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Australian WWII hospital ship sunk by Japanese filmed

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“Whilst the Japanese have certainly apologized for their actions during the Second World War, it would be appropriate for those involved to express an apology,” Lucas said. “In this barbaric act, people lost their lives. Sailors, soldiers, nurses, doctors, orderlies. It was totally senseless and a wanton act.”

Kind of like driving the Ady Gil in front of the whaling boat? Oh, sorry, that was New Zealand...

Why does Australia need another apology from Japan simply because they found a ship that may or may not have been sunk by Japan? Even if it was, hasn't Japan already apologized? Why must old wounds be ripped open again?

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bokudayo: "Why must old wounds be ripped open again?"

In this case they've never healed, and could easily start with the Japanese admitting to it and apologizing -- but here they can only stammer and say, "(chortle) The circumstances are unclear". This isn't your ordinary sinking -- this was a clearly marked Red Cross ship carrying civilians, and Japan decided to shoot them all dead (almost all, anyway) regardless.

"Kind of like driving the Ady Gil in front of the whaling boat?"

Misdirect your angst elsewhere, please.

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a ship that may or may not have been sunk by Japan

Mmmm, 'cos hospital ships often blow themselves up.lol

And sorry, but Japan has never apologised or taken responsibility for this war crime. Two weeks ago the government was still equivocating- which means they have not accepted responsibility.

Check links to get full story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AHS_Centaur

http://www.ozatwar.com/ozatwar/centaur.htm

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I'm surprised past Japanese governments have not come out and said this deplorable sinking of the hospital ship was a "regrettable, lamentable accident" or words to that effect. It would just be nice if Japanese youngsters (those under 60) were even educated that their country attacked - or involved in a war - with Australia. I don't blame most Japanese for their ignorance of this fact.

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Wars are brutal, cruel and lives will be lost. Most Japanese don't feel the need to be apologetic nor do they ask for any apology or compensation from the US for the thousands killed in air raids and the atomic bombs. No amount of apologies can bring back the dead infact it would be regarded as an insult that a mere apology and compensation is sufficient to appease the souls lost. Yes they started the war and deserved the ending. They have surrendered, apologised and moved on. The rest should too in honor of their own war dead.

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The Allies honor their war dead by remembering.

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Even if it was, hasn't Japan already apologized?

No.

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If Japan didn't distort history so much internally people might actually seriously think Japan felt sorry for the war and wouldn't demand an apology every 5 mins.

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japan has formally apologised many times...the problem is that brainless politicians and right wing loonies often do and say things that raise doubts about the sincerity of the apologies... this combined with the ongoing 'japan was/is the victim' of the war industry only add fuel to the debate...

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Hey, that Australian ship was interfering with the Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere!

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While there are those who claim that the commander of the Japanese submarine did not knowingly attack a hospital ship, it seems clear that this was indeed an atrocity. A terrible tragedy that Australians who were alive at the time feel strongly about and rightly so. But. the current Premier of Queensland asking for or demanding an apology is inappropriate. Honor the victims, remember them, never forget, but this telling people of another country to apologize on behalf of their countrymen for something that happened sixty years ago is getting tiring.

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On Sunday, Queensland Acting Premier Paul Lucas called on Japan to apologize for the sinking.

Go Paul Lucas - the Number 2 of a state!! Hes not going to shy away when hes got a sniff of an international stoush. Get in there while youve got your chance in the spotlight. You getem tiger!

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Does Japan ever get any PR advice? I just do not see what would be wrong with apologizing for this. Perhaps "We made many mistakes 60 years ago and we are attempting to ensure that people that behave like this are no loner put into positions of responsibility...We are deeply sorry.Here is $10 million.Please build a new wing on one of your hospitals and name it after this boat."

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Shipwreck hunters have captured the first underwater footage of an Australian World War II hospital ship that sank in 1943 and left 268 people dead.

Great news! Can I watch it on CNN news?

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Japan as an Axis power must apologise for all instance of war crimes. Of course it would be outright rediculous for Allied Powers to apologise for any 'alleged' war crimes against Japan.

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Japan as an Axis power must apologise for all instance of war crimes. Of course it would be outright rediculous for any Allied Power including Australia to apologise for any 'alleged' war crimes against Japan.

This hypocritical stance is one of the major reasons why Japan refuses to take collective defence action with most major powers that are the VICTORIOUS ALLIED POWERS.

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Japan has apologized enough in the past and am sure for the attack on the hospital ship. Problem the Allied powers have never forgiven Japan. The current leaders and people of Japan with the exception of a few old people have nothing to due with the war. Japanese people want to move forward in peace with the rest of the world. The mistakes of the past are of the past to be remembered and not repeated but they were someone else's mistakes and we have nothing to which to apologize forever. We need to move forward past or mistakes of the past while not repeating them to a better future

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The Japanese broke all the war conventions in a big way, such as torpedoing this ship. Comparisons with the Allies are pathetic, comparisons with the Nazis are justified.

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Australia said the ship sank after being torpedoed by the Japanese, but Japan says the circumstances surrounding the sinking are unclear.

It was probably struck by a whale. Damn those bloody whales!

Why won't these miserable (expletives) just admit they torpedoed it?
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YuriOtani at 10:30 PM JST - 11th January

Japan has apologized enough in the past and am sure for the attack on the hospital ship.

It's one thing to apologise. It's another thing to admit.

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Japan already got a good lesson from the US having the double A bombs. The country is continuing suffering some major demographic problem as high suicide rate, declining population, shrinking economy, deflation. If you take these things as curse for their previous notorious act it can be a mind refreshing for the Japan bashers.

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Japan has not apologized for the attack on the hospital ship. At the time (through the Swiss intermediaries) Japan stated,

"Thorough enquiry by the Japanese Government as revealed no facts justifying the Australian allegation. Japan therefore, categorically states that she cannot (not translated) the Australian Government's protests and that she can take no responsibility for any Australian claims."

Japan continues to refuse responsibility to this day. The following was released by the Japanese Embassy in Canberra after the wreck was located:

The Japanese government had conducted its own inquiry into the Centaur, The circumstances were not clear given that it occurred during the Second World War." We will see how the ongoing investigation by Australia unfolds.

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It IS telling that in the same WWII statement Japan issued denying the sinking, they included a list of THEIR hospital ships that they said had been torpedoed and/or bombed/strafed. It is very believable that the sinking of the Centaur was a retalitory response. Before anyone jumps on me for defending the sinking, though, I should state I am a firm believer in "two wrongs do not make a right".

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every time you turn around somebody wants japan to apologize for something they did in wwii. enough!

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the Japanese military replied that: 'footage clearly shows the hospital ship moving towards our battle cruiser making provocative and threatening movements. Clearly these 'medical-terrorists' were a scourge that needed dealing with......'

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A 2007 pamphlet from the Etajima naval academy reads. "Today we regard the old Imperial Japanese Navy with respect and affection as having shown us our national superiority."

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Isn't it interesting how the winners of conflicts get to write history and somehow the losers were the ones who only committed atrocities...

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From a vantage point, it's so weird to see some westerners who assume an apology as the necessity for any issue that relates to Japan over WWII without considering its effect on diplomatic relations and the public. It’s true that Japan has apologized to their neighbors over the historical issues in WWII. But they often end up inviting a biting criticism due to their ineptitude in resolving the contradiction between cultural ideologies and political statement. That's why they have spoiled so many political opportunities to make number of apologies over the similar issue for over 20 years. And they're still struggling in resolving the issue? It's preposterous.

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Most of the opinions here are split between Japanese not showing remorse and needing to be forced to repent and apologize, and those who see the Allied winners as being hypocritical as they also committed atrocities. The facts of WW2 are very clear. The Japanese partnered with the Germans, started the Pacific War, and caused death and destruction all over Asia. People are still hurting over the loss of parents, siblings and children through war and just plain brutality. No, Japan has not shown enough remorse. Even if statements are made by politicians, they are negated in the minds of citizens of many countries due to statements to the opposite effect made by other politicians, right wingers, shrine officials, text books etc. Yes, Japan could have done a lot more, and could now. As one commentator suggested, the Japanese could have gained incredible respect by acknowledging the Centaur incident, paying for a monument or museum, and maybe a hospital. Brilliant idea. And it would make more sense than building another bridge or barely used airport. Building on that, if they had spent one percent of the money they used on all the roads, bridges etc over the years on a few ideas like Michaelqtodd suggested, then their place in Asia and the rest of the world would be so different.

BUT! Doesn't normal human life tell you that begging for, or demanding, or forcing someone to apologize is not really productive?

So, the Centaur has deep meaning for many Australians. While it may be of no interest to other people, it does for Australians. They are the ones who can hold memorials or do whatever they like. If, and its a big if, the Japanese govt, decided to be involved in some way, that would be nice. But even then, they run the risk of some Australians being angry at that saying its too late! Aussies are becoming a pack of whining whingers who feel that its okay to criticize anybody and anything, or make fun of anybody, but can't take the slightest criticism or joking at their expense. It's getting embarrassing.

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I don't care what bad Japanese did during the war. It's Past. P-A-S-T!! Finished. Yes it was bad. Shiite Happens.

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I don't care what bad Japanese did during the war. It's Past. P-A-S-T!! Finished. Yes it was bad. Shiite Happens.

I never understand this logic when it comes up.

Just because something happened in the past does not resolve issues and help to heal raw memories and wounds.

To draw a loose analogy: Imagine going up to somebody and punching them in the face. Then later brushing it off as something that "happened in the past". It might be fine for some, maybe not fine for others. Point being there are various ways to deal with difficult situations, some more effective than others.

In my experience, many Japanese have rather immature interpersonal skills. I often find that to be the case in the international arena as well.

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It's not even close to past. I remember the Japanese tourist on my bus explaining to his son how the various Asian countries used to be Japanese possessions. This distorted view of history is being passed to future generations. Anybody who attempts to defend this position has had their own vision distorted. There are plenty of people who say the holocaust was a fabrication. yeah right!

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"Australia said the ship sank after being torpedoed by the Japanese, but Japan says the circumstances surrounding the sinking are unclear."

Apparently another attack by Godzilla that is blamed on Japan.

(I just found out that Godzilla is even in Spell Checker - talk about famous!).

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Imagine you punched someone in the face when you were 20 and when you were 60 that person's grandson came up to you and punched you in the face saying he owed it to you. I can never understand keeping the hate going.

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The Japanese broke all the war conventions in a big way, such as torpedoing this ship. Comparisons with the Allies are pathetic, comparisons with the Nazis are justified.

So by your logic, as long as you commit less war crimes than the enemy, you are absolved from all of them?

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Imagine you punched someone in the face when you were 20 and when you were 60 that person's grandson came up to you and punched you in the face saying he owed it to you. I can never understand keeping the hate going.

Fair point. But in my previous post I mentioned, "It might be fine for some, maybe not fine for others".

What I was getting at is, where do societies draw the line? Take your example except change it to hit with a baseball bat instead of a punch. Still feel the same way? How about stab you three times? How about steal your car? How about take your life savings out of your bank? How about rape and kill your child?

If you look at it this way it is a bit easier to understand. It doesnt really matter what you as an individual thinks or feels (or me for that matter), but what the society as whole thinks and feels. Especially those that were/are directly affected by it.

Moderator: Readers, please forget the analogies and focus your comments on what is in the story.

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Mass murderer should not be swept under the rug, people need to think about it and teach their children. that way, the same evil is not repeated by future generations.

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I do not think the people wanting Japan to apologise and admit fault are necessarily Japan bashers.They want the best for Japan. If you go to places like the war museum at Kanchanaburi in Thailand (the Bridge over the River Kwai) you will see evidence of atrocious behaviour. The fact is that for any people in Australia this finding of the Centaur has awoken some very bad memories. Japan must look at the situation through those peopleseyes and do whatever it can to erase those memories. The ball is firmly in Japans court.So instead of heeding Japanese public opinion about whether or not to admit fault Japan should be focusing solely on Australian public opinion.

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Japan must look at the situation through those peopleseyes and do whatever it can to erase those memories. The ball is firmly in Japans court.So instead of heeding Japanese public opinion about whether or not to admit fault Japan should be focusing solely on Australian public opinion.

But why should Japan apologise to a country that does not condemn the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? the atomic bombing and sinking of the Centaur are legal acts in the sense of aerial bombardment and unrestricted submarine warfare but involved the deaths of mostly non-combatants. Japan's apology would only encourage hypocrisy amongst the Australians who have already shown that they are willing to condemn Japan's aggression during WWII while it readily invaded Iraq. It is best fot the Australian people if Japan admits the acts but not apologise.

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But why should Japan apologise to a country that does not condemn the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? the atomic bombing and sinking of the Centaur are legal acts in the sense of aerial bombardment and unrestricted submarine warfare but involved the deaths of mostly non-combatants. Japan's apology would only encourage hypocrisy amongst the Australians who have already shown that they are willing to condemn Japan's aggression during WWII while it readily invaded Iraq. It is best fot the Australian people if Japan admits the acts but not apologise.

Agree with you 100%! Nicely Said NeoJamal

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Australia does not condemn just "aggression".What it condemns is blatant human rights abuse such as at the River Kwai and Geneva convention breaches such as this sinking of a hospital ship.Submarine warfare is not"unrestricted". You gotta know that Japan would also be in there supporting the US in Iraq if they were allowed to.Go on failing to admit fault and failing to apologise and see where it gets you.

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The Japanese broke all the war conventions in a big way, such as torpedoing this ship. Comparisons with the Allies are pathetic

Not to reign on your "Japan=Bad, Allieds=Good" myopic view of the Pacific war, there were over 7,000 civilian Japanese ocean vessels destroyed by the Allieds and over 60,000 civilian lives lost.

http://www.ymf.or.jp/html/zaidan-topics0708-shusen62-1.html http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%98%BF%E6%B3%A2%E4%B8%B8%E4%BA%8B%E4%BB%B6

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NeoJamal "But why should Japan apologise to a country that does not condemn the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?"

Oh I get it we add another 268 on to the 10-30 million democide of the Japanese Imperial Army (which alot of Australians are already have alot of deaths in that group) and you want to bring up the US actions in ending the War, that Australia had nothing to do with????

NeoJamal and southsakai must have went to a Japanese school because "Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform" strikes again.

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NeoJamal and southsakai must have went to a Japanese school because "Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform" strikes again.

So does conedemning Allied war crimes imply I went to a Japanese school?

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"Whilst the Japanese have certainly apologized for their actions during the Second World War..."

To whom? To whom has the Government of Japan issued an apology qabout the War? Or are we talking abotu the singular events of Japanese government officials saying that Japan is sorry, only for the Japanese government to distance itself from such statements every single time? When did the Emperor sign and seal a Document of Official Apology to Australia, the USA, or any of the nations that felt the boot of the Imperial Army?

Japan has never officially recognized her guilt, her instigation of the Pacific War, or her exploitation of those she assualted, invaded, and occupied and if anyone thinks that she will apologize for the sinking of this hospital ship now, hand me some of what you're smoking....

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NeoJamal - Did the USA start World War two in the Pacific? Was it the USA that attacked a Japanese Naval Base, or was it the Japanese that attacked an American Naval Base, while sending diplomats to Washington with words of "Peace! Peace!"? If the Imperial Government of his Majesty's Japanese Emperor had not iordered the assault on Pearl, there'd have been no Hiroshima or Nagasaki in the first place, and in the secodn, those two bombs saved a lot of years of war, millions of casualties on both sides, preserved South Korean Independence, stanched three invasion of thed Japanese Home Islands, and saved Japan and Tokyo from being divided as Germany was. How, again, were the atom bombs somethign the USA should be apologizing for? Why should the USA apologize, again, for ernding a war she didn't start?

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It is best fot the Australian people if Japan admits the acts but not apologise.

You got this thing twisted, it would be better for Japan to admit all of its evil acts, in one extremely long list, so that the people of Japan could really see the totality of the pain and suffering they brought upon the world and its people. Of course Japan would then apologize, they are decent enough people, its just that they are kept in the dark with denials. Problem solved...

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You got this thing twisted, it would be better for Japan to admit all of its evil acts, in one extremely long list, so that the people of Japan could really see the totality of the pain and suffering they brought upon the world and its people. Of course Japan would then apologize, they are decent enough people, its just that they are kept in the dark with denials. Problem solved...

That's right. Make no mistakes. Do a thorough investigation. Clear everything in a closet. Then go on to the next step. Don't even try to apologize or make compensations until they get the whole picture.

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If the nuke justifications should hold, the Japanese should be able to readily argue that sinking hospital ships would have a severe demoralising effect on the enemy and lead to quicker peace and save alot of Japanese lives on both sides.

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If the nuke justifications should hold, the Japanese should be able to readily argue that sinking hospital ships would have a severe demoralising effect on the enemy and lead to quicker peace and save alot of Japanese lives on both sides.

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