same old same old is refreshing. All these countries (meaning China and Korea) should, after 68 years, look for something new to bitch about!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

After only a few posts i gave up on this thread as yet another example of people bashing the current fine and excellent leadership of Japan ..people who have no sympathy for a Japan that MUST live in the world TODAY, not in the shadows of the past. It is essential for Japan to walk forward, I am sure as any sane and rational person is, that the nations that fought in WWII will never forget the cost to them and others and regret the course of that terrible war. We must be in the present, and do what we can with the world as it is today. Japan is surrounded by other nations and some of them very large and powerful and it is clear that some of them have not learned to live in a modern world of peaceful co existence yet. I have great respect for Prime Minster Abe and thank him for his sincere and deep gestures ...all of them.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

@CrisGerSan

After only a few posts i gave up on this thread as yet another example of people bashing the current fine and excellent leadership of Japan

Yeah, stopped reading there..

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I think no matter what Shinzo Abe & the Japanese "Say" or "Don't Say" - they're going to anger China & South Korea.

Japan's existence in the Universe angers China and South Korea

Its like Damed if you do and Damed if you don't.

WAIT ABE - Don't say that...you'll anger China.

WAIT ABE - Don't eat that...you'll anger South Korea

WAIT ABE - Don't pet that Panda...you'll trigger a Panda War!

WAIT ABE - Don't travel anywhere...you'll make ALL of China and South Korea nervous.

STOP ABE - If you walk foward and its on Fuji TV - CCTV in China will edit it, copy/paste it, and make it look like your walking around at Yasukuni!

LISTEN ABE - If you speak, South Korea will edit Sound Bites and make you say "What Sex Slaves?"

SAY SOMETHING ABE - Otherwise, China and South Korea will think your ignoring their "concerns".

WAIT, STOP, LISTEN, SAY, DON'T SAY...Just hide Abe..Hide like the Royal Family and just smile & wave at the crowd from far way...

(wait - don't smile either...they'll think you're insulting them...)

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Japan was fine until the PRC decided to play games over the sovereignty of the Ryuku Islands, which include the Senkakus, and Okinawa. Yes, the Chinese played games to wake "extreme nationalism" in the Japanese people. Now, the Chinese are afraid of what the finally awaking Japanese will do.

Yes, Just as the Germans who were defeated in WWI were able to revitalize their country in less than one decade and challenge the entire world in WWII, the Japanese are now on the same track after WWII to challenge China and whatever of its allies it can muster in WWIII.

The US and most Western nations and most South China Sea nations stand shoulder to shoulder with our Japanese friends to stop the arrogant PRC from dominating Southeast Asia. We are glad the Chinese decided to wake Japan's extreme nationalism in order to combat the arrogance of Chinese economic advancement.

In the Battle of the Senkakus in 2017, Japan will sink every PLA Navy vessel and down every PLA Air Force plane in order to free the region of this monster which has threatened the sovereignty of so many of its neighbors. YAY, Japan. Put China on a leash.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Thank you Onsen, As usually, you write original. Abe did not copycat other people's previous comments. That could be easy but he did not. Onsen Thank you again.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

How time has changed. It may seem strange today but Mao Zedong discouraged public discourse about the Japanese invasion and waived reparations. During his reign, Nanking was far from becoming Chinese target for Japanese brutality. Why Japan became a easy target? This was when new communist leaders, transforming their country into a market economy, first began to face the problems of uneven growth, which included social unrest on a huge scale. China became desperate to boost their credibility after the killings of many unarmed protestors near Tiananmen Square in 1989, and images of the deliberate and vicious Japanese came in handy. Honoring the memories of Sino-Japanese War became main focus to the post-Cold War Chinese strategy of finding new foils internationally and fresh ideological legitimacy at home.

As in China, anti-Japanese nationalism in South Korea has a potentially large constituency and is a focus of national identity. But it coexists in uneasy symbiosis with extreme inequality and unemployment. But Park may discover that in an unequal and fractious country, anti-Japanese nationalism remains the best way to orchestrate national unity. South Korea seems to be following the pattern of China.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Immature Japan justifying immaturity because of immature neighbors!

One will need to grow up once!

Otherwise we just stay in the kindergarten forever!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Kent McGraw

Firstly, you twisted what I had written to your own ends... I never praised Hitler or any other war leader. What I was TRYING to get across to people is that the Japanese are honouring their war dead... not the leaders, not the generals, but those who died during the war. They were not all war criminals, unless you believe that every soldier in the IJA was a rabid baby-killer with a bayonet soaked in blood... then again maybe you do. If the Japanese are to be criticised for honouring their soldiers and those civilians who died in the bombing runs, then we should all be crticised for doing the same thing in our own countries. In war the civilians are always killed... wars aren't clean... they are messy, horrible, cruel things.

Oh, and I don't need a spell-checker. I'm British, my spelling is correct.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Push someone so far and they will ball-up their fists and strike back.

The PRC and it's tributary nations have been pushing and pushing, now they must live with what they created.

Funny how the PRC never mentions the $ 31 billion dollars in ODA aid that Japan has given them since relations were normalized, gee I wonder why?

http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/region/e_asia/china/

Won't go into the Billions of aid Japan has given to South Korea and it's northern brothers.

Why help those that hate you?

It's about time about time Japan start using that money for nations that are it's friends rather than it's enemies.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I think the prime minister made a wise desicision of not mentionting "remorse" or "regret" in his speech to prevent China and its tributary state, Kore,a from using the history issue as a political card. I hope that the future prime ministers do the same.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Thunderbird2: I understand your intelligent comments all the time even though I have broken English and I goof on typing because unlike young people here, I began typing on old old type writers and IBM 360 using old old keyboard before majority people here were born. Don;t stop writing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I for one am glad he hasn't continued the tradition of apologizing for the war.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

SecularBeast

I agree. Does Japan really have to express profound remorse every year, forever? Not saying I like Abe but if China and Korea continue to push, he'll dig his heels in to show he can stand up to them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Abe didn't express remorse because he doesn't feel any. He is bitter and resentful because Japan lost the war and he is itching to force Japanese youth into the army so that he can get revenge for the loss of face suffered by his war-criminal relatives.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Abe was born in 1954. He was not responsible for whatever happened iduring WW II. Emperor was just a child, too. So, he skipped WW II apology. That is understandable. Let Yoko Ono do propaganda of peace even she is the same age of Emperor because she loves peace movement. Abe's Grandpa received UN Peace Prize. His grand uncle received Nobel Peace Prize. These are enough peace activity in one family. Abe has to concentrate on other problems.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The only way to make China/Korea not to complain about anything is to become their underdog and do whatever they wish. The war is long ago, yet China and Korea always take their completely over-used, faded and totally frilled WWII victim card out. Japan's internal affairs, incl. Yasukuni Shrine and war memorials are none of your business. Besides, criminal governments like China should have no right of complaining about anything. Korea's constant whining is because of their immense inferiority complex which isn't Japan's fault. China and Korea got used so much to pointing to scapegoat Japan over the decades that they are now used to it, no matter their reasoning still holds any water or not.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

but it will never be let go. Righteous Indignation and fury get people far in this world apparently

0 ( +2 / -2 )

One wonders just how sincere the apologies which the Japanese have given are as such.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Isn't Abe the first Japanese leader to have been born after the war? It probably makes sense he cut short his speech, he's a young leader and feels that Japan doesn't need to continue feeling and expressing remorse over and over again 68+ years after the war ended.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

20 years of apology? I'd bet brainless 19 PM jmust have asked their speech editor to use previous yr's speech. Abe who spent Long Beach and familiar with American style free speech did not copycat to apology something he did not do.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is just my opinion, I hope readers do not get the wrong idea as I believe it influence the way on how some judge on this issue.

If Japan do not have things such as anime, video games, gadgets and such, do some of you would make similar defense on Japan pretty much everything they do such as this article?

If China and South Korea has similar soft powers would you make the same analogy on those countries?

I know what you guys are thinking, I'm in my 30's and have embrace Japan stuffs since I was in high school. It was anime in the beginning that let me hook up on Japan and It really does influence my view on Japan regarding their actions related to World War II. I'm from Malaysia in case you wanna know.

I used to believe Japan has moved on and others should do the same but as some you might guess it, I was wrong. I judged Japan through its soft power but I realized it is not tied closely with politics. Actually if we want to point our fingers, it would be the government not its people.

Why Japan has not signed a peace treaty with Russia?

Why South Korea despite supposed to be ally of Japan has gone so bad?

Why China being Japan's largest market still face such problem from time to time?

Why Taiwan is protesting recently despite has such decent relationship with Japan for a long time?

Don't be surprised we see comments which has two ways in nature if you know what it means.

Pretty much everything I see is repetition and barely any progress. I know if I voice out my view I would receive a similar response and this is why such things would only solved when one nation's economy is on the verge of collapse cause words simply does not work well here as far as I concern.

The East Asia nations would be so great if worked together, can some of you including the moderator actually see it? That for me I think it's just a silly dream. The comments around here just enhance its silliness.

I used to came here for Japan animation, gadgets, culture and such but now, I feel we have become a part of Japan's World War II, we all affected by its past one way or another and sadly as I mentioned I think it would only change when that day comes.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

neobios,

I think your sentiments are not alone with non-Japanese with some sort of affinity toward Japan.

Soft power is much more influential than anything else. Japan has been focusing on its soft power due to necessity (because of the restriction on its military imposed by US) and its strategic goal of projecting the cuddly and friendly image of Japan through economy and cultural influences. And the latter parts had done a lot of good for many people around the world. That is something Japan should be proud of. And you're right, it serves Japan with a lot of goodwill when we're asked to consider Japan's true intentions. The naive and uninformed often gets lost in that translation.

Problem with Japan is those Japanese leaders and the Japanese voters/citizens/enablers of some of those few yet powerful right wing nuts to constantly try to re-write and deny history. You just can't do that. That's call going back on your words and no country will stand for it, especially the US. IF you pay attention to US's reaction to these outburst from Japan, its subtle yet effective. Things like no time for your state visits, and then when the delayed visit comes to fruition, there's no time for a face to face meeting, or meeting goes from state dinner to a short luncheon which was cancelled and reduced into a short 30min brunch. Then you align with these subtle actions with the political environment in Japan and you will get a good picture, a contrasting one indeed.

China and SK's sentiments are most due to pride and their own rise in power. Contrasting that with Japan's shrinking stance and position in Asia and the world, its a conflict no one can avoid. Japan's own leaders simply gave a lot excuses for the Chinese and Koreans to act upon. Everything we talk about on Japan's action can ALL be eliminated IF Japan's leaders simply move beyond its political aspirations and do the right things. Then China and SK will run out of these "excuses" created by Japan and really focus on building some form of East Asia Alliance. Something US, Russia and EU won't like to see. Can you imagine China, South Korea, and Japan pull their resources together (heck throw in Taiwan as well). They will be unstoppable.

Don't think that Japan's actions by these leaders are only noticeable and augmented by the Chinese and Koreans. The US brass pays tremendous attentions to them as well. Whose side are we on? Ours. Noda, Kan, Hatoyama... what do they have in similarity? They are not conservatives and traditional allies of US. How did you think they go down in flames as short-lived PMs? Who really is behind all these downfalls? Who had the power to easily bring any Japanese PM down?

Its all very obvious much like that Pink elephant in the room that no one talks about. Japan politics is an open book. Who's the true author and who's the ghost writer? That's the question.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@highball7

Problem is Japan did not intensify its effort to increase Japan’s soft power until the country’s hard power was in relative decline. Seen from this perspective, Japan’s soft power is based more on its dwindling economy and a lack of other viable policies. Japan’s economic problem will continue and its politicians looks incompetent. Japan’s problem is that its future importance is declining across the board.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@stjp You made no sense. You must be a politician. Give references to hard power and soft power. Yes the politicians are incompetent but that is the case everywhere where only those with money can run run for political office. Remember King George the 3rd from England? He was a babbling inbred King that could do nothing on his own but the politicians held him up as King. Funny how imbeciles become a king when they are all actually fools. Money rules in this world. There are the haves and the have not's those who have take from those who have not and those who have not believe that those who have will help them. Sad state of the world.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'll bet my bottom yen that South Korea and China will start bitching about this

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Stay classy, Abe. It's not a good look for Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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