national

Japan's view of WWII history rankles some U.S. veterans

158 Comments
By MATTHEW PENNINGTON

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

158 Comments
Login to comment

Thank you for your sacrifice and service gentlemen.

Abe - Three voices out of the many hundreds of thousands, are you listening?

44 ( +53 / -10 )

Punishment of Japan by two atomic bombs not enough?

-57 ( +14 / -72 )

The 70 years of peace and prosperity (US - Japan bilateral relationships) is a tribute to the men and women of the World War II generation, many of whom sacrificed their lives, and the remarkable work that they did to create free and open societies. Abe should express deep remorse and offer his heartfelt apology.

26 ( +30 / -5 )

You can’t have a high-ranking country today if you’re not willing to face your past. They have to admit their failures. If they admit their failures, then by golly they deserve to have the best

This, to me is the salient point and one very well generously by Mr Tenney. What rankles me the most about that is that most of contemporary Japan seem to have no idea that their country has been forgiven for acts of unbelievable cruelty, murder and torture perpetrated by their older generation/ancestors because they are ignorant to the truth of history. And those that do know just can't bring themselves to behave as global statesmen and accept the reality of it so that we can all just move on and forward in the appropriate manner. Japan needs more Haruki Murakamis - far fewer Shinzo Abes.

37 ( +41 / -5 )

I'm sorry but people have forgotten about you three gentlemen. Asking other countries to never forget, is hypocritical. Tell the majority of Americans to remember your horrific past. Tell your friends in the Philippine to remember your past. Then tell Japan afterwards.

-50 ( +10 / -59 )

So many civilians were exterminated by firebombings and atomic bombs in Japan. Now, more than half of century after, some Americans still urge Japanese to bring apology. A clear example of American hypocrisy.

-51 ( +11 / -60 )

I'm sorry but people have forgotten about you three gentlemen. Asking other countries to never forget, is hypocritical. Tell the majority of Americans to remember your horrific past. Tell your friends in the Philippine to remember your past. Then tell Japan afterwards.

This is off the mark, these three gentlemen are sharing their stories and asking Abe as "private citizens" and not as any representative of the government. You telling them that they can not make this request is at best in poor taste.

It is not your nor anyone else's place to tell people how to think.

And why should Japan be told "afterwards"? What makes Japan so special that it's place is further down the list?

So many civilians were exterminated by firebombings and atomic bombs in Japan. Now, more than half of century after, some Americans still urge Japanese to bring apology. A clear example of American hypocrisy.

You know there are plenty of Japanese people out there that would like an apology too, but the collective way of thinking here makes it difficult for them to express their opinions or thoughts openly.

BTW it isn't just American's asking for an apology either, dont forget that, and also please don't forget Japan's place in the war too. Hindsight is 20/20, but to me you don't have the knowledge, nor willingness to learn about Japanese history and formulate your ideas and thoughts based on only half a story.

23 ( +27 / -5 )

“You can’t have a high-ranking country today if you’re not willing to face your past. They have to admit their failures. If they admit their failures, then by golly they deserve to have the best.” (Lester Tenney)

Well said.

It is human nature to shut out unpleasant and painful truths in favor of what feels good to believe, but I find that tendency to be particularly prevalent in Japan. This is the case whether it be the topic of WWII or garden variety social ills in today's society — a hear, see, speak no evil mentality/social narrative.

This is one reason why nationalistic leaders capture the public's vote in Japan. They offer a narrative that is the one people sorely want to believe — the nation was a benevolent occupier of its neighbors, bringing modernization, building infrastructure and liberating them from Western colonization, with the good-natured people of Japan repaid for their kindness with civilian casualties and ungrateful neighbors. Oddly, I find that the more highly educated a person, the more likely it is that they buy into this narrative.

Decades ago when teaching in Japan, I found that educators devoted extensive time particularly outside history class — such as in English class, extracurricular programs — to the peace, human rights curriculum in the form of education on the nuclear attacks (including expensive field trips to Hiroshima), Nazi atrocities (Ann Frank ad infinitum), American slavery, and the list goes on. However, few know anything of past slavery in Japan (conscripted laborers, sex slaves), the Kempeitai (Japan's version of the Gestapo), Unit 731 or other elements of the past that don't conveniently fit the peace/Japan as an underdog/barbarians at the gate narrative.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

"Mitsui & Co, which was disbanded after the war and then re-established as a major industrial group, denies having any legal or historical responsibility for Mitsui Mining Co’s treatment of forced laborers before or during the war. It says therefore it cannot comment on complaints or requests for apologies."

The Japanese government was disbanded and re-established. The government accepted responsibility and apologized. What is Mitsui's excuse again?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

titaniumdioxide: "I'm sorry but people have forgotten about you three gentlemen. Asking other countries to never forget, is hypocritical."

What on earth is hypocritical about it? Despite you wanting them to be forgotten, the US obviously has not forgotten them at all or they would not be making the news. Yesterday you call a former sex slave a "shameless drama queen" and literally said you hope she "lives a miserable life", and today you spit on these former POWs. Says a whole lot about some people's stance of Japan's history and how 'remorseful' Japan is, doesn't it?

And you wonder why men like these former POWs are unhappy about how Japan views history?

28 ( +33 / -6 )

Sure, anybody who tries to whitewash history should be widely condemned, and these fine chaps are right to speak up and everybody should listen. And no titaniumdioxide, thanks to things like these guys' efforts people haven't forgotten.

On the other hand dismissing quite legitimate anger and calls for reflection for acts including DROPPING NUCLEAR BOMBS on 100s of 1000s of men, women and children because, well it's off topic or, well, you guys started it and anyway, some of your politicians and right-wingers are trying to deny your own history etc. etc. does perhaps open you up to charges of being a hypocrite.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

@Yubaru

"there are plenty of Japanese people out there that would like an apology too"

Are you talking about ethnical Chinese and Koreans, pretending to be Japanese? Yes, they would like an apology.

"it isn't just American's asking for an apology either"

Correct. Besides Americans, Chinese and Koreans always ask for an apology.

-40 ( +3 / -43 )

Are you talking about ethnical Chinese and Koreans, pretending to be Japanese? Yes, they would like an apology.

You know it sounds to me that you are just interested in arguing, not worth my time in attempting to educate the ignorant who knowingly choose to point fingers at everyone but themselves.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

yamashi: "Are you talking about ethnical Chinese and Koreans, pretending to be Japanese? Yes, they would like an apology."

Nope. We're talking about everyone wanting an apology by Japanese who think they are somehow superior and that Chinese and Koreans among others should pretend to be like them.

And you wonder why they want an apology. YOU should be apologizing to your nation for embarrassing it.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

@Yubaru "attemting to educate the ignorant".

Still, could you answer a simple question? For what exactly reasons Japanese must bring an apology? IJA committed war crimes in Asia but after that thousands of Japanese civilians were brutally killed by firebombings and atomic bombs. And Japanese, by your opinions, still must bring an apology? Who is really ignorant ?

-30 ( +3 / -32 )

Forgive but never forget!

That's also what these 3 gentlemen did!

Hats off!

17 ( +19 / -3 )

“You can’t have a high-ranking country today if you’re not willing to face your past. They have to admit their failures. If they admit their failures, then by golly they deserve to have the best.” Not to diminish what these guys went through and what they achieved in WW2 but come on. Laying it on a bit thick considering what the U.S. has done. The llist of their atrocities is a mile long and no, they have not faced them openly and honestly.

-1 ( +6 / -6 )

None of us in the USA have forgotten. 2,212,675 members of the US Armed Forces remember all the heros and those who came before us fighting in WWII against the Axis powers of Germany, Japan and Italy each and every Veterans Day celebrated in the USA. Not even counting the 100's of million civilian Americans who celebrate and remember our sacrifice. Does japan have any kind of Veterans Day?

5 ( +6 / -2 )

I love this site, and always have - especially when my Japanese wasn't so great and I couldn't keep up with NHK or the Japanese language newspapers/sites. So, I don't want my opinions here to be interpreted as overtly biased or blatant nationalism (especially since I live away from Japan at the moment.) I was wondering if anyone has any real ideas, plausible explanations, as to why this site seems to take on a stance that's more than critical of Japanese views of history and of the Japanese government? Articles like this are extremely valuable, and it's paramount to our fundamental knowledge of modern society that we recognize the sacrifices "our" side made in the war to defeat Japanese expansionism and its brutal, inhumane, unforgivable assault on Asia. But, where is the counterpoint to this article? Where is the Japanese nationalist side, or even the Japanese side in general with regards to the war? This site's called "Japan Today," after all. Don't you all think there's a need to explore the Japanese side of the war and of general world affairs on this site? Just because a fair proportion of the readers are from the Allied side of the war does that mean we should ignore what Abe's justification is for his stance on history. It just seems very negative and one-sided, sometimes, especially in the comment boards where discussions should be taking place (not dozens of downvotes for people who go against the mob).

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Japan continues to embarrass itself with its dishonesty and willful ignorance.

12 ( +17 / -6 )

"On the other hand dismissing quite legitimate anger and calls for reflection for acts including DROPPING NUCLEAR BOMBS on 100s of 1000s of men, women and children because, well it's off topic or, well, you guys started it and anyway"

Clearly, those are NOT the reasons. The bombings brought a quick end of the war, saving many more lives on both sides, and preventing Stalin from carving off a big piece of Japan for himself.

The equivalency simply doesn't fly. What were the strategic objectives of torturing ill and defenseless POWs? Answer: zero. It was pure, unnecessary sadism encouraged by a supremacist creed.

16 ( +18 / -3 )

Still, could you answer a simple question? For what exactly reasons Japanese must bring an apology? IJA committed war crimes in Asia but after that thousands of Japanese civilians were brutally killed by firebombings and atomic bombs. And Japanese, by your opinions, still must bring an apology? Who is really ignorant ?

Can't or won't? Big difference. What brought the bombings on Japan in the first place? Do you understand the meaning of the word "sincere"?

Seems to me that the Japanese generally speaking, have no idea what that word means, because if it did there would be no need for anyone anywhere to put Japan in the position of having to apologize.

People in Japan today do not know their history, do not know what their country did to be put into this position of all these people's and countries asking for an apology. The collective ignorance is sad to say the least and I feel very sorry for the generations that are growing up today with no knowledge of the atrocities that were committed in the name of the Emperor in their past.

I can actually understand where your questions are coming from, if you are Japanese, you don't know, and being Japanese (generally speaking) you all tend to get very defensive when someone who is not Japanese criticizes your country, and you immediately start making comparisons or pointing fingers towards others and what happened to make yourselves out to be the victim vs the aggressor.

You can not sincerely accept what is being said or what Japan was accused of, it's practically impossible to get through because you feel (misguided) that it's YOU that people are talking about and that is where you are 100% wrong.

No one is accusing YOU of anything, but they are making statements about Japanese history, which you are NOT a part of, so why include yourself for the actions of a people that no longer are alive?

Sincerity, make a sincere apology and back it up with actions not just words and the world will forgive, but hopefully NEVER forget.

20 ( +21 / -2 )

yamashiAPR. 26, 2015 - 07:59AM JST So many civilians were exterminated by firebombings and atomic bombs in Japan. Now, more than half of century after, some Americans still urge Japanese to bring apology. A clear example of American hypocrisy.

No. You are committing the fallacy of moral relativity, pretending that what is right or wrong is determined in comparison to others, not on the basis of the act committed.

Japan's behavior in WWII was morally abhorrent. It doesn't matter if anyone else in the world also does anything morally abhorrent or even if anyone does anything morally abhorrent in response to Japan, Japan's immoral actions remain immoral forever after. If I cheat on my girlfriend, that episode of cheating remains even if she slaps me in the face for it. The only way I can ever get past it is to admit that I did wrong, strive to be better, and allow my girlfriend time to see that I have genuinely changed.

I would love to see the victims of America's bombing of Japan push Americans to reflect more critically on the country's strategy for beating Japan in WWII. Because our strategy was not moral. It was expedient, but not moral. However, that is a separate issue from Japan's immoral invasions. Trying to shift the topic doesn't make the past disappear. If you honestly care about Japan's victims of America's indiscriminate bombing campaigns and aren't simply using them as a smoke-screen to deflect criticism, somehow I suspect we'd hear you bringing up their cause outside of discussions about Japan's immoral past.

9 ( +14 / -4 )

I just finished reading Pacific War Diary, 1942-1945: The Secret Diary of an American Sailor written by a US Navy sailor onboard the light cruiser USS Montpelier. In September 1945 they were sent to Wakayama to pick up what was expected to be 20,000 Allied POW'S. However, out of that number only 3,000 had survived their captivity and the brutal slave-labour to which they were subjected. All of them were emaciated and many had gone mad. The fact that it's written by an enlisted seaman, in simple, honest language, based on what his own eyes witnessed, makes it all the more disturbing. It's a disgrace to the good people of Japan that their government denies or whitewashes these atrocities in the face of so much evidence, and it's hard to believe that so called "Nationalists" go along with it. It's absolutely cowardly and is dragging down Japan's generally positive reputation.

14 ( +15 / -2 )

One should not FORGET the history but should FORGIVE the misdeeds, else your present and future will be affected.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

@JeffLee "The bombings brought a quick end of the war"

Not true. Bombings have nothing to do with active military actions between Soviets and IJA in Manchuria. The Act of Capitulation of Japan was signed after surrender of main forces of IJA. And your bombs were used to kill innocent civilian people on Japanese mainland.

"saving nany more lives on both sides"

What an ill logic. Any bomb is designed to kill people and destroy facilities. How bombings could "save lives" ?

"preventing Stalin from carving off a big piece of Japan"

Stalin ordered Soviet troops to fight IJA in Manchuria and North Korea. He did not order to bomb Japanese civilians or seize a large piece of Japan. In short, weak attempts of self-justifications from American side look out more and more laughable for any sane person. When you urge Japanese for "apology", remember a known proverb about pot and kettle.

-21 ( +5 / -25 )

War is hell and the victors rewrite history and make movies where the winners are heroes and there is no honor if you died for your country Germany Japan or Italy. The bombs were a war crime ... And the pilot never showed any humanity in delivering death without looking in the eye... Japan has never demanded apology for that ... Everyone should now their head and be thankful it is not you or your children.... And those who survived be thankful and accept the honor that comes from still being alive to tell your story.

-6 ( +5 / -10 )

“You can’t have a high-ranking country today if you’re not willing to face your past. "

If only that were true! It obviously isn't and both Japan and America prove it beyond doubt. In fact you can be a high-ranking country even if your government has absolutely no class and your people have no knowledge of the past.

Punishment of Japan by two atomic bombs not enough?

@Schopenhauer This shows a fundamental logical disconnect. The overwhelming majority of people killed in both the atomic bombings and the fire bombings had nothing to do with Mitsui mining, the Bataan death march, the copper mill in Yokkaichi, or any of the slave labor, rapes, tortures or murders.

Its like saying, "Have I not suffered enough for putting your son in a wheel chair and killing your wife? You killed two of my innocent cousins in return! Oh how I suffered!" And then afterwards go have some lobster tail, caviar and wine and tell all your friends that kid must have slipped and paralyzed himself and that woman must have plunged that knife into her own back!

No. These guys want the government to stop lying about the past and covering it up. They want the actual perpetrators of the crimes against them to face retribution. Dropping a bomb on Sadako Sasaki really did not assuage them. Why would you think it would? What did Sadako Sasaki do to them or anybody?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan was ruthless during WWII, and people now complain because America did something ruthless but decisive in return to end that ruthlessness. If one side takes their gloves off or becomes barbaric during a fight, the other side must take their gloves off and become barbaric or they will die.

No, Japan got what was coming to it. Japan is responsible for everything that happened to other countries and to its own citizens during the war, whether they want to admit it or not.

If you start a fight and are ruthless in conducting that fight,you can't complain about what happens to you when you lose the fight. Japan would have done much worse. If they had the bomb, it would have been used indiscriminately on civilians and military.

Japan today is not the Japan of WWII. But, denying the guilt is like a murdered not showing remorse and makes them look like the Japan of WWII.

12 ( +13 / -3 )

These gentlemen saw imperial Japan at its penultimate worst and lived to tell about it. When they go, there will be others to tell their stories. The message to Abe here is clear. The more you try to deny past atrocities the more they stick in your gullet. Today is the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Arminian genocide. Officially Turkey denies this Holocaust. Yet today nation after nation is symbolically spitting in Turkey's face. Whatever is good about Turkey is forgotten in the meantime. When Abe tries to dodge Japan's vile imperial past it only brings the crimes of Showa militarism to the forefront. That Japan has been the most peaceful of nations for 70 years is pushed to the background.

13 ( +14 / -2 )

TorakichiAPR. 26, 2015 - 09:15AM JST Just because a fair proportion of the readers are from the Allied side of the war does that mean we should ignore what Abe's justification is for his stance on history.

First of all, I "good"ed your post because I appreciate your efforts to express a controversial opinion civilly, rationally, and with apparent sincerity. Good for you!

As for answering your question, I don't know the reason. I suspect, however, that a big part of why we don't see more analysis of Abe's justification for his stance on history is that he hasn't bothered to make one. He believes honestly studying what Imperial Japan actually did is a "masochistic" view of history, and as far as I have ever read that's the furthest extent of his attempt to explain the issue. Because discourse in Japan is so non-confrontational, I don't expect anyone here to hold his feet to the fire and demand he explain his opinion. Meanwhile, with most of the criticism toward his stance coming from rivals South Korea and China, it is easy (if dishonest) to dismiss that criticism as motivated by anti-Japanese sentiment, as we have seen done countless times in the news and in these comments.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think America should apologize to the people of Okinawa for there war crimes. Sorry old American the Japanese were so tough on you. I refuse to apologize and hope PM Abe does the same. Our ancestors have done this many times all for nothing.

-34 ( +2 / -35 )

Everybody acts badly in war. We Americans have plenty of blood on our hands, too. I do not feel it's right to expect Japan to bow to everybody's opinion. Tough. The war's over, let it go.

Ah, but you see, Japan broke one of the big rules of war. Which is that the victor gets to tell the story. Japan decided to tell THEIR story, the way they want to tell it. So now everybody's pissing and moaning about it because Japan decided to stand up for themselves. Bout damn time if you ask me. How long are they expected to pay for an unfortunate war.

Korea, i don't know about. When I lived in Japan I enjoyed visiting Korea. As as i was involved in the film industry in Japan, I had contacts in the industry both in Korea and China. I must admit to a former poster being right about China, though. They'll piss and moan about anything and everything, trying to get attention while holding a knife behind their back. And I say that, though I loved China and the people and still do. But the government there knows it's on its last legs and it strikes out at anyone and anything like a three year old having a temper tantrum to get attention.

Let Japan tell the history of Japan the way they want to. It's not like we Americans haven't lied like hell about our own history. Should I mention I'm a native American? I have my bitches, too, if I was the kind to hold a useless grudge. But that war's been over for a long time, too. I let it go. I think a lot of other people should let other long over with wars go.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Interesting piece - I'd like to hear much more from old boys like this, before it's too late.

For all their talk about kindness, you can sense that they're disappointed in how Japan carries itself today. They are so for a reason, for Japan has not, does not and will not truly repent what they did during the war. That's why I think it's important to hear from these POW's and the people who actually experienced the War.

Today's educational agenda in Japan seems to be that of forgetting (or lying) so the kids won't know. Only the very, very curious (a rare breed here) will get to know a more balanced view of history than that of Abe's dream of an ustkushii country.

Lester Tenney is right to want an apology from Mitsui and other Japnese companies using slave labor during the war. They made money, and got rich, on the backs of prisoners and they should save enough balls and decency to AT LEAST apologize.

They never will.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

YuriOtani: "Sorry old American the Japanese were so tough on you. I refuse to apologize and hope PM Abe does the same. Our ancestors have done this many times all for nothing."

Actually, Yuri, you ARE starting to need to apologize, since you are reducing yourself to insulting this 'old American' and saying the PM should not apologize and are saying so solely out of spite. This kind of attitude you are expressing is precisely why Japan is being called on time and again to apologize -- and why they must not only admit to and apologize for the past, but then must apologize for diminishing any REAL apologies, be they from your ancestors or Murayama or other men and women who actually deserve respect for ACTUALLY feeling remorse (Abe is not one of them. Neither are you).

And you never answered my question yesterday about the fact that Abe also denies the IJA's forced suicides of Okinawans, or forcing little girls to go to the front lines there. How do you feel about the fact that Abe has removed from textbooks any references to soldiers forcing your ancestors off the cliffs at the barrel of a gun? Wasn't the US who did that, Yuri -- it's the man you say you hope never apologizes for the past.

16 ( +18 / -3 )

@smithinjapan"they must not only admit to and apologize for the past"

Just 2 words : forget it.

-21 ( +2 / -22 )

No, Japan got what was coming to it. Japan is responsible for everything that happened to other countries and to its own citizens during the war, whether they want to admit it or not.

That's the bottom line. Japan got what it had coming for wanting to be the master race of Asia. The sad thing is that I feel Japan still doesn't get it. They act all tough and scream and shout on their little island, when what they should do is open their arms and embrace the world. As of today, they don't. I have not met any Japanese who can discuss the war in an open and expressive way, without always, always, adding a big "but". I find it pathetic. This has to do with the educational system actively misguiding people and not telling them the whole truth, instead wanting to instill "pride" into the people. It's BS.

7 ( +9 / -3 )

At war everyone is wrong and right! If there is another life or world after we depart this planet earth,i personally would ask that…we are should thank those who sacrifice their lives so that we could have this day. I don't see how pointing fingers can heal the sad and painful memories. My prayers goes to souls we've lost over past and present.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

yamashi: "Just 2 words : forget it."

The funny part about your comment is that it will only spur further generations to not only NEVER forget it, but insist that not only your leaders apologize, but that YOU do to, for embarrassing your nation and shaming it. Any progress Japan has made since WWII in terms of peace and harmony is put behind ignorant statements like those politicians like Abe make in asking people to forget about the wrong Japan has done. Look at all the people coming forward to express their concerns about Japan's lack of remorse and failure to acknowledge the past -- you think it's a coincidence they are just coming about en masse as Abe widely and publicly proclaims there is no need to address apologies or to talk about Japan's aggressions?

You're digging your own grave, amigo, and you've but yourself to blame. Point the finger in the mirror next time.

11 ( +13 / -3 )

If one side takes their gloves off or becomes barbaric during a fight, the other side must take their gloves off and become barbaric or they will die.

@viking68 Killing Sadako Sasaki did not win the war or save any lives. The reason why America and her allies won the war is because they fought soldiers, not because they stooped to the level of the Japanese in making torture, rape and murder general policy. The reason why that little girl and many others could be bombed is because Japan had already been beaten militarily, and I say again, that defeat did not occur for America and her allies becoming barbaric like the Japanese were. America focused on combatants until just before the end. America took no slaves but employed people who worked harder than any slave to ensure Japan's barbarism would end. And that is how victory was achieved.

To make it more clear, if I kill one of your kids, what does you killing one of my kids accomplish? Nothing. Plus, just one more innocent kid dies. Nothing is served. America could fly the Enola Gay over Japan with perfect impunity and no fighter escort because Japan was beaten. All the top generals and admirals at the time whose opinions were not tainted by politics and wrath agree on that.

Sorry to say, but America did not lower itself to Japan's level until the war was done except on paper. And its sickening that neither side is accepting of their individual black histories the war.

It never ceases to offend me how people cannot or will not see these things. Sadako Sasaki was not Japan, she was not the government and she was not a soldier, she was not responsible for what Japan did and dropping a bomb on her and innocents like her did not win the war. Even if it made the war end a few days or weeks earlier than it would have anyway, its no excuse. Its just embarrassing. And that inability to face that stark embarrassment is, I think, probably at the core of both countries' constant refusals to admit the past.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

should these vets like the rest of asia get over it and stop being political pawns too?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yeah, it's hard to find sincerity from Japan when Abe denies historical fact on a daily basis and his deputy PM was the unapologetic head of Aso Mining Company, a company that got wealthy through WWII slave labour and the deaths of many thousands of POWs in its disgusting mines. Japan was almost forgiven until idiots like these two starting running the country, with huge additional doses of xenophobic revisionist nonsense from men like Ishihara. To an outsider, it seems like Japan cannot be sorry for its past or it would not be run by right-wing revisionist extremists. Those of us who live here understand the country is essentially feudal and the grandchildren of those directly responsible for the atrocities of the IJA are running the place. Japan is a pride culture that reveres its ancestors. Abe's grandfather Kishi was a member of the wartime cabinet, which means Abe reveres a man complicit with Japan's wartime past. His answer is to deny all facts and to anger a whole swathe of countries, including allies like USA, UK and Germany with his nonsensical and clearly inaccurate drivel.

Back in Japan, the compliant media tells them it is only China and Korea objecting to Japan's white-washing of its past, but this is just the controlled media delivering the Abe message. Abe and the LDP essentially own the media. Young Japanese have no idea why they are unforgiven. Japan is unforgiven because its rural electorate hands power to idiots like Abe and Aso, and the good people of Tokyo elected the old goat Ishihara every chance they were given. And because Japan has been taught it was the victim in a war it started regardless of all the evidence to the contrary. Apologies are not accepted when they are half-arsed and are from people who are clearly not remotely sorry.

11 ( +13 / -3 )

Stalin ordered Soviet troops to fight IJA in Manchuria and North Korea. He did not order to bomb Japanese civilians or seize a large piece of Japan.

@yamaishi

Perhaps you conveniently forgot about Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Habomai islets and Shikotan (南樺太・千島列島・歯舞群島・色丹島), which Russia expediently grabbed soon AFTER Japan's surrender. The atomic bombings and Japan's sudden surrender took them by surprise, and ruined their plans to grab much more territory.

Hokkaido was next on that laundry list, followed by northern Honshu. If Japan's surrender had come even a few months later most definitely we would now have an east-west Japan communism-democracy divide similar to that of north-south Korea — and Japanese civilians would have fared very badly under Soviet rule.

6 ( +6 / -2 )

Yuri. Same ole, same ole. You want an apology from the USA for the people of Okinawa, but not for the REAL victims of Japan. You sympathize with the Okinawans and play the victim, but you are no more of a victim than the people of Tokyo, Hiroshima and Okinawa. You all belonged to the same empire. If you want an apology it needs to come from Tokyo, not the USA. Your people fought alongside the Japanese in the battle of Okinawa. What did you expect the USA to come in throwing flowers? War is war and in war people are killed. You were one of the same entity and playing the victim is just ridiculous. US military people gave a lot of medical assistance to Japanese soldiers and Okinawans as long as they were not aggressive and there are countless, countless stories to verify that. The Japanese were the ones who told your people to kill themselves, bury yourselves in caves and to fight the so-called evil Americans. The crimes committed by the Japanese need to be buried with the past. Yes, Japan has made some apologies and has paid more than enough money to the South Koreans and the Chinese. Yes, the Chinese and Koreans governments use this to keep them in power and it is wrong. But your apologies and payments don’t mean squat if YOU are the ones who are always playing the victims and white washing history textbooks. This issue will never end for anyone until Japan starts really teaching history as the aggressor and not playing the victim card. Most Japanese have no idea what their forefathers did, the media and government do very little to educate the public of the facts and how much they terrorized and victimized their Asian neighbors. So, please stop playing the victim. Your Okinawan people are no more victims than the Japanese people themselves.

4 ( +5 / -2 )

Schopenhauer - Punishment of Japan by two atomic bombs not enough?

Wow! This is the most naive statement I have ever read! The atomic bombs were not punishment! The only way that the Japanese imperial army would stop was by total inhalation. Even after the surrender thousands of troops killed themselves. The American army took great steps to stop the mass suicides. You really should read some history before making such ridiculous statements.

Oh, and to answer your question: No! The two atomic bombs that killed around 200,000 do not make recompense for the millions killed and enslaved during Japan's imperial rule of Asia during the first half of last century. Furthermore, if you understand the points of these veterans, Japan has been trying to downplay and deny their actions for many years. They have even eliminated certain atrocities from history textbooks in an attempt to conceal the truth from its youth. Yeah, the war finished 70 years ago and most of the veterans have passed away, but the memories still live on and the harder Japan tries to conceal and downplay it the more people are gonna hate Japan for it.

7 ( +9 / -3 )

Amen Disillusioned. But this is a huge problem here. The Japanese refuse to really look at history. Yes, it was so long ago, but something that is never talked about is the Battle of Manilla were so many Filipinos were killed.

One Japanese order read, "The Americans who have penetrated into Manila have about 1000 troops, and there are several thousand Filipino soldiers under the Commonwealth Army and the organized guerrillas. Even women and children have become guerrillas. All people on the battlefield with the exception of Japanese military personnel, Japanese civilians, Special Construction Units, will be put to death. Another Japanese order dated 13 February 1945, read, "When Filipinos are to be killed, they must be gathered into one place and disposed of with the consideration that ammunition and manpower must not be used to excess. Because the disposal of dead bodies is a troublesome task, they should be gathered into houses which are scheduled to be burned or demolished. They should also be thrown into the river.

The combined death toll of civilians for the battle of Manila was approximately 100,000 to 500,000, most of which was attributed to massacres by Japanese forces.

And it is not even talked about in Japan at all. And there are so many stories like this that are never ever looked at. I have asked countless Japanese about this and only very, very few of them know anything about it. I find that sad. History must be taught.

7 ( +8 / -2 )

Amen Disillusioned. But this is a huge problem here. The Japanese refuse to really look at history. Yes, it was so long ago, but something that is never talked about is the Battle of Manilla were so many Filipinos were killed.

One Japanese order read, "The Americans who have penetrated into Manila have about 1000 troops, and there are several thousand Filipino soldiers under the Commonwealth Army and the organized guerrillas. Even women and children have become guerrillas. All people on the battlefield with the exception of Japanese military personnel, Japanese civilians, Special Construction Units, will be put to death. Another Japanese order dated 13 February 1945, read, "When Filipinos are to be killed, they must be gathered into one place and disposed of with the consideration that ammunition and manpower must not be used to excess. Because the disposal of dead bodies is a troublesome task, they should be gathered into houses which are scheduled to be burned or demolished. They should also be thrown into the river.

The combined death toll of civilians for the battle of Manila was approximately 100,000 to 500,000, most of which was attributed to massacres by Japanese forces.

And it is not even talked about in Japan at all. And there are so many stories like this that are never ever looked at. I have asked countless Japanese about this and only very, very few of them know anything about it. I find that sad. History must be taught.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

Amen Disillusioned. But this is a huge problem here. The Japanese refuse to really look at history. Yes, it was so long ago, but something that is never talked about is the Battle of Manilla were so many Filipinos were killed.

One Japanese order read, "The Americans who have penetrated into Manila have about 1000 troops, and there are several thousand Filipino soldiers under the Commonwealth Army and the organized guerrillas. Even women and children have become guerrillas. All people on the battlefield with the exception of Japanese military personnel, Japanese civilians, Special Construction Units, will be put to death. Another Japanese order dated 13 February 1945, read, "When Filipinos are to be killed, they must be gathered into one place and disposed of with the consideration that ammunition and manpower must not be used to excess. Because the disposal of dead bodies is a troublesome task, they should be gathered into houses which are scheduled to be burned or demolished. They should also be thrown into the river.

The combined death toll of civilians for the battle of Manila was approximately 100,000 to 500,000, most of which was attributed to massacres by Japanese forces.

And it is not even talked about in Japan at all. And there are so many stories like this that are never ever looked at. I have asked countless Japanese about this and only very, very few of them know anything about it. I find that sad. History must be taught.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

Disillusioned: "You really should read some history before making such ridiculous statements."

Who says he hasn't? Clearly he has at least read The Abe-approved Japanese texts.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

But this is a huge problem here. The Japanese refuse to really look at history.

Might I change this to read, the government officially refuses to allow textbooks to be used that give an open and unbiased look on history regarding WWII and everything assorted with it.

One can not truly blame a population regarding a subject they are ignorant about. Look at NK (example only).

I think America should apologize to the people of Okinawa for there war crimes. Sorry old American the Japanese were so tough on you. I refuse to apologize and hope PM Abe does the same. Our ancestors have done this many times all for nothing.

This coming from good old Oklahoma! Way to go Yuri!

2 ( +5 / -2 )

The apology isn't for me or my generation, it's to these three men and the countless others like them, and to those civilians who suffered in Okinawa, Korea, and in China. The apology is to the generation who had to endure these horrific times, the ones who lived it.

That's why the drumbeat for an apology is getting louder, because those who deserve it are almost all gone. Please, give veterans like these their peace before it's too late.

I have always felt bad for victims who were posthumously recognized or pardoned or given an award because we failed to recognize them when we should of, when they were alive.

An apology won't mean much to this current generation, besides maybe to the children or relatives of those who deserve it, but please apologize to the ones who are alive today.

4 ( +5 / -2 )

I am Japanese and I apologize for Japan to started the War, and what Japan and Japanese people had done to those suffering during the war. Nothing we can do to change the past, but we must learn our own history.

I will never forget and will remember and will learn more about what we have done.

And will never involve in the war ever again !

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The atomic bombs were not punishment! The only way that the Japanese imperial army would stop was by total inhalation.

@Disillusioned Yet, it seems they did in fact stop without total annihilation. Its actually not hard to reconcile that incongruity if you stop believing you personally bear any fault for any war time decisions. Suddenly the excuses drop away with all the other BS and the truth becomes easy to say.

And this is the entire trouble with stances of both governments and many people in both countries. They imagine personal responsibility, and wriggle like snakes on fire to try and get out of it.

That and one more thing: Companies like Mitsui and Mitsubishi don't want to give up the ill gotten gains they inherited from their forebears who got it on the backs of slaves.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very true, Yubaru! And now people feel, "Enough of this already, It was so long ago anyway". They have been taught to think exactly that way. But for so many people, it is very fresh in their minds. I understand the thought process. PM's have apologized. Money has been paid. ENOUGH. Let's move on and gloss things over. But the victim's side can never have closure unless the aggressor puts forth an effort to educate its people. And when their are so many deniers on that side, all of those apologies and money means nothing. Japan could end it all just by simply teaching it like the Germans do.

4 ( +5 / -2 )

“You can’t have a high-ranking country today if you’re not willing to face your past. They have to admit their failures. If they admit their failures, then by golly they deserve to have the best.” The pot calling the kettle black extraordinaire. http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Utter nonsense. Trying to change the focus of people's attention from what YOUR country has done to what ANOTHER's has done is just plain wrong and not taking responsibility for what one has done. Looking at the link I noticed a common them. VILIFY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. There are quite a few others sites like the one that you put up Onniyama that would refute that. The site is just hell bent on making the USA look bad and does not give YOUR country any clearance in owning up to its past at all. It just shows the mentality that permeates this country and this is one of trying to change the focus and to downplay things as best as possible.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

sandiegoluv. Like it or not, these events occurred. You could search them one by one if you like. I have no problem with these vets expressing the feelings on the war, but dont come out with statements alluding that Americas hands are clean. Btw, my country is America.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So many bleeding heart westerners here right alongside their masters; the Japanese right-wingers. Both completely ignorant of war history.

If only Abe and the Japanese gov't didn't have blinders on, they would see the lesson these men offer and Germany willingly learned long ago. The victims of Japanese brutality have nothing against the Japanese people, only the cowards in charge like Abe, who are not mature enough to come to terms with guilt.

Germany are run by adults who can admit guilt and atone. Thats why they are not dogged by their victims 70 years later.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Onniyama: Who has said the US has clean hands? It's still deflection, and Abe and co are praying and banking on people like yourself doing more of it -- especially before he heads to your nation to talk about how he's willing to put more Japanese people in foreign wars and more arms in the hands of other nations. Not only has he failed to admit to the past and therefore not learned from it, he clearly wants to repeat it.

2 ( +4 / -3 )

Um, so is mine. I never said America's hands were clean at all. Lord knows it is not. My apologies if that is what you got from that. I have no idea how you could have gotten that because I never ever said nor acted like we were clean at all. I do applaud your honesty about our country and wish a lot more people thought the same way. However, what you have provided is just a change of focus of attention. The issue here is about apologies that should be made by this country. Not a list of negative things that the USA has done, which most of us are aware of. And trust me, I am always trying to get more Americans to talk openly and honestly about what it has done around the world. Good for you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Onniyama - 2 things you need to know;

The US didn't start the war against Japan

The atomic bombs on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a blessing. They ended the war, thus saving countless more lives than were lost. Japan should be thankful the US was not forced into a full-scale invasion of the mainlands.
2 ( +4 / -3 )

Too bad all these old men who are way over 90 years old, won't be here on earth much longer to give their testimonies. Once they are all dead, they will be called liars and opportunists in Japan. All this will be called a big hoax by some anti-Japanese conspiracy. Even the US government don't care. They're helping Japan to militarize and become once again a 'normal' country, and shielding Japan from international criticisms - all because they're so desperate to counter China.

1 ( +3 / -3 )

I feel no need to honor old American troops. The very same troops that invaded Okinawa and refused to take prisoners. The unspeakable things the Americans have done and are unrepentant. At least Japan has apologized and tried to make things right with their victims. I do agree that Abe should not try and undo what has given Japan peace for 70 years. Smith I nor any of my ancestors are at fault. We were made part of Japan by force and are not considered Japanese.

-18 ( +2 / -19 )

Trying to change the focus of people's attention from what YOUR country has done to what ANOTHER's has done is just plain wrong and not taking responsibility for what one has done.

@sandiegoluv "The pot calling the kettle black" is a statement that condemns both kettle and pot. Hypocrisy is rife on both sides. There is no foul in stating that simple truth. I am an American and I am as disgusted with America's whitewashing as I am with Japan's. But at least I can say that Japan has not been at the head of a war of lies and greed and civilian butcher in over 70 years. I cannot say that of America, which whines "accidental collateral damage" every time an American terror drone takes out a wedding procession. In other words, America's whitewashing has much more impact on life and death today.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

YuriOtani: "At least Japan has apologized and tried to make things right with their victims."

Utter BS! Especially when you have said, quite literally, you hope Abe does not apologize to the 'Old American', when the former companies that enslaved such people will not apologize, and when so many in your country deny what happened.

"Smith I nor any of my ancestors are at fault."

Yes, they are, if they engaged in war, and you are at fault for perpetuating the lie that Japan did nothing wrong.

" We were made part of Japan by force and are not considered Japanese."

I agree that the government was not fair to Okinawans, and you can blame that on Japan and not on the US, like you are doing, but stop suggesting one minute you're Japanese and Japan has apologized, then the next say you are not Japanese and your ancestors didn't start the war.

"The very same troops that invaded Okinawa and refused to take prisoners."

Yes, instead they treated their wounds and treated them like human beings, having taken them away from the war. Good on you to admit that, Yuri. Unlike the IJA dogs they were a part of -- rounding up civilians in other nations and bayonetting them, or locking them up in houses and burning them down to save bullets. Your ancestors, Yuri.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Just another related point about the atomic bombings. At the time there were two million Russian troops lined up in the north ready to sweep through Japan with orders to kill everyone. The U.S. moved their launch forward to beat the Russian troop invasion. So, in. Sad fistic kind of way, the U.S. did Japan a favor by dropping them bombs which brought an end to the wa. If they hadn't, Japan would have become part of the USSR. The world wars were an ugly spit on the history of all humanity. Nobody wins! And, coincidently, it was Anzac Day yesterday.

9 ( +9 / -1 )

I am Japanese and I apologize for Japan to started the War, and what Japan and Japanese people had done to those suffering during the war. Nothing we can do to change the past, but we must learn our own history. I will never forget and will remember and will learn more about what we have done. And will never involve in the war ever again !

I am sorry, and I hope you do not take this wrong but you should not have to feel as if you personally need to apologies for anything. I am not going to apologize for Hiroshima nor Nagasaki, nor should either of us have to.

The apologies made so far carry no weight with many because they sound so hypocritical when the Prime Minister is trying to whitewash what happened.

If you want to apologize, apologize to the world that Abe is the PM.

I nor any of my ancestors are at fault. We were made part of Japan by force and are not considered Japanese.

Not Japanese? Hmmm....right you carry an American passport. Guess what Yuri, I am Japanese and I live in Okinawa and many, too many Okinawan's were more than willing and DID in reality their very best to kill as many American's as they could.

Okinawan's are not blameless, neither were the IJA, the American's and everyone else involved, atrocities were committed on all sides, all sides have a responsibility to ensure it doesnt happen again! Including you, and btw while the American's havent been perfect, by far, they were and are a hell of a lot better than what the IJA was, that is something you seem to conveniently seem to forget, collective amnesia.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Congres will want to know if anything changed on these islands. At last there is a PM with staying powers. Will he rise above economics? Or remain just an islander.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Brainwashing is so cleansing of the truth. Rashamon in 2015.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mamablongyumi: "I am Japanese and I apologize for Japan to started the War, and what Japan and Japanese people had done to those suffering during the war. Nothing we can do to change the past, but we must learn our own history."

Thank you for the gesture, though you do not need to apologize nor do I have any right to accept it. Sadly, the people who SHOULD apologize, and not for actions during war since they were not alive and could not have committed any wrongdoing, but for their denials and defense of the indefensible, will not. In fact, they would take what you have said, strip it of the apology except to say your opinion does not reflect the opinion of the nation, but still borrow the part about wanting peace while they literally set out to put troops overseas and increase arms production and exports!

I truly hope that we never repeat the past, and that Japan can continue to live as a peaceful nation, but I don't believe Japan is headed down that path with the current crop of politicians. They have already made it a target of terrorism and pledged to change the constitution so that they may engage in war, and clearly cannot remember history and refuse to teach it. The only bright light in the whole thing is people like yourself, and the masses that do not want Abe to head down the path he is selfishly taking Japan down. You guys just need to vote the same way as your hearts on this issue.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Jandworld, has anything changed? look around you, a country that hates war, a country that wishes to remain peaceful that wishes someone truly acknowledge the nuclear bombing and the fire bombings that took place. a country that does want to change a constitution put in place by the west.

most of those in congress have never walked the streets and paths of Japan, never met the people. they look at the monuments and posters of the past war and believe all the hatred.

then they read more hatred here

Japan is peaceful , will remain peaceful unless other countries push it into a war stance - i am praying that never happens

1 ( +2 / -2 )

@Y Japanese People.

"The pot calling the kettle black" is a statement that condemns both kettle and pot.

Um, thank you for the English lesson, but I already know what it means and have known what it means ever since I was a child.

“Hypocrisy is rife on both sides. There is no foul in stating that simple truth.”

Close. but this post is not about America. It is about Japan and its past. SIMPLE. Sorry I am not into nationalism at all but to be honest, I do believe that the USA has for the most part fought for the better good of the international society, this is not something that the Japanese people can even begin to fathom and never did in the past either. And it sure the heck did not have Asia’s better interest in mind at all. Only its own. And this is a post about what Japan has done and ITS whitewashing of ITS history. If there is a post up about what America has done wrong and owning up to its history then I will be very first person to comment on it. Time and place. Time and place. Bringing up the USA is just diverting attention from the point of this post. So, yes there is foul in changing the focus of attention.

@Yuri –

“I feel no need to honor old American troops.”

Boy you must be really popular in Oklahoma.

“The very same troops that invaded Okinawa and refused to take prisoners.”

Now that is nonsense. The reason too few prisoners were taken was because of “bushido” for Japanese soldiers and too many Okinawans committing suicide. The Japanese soldiers refused to be taken alive. The Okinawans fought tooth and nail to kill as many Americans as they could right alongside the Japanese. Did you not read that woman’s testimony the other day about what she believed would happen to her and about what she wanted to do instead of giving up and how the Americans treated her? Are you calling that woman and so many others like her a liar? Are you trying to forget that a lot of people in Okinawa killed themselves because they were brainwashed into believing that American troops were beastly and blaming those deaths on the USA? I detest warped perceptions. You want to hate the USA and feel victim. Simply put.

@Yubara. Some very, very good points.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I have a good read of one of Japanese books (i won't mention the title here, but it published 2001). I gave it special attention because I thought I should learn also from Japanese point of view. It also gave views of the second world war.

After finishing and digesting on the information received, it only gave a view from a Japanese point of view, never mentioned anywhere something about what the Japanese were actually doing and what the actual conditions of the captured colonies or POWs.

And that seems to be part of the literature here, which is sad to say.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Punishment of Japan by two atomic bombs not enough? Abombs werent punishment it probably more to do with "karma" whitewashing history is just a way of hiding your guilt.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I have a good read of one of Japanese books (i won't mention the title here, but it published 2001). I gave it special attention because I thought I should learn also from Japanese point of view. It also gave views of the second world war.

Why not mention or share the title? Sounds kind of funny, in a strange way, that someone would be willing to comment about this topic based upon information gleaned from a Japanese source that other might find or be interested in?

Who wrote it? Abe?

After finishing and digesting on the information received, it only gave a view from a Japanese point of view, never mentioned anywhere something about what the Japanese were actually doing and what the actual conditions of the captured colonies or POWs.

No kidding, it was written by a Japanese right? Ever read a history of WWII by an American author? British? Russian? German? or any other of the combatants? Pretty much all of them only write about the war from their point of view so what makes this book so special or off the mark?

Share the title and let others decide for themselves if they are so interested.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

YuriOtani, why do you think America felt the need to invade Okinawa?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

since1981 Why do you think Japan felt the need to attack Pearl Harbor? What is the point of picking up a point of history and keep bashing Japan of 7 decades after war? Just because Japan is occupied by US now does not mean you can bash Japan to your heart content.

wftjapan, Japan is not doing any whitewashing. Please explain what whitewashing Japan did otherwise I cannot counterargue.

-5 ( +2 / -6 )

Yubaru, sorry, as I mentioned, I won't. But, with a little over 200 pgs, it does cover good topics - politics (some glimpse of wwii), religion (buddhism), and part of the economy in general. I don't want to influence other opinions based on this single source. But it good to read books!!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan felt the need to attack Pearl cause US cut off its oil supply. US occupied Phillipines. Japan thought that because they whipped Russia (earlier in that century), they figured they could whip the US too. Japan thought that all the different nationalities which make up the US population, would not unite if Pearl was attacked.

They were wrong.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I hate to see Japanese politicians denying what was done by the IJA during World War II. But the idea that Japan is the only country in the world keen to hide its dark history from future generations is simply not true. There are many Americans on this thread commenting on how the US only got brutal since Japan started it.

Well, only a few decades prior to WWII, the US were engaged in a very different war, invading and colonizing the Philippines. Why was the US brutal then? Was it the fault of the Filipinos there country was being invaded? How much are you all taught in school about that campaign? What is the difference between the murderous rampage of the US troops in the Philippine Invasion and the IJA in WWI? Has the US apologized?

Soldiers are ordered to fight. Some commit heinous acts. No-one likes to admit what their country has done. This seems to me quite universal trait.

What did you learn in school about the below? These quotes are reported in from Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982), Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1902 Yale University Press:

A soldier from New York: "The town of Titatia was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger."

Corporal Sam Gillis: "We make everyone get into his house by seven p.m., and we only tell a man once. If he refuses we shoot him. We killed over 300 natives the first night. They tried to set the town on fire. If they fire a shot from the house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now."

Maybe Japanese people have some justification and wondering why they are singled out among all the brutality in history. This all took place on Japan's doorstep in 1899-1902, as Japan was entering the modern world. It's not ancient history.

http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/war.crimes/US/U.S.Philippines.htm

Have you ever heard the Philippine Invasion mentioned in a comparative context regarding WWI? Probably not. That is how we frame the debate and influence what can and cannot be discussed. That is how we decided what is relevant and allowable at the table as part of an argument. That is how we manipulate history.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yubaru, sorry, as I mentioned, I won't. But, with a little over 200 pgs, it does cover good topics - politics (some glimpse of wwii), religion (buddhism), and part of the economy in general. I don't want to influence other opinions based on this single source. But it good to read books!!

Influence opinions? That is a cop out if I ever heard one before, people here already have their opinions, and btw there are plenty of books all over the internet and world talking about this very subject, I can not understand how anyone would think that one 200 plus page book would make such a difference....sorry I asked.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Okinawa was not invaded, the Cold War bolstered the base in Okinawa. Now it's China to keep in check. Would you prefer no U.S. pesence in the region both 50 years ago and today?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good point MarkG. The US has brought peace to this region while influencing Japan rise from its ashes into a prosperous modern nation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Wc626 I think you comment simply proves the point that no-one likes it when past atrocities by their own people are brought up.

They often try to change the subject and talk about other things. So there are successful Filipinos in the US. That's very good. Filipinos in Japan may fare worse than Filipinos in the US. You are probably right.

But what has this to do with the original point? Do you think the US was justified in given orders to shoot anyone over the age of 10 as they rounded up Filipino guerrillas? Whatever your Filipino friends in Cali may, say the people at the time where obviously not happy about the US presence. They were giving their lives to fight it.

And in that fight the US committed atrocities. Did they apologize? Do you teach your kids about it? Are you happy when people bring it up? Can you talk about it rationally and dispassionately, criticizing where criticism is due, in the same way as you would if another nation had committed these acts.

Or do you clutch at straws by brining up irrelevancies to justify the unjustifiable. Again, I think you are proving my point. The desire to avoid darkness in the past of one's own people is universal. The desire to deny is common to all peoples. The outrage brought to bear against anyone who points this out is universal.

Japan has quite a good reputation in Taiwan, partly because Japanese colonization helped Taiwan 'mature'. Maybe if Japan had been given more time in the rest of Asia, they could have helped these countries 'mature' too. Isn't that rather provocative position (which I don't necessarily agree with) entirely consistent with your claims about US atrocities in the Philippines working out for the benefit of the locals in the long run?

You have more in common with the Japanese right-wing than you would like to admit. The thought process and rationalization that you are using is very similar. Deny, obfuscate, attack. Again, this is universal human behavior when faced with inconvenient truths.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

jpn_guy: "Maybe Japanese people have some justification and wondering why they are singled out among all the brutality in history."

They aren't singled out -- they just like to think they are and cry foul. But they ARE pretty much the only advanced nation that denies what they've done and claim to be the victims.

"They often try to change the subject and talk about other things."

You mean like bringing up an unrelated invasion of the Philippines to deflect the fact that Japanese don't own up to history?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Okinawa was not invaded,

And what do you call the following? Come on now, if you are going to try to rationalize things, at least keep the history right.

The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg,[11] was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and included the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War during World War II.[12][13] The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945.

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

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You mean like bringing up an unrelated invasion of the Philippines to deflect the fact that Japanese don't own up to history?

You misunderstand. I object to the current political climate of revisionism in Japan. It will not end well. I am only pointing out that, as we accuse Japan of wanting to hide its past history of wanton violence, we should remember their denial is not unique.

It's ugly when Japan does it. It's ugly when the UK does it. It's ugly when the US does it.

I just think a little more perspective would help prevent Japanese people from getting even more defensive and making the situation even worse.

You avoid my questions.

Has the US apologize for brutally invading the Philppinnes and massacring its inhabitants? Do you think they should? Have you ever discussed it with your children? Around the dinner table in polite company?

I am not trying to "deflect the fact that Japanese don't own up to history".

I agree with you that they should. I am merely saying the desire to avoid horror and darkness perpetuated by one's own flesh and blood in universal across all societies. All people react defensively when forced onto the back foot. The uncomfortable anger and irritation you feel with me for bringing up the Philippine invasion is exactly how many Japanese nationalists feel when they hear demands for apologies from a nation that has fought more than 20 wars since 1945.

I would wager that if I could put you in a brain scanner, the area of your brain that lights up when you read my last post is exactly the same area that lights up in Mr. Abe's brain when he is pressured on Japan's war record.

Human beings behave in remarkably consistent ways when the environment is the same.

Hence your outrage and refusal to accept my prior post is quite predictable.

You can keep arguing that the US brutality in the Philippines is unrelated to WWII, but that's simply because you have never read anyone refer to them together. You say it's "unrelated".

The very fact that you think a US invasion of an Asian country in Japan's neighborhood occurring just as Japan entered the modern world is "unrelated" to WWII simply shows that you have been fed a narrative which you have never thought to question.

Japanese and Americans alike, we all claim our thought and attitudes are a natural consequence of the unfiltered observance of the Truth. If you think the US invasion of the Philippines is unrelated to Japan's imperial expansion, then you are a prisoner of your childhood education, just like the Japanese revisionists you so despise.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The horrors of August 6, and August 9, and the firebombings that took many more lives, show the true hell of war. Some experienced it directly, but hardly anyone was untouched. Japanese civilians suffereed greatly as we all know (speaking as an American, son on a WWII vet). Countless thousands more would have died had the war not ended in a horrific flash. My father was next in line to be sent to the Pacific theatre, following his friends. He was not sent. /// I have uploaded a letter he received from a friend, also in the US military, written on August 9th, 1945. In the "ps" section he added that he just arrived in Japan and was somewhere on Okinawa. Just think of what Japan was experiencing at that time and the lives of those caught up in the war. 70 years hence, it is a time to mourn and remember, and not make demands over the bones of all those who suffered and died. http://www.thebest-of.info/Q/jfq-aug091945.htm

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Guess what Yuri, I am Japanese and I live in Okinawa and many, too many Okinawan's were more than willing and DID in reality their very best to kill as many American's as they could.

Yep, Yubaru's got a point there.

but stop suggesting one minute you're Japanese and Japan has apologized, then the next say you are not Japanese and your ancestors didn't start the war.

So does Mr. Smith.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@jpn_guy.

You've made good points. Touché. You're right I prob have a lot in common with the Japanese right-wing. But unlike them, I often admit when I'm wrong and that the US is sometimes doing (or have done several) shady things in the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Peace is something or ancestors paid for with their lives. It's best if we all remember that.

Thanks for the response Katsu78!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I actually don't agree that there is a need for Abe to make a separate apology in this case. I'm getting quite tired of Japan being expected to apologise all the time. Even the former Chinese Prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said Japan had apologised enough.

The issue is encouraging Japan to not sweep historical wrongs under the carpet in the schoolroom (the fact many countries are also guilty of doing the same thing doesn't mean Japan should do it).

I was wondering if anyone has any real ideas, plausible explanations, as to why this site seems to take on a stance that's more than critical of Japanese views of history and of the Japanese government?

Because this site is largely visited (or at least the articles on commented upon) by ex-pats and non-Japanese people interested in Japanese news. They tend to be more critical of the lack of honesty about past Japanese aggression, not least because they may come from countries that suffered.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

but stop suggesting one minute you're Japanese and Japan has apologized, then the next say you are not Japanese and your ancestors didn't start the war.

The one thing to understand about Yuri is that she is stuck between a rock and a hard place. She loves Okinawa and has a hard time understanding and dealing with her loyalties to being Japanese, Okinawan and married to an American.

She blames Americans for "taking" her family's lands, and yet is grateful for being in America and being able to live the life of freedom that she could never have gotten if she had stayed in Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I should add that jpn_guy gives some good reasons about why people can be defensive when talking about the past. Positive encouragement is not the same as banging your shoe on the table, and it's a bad idea to default to the latter tactic if the former doesn't work.

smithy

But they ARE pretty much the only advanced nation that denies what they've done and claim to be the victims.

Come off it, countries like Turkey do exactly the same thing. And whilst it's wrong to portray the nation of Japan as a victim in the war rather than an aggressor, it is true that Japanese people were victims of Allied bombing and crimes like rape during the Occupation. So getting hung up on the victim issue is a bit childish.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Its is a sad situation. My father was posted after WWII with the newly formed UN to repatriate a lot of soldiers who could not get back home without help. His dying wish which he fulfilled was to go to Japan and make friends with a Japanese man his age as he said both sides did as they were told by respective governments. Just exactly how many more times does Japan has to apologize? Since the war the country has made an all out effort to be a peaceful nation. far more peaceful than America that's for sure. It all seems so one sided anyway as everybody seems to have forgotten two A Bombs! I don't see many apologies about that and I don't see Japanese people asking for apologies either.

I am a Japanese resident and as my father said, 'Even from wars come good things. Because of what we all did is the reason you are in Japan today"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another reason I would love to see Japan and the United States and all countries get along with each other is that if we ever have a total conflict,

In the perfect world, Native Americans got along with European settlers. African Americans get along with White Policemen. Okinawa residents will not protest for relocation of base. Abe will admit his grandpa was a war criminal. Japan will never got the earthquake. US will never got the Tornado. Everything will be wines and roses.

In the reality, both Japan and US are root cause of almost every conflicts. Japan is reviving nationalism for irritating old foes or neighbors. Arab spring which was engineered by US has become the never ending Arab nightmare.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Punishment of Japan by two atomic bombs not enough?

Nanking massacre, forced labour of POWs, sexual enslavement of hundreds of thousands of women, biological experiments on live human subjects, forced suicides of okinawan civilians. Not enough? The world isn't bashing you Japan. It admires what you have achieved in the last 70 years, but it has 3 words for you. Are you listening? Here they are: tell the truth

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I gotta go with Smith here. It is called DEFLECTION. And he should not answer your questions at all because they have nothing to with this post. This post is about what JAPAN did. I will agree with you jpn_guy that nobody likes to have the atrocities that were committed by their own people brought up but that is just too bad cause well, it happened. I want to applaud you for your ideas and you are right on many accounts. 100%. But throwing the USA under the bus when it is not the subject at hand kind of ruins your points for me because this is not the place for talking about that.

All countries need to honestly, honestly look at their past with less of a desire to glorify and more of one to judge fairly. History is evolution and evolution is violent.

@Shumatsu - You are right. There is no need at all for Japan to apologize again. It has been done too many times in the past. Even money has been paid in huge amounts, but those two things are useless if you are not teaching history correctly and actually trying to atone for the past. The Japanese committed horrific acts on their neighbors. A holocaust if you will, but because the value of Asian lives were of less significance to western powers, the subject was never really put in the same light as it was with the Jews and Germany. I know many Japanese shake their heads at what Hitler did to the Jews but in reality, Japan was guilty of committing some gruesome acts as well that can only be compared to what Germany did. But let me tell you something my brother of this earth. IT WAS NOT YOU! YOU DID NOT DO THOSE THINGS. Just as I did not kidnap millions of Africans and enslave them. It was my people, but not me. I am not responsible for what they did but can easily apologize for their actions without feeling any sense of shame because it was NOT ME. It was someone else or the same color.

But like I said, this post is about what JAPAN did. Not the USA. Give me a post that talks about how the USA denies its own history and I will be right there to comment. I believe in soul searching. I dont believe in glorifying history at all. Just teach what happened.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan is not glorifying history at all, just teaching what happened. I suggest you study Japan's textbooks yourselves. All internet information is available unlike some countries.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@Sensato "The atomic bombings and Japan's sudden surrender took them by surprise and ruined their plans to grab much more territory"

So ignorant point of view ! Typical for American, though..Stalin gave Allies a promise to attack IJA and all offensive operations were carefully planned. So, the up-coming "surrender of Japan" was not a surprise for Stalin's generals. At that exactly time Soviets actively fought IJA, both in Manchuria and on mentioned islands and islets. Thus, those territories were more like military prize than "grabbed soil". Again, Stalin did not fight civilian people of Japan, only IJA units. Scary tales about "seizure of Hokkaido" were invented by Americans, to justify their horrible bombings of Japanese civilians.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

sandie

The Japanese committed....

No. Some Japanese committed crimes.

I am not responsible for what they did but can easily apologize for their actions without feeling any sense of shame because it was NOT ME

Why would you apologise for something someone else did? I wouldn't. I'd feel more annoyed being asked to apologise for the actions of others than a wrong I had actually committed.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I once glanced at a "japanese textbook". There was a cheezy dialogue about how terrible the Hiroshima bombings were. And featured a pic of peace dome and how the structure looked after the bombing. Other similar scenarios depicting Japan as victims while saying how peaceful japan is.

Why not create an entire unit of the Nanjing Massacre?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Wc626 "Why not create an entire unit of the Nanjing Massacre?"

Where is logical connection between so-called "Nanjing Massacre" and infamous atrocities, committed by Americans on Japanese soil, i.e. firebombings of Japanese cities and nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ? Could you elaborate ?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@tinewatanabe - I dont know who said that Japan was glorifying its history textbooks, but one thing it is doing is omitting every sense of reality that happened. I think YOU must need to look at those books yourself. Does it mention what Japanese troops did to their neighbors? No. It talks about incidents, but does not go into the important details of what Japan did at all. Not who it killed, how many and why and at best just glosses over about the important details. I suggest you read the new textbooks yourself! Or would you like to post how it describes in details the atrocities that were committed? Bet you can not because they dont exist. It is complete white wash. How about the Manilla Massacre by Japanese troops. One of the worst massacres ever to happen. Is that mentioned in there or even how commented on? it? NOT. See this is the problem. You might not be glorifying your history just yet, but you are certainly on your way. Omission is the first step. Denial and having a PM who wants to revise apologizes is the next one and you got that one full blown right now. The very next step is glorifying it and that is what this PM is all about.

@shumatsu - Learn how to use my moniker correctly as it is given to you. I am not some UCLA coed. I am from San Diego. That is why I use it. Now. Let's take a glimpse into the reality of your comments directed at me.

No. Some Japanese committed crimes.

Really now? Some? Some? Of course some. SO WHAT?????? Some Germans killed the Jews. Not all of them did. Some Americans enslaved Africans, not all of them did. That is commonsense and kind of not even worth mentioning. I bet you look down your nose at the Germans who killed so many Jews and how they did it. Well, they did not ALL do it. And guess what, nobody every said that YOU all did it either. So, I have no idea why you would bring that point up and put it in all caps cause it has nothing to do with anything at all. Some people of a race did something to some people of another race. Oh hell, then we should just forget about everything then with that logic.

Why would you apologise for something someone else did? I wouldn't. I'd feel more annoyed being asked to apologise for the actions of others than a wrong I had actually committed.

Ah-ha, but you feel comfortable defending them when they are asked to apologize. See, right there. You dont feel comfortable with that because you think that is a reflection on you, and it is not at all. See, that is where we differ. You are annoyed. I am open and say, "Hey, our forefathers messed up". I am not going to act like it did not happen not am I going to make one excuse at all. I will say that I am sorry for what happened but it is not a reflection on me personally. The fact that you would even say that bothers me. We children, inherit what our forefathers have sown. We have to take responsibility for those things. In this case, you have the ability to ignore it. But how long will that continue? As a farmer if your parents plant bad seeds you can not possible ignore what will grow. You can not say, "I will not accept this harvest because I did not plant it". You will be forced to eat what has been grown by your parents.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Bataan de-no Shi-no Koushin: Until these old survivors came out, all victims were forgotten.

@Yuri: "there are plenty of Japanese people out there that would like an apology too" Add me from Nevada, USA.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They respect America and Australia. Lovely meeting old people hiking in the forests here in Kitakyushu this almost G Zero. They just wan t to chat. They are obviously another generation removed but the respect gives me a zing in my day.They are such lovely people and for represent the real Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Where is logical connection between so-called "Nanjing Massacre" and infamous atrocities, committed by Americans on Japanese soil, i.e. firebombings of Japanese cities and nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ? Could you elaborate ?

Yamashi --let me respond, as bluntly as I can. (And, as background you should know I had an uncle die serving in the U.S. Air Force in the pacific in WWII, and another who was a Japanese POW.) The dropping of the nuclear bombs and the fire-bombings were acts of war carried out by the U.S. so the government/country that sponsored the horrendous atrocities mentioned here, and numerous others, would never be capable of that kind of act again. Is that simple enough for you to understand? And, IMO, no apologies are needed for Japanese citizens who allowed that government to carry out such in-human acts, over decades, in their name.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Just imagine, if by some fictional miracle Japan had been able to send a few squadrons of bombers over to the U.S. in the dying months of the war, and fire-bombed San Francisco, killing about 100,000 people in the process, in an effort to halt the U.S. advance, and take out a few factories, perhaps.......can you imagine the endless moral outrage that would have caused? "But they killed innocent Americans...women and children!!"

Reading through some of the transcripts of the Tokyo war crime trials, one sees that a common defence is that the accused were just "following orders". That's exactly what the allied bomber crews were doing over Japan and Germany, as they fire-bombed civilian populations.

Now, the guilty parties on all sides are mostly all dead. If all sides of the second world war can own up to officially sanctioned war crimes, without leaving it all to historians and philosophers to outline their hypocrisies, then perhaps some lasting resolution can be achieved.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@yamashi

You stated:

IJA committed war crimes in Asia...

Could you tell me exactly what war crimes you believe the IJA committed?

Places, dates, numbers of victims... any information you have...

I'd be interested to hear exactly what war crimes you believe were committed by the IJA.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Just imagine, if by some fictional miracle Japan had been able to send a few squadrons of bombers over to the U.S. in the dying months of the war, and fire-bombed San Francisco, killing about 100,000 people in the process, in an effort to halt the U.S. advance, and take out a few factories, perhaps.......can you imagine the endless moral outrage that would have caused? "But they killed innocent Americans...women and children!!"

check Bombing of chongqing and you will understand

from 18 February 1938 to 23 August 1943. A conservative estimate places the number of bombing runs at more than 5,000, with more than 11,500 bombs dropped, mainly incendiary bombs. The targets were usually residential areas, **business areas, schools, hospitals (non-military targets).**

As the bible says: live by the sword , die by the sword.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Lester Tenney ... made peace with his former enemy. Yet as Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to address Congress this week, in the 70th anniversary year of the war's end, something rankles the U.S."

So did many more until Abe. Abe knows how to bring forth past wounds of victims. He's an amazing bastard with so many of his kinds following him. Acknowledge the past as it happened. Japanese need to know that their savagery a was shameful act, and denying of their savagery/history is a even-more shameful act.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan is not glorifying history at all, just teaching what happened. I suggest you study Japan's textbooks yourselves. All internet information is available unlike some countries.

Let me clarify something for you here, Japan may not be glorifying history but they most definitely are not teaching history properly either.

When asked a social studies teacher replied to the question of why don't Japanese school teach more about WWII besides Hiroshima and Nagasaki: "Japanese history goes back thousands of years and we don't have enough time to spend talking about WWII beyond us getting bombed"

That is where the problem is.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

For those who think the A-bombs were a good idea... always remember, there were American prisoners who were also killed, in addition to innocent civilians. Its not an apology... its a reality.

Just like America never talks about Perry and the Black Ships... when we invaded Japan and forced Japan to open up its ports for trading. That hasn't been taught in high school for about 70 years. But it happened. Matthew C. Perry.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Smith you are so wrong about the people of Okinawa. We had zero responsibility for the war since it was not our war. You forget the Japanese disarmed Okinawa following their annexation in 1872. After this happened they killed so many of the Okinawa people who were resisting them. The war really began in September 19, 1931 with the invasion of Manchuria. The Japanese did conscript Okinawa people but not as troops.

So why do you excuse Koreans even though they were part of the Japanese Empire? They had real troops in the conflict. Many of them guards at POW camps.

Again and again I have had bad experiences with US troops. You must understand they killed most of my family. They were not a picture of virtue. So I disagree with the American version of history. I blame the Americans for the deaths since they could of bypassed Okinawa like Taiwan. The Japanese being cruel is well known and they used Okinawans as "comfort women". The people of Okinawa have forgiven them for the most part and nothing of value is made by bringing it up all of the time.

So while Americans disagree with the new Japanese version, theirs is faulty as well.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

@jerseyboy "The dropping of nuclear bombs and the firebombings were act of war carried by the U.S."

The dropping of nuclear bombs and the firebombings were act of genocide. Not Japanese Army or Navy, but Japanese civilians were prime targets for the U.S. military forces.

@choiwaruoyaji

"Could you tell me exactly what war crimes you believe the IJA committed?"

Please, find and carefully read any article about Unit 731.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

To everyone claiming that the U.S. was harsh to Okinwans, remember that the Okinawans were subjugated by the Japanese and treated like slaves. The U.S. did not target Okinawans, who were not apart of the Japanese military.

The Japanese instituted mass suicides of Okinawans before the invasion to hide their crimes and scared them into suicide by saying the Americans would be worse than they were. Anyone pointing at Okinawa as a measure of US aggression clearly doesn't know what the heck happened or what their country did during the war. Oh, and they are clearly not Okinawan since Okinawans who survived Japan's occupation do remember first hand what happened.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

YuriOtani: "Smith you are so wrong about the people of Okinawa. We had zero responsibility for the war since it was not our war."

Here we go again. In one breath you are not Japanese, in the next you are and your nation does not need to apologize.

"You forget the Japanese disarmed Okinawa following their annexation in 1872. After this happened they killed so many of the Okinawa people who were resisting them."

And yet you demand the US apologize and Japan (suddenly your nation again) owes no one anything.

"Again and again I have had bad experiences with US troops. You must understand they killed most of my family. They were not a picture of virtue. So I disagree with the American version of history."

All you're saying is that your entire basis for saying Japan doesn't need to apologize but the US does, and that versions of history, are based on your personal history. And yet you claim others are critical of Japan and not objective?

"So while Americans disagree with the new Japanese version, theirs is faulty as well."

Hang on a sec... you AGREE that the Japanese version of history is 'new', but you don't see any problems with CHANGING history? You honestly don't see the paradox and wrongness of it, both immorally and otherwise?

And sorry, Yuri, but Okinawans were clearly involved in the war, and are also to blame for Japan's actions in it. Stop playing the victim card and saying "Japan does not need to apologize, it's the US' fault, it was not our war", etc. all in the same sentence.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."

--- Thomas Stephen Szasz

2 ( +4 / -2 )

yamashi: You are cherry-picking comments, and badly. I never claimed to be Japanese, and certainly never claimed to speak for the Japanese people. Yuri IS Japanese, but constantly declares herself to be Okinawan (as in, independent of Japan) one minute, and then Japanese the next (suddenly not independent of Japan), arguing on behalf of Japan or against Japan (again, as a separate Okinawan) when the mood suits her. That is why it is hard to take her seriously, and why her arguments are anything but objective.

"you should stop doing boring korean business of defending all U.S. actions by all means."

Way to completely destroy any credibility your posts may have had! What is "korean business of defending US actions by all means", by the way? Is that a new nationalist expression for when you feel victimized by the truth? Tomorrow will it be Chinese?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yamashi: I never claimed to be Japanese, nor to speak on behalf of the Japanese people. Yuri does claim to be Japanese, if the mood suits her, and claims to be Okinawan (ie. NOT Japanese) when it does not. So long as it is anti-American then she wears the clothes of the day.

mods: How is my comment 'impolite to other user' when this garbage: "you should stop doing boring korean business of defending all U.S. actions by all means", which is quite simply racist, is allowed to stay on?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just like America never talks about Perry and the Black Ships... when we invaded Japan and forced Japan to open up its ports for trading. That hasn't been taught in high school for about 70 years. But it happened. Matthew C. Perry.

Yes, that much is true. But if it wasn't America, then it would've been Russia, Britain, or France. It was just a matter of time.

Japan is not glorifying history at all, just teaching what happened

Please.............. If that was the case, then why do so many Japanese know so little of their history (especially WW2) if they were taught what happened? The rest of the world knows what happened. The political elites that govern Japan know what happened - yet they've gone out of their way to keep their people in the dark

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Yamashi

Please find and carefully read any article about Unit 731.

Only that?

Please list any other war crimes committed by Japan that you believe occurred.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The dropping of nuclear bombs and the firebombings were act of genocide. Not Japanese Army or Navy, but Japanese civilians were prime targets for the U.S. military forces

Yamashi -- obviously, we will agree to disagree on this one. IMO, so long as the military leadership of Japan was unwilling to surrender, plus the fact that these "civilians" were working in factories and other operations that supported the Japanese war effort, the U.S. had no choice but to shock the Emperor into reality. In addition, the U.S. sent a warning to the Japanese government prior to the dropping of the bombs, clearly stating what the outcome(s) would be. Again, IMO, you calling this genocide, versus the alternative of thousands of American lives, as well as Japanese lives, being lost in an invasion of Japan is simply convenient, and misguided. .

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@YuriOtani: "At least Japan has apologized and tried to make things right with their victims."

=================================================

These three men just came out. Japan hasn't apologized to victims of Bataan Death March. Write record when you write event.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Uhm, this article is not about apologies. It is about the teaching of history.

The traditional view in both Japan and the US is that Japan started the war.

The revisionist now-mainstreaming conservative Japanese view is the West -- through Imperialist expansion --forced Japan into an dog-eat-dog conflict, and therefore Japan is not responsible for the war.

These two views are incompatible.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are enough resources for one more war or we can build a lasting future for humanity. One that survives well beyond what any living person can imagine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry about the truth. The truth has no interest in your apology.

The truth is a series of facts.

Facts are the bones of truth.

The real obligation is the plain rendition of fact.

All facts are equal.

The weak and greedy hate facts. Which are you?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We had zero responsibility for the war since it was not our war. You forget the Japanese disarmed Okinawa following their annexation in 1872

Keep living in a bubble Yuri, you will never find peace until you pop it. YOU were not a part of it, and that is the start line for ALL Japanese to separate themselves from the history.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Yuri, Believe me, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and created WW II in Pacific. USA was defending. About Okinawa, Japan did not. Lord Shimazu of Satsuma zipped Ryukyu. Try to research before you write your imagination.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr. Lester Tenney, Mr. Harold Bergbower and Mr. Darrell Stark, should have a meet up with Ms. Michiko Kodoma, Mr. Sumiteru Taniguch and also with the family members of the late Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@toroshshi: They are old retired people. Their income are only social security pension and VA pension. They can not afford to travel to USA.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's politicians and bureaucrats that are screwing up here. My Japanese wife's understanding of WW2 is very skewed. She thinks the American version of events are inaccurate. I love her regardless. My 92 year old dad is a WW2 vet of the Pacific theater, plus my 96 year uncle was one of the first U.S. Army doctors on the ground in Hiroshima after the war ended and he treated everyone from grannies to kids.

I was taught the A-bombs stopped a further division of Japan between the U.S. and our then Soviet allies, it still works as a useful myth. What mattered more was 20 odd years later Japan was America's unsinkable Aircraft Carrier.

What's wanted is recognition that Imperialists caused harm. No one thinks today's Japanese Government wants its revival.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At the end of the war Japan acknowledged all their crimes and their inhuman attack on the world when the Emperor of Japan sign a UNCONDITIONAL Surrender. The USA, the British and Australia were all signatures on this documents which demand Japan apoyigise by signing the document. IF you have problem with that I suggest take it up with your government for not wording the Unconditional surrender that Japan has to apoyigise whenever ask do so again again and again.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

At the end of the war Japan acknowledged all their crimes and their inhuman attack on the world when the Emperor of Japan sign a UNCONDITIONAL Surrender. The USA, the British and Australia were all signatures on this documents which demand Japan apoyigise by signing the document. IF you have problem with that I suggest take it up with your government for not wording the Unconditional surrender that Japan has to apoyigise whenever ask do so again again and again.

The apology is worth nothing if you deny the reason for the apology or act like Japan didn't act like barbarians. These men were subjected to horrific treatment, and their problem is Japan denying that it happened.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Sparky: Is the name of your uncle Japmes N Y? He is an alumini of UCLA and alo Mesquite U Medical School. Hewas a batterion surgeon of 106th infantry Div in Battle of Bulge. After the war, he worked with Japanese surgeons in Hiroshima.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani

YuriOtani: "Sorry old American the Japanese were so tough on you. I refuse to apologize and hope PM Abe does the same. Our ancestors have done this many times all for nothing."

Apology is done but the question is How sincere it is? if there is sincerity and admission of the fault then why some of japanese like you think like this?

Its a Fact that your ancestors created this fault so it will be an eternal baggae that you have to carry, don't blame the countries who are asking for apology, blame your ancestors for starting this mess.

Remember your ancestors took innocent lives and until now many are still suffering from the result of those. Isn't it your culture to apologize for any troubles that you may cause others? well as long as these suffering victims of war are still alive and suffering from their lost, you are obliged to apologize to them, that is your culture!

Japan is a very apologetic culture, apologizing everyday for everything trouble they might cause to others. how come apologizing from their war crimes are an exemption to this culture?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Emperor of Japan sign a UNCONDITIONAL Surrender.

The Emperor didnt sign it the pm did.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@John-SanAPR. 28, 2015 - 09:18AM JST At the end of the war Japan acknowledged all their crimes and their inhuman attack on the world when the Emperor of Japan sign a UNCONDITIONAL Surrender. The USA, the British and Australia were all signatures on this documents which demand Japan apoyigise by signing the document. IF you have problem with that I suggest take it up with your government for not wording the Unconditional surrender that Japan has to apoyigise whenever ask do so again again and again.

=================================================================

1 unconditional surrender was written in Emperor's Japanese language toward Japanese people.

Shusen Chokugo It was 8/15 1945 and Australian, UK, and USA forces were not in Tokyo yet. GHQ (USA) came to Tokyo later. Then Emperor became Symbol of Japan/ No such document existed.

Australian Force in Japan? American Force came after it landed to Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru the President of the US did not sign it as well, so what!? Again it is sad the Americans veterans are so angry 70 years after the fact. Really they would find a new life forgiving those who trespassed against them. I have no trouble with Americans or Japanese though it would be nice if they respected our desires. The time for meaningless apologies is over and it is time to live.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

YuriOtani

Again it is sad the Americans veterans are so angry 70 years after the fact.

Peopl lost lovedones, some lost limbs and became disabled and some suffered from mental trauma from the tortures and henous scenarios they saw xommitted by your ancestors... Who are you to tell them to forget about those experiences because it was 70 years ago?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Again it is sad the Americans veterans are so angry 70 years after the fact.

Again it is sad Japan is in denial 70 years after the fact

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Christopher Glen

I am in the same page as you, However I think it's not the whole Japan who is in denial, The Right wingers are to blame for hiding the real facts to the people... majority of Japanese now are really not aware of the history because Rightwingers hid it from them...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

These three old survivors of Bataan came out to tell their memory. Not against current Japanese people. The history not even Japanese right wingers know. Right wingers haven't mentioned Bataan Death March in past.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@YuriOtani

I often agree with you and give you thumbs up, but this time I have to disagree. History needs to be remembered.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think America should apologize to the people of Okinawa for there war crimes.

Again it is sad the Americans veterans are so angry 70 years after the fact. Really they would find a new life forgiving those who trespassed against them. I have no trouble with Americans or Japanese though it would be nice if they respected our desires. The time for meaningless apologies is over and it is time to live.

So, somehow you feel the U.S. should apologize for its war crimes, but the men who were enslaved aren't entitled to such? Perhaps you should take your own advice and 'get over it.' Hypocrite,

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Right wingers are to blame for hiding the real facts to the people... majority of Japanese now are really not aware of the history because Rightwingers hid it from them...

I have never denied this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you look at the history after end of WWII, Japan spent basically from 1950's through mid 1990s under the same conservative LDP government. There was no change in thought or attitude. At best, the Japanese government was able to buy off the Chinese and Koreans, providing loans and grants while those governments kept nationalistic sentiments tamped down. When the LDP hold was toppled in the 1990s, the coalition government was so weak that even though it began reconciliation with a formal apology, it couldn't make much progress before the LDP came back to power one year later. Japan needed a strong center-left party to lead the way. Unfortunately, Murayama and the Japanese Social Democrats were simply too weak. Japan's delay in the process has only made it more difficult for any real reconciliation. Had they done it back when Japan was at its peak, Chinese and Korean nationalism were somewhat under control and Japan had bought some goodwill through economic aid, they might have gotten their message across more smoothly. Instead, now you have Japan in a weak position, China and Korea ascendant, and both those nations experiencing near-rabid nationalistic sentiments, it'll be much harder for all involved to come together.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I suggest that all the Americans who keep demanding apologies from Japanese people suggest (strongly!) that the US government apologizes for spreading Agent Orange on the Vietnamese jungle back in the sixties. There is an interesting article on that subject in the Japan Times these days. People are still fighting the consequences, with many living lives not very different from plants lives because of all the incapacity which was caused by their parents being exposed to this beautiful American invention. If they obtain that from president Obama or his successor, then maybe they might consider again their argument with the government of Japan. In the mean time, they might also consider the effects of another brilliant invention, namely, the whitewashing of the big criminal Hirohito which explains why their present demands for apologies from people who weren't even born at the time seem (and are !) completely incongruous. Unfortunately, reading many of their comments and "explanations" to the Japanese here, I am lead to think that Americans haven't made much progress in psychology since General Mac Arthur started messing it all up.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Jean-michel Levy May. 01, 2015 - 07:42AM JST I am lead to think that Americans haven't made much progress in psychology since General Mac Arthur started messing it all up.

How ridiculous. Japan had 70 years of peace since WWII.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I suggest that all the Americans who keep demanding apologies from Japanese people suggest (strongly!) that the US government apologizes for spreading Agent Orange on the Vietnamese jungle back in the sixties.

Entirely separate issues. The need of one group of people to apologize doesn't cancel out that need for the other group.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

US government apologizes for spreading Agent Orange on the Vietnamese jungle back in the sixties...

I would be OK with that. I will say that at least nearly all Americans are aware of what was done by the government. I have yet to see a Vietnam War movie that glorifies this sad and wasteful war.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sfjp330 Who said the contrary ? What is messed up is the perception that the Japanese people have of this part of the history. And that is mainly due to the whitewashing of the guy who was supposed to incarnate Japan. In the spirit of these times, if he wasn't guilty, then none of those who blindly obeyed him and were ready to give their life for him, could be guilty. 70 years of peace and prosperity do not solve this problem..just look here above !

@Strangerland. Totally agree with what you say. But given the tone used by too many here, I have some doubts and insist.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is known as deflection. Poking at someone else's mistakes to distract from your own.

But you just did the exact same thing in a different thread, saying that the Japanese should deal with their comfort women issues before getting N. Korea to deal with their abduction issue.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

saying that the Japanese should deal with their comfort women issues before getting N. Korea to deal with their abduction issue.

Nope, I merely said that would facilitate the process. I certainly won't hurt their chances. So until Japan teaches history more honestly, problems will continue

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Its but freedom of speech, if that's what some Japanese believe, it can't be helped simple.

In the end both sides suffered casualties. Some will argue, one side more than the other, again its but freedom of opinion, no need to get all hot headed about it.

Let us not forget the mother of all that was dropped. War's are but ugly affairs, its a war, both sides do what they can to win it, what's done is done.

I agree that we should never forget it, we have to keep it in mind and learn from our past, its the only way to become better people.

In the civilised world we have freedom of opinion and beliefs, its the basic fundamental of the law governing "freedom of speech"

My respects to Shinzo Abe for saying what he believes. And as I have too said what I believe. Before you delete my post think, "freedom of speech". So much for "freedom of speech", that's why I love the British "freedom of speech" the BBC and SKY news did not delete my post. True "freedom of speech"

@ Jean-michel Levy 1, spreading Agent Orange on the Vietnamese jungle back in the sixties. 2, the whitewashing of the big criminal Hirohito

What about the "little boy" (aka Mark III. Fat Man)? I remember a subject on it back in primary school (UK)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

saying that the Japanese should deal with their comfort women issues before getting N. Korea to deal with their abduction issue.

Nope, I merely said that would facilitate the process.

No, that's not what you 'merely' said. What you said was:

Before Japan expects to resolve the issue of 13 citizens abducted by North Korea, it should first solve the issue of the approx 200,000 women it abducted from Korea (and other countries) to serve as sex slaves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IMO the mission that "saved many lives", the dropping of the atomic bombs (little Boy and Fat Boy) 'that's two atomic bombs' could have been deployed differently.

Surely if the mushroom cloud could be seen from the sky no doubt that it could have been spotted miles away on land. Point is, it should have been dropped in a region that was not occupied or had a smaller settlement.

Surely the shear sound and the mushroom cloud that followed would have deter the invading Russians. Once the Japanese commander sent word that not even a lizard survived where the bomb landed, the Japanese would have come to the realisation of what would have happened if the Americans decided to do a direct hit. Its not like the Americans only had two atomic bombs.

In the end it was to see what effects atomic bombs have on human being and on the side, "end the war" To subject human being to such suffering is to not be human.

New laws passed on how POW should be treated yet we see much war crime take place. Even today in the many war struck regions, many fail to uphold such laws. The use of White phosphorus, chemical weapons, blanket bombing and the classic rape etc. Why do you think it is?

To grasp a better understanding let us first look at what a POW is. What are POW?

The thinking behind POW is that they are but man taking orders, they do not hold any personal grudge against you, they've lost and are "out of the game" you keep them as POW and release them once the war is over. Why do many find it difficult to uphold this law?

let me ask you, if a venomous snake, a shark or a assassin made an attempt on your life, would you treat it with warm and kind hospitality? I think not.

This mentality is hard for some or rather many to understand, even those that understand it are but hypocrites.

In the many countries that respect the POW law. When a gang of drug dealers are arrested, 'keeping to the POW law', the ring leader should be the only one charged for the crime. In reality everyone involved are sentenced. As the saying goes, "those that do crime together, do time together"

So to recap, POW are assassin that failed an attempt on your life, you will not treat them lightly as with a venomous snake, a shark or a assassin that made a attempt on your life.

Now normal civilians that have been captured are a different story, they are but innocent by standars.

The reason I chosen to settle in Briton, is simple, the British have done such crime to a lesser degree. I don't think the British had involvement with Japan, in wars (correct me if I'm wrong) I know for a fact we did not drop any atomic bombs. Simply look, the Japanese love Briton.

Freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Enough said.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Yuri - I think it is best you read this. You seem to be glossing over things in your mind about what actually happened and how hard your fellow Okinawans fought along side the Japanese. This is very well done and extremely thoroughly researched. Most of it actually comes from first hand accounts given by Okinawans themselves to the Okinawan newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo in the 1980's. Please take a read.

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/oct/23/descent-hell/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites