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Former U.S. POWs want Japanese companies to apologize

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I hate to sy this, but if they are looking for an apology, I wish them good luck because the chances of it happening is 1 to a billion. Knowing the Japanese people, they will never apologize for their mistakes. All that they do is make excuses.

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On the contrary Alladin, Japanese are excellent at apologies. Just look at TV and you can see a multitude of apologies. Unfortunately I doubt many are heartfelt. But to apologize to a gaijin??? Never. And especially to a gaijin representing a country that humiliated your country in a war??? Hah!

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This ex-POW guy should just let it go. Injustices are done to many many people during WWII including U.S. In the early 1940's, the U.S. government, in collaboration with various Latin American governments, kidnapped, transported, incarcerated, and held hostage over 2,000 Japanese Latin Americans during WWII. The bulk of these people were Japanese Peruvians inprisoned in Texas. They never received apologies or compensation from the U.S. govenment.

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I agree, Japanese apologies are pretty useless. They have the "stick head in sand until problem goes away" mentality for pretty much everything here. they may be going through the motions, but inside they are thinking "can't we just get this over with?"

Karma will get them in the end. In another fifty years, the only customers these Japanese companies will be able sell anything to is poor Japanese people.

This may sound incredibly harsh, but these ex-POWs may have better spent their time visiting the Hiroshima A-bomb dome and had a celebration picnic in the park with a case of Bud and bottle of Jack Daniels.

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I agree with both bcbrownboy and sfip330.

Japanese never apologize to foreigners. I never heard of a Japanese person apologizing to a foreigner. If the day ever comes when that happens, I think the sun will turn black.

As of letting this subject go, I kinda agree with it in a way. The past is the past and it should be left in the past and not brought into the present. All of the apologies will not make these POW`S forget about what took place and how they were treated. They should just forget about it and go on with their lives because no mater what they say or do, the Japanese will never apologize to them for what they did to them.

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Blah, blah, blah. More apologies for what? Just let it go already. As bad as it was it all happened what, 65 years ago???

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Japan, strangely enough, is void of any reference to WW2, other than the memorials and monuments, dedicated to themselves, i.e... Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a kind of "Halo of Righteousness."

They are lucky they, they even heard them acknowledge it happened... A apology will never happen...

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Knowing the Japanese people, they will never apologize for their mistakes.

Is the frequently used word by Japanese, "Sumimasen" is an apology or excuse?

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Why people just don't let go?

It's 2010!

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To us who have had no experience of what the POW's suffered, it's easy to say 'let it go, it's 2010'. I don't think we have any right whatsoever to tell them this.

These guys suffered ... only until we go through the same suffering can we begin to comprehend their feelings, even if it was 65 years ago.

That being said, I doubt very much if those companies will offer any kind of apology.

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Realistic, 'Sumimasen' and 'moshiwake arimasen' are defined in dictionaries as 'excuse me' and 'I'm sorry' but in actual use they seem to mean, "Yeah, yeah, I heard your complaint now please leave me alone." On topic, how hard is it for the companies to send some mid-level flunky out to stand next to a politician and say, 'Yeah, us, too.' Maybe the companies are more worried about 'losing face.'

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I used to have weekly conversations with an old Japanese guy from Kitakyushu. He told me that ex prime minister Taro Aso's family made their fortune from coal mining in and around the Fukuoka area going back many generations. I wonder if these are the same coal mines the POW's worked in? I'd like to know the names of such companies.

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It's just way past time to let these issues go. I'm amazed that we still have wars and kill each other for what seem to me to be terribly stupid reasons. Doesn't seem to me the Americans apologized to any of the people they treated badly. The Japanese didn't fight according to the American's sense of honor. I can't see that they were obligated to, nor do i feel an apology is necessary. War is war, shit happens. Let it go. I can honestly say as an American, the few years I lived and worked in Kyoto, I was made welcome, I was never treated unkindly, disrespectfully or in any other manner than honorably. Of course, I respected the people and culture. I know some people have had different experiences to mine. These POWs searching for an apology fail to recognize what a huge thing it was that the Japanese brought them to Japan and welcomed them. That should be sufficient I think.

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Japan has never formally or offically apologized for the Nankin massacre or the battaan death march and other war crimes. So, its correct to conclude that Japan doeasnt want to accept any fault for their actions and would rather white-wash their past.

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Japan has already apologized multiple times for actions concerning the war.

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Japan has already apologized multiple times for actions concerning the war.

Japan has never formally or officially apologized for their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor...thats a fact.

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Well, apologies from the current government and companies for actions in WWII are utterly meaningless. All that can really be expected is for the government and companies to recognize what happened (finally) and the only thing to apologize for is the delay in recognition. I supposed the government could also (forcefully) request individual apologies from any person who was actually behind their treatment, whether government or company person, if those evil sods are still alive.

If we talk compensation though, the companies should pay them back wages plus interest. The government should pay them for the government dragging their feet for 70 years.

But it says one of the men is seeking justice? Well, he should have hunted those responsible down and started a long time ago. And the slow torture and murder of Shiro Ishii would have been a good general start for everyone and easy too as that monster spend a lot of time yucking it up in America after the war getting paid by American companies (sick).

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These apologies transaction will last until 2012 only. cool dudes.

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Japanese never apologize to foreigners. I never heard of a Japanese person apologizing to a foreigner. If the day ever comes when that happens, I think the sun will turn black.

Total nonsense. Let's set your bias straight. If a Japanese thinks an apology is due, they apologize, irrespective of race or nationality. I, as a long term resident gaijin, have been on the receiving end hundreds of times.

I am not sure if I should admire Tenney's tenacity or feel sorry for him. I am probably wrong, but it seems to me he has just kept feeding his hatred and dissatisfaction all those years, keeping the pain alive. My parents, uncles and aunts, and there were quite a few, suffered for 5 years under the Nazis, but neither they or anyone I know of went on pilgrimages looking for apologies. They focused their energy on rebuilding their lives, were able to let go and start over.

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I don't know how many times I have heard former POWs or former "comfort women" from Korea demand apologies, only to send up saying "you weren't sincere" or "that apology was insufficient". I think the people who walk around harboring all this hatred in their hearts are the ones with the issue here. Forgive and move on. This kind of stuff is going on the U.S. recently with demands for reparations from the black community. So, if I am a great great grandson of a former slave owner, is it my responsibility to apologize for what an ancestor did 125 years ago? When does this end?

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By the way, I have had Japanese apologize to me, so I think this notion that Japanese never apologize to foreigners is a bunch of bunk. I think that Japanese have the capacity to admit they were wrong and ask for forgiveness of a foreigner. I clearly remember an incident in Japan several years where I was belittled on the phone by a Japanese man who said to me "where are you from? Your Japanese is pretty crappy. Are you from Bangladesh or something... ha ha ha." Little did he know I was the Japan GM for the company where I worked. One call to his boss and I had a crying, blubbering 40-year old man with chocolates showing up at my office 30 minutes later. He was petrified that he was going to get axed. I gently told him that humans need to treat other humans as they would wish to be treated and sent him back, following up with a phone call to his boss saying I was satisfied with his apology.

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yokohamarider; That is what you call an apology, someone grovelling afraid of losing their job?

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I clearly remember an incident in Japan several years where I was belittled on the phone by a Japanese man who said to me "where are you from? Your Japanese is pretty crappy.

We are not talking about personal experiences. We are talking about a government giving a proper heartfelt apology with EMOTION....for example: I could break your car window and say, "Im Sorry" and not mean it...and you would probably notice that and my apology would not be accepted. Thats the crux of the problem with Japan...their apologies are NOT believable and lack any emotion or feeling. Its like a tape recording or a robot saying, "Japan is Sorry for Japans militaristic past"....we have heard it over and over with the same monotonous flat tone. Maybe Japan needs to apologize until they get it right.

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The way Japan has dealt with the World war 2 issue is absolutely shameful. I am always amazed at how ridiculously ignorant people appear when they discuss the option of let by-gones be by-gones as the best way to go... Well, it hasn't worked yet...Even 65 years later the resentment of Japan that boils in Asia (forget America) over it's remorseless actions is growing ever stronger... In contrast Germany, which committed equally, if worse, atrocities...was genuinely remorseful after the war...Not only by words but through deeds and education. miraculously has not only been forgiven...but has become an integral, trusted part of Europe. Japan is soon going to come to the realization that Asia ( with China as its anchor and powerhouse) i a tough, lonely, and dangerous neighborhood. Gambatte! Gambatte!

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Japan has never formally or officially apologized for their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor...thats a fact.

c'mon man. They were taunted, the US wanted this to happen to get into WWII. You see Barack apologizing any time soon for killing a million Iraqis?

This apology BS has to stop. It was wartime, terrible and tragic things happen during wartime, and the winner calls the shots.

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This ex-POW guy should just let it go.

I agree. I really, really wish however, that both sides would let it go. I'm perfectly willing to not talk about WWII, but sometimes Japanese I talk to slip it into conversation.

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There seems to be a blur between seeking an apology for what happened to your ancestor and seeking an apology for something that happened to you and was committed by an entity that exists and thrives today. I can still remember minor inconveniences from decades ago. What Mr. Tenney and his group suffered (I recall reading that he was at the Aso family mine) was much more than an inconvenience. Those companies avoided WWII bankruptcy on the backs of broken POWs. Now the culprits prosper and people who have rebuilt their lives just want a little closure. Those companies need to have a little face shaved off.

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Japan has apologized plenty of times to China and Korea. If people don't think Japan has ever apologized, how did you come to that conclusion? Watch news on TV, do you?

This grumpy old man, I feel for him but yeah, move on. He got much more than nothing so he should leave it a that.

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I'm very dissappointed in Tenney. As an American veteran I would have hoped that he would have accepted the J-govts apology with honor and diginity as an American as former member of the United States Army.

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It is easy for some of you to suggest that the American POWs just forget everything but none of you have ANY idea what they endured! If you had any compassion you would try to understand how they feel. As 4seasonsjapan pointed out, actions speak louder than words and Japan has failed to truly take any responsibility for the actions of their past after all of these years. Why do you think that many other Asian countries still hate Japan? Because Japan only uses meaningless words that are not supported by actions. In fact, they still have no true respect for most "gaijin". Germany on the other hand has moved forward and now has very good relations with other European countries. Japan needs to grow up and the government apologizing to these old POWs is a good step. It's time for the companies that profited on the suffering of other humans to do the same!

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NoReciprocityJp at 01:40 AM JST - 19th September It is easy for some of you to suggest that the American POWs just forget >everything but none of you have ANY idea what they endured! If you had >any compassion you would try to understand how they feel

No you're very wrong. A great many of us have or had relatives who were in WWII and know what that generation endured, some moreso than others. That generation served their country and todays generation is doing the same, but the goals, objectives and agendas of our country are 65 years apart and different. The same company that was making Zeros is making F-16s today undr license. The Treaty of San Francisco released Japan from all further liability and we of all countries have to honor it, lest we can not accept others to do the same. It was an honorable step for the J-govt to apologize because they technically didn't even have to, but to demand more is undignified.

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Bulldog pete, don't you think Unit 731 is an issue for the Japanese and Chinese to resolve? Furthermore as the sole allied power that took over all that biological warfare information and protected the responsible members of the program from prosecuton for our own purposes, don't you feel a tinge of guilt when harping on it?

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The Treaty of San Francisco released Japan from all further liability and we of all countries have to honor it, lest we can not accept others to do the same.

But, aren't the private institutions and business organizations exempt from the treaty?

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"A great many of us have or had relatives who were in WWII and know what that generation endured, some moreso than others." - OssanAmerica

Just because you may have had relatives in WWII does not mean you know what those POWs went through! If they want an official apology that they have never gotten then I completely respect that. This has absolutely nothing to do with a "treaty". The people who work at those Japanese companies are not to blame for the atrocities committed years ago, but their company name still symbolizes the actions of the people who have been president since the company was established. Anyone who knows the real Japan would bet the bank that they have pictures honoring these war criminals at their head office. Just like the Japanese rub salt in the wounds of other Asians by honoring war criminals every year at the Yasukuni shrine!

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As many as 11,000 died during what became known as the Bataan Death March.

I'm not a history buff, but my understanding was that death march deaths were much higher. In my own very personal opinion, the Japanese will think about apologizing only when the war is really over. This is not likely to be in Mr. Tenney's lifetime nor mine.

A better option for veterans of Japanese savagery would be to publicize lists of the corporations involved so that people can decide whether they wish to vote approval or disapproval at the time of purchase. While they are at it, they could also include some important brand name espresso makers whose boilers were once used on a much larger scale (Germany, hint, hint).

At a time when the entire world seems preoccupied by soldier worship and war-culture, I really think that the public could be whipped up into a patriotic frenzy over this one. If you impose the rhetoric that you are not supporting our brave "warriors" who defended us in our time of need when you purchase from x corporation, I am sure that most would feel obliged to boycott.

As for the apology issue, I think that what most people want is to be able to believe that the Japanese actually understand that what they did was abominable and that it really won't ever happen again. The absence of any genuine form of apology indicates that, as I already said, the war has yet to end although the battlefield is altered.

As for the companies and the Japanese nation, they must be forever tainted by what they have done and this stain upon their pretended honor is something which any genuinely apologetic person or entity would have to accept as part and parcel of prior actions. This holds true irrespective of race, religion, or other distinguishing characteristic.

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US POWs and for that matter POWS all over the world should not just get some kind of apology but also $$$$$!!!!

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The fact of the matter is Japan has done the absolute opposite of what should do to make amends for its misdeeds in WW2. To get into all the minutia (of these misdeeds) would just a waste of time on this forum, as most of these people posting obviously have no interest in both the history of Japan or the repercussions of not learning from history. Juxtapose Japan with a mature nation like Germany and you will see what Japan needs to do to finally come to terms with its neighbors about its past. People (usually Japanese), will speak of the treaty of San Francisco, that Japan was not part of the Geneva Convention, and the fact that Japan has “already” apologized as examples of why Japan has done enough. Great,rely on technicalities and semantics. Why don’t you ask the rest of Asia if these arguements and actions are sufficient? Because this is who you guys are going to have to answer to for the next hundred years. As Japan’s star continue to fall, as the rest of Asia continues to rise, and as America continues to lose interest in you… the apologies will come a little easier I am sure. One thing history has demonstrated is that Japan can be a big suck-up when it wants to be. They play the bully and suck-up equally as as well. They just need to properly cued.

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ossan says:

As an American veteran I would have hoped that [Tenney] would have accepted the J-govts apology with honor and diginity as an American as former member of the United States Army.

Could be that he sees how undignified Japan has become again.

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Japan has apologized 49 times already! Japan has given more aid than any country to China. Get over it. US has never apologized for it's war crimes in Hiroshima and then later Nagasaki.

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

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I'm giving perspective. Them being American, it is only natural to compare with USA The truth of the matter is if you are not willing to accept an apology no apology will be good enough. I think that is the case with China. I do not applaud what Japan did in WW2. Far from it. But China and others need to get over it and move forward.

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You've been in Japan long enough to realize that the average Japanese person knows very little about Japan's militaristic past. Except for Hiroshima and Nagssaki (of course)...Do you think that "forgetting about it" will help or hinder it's relationship with its Asian neighbors? In the long run, do you think a good relationship with it's Asian neighbors will be good or bad for Japan? Can you see where I am going with this? It's in Japan's best interest to come clean and make a concerted government effort to educate it's public about its unfortunate history with (basically) the rest of Asia...

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I think Japanese are aware of what the country did in the past. And it is not so black and white. The relationship with the Asian countries is improving and with a DPJ government it'll keep on improving as they seem to have the right idea. They are a left leaning, liberal political party. In the future, on a personal level, I hope to see the relationship between the Asian countries improve and this would also be in the best interest of Japan to have a good relationship with it's neighbors.

Japan's latest apology to it's Asian neighbor was with Prime Minister Kan.

He expressed "deep regret over the suffering inflicted" during Japan's colonial rule over Korea. Japan's Kyodo News also reported that Cabinet members endorsed the statement. In addition, Kan said that Japan will hand over precious cultural artifacts that South Korea has been demanding. Among them are records of an ancient Korean royal dynasty[51] The South Korean government, however, only "took note" of the apology, and did not accept it

Why is it that many Asian countries do not know that Japan has ever apologized when this is not true? In China, it suits their totalitarian government that it's people vent their frustration on someone but themselves. Japan will probably keep apologizing and the Asian countries will not accept it but if Japan keeps apologizing the wounds will slowly heal. Japan is the only country in the world to have a pacifist constitution. I think the constitution speaks for itself, that Japan wants to distance itself from the colonial past.

Korean, Chinese, Japanese scholars have puplished history books together which are to be used in education in Japan. While many Japanese are ignorants about Japan's past, it is mainly because the people who do not know about it are ignorant and are completely preoccupied with other things than history but these ignorant people are far from being right winged. They are just ignorant and could probably not even tell you who the current Prime Minister is or place Japan on a world map. They would be more interested running around Shibuya, drinking, shopping, clubbing and what not.

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Points well taken Neo Without belabouring this topic, I think the apologies should be more genuine and more from the people as opposed to the governemnt... I guess we'll have to agree to disagree to a certain degree.

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