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Okinawa marks 67th anniversary of end of battle

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A memorial service was held in Okinawa on Saturday to mark the 67th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa. A minute of silence was observed at noon across Okinawa.

The memorial service, which was attended by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima, was held at the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman where the bloody battle ended.

An estimated 250,000 people, including 150,000 Okinawan civilians, Japanese combatants and American soldiers, are believed to have died in the battle which began in April 1945. The names of more than 241,000 dead -- Japanese and non-Japanese -- are inscribed on a monument at the peace park.

In his speech, Noda said Japan would never forget the sacrifices made by the Okinawan people during the war, Fuji TV reported. He also promised that the central government would do all it can to reduce the burden on Okinawa.

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Noda chan is lying since the Americans have told him not to complain. Otherwise they will remove him from power. Still I think of all of my ancestors and get very angry. The Americans never apologized for their dirty deeds. They act like they did us a favor, liberating so many Okinawa people of their lives. Opps have to stop my husband and kids are running around saying "oni oni oni!" They have their fingers up like little horns.

-10 ( +4 / -13 )

The Air Plane Dive Bombing of Pearl Harbor and The Air Plane Dive Bombing on 911 are in the same catagory. You tangle with the bull you get the horns cause it takes two to tangle. But it only takes one to start a war, Japan should be apologising for getting it's people caught up in that crap.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Yuri Ah, the usual. American 'dirty deeds' against the valiant, innocent Japanese. I truly recommend you read a little more widely on this topic. Japanese school textbooks often completely whitewash incidents such as forced suicides - much to the fury of Okinawans themselves. Let's have a more balanced and rational discussion.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Yesterday was a day to remember ALL those who perished in the war, not just Okinawans, but everyone, including Americans and Japanese and Koreans and Chinese and everyone affected by it. It's supposed to be a day of peace and reflection that we don't ever have to experience it again.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The mainland Japanese have more to apologize for than the Americans. They took away the Okinawan's language, culture, history, and forced the people there into near slave labor like conditions, forced them to fight for Japan and the Emperor, took them from their homes and forced them to go to China to fight in the war there, and that was just before war itself.

Yes during the war too many innocent women, children, and elderly were slaughtered, and needlessly so too! Yet Yuri you never face the fact that those innocents had a road to escape but your Japanese brethren didn't allow them to and forced them, many times at gun point, to flee south with them where the worst of the fighting occurred. If they had allowed them to evacuate to the northern end of the island where so many did go, the casualties would have been greatly reduced.

After the war was over, yes America took the island and kept it as a spoil of war, but those very same American's took care of the Okinawan people as well and eventually gave the island back too

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Utrack the attack upon Pearl Harbor was from military aircraft flying against military targets. 911 was the use of hijacked civilian airliners against civilian targets.

Yabaru, yes the Americans "took care of us", you really believe that right? The "brave" Americans just blindly fired and killed civilians as often as military. After all they are just *****, the Americans did not believe we were humans. This kept up after the war and into my youth years. Anything done for the Okinawa was an after thought. I mean everything which even includes food and medicine. The Americans who invaded my home were pigs. The Americans that occupied our home were no better. God alone knows how many they killed during and after the war. Jesus may forgive them but I will not. You have no ideal of what it was like to be alive during the American administration. If there is justice they will go to hades.

The Japanese troops were no good as well but that will NEVER excuse the American war criminal.

-7 ( +2 / -8 )

Jimizo, the Americans threw grenades into all shelters and used flame throwers on caves full of civilians. Then after the war took away food and medicine from the Okinawa people. They threw the Okinawa people into concentration camps just as bad as the Germans but hey they are just **** Now they want to be thanked for their actions.

-4 ( +3 / -6 )

Yuri@

The Japanese troops were no good as well

Amen

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Jimizo, the Americans threw grenades into all shelters and used flame throwers on caves full of civilians."

How many Okinawans were in in caves? Not many. During the battle were, there civilian losses caused by American soldiers? Yes. Were there civilian losses attributable to the Imperial Army? Also yes.

"They threw the Okinawa people into concentration camps just as bad as the Germans..."

Yuri: Please provide documentation.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yuri may be over the top, but the denial of American atrocities is just as bad. Yes, American rule was better than Japanese rule, but that does not change actions of the battle.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They threw the Okinawa people into concentration camps just as bad as the Germans

Right after the war was declared over, all civilians in Okinawa were put into internment camps. There were a number of reasons for this, first off, there was a distinct fear that any remaining Japanese or Okinawa soldiers would continue a guerrilla warfare type of battle to the end. There were also health concerns and it was easier for the US Military to control the population and feed and take care of them medically as well. There was an outbreak of malaria following the war and having the civilian population in one location was for their safety as well.

the Americans threw grenades into all shelters and used flame throwers on caves full of civilians.

This statement unfortunately does not tell the entire story. Yes there were caves with civilians in them, however in the same caves hiding away were Japanese soldiers who used the civilians as human shields and suicide bombers as well. As an attacking force during wartime it is IMPOSSIBLE to know who is a combatant and who isn't.

Your dearly loved Japanese imperial forces FORCED countless numbers of Okinawan civilians to commit suicide for the Emperor, they told the Okinawan people that the US Military were cannibals and would eat them, that death was preferable. They FORCED mothers to kill their own children who were crying from hunger because their cries would give away their location in the caves. Remember the WHOLE story Yuri. Convenient memory loss I would say.

The Americans who invaded my home were pigs.

And for every single person who felt the same as you I know plenty of people here that were grateful as hell that it was the Americans who won, and countless numbers of Okinawans that would have stated numerous times as well that if it wasn't for the Americans after WWII they would not have been alive today.

The same men who brought war to Okinawa also made the peace as well. It's ironic Yuri that to the very same Americans you constantly spit on you live in their country and married one of them as well and had children by them, and took their citizenship.

War is hell, as a famous man one said. Okinawa's Memorial Day is to remember that. It's time to let go Yuri.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yuri 'NEVER excuse the American war criminal'. As an apologist for Japanese war conduct, you are on very shaky ground when you talk about criminality. Do you at least accept that Okinawans have grievances against BOTH the US and Japan? Are you among those who deny forced suicides? 'The Japanese troops were no good as well' is a risible understatement. It's true that I don't have an understanding of what it was like to live under US occupation, but I can imagine it was a damn sight better than living under Japanese occupation in China.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

An estimated 250,000 people, including 150,000 Okinawan civilians, Japanese combatants and American soldiers,

so who were the other 100,000 people?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Casualties totaled more than 38,000 Americans wounded and 12,000 killed or missing, more than 107,000 Japanese and Okinawan conscripts killed, and perhaps 100,000 Okinawan civilians who perished in the battle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

War makes dogs of men. All men. There is nothing ever noble about war and the retrospective tendency to turn the horrors of war into glorious and heroic actions of brave men is mostly complete revisionist rubbish. Yuri, I don't doubt your account of the attrocities, in fact, I can't fairly easily imagine it. I expect it to be absolutely true. The Americans were just as brutal to the Japanese as the Japanese were to others in other parts of Asia. Which is, I think, why most western posters here tend to look past the American attrocities. Unfortunately, the Japanese military had established such a horrific standard in their conquests of Asia that the battle weary, enraged American troops responded accordingly in their assult of Okinawa. It's a terrible chapter in human history. It graphically illustrates the horror of war. Perhaps, with your family having experienced such suffering at the hands of the Americans, you can empathise with those people who suffered so terribly at the hands of the Japanese as well.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yuri I repeat my recommendation that you read more widely on this topic rather than the right-wing propaganda you seem to have taken as gospel. I don't remember saying that you should be 'grateful' to the US, I merely asked you to hold a more balanced view. As for your comments regarding Americans raping and killing and Japan's conduct in China - Nanking? Is that an outright lie? If you think it is, I truly despair.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is the sad part of war that atrocities were committed by both sides in the conflict. To dwell on them however does no one any good, particularly after nearly 70 long years have passed. Pointing fingers is useless and counter-productive.

Old enemies have become friends, yet even more sadly is that there are some, probably because they only suffered through the after effects of the war that can not erase in their minds what they perceived to be the greater of one evil over another.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you ever visit Okinawa, be sure to see the Peace Memorial Park. And be sure to walk over to nearby Suicide Cliff and look down on the rocks below. Many Okinawans jumped off the cliff after being told how cruel the Americans would treat them. I met one old U.S. Army sergeant who was a veteran of that war. He said he and his fellow soldiers could see the Okinawans jumping off the cliff, but there was nothing they could do because the Japanese military held that portion of the island.

The Japanese military were scaring the Okinawans to move south with horror stories about the American invaders, who were advancing down from the upper portion of the island.. As it turned out, the U.S. military treated the Okinawans as best they could with what they had. They turned out to be, I guess you could say, nice invaders, not the ugly things the Japanese military officials were describing.

As for flame-throwing the caves, the U.S. soldiers didn't know what was in them. Those caves were deadly dangerous and they took no chances of joining the thousands of others who died in that horrible island war.

One problem today is that the American military has been on Okinawa too long. A commanding foreign presence for such a long time tends to wear relations rather thin.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As an attacking force during wartime it is IMPOSSIBLE to know who is a combatant and who isn't.

From the outside of a cave, it sure as hell is! That is why you don't lob grenades in them!

And for every single person who felt the same as you I know plenty of people here that were grateful as hell that it was the Americans who won

Everybody is thankful for a lesser evil! Doesn't turn evil into good!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From the outside of a cave, it sure as hell is! That is why you don't lob grenades in them!

Grand it is obvious you are unaware of what actually happened here during the Battle of Okinawa. The US Military had Japanese translators attached to their units, they called into the caves and gave the people hiding there numerous chances to surrender. Yet they did not, and often times shots were fired from inside the caves trying to kill whomever was outside.

The military could not by-pass the caves either out of fear of having who was ever inside them come out and shoot them from behind. There was no choice really, it was kill or be killed.

Everybody is thankful for a lesser evil! Doesn't turn evil into good!

No one said otherwise, however the US military did much to help the Okinawan people after the war. What they did during the war and what they had happen to them during the war was another story. I suggest you do some reading about the war and learn about how things were from both sides.

It should nauseate you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Utrack the attack upon Pearl Harbor was from military aircraft flying against military targets. 911 was the use of hijacked civilian airliners against civilian targets.

Yabaru, yes the Americans "took care of us", you really believe that right? The "brave" Americans just blindly fired and killed civilians as often as military. After all they are just *****, the Americans did not believe we were humans. This kept up after the war and into my youth years. Anything done for the Okinawa was an after thought. I mean everything which even includes food and medicine. The Americans who invaded my home were pigs. The Americans that occupied our home were no better. God alone knows how many they killed during and after the war. Jesus may forgive them but I will not. You have no ideal of what it was like to be alive during the American administration. If there is justice they will go to hades.

The Japanese troops were no good as well but that will NEVER excuse the American war criminal.

Yuri, it is very sad for the people of Okinawa being dragged into the war which was started by their mainland Japan. Unfortunately during the spoils of war, many innocent blood is shed and that Im afraid, simply goes with the territory. The Japanese army did just as many things if not worse during their occupation of many countries throughout asia in particular Nanking, China. If you consider yourself a JAPANESE person, then you must understand that it was YOUR country that waged the war against the world in the first place and you must understand that every action has a consequence, plain and simple. I have no grudge against Japanese people as todays population are different in mind and values from those that waged war in the past, and I cannot understand your pain growing up during the occupation by American forces, however you must in the end ultimately realize the only reason America was there in the first place is because it was YOUR COUNTRY that waged war upon them and many other innocent countries throughout the pacific in the first place. Truth hurts and thats the way the cookie crumbles.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This article was about remembrance and honoring the dead but it has gone wide of that.

Okinawa was one of the worst battles of a war that Americans did not begin, If you want to talk about war crimes and say Americans were the worst why don't you check out history on Unit 731, the Bataan Death March, The Battle of Saipan where the Japanese said the Marines were going to eat the women and children so the committed suicide, or the Itoman Death Cliffs in Okinawa where many threw themselves off due to the BS Japanese propaganda machine, Or maybe using Okinawan civilians as human sheilds strapping them with explosives and detonating them when they got behind the American lines of people that didn't fire on them because they were civilians. Yuri if you want to post intelligent comments by all means but get your facts straight and stop talking as if the Japanese were the victims in WWII.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@YuriOtani:

Just imagine if Japan had never started their war of aggression in the first place? Needlessly killing all of those civilians at Nanking, attacking Pearl Harbor. Maybe all of your rhetoric weould be a moot point, but we'll never know will we, because Japan reaped what it sowed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@YuriOtani:

I am in no way saying that it justifies any attrocities that American troops committed during the war, but it's high time that Japan stop playing the victim card for a war that they started in their part of the world. Do you really think the U.S. would've had need or want to attack Okinawa had Japan not bombed Pearl Harbor?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"They threw the Okinawa people into concentration camps just as bad as the Germans..."

Yuri: Please provide documentation.

............................ We did put the civilians into concentration camp..............to evacuate and separate them from the battle zone to lessen " collateral damage " while the Japanese imperial Army tend to use the Okinawan as human shields.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

YuriOtani, while I can understand your vitriol about the war's impact on your people, you must remember it was a long time ago. The water has flowed under the bridge. Let it go. I worry about coming to visit Okinawa, later this year, after reading your comments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not pointing any fingers, the Battle of Okinawa has gone down in history as one of the most horrendous, brutal battles in history. Trying to explain who or what started it or which side should be blamed the most for the loss of life, is beside the point, a point, if there is one, that cannot explain away the misery and suffering of a conquest of almost genocidal proportions. A battle that killed 3000 people every 24 hours. And that went on for 82 days. June 24 is a day to stop and think for a minute about what happened and to offer a silent prayer for all, on both sides, who lost their lives and were denied a future. Not to do a blame game.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Touche, presto345.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem is that to most people this is history. Joseph Stalin once said that a single person dying is tragic, a million people dying is a statistic. Unlike other to me Operation Iceberg is a personal thing. It was my family that was killed and the survivors herded into concentration camps. Remember my mum was very young during the invasion. Anyhow fast forward to my time as a kid. The Americans still did not like the Okinawa people. Their contempt and condescending behavior was beyond belief. The Marines with their jar head haircuts would go out for a "fun time". Remember Pearl Harbor" they would say while picking their "fun" for the night. What came from the base "boys will be boys". So from my perspective the fighting did not end 67 years ago, it merely changed how it was fought.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It was my family that was killed and the survivors herded into concentration camps.

Yari you are 100% wrong when you say concentration camps. You were not even born yet when people in your family were killed. I lost relatives in the war, but those were people who died prior to my being born as well, do I blame YOU for their deaths because YOU are Japanese. Hell no.

By fate alone you were born who you are, myself alone, to carry such misguided hatred does you no good.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yuri save your right wing propaganda and revisionist history. Unless you are in your 80's you weren't even there. And I love your use of the words Concentration Camp, unless you were Jewish or a minority from Europe in the 1930's and 1940's and the SS weren't torturing and killing you you should not use that term. And remember the Japanese people were ultimately responsible for what happened in Okinawa, if they had not started the fighting war with the US it would not have been necessary. Also funny that you quote Stalin, he was one of the biggest mass murderers of all time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Readers, please keep the discussion civil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First of all, I like Japanese people. What you have done to your country is outstanding. You are now one of the most poweful countries in the world. However, when it comes to the past, you folks seem to have a malady called collective amnesia. You folks forgot that YOU, not the Americans started the war. You folks forgot that YOU, not the Americans killed scores of Chinese in Nanking and other cities of China. You folks forgot that if the Ameircans had invated the mainland instead of dropping the A-bomb, You would have lost a heck of a lot more civilians. Because in case you folks forgot, the civilians were incouraged to fight the American soldiers. Of course YOU have forgot a lot... Oh, by the way I think you have also fortotten about the experiments done on LIVE HUMAN BEINGS.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

Regardless of the direction this debate seems to be going, my view is that the majority of the Japanese neither has a stereotypical simplistic one-sided view on Okinawa nor the Pacific war itself as is often challenged by many in forums of this nature on various occasions. I believe Noda's remarks in its entirety fully represent the views of the Japanese. While some may prefer for more emphasis and depth many are well aware through education and media coverage of the heavy burdens placed on Okinawa and its people during and after the war to this day, with very few specifically blaming the US while many still agree that the war itself in some shape or form under the environment at the time may unfortunately have been inevitable under the circumstances of those days. Having said that, the basic view I believe shared by many today is that, having gone through what everyone has gone through during the Pacific war and under a full recognition of the atrocities committed by all parties involved, the conclusion reached is that it is not about countries, not about good vs evil, but has more to do with the strong endorsement by everyone for a collective quest for peace which is by no means naive but the only doable concept to ensure avoidance of wars to be engaged going forward and still hopefully able to balance out the interests of all countries and peoples even in difficult economic times. I continue to stress technical verifications of what triggered the war and relevant decisions made at both ends at macro-micro levels will need to wait for historians to complete and define a century later.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Matthew Simon

Yuri save your right wing propaganda and revisionist history.

Spot on... But unfortunately, she only knows what she was taught to believe, like the other 80% of the Japanese population running around with this victim-hood mentality. I think the only Japanese that have any real idea of what Japan did during the 1900's, were those that studied abroad, where they could not be coddled by the white-washed government historical revision committee.

Her analogy is analogous to accusing the government of murdering "Timothy Mcveigh" and conveniently leaving out the fact that he was Oklahoma city bomber.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is a little girl at the end of this clip, around the 2:43 mark, I've always wondered who she is and what became of her. It's one of the most heart rending scenes I've ever seen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aduLWX2p-g

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Yuri While I understand your anger as it is based on personal experience, that doesn't mean you can whitewash historical facts that give a rather different picture. I'm sure you can understand the feelings of thousands of Okinawans who protested in anger at textbooks which attempted to whitewash forced suicides. Your anger towards the US isn't too dissimilar to the anger felt by many who suffered at the hands of the Japanese. Many of those people, such as comfort women, still live with the scars.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Matthew chan, everything I wrote is true. The Japanese did what they did and the Americans did what they did. Japanese war criminals does not excuse American war criminals. Things have change so much since then. While my guy says some Americans did bad things in Iraq the vast majority were good to people. Remember the USA of the 1940's was not a good place. It was the land of Jim Crow, lynchings, racism, etc. Oh I was alive during the American Administration and came into this world in 1958. Lived 14 years as a second class person.

Jimizo, yes the Japanese did some very bad things. There were the forced suicides, the propaganda about the Americans, and more. Then again the Americans treatment of the Okinawa people reinforced this image. America needs to accept their true past.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yuri if you think murder of millions of Chinese and forced suicides balance out with what Americans did in WWII well that's your opinion. And also Okinawa was occupied until 1975, that's what happens when wars are lost occupations follow. It can be said that Japan got off lucky compared to what happen in Eastern Europe with Soviet Union.

America's hands are not clean but they are a lot more clean than some others.

There were a lot more than just forced suicides in Japan during WWII and if you choose to ignore the facts about that it is kind of sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YuriOtani

Remember the USA of the 1940's was not a good place. It was the land of Jim Crow, lynchings, racism, etc.

And Yuri what exactly does the internal workings of the US during WW2 have to do with the battle of Okinawa?

Jimizo, yes the Japanese did some very bad things. There were the forced suicides, the propaganda about the Americans, and more. Then again the Americans treatment of the Okinawa people reinforced this image.

This is your standard line Yuri, the Japanese where bad. BUT the US was worse..... While it is sad that 37,000 innocents lost their lives in the battle for Okinawa you have to remember Okinawa was and is part of Japan and as Japan had decided to aggressively attack many other nations inflicting millions of deaths on millions of innocents you where the enemy. And as such you where invaded. Yes it was sad but the fact remains as part of Japan you where a legitimate target and treated as such. You complain about your treatment at the hands of the US, maybe you should spare a thought for the treatment your countrymen dished out in places they invaded. By comparison you got it very easy and maybe you should remember that, if you struggle to grasp that there is ample reading on the subject available (outside of Japan)

America needs to accept their true past.

Funny you say that, l really only see one side in this that has not grasped its true past and that is the nation and many of the people of Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't know how far we can go further by criticising one another for the specific acts conducted by the other country during the war of generations ago. Understand some are personal but with all due respect this may not be the place if we are seeking a truly productive (in that sense, objective) debate. Although I do to some degree agree to the criticism that substance and the weight thereof are more important, it is nonetheless a fact that at an official and formal level Japan clearly takes an apologetic position both in regards to its past conducts in Asia and the sufferrings imposed on Okinawa. While for various specific items all countries involved are yet to agree on who did what and to what degree I don't believe the government or the education in Japan is in denial of anything they are most likely to have done. May be worth noting that before other countries even actually begun to raise their voices years later it was more of the leftist groups within Japan who have always challenged the government's position on the country's acts of atrocity and how the education would need to ensure that Japan becomes more reflective of its past, which is actually what helped trigger reactionary movements by the right-wingers to request the textbooks to be revised to reflect their version of reality. Even the issue with the human experiments carried out by the 731 unit it was first brought into the world's spotlight by a well known writer within Japan, the books (sequels) bacame a huge best-seller and was instantly covered heavily by the local media. Thus, as one example of the situation where I don't believe anyone is hiding anything from anyone. Having said that, I do agree there is clearly a stronger general emphasis nowadays at a more practical level in Japan on what should be done and where we should go from here onwards (perhaps more so than what we or anyone else has specifically done in the past), and criticizing the US in my view clearly has no place in the agenda.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YuriOtani

Japanese war criminals does not excuse American war criminals. Things have change so much since then. While my guy says some Americans did bad things in Iraq the vast majority were good to people. Remember the USA of the 1940's was not a good place. It was the land of Jim Crow, lynchings, racism, etc. Oh I was alive during the American Administration and came into this world in 1958. Lived 14 years as a second class person. Jimizo, yes the Japanese did some very bad things. There were the forced suicides, the propaganda about the Americans, and more. Then again the Americans treatment of the Okinawa people reinforced this image. America needs to accept their true past.

Bahaha... of course you'd think that this somehow does not apply to Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Matthew Simon & Cletus

America's hands are not clean but they are a lot more clean than some others

Wow. You really think so? That seems a tad naive to me.

Funny you say that, l really only see one side in this that has not grasped its true past and that is the nation and many of the people of Japan

I don't really read your comments as being much different to Yuri's, you are just arguing the opposite side to what she is with far more support on these boards than she has. The former US secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, said that members of the US high command would have been tried as war criminals for some of their acts in WWII against Japan had they lost the war. I don't see this as being a widely held or popular view with Americans. Neither have I heard many American say they disapprove of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the fire bombing of Tokyo - some of the most hideous acts perpetuated by mankind in history. Justify them any way you like, but the Japanese are not the only people guilty of revisionism, Cletus. Here is Robert McNamara in 'The Fog of War', if anyone is interested; http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8653788864462752804&ei=zaVGSfi_MpLAqAL_1smzCw&q=Fog+of+War#

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't know what's the big deal about accepting the country's not so favorable past. Say that the person that lives next door that you barely know has committed a brutal murder. Now, you wouldn't go around justifying this guy's action, would you? If you justify your country's past then you're doing the exact same thing. It makes no sense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tamarama

"Funny you say that, l really only see one side in this that has not grasped its true past and that is the nation and many of the people of Japan" I don't really read your comments as being much different to Yuri's, you are just arguing the opposite side to what she is with far more support on these boards than she has.

Im sorry but l disagree. I fully accept that the allied side did some nasty things during the war. I at least accept and acknowledge that. But pretty much every Yuri post is "the Japanese where bad but the US was worse"..... Let the facts and history decide which side was the true monsters on side is responsible for the deaths of over 15 million people. The other side inflicts 3 million deaths (included in that are 2.1 million dead soldiers) in an effort to stop the other sides murderous rampage. So let me ask you which is the worse of the two. Another point Yuri likes to over inflate documented and agreed on figures to make her case look better. She has been called out on this time and again. Also if you note l mentioned in my post that it was a terrible waste that the 37,000 innocent Okinawans died as a result of Tokyo's decision to fight a war of aggression, so who is ultimately to blame for this?

The former US secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, said that members of the US high command would have been tried as war criminals for some of their acts in WWII against Japan had they lost the war. I don't see this as being a widely held or popular view with Americans.

And so they may have been. That is just the way of the world sometimes evil things have to be done to stop the bigger evil. Did the US or its allies start this war? No. Did they suffer at the hands of the aggressors? Yes. Did they have a responsibility to try and stop these aggressors and stop the killing and brutality of the Germans and Japanese? Yes. Then in that case they did what they needed to, to stop these disgusting actions by these two nations.

Neither have I heard many American say they disapprove of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the fire bombing of Tokyo - some of the most hideous acts perpetuated by mankind in history.

And you probably will not here many disapprove either. And l for one do not disapprove at all, when you look at the bigger picture the losses while large where still small in number in the scheme of the overall war. How many may have died if the US didnt undertake these bombings and invaded instead. I think it would be safe to assume that the death toll on all sides would have been much much larger.

Justify them any way you like, but the Japanese are not the only people guilty of revisionism, Cletus.

I agree there is some revisionism on all sides but l will say this. At least if you chose to look you can find the facts in the US and Australia. In Japan it is firmly hidden. Let me ask you this Tamarama have you ever been to Yasukuni shrine or any of the other places in Japan that discuss the war? If you want an example of revisionism go to any of these places. Surprisingly though l recently went to the Okinawa memorial and found it refreshingly honest about the activities of both the Japanese and US during the battle on the island. And this was a pleasant surprise when it comes to Japan and its history.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cletus

Let the facts and history decide which side was the true monsters on side is responsible for the deaths of over 15 million people. The other side inflicts 3 million deaths (included in that are 2.1 million dead soldiers) in an effort to stop the other sides murderous rampage

The reality is that both sides were the true monsters. What makes your actions any less immoral just because you are the victor?

Also if you note l mentioned in my post that it was a terrible waste that the 37,000 innocent Okinawans died as a result of Tokyo's decision to fight a war of aggression, so who is ultimately to blame for this?

I'll tell you who wasn't to blame - the civilians in Okinawa, Tokyo and most other Japanese cities razed by American fire bombing. If you think they desrved to die I suggest you have lost a sense of perspective.

Then in that case they did what they needed to, to stop these disgusting actions by these two nations.

No, they didn't, they went much further. They partook in wanton, orgiastic violence under the cloak of war - something the likes of Robert McNamara attests quite candidly to. This is the part that makes you uncomfortable because you see yourself on the side of 'good' who did 'justified' deeds to 'spare lives' and bring the war to a expedient closure. The fact that you have an 'us and them' perspective means you are unable to accept the similarities we all share in deed and nature. Which is why you write this:

And l for one do not disapprove at all, when you look at the bigger picture the losses while large where still small in number in the scheme of the overall war. How many may have died if the US didnt undertake these bombings and invaded instead. I think it would be safe to assume that the death toll on all sides would have been much much larger.

Let me ask you this Tamarama have you ever been to Yasukuni shrine or any of the other places in Japan that discuss the war?

I have, a few times. I went and said a prayer for the Japanese lives my grandfather extinguished in Bouganville in 1944/5. I've seen that museum there. It's another example of revisionism, as you say.

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Tamarama

The reality is that both sides were the true monsters. What makes your actions any less immoral just because you are the victor?

Sorry but l agree that both sides did terrible things at times. One side however chose to do them, the other was forced to do them in order to stop the other side. That is the big difference in my opinion.

I'll tell you who wasn't to blame - the civilians in Okinawa, Tokyo and most other Japanese cities razed by American fire bombing. If you think they desrved to die I suggest you have lost a sense of perspective.

I actually partly agree with you here, the civilians are always the ones caught in the middle. However if the civilians where so against the total war their country was waging then maybe they should have done something about it. This argument is thrown up time and again by a certain other poster, yet when you visit any Japanese war memorial or see photos or footage of Japan its obvious that the government enjoyed the support of a good portion of the population in its activities. So to say the population is totally innocent and free from guilt is incorrect. They knew what was going on, they assisted in a large way to the war effort. They where even training kids and civilians how to attack invading forces, so really how innocent where they.

"Let me ask you this Tamarama have you ever been to Yasukuni shrine or any of the other places in Japan that discuss the war?" I have, a few times. I went and said a prayer for the Japanese lives my grandfather extinguished in Bouganville in 1944/5. I've seen that museum there. It's another example of revisionism, as you say.

I guess thats the difference between you and me then. I would not "pray" for one single solitary Japanese soldier that is enshrined in that place for the simple reason, their actions and those of their countrymen deserve no prayers.

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Cletus

yet when you visit any Japanese war memorial or see photos or footage of Japan its obvious that the government enjoyed the support of a good portion of the population in its activities. So to say the population is totally innocent and free from guilt is incorrect. They knew what was going on, they assisted in a large way to the war effort. They where even training kids and civilians how to attack invading forces, so really how innocent where they

Funny the different conclusions people draw. I've seen similar footage and I see people acting under the strict supervision and instruction of military personnel. I've seen footage of schoolgirls being instructed and trained in the use of bamboo spears in DEFENSE against an invading force, which I don't imagine would be much chop against a M1 Garand anyway. But try to empathise for a minute here, Cletus. Try to imagine yourself as a civilian in Imperial Japan during the war - being instructed by a deranged military to do your best for the war effort. In Japanese society, given what it is, what are your choices? It's not 2012 Tokyo, New York or Sydney after all.

I guess thats the difference between you and me then. I would not "pray" for one single solitary Japanese soldier that is enshrined in that place for the simple reason, their actions and those of their countrymen deserve no prayers.

Then that is indeed a difference, for I felt good about doing this. Old men make wars and young, scared men get sent off to fight them, regardless under whch banner they do it. And it turns all of them into dogs. My Grandfather never really recovered from his war experience. Both what he saw men do, and I suspect, what he himself did left him forever altered. He went off to do what he thought was right. And have no real reason to think the Japanese soldiers he killed were much different to him when it's all said and done.

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I guess that we should all just acknowledge the sacrifice of all these people. Arguing about it her doesn't seem to sway any opinions. We see things one way and other see it another. Its all about perspective. And us 70 years later expressing our opinions isn't changing what happened back then. I am all for healthy discussion but this is going no where fast. None of us were there, we had relatives and countrymen that were and we want to support our people good or bad.

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Tamarama

My Grandfather never really recovered from his war experience. Both what he saw men do, and I suspect, what he himself did left him forever altered.

At least your grandfather had that opportunity, not all where lucky enough to make it back to their loved ones and have that ability to reflect on what they had seen and done.

But lets just agree to disagree shall we. And leave it at that.

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Good to see some level of agreement by all well-intended people. The question is not whose hands are dirtier but how we can reflect on our past in a way that can help us keep all of our hands clean going forward. Taking a moment to think not about who's responsible for what, but rather about all of the sacrifices made by the innocent and peaceful residents of the island during the longest and fiercest battle in WWII should hopefully help us do just that.

Ikusayun shimachi, mirukuyun yagati (the war will pass and there'll be days of peace and pleasure) Nagikunayo shinka, nuchidu takara ( Don't cry my friends, life itself is our most precious treasure)

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Normally I'm commenting against Yuri Otani's Anti-American rants, but when the subject is Japan (including Okinawa) during WWII, I reluctantly have to agree with her. By the time of the Battle of Okinawa, the U.S. Army Air Corps had abandoned attacking military targets and were firebombing entire cities chosen only for their ability to burn and for the highest number of civilian casualties possible per bombing run. Posters across the country exhorted the population to "Not stop until every last damned Jap is dead!" There was no distinction between combatants and non-combatants. American troops had been given a taste of what they could expect when the toll from the battle for Iwo Jima was tallied. Okinawa was probably the first place where "Kill them all and let God sort them out" was coined because it matched the American soldier's mentality perfectly at that time.

Japan had been at war continuously for 14 years when the Battle of Okinawa happened. First they occupied Manchuria in 1931, then expanded into other parts of China in 1937. By the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese population was already having to resort to the black market to find enough food to feed their families. By the time of the Battle of Okinawa, the years of war and deprivation had rendered the civilian population nothing but hollow shells of humanity - barely going through the motions to survive, but not really having any hope that survival was a realistic goal. The Japanese soldiers used the Okinawan people as cannon fodder, and the Americans were all to happy to oblige. Not one of America's better moments.

True, America did help once Japan surrendered, but not for a couple of years. America's initial stance was that even though they had supreme authority there in the form of General MacArthur, they were NOT going to help Japan's economy in any way until "reparations" were made. Japan was forced to economically "stew in its own juices" for a time. Starvation continued, inflation ran rampant, the black market grew stronger, and unemployment shot through the roof when all those soldiers returned and were demobilized. Even though Japan had unconditionally surrendered, Japanese were still dying on a daily basis as a result of America's "hands-off" policy in regards to Japan's economy.

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Found that poster and it seems I mis-quoted it:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anti-Japan2.png

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One aspect of the Okinawa campaign that must be addressed is the plight of the civilian population. The Okinawans were a, docile people of small-stature who were faced with an unenviable situation. At the end of Okinawa invasion, one-third of the native population had perished. They were thrown out of their hiding places as the Japanese retreated and took those caves for themselves. Very little consideration was offered these noncombatants by their Japanese leaders. Consequently, these innocent people have lost their homes and property to U.S. assault. Every man has been conscribed to take part in the defense, while women, children and elders are forced into hiding in the small underground shelters which are not tactically important or are exposed to shelling, air raids or the harsh elements of nature. The fact that a Japanese officer would admit negligence makes this especially important.

Average people still do not understand what the civilians of Okinawans had endured. The Japanese goverment had done little to protect Okinawans. Ever since Japanese Army and Navy occupied Okinawa, the inhabitants of the prefecture have been forced into military service and hard labor while sacrificing everything they own as well as the lives of their loved ones. This is how the Okinawan people have fought the war.

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The war in a lot of ways did not end with the surrender. The Americans still hated the Japanese and we were considered sub human. I am so very much a victim of the Americans. The Marines (animals) would leave their bases looking for some "fun". We lived close to gate 2 street and my mum sent me out to get something. Remember seeing a group of Marines, then nothing. Remember waking up bleeding and crawling out to the street. Nobody would help me! That is how I meet "Bob" and he took me at first to the base hospital which refuse to see me then to a local hospital. Spend months in hospital and the base people said "boys will be boys" to my parents. I was nine and skinny but 6 of them found me attractive. So you want to know why I have a thing about American troops on Okinawa? The military and the brown nose that passed for police did nothing! I do not blame all Americans just some.

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Condolence to all war victims. American, Okinawans, Pearl Harbor victims, Kamikaze pilots, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Southeast Asian, whoever lost their lives and their countries suffered. I pray today for them. Just because I survived does not mean I don't feel sorry. The old old Japanese female from Hofu City Yamaguchi Prefecture. From Las Vegas area Happily in USA.

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Ch1n4Sailor

I do find it amusing that you would say this;

No, we didn't do it, sorry to put a hole in your theory, but not everyone, not every country, committed war crimes

And follow it with this;

Please enlighten your mind, and let's eradicate historical ignorance.

This;

What makes your actions any less immoral just because you are the victor?

is paraphrasing Robert McNamara, who is talking about himself, General Curtis LeMay and others in the US high command in relation to what they did to Japan in WW2. He considers himself and LeMay war criminals - his words. This is a Lieutenant Colonel of the XX Bomber Command, President of the Ford Motor Company and Secretary of Defense of the United States for 7 years. A candid and honest man.

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WAR ! What is it good for.... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.... WWII has taught the world a big lesson. Every now and then nations commemorate about the sad memories of what war have done. Let's have peace and unity on earth. "War is not the answer..... only Love can conquer hate. "

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