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Japan hosts visit by 5 Australian World War II POWs

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It is a good diplomatic reaction between Japan and Australia to heal the war-worn scar for more than a half century. U.S. senator John McCain used to spend months or years in Northern Vietnam's prison and he visited Vietnam on a normalized diplomatic relationship between two countries. WW II is not a conventional war like other people thought.

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The former prisoners of war, who had tea with Australia’s ambassador on Wednesday, are to meet with Japanese lawmakers, visit a cemetery dedicated to their fallen comrades and see some of the places where they were confined.

I support this reconciliation efforts! Good on the five Australian diggers!

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It's a great initiative, I hope it works to heal old wounds.

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It is good to see, old enmities retired to the vault of history and old wounds healing through mutual desire for friendship and peace.

Good on the old timers involved.

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Great attitudes by these oldtimers.

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Mr. Ramsey’s prisoner ship taking him to Japan was sunk by his ally the US and he was rescued by his enemy Japan. That is the height of irony.

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This article uses the euphemism " forced labor" . The media tends to use this euphemism in articles concerning Japan and world War II. However when it comes to Germany, the more accurate term "slave labor is almost always used.

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Ramsey is a class act

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This article uses the euphemism " forced labor" . The media tends to use this euphemism in articles concerning Japan and world War II. However when it comes to Germany, the more accurate term "slave labor is almost always used.

I think you'll find that "forced labour" is used for both countries when talking about POWs. "Slave labour" is used to refer to civilians.

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These diggers are heroes and legends to us Aussies - they are even greater men in my eyes for coming over. All the best to them.

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If you go through life full of hate, the only person you hurt is yourself.

Wise words. May I add a slight correction - If you go through life full of hate, you hurt yourself more than you hurt anyone else.

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As an Australian I too commend them. We can never know what they went through. They have my utmost respect.

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To think there was a time when Japan was widely hated in earnest instead of being ridiculed as it is now. I thank these gentlemen for reminding us that we were much 'much more'.

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Nice to read some good news for a change. Really commendable attitude shown by these guys.

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I'd like to hear more about their impressions of Japan, though.

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I think you'll find "forced labor" is used for both countries when talking about POW's. "Slave labor" is used to refer to civilians.

Not true. I have found over the years that the harsher term "slave labor" is rarely used in Japan regarding civilians.

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Amazing guys.

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Good on both sides. For the Japanese Foreign Ministry for doing this, and for the ex-POW's for leaving the past behind, and accepting.

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If this interests you then read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

It is reported 215,000 POWs were held by Japan 132,000 from US, Britian, Canada, New Zealand, Holland, Australia 36,000 reported to have died, about 27% death rate compared to Germany and Italy were about 1% died. US POWs 34,648 with 12,935 died about 37%.

About 16,000 POW died in Burama building the RR along with 100,000 Asian forced labors.

War is not a nice thing and we should all work to avoid it.

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All heads must bow, all tongues must confess: Aussies Rock!

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... an effort by Tokyo to heal the wounds of history.

Has Japan ever made similar efforts to heal the wounds of history in China, Korea, Malaya, ... ?

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It is a good diplomatic reaction between Japan and Australia to heal the war-worn scar for more than a half century. U.S. senator John McCain used to spend months or years in Northern Vietnam's prison and he visited Vietnam on a normalized diplomatic relationship between two countries. WW II is not a conventional war like other people thought.

1) It (was) a conventional war.

2) Why talk about Vietnam then make a statement about WW2??

These guys are great. Unlike some other guy in the news recently, they have moved on.

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A neighbor of mine growing up was captured in the Philippines in 1942 while serving in the US Navy and spent 3 years as a POW there. He said the deprivation and conditions were grim but insists that he was not mistreated by the guards. "The Hotel Tacloban" by Douglas Valentine contains an amazing account of the tensions between Australian enlisted men and their British officers in a POW camp in the Philippines and is highly recommended. I also recommend "The Death of Urashima Taro," about the Cowra Breakout of Japanese POWs in Australia by Roger Pulvers. It is one of the small number of books about Japanese imprisoned during the war.

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Good.

AND WHEN WILL JAPANESE INVITE SOME CHINESE POW?

that would be a good thing to do.

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...in the spirit of reconciliation....they better invite the chinese POW too!

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Well spoken MrDog (your last line)!

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The Japanese government and people are showing the way when it comes to reconciliation and peace. Now will the nations of Denmark, France, Spain, England, Portugal, United States of America and others follow? Maybe the Japanese government should even take the same approach with North Korea. It wouldn’t hurt to try.

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Although some former POWs from the United States are seeking apologies and redress from Japanese companies which used them as forced labor, McLean said that is not an issue with the Australian group.

This is really good to hear, and is a fairly common attitude among the Aussies from what I've heard. If only this attitude was more prevalent in life, we'd all get along a lot better. Thumbs up to Mr. McLean and his group of proud diggers.

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Stonecoldsoba at 02:03 PM JST - 3rd March "Has Japan ever made similar efforts to heal the wounds of history in China, Korea, Malaya, ... ?"

China? Should be the other way around. The death rate of Japanese POWS in Chinese hands was a whopping 24%. And while they're at it they can apologize to the United States for the way they treated US POWs during the Korean War. Korea? Koreans weren't POWS, they were Japanse soldiers fighting the allies and Chinese because Korea was part of Japan from 1910-1945. Many of the most notoriously brutal Japanese POW camp guards in the Phillipines were Koreans according to allied POW reports. Malay? Assuming you mean Malaysia and not just the penninsula, I haven't seen anything to justify even bringing it up. Japan is rightly extending it's hand of friendship and these Australians, the ones who have the most reason and right to reject it, are accepting it in an honorable fashion. Looks to me like some Asian nations ought to learn a thing or two.

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AND WHEN WILL JAPANESE INVITE SOME CHINESE POW?

China? Should be the other way around. The death rate of Japanese POWS in Chinese hands was a whopping 24%.

By the time WWII ended in 1945 Japan officially released *56 Chinese POW, and the Japanese was so extreme that the Allied dind't even consider to taking them as POW.

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AND WHEN WILL JAPANESE INVITE SOME CHINESE POW?

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may be they didn't take any prisoners ?

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Japan is rightly extending it's hand of friendship and these Australians, the ones who have the most reason and right to reject it, are accepting it in an honorable fashion.

Lets not forget the fact that the president of the Ex-Prisoner of War Association of Australia, Arthur 'Rex' Crane, was a fake.

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oberst at 01:28 AM JST - 4th March AND WHEN WILL JAPANESE INVITE SOME CHINESE POW? ............... may be they didn't take any prisoners ?

And maybe they all took off their uniforms and ran away disguised as civilians.

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ossan, that point is moot, they shot civilians anyway.

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oberst that point has alot to do with your point. Think about it.

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so you think it was justified to kill civilians in time of war because they are actually not civilians but soldiers disguised as civilians ?

Moderator: Back on topic please. Posts that do not refer to the visit by the former Australian POWs will be removed.

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