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Emperor expresses deep remorse over Japan's wartime actions

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The emperor family makes Shinzo Abe look like a chump in comparison. Since class A war criminals were secretly and illegally enshrined into Yasukuni Shrine by the head priests there they have consistantly refused to pay the site any visit. now this takes true courage, unlike Abe who’s just all talk when it comes to remembering Japan’s tragic WW2 history.

22 ( +41 / -19 )

It appears that the new emperor understands history, as his father does, while the PM is still clueless or in denial.

I hope the next PM has a more reality-based view of history, and leads with more compassion and empathy, and a bit less corruption, cronyism, and ignorant nationalism.

22 ( +37 / -15 )

What a contrast between this news and the previous one,the Emperor is an amazing person.

Unlike some crazy right wing nuts that talk about peace and go to Yakusuni dressed up in full military WWII gear without care that such uniforms caused so many pain and anger around the world.

The emperor is one of the positive aspects of Japan.

And more people should listen to his words of wisdom.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

Following in the footsteps of his father.

More than 20 million non Japanese were killed in the war.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

Over 3 million of our countrymen's lives were lost during the war," Abe said. "We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead."

There is one way, and only one way, that the sacrifice of the three million war dead contributed to to the peace and prosperity that Japan now enjoys, and that is:

by dying in vain.

Japan lost. Japan lost big time. Japan prostrated herself to the US, and then played within the US rules, and prospered immensely.

Under the Pax Americana.

The dead died for no reason. Those who cause their death caused their death for no reason.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The emperor is one of the positive aspects of Japan.

yes I agree, I like him allot

11 ( +13 / -2 )

"Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed not to repeat the tragedy of the war at the event, saying Japan "deeply recalls the lessons of history," but did not mention the country's past aggressions against its Asian neighbors as similar to years past since taking office in 2012."

Because Abe is a 100% coward, as was his family before him. Good on the actual Emperor, who has no power, to lead.

10 ( +25 / -15 )

Lest we forget, on all sides. The lessons of the 21st century are like a long prolonged scream from the not so distant past. Here’s hoping we have the smarts not to repeat any of it.

May cool heads and a quiet good will prevail.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"Over 3 million of our countrymen's lives were lost during the war," Abe said. "We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead."

Dead wrong - it is because of the consideration of the USA without which Japan and the Japanese would not even exist. This jerk is as bad about history as is Trump no wonder they get along so well.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Even 300,000 China claims is impossible and fabrication. 

Chinese nationalists claim 300,000 at Nanking.

Japanese nationalists claim nothing happened.

Both should be ignored.

Reputable historians put it somewhere in the middle.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"Over 3 million of our countrymen's lives were lost during the war," 

Murdering and raping more than 10 million across Asia in the lead up and during. Oops! Forgot about that. Coward.

7 ( +25 / -18 )

"Over 3 million of our countrymen's lives were lost during the war," Abe said.

Pales in comparison to the 20+ million Japanese troops took throughout Asia.

"We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead."

Absolutely incorrect. The peace you enjoy was bombed into you via Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The prosperity you enjoy was provided via preferential traiding status with the US and providing supplies to the US during the Korean War.

7 ( +21 / -14 )

I'd like to teach my children that the peaceful Japan we have now is thanks to those who made noble sacrifices."

This person is clearly talking about all the dead allied soldiers that beat back the facists that ruled Japan and brought democracy to Japan.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

@Jimizo

Unlike the Japan Nationalist Propaganda, there's REAL evidence to support what happened in Nanking.

And every other year, some racist Mayor of Nagasaki, or some politician denies one of the events ever happening... That's what causes trouble...

And then you have the emperor's Third Party-Esq apaology, like he watched a guy get hit by a car, and say he feels remorse for seeing it happen, and sorry for the guys family...

No different than the apology "George Dubya" (and he's a war criminal -- I call balls & strikes) gave to China when one of out P3 aircraft was hit by a Chinese fighter in 2000 and did an emergency landing at Hainan island... "Remorse... something something..."

How about using the words "I", "WE" are very very very sorry for "MY," "OUR" actions....

This deep remorse wording was to satisfy the Ultra Nationalist & Japan History Denial Establishment...

It's a BS apology..

Japan could almost overnight, put an end to this continual denial & accusations from other countries...

1) Enact Anti History Denial Laws -- Like Germany...!

If you publicly come out and deny Japan's war acts -- you go to Jail... Just like Germany!

Germany has strong laws against Holocaust denial.. Every other year, they'll still send people to jail over that...!

2) Create some REAL monuments to the victims of Japan's war of aggression...

Just like Germany has created monuments to their victims (NOT to Yourself -- But the other people YOU HURT & KILLED....!)

Japan has ZERO monuments to it's millions of victims!!!

Seems pretty simple... But easier for a camel to pass through the eye of needle than Japan to do anything like this in a thousand years... It's unfortunate... We can only hope & pray that they don't white wash Japan's history too much, so that Japan's youth repeats history again..

If you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it..!

7 ( +15 / -8 )

"I'd like to teach my children that the peaceful Japan we have now is thanks to those who made noble sacrifices."

Sadly that is the wrong conclusion. History shows us that Imperial Japan attacked many nations starting a conflict that caused mass destruction within Japan and other nations. That soldiers did their duty is not in question. That many sacrificed themselves in fighting for Imperial Japan and in the Emperors name is also not in question.

The peaceful Japan you have now is due to the rebuilding carried out by the survivors and the generosity of the allied nations who assisted in beginning the rebuilding efforts. This in spite of the destruction caused by Japan starting the conflict. The sacrifices of the IJF soldiers, sailors and airmen was for naught. Japan began a deadly conflict and paid for it with its own destruction and surrender.

Those left to pick up the pieces are the heroes who built today's peaceful Japan. That's what needs to be taught.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Japan marked the 74th anniversary of its surrender in World War II on Thursday, with Emperor Naruhito mentioning "deep remorse" over the country's past actions

At least some voice of reason. Timid but it's better than nothing.

"Over 3 million of our countrymen's lives were lost during the war," 

Typical Japanese revisionism, always playing the victim. The war this coward is talking about is a war that Japan and its totalitarian regime started. The first responsible of this tragedy is Japan, that is the emperor and the men behind the military regime of the country who did not hesitate a second to use their people as cannon fodder.

6 ( +20 / -14 )

Respect for the Emperor and the Emperor Emeritus.

If he really put a blanket over the millions of life of non-Japanese 'thanks' to Japanese democide. (The speech is still not on the official website) :

What is the purpose of Abe with infuriating people ? With who is he tried to broke tie ? Need to feed an anti-japan sentiment among japanese atrocities survivors and/or their families to play the bullied card and be able to mess up the Constitution ?

If Japanese war victims are never to be forgotten that stand also for every other. And, as the perpetrator, in that matter Japan as to lead the way. The emperor can not do it by himself.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

"We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead."

This illogical reasoning has now become the default boilerplate of Japanese rightists in their anguished attempt to find some consolation in the humiliating defeat of their fascist forebears who unleashed a war of aggression that killed tens of millions of innocent people while at the same time distracting the public from the bitter truth that the millions of Japanese victims died for nothing in a meaningless war. The successful reconstruction of post-war Japan was accomplished by the survivors who resolutely strove to put all the bad stuff from the war behind them and to look instead to the future. As a result, most Japanese today know little about WW2. The ignorance of the public makes it easier for Nippon Kaigi and their ilk to revise the past, but, fortunately, the Japanese have no appetite for a revival of militarism and extreme nationalism, which just leaves Abe in his echo-chamber barking on about constitutional amendments and howling at the moon. Meanwhile, the Emperor carried out his duties with great dignity and set an example for the nation to reflect on the greatest catastrophe in their history.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

What a class act!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Facts which people are not aware

PM Abe in 2015 against the advice of many who knew Korea would back away from the deal, was and did offer apology, compensation for comfort women which S. Korea accepted, agreed upon, took the money.

Ignoring facts or completely deny that it ever happened won't make your argument right. Sorry

5 ( +11 / -6 )

We as a human race need to unite for a peaceful world.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"Forced into war" my ass. Who forced you to invade other countries???

5 ( +11 / -6 )

"Over 3 million of our countrymen's lives were lost during the war," Abe said. "We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead."

PM Abe either fails to grasp that politicians usually say that kind of thing when their countries have won wars, or thinks that saying the war dead were basically cannon-fodder forced to make the ultimate sacrifice by clueless militarists whose blunders led to Japan being crushed and colonized would offend war veterans' relatives associations too much.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is a time in our history that will be looked upon with shame and regret by future generations.

After this, the office of the President has some tidying up to do. The stains on the honor of the nation will take some scrubbing. Never thought I'd say this but I applaud a monarch for showing true remorse and humility.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good for him.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

"Over 3 million of our countrymen's lives were lost during the war," Abe said. "We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead."

And no mention of the tens of millions of others also killed...

4 ( +13 / -9 )

...the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead.

yes, the war dead of Japan's enemies. The Japanese soldiers were the essential underpinnings of a fascist regime bent on regional domination and harsh colonization that caused the violent deaths of over 10 million innocent people in Asia.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

YuriOtani

I'm sorry, I must have missed the part where China invaded (as well as the rest of Asia) invaded Japan and started the war..?

Oh, that's right, it was Japan that invaded all of Asia.

Your analogy is flawed, it's like saying, a guy that got drunk, ran out of house, went into all the homes on his street, raped all his neighbors wives, then burnt down their homes, then comes running back into his own home, and barricades the door. The cops finally show up, and instead coming out with his hands up, takes shots at the police from inside house... The police end up blowing down the door, and having chase him into his bedroom, mean while he's hiding behind his wife & kids...

So now your mad that his house got damaged and some of his injured...?

Are you serious...?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Remorse, definition:

a feeling of sadness and being sorry for something you have done: 2. a strong feeling of guilt and regret about something you have done (Cambridge English Dictionary)

a gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs : self-reproach (Merriam-Webster)

Moral anguish arising from repentance for past misdeeds; bitter regret (The Free Dictionary)

and many more in the same vein.

Not the first time a Japanese royal or politician has used this word about Japan's conduct in the years 1931-45, either.

Abe, well that's another story.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"Over 3 million of our countrymen's lives were lost during the war," Abe said. "We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead."

Playing the victim card again! The 3 million Japanese killed in the war are insignificant to the tens of millions killed throughout Asia by the imperial army. No mention of those people.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Japan does not "mark the 74th anniversary of its surrender in World War II", it marks "The end of the war", as if it just came to a conclusion with nobody being defeated.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

The Japanese emperor Hirohito surrendered on August 15th to the American forces and formally signed the surrender document on September 2, 1945.

The surrender document.

https://www.archivesfoundation.org/documents/japanese-instrument-surrender-1945/

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japanese always claiming the US provoked the war. Despicable. They INVADED other countries, so of course, the US put sanctions on Japan. And they always twist the truth to make themselves the victim. Good God.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

The Emperor is still somewhat handcuffed & cannot say what he feels but is clearly sincere

What is & CONTNUES to be theatre bizarre is all the Japanese who CANT figure out what the hell their ancestors were doing OUTSIDE Japan...……….and they cant figure out WHY they suffered OUTSIDE of Japan

And all this whining about  3million dead...……...DISGUSTING IGNORANCE & NO understanding of the 20-30million who died at the hands of JAPANESE in the 1930-40s as of today

CLEARLY far too many Japanese STILL HAVE NO CLUE about WWIII!!!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

On behalf of the American people, and sane humans the world over, I appreciate the Emperor's words, and would like to express deep remorse over the Trump presidency. This is a time in our history that will be looked upon with shame and regret by future generations.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Prime Minister Abe said that the peace and prosperity now being enjoyed by Japan is due to the ultimate sacrifice of the war dead. Which war dead?

Clearly the only correct answer is the Allied war dead.

The Japanese war dead died trying to enslave Asia and the pacific. When that failed they died trying to protect a vicious Imperial Japan governed by militarists.

Japan is now peaceful and no longer led by Militarist's. Something most Japanese are quite thankful for.

They morn their dead as is the correct thing to do, by many fail to get that Japan was one of the bad guy's in WWII. Now Japan is one of the good guy's again.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why aren't these people thanking the US for bringing democracy and civil liberties to their country?

Because if they thanked the US, then they would also have to thank Australia, New Zealand, England, India, The Dutch, the Philippines, Burma, Singapore and many others for that democracy and their civil liberties.

That's way to much thanking to do.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

They were NOT speaking English! The English speaking PRESS chose the word.

You people are like climate change deniers. In your case, you have your own dictionaries, and no matter how someone else translates it or who the translator is, you always know better. And it's hardly a guessing game when everyone knows what the context is within which the remarks are made.

I don't think it would matter how sincere the expression of remorse, how that expression was phrased, or who it came from. You would just continue to believe the apology was insincere, until you decide otherwise.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

well done the Emperor for carrying on the approach of his father, he is to be commended in his courage and sensitivity.

As to Abe’s comments and the interviewee, I commend the many excellent rebuttals written above!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I just want the Japanese warmongers to go away from Japan and let the right people to protect Japan to find this Japan never to be destroyed again...There were many guys saying Japan a "Heiwaboke" country and why not to be a "Sensoboke" to fight against nukes to automatically devastate the whole islands of Japan, and to remind that it was similar of that draft soldiers on board of a cargo ships to be sunk before landing the battles at any islands belonged to Dainippon teikoku. The majority of those soldiers found themselves dead before any battle in front lines. Isn't that a "waste" of human power at any confrontations. Just to see how many citizens were sacrificed helplessly the bombing on the cities of whole Japan, including the 2 A-bombs of Hiroshoma and Nagasaki...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Prime Minister Abe said that the peace and prosperity now being enjoyed by Japan is due to the ultimate sacrifice of the war dead. Which war dead? Those who died to perpetuate the Empire of Japan, or those who died because of it and who fought for freedom? It is over this point that many people have trouble understanding the Japanese mindset.

I do not know what the standard of living of the average Japanese civilian would be today if the Empire of Japan had persisted, but I suspect the standard of living of the conquered people would be worse. Like the Antebellum South in the U.S., slavery promotes a high standard of living for the few, but not the majority.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan has been on a path of no wars and peace for 74 years and needs to continue with that to 100 years and beyond.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Deep remorse, a truly empathetic acknowledgement echoed again by this Emperor and his father before him. Lets not forget those that perish in wars, not only the military personnel , they knew the risks when they enlisted or were conscripted, but the millions of innocent civilians that get caught up in those conflicts, through no fault of their own. Lets not forget either those who starts those wars and conflicts, the very politicians that get elected to serve and protect, they never show either remorse or empathy to the loss of life, even refuse to admit the historical facts for who was to blame. War or conflicts solve nothing, but only appease the ego of those whose create them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Look on the bright side. Japan's imperial designs failed and as a result we enjoy the benevolence of China

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Emperor is still somewhat handcuffed & cannot say what he feels but is clearly sincere

That statement makes me feel rather kingly (sigh). Unlike him however my parameters have not been clearly dictated to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jimizo

Unlike the Japan Nationalist Propaganda, there's REAL evidence to support what happened in Nanking.

I know. The 300,000 figure does seem overblown and the idea that nothing significant happened seems risible.

I like REAL evidence. Not the rantings of nationalists.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

CLEARLY far too many Japanese STILL HAVE NO CLUE about WWIII!!!

Probably they haven't got over the irony that their vanquished nation enjoys far better institutions and freedoms than the victorious Asians.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And who apologizes for the firebombings and use of nuclear weapons on Japan?

What is the only country to use such weapons?

This region should be united against the true threat to peace.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Quote from above: Japan marked the 74th anniversary of its surrender in World War II on Thursday, with Emperor Naruhito mentioning "deep remorse" over the country's past actions in his first appearance as emperor at an annual ceremony to mourn the war dead.

Three cheers for Emperor Naruhito. It is a supreme irony that we have a democratic, antiwar and truth-speaking Emperor and a right-wing militarist as an elected Prime Minister.

And no, the war dead did nothing for Japan's present peace, democracy and prosperity, unless they were war resisters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@IloveCoffee

Spot on!

I'm surprised to see so many reasonable comments... Usually this time of year jt is overrun by comments of Antifa-esq likeness blaming everyone and the kitchen sink, except Japan, for Japan's acts in ww2...

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

"Looking back on the long period of postwar peace, reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated."

Looks like he apologized to me, but since he didn't say it in the way I thought he should say it, it doesn't count right? RIGHT???

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

A lot more Japanese died than that! 300,000 Japanese died on Okinawa alone. A third of the civilian population. More like 10 million died out of 60 million or 1 out of every 6 people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not the first time a Japanese royal or politician has used this word about Japan's conduct in the years 1931-45, either.

They were NOT speaking English! The English speaking PRESS chose the word. And worth is it to express remorse if you are not going to be clear about what you are expressing remorse FOR?? Are we to play a guessing game? How about an argument? Is that what they want?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Yes lots of people have died in past wars and colonial oppressions and political "movements" (great leap forward, cultural revolution, Khmer Rouge, and so on).  Not sure what people generations after apologizing over and over again for those past bad deeds actually achieves beyond prolonging this endless debate about whether it is enough or heartfelt or whatever.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I hope the next PM has a more reality-based view of history, and leads with more compassion and empathy, and a bit less corruption, cronyism, and ignorant nationalism.

After the damage the current one has already done, I'm not holding my breath for anything significant to change. I hope I'm wrong tho.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This person is clearly talking about all the dead allied soldiers that beat back the facists that ruled Japan and brought democracy to Japan.

If that's the case, why do most Asian countries do not enjoy Japan's success, if not better?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It appears that the new emperor understands history, as his father does....

It's a pity that he does nothing about it. I think that there was an golden opportunity at the end of his fathers reign to put all this to bed, but the opportunity was missed.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Chip Star,

You are so right.

I cannot believe that dude's comments........it is unreal......How brainwashed can you be?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Unfortunately, the Emperor's words always go over Japanese people's heads. He or his father, never (have the guts to) drive the point home, so the people remain clueless.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

"I'm sorry, but that's just not good enough."

-South Korea and China

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

Best comments on here possibly ever.

Appreciated. I wish it were some amazing intellect on my part, but it's simple observation.

Why aren't these people thanking the US for bringing democracy and civil liberties to their country?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Abe vowed not to repeat the tragedy of the war at the event, saying Japan "deeply recalls the lessons of history," but did not mention the country's past aggressions against its Asian neighbors as similar to years past since taking office in 2012.

So he has brought up Japan's past aggressions on more than one occasion. Does he have to do it every year? Actually, as the prime minister, he should.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Which part of his speech was supposed to be expressing the "deep remorse over Japan's wartime actions"?

"Looking back on the long period of postwar peace, reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated."

This text does not express remorse over Japan's wartime actions. It says "reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse" or i.e. "reflecting on our past, we feel deep remorse for loosing the war and causing a lot of suffering to the innocent Japanese people". That's how the average Japanese is interpreting his speech.

Non-Japanese speakers are too easily manipulated. The Emperor would never acknowledge Japan's war crimes or even acknowledge any guilt. That's a taboo in Japan. Nobody in high position is allowed to speak about that. The official narrative is that Japan is an innocent victim of a random war that came out of nowhere.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Chip Star,

Best comments on here possibly ever.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

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