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Emperor celebrates 81st birthday

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Akihito is to visit Palau, one of harsh battlefields in the Pacific during World War II, next year to mourn for the war-dead for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

They better check that no pential war criminal ever went to Palau. although this visit will likely annoy a bunch of our near-neighbours anyway.....

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Kaerimashita: I don't think it would annoy neighbours too much, if at all. Many people know the Emperor's opinions on war to differ quite a bit from nationalists like Abe who balk at atrocities while wanting nationalism under the guise of peace. Abe wants a return to pre-war Japan, while the Emperor wants Japan to grow and strive, but in the true name of peace. In fact, right-wingers often go apoplectic over Akihito's comments because they claim to hold the Emperor as the highest power and want a return to the days when the Emperor had sole power, but then Akihito makes a comment about how there is Korean blood in the family line (in an attempt to better ties with SK) and they fly off the handle. Or he takes veiled potshots at Abe's attempts to force nationalism on the Japanese people by changing the Constitution and history books, and the wingers don't know what to do.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Wishing His Imperial Majesty a happy 81st.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Happy birthday to the emperor, pity his father and his cronies are responsible for the 3 million Japanese who lost their lives and the millions of others around the pacific.

He should rightly be denouncing war and promoting peace.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Congratulations to His Imperial Majesty!

Their Majesties' hearts will be heavy wth sorrow upon their visit to Peleliu, where over some 12,000 Japanese were killed by American forces, who also suffered huge losses, when they refused to surrender. Admiral Nimitz is said to have predicted a three day confrontation before landing on Peleliu, but the Japanese stood their ground for several months, hiding in subterranean caves on an island about the size of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Only two remained alive at the end.

This astouding commitment by nurses, doctors, civilians and the military convinced the American side of the expediency of using atomic warfare to terminate hostilities as quickly as possible. The entire populaion of Japan had been urged to wait beachside for the arival of the American forces, whom they were entreated to combat using hand carved bamboo poles. Surrender was not considered an option.

I am sure Their Majesties shall struggle severely and painfully with this historical reality during their visit, and we must admire them for their courage. The island is now picture postcard perfect, despite surely the anguished ghosts of thousands of the dead,Japanese, American and Palauan.

A footnote: the wild, 5 meter long marine crocodiles in the swamps at Peleliu are descendants of crocodiles brought to Palau by the Japanese for research and for the zoo they built there when Koror was the Nanyo capital; they escaped when the battles released them to nature.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Many happy reterns Akihito. Live long and healthy, you have been a good model for post war generations.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

A Happy Birthday Tennou Heika Akihito !

Hope Japanese politicians digest His message.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

You can't choose when and to whom you are born, and you definitely don't inherit the sins of your fathers, so Happy Birthday Aki-chan.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Happy Birthday Emperor Akihito! Growing up I always liked his messages of peace. I admire his and the Empress' going out of their way to reach people who are suffering too. Thank you for being a great role model!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

“More than three million Japanese people lost their lives during World War II,” Akihito said.

“To ensure that those people did not die in vain

How about the millions the Japanese people brutally colonized in their ill-fated quest for glory -- led by his dad? Sorry, but I think he is looking at the wrong end of the telescope and playing the "victim" card again.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

The current Emperor is right in choosing peace over militarism. He also holds a place in my heart for his travels north to Tohoku to meet with the suffering survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The Japanese Government has forgotten them. Perhaps he should remind the politicians once again that IT'S NOT OVER for them. And maybe he should shame the politicians into action.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

They better check that no pential war criminal ever went to Palau. although this visit will likely annoy a bunch of our near-neighbours anyway.....

You got your history wrong? The current Emperor was only a boy during the war and had nothing to do with it. His father was Emperor at the time.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Happy Birthday Emperor! You have my support as a man of peace.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I see that my comment has drawn a number of "thumbs-down". Respectfully, I think that is a knee-jerk reaction. I have often been an admirer of the Emperor, even though I think the Imperial Family, and especially the IHA, are out-dated and serve only to protect their best interests. But, in this case, I think his words are too inward-focused, at a time when Japan needs to be more in-tune with its neighbors and the rest of the world than ever. Rather than speak at all about any suffering that happened over 70 years ago, I think he would have been better off with a strictly forward-looking message. That was my disappointment, since he has often times shown the ability to see the big picture and rise above politics and nationalism. I think this sounds like a remark more suited for Abe or one of his cronies, than the Emperor.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@ Michal: Constitution prohibits Emperor to involve in politics. So, this message is as far as he could tell about peace.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Seems like a nice enough man. As Smith mentioned, he's said things which have infuriated the nutty rightists. I'm no believer in hereditary titles but anything which rattles the cages of the knuckle-draggers deserves credit.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“In pursuing its sound development, I ardently hope that Japan will be able to go forward in the world as a stable, peaceful, and sound nation, in mutual support not only with neighbouring countries but with as many of the world’s countries as possible,” .......Couldn't be more relevant.

jerseyboy..If we all had the same opinion, thats the time to start worrying.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It sounds like he wants peace, so he is already better than many politicians...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Happy 81st Birthday Your Majesty! May you have good health:

"As the sun rises, I am there; As the sun sets, I am there"

Numangatini, King, Mangaia, Cook Islands

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Happy birthday Akihito sama, its a pleasure beinga subject of two glorious households, one of which, needless to say is yours.

@ jerseyboy

I think the reason you got thummed down is because ppl see your comment as a knee jerk reaction to any sign of a Japanese person not "knowing their role" as children of criminals.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

****long live your great emporer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a belated happy birthday my 5th favourite monarch

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese throne is held in deep respect by much of the public, despite being largely stripped of its mystique and quasi-divine status in the aftermath of the war.

I read a book (Akasaka, 1990, Shouchou Tennou to iu Monogatari) a long time ago which suggested that the current constitutional definition of the emperor as "symbol of the Japanese nation", may not strip but reinforce the quasi-divine status of the emperor. Elohim says of himself, I am am the one who is" but also, according to John, He is also "the word". Japanese deities rarely speak but if they did they might say "I am the one who is symbolic," or just wave and smile.

Pictures of the Emperor such as adorn this page, called "true shadow" (御真影), were in the past highly valued objects of veneration in Japanese homes being treat as equivalent to his imperial personage. There are no words that define the Japanese, no constitution, no creed, but the Japan may in general share the possession of, and certain way of seeing the above 'true shadow'.

Japanese deities have long served as symbols of communities, though these days they have largely been replaced by mascot characters (YuruKyara), such as Kumamon, who imho bears some resemblance to his imperial majesty, may he reign till moss grows. Today alas Shinto is waning popularity but other symbols, such as Spectre Watch "medals" -- small round pieces of plastic depicting a character from the wildly popular, bi-cultural (?) Pokemon-successor anime "Youkai Wacchi" -- are traded at up to 350 dollars each.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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