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Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine for war dead

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By Elaine Lies and Tim Kelly

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China's relations with Japan have long been haunted by what Beijing sees as Tokyo's failure to atone for its occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two, while bitter memories of Japan's 1910-1945 colonization of Korea remain.

Groan, cookie cutter journalism at its 'finest.' And Abe and any Japanese person has a right to honor their war dead like any other person, so get over it. Doesn't mean they condone those class A war criminals. I'm sure there are plenty of war criminals interned in national war cemeteries around the world.

2 ( +22 / -20 )

 the shrine honors 14 Japanese wartime leaders convicted as war criminals

What's up with that?

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni shrine for war dead on Thursday, the anniversary of Japan's World War Two surrender, Kyodo News said, a gesture likely to be criticized by Asian neighbors.

No surprises here.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

I doubt China will press this button this year. That will leave South Korea whining by themselves.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

While I understand that people who suffered at the hands of these individuals don’t see them deserving of being honored, they still died in service to their country and during a war fighting for their country.

There are “war criminals” in every war and on all sides fighting.

6 ( +24 / -18 )

China's relations with Japan have long been haunted by what Beijing sees as Tokyo's failure to atone for its occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two, while bitter memories of Japan's 1910-1945 colonization of Korea remain.

And the shiz-stirring annual sending by Abe won't heal anything either. And those jokers visiting the shrine would be "hell no" to being deployed overseas.*
5 ( +12 / -7 )

Willful blindness continues to undermine Japan's credibility when it can't even make a new list and just have a non-war criminal based shrine. It's just a list. But it's more important to keep the right wingers happy. It's as if the government doesn't know that it is no longer Imperial Japan

7 ( +15 / -8 )

they still died in service to their country and during a war fighting for their country.

its not the normal soldiers thats the issue , it the class A war criminals that were enshrined there by the head priest , purely as a political guesture and not a religious one. Those that sent Japan to war are the ones that dont deserve respect or remembrance, imagine if Germany had a Hitler memorial.

https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

15 ( +23 / -8 )

The Japanese don't believe that they are war criminals, that's the problem.

19 ( +28 / -9 )

So how are the old guys in the photo able to parade around with rifles and large blades in the middle of Tokyo?

15 ( +21 / -6 )

Hypocrisy at its finest - Japan honors its warheads and wants to remember its glorious past that inflicted so much pain on its neighbors. And Japan wants them to “forget the past and move on because we have atones for our sins”

It takes real courage and humility to recognize wrongs from the past and face criticism with dignity - just the things the Japanese society seems to severely lack.

15 ( +26 / -11 )

So how are the old guys in the photo able to parade around with rifles and large blades in the middle of Tokyo?

Easy. Because they’re not real.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

it the class A war criminals that were enshrined there by the head priest

Japanese believe even if he was a war criminal, he is forgiven after death. All dead go to Gokuraku through Yasukuni. so they are enshrined there.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Well done for paying respect, PM Abe. I am sure neighboring nations will protest and complain, but it is right and just to Honor all war victims. The picture showing the doves being released at Yasukuni demonstrates that Japanese are peace-loving people.

there are plenty of war criminals interned in national war cemeteries around the world.

Superbly argued, old man. All nations that have ever fought in wars have people others consider as "war criminals".

-16 ( +13 / -29 )

All nations that have ever fought in wars have people others consider as "war criminals".

Wow unbelievable. Speaks volumes about what sort of history is taught in Japanese schools and Japanese kids are brainwashed. Imagine what would happen if this was what what Germans say about their war criminals?

I think the responsibility for this large scale mess in the way Japan today remembers about WWII squarely lies with the Japanese government. Stop playing victim.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

And another example of partisan political leaders pandering to nationalism rather than acting like leaders.

I tend to side with Japan regarding the current spat with South Korea - and completely agree that PM Abe has every free speech right to visit or offer whatever he desires at Yasukuni.

But given the current tensions, is this in his nation's best interest? Does this contribute to helping put the relationship back on a positive track?

Its obvious the Koreans will react emotionally and the downward spiral will continue.

That's why I have said the US needs to stay out of the middle of this ever more viscous food fight...

Don't give Abe and Moon an excuse - make them step up on their own and act like leaders rather than nationalistic cheerleaders...

3 ( +9 / -6 )

@oldman

Groan, cookie cutter journalism at its 'finest.' And Abe and any Japanese person has a right to honor their war dead like any other person, so get over it. Doesn't mean they condone those class A war criminals. I'm sure there are plenty of war criminals interned in national war cemeteries around the world.

With that same logic, why aren't there any Hitler shrines? There is a reason why Germany is respected all over the world and no longer held accountable by their enemies for the crimes committed during WWI and II.

Answer: They fessed up and attempted a sincere effort to right all of their wrongs. As long as Japan continues to act like children, lie, and/or blame others, they will never be taken seriously.

Abe's attempt to rewrite history and hide his family's war crimes, and most importantly, his grandfather's failure and defeat in WWII.

Putting one's head in the sand, denying it ever happened, and ignoring complicated issues works in Japan because it is culturally accepted, but luckily, the rest of the world also remembers whether it is comfort women statues in the US, South Korea and now Spain.

All the World Heritage designations in the world will not cause people to forget, nor will it save their country if they choose to become aggressive again.

Their surrounding neighbors are better prepared than last time.

11 ( +20 / -9 )

"if Germany had a Hitler memorial. "

But America does have a memorial to confederate soldiers at Arlington.

and if Germany had Hitler memorial, I would say, so What? In a Free and Open society you can have any memorial you want.

-20 ( +6 / -26 )

If PM Abe wants to maintain peace with their neighbors then he should play safe and just skip this. What if Prime Minister Merkel of Germany offers the same to the NAZI soldiers? Can we also say that they have the right to honor those soldiers as they also fought for their country? Past is past indeed and these soldiers are indeed not the current Japan but they fought and served the old Empire which committed so many atrocities exactly like Nazis! We condemn Nazis but not the old Empire of Japan? Why?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

alwaysspeakingwisdom

But America does have a memorial to confederate soldiers at Arlington.

The confederate/civil war issue is within USA domestically. Japan and NAZI's atrocities destroyed other countries, so I don't think they are the same circumstance.

If we can have any memorial we want, why did Japan took down the comfort women statue in Nagoya?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Well done for paying respect, PM Abe.

Paying respect to war criminals, sure you should be proud of having a coward as a prime minister.

The picture showing the doves being released at Yasukuni demonstrates that Japanese are peace-loving people.

Oh yeah? So how it comes that you are completely ignoring the pictures of aggressive people like those men wearing Japanese imperial military uniforms or the right wing group members? Are those Japanese people peace loving people? 

I'm sure there are plenty of war criminals interned in national war cemeteries around the world.

No, no you are not sure. If you wouldn't live in your Japanese distorted world, you would know that in responsible countries, war criminals are often cremated or buried anonymously.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Fact:

The prime minister, Fumimaro Konoe (1937-1941), who was in power when Nanking battle(1937) happened and teamed up with Naziis(1940) is NOT honored in Yasukuni.

Hideki Tojo(1941-1944) who is honored in Yasukuni joined cabinet AFTER Nanking and no record shows he was in Nanging when he was in military.

So why is Chinese activist angry setting fire with label "Nanking" and "Hidelo Toji"?

Who is Japanese equivalent to Hitler?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

These war criminals being entombed and honored contradicts the way Japan deals with criminals. Traditionally, criminals are named, shamed and ostracised in Japan, but that is not the case for the war criminals.

@oldman_13 -  I'm sure there are plenty of war criminals interned in national war cemeteries around the world.

I don't think you even know what a war criminal is. They are mess-murderers who were convicted of crimes against humanity and were hung (or shot) for their crimes. Of course, these criminals belong to countries that lost their specific wars. No other country in the world honors these criminals besides Japan.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

@hachikou

I got so much to say about this "what if Hitler is honored" issue.

Question to everyone.

who do you claim is equivalent to Hilter in Japan??

*Don't say that Hideki Toji, because he was not even in cabinet when Japan invaded China teamed up with Nazi, or no record exists showing he was in Nangjing when he belonged to military.*

The first point is Germany doesn't honor any of their war criminals from the war from the top man Hitler to any of his underlings. Nazi soldiers still face trial and imprisonment til this day regardless of age.

The second point is Germany admitted that starting a war was wrong. Japan doesn't admit it was wrong for attacking and mistreating all those Asian countries and the US and take responsibility for allying with Nazi Germany. They tend to focus on how bad the allies beat them and destroyed their cities like they were the real victims. Japan started a war and got spanked! Germany didn't play the misunderstood victim card like Japan does.

Like quite often in Japan for example business leaders, they don't apologize because they admit guilt and were wrong, they apologize because they got caught.

That is why the problem is never resolved.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

It would be wrong for the leader of Japan to ignore the millions of Japanese soldiers who died in service to their country in a number of conflicts, and were not war criminals simply because priests interned 14 war criminals at Yasukuni. That others always focus on those 14 and forget about the honor of the sacrifice of the rest shows as much about the detractors as it does about the Japanese. It can be a hard issue for many but at some point people need to forgive and move on or forever be stuck at a point of hatred.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

I feel every American should visit the Yasukuni war shrine museum if they're in Tokyo. The museum clearly articulates that Japan views itself as the victim in WWII with the nasty western nations forcing it to go to war. All about 'poor little japan'. Explains a lot. Blanket denial of any culpability.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

It's like if the current Germans honored Hitler. But the Japanese do it blatantly.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

OMG, OMG.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Certainly the old guys in the picture still believe in ‘waving the flag’ as they say...

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It's a free country, if you vote here and pay taxes then you can have a say. Otherwise, your opinion does not matter.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

China can suck an egg. That is the last country on the planet to lecture others about morals....

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Dango bong, if votes and taxes are the only two things matter in Japan, then shame has no place for sure.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

and if Germany had Hitler memorial, I would say, so What? In a Free and Open society you can have any memorial you want.

The Nazi regime of Hitler has exterminated 6 millions Jewish across Europe. How dare you? The notion of free and open society has nothing to do with this subject. People who pay respect to the criminals responsible of those atrocities are simply mentally deranged. And I can see that a lot of them comes to this site....

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Terrible things could happen again if we don't feel shame about them.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Wow unbelievable. Speaks volumes about what sort of history is taught in Japanese schools and Japanese kids are brainwashed. Imagine what would happen if this was what what Germans say about their war criminals?

The most controversial Japanese history textbooks that minimize references to Japan's actions during World War 2, are used in only a tiny fraction of Japan's school systems. And this also proves a point I have been saying repeatedly on this website. The anti-Japan crowd cherry picks its 'facts' to suit their own agendas that every single Japanese person is an ignorant, xenophobic war monger that ignores or whitewashes its own history. To these people, Abe sending offerings to Yasukuni is 'proof' that 'all' Japanese are ignorant. To these people, all it takes is just one Japanese person saying or doing something ignorant, to 'prove' that all Japanese people are of made of the same cloth. Never mind that polls show that many Japanese oppose a revision of the constitution that would extend Japan's wartime capabilities and missions. Never mind past incidents where Japanese citizens counter protested against those who preached hatred against ethnic Koreans. This is the unfair double standard Japan faces in the eyes of the anti-Japan crowd. Ignore the good, fixate heavily on the bad apples.

I also find it highly ironic that people continue to compare Japan with Germany, putting Germany on an incredibly high pedestal as a 'model' country that has come to terms with its past. Germany has had a frightening resurgence in right wing, neo-nazi activity among its citizens the past several decades, with dozens of murders attributed to far right groups (as compared to zero such crimes against non-Japanese in Japan). As a matter of fact, three months ago, in the German town of Plauen, hundreds of neo-nazis of the Third Way Party openly marched on the eve of Yom HaShoah, the day that Jews commemorate the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. This in addition to neo-nazis that marched in Duisburg calling for the destruction of Israel.

But....never mind all that. Ignore all that, and continue to preach this fantasy that all Germans have completely atoned for the past and will never repeat it, unlike those ignorant Japanese, 'all' of who deny the past.

Ridiculous.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Dango bong, if votes and taxes are the only two things matter in Japan, then shame has no place for sure.

Those are not the only things that matter, but regarding what citizens do inside their own borders foreigners (myself included) have no right to tell people how to behave.

If people came to my country the US and told us not to celebrate the 4th of July I would laugh at them. The people who dropped to bomb on Japan are they war criminals? Can Americans respect their achievements? Who are you to decide?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The imperial army uniforms are more becoming to Japanese than the uniforms of Japan Self Defense Forces which are copies of U.S. Forces. These people may be enjoying attentions of visitors. It is a kind of costume play. They are harmless while I detest "yakuza" groups visiting Yasukuni on this day. They pretend "Uyoku" right wing political groups but they are yakuza in disguise.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Just imagine if these were Germans wearing an SS uniform. What's so different? In Germany it wouldn't be tolerated. The mere fact that the uyoku can still drive around in their vehicles blaring obnoxious war songs is enough reason to understand why China, Korea and other Asian nations have a legitimate gripe against Japan. And all this while there is a major dispute between Korea and Japan? Timing is great Abe, really unbelievable and asinine.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

China, the country that runs its own citizens over with tanks and erases the news about it, is going to lecture others on how to behave?? Let me wipe the coffee that just shot out of my nose reading this....

1 ( +6 / -5 )

True freedom is to the ability to have a complete knowledge which the dark side will never allow it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A friend showed me the manual that they received from the Japanese government in 2015. The Abe administration sent manuals to Japanese schools as well as foreign universities in Japan, and asked for them to be shared with the students. The manual rewrote the accepted facts about Japan's role in the war, and tried to justify its reasons for allying with Germany and attacking the US.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The mere fact that the uyoku can still drive around in their vehicles blaring obnoxious war songs is enough reason to understand why China, Korea and other Asian nations have a legitimate gripe against Japan. 

Yes because right wing nationalists do not exist in Korea and China right? They do. And we have no right to tell them to stop. Get off your high horse. Every country has these groups, and every country head respects the war dead.

Stop the nonsense already. If Germany has a Hitler museum you have no right to tell them not to. Its called FREEDOM. Because in 2019, people are still allowed to have an opinion different from yours (unless you live in China or NK)

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

According to the priestly hierarchy at the shrine, it's not possible to separate the souls of Class A war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni (a decision taken by the Shrine itself) from the souls of the 2.5 million of other war dead also enshrined there, which means that the souls of those 14 war criminals can't be removed from Yasukuni and enshrined somewhere else. See the link below.

It seems that many people outside Japan don't understand that "enshrinement" in Shinto means believing that the souls of the dead are actually, "personally" resident as kami within the Shrine. It's not just a symbolic thing. So to honour the dead in a specific place of enshrinement such as Yasukuni is a far different observance to make than it would be in any place of worship in a Western religion - and as there are 2.5 million Japanese war dead at Yasukuni who are not war criminals, they can't be ignored, unremembered.

The problem with Yasukuni seems to be that the extreme right in Japan has appropriated worship at the shrine unto itself and made it into a symbol of the old Japanese militarism, even though for most Japanese people that militarism is of no relevance to them personally.

You can't blame the Chinese for seeing it differently. But unless the priests at Yasukuni change their minds about the immovability of the souls of the war dead (and even if it wanted to, the Government can't force them to do that) the problem seems intractable.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/What-is-Yasukuni-issue

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"The confederate/civil war issue is within USA domestically. Japan and NAZI's atrocities destroyed other countries, so I don't think they are the same circumstance. "

African slaves, they were from Africa, would suggest otherwise.

and

"If we can have any memorial we want, why did Japan took down the comfort women statue in Nagoya?"

Because the Japanese taxpayer paid for the art. So it has the right to do with the art anything it wants to do with the art.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Just imagine if these were Germans wearing an SS uniform. What's so different? In Germany it wouldn't be tolerated. The mere fact that the uyoku can still drive around in their vehicles blaring obnoxious war songs is enough reason to understand why China, Korea and other Asian nations have a legitimate gripe against Japan. And all this while there is a major dispute between Korea and Japan? Timing is great Abe, really unbelievable and asinine.

Like I always say, those who are the loudest to accuse all Japanese of whitewashing history, themselves are the biggest offenders. For those like the above that continue to make pointless comparisons to Germany, re-read my post above. As well as past marches in Germany by neo-nazis in support of figures like Rudolph Hess. But of course, ignore all of that in order to fit your narratives. Vehicles in Japan blaring war songs, as compared to thousands of neo nazis who continue to march in Germany, and dozens of murders committed against foreigners by far right Germans.

What a farce.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

But....never mind all that. Ignore all that, and continue to preach this fantasy that all Germans have completely atoned for the past and will never repeat it, unlike those ignorant Japanese, 'all' of who deny the past.

That's not the point. Yes there are Germans right wing supporters in Germany. I don't think that anyone is arguing here that there aren't. The point is that Germany as a country has totally and without ambiguity recognized its responsibility in the crimes against humanity during the war. Japan did not do so. Just look at the books used in Japanese schools as an example. On top of that Japan continues to have a large part of its political leaders (who happen to belong to a party in power for more than 70 years) having a clear revisionist position about Japan's crimes.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Akie, I am sure your heart is in the right place, but people are allowed to think different and have different opinions. You have to accept that.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Does Japanese govt want people forget the past ? But why ? why ? why they themselves indulged in the past ?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@Oldman_13

Where are the memorials in Japan to the non Japanese that perished in the last world war?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@Oldman

I also find it highly ironic that people continue to compare Japan with Germany, putting Germany on an incredibly high pedestal as a 'model' country that has come to terms with its past. Germany has had a frightening resurgence in right wing, neo-nazi activity among its citizens the past several decades, with dozens of murders attributed to far right groups (as compared to zero such crimes against non-Japanese in Japan).

We are comparing governments and not individual people. Germany as a country has come along way as a positive example of a country. There has been a resurgence of White Right-wing movements across Europe, US, Australia and New Zealand. Japan the country is not a good example of country trying to atone for their heinous crimes against humanity.

As a matter of fact, three months ago, in the German town of Plauen, hundreds of neo-nazis of the Third Way Party openly marched on the eve of Yom HaShoah, the day that Jews commemorate the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. This in addition to neo-nazis that marched in Duisburg calling for the destruction of Israel.

Once again, that is not the German government. Referring to Israel, it can be argued that as a country they are taking pages right out of the Nazi Germany playbook. Israel as a government has been found guilty of taking property and land of law-abiding Palestinians while forcing them to live in isolated ghettos. In addition, the Israeli government has been found guilty of purposely sterilizing Ethiopian Jews because they didn't want them to breed and "taint" the genetic identity of Israel.

What is ironic is that most of Israel is made up of Europeans who were only converted to Judaism, while the Palestinian and Ethiopian Jews are more closely related to the original tribes out of Egypt.

Japan, Germany, and Israel refer to the government and their policy on different issues!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Let's not forget that the souls of the 14 executed war criminals were ritually removed from the Yasukuni shrine. A right-wing priest later stated that (a) such removals were categorically impossible, and (b) that when you when you pray at the shrine you pray to ALL the souls that reside there.

Both of these are completely inconsistent with Japanese traditions. These removals have been carried out countless times throughout history, and you only pray to the souls you want to pray to. It's ridiculous to suggest that when you visit the appropriate shrine to pray to your family you are automatically praying to all the other families and souls associated with that shrine.

Now, clearly the right-wingers have their own opinions on the subject, but let's not make the mistake of applying their beliefs to the rest of the population.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If we can have any memorial we want, why did Japan took down the comfort women statue in Nagoya? Because the Japanese taxpayer paid for the art. So it has the right to do with the art anything it wants to do with the art.

All of this talk about Japan not recognizing it was wrong, why did they pay reparations to and formally apologize to Korea TWICE? Why is everyone forcing the loser of the war to apologize? I do not recall my country America apologizing to anyone, and we won haha... Such complete gorbage nonsense.

I think China and Korea are jealous of Japan

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Japanese and Koreans pissing each other off with statues and shrine visits. Same old story.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As an American in Japan, I am completely offended by Abe's incredibly insensitive gesture. He is honoring those, including war criminals, that killed tons of Americans, Koreans, Chinese and all of other ethnicities because of Japan's interest to colonize the world. Remember that this was was started by Japan and they bombed an innocent US pearl harbor which brought us in the war.

Being proud being Japanese is fine, but you don't need to support the honoring of war criminals at Yasukini. They are two completely different things. Every day I live here shocks me more and more as to how backwards the government it and the government can get away with their statements and lies.

Ridiculous!

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Japanese don’t care about the opinion of foreigners

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a country more concerned with the opinion of foreigners. Japanese TV loves to interview foreigners telling Japan how great it is.

I think what you mean is Japan less concerned with the opinions of other Asians but that is changing as the money from tourism pours in.

The military cosplayers and other rightist nutters are out of touch

13 ( +16 / -3 )

With that same logic, why aren't there any Hitler shrines? There is a reason why Germany is respected all over the world and no longer held accountable by their enemies for the crimes committed during WWI and II.

*Answer**: They fessed up and attempted a sincere effort to right all of their wrongs.*

Not only. Unlike sk/chinese, euro kids are taught & know that their countries do not have a squeaky clean past either; french, dutch, austrians, poles, belgians and pretty much every other nation on the continent were at the very least complacent and/or complicit (or more). We all know that many euros supported nazi ideology & that hundreds of thousands/millions of ppl collaborated one way or another, denounced jews/gypsies/commies, killed them etc. Same re colonialism; euros & Brits have learnt & know how to reflect on their past and wrongdoings. That's why, perhaps, they aren't as judgmental & don't play the victim card as much as other nations/regions, esp in Asia.

As an aside, I think that only anglos are taught that ww2 (in europe) was a germany vs 'others' conflict as it fits their (imo simplistic) narrative i.e ' we saved you', 'am tellin' ya, you'd be speaking german if it werent for us' etc. ww2 was, at least at the beginning, some sort of pan-european war rather than GER vs rest of us ( i mean on euro soil).

Japan's neighbours, esp SK & China, have never acknowledged their wrongdoings (in the region) let alone apologized/reflected on them. Lots of finger-pointing though.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

All of this talk about Japan not recognizing it was wrong, why did they pay reparations to and formally apologize to Korea TWICE?

A lot of spousal abusers constantly apologize for their abuse only to turn around and abuse again. The continued abuse means the apology was perfunctory.

You're focused far too much on Japan's words and not its actions.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Japan has the right to go to any shrine it wants to. Japan has the right to use any textbook in a Japanese school it wants to.

Japan also has the right to continue to play the victim card and be laughed at by mature nations with well-educated populaces.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

@alwaysspeakingwisdom

"The confederate/civil war issue is within USA domestically. Japan and NAZI's atrocities destroyed other countries, so I don't think they are the same circumstance. "

African slaves, they were from Africa, would suggest otherwise.

Those monuments are also being removed all over the US for the same reasons that we are discussing now. In addition, saying someone else is doing it too is faulty logic!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan did not formally sign the surrender until September 2nd, 1945, on the Battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay (The Missouri is now at anchor in Pearl Harbor) "These proceedings are closed."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Every year the same: we have atoned and were the victim anyway followed by we have a glorious past which we are rightly proud of and our military did nothing wrong because they were forced into war.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Just came back from Yasukuni. One word: Pride!

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

In a Free and Open society you can have any memorial you want.

Which is why people in Japan have no problems with a comfort women exhibit in Nagoya.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

For those who think this is okay and say "some other countries also glorify or whitewash their past, so why can't Japan" need to stop. This is more than just honoring the war dead - it's practically denying your history. Just because the US has people flying the Confederate flag and reminiscing about the "good old days" doesn't excuse some folks in Japan showing up at Yasukuni Shrine in imperial military outfits. It's a total disrespect to the people of countries who were brutalized during the war. The US is beginning to realize many of the monuments in the South are wrong and is trying to remove them. Why can't Abe just secretly make an offering without the media knowing about it. Obviously he has his base that approves of this action, but it's tasteless and shows a lack of remorse.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The emperor refuses to visit, even last year for 150th anniversary.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I don't think I've seen it mentioned yet, but Japanese politicians are forced to make these visits and offerings due to the political clout of the War Bereavement Association - a political action group composed of mostly right-leaning individuals, many of them very wealthy and connected, who are family members of those interred at Yasukuni . Its charter is to honor and remember those that gave their lives during the war.

It is equivalent to the NRA in the US in terms of its political power to influence politicians.

While many politicians know that making these visits and offerings at Yasukuni are not in the nation's best interests, not doing so would anger this group and result in a significant backlash.

Another example that all politics is local...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_War-Bereaved_Families_Association

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Are the staunch nationalists really right wing?  what exactly does right wing mean in this context.

The old dudes dressing up in WW2 uniforms is a bit bizarre though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Which is why people in Japan have no problems with a comfort women exhibit in Nagoya."

FYI, The exhibit in Nagoya and the artwork was funded by the Japanese taxpayers. Therefore, Japan could do what ever it wants to with it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

These idiots parading like that. That history caused as much pain to the Japanese people as others. Those uniforms and flags should be outlawed. Do they seriously long to return to losing a war all over again? All those Japanese who died for their cause?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

That's not the point. Yes there are Germans right wing supporters in Germany. I don't think that anyone is arguing here that there aren't. The point is that Germany as a country has totally and without ambiguity recognized its responsibility in the crimes against humanity during the war. Japan did not do so. Just look at the books used in Japanese schools as an example. On top of that Japan continues to have a large part of its political leaders (who happen to belong to a party in power for more than 70 years) having a clear revisionist position about Japan's crimes.

Actually, it is VERY much the point, of which you yourself prove. I was directly responding to individuals here who claim that Germans are not allowed to wear neo nazi regalia in Germany, and implying that Germans as a whole have fully atoned for their past sins and do not engage in things like glorifying their war past, unlike Japan. Which is absolutely false. And now that I have called these people out that indeed Germans neo nazis have led a frightening resurgence throughout Germany and have openly marched on the streets, and committed heinous crimes against immigrants and politicians alike, now you have people like yourself and others changing the topic. When's the last time a Japanese person killed a non-Japanese as a sole hate crime in Japan?

So now, these acts by Germans are separate from the government? How convenient. Why then is that same consideration not given to Japan in the eyes of the anti-Japan crowd here? To them, it matters not whether a governmental official does or says something, it is representative of Japan as a whole. Let me remind people out there that far right parties in Germany like the Alternative for Germany have had great success in parts of Germany. These are parties that desire an alternative view of its wartime history and past, and run on a platform of hate against immigrants. Let me guess though, that still does not represent the German government, right? Yet, the anti-Japan crowd ignores Japanese politicians and parties that have renounced its wartime past and war in general.

Double standards as always. There is always an excuse with the anti-Japan crowd to cover themselves to the next level. "Japan never apologized" becomes "Japan wasn't sincere enough since no one apologized on bended knees." Ridiculous.

You also give no examples of how Japan did not recognize its responsibility in crimes against humanity during the war. Once again someone brings up Japanese textbooks. The most controversial history textbooks in Japan that minimize its actions before and during WW2 are used in only a very small fraction of Japanese schools. And last time I checked, the Japanese government TWICE offered compensation and apologies to comfort women including in 2015 (never mind the many apologies and compensation the Japanese had already given in the past, including to American and Australian POW's). Yes sir, let us just ignore all of that to suit the narrative that Japan has 'never' fully atoned for its past. I'll say it again and again, those who accuse Japan of whitewashing its past, are the very same people that do so themselves.

2001: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (Also signed by all the prime ministers since 1995, including Ryutaro Hashimoto, Keizō Obuchi, Yoshirō Mori) said in a letter: "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women. We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future. I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations" (Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women)

December 7, 2010: Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologized for Korea's suffering under colonization as part of a statement marking the 100th anniversary of the annexation in 1910. "I express a renewed feeling of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology for the tremendous damage and suffering caused by colonial rule," Kan said. Kan said Japan colonized Korea "against the will of the Korean people" who suffered great damage to their national pride and loss of culture and sovereignty as a result and added that he wants to take an honest look at his country's past with the courage and humility to address its history

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Chip Star, what war like action is Japan currently taking? That is just absurd.

Which well educated populace? Hopefully you aren't talking about areas with dictators and self assigned life long leaders which restrict outside media access...

Japan had significant losses during the war, they lost, they all know that, it is currently the traditional season for remembering those past, should they not?

Who does Japan have one of its closest international relationships, the country that used atomic bombs on it..

Perhaps they want to move on.. for the most part the rest of the world has.. and doesn't it seem oddly timed that when China and South Korea have had large busts of outrage against Japan, despite many years of fairly normal trade and interaction, they are having local political or economic issues...

Could Japan be more contrite, as I have said so many times, yes I think so, but people must its difficult when those around you can't move on and seem determined to bring up the mistakes of 4-5 generations ago?

The right-wing idiots dressed up in clearly upsetting uniforms for some, well yes sad and inappropriate in my opinion, (should you make dressing up illegal... I don't know thats a tough one) sadly we are seeing a rise all around the world, this really isn't representative of the general population at all in my experience.

What people should learn from the war is not that Germany is bad or Japan is bad and thats that.... those people at that time were, terrible inhumane and wrong, we can agree but look at the bigger picture, what circumstances came about to allow that to occur?

Claiming other territories, ideas of racial superiority, military build up, control of media, calling any dissidents terrorists and traitors, unelected or 'lifelong' leaders, normalization of military presence, dehumanization of other cultures and people.. things like these are the warning signs and these aren't coming from Japan right now in my opinion.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Oldman

I was directly responding to individuals here who claim that Germans are not allowed to wear neo nazi regalia in Germany, and implying that Germans as a whole have fully atoned for their past sins and do not engage in things like glorifying their war past, unlike Japan. 

You have a strawman argument! Germany has a made a more sincere effort to atone for their acts than Japan. That is the main difference!

Japan's efforts like many things are shallow and surface level filled with lots of excuses!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I think Prime Minister Abe should go to the Yasukuni Shrine every day,

Furthermore nobody in any country of the world has the right to say anything about this issue. 

This is a spiritual issue of the Japanese people. .

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@oldman

Japan's apologies ALWAYS came late. DECADES after the war. Hence, no sincerity ever felt. That Treaty with SK and compensation happened in 1965? That's two decades later already. It's always like pulling teeth to get Japan to admit anything.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Who is Japanese equivalent to Hitler?

Such a simple question, Hirohito of course.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Actually, we do. A friend showed me the manual that they received from the Japanese government in 2015. The Abe administration sent manuals to Japanese schools as well as foreign universities in Japan, and asked for them to be shared with the students. The manual rewrote the accepted facts about Japan's role in the war, and tried to justify its reasons for allying with Germany and attacking the US.

You can check it out in the foreign universities libraries. I don't know what the Japanese schools did with them.

Try again!

Seems like you are the one that needs to keep trying again. Personal anecdotes mean absolutely nothing. The fact of the matter is, the more 'controversial' textbooks that downplay or ignore Japan's past actions during WW2 are in fact used in only a tiny percentage of schools (less than 1% total out of all publishers). Contrary to what the world thinks, the Japanese government is absolutely not forcing every single student to use some mythical textbook that portrays Japan as the 'winner.'

In fact, what's wrong is the automatic world perception that Japan's textbooks are somehow deliberately portraying itself as the victim or justifying its past, when in fact its textbooks are a product of the intent of these school systems to churn out students into the work force.

https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00703/

What the research uncovered was quite different from the common perception found in media, not only in Asia but also in the United States. Far from being nationalistic, Japanese textbooks seem the least likely to stir patriotic passions. They do not celebrate war, they do not stress the importance of the military, and they tell no tales of battlefield heroism. Instead they offer a rather dry chronology of events without much interpretive narrative.

Japanese textbooks are deliberately written in this somewhat subdued manner, partly to avoid overt interpretation and because they are aimed at preparing students for university entrance examinations. Nonetheless, Japanese textbooks do offer a clear, if somewhat implicit, message: the wars in Asia were a product of Japan’s imperial expansion and the decision to go to war with the United States was a disastrous mistake that inflicted a terrible cost on the nation and its civilian population. Indeed, that basic tale is what prompted revisionist critics to author their own textbooks to correct what was seen as a “masochistic” view of modern Japan.

Contrary to popular belief, Japanese textbooks by no means avoid some of the most controversial wartime moments. The widely used textbooks contain accounts, though not detailed ones, of the massacre of Chinese civilians in Nanjing in 1937 by Japanese forces.(2) Some, but not all, of the textbooks also describe the forced mobilization of labor in the areas occupied by Japan, including mention of the recruitment of “comfort women” to serve in wartime brothels.(3) One clear lacuna is the almost complete absence of accounts of Japanese colonial rule in Korea.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

UdondashiToday  01:29 pm JST

I think Prime Minister Abe should go to the Yasukuni Shrine every day,

A prime minister has better things to do and they would need to rewrite the constitution first.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Why not just keep any cememony regarding WW2 war dead confined to Nippon Budokan. (15 August)?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Are the staunch nationalists really right wing? what exactly does right wing mean in this context.

The old dudes dressing up in WW2 uniforms is a bit bizarre though.

The ones in costumes are a kind of role play, like US civil war actors, probably harmless but are aligned with rightist for sure. Basement dwellers, found their cause type? The ones in the all blue etc are rightist, not a happy bunch, best steer clear of that, especially if you dont want your "japan is a land of cuteness and sweethearts" bubble burst open. For them yasukuni land is a kind of mecca. Enjoy at your own risk.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In 2014 the Fukuoka Prefecture chapter of the association called for the A-class war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine to be removed to make the site less controversial. The statement stated that the chapter “hopes that the emperor and empress, as well as the prime minister and all other Japanese nationals, will be able to pay their respects at Yasukuni without reserve”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_War-Bereaved_Families_Association

I have always wondered why they don't simply move the enshrined convicted 'Class A' war criminals to another location. It would certainly help to deflate this yearly charade...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The right-wing idiots dressed up in clearly upsetting uniforms for some, well yes sad and inappropriate in my opinion, (should you make dressing up illegal... I don't know thats a tough one) sadly we are seeing a rise all around the world, this really isn't representative of the general population at all in my experience.

No this isnt a recent "rise" This has been going on for decades in Japan, it was actually much worse. Since the Olympic bid was won, some of it has toned down, but it was always there. SK tensions ignites it, then they all go bizerk over such events. I dont live near any of that now, and I dont miss it all. Very racist and bizarre people, but its a side of Japan you should experience to get the real Japan experience, not just cutesy and kawaii that some youtuber is promoting. It should not be illegal, that just makes it worse.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

All dead go to Gokuraku through Yasukuni. so they are enshrined there.

No, you and far too many others do not understand Yasukuni. It is a MILITARY shrine, and those who died while serving in the Japanese military are enshrined there, even some Korean's as well!

Funny thing, JSDF can NOT be enshrined at Yaskuni, because they are not "military".

You and I can not be enshrined there, because we are civilians!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese believe even if he was a war criminal, he is forgiven after death.

the class A war criminals werent enshrined there initially the head priest March 1978. Matsudaira Nagayoshi (1915–2005) was installed as head priest in July that year.

It is worth going over Matsudaira Nagayoshi’s background. His grandfather, Matsudaira Yoshinaga (1828–90), was the feudal lord of the Fukui domain. In the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate, Yoshinaga called for a merger of the shogunate and the imperial court. After the shogunate fell, he was granted a position inside the new Meiji government. Matsudaira’s father, Yoshitami (1882–1948), was the last minister of the Imperial Household. Matsudaira himself was a lieutenant commander in the Imperial Navy during World War II and an officer in the Self-Defense Forces after World War II. His father-in-law, Daigo Tadashige, was a vice admiral in the Imperial Navy. He was tried by the Dutch after the war, convicted of Class B and C war crimes, and executed by rifle shot. He is listed among the war dead honored at Yasukuni Shrine.(*6)

Matsudaira unequivocally rejected the verdict of the tribunal and argued that the Tokyo Trials had produced a distorted view of history that cast Japan as the sole villain. He was determined from the outset to enshrine Japan’s Class A war criminals at Yasukuni. This was part of an ideological crusade to discredit the Tokyo Trials. Once appointed, he moved quickly. In a secret ceremony on October 17, 1978—just three months after becoming head priest—he enshrined all 14, including Matsuoka and Nagano.(*7)

When the story broke in April the following year, the public reaction was relatively muted. But controversy erupted with a vengeance six years later, when Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro became the first postwar prime minister to pay homage at the shrine in an official capacity. When Nakasone and his cabinet visited Yasukuni on August 15, 1985 to mark the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the visit unleashed a storm of criticism from Japan’s Asian neighbors. The next year Nakasone agreed not to visit the shrine in deference to the views of Chinese leader Hu Yaobang. From that time on, visits by cabinet officials to Yasukuni Shrine have been a hot-button issue, drawing intense criticism from abroad and stymying diplomatic progress between Japan and its neighbors.

The ultimate source of this ongoing conflict was the enshrinement of Class A war criminals in 1978. And the enshrinement of this group cannot be attributed simply to religious or filial impulses. In fact, it was a blatantly ideological and political act driven by an urge to justify and legitimize a highly controversial chapter in Japanese history.

Germany made anything that worships Hilter and his ideology illegal, when you let evil ideologies of the past continue to fester they run the risk of repeating themselves. Many in Japan clearly dont see Japan's wartime leaders as criminals even though they sent millions to die for their ideologies. and here lies the fundamental problem of  Yasukuni . If all are forgiven after death , then all Japanese should never criticise the crew of the Enola Gay.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@wtfjapan,

a very informative post. A trip to the Yasukuni museum is quite the experience; its an experience immersed in propaganda for sure, an alternate reality according to the right wing nationalist. we "others" who are not Japanese, just subjects with boots on our neck, well you better tread carefully. You are greeted at the entrance with the locomotive that was used on the Burma railway, and all kinds of wonderful Japanese army and navy memorabilia. No mention of POWs who were slaughtered; that part of history is up to you to discover. Seems the USS Missouri and the occupying forces part of history was left out as well.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

There are no bones kept at this shrine. Only the names of war dead including those convicted of war crimes. I think the names are called kami and once placed there, according to the shrine rules can't be removed.

There are over 2,466,000 enshrined kami (deities) listed in the Yasukuni's Symbolic Registry of Divinities.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"..."The peace and prosperity of our country is due to those heroes who gave their lives for their homeland and I express my gratitude and respect," Inada quoted Abe as saying,..."

Total Crock!

Firstly, they were not heroes who gave their lives. They were sacrificial lambs led to the slaughter by war-mongering, power drunk fascist militarists. They were lied to and used by their leaders as repalceble fodder.

2ndly, no peace and prosperity is due to their horrific deaths.

It's due to the tyrannts being overthrown, a semblance of democracy put into place and the hard working of millions of citizens like them who didn't die.

Still waiting for the day when Abe & his ilk will apologize to the people of Japan for the murderous fool-hardy antics of leaders gone by, including their ancestors like Grandpa Kishi.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

its not run by the government, privately owned

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There are only winners and losers in the war. There are not good people and bad people.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

its not run by the government, privately owned

yet many politicians continually give monetary donations to the shrine plus the tax breaks they get as a shinto religion, a shrine that clearly uses political ideologies in disguise as religion.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

But America does have a memorial to confederate soldiers at Arlington.

Arlington is a national cemetery for the US. Yasukuni is not, there is a separate cemetery for that in Tokyo.

Of course there is a memorial for the CSA solders as that is a part of US history, R. Lee estate is on the grounds of that cemetery.

I know what Yasukuni is, and I stay away from that place. There is allot of very dangerous people that congregate. I was yelled at by some of them, as I entered the museum of wonders. I guess they are loitering on the grounds...kind of a "security" who knows. Vendors selling rightist literature and T shirts, others selling flags. Better places outside of Tokyo to enjoy.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My advice to anybody who wishes to debate or "touch" these rightist neo fascist nuts...dont. Look at it, understand it. but never get yourself caught up in it. Its not like a Trumps base group, or anything like that, all of the other comparisons are apples and oranges. Its a kind of singularity. They ignore history, and focus on some alternate reality, and "dig in" working themselves into a hysterical fit, and drilling down on these moronic ideas, then spreading the gospel on those speakers. The outside world cannot comprehend or understand, as its a "Japanese thing" according to their circle logic. It may look interesting..and harmless, but beware. I suggest to stay the hell away from it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

alwaysspeakingwisdomToday  11:24 am JST

"if Germany had a Hitler memorial. "

But America does have a memorial to confederate soldiers at Arlington.

Trying to equate ordinary Confederate soldiers with Adolf Hitler? Bit of a far stretch.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Claiming other territories, ideas of racial superiority, military build up, control of media, calling any dissidents terrorists and traitors, unelected or 'lifelong' leaders, normalization of military presence, dehumanization of other cultures and people.. things like these are the warning signs and these aren't coming from Japan right now in my opinion.

And there is a reason for that. Can you guess why? For me, a trip to Yasukuni seems to suggest a confirmation..a validation..that those dark days werent so dark....? why else go there.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The old dudes dressing up in WW2 uniforms is a bit bizarre though.

If I was a tourist passing, and saw that, I would assume that it was part of a film set being prepared for a movie production.

My queston would probably be "Whats the new movie going to be called and whats it about"?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don't think that paying respects to all of the war dead at Yasukuni Shrine should be ruined just because someone stuck some tablets with the names of a few class A war criminals in the shrine. Just ignore the class A war criminals! Pay respects only to the legitimate recipients of your sympathy. Most were people just like you and me, but they got drawn into the human tradegy of WWII.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Are those guys in the upper picture in front of the torii actually WWII veterans. If not, they don't deserve to wear those uniforms. If they are, well OK. It is probably just nostalgia for their youth.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You have a strawman argument! Germany has a made a more sincere effort to atone for their acts than Japan. That is the main difference!

Japan's efforts like many things are shallow and surface level filled with lots of excuses!

You don't even know what you are talking about, let alone what a strawman argument is. Like I said, I was directly refuting individuals here who inferred that while Japanese right wingers blast their propaganda in public, that by comparison Germany would never let right wingers/neo nazis do the same in Germany. And I clearly refuted that notion. And I clearly refuted every single argument you made here. You and your supporters can thumbs down me all you want, but all you have shown in your refusal to present facts, or to properly refute any of what I stated on a factual basis, is that a lot of the anti-Japan statements on this website are based purely on emotion and nothing else. You have not proven that Japanese schools in general teach a blatantly distorted viewpoint of its past, nor have you proven that some boogeyman in the Japanese government is forcing every student to read a textbook that glosses over or ignores completely Japan's wartime history. You have not proven that German is more 'sincere' in atoning for its past as compared to Japan. In fact, you have proven absolutely nothing but your irrational anti-Japanese bias based purely on emotion. That kind of thought process may work on ignorant individuals who automatically accept at face value any negative statements about Japan without any facts, but it won't work on the rest of us.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Are those guys in the upper picture in front of the torii actually WWII veterans. If not, they don't deserve to wear those uniforms. If they are, well OK. It is probably just nostalgia for their youth.

those vets are all dead. the pot bellied fellow is just playing part....maybe a kind of stolen valor?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who is Japanese equivalent to Hitler?

There is no Japanese or any other national equivalent to Hitler in history, that monster was one of a kind.

However if nobody stopped that madman General Douglas MacArthur at the last moment from dropping 34 atomb bombs on China during the Korean War he surely would have come damn close.

People release doves at Yasukuni Shrine on Thursday

That's nice to see.

Men wearing Japanese imperial military uniforms visit Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Thursday

Given the signifiance of the shrine this is a disgrace.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There is no Japanese or any other national equivalent to Hitler in history, that monster was one of a kind.

Yes there are many monsters throughout history , and the millions of Asian civillians that died at the hands of the IJA would suggest that Japan has its fair share of them also.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

saying someone else is doing it too is faulty logic!

This. We can improve as a forum if we can understand this.

To these people, all it takes is just one Japanese person saying or doing something ignorant, to 'prove' that all Japanese people are of made of the same cloth. 

This too. We all hate the ultra- groups but tend to accept them as the norm. Broad brush.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes there are many monsters throughout history , and the millions of Asian civillians that died at the hands of the IJA would suggest that Japan has its fair share of them also.

They were war criminals and some even monsters yes but not at the same level of Hitler though.

Can you name one other person in history who outside of normal warfare built a weapon of mass destruction specifically designed to wipe out an entire population group on an industrial scale like Hitler did ?

No you can't and hopefully you will be never able to.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I'm just here to read the fervent, Pro-Japan posts made by the foreigners. Some of you display more "patriotism" than the actual Japanese-born individuals. Lol

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Let the anti-Japan sentiments flow.

Wait... It already started!

How dare you Abe! Sending a peace offering to a memorial! Don't you care about S. Korea supporters who want you to follow their directions!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Silvafan

Your valid points make a lot of sense!

The Japanese government aids the furor every year by refusing to separate religion and politics.

It is a mistake to allow the last war to be mystified in the Japanese psyche.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'm just here to read the fervent, Pro-Japan posts made by the foreigners. Some of you display more "patriotism" than the actual Japanese-born individuals. Lol

All Japanese people are patriots at heart and why shouldn't they be ?

Japan still is a fantastic county despite the mistakes they made in the past.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Is it true that many in the west would consider these military leaders terrorists and mass murders?

Many in China, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Burma Korea and USA not brutal murdering of civilians and raping of women under their wartime powers

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is it true that many in the west would consider these military leaders terrorists and mass murders?

I don't know should we consider the European colonial powers who slaughtered millions of innocent people while stealing their land and natural resources terrorists and mass murders ?

Shoud we consider the US military complex a terrorist organization capable of mass murder ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If Japan didn't start and lose WW2, its people wouldn't be enjoying the fruits of US occupation today so let that sink in.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They followed orders like a well trained military persons do. Honor them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I don't know should we consider the European colonial powers who slaughtered millions of innocent people while stealing their land and natural resources terrorists and mass murders ?

One thing's for sure, they didn't surrender to the natives and put on trial for their crimes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe good to add some facts.

Yes, we can compare how 2 of the aggressors of WW2 cope with their past. And yes it makes sense as it explains how nations reflect on their history. (I like to add I believe an overwhelming majority of Japanese people do not identify themselves with the right wing costume players and their political leaders.)

Wearing SS uniforms in Germany will get you arrested and you might end up in jail.

In Japan idiots can parade freely like that on August 15...

Denying historical facts about the war crimes (holocaust, senseless killing of civilians etc.. ) gets you in jail.

In Japan you become PM because of the backing of some powerful groups.

Denying historical facts like Nanking, medical experiments on Chinese population, claiming that the sexual slaves where actually prostitutes ... is a common practice for some idiots here...

Today Germany accepts refugees and tries actively to build a.better world.

I can continue but think this is sufficient to make my point.

BTW anyone noticed before that these comments can get you 10 or more down votes in few minutes (and not much down votes before or after) Seems like there is someone creating several accounts to influence massively.... we must do a good job here to annoy someone like that (or his IJA uniform is in the washing and he cannot join the other idiots out there :-)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There is a reason why Germany is respected all over the world and no longer held accountable by their enemies for the crimes committed during WWI and II.

Many people have lost all respect for Germany for what they have done after the war.

... and they are still held accountable, they are still paying.

I have a lot more respect for the way Japan has handled it, although it could be better.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Brussel - all good points. Building on those and adding a few more facts:

German President Joachim Gauck once said, "There is no German identity without Auschwitz," meaning the ugliest part of your past is part of who you are. Has any of the last couple dozen Japanese PMs made a similar heart-felt statement that has been accepted by the Chinese, Korean and South Asians?

In “The Wages of Guilt,” Ian Buruma explains how German and Japanese pasts are viewed differently in their national psyches -

“When people in Germany speak about being betroffen (shocked), they’re not really talking about the invasion of Norway — they’re talking about Auschwitz and everything that’s related to it. There isn’t really an exact analogy in Japan. The Japanese can be just as betroffen as the Germans. But you see it less, because in Japan the war is remembered much more as a misguided military conflict and not (in terms of) a nation responsible for a huge and horrendous crime.”

Germans for long analyzed the phenomenon of Gleichschaltung (“conformity”) and how Nazis came to control public opinion in a society that cherished free will. German students in history class discuss questions such as "How is an individual to behave in a state based on bad norms?" By contrast, many Japanese high school students, when asked about harmful effects of peer pressure, would cite Nazi Germany as an example, not the Imperial Japanese army. In a culture more accepting of conformity, the harmful effects of obedience sadly don’t occasion self-examination

I am not saying Germany is perfect in any way and I admit to a personal bias. But putting Japan and Germany in the same category in terms of "how to handle your past misdeeds and ask for forgiveness" is not only intellectually dishonest but also inhumanely disgusting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Imagine if Germany also have a memorial like the Yasukuni Shrine where Nazi war criminals are honored...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe good to add some facts.

Except concerning Japan they are not facts just your misinformed opinions.

BTW anyone noticed before that these comments can get you 10 or more down votes in few minutes (and not much down votes before or after) Seems like there is someone creating several accounts to influence massively

Or maybe people here just don't agree with you ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

By contrast, many Japanese high school students, when asked about harmful effects of peer pressure, would cite Nazi Germany as an example, not the Imperial Japanese army.

I would cite today's Germany...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Welcome to bizarro world where rabid racist fascists dress up in war criminal regalia and the Japanese PM kowtows to them in some insane fantasy world where Japan was the hero nation in WWII.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Are they inviting the Nazi's next year to celebrate Japan's alliance with Nazi Germany during WWII?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japanese alliance with Germany was merely an anti-communist alliance, not an ideological one. Indeed, Japan refused to talk on board Nazi ideologies.

I thought the communists were supposed to be the bad guys? Therefore, wasn't the Anti-Comintern Pact a good thing?

It's a false equivalnce, guilt by association thing. It does not work and, as a slur, it has no place today.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

pacificwestToday  06:58 am JST

The Japanese alliance with Germany was merely an anti-communist alliance, not an ideological one. Indeed, Japan refused to talk on board Nazi ideologies.

That's no excuse. The Allies could have wiped out the Nazis a lot sooner if we hadn't had to waste so much effort and so many lives and resources on dealing with Japan.

I thought the communists were supposed to be the bad guys? Therefore, wasn't the Anti-Comintern Pact a good thing?

I don't think I've ever heard anyone suggest that a pact with Nazi Germany could ever be "a good thing." To me it just indicates the Imperial Japanese regime's total moral bankruptcy. Besides - it didn't do Japan a whole lot of good in the end, did it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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