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Abe at Arlington

24 Comments

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe walks past troops holding flags of U.S. states to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va, on Friday. He is escorted by Maj Gen Jeffrey Phillips.

© Japan Today

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The Democratic Party vs. the Liberal Democratic Party!? I like Noda much better than Abe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's the purpose of this? It's a nice gesure, but what does it have to do with Japan? Is it some sort of symbolic gesture towards troops killed in Okinawa during WWII? If so, good, but this is from a man that claims Japanese massacres did not occur and has even helped deny the forced suicides in closing days of the war. Never mind getting the guy to try and visit Nanjing.

Moderator: It is protocol for visiting heads of state to lay a floral wreath. Please spew your anti-Japan bile somewhere else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Texas first. Just as it should be!

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

I would like to see US President going to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to pay respect for the dead someday, I believe that's the right thing to do.

As an American I feel very ashamed that no US Presidents have not done that. Abe is visiting Arlington. It takes a courage to do that. Thank you, Abe.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

The Japanese national flag among U.S. state flags!? This is a very symbolic depiction of the Japan-U.S relations. No doubt, Japan is regarded by Washington as its eagerly-awaited 51 state.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Texas first. Just as it should be!

It took me a while to figure out what your comment meant. I finally got it. Now I am trying to figure out if Texas is first or last! I guess it mostly depends on your pride levels.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Haha, no, that's the forced perspective messing you up. The Japanese flag is being carried by one of the soldiers in the escort party.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Chinese should take a good look at this. Many Chinese seem to believe that because of WWII and Pearl Harbor etc., Americans have the same degree of hatred toward Japan that China has. So the Chinese believe that the US would not really help Japan in a crisis. Also, Embassador Roos attended the Nagasaki commemoration last year. They should think about that too. I know US right said it was equivalent to an apology, but well you know them.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Cool picture.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Message to world: always ready for more war dead.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It took me a while to figure out what your comment meant. I finally got it. Now I am trying to figure out if Texas is first or last! I guess it mostly depends on your pride levels.

No matter how often I'm in Japan, my home is Texas.

The Japanese national flag among U.S. state flags!? This is a very symbolic depiction of the Japan-U.S relations. No doubt, Japan is regarded by Washington as its eagerly-awaited 51 state.

Japan is a unitary state, while the U.S. is a federation. The U.S. exists as long as the states allow it to exist.

That being said, I'm sure the U.S. flag was there somewhere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ voiceofokinawa

The Japanese national flag among U.S. state flags!? This is a very symbolic depiction of the Japan-U.S relations. No doubt, Japan is regarded by Washington as its eagerly-awaited 51 state.

The Japanese flag is in the formation behind Abe, the State flags are lined up along the route to pay respect as the formation passes this is a basic courtesy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This a great pic, definitely powerful. Agree with globalwatcher, wonder what the world would say if Obama was to visit Hiroshima this year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tokyo-star,

Agree with globalwatcher, wonder what the world would say if Obama was to visit Hiroshima this year.

That would be interesting.

What would be even MORE interesting would be for Abe to visit Nanking!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Look at the soldier with the sword drawn. Wonder what he's thinkin...you know he's a badass dude. Do they have soldiers with drawn weapons around Obama?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ Globalwatcher

Japan rejected a potential visit by President Obama to Hiroshima. This is old news in the US, part of the wikileaks saga, but was never a news story in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bertie: "That would be interesting."

It WOULD be interesting if an American president visited Hiroshima (in August) to mark the attacks, but it's unlikely to happen. The problem is that it would be used by local media, at least SOME local media, in a very negative light instead of as a president commemorating the bombings. Commemorating the bombings itself would be a politically charged problem back home, as well, since many Americans think the bombings were the right thing to do. It will hopefully happen in the future, and not just be a senator or other politician visiting, but not yet. There's also no politically charged reason for Abe to visit and lay a wreath at the memorial, it is just something PMs from Japan have been known to do.

As to why Abe was doing this, I did not know that it was 'protocol' (it doesn't say it in the article). I didn't recall Noda having done it, but apparently he did, as did Koizumi.

"What would be even MORE interesting would be for Abe to visit Nanking!"

Be careful! :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

globalwatcherFeb. 23, 2013 - 11:11AM JST I would like to see US President going to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to pay respect for the dead someday, I believe >that's the right thing to do. As an American I feel very ashamed that no US Presidents have not done that. Abe is visiting Arlington. It takes a >courage to do that. Thank you, Abe.

If events proceed as they are now, ie; China continues to push Japan towards revising their Article 9, and Japan makes the leap to actually joining the US in military actions, I have no doubt that those who are opposed to a US Presidental visit to Hiro/Naga will concede.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

BertieWoosFeb. 23, 2013 - 08:52PM JST "Agree with globalwatcher, wonder what the world would say if Obama was to visit Hiroshima this year. That would be interesting." What would be even MORE interesting would be for Abe to visit Nanking!

Don't put them on the same level. The A-bombings are documented beyond question with the US having determined the facts and numbers. Nanking is almost all Chinese heresay on the numbers and facts with no physical evidence to support the claimed numbers and is used as a political tool.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

OssanAmericaFeb. 23, 2013 - Nanking is almost all Chinese heresay on the numbers and facts with no physical evidence to support the claimed numbers and is used as a political tool.

People go Arlington for forgiveness instead of rejecting real history as you mentioned. You can find complete record issued by NHK about Nanking from You tube, where old japan soldiers as well as journalists from different countries witnessed that sad history. One of the reasons the US used to justify the right to drop A-bombs in Japan based on Nanking tragedy. I want to say that all of Nanking, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were human tragedies and to deny any one of them is very low!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow, folks can really get themselves worked up with their pet hangups. PM Abe is paying his respects at the US National Cemetery-a pretty common courtesy around the world by heads-of-states. It has nothing to do with Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Nanking, or anywhere else that experienced huge loss of life and suffering during war. Good grief, what a mountain from a molehill.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As NPoleAK says, it may be "a pretty common courtesy" for visiting heads-of-states to pay respects at the Arlington National Cemetery. But I wonder if such pomps and circumstances always accompany their visits.

Abe has two-fold purposes, one of which is to tell people back home that visiting a national cemetery by leaders, foreign or domestic, is nothing strange. So what's wrong with visiting the Yasukuni Shrine that honors Japan's war dead?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would like to see US President going to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to pay respect for the dead someday, I believe that's the right thing to do.

I would like to see Japan leader show remorse and go to Nanjing and other places where the Japan Army committed horrible atrocities including the use of chemical weapons.

As an American I feel very ashamed that no US Presidents have not done that. Abe is visiting Arlington. It takes a courage to do that. Thank you, Abe.

As a human being, I feel very ashamed that no Japan Emperor or PM have ever done that like the Germans did. It takes real courage, Mr. Abe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

SmithinJapan,

"What would be even MORE interesting would be for Abe to visit Nanking!"

You urge me to be careful, but if Abe were big enough to do this and to apologise for Japan's history, he would defuse so much tension and create wonderful PR for Japan.

Going to the States and sucking up to Obama, taking part in the parade above is pathetic.

He needs to handle his back yard and neighbours first.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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