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'Nothing to forgive,' says U.S. vet on crashed plane

30 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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30 Comments
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Nice to see the bonds of peace growing!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

such a beautiful mind, forgive and forget.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Needs to be more of this.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Nice story

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Great stuff. See the humanity. War dehumanizes. The more we perceive humanity, the more reticent we become about waging war.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

These are great stories. However it makes me scratch my head and wonder why the (japanese) captors of Louis Zamperini never wanted any kind of reconciliation whatsoever. Even when offered an "olive branch" by Zamperini himself.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

It makes my heart glad to know of these stories. NEVER forget but always forgive!!! GOD BLESS US ALL!!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Maybe Zamperini's captors were unable to forgive themselves? Letting someone off the hook is often easier than doing as much for yourselves.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

People like him ought to multiply. Iam just teary eyed. My heartfelt thanks to him and his like.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Micheal. Or maybe "pride" got the best of them. In Japanese culture the shame of "defeat" is intolerable. And because they aren't christian, they never "forgive" one another.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

But others were there to meet Downing, including the son of a Japanese farmer killed by the blast when the B-29 crashed

So there was some good news, then.

Downing got off lightly. It's a pity the Japanese were not as charitable to the other POWs.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

“Japanese prisoners of war were taught to die, if they were ever caught. American prisoners of war were told to survive until they were rescued,”

They were taught to not be caught, actually. To never surrender, and condcut suicide attacks, on land, see and air.

IOW, a cult of death.

Its an objectively damn fine thing the US conquered and subjugated Imperial Japan.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

American and allies has overthrown Daimyo Tojo but rescue Emperor of Japan as what Shogun Tokugawa have done in previous era and also since Yamato time. Japan constitution should use that analogy to protect their Emperor instead of saying ww2 Japan military holding Royal family down and using them to gain public popularity support for war cause. Royal family is just figure head and play small part of it to survive military dictatorship.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unlike the brutal treatment meted out to POWs by the military, ordinary Japanese citizens weren’t that vengeful it seems, this in stark contrast to the nitwits who never experienced that war and one might run into nowadays. Mentioning Mr. Zamperini, he recalled, that while imprisoned in Japan, ordinary Japanese folk living near the prison camps would try to get them food despite the threat of being punished themselves.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

“Japanese prisoners of war were taught to die, if they were ever caught. American prisoners of war were told to survive until they were rescued,” and that is a perfect example of the mindset of that time. better to survive to fight another day or teach the younger generation the horrors of war.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

However it makes me scratch my head and wonder why the (japanese) captors of Louis Zamperini never wanted any kind of reconciliation whatsoever. Even when offered an "olive branch" by Zamperini himself.

Too embarrassed or maybe they realized deep down what monsters they were?

It's great that the some people can forgive but I hope they were asked for forgiveness beforehand.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

However it makes me scratch my head and wonder why the (japanese) captors of Louis Zamperini never wanted any kind of reconciliation whatsoever. Even when offered an "olive branch" by Zamperini himself.

Captor - singular. The only one who refused reconciliation was Zamperini's chief tormentor while a POW, guard Mutsuhiro Watanabe. Perhaps Watanabe felt he was unworthy of being forgiven. All the others who acknowledged recognizing Zamperini accepted his reconciliation.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You saw the movie too?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“Japanese prisoners of war were taught to die, if they were ever caught. American prisoners of war were told to survive until they were rescued,” Arai said at the hall gathering.

And this is why I always try to exchange opinions with Japanese people. Hopefully, if we all consider our actions in a measured and balanced way we can avoid war and our own extinction......

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Watanabe Mutsuhiro was unrepetent—he admitted to his extensive and pointless abuses, but refused to acknowledge that what he did was wrong. He only escaped judgement as a war criminal by going into hiding. A cowardly monster.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Michael: "Maybe Zamperini's captors were unable to forgive themselves?"

Possibly. But it's more likely that meeting the people face to face meant acknowledging what happened, be it their fault or otherwise, and for some it's not only easier to not forgive yourself, but to never admit to what happened in the first place. You see that world wide with people who won't apologize for things even if only to help each other move on. If the wronged party believes there is nothing to forgive it is one thing, if the aggressor believes it is something else.

As with the article wherein the firebombing victims met with former bombers in Tokyo, this is the best kind of thing you can hope for -- grassroots reconciliation. You won't get the governments on either side standing behind the views of the individuals in question if they meet, but that only serves to further show how vapid said governments can be. Let these people talk about their experiences and help spread their knowledge and the fact that war is just plain wrong, and the suffering it wroughts on nations and people is immeasurable.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation and is not condoning, excusing or justice but is a powerful choice you can make when it's right for you that can lead to a greater well-being and better relationship.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

War is not fought just between nations, it is also fought between individuals. It is easier for nations to sign a peace accord than it is for the individuals who fought the war to get over the PTSD that they inevitably suffer from.

When I was young I occasionally met people who vehemently hated all Japanese. I hope they have gotten over their hatred. We should never forget, but we should came to peace with each other.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These are great stories. However it makes me scratch my head and wonder why the (japanese) captors of Louis Zamperini never wanted any kind of reconciliation whatsoever. Even when offered an "olive branch" by Zamperini himself.

Because then they'd have to face what they did in the plain light of peacetime. Probably more than a few don't want to be reminded, or confronted with something that suggests they were wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That war was a vicious and hurtful one imposed on millions of innocent people.i For many years the pain was unforgivable, and so this forgiveness is a stark reminder that we humans can be capable of bigger and better things.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@WC626

Or maybe "pride" got the best of them. In Japanese culture the shame of "defeat" is intolerable. And because they aren't christian, they never "forgive" one another

Since when do Christians have a monopoly on forgiveness? I see plenty of then baying for Muslim blood.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Too bad the movie about Zamperini and his trials as a POW in Japan (Unbroken) can not be shown in movie theaters here because of pressure from right-wing groups. Is this a free country or what?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Unbroken" will be shown in theaters in Japan from February.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“There is nothing to forgive.”

Well, the firebombing of Tokyo did contibute to bringing the war to an end.

“Japanese prisoners of war were taught to die, if they were ever caught."

Japanese POWs had bad teachers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maybe Zamperini's captors were unable to forgive themselves? Letting someone off the hook is often easier than doing as much for yourselves.

Possibly

"Unbroken" will be shown in theaters in Japan from February

Bracing for an uyoku backlash.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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