national

Pearl Harbor visitors now get both Japan and U.S. views

58 Comments

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

© Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

58 Comments
Login to comment

finally people will begin to understand that the japanese were the victims of WW2

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So now Yasukuni, Hiroshima and other memorials in Japan can display the Allied perspective.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Considering most Americans seem to think that Pearl Harbor was attacked out of the blue for absolutely no reason whatsoever, this is probably a good thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Finally. The John Wayne/Audie Murphy version of history had gone on for too long. It's about time that some realistic perspective be injected into the education of our children. The "mistake" was borne by both sides in the vast devastation of innocent people. Washington's embargo and Tokyo's response were the trigger, but the arrogant aggression for economic purposes dating back to the British Empire that disregarded sovereign and human rights is the source. Ideology that persists yet today in commercial and political practise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OrangeW3dge,

"Washington's embargo and Tokyo's response were the trigger", you seem to be forgetting Japans invasions started long before America's embargo and that the American embargo was a response to Japanese aggression in places like China. But feel free to keep blaming the US and UK for Japans blatant military aggression

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is always such a sensitive topic as 2 very different views collide. I'm always with the Yanks on this one though. My wife is Japanese and has always maintained Japanese were the victims, I respect her views. We're always on a collision cause when this subject comes up about WW2 so we decided to drop this topic.

But for me, I'm always Thankful to the US because if not for them, we'd probably be under Japanese rule in Fiji ( the Japanese were making plans to invade Fiji ) around WW2. Those days we were under the British. Thank god we got away from the Japanese imperial occupation as they never had the chance to invade.

If we were occupied by imperial rule, maybe I would not be around posting this today :)) - Therefore I believe the US and Allies fought and died for my freedom today. Respect!

Japanese were under embargo so they decided to attack Pearl Harbor and America but the embargo was in place for a very good reason as AdamB mentioned above.

War is a terrible thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AdamB, I agree. Ironic that America's non-violent response in the run-up to WWII in both Europe and Japan has been forgotten; war was already raging on both continents, and it took a direct attack on the US to drag them in.

Still, given the deeply nuanced history of Hawaii, such a museum is appropriate. An equivalent in Japan would not be located at Yasukuni or Hiroshima but in Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Washington's embargo and Tokyo's response were the trigger, but the arrogant aggression for economic purposes dating back to the British Empire that disregarded sovereign and human rights is the source.

You seem to be forgetting a few historical facts:

Nazi Germany overran Europe by the spring of 1940.

Japan signed the Axis Treay with Germany and Italy in 1940. With that signing, they were able to move into Indo-China (Vietnam) since France had fallen and they couldn't offer any resistance and the Germans obliged.

The so called "East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" that Japan was claiming only traded one colonial power to another. If Japan was so benevolent with colonial rule, ask the Koreans and Taiwanese how they were treated.

So if any human rights were being violated, it was by Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

finally people will begin to understand that the japanese were the victims of WW2

Hindsight is 20/20, Japan initiated the war which started well before Pearl Harbor, and the US finished it.

The roots of Japan's aggression go back to the early 1900's, however that isnt the point. The point is that everyone, like the article states, needs to have a better understanding of both sides to make their own conclusions as to why the war started. Open discussion helps understanding and also will hopefully prevent another war like this one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

America bends over backwards to see the other side.

Looking at things from the Japanese side, you can understand their reasons for going to war. They weren't the first ones in history to do it.

But whatever the reasons, they weren't good enough to justify the horror they inflicted all over Asia and the attack on Pearl Harbor.

If different people were running the country in the years before, there would have been no Pearl Harbor, no Nanking, and millions wouldn't have died from so many countries.

Pretty simple.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kudos to the National Park Service! It is a shame, however, that there is no such government body here in Japan. And many in Japan are the poorer for it for not having the opportunity to learn their country's history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Simply amazing the number of bleeding-heart history revisionists here on JT who simply ignore Japan's WW2 raping and pillaging of their Asian neighbors. Then again, Japanophiles have always been the first to swallow the Victim Mentality. I just hope the Parks Service in Hawaii hasn't gone overboard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While I'm all for bearing the hatchet, Japan was not the victim here as some JT posters are saying, there are two sides two all stories but Japan was certainly the aggressor here. Sure more Japanese died in WW2 but a number of deaths doesn't mean you are the victim. There are no real winners in war but in a fight someone is always going to get hurt, just because you lose doesn't make you the victim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do they show views and footage that the Japanese pilots took of their bombings?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any chance the jr high school and high school history books will mention some of these facts with pictures from both points of view? They were there in 2005 editions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hoserfella,gogogo

I am pretty sure the first post was trying to be sarcastic, but doesnt seem likely Japan will ever REALLY look at what went down & Japan is way worse off especially from now on partially due to its enforced amnesia as the world no longer needs to tip toe around as Japans influences continues to wane

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agree with horsefella here,

How ignorant are those who post such nonsense and lies like Japanese are the victims of WW2, LOL!! My grandparents(rip) were building explosives in military factories here in kanto while your grandparents were probably baking cupcakes for you. They never portrayed themselves as "victims" like these "japanlovers" want to deceive other people in this website. As a matter of fact, Japan already had many other asian countries under their rule and they were not only stealing goods from them but also they were annihilating and raping millions, way more than what the nazis did. Japan also killed children and pregnant women, experimented and vivisected live p.o.w. and civilians, of course, you won't find that in our history books, edited and controlled by our government. Most local people have no clue as to why we went to war, and foreigners look even more stupid trying to deceive by defending us when they know very well that this country started the war and kept on going for decades. By 1937, China was already doomed when the troops entered the city of Nanking. Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan were already occupied and helpless.

Japan was the major aggressor in this war, plain and simple. not difficult to understand. This feeling of conquest and battle dates back, way back before the 1898 upheaval when the Meiji government decided to ban the samurai.

I have to admit that only a very few people know all this by heart after studying and doing research, but I know this because my grandparents didn't want to take this to their grave.

About those 2 atomic bombs, well, what can I say? I'm not happy or proud that so many people(women and children as well) were burned and pulverized like that but I am certain they had it coming. They did worse to other countries in Asia.

Please, get your facts straight before posting. Thank You.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are always 3 sides to a story, your side, their side, and the truth. I applaud the telling of both sides of the story, and I also applaud the truth coming out as well, and the different perspectives. For those that believe Japan was the victim, you just refuse to see the truth which is entirely your right, but don't go trying to force your views on anyone else at the same time. Kudos to the survivors/veterans who were finallt able to find closure, and bury the hatchet with their former enemies. At the same time, I'm not going to judge the ones who can't/wont. I have absolutely no idea of the hell that they went through that day, or for the entire war, and the years following for that matter. I'm thankful to all of those veterans, and I cherish the alliance that came out of it between the U.S., and Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good that they show the other side too.

Now another question pops into my mind will it be taught in schools and history books too?

Toguro a well done post.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Clint Eastwood should direct a Japanese version of Pearl Harbor just like his Iwo Jima kara Tegami / Letters From Iwo Jima movie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Serrano.

I 2nd that, lets face it the last decent Pearl Harbour movie was still "Tora, Tora, Tora".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BTW, anyone seen the Japanese "Yamato" yet?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Serrano,

A couple of years ago I watched both Iwo jima kara tegami and Letters from Iwo Jima, both showing the Japanese and American perspectives and I found them really good. Excellent films. Showing both sides. I hope they do something similar about Pearl Harbor as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The end result is a broader, more in-depth view of the Sunday morning attack nearly 70 years agoDive bomber pilot Zenji Abe led a group of Japanese veterans to Pearl Harbor in 1991.

Abe told The Associated Press in an interview before his death in 2007 that Japan’s aviators took off from their aircraft carriers that morning believing their government had delivered a declaration of war. He said it was dishonorable and went against Japanese traditions of “bushido,” or the way of the samurai, to strike before declaring war.

“Even if you are executing an early morning attack, you may not hurt your opponent if he is sleeping. You must make him stand and then go at him with your sword. This is bushido,” Abe said in 2006. The assault “violated our nation’s ideals. I felt bad,” he said.

Wow. Pretty strong words. Good for the U.S. to be able to portray a more balanced picture. That is important, especially for future generations. Will be really impressed when Yasakuni does the same, although I won't hold my breath.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Blue Witch.

Small correction: "Flag of our fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima".

Personally felt "Letters" was better, both still great movies..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The attack on Pearl Harbor was the inevitable result of America's entirely understandable desire to keep a lid on Japan's equally understandable empire-building ambitions. Seems to me that raping and pillaging and colonising were a-okay (the British in Africa, the French in Indo-China, the Dutch in Indonesia, the Americans as they pushed west) until a bunch of upstart Asians decided to join in. Then the victims all of a sudden became important and the perpretrators were "barbaric". One rule for the white man and another for the Japanese....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lucabrasi.

Many of those so called "war-crimes" didn't exist till after WWII. Look into the history of the Geneva convention and what was added/included when.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zenny I didn't mention the word "war-crime". I'm talking about treating other human beings appallingly and then getting all upset and pious when someone else does exactly the same thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lucabrasi.

It is the same, the treatment that was the norm during WWII are now "war-crimes". As for some nations now claiming the "high ground' their views are not backed by History.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So now Yasukuni, Hiroshima and other memorials in Japan can display the Allied perspective.

We can only hope that the 'whoa is me' slant that is on display at museums in Hiroshima & Nagasaki are given a bit of counter-perspective, but I don't see it happening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zenny

So we're agreeing, right? The Japanese simply joined in the great colonisation party but found themselves unwelcome at the great European/American carve-up of the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agreed there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zenny

OOPSS!! You are right, my friend...I meant "Flag of our fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima"

@mrsynik

Although I am hoping for that everyday, I won't hold my breath either like herefornow stated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In no way does pointing out pre-1941 history absolve Japan of its attack. Nor does it make America at fault for getting attacked. Some of you are lying a trap of BS to spin it so, and trying hard to make students of history look bad.

The point of contention is whether it was a surprise or not. To anyone paying attention, it was not such a surprise. I don't think anyone has a problem with America's embargos except to point out how hypocritical they were. Regardless, why should any country support a violent empire?

No. What chafes is the declaration of what a surprise it all was, and veterans angry over the surprise. The way I see it, the Japanese pulled off a brilliant attack of a clear enemy even if was declared too late. And it attacked a military target. And guess what? You put on a uniform then you are a target. America poked Japan and got punched for it. It does not make it right, but to say it was a surprise? Oh, give it up! Japan was wrong to attack, clearly. But it was not out of the blue.

Also it is really sad to see the veterans who won't forgive the other veterans. Every single one of them were pawns in their government's games, and no one asked them their opinion about anything. Old soldiers hating other old soldiers is just a really dumb message to send to young people and sets them up to be even greater pawns in the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While obviously biased the Peace Memorial Museum does paint Hiroshima as a crucial cog in the war machine of Japan's occupation of Korea and China... <Gasp> there is even a photograph of people in Hiroshima celebrating with lanterns at the fall of Nanjing... with the words <summarized since I don't have the photo I took in front of me to quote it word for word> the people of Hiroshima celebrated the fall of Nanking with lanterns in the while some 20,000 people and by other estimates up to 300,000 people were being slaughtered..." I did a double take and took a picture... The East Wing does a fair job showing the huge strategic target that Hiroshima was at the time and as well as the thought process and development of the bomb. Having visited both A Bomb museums Hiroshima does a fair job showing Japan's culpability in the war, especially considering this a Japanese museum on the war.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lucabrasi - You are saying we equate,excuse, ignore, or even re-write Japanese atrocities in WW2 because they wern't the first? Gotcha..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"here people in Hondori celebrate with lanterns at the fall of Nanking, while in Nanking some 20,000 people and by other estimates up to 300,000 were slaughtered..." It's East Wing gives a fair shake at Japan's own culpability in the war... and this has viewpoint has grown in the displays over the last 11 years I have lived in Hiroshima

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This vicious circle debate is never going to end because we all are flawed with confirmation bias. If I watch a person trip on the sidewalk I think to myself "Gosh that fellow is clumsy!", yet if it were I who had tripped I would be thinking, "Damn this sidewalk is uneven and dangerous someone should get this fixed" Winston Churchill said "History is written by the victors" I would go on to add that victors doesn't necessarily mean those who win in a war but rather a battle of ideas.... In Japan that means the idea that Japanese are misunderstood peace loving nation that was only doing what everyone else was... In the West the Japanese are a brutal and vicious people who hide their deep barbaric ways in their recent history of renouncing the right to wage war... Truth is both opinions are right just depends on where you profess them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So we're agreeing, right? The Japanese simply joined in the great colonisation party but found themselves unwelcome at the great European/American carve-up of the world

lucabrasi -- so what? Even if Japan was "unwelcome" as you state, that does not justify a sneak attack that killed thousands of innocent people -- people not at war. Nor does it justify the Japanese military deceiving their own pilots into believing the attack was justified because war had been declared. There were other options. IMO, the fact that Japanese militray leaders continually mis-used the "bushido" to further their ends is unforgiveable and why places like Yasakuni will never be able to give a more balanced perspective. Good to see that the U.S. is not in this situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@hoserfella

You are saying we equate,excuse, ignore, or even re-write Japanese atrocities in WW2 because they wern't the first? Gotcha..

I'm not talking about current attitudes; I'm talking about how the European colonial powers and the United States viewed the actions of a potential rival differently from their own, simply because that rival happened not to be run by white folk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pearl Harbour was a sneak attack point blank, even if Japan had declared war as is planned while its forces were on route it STILL wud be a sneak attack, pretty simple really.

And folks one of the reasons the embargos were put in place is that Japan was just so over the top with its savagery at the time, they were killing many many millions, Japan in the 1930-40s was killing people at an astounding rate, I dont know if any other country in history has killed so many so fast as Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@herefornow

Even if Japan was "unwelcome" as you state, that does not justify a sneak attack that killed thousands of innocent people

Not from our point of view now, it doesn't, obviously. But are you seriously suggesting that Britain, Belgium or Spain (to name a random threesome) had any scruples about "sneak attacks" when establishing their colonies in Africa or Latin America?

Empire-building is a filthy, vile business that we've thankfully lost our lust for in recent years, and none of the nations involved is exempt from responsibility for the atrocities that occurred in the process.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@toguro

Nazi Germany made the mistake of messing around with European people. In Africa, (while they still had their colonies), they were free to enslave, rape and torture the locals with impunity, just as the Brits, the French and the Belgians were.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

America poked Japan and got punched for it. It does not make it right, but to say it was a surprise? Oh, give it up! Japan was wrong to attack, clearly. But it was not out of the blue.

Punched for it? We got "blown off the face of earth, literally! Again, as someone BORN and RAISED in this country I have to roll on my tatami floor laughing at people "trying" to defend and deceive about Japan's true war history. My English may not be as good as my mother tongue..but I know how to read and write.

Japan was a major aggressor and spent decades destroying, mass executing/torturing/experimenting on/murdering millions and millions of innocent people all over Asia, understand? We made the Nazis look humane!!

Enough with these.. "japanophiles"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lucabrasi -- Come on. Now you're using Britain, Belgium and Spain and their supposed lack of "scruples" to justify Japan's sneak attack? Nonsense. GW and BlueWitch are spot on. Enough with the revisionist history. If for no other reason than that it is really insulting to Japanese folks like the pilot quoted in the article. They are willing to accept the truth about what happened. Why can't you and stop trying to make excuses for Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Empire-building is a filthy, vile business that we've thankfully lost our lust for in recent years, and none of the nations involved is exempt from responsibility for the atrocities that occurred in the process.

Indeed it is, but another point is most other colonizers dont DENY their history, Japans white washing of its 1900-1945 approx period has done it no favors, in fact it has hurt Japans standing all these years but only because it WAS strong economically most countries indulged Japan & tip toed around Japan, but those days are in the past & Japan will likely be on the paying end of all this & its citizens for the most part still not knowing about what actually happened

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Words on a piece of paper or the tip of one's tongue do not prove their truth. Regardless of which text you are referring to, as in your precious "Bible" or college history books, those accounts are slanted at best and inaccurate gossip at their worst. Very likely none of us lived though those times and rely upon whosoever we chose as reliable recorders of the truth. To blatantly declare that "Japan" (as if the entire country was acting in concert) is just as bad as those who disclaim all responsibility. The point being that Japan was no better and no worse than others throughout history, pursuing the very same goals in the very same way. Where, for instance, is your call for an apology from the Americans or Europeans (including your chosen sacred UK or US) for the slave trade, or the decimation of American natives at the hands of Columbus. Where is the apology and reparations for India, and so on, and so on. I believe we all know what humans are capable of and the deeds they have done. The remaining question is if you will perpetuate the legacy with more of the same behaviour...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This "why not in Yasukuni?" rant is getting old. Yasukuni is a shrine honoring the dead for Japan. Not a museum. A shrine high-jacked by nationalists. The display is in a museum not in Arlington National Cemetery.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@herefornow

Why can't you ... stop trying to make excuses for Japan?

I've no excuses for anyone, seen from the point of view of here and now. All I'm trying to say is that all empires were built through exploitation, brute force and deceit and I wonder why Japan is held up to higher standards than the rest of the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder why Japan is held up to higher standards than the rest of the world.

Because it is a FACT that the Japanese Military was one of the most "brutal, savage and ruthless" in the history of mankind, unfortunately. So many people whine and cry about how "atrocious" the NAZIS were, without even knowing that their Japanese counterparts were even worse in some many levels. FACT!

No one here is saying that Japan was the worst in the world, but it was among the worst, period!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pearl Harbor is not the start, it is just an escalation point in a long conflict which goes back to the time of the black ships of Commodore Perry. In a certain way the development of Japan which finally led to WW2 was reasonable and stringent. If we want to learn anything from history, we have to get rid of the nationalistic and moral finger pointing. It does not help to weigh atrocities against each other.

This "why not in Yasukuni?" rant is getting old. Yasukuni is a shrine honoring the dead for Japan. Not a museum.

TumbleDry, Yasukuni does have a museum. And indeed it would be more than welcome to find a more balanced presentation there, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BlueWitch, its called an analogy. You ought to try reading my whole post. I do not excuse Japan at all. The attack was wrong. My point is that those who were not expecting it were living in la-la land and that is no ones fault but theirs.

I know why the attack was blown out of proportion at the time, but that does not make the reasoning solid. Its not. Japan's attack was dasterdly enough without exaggerating it. But its still less dasterdly than nuking civilians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Finally the truth of Pearl Harbour makes its face true. Indeed Japanese are victims in every which way. Let me ask you, if Japanese are responsible then why are they welcomed by tribal Hawaian natives? My associate told me that Pearl Harbour bombing never happened. Merely it is propoganda of Israel and US. We should all hold hands and realize that truth's beauty is not always so pretty. Also...without Harbour, would we have the Walkman or CD...LOL

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A very good book which DID attempt to get both sides of the story on the Pearl Harbor attack was "At Dawn We Slept" by Gordon Prange (1981). He was a correspondent in Japan prior to the war and after the war he went back over and interviewed as many as he could regarding what happened. Though some of his conclusions about the U.S. side of things were subsequently proven wrong as previously classified documents became unclassified, I haven't heard of any complaints about the research he did in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was born and raised in this country and I feel I need to post the truth of what my grandparents thought me when I was a kid, so NO, no mere tactics or foreign tactics as I'm a Japanese national.

I wonder how the people of China feel about the Japanese government making no mention of the comfort women, the mass executions, the looting, pillage, etc in their school history books.

The fact that Japan was bombed twice doesn't make us POOR VICTIMS as some "japanophiles" portray here. Time to learn REAL history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr. Bluewitch Fundamentally speaking, I refute mostly the "looting" accusation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan started the war plain and simple. No shared blame or moral equivalency please. They started it and a few years later both Japan and Germany were smoldering heaps. Sic semper tyrannis.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BlueWitch,

I was born and raised in this country and I feel I need to post the truth of what my grandparents thought me when I was a kid, so NO, no mere tactics or foreign tactics as I'm a Japanese national.

That you seem to believe that constantly reminding everyone that you're born and raised Japanese in so many posts--as if it somehow transforms your opinions into facts beyond criticism--just screams 'sock puppet'. Well, that and you claimed to be a non-Japanese mother in your very first post here at JT.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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