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Abe has no plans to visit Pearl Harbor; Obama offers condolences over Okinawan woman's murder

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By NANCY BENAC

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Anything that could disrupt the Japanese-as-victim narrative must be nipped in the bud. Otherwise, the public might start asking some uncomfortable questions.

21 ( +31 / -10 )

Laying bare the complex politics of reconciliation and contrition, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

I do believe this is the first time I have seen the words contrite and Abe together in the same sentence. He is definitely NOT.

But Abe was unflinching in his harsh criticism of the U.S. over a new irritant that has inflamed the Japanese public:

Unflinching? Criticism? Inflamed? Things seem awfully quiet right now around Kasumigaseki, no protesters there, strange.

do “everything that we can to prevent any crimes from taking place of this sort and that involves reviewing procedures and making sure that everything that can be done to prevent such occurrences from happening again are put into place.”

Obama, what exactly does this mean? This sounds like a politician making comments to appease an audience. Unless you are willing to shut down all the US military bases in Japan there is no way to prevent crimes from being committed.

Even shutting down the bases won't stop people from committing crimes, and there is no way you as president can take responsibility for the actions of every American living on the planet.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Next denial coming..."Pearl Harbor never happened...they just imagined it...nobody was killed."

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Abe is so faceless it's disgusting. To take advantage of a US president's visit to HIroshima and not reciprocate with a similar gesture for Japan's gross mistake to bring destruction to its people via the A-bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is beyond the pale. I've been in all three places, in recent years, and there's a lot of shameful bowing on the Japanese part that should take place. But that's just a Canadian's point of view. Abe sucks pond-water.

15 ( +20 / -6 )

I get tired of Americans pretending that Pearl Harbor parallels Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While civilians did die in Pearl Harbor, it was nothing on the scale of Hiroshima or Nagasaki because the target of the bombing was a military installation, not a city.

If you want a parallel to Hiroshima/Nagasaki, look to places like Nanking. To skip over this obvious instance of targeting civilians (with actual cruelty and malice as opposed to the cold calculation of dropping an atomic bomb) suggests a kind of narcissism, where American lives lost are more important than any other lives lost without regard for the context in how they were lost.

-10 ( +17 / -26 )

I get tired of Americans pretending that Pearl Harbor parallels Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While civilians did die in Pearl Harbor, it was nothing on the scale of Hiroshima or Nagasaki because the target of the bombing was a military installation, not a city.

Why? Can't accept that the two are forever inter-twined and without the one, odds are pretty high that the bombs may never have fallen on those two cities.

Deflect and obfuscate the issue, take the position of victim, turn the conversation away from Japan, and point fingers elsewhere. THAT is the problem, until Japan, through Abe, accepts that they are all connected together, like some big play on a stage, there will never be a true closure to that portion of history.

On a separate note....Onaga isn't against the military in Okinawa? Hmmm....wonder why no one ever reported this tiny fact?.

"I don't oppose the presence of American military," Onaga tells NPR. "But since there are so many bases, I think the locations should be balanced across all of Japan."

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/05/25/479269436/as-president-visits-japan-okinawa-controversy-is-back-in-the-limelight

8 ( +15 / -10 )

If you want a parallel to Hiroshima/Nagasaki, look to places like Nanking.

What I don't get is I rarely hear Japanese even acknowledge the fact that even AFTER Hiroshima, the leaders STILL voted NO on surrender, when they KNEW another bomb was coming.

I can't understand why Nagasaki doesn't have unending hate for their government.

Nanking is easily discounted as rogue troops, not a conscious decision by government authorities (nobody can sue anybody)

12 ( +16 / -3 )

Abe has no plans to visit Pearl Harbor

Well...a surprise visit would be more appropriate.

24 ( +24 / -1 )

“We should always do what we can to prevent it,” he said. But he added: “It’s important for us to act on occasion in order to make sure that the American people are protected.”

Yeah, stop sending your troops or war machines abroad in countries that never harmed you.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

To skip over this obvious instance of targeting civilians (with actual cruelty and malice as opposed to the cold calculation of dropping an atomic bomb) suggests a kind of narcissism, where American lives lost are more important than any other lives lost without regard for the context in how they were lost.

On a separate note, and to further expand on this comment; Rather myopic thinking too, there are plenty of other countries that Japanese committed atrocities in and you never hear, for example, the Chinese people talking about Pearl Harbor, the the Filipino's discussing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it's human nature for people to talk about and criticize what is closest to home.

Japan is the culprit, and people have to understand that the actions of Japan caused everything else to happen.

Dont hold your breath waiting for it to change, and definitely dont hold your breath expecting Japan to change before they do, they wont, because they cant, until they get the image of themselves of being a collective group out of their minds.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Numerous citizens sacrificed their lives.

This makes it sound voluntary. This is one of Shinzo's themes. It's a lie, of course.

And even now, there are those of us suffering because of the atomic bombing

You've never suffered for a second in your life, mate. There's no "us" as far as you are concerned.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Abe is a nationalist and not a pro American.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If Abe visited Pearl Harbor then what would happen to playing the victim card?

17 ( +20 / -3 )

The precursor to Hiroshima was in 1932, not 1941. Aerial bombings of civilian populations began on 28th January, 1932, with Japanese bomber attacks on Shanghai. The die was cast.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

A reciprocal gesture would have been classy,but born with a silver spoon in his mouth Abe has none.

15 ( +15 / -1 )

Obama, for his part, offered his condolences and “deepest regrets.” He said any violent crime by U.S. personnel or contractors was appalling and pledged to do “everything that we can to prevent any crimes from taking place of this sort and that involves reviewing procedures and making sure that everything that can be done to prevent such occurrences from happening again are put into place.”

Diplomacy fail, the President should have pointed out that this man was a permanent resident of Japan and stressed that is a strictly Japanese issue.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Photos say it all....very uneasy, uncomfortable and awkward moments between Obama-Abe press meeting in Shima, Japan (prior to G7 summit)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Diplomacy fail, the President should have pointed out that this man was a permanent resident of Japan and stressed that is a strictly Japanese issue.

Which would have dropped him into the middle of a rather small but important fact that his status was illegal in the first place.

People who have SOFA are not legally allowed to carry any residence status in Japan. A fact that is currently being overlooked in the media. BUT I bet there are quite a few folks working on the bases in Okinawa and Japan right now that have visa status in Japan and SOFA as well are worrying about and trying to figure out what to do.

SOFA status people in Japan have no residence status (visa status) in Japan and are here under the SOFA. If they lose SOFA status, and are remaining in Japan, or vice versa, they are obligated by law to apply for a visa to stay here to live in Japan.

There are plenty that would have to leave if they didnt have the sofa, because they have no sponsor nor other means of support in the eyes of the Japanese government.

This guy, as well as others, are playing games with both systems.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

where American lives lost are more important than any other lives lost without regard for the context in how they were lost.

think that if anyone the narcissism charge should be applied to the military leaders of Japan at the time and their belief in the Bushido code, of not surrendering, and if I have to die so does everyone else. The General (Ozawa I believe) that came up with the kamikaze plan, never did participate in an kamikaze attack. He was tried as a war criminal after the war.

Look at the Japanese civilian population of Saipan, who were told to commit suicide rather than be captured by the Americans as well as the people of Okinawa some of whom were killed by the IJA themselves or told to commit suicide based on the direction of the military leaders. Those are the ones who bear much of the blame. American leadership at the time were well aware of what they had to face as they were slugging their way through the Pacific, and if there was an opportunity to make it a lot easier, then they did their due diligence as commanders and leaders responsible for bringing as many of their troops home as we would expect. If you look back at American military history, the leaders that are vilified for being the most ineffective are the ones who were fool hardy, and wasted their troops lives in winning with their "damn it all attitude" much like that of the Japanese leadership at the time.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I get tired of Americans pretending that Pearl Harbor parallels Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While civilians did die in Pearl Harbor, it was nothing on the scale of Hiroshima or Nagasaki because the target of the bombing was a military installation, not a city.

I get tired of what seems the entire Japanese population pretending that their hand was forced to attack Pearl Harbor, that they were "liberating" the rest of Asia, that Nanjing wasn't as bad as it's been reported, that the IJA "advanced" into China, that there was no such thing as unit 731, that the civilian population wasn't behind the war machine, that the civilian population wasn't zealously behind those two Japanese madmen cutting off Chinese heads in competition, that the a-bombs automatically erase all of the Japanese's initiations and aggressions in WW2 and forever places them in the innocent victim catagory; I get tired of Japanese always living by a their double standard: always expecting people to bend over backwards to meet them but never doing anything half way similar in return. And you have the nerve to mention narcism?

I guess it's like they say: those who can't do, teach. And so, therefore, I guess that those who can't win physically, when deep down that's their heart's desire, wage revenge pompously with their own brand of morality and expect recognition and awards for being a victim and pretend that they've never been aggressive and have always been peaceful and actually turn their loses into a competition and actually feel proud and virtuous for having suffered more.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Numerous citizens sacrificed their lives

At the hands of your own government

18 ( +19 / -1 )

I am not even going to read the article. Just the headline alone is really damn stupid. I'm pretty sure there's a lot of important matters these two leaders talked about the media goes for old grudges. This why we still have people living in 1945 and can't move a year from there. Freaking dumb.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

dropped him into the middle of a rather small but important fact that his status was illegal in the first place. People who have SOFA are not legally allowed to carry any residence status in Japan. A fact that is currently being overlooked in the media. BUT I bet there are quite a few folks working on the bases in Okinawa and Japan right now that have visa status in Japan and SOFA as well are worrying about and trying to figure out what to do. SOFA status people in Japan have no residence status (visa status) in Japan and are here under the SOFA. If they lose SOFA status, and are remaining in Japan, or vice versa, they are obligated by law to apply for a visa to stay here to live in Japan. There are plenty that would have to leave if they didnt have the sofa, because they have no sponsor nor other means of support in the eyes of the Japanese government. This guy, as well as others, are playing games with both systems.

I believe it, that would be the wiser battle than the us govt taking heat for this guys heinous crime

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Diplomacy fail, the President should have pointed out that this man was a permanent resident of Japan and stressed that is a strictly Japanese issue.

No, that would have been a diplomacy fail. Saying what he did costs the US nothing, and keeps relations smooth. Saying 'it's your problem' regarding a citizen of the US would have only caused problems, and would have been exactly what you are complaining about - a diplomacy fail.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"the target of the bombing was a military installation, not a city."

Japanese bombers also ripped into plenty of cities and residential areas, including Singapore, leaving lots of civilians burnt to death in their homes. At the time, the Japanese cheered at the news and to this day, most just shrug to get defensive when such actions are brought up.

Abe would be a very busy man if he had to lay wreaths in every city where Japanese aircraft targeted civilians.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

The big nanny Obama is being sneakily abused and taken advantaged of by the nationalist baby Abe, without Barack even knowin it.

As an ally and the host, the Japanese PM should have given a more diplomatic answer to the question of a reciprocal visit to Pearl Harbor but unfortunately or fortunately as the case may be, the real mind set of Shinzo was totally revealed to the world.

He even has the gall to castigate Pres. Obama about the killing in Okinawa without taking into consideration that this is about the historic first visit of an American President to Hiroshima.

This just laid bare the very strong hatred of the host to the nation that dropped the bomb.

This smells like a honey trap for the eagle.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

"In Japan, Pearl Harbor is not seen as a parallel for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and then Nagasaki three days later, but as an attack on a military installation that did not target civilians. Obama’s visit to Hiroshima would be seen in Japan as less of a coup for Abe if it appeared to be linked to a visit to Pearl Harbour."

It's not even seen as a non-parallel, it's flat out denied as an 'attack', but called a 'defence' by many Japanese on here and in Japan in general. They claim that they had no choice, and that the attack on Pearl Harbor was started by the US, if you can believe that.

Anyway, the guy won't even visit Hawaii, so needless to say he would NEVER visit the site of Japanese atrocities in Nanjing and other places. Asked about Pearl Harbor and he answers by talking about the suffering of people in Japan -- that says it all.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I get tired of what seems the entire Japanese population pretending that their hand was forced to attack Pearl Harbor, that they were "liberating" the rest of Asia, that Nanjing wasn't as bad as it's been reported, that the IJA "advanced" into China, that there was no such thing as unit 731, that the civilian population wasn't behind the war machine, that the civilian population wasn't zealously behind those two Japanese madmen cutting off Chinese heads in competition, that the a-bombs automatically erase all of the Japanese's initiations and aggressions in WW2 and forever places them in the innocent victim catagory;

"The entire Japanese population"? Bit of rhetoric there don't you think? To put that in perspective, it would be like Bass saying 'I get tired of what seems like the entire black population doing drugs and shooting each other up'. Just because some are doing it, doesn't mean all are. It's irresponsible to condemn the entire population for the actions of the few, just because the few are louder than the rest.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

as an american, an insincere visit by abe to pearl harbor is unwelcome anyways, and he would just return to japan and retract any apology. no thanks.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

woke up last night with somebody asking about "Shinjuwan". Well done!! Let's see how the japanese media will portrait this question, if they even mention it of course.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well played by Obama! Abe should have accepted

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"The entire Japanese population"? Bit of rhetoric there don't you think? To put that in perspective, it would be like Bass saying 'I get tired of what seems like the entire black population doing drugs and shooting each other up'. Just because some are doing it, doesn't mean all are. It's irresponsible to condemn the entire population for the actions of the few, just because the few are louder than the rest.

Under different circumstances you'd be correct. But the Japanese are unique in that they all think, act, talk, and behave alike and in unison. It's all apart of maintaining 和. Now, of course there are some who step out of line, but most don't. And I'm sure that those that have Japanese wives or husbands will argue until they're blue in the face that this isn't the case. But that's just bring disingenuous. The collective belief in this country is that Japan was an innocent baby lamb in WW2

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strangeland, I see where you're coming from but you cannot name another case where an American Officials, especially the President, have apologized or "offered condolences" for the actions of an American national living abroad. This case shouldn't be any different than previous crimes by American expats because he was contracted to work on a base. I find it embarrassing.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I see where you're coming from but you cannot name another case where an American Officials, especially the President, have apologized or "offered condolences" for the actions of an American national living abroad.

This incident is this incident. The criticism was that Obama's comments were a diplomacy fail. I pointed out how they were not. Previous actions by other presidents are not the determining factor on whether or not this was a diplomacy fail.

You're right strangerland. You always are.

Except when I'm not. It happens. I'm ok with being shown when I'm wrong, and willing to admit it when I am.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Hiroshima never would have happened had it not been for Pearl Harbor. America was the victim of WWII not Japan

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The American is falling into the trap of the victim mentality. Obama is the loser.

-11 ( +2 / -12 )

Victim mentality is a part of Japanese culture and upbringing...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I totally agree with Abe Shinzo in his rejection to visit Pearl Harbor,either for time being or in the future.You are always smart Abe.

-22 ( +3 / -24 )

Previous actions by other presidents are not the determining factor on whether or not this was a diplomacy fail.

I argue it's a diplomacy fail because it gives fuel to the argument that this is a US military issue. Fueling that argument counters the President's Asia Pivot because the people who argue its military related don't want the US here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I argue it's a diplomacy fail because it gives fuel to the argument that this is a US military issue.

Like it or not, it's a military issue, as he had sofa status, and was tied to the military. It's not an argument, it's a fact.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Unless a country committed a war crime, I don't see the point of an apology. It's a bloody war. "I know we were at war, but sorry about that one thing we did. We went a little nuts, and anyway sorry about that."

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan,.....still so much to learn......they are not a superpower.....I mean...just a typhoon warning and the whole place is in panic.....no clue...no clue whatsoever!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Although it is appropriate for Obama to offer his regrets for the senseless murder in Okinawa, I have not heard any apologies ever by any government official of Japan for their atrocities during WWII. When will such an apology be forthcoming? It sounds like the Prime Minister of Japan is deliberately putting Obama on the defensive before his Hiroshima visit. Obama had better not apologize for the atomic bombings of Japan. They had it coming. It is now a different world with different people, but we still need to remember the past including events like Pearl Harbor, and the terrible atrocities committed by the Japanese military at that time. We certainly cannot hold these things against the modern people of Japan, but it would be satisfying to hear a Japanese government official at least acknowledge these actions of the past.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Like it or not, it's a military issue, as he had sofa status, and was tied to the military. It's not an argument, it's a fact

Also a fact was that he held Japanese residency. He held it before he was illegally given SOFA. They're cherry picking facts to fit their political game and the President is allowing them to do it. This one is not a military related issue. If it was private shinzato it would be a different story.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Obama's body language when he was with Abe was disrespectful and embarrassing.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

YubaruMAY. 26, 2016 - 07:10AM JST Why? Can't accept that the two are forever inter-twined and without the one, odds are pretty high that the bombs may never have fallen on those two cities.

"Accept" is a neat rhetorical trick for pretending your position is established fact, but unfortunately your position remains a matter of opinion, and a flimsily-supported one at that. The a-bombs might not have been dropped had Pearl Harbor never been attacked, but to pretend Pearl Harbor caused those bombs to be dropped is to deny the entire chain of choices both sides took in the almost 4 years that separates the two events.

It's the same rhetorical strategy employed by Yasukuni's Yushukan War Museum when it claims that America's embargo of Japan "caused" Japan to attack Pearl Harbor - as though the Imperial Japanese Navy had no other choice. Such denials of choice are conspicuous attempts to deny the complexity of war and avoid even the possibility of asking yourself if your side made the right choices. Instead of learning from history, both sides invent narratives to present their controversial choices as inevitable and inescapable.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Also a fact was that he held Japanese residency.

That appears to be true. But it doesn't change what I said - he was tied to the military.

This one is not a military related issue.

The fact that he was tied to the military, and had SOFA status, makes it a military issue, not matter how much you wish it were otherwise.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

One thing you must remember when you remember Pearl Harbor is that Pearl Harbor was a military base. Tensions between Japan and America were very, very high at that particular time. In times of tension, a military base must be ready for an attack whether a war is declared or not. The atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacks on civilian populations. No person in their right mind would ever try to see a parallel between the two.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

It's not about parallels. Why would a modern Japan fear apologies and questions? Because it's unfortunately still stuck representing a continuum from its past IJA defeated government, rather than a new Japanese government that was also a victim of the IJA.

If it was a new Japanese government perspective, there's no problem in visiting Hawaii or anywhere else, why would there be? Japan was just as much a victim of the IJA as everyone else. No, the only reason atonement visits would be impossible is because of internal acknowledged sheepish feelings.

Incredibly, the act of not being able to atone means the Abe government still represents a continuum from the defeated IJA. They have never questioned why they hold their position because it has never formally changed.

The fact Obama can come to Hiroshima and not apologize but atone for the events instead means he does this for the USA, not Japan. He's the US President after all.

I may not be articulating this well enough but as a result of this dual dynamic I don't think Japan truly understands what's going on here because the issues are at cross purposes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not as the prime minister but he visited Pearl. Harbor. several times. First when he came to Ca.if to attend. USC. Airline stops in Hawaii and passengers tour p H and enjoy Hula dance.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The precursor to Hiroshima was in 1932, not 1941. Aerial bombings of civilian populations began on 28th January, 1932, with Japanese bomber attacks on Shanghai. The die was cast.

Good point moonraker . . . . . but the hardcore Japanese ultra-nationalists will deny it. Just like Nanjing or the whole comfort women issue.

Obama offers condolences over Okinawan woman's murder

So it looks like Onaga won't get to meet up with Mr. Obama eh?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What a lame move from Japanese officials. Instead of appreciating the historic visit they emerge from their nationalism to shove their obsolete philosophy into Obama's throat. Never trust a person that does not give faith to his promises/words.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A lot of Japanese I know truly believe that Japan was forced into the attack on Pearl Harbour and so were justified, so I'm thinking that Abe paying his respects at PH might seem a bit strange, though I do hope that he does one day

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I get tired of Americans pretending that Pearl Harbor parallels Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While civilians did die in Pearl Harbor, it was nothing on the scale of Hiroshima or Nagasaki because the target of the bombing was a military installation, not a city. I get tired of Japanese pretending that Hiroshima/Nagasaki was the worst crime of WW2, it was nothing on the scale of the 6 million jews that were taken away , starved, gassed , incinerated to hide the truth, or the 20million Soviets that died mostly civilian by the hands of the Nazis, or the 15 million Asians that were slaughtered ,most civilians, at the hands of the IJA. WW2 had so much more death and destruction than the A bombs. Japanese would realise this if they actually read a history book or watch a documentary that was actually published outside of Japan. Time for some unbiase, unedited perspective of WW2 history

11 ( +14 / -4 )

It seems human nature that the victim tends to take the damage he received to be manifold more than what he actually received while the assailant tends to think it to be far less than what he actually inflicted upon the victim. If it is true, then it's working nicely to explain conflicting views posted on this thread regarding Pearl Harbor Surprise Attack and Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

The Pearl Harbor Attack was an inhumane, abominable military action without a doubt but could it be comparable to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in which 140,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed instantly in Hiroshima alone? The reporter, who asked Prime Minster Shinzo Abe if he would reciprocate for President Barack Obama's historic visit to Hiroshima, apparently thinks Pearl Harbor weighs much the same as Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Abe has no plans to visit Pearl Harbor

Heaven forbid! He mightly actually have to acknowledged that Japan started the Pacific War. Of course we can rule out at trip to Nanking in the near future as well.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe is a nationalist so he is doing a nationalistic politic which apparently is pleasing the majority of voters, If some want Japan to apologize for past crimes it will require a different leader here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

WW2 had so much more death and destruction than the A bombs. Japanese would realise this if they actually read a history book or watch a documentary that was actually published outside of Japan. Time for some unbiase, unedited perspective of WW2 history

This is because many Japanese dont learn that they were apart of a larger war. They even refer to it as the Pacific War, Taiheiyo Senso, and are not taught the entire world view at the time. So they dont feel they were a part of that war.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Abe declared himself “just speechless” at the crime, and called for swift investigation of the offender “who committed this self-centered and absolutely despicable crime.”

Sorry, but this is why no leader should visit Hiroshima, especially Obama. Abe has promised the visit is about ridding the world of nuclear weapons, and that it is to strengthen ties between the two nations, but once he gets on the podium he hijacks the situation to accuse Obama of things he could not POSSIBLY have prevented, when in reality not only is he using the same tech as nuclear weapons to power the nation (and insist that it and coal be used), but the rape in Okinawa is none other than the fault of the man, a FORMER US marine, and if anything the Japanese government (they allowed him to stay under a SOFA visa or whatever despite him having retired from the military).

I guarantee that come Obama's speech time in Hiroshima Abe will again cease the opportunity not to welcome peace talks and progress in stopping nuclear proliferation, but to talk about how badly Japan has suffered and how the US is to blame, and others will hijack the moment as well and demand he apologize -- as I'm sure wingers are preparing the victims, if he meets them, to ask. Already international media is slamming Abe's handling of this meeting, and rightly so. Take heed leaders of the world when you visit Japan: the leaders claim it is for one thing, but it's really to try and force their values on you, TELL you what you should think and what you should want to see and do, and claim it is all 'selfless generosity and sacrifice' and whatever buzz words they like to say 'omotenashi' means. Clearly, it also means they will put you on the spot and lie about what they will discuss.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Wc626 The bomber attacks on Shanghai, which were out of the blue, are rather hard to deny since nationals from all the other international settlements, including French, British and Americans, could watch the bombing and it was widely reported, even filmed.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Taiheiyo Senso, and are not taught the entire world view at the time.

Who is? WW II should never be thought of as a singular war. They don't call it WW I for no reason. Interesting that those marginalized at the Treaty of Versailles came back to kick some major ass: Japan, Germany and Vietnam. The colonial powers didn't even THINK for a second about giving up their territories and all of Germany's colonial holdings went to the new UN. Japan wanted a clause about racism put into the the treaty but the colonial powers rejected it. So I'm sure Japan just said "hey, those racist pigs governing the world and controlling India, China, South America and Africa just don't give a shit. We might as well do they same thing before they take over the whole planet"

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I get tired of what seems the entire Japanese population pretending that their hand was forced to attack Pearl Harbor

You might get that impression if you only read English sources.

Actually, the idea that Japan was forced into attacking Pearl Harbor is an American idea that originated with the Quaker historian Charles A. Beard in his book President Roosevelt and the Coming of War (1948). Similarly calling the IMTFE (Tokyo war crimes trial) "Victor's Justice" originated with an American (Richard Minear).

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I see that Shin-chan has had a haircut for the summit. Looking spiffy!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This is what Abe said.

As for a visit to Pearl Harbor, Abe said: “At this moment I don’t have any specific plan to visit Hawaii.” He did not foreclose the idea of a visit entirely, but clearly sidestepped any suggestion that reciprocity was called for, as some have suggested.

This is what the US news agency reported.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday rejected the idea of visiting Pearl Harbor to reciprocate for President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Hiroshima later this week.

I feel some malignancy on the side of the journalist.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Historical revisionist Abe has no plans to visit Nanjing either, as he maintains that nothing untoward ever happened there.

As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki: the Japanese could have surrendered at any time, but chose not to. The Japanese government and emperor Hirohito are responsible for the consequences of choosing to fight on. Perhaps Abe will apologise on their behalf for the unnecessary deaths resulting from their pig-headedness.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

the rape in Okinawa is none other than the fault of the man, a FORMER US marine, and if anything the Japanese government (they allowed him to stay under a SOFA visa or whatever despite him having retired from the military).

Wow. A murder of a human being is now seen as a rape? And now its the fault of the Japanese??

when in reality not only is he using the same tech as nuclear weapons to power the nation

Using nuclear "energy" for power and using nuclear "science" for weapons are two very different things. One nation (Japan) uses it to heat and light its population. The other nation (USA) used it to obliterate 200,000 humans.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The U.S. Military told the Japanese Govt. that they wanted this person to be under SOFA Status and by doing so it means that the U.S. Military will be responsible for that person along as he is under SOFA Status. SOFA Status trumps any Japanese Visa this person might have had in his passport because being under SOFA means you are not even required to have a Japanese Visa. If the U.S. Military does not want to take responsibility for a person under SOFA then they should not authorize them to have it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ScroteMAY. 26, 2016 - 01:31PM JST

The Japanese government and emperor Hirohito are responsible for the consequences of choosing to fight on. Perhaps Abe will apologise on their behalf for the unnecessary deaths resulting from their pig-headedness.

The Hague Convention on War on Land prohibits killing of civilians in a war. Using A-bombs targeting civilians is violation of International Laws. Killing of civilians is by no means a justifiable way to make to the enemy surrender.

All kinds of bad things are committed in a war and both sides are to blame to certain extent.

In addition, the war continued because the US insisted on "unconditional" surrender. Unconditional surrender used to mean that the winner can do whatever they want on the losers, such as mass murder, mass rape, and mass enslavement, just as Americans and Europeans did on the native people around the world.

Historical revisionist Abe has no plans to visit Nanjing

Japanese soldiers killed thousands of Chinese soldiers in the battle of Nanjing. That was soldiers killing enemy soldiers and is nothing wrong. Many Chinese soldiers hid their weapon and their uniform, pretended to be civilians and refused to surrender. Japanese soldiers found and killed those un-surrendering Chinese soldiers in hiding. That was nothing wrong. In the battle, many Chinese civilians were mistaken as soldiers and killed. That was regrettable but such unintentional collateral damage was inevitable. Also, China is partly to blame for employing the tactics to use plain clothes soldiers, which was prohibited by International Laws. By deducting the number of soldiers killed in the battle and by using more reliable death toll than 300,000 alleged by China, civilians death is much smaller. The problem with Nanjing is that the facts are way distorted by communist propaganda, and visiting there would give endorsement to their rewriting of history.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Take heed leaders of the world when you visit Japan: the leaders claim it is for one thing, but it's really to try and force their values on you, TELL you what you should think and what you should want to see and do, and claim it is all 'selfless generosity and sacrifice' and whatever buzz words they like to say 'omotenashi' means. Clearly, it also means they will put you on the spot and lie about what they will discuss.

You mean just like when Obama went to Egypt in the disguise of an official visit and then actually made a speech criticising his hosts over democracy? Or Obama's very recent trip to Vietnam to lift an arms embargo which turned into another speech criticising his hosts about political freedom? Just replace the word 'Japan' with 'the US' in the comment above and there is no difference.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

to do “everything that we can to prevent any crimes from taking place of this sort and that involves reviewing procedures and making sure that everything that can be done to prevent such occurrences from happening again are put into place.”

Know what would accomplish that? Death penalty for anyone convicted of a felony crime overseas.

Somehow I think the threat of death would deter the majority, and the ones it doesn't probably aren't worth having around anyway.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese soldiers killed thousands of Chinese soldiers in the battle of Nanjing. That was soldiers killing enemy soldiers and is nothing wrong. Many Chinese soldiers hid their weapon and their uniform, pretended to be civilians and refused to surrender. Japanese soldiers found and killed those un-surrendering Chinese soldiers in hiding. That was nothing wrong. In the battle, many Chinese civilians were mistaken as soldiers and killed. That was regrettable but such unintentional collateral damage was inevitable.

All you arrogant wingers and revisionists think this way. So all the women and children killed during the rape of Nanjing, were soldiers in disguise too ?

And the head-chopping match, that was well documented, and yes, applauded in the Japanese press. Revisionists are the scourge that prevents Japan from shining on the world stage.

10 ( +13 / -4 )

Obama visits Hiroshima. Abe states no intention of visiting Pearl Harbour. Obama is blundering here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That claim started when a young Chinese American woman (not even a historian) wrote a book decades after the war. No evidence.

Wouldn't surprise me. They came to our university giving a lecture about this while selling their books. I thought it was very scummy.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

let me repost what I posted above in case some posters may have missed it.

It seems characteristic of human nature that the victim tends to take the damage he received to be manifold more than what he actually received and that the assailant tends to think the damage he inflicted on the victim is far less than what he actually did. If it is true, then it's working nicely to explain conflicting views posted on this thread regarding Pearl Harbor Surprise Attack and Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

The Pearl Harbor Attack was an inhumane, unforgivable military action without a doubt but could its sins and atrocity be comparable to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in which 140,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed instantly or in a few days after in Hiroshima alone? The reporter, who asked Prime Minster Shinzo Abe if he would reciprocate for President Barack Obama's historic visit to Hiroshima, apparently thinks Pearl Harbor weighs much the same as Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

he reporter, who asked Prime Minster Shinzo Abe if he would reciprocate for President Barack Obama's historic visit to Hiroshima, apparently thinks Pearl Harbor weighs much the same as Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together. its nothing to do with which one was bigger just paying respects to people that died in that war, Hiroshima is the symbol of the end of the Pacific war, Pearl harbour is a symbol of the beginning. Making a similar visit by Abe (he doesn't need to say sorry) is respectful and honourable. Seriously you right wingers will read F anything into anything if it suits your ideology.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The bombings in southern japan would not had stopped even if more atomic bombs would have fallen. It was the attack from the north by Russia that made Japan surrender.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Agreed. And besides, America exhauseted its stockpile temporarily after Nagasaki. More bombs wouldn't be ready till the following year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CH3CO:

Given that Hiroshima was an army and navy base I'd say it was a justifiable target for attack. The deaths of any civilians who happened to be around was regrettable but avoidable had the Japanese government surrendered earlier.

As you seem to believe, along with Abe, that the Japanese behaved as perfect gentlemen in Nanjing, perhaps you would support a visit by Abe to the museum dedicated to the victims of Unit 731 instead?

I'd be interested in hearing your justification for the deaths of thousands of civilians at the hands of Japanese at Unit 731. That certainly wasn't "soldiers killing enemy soldiers". "Regrettable" doesn't come close to describing the outrages that the Japanese committed there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Abe made a diplomatic blunder. He insulted the US President while he was guest in Japan. The US will quietly unseat him.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Obama is making biggest ever nuclear upgrade and is urging Britain to upgrade their nuclear arsenal but at same time he is lying to Japanese people he envision world without nuclear weapon. His visit to Hiroshima is not bringing any hope for peaceful world and only scratching wounds. Abe approach is more logical to the process of healing and forgiveness...

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

wtfjapan (May. 26, 2016 - 07:48PM JST):

There's no denying that Japan started the war by attacking Pearl Harbor by surprise.

But isn't it true that President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to enter the war and help Great Britain fighting against Japan desperately but he was unable to do so because of the isolationist policy of past governments to which U.S. citizens were accustomed for long.

So it's a convincing theory that Roosevelt knew Imperial Japanese Army's combined forces were coming to attack Pearl Harbor and let it happen intentionally, thus inflaming the naive nation's animosity toward Japan like hell and united the people as one to enter and fight the war.

The film footage of him gloating over it with his two long legs thrown on the table after he gave the nationwide radio speech suggests there's some truth in such a theory.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There's no denying that Japan started the war by attacking Pearl Harbor by surprise. actually as another poster put it, the pacific war started in 1932 with the bombing raids on Shanghai, Japans colonisation of Asia and the millions murdered by the IJA (mostly civilians) set the foundations of the pacific war. Jjapan attacking Pearl Harbour was to claim its dominance in Asia and the pacific region. What it failed to understand was Americas ability to wage war and the massive manufacturing of weapons and vehicles. America being forced into WW2 the supply of weapons to itself and its allies in Europe only aided in the defeat of Hiltler and the IJA

2 ( +4 / -3 )

But isn't it true that President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to enter the war and help Great Britain fighting against Japan desperately but he was unable to do so because of the isolationist policy

That's about as lame as an excuse by saying, "The US cut off Japan's oil supply after the Imperial Japanese Army invaded China." Justifying a reason to sneak attack on Pearl.

Hell they even did it on a Sunday morning at like 7-ish. Lots of hang-overs. Caught us sleeping . . . . but sure FDR "knew" all along. Pure nonsense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who is? WW II should never be thought of as a singular war. They don't call it WW I for no reason. Interesting that those marginalized at the Treaty of Versailles came back to kick some major ass: Japan, Germany and Vietnam

Vietnam? Interesting, and here all along I thought it was Italy? Notice what I wrote about a "larger" war? There were different theaters but all apart of what eventually was called WWII.

They don't call it WW I for no reason.

Which didnt get the name until many, many, years later, as it was know for at least a generation as the "Great War" , and technically speaking it was less of a World War and more of a European War than WWII.

But that is just semantics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

wtfjapan May. 27, 2016 - 12:59AM JST :

I realized after I had posted the piece above that I should have written "Japan started the Pacific War by attacking Pearl Harbor by surprise" instead of simply saying "...started the war." The war started in 1937 is called "Nicchu Senso" (Second Sino-Japanese War) in Japan. The First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) is called "Nisshin Senso". So what you call "the pacific war" is war that between Japan and China.

You suggest the U.S. entered the war to prevent Imperial Japan from colonization and domination of Asia. You are right, but isn't it true that the most of Asian countries were already colonized and dominated by Western powers? Imperial Japan justified its invasion of the colonies of the Western powers, saying it would exonerate them from Western colonization.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the end results of Imperial Japan's adoration and emulation of Western colonialism since the Meiji Restoration.

-3 ( +0 / -4 )

ScroteMAY. 26, 2016 - 09:02PM JST

CH3CO:

I'd be interested in hearing your justification for the deaths of thousands of civilians at the hands of Japanese at Unit 731.

You write as if it were an established fact that Unit 731 killed thousands of civilians.

After the end of WW2, the Allies confiscated a lot of documents concerning Unit 731, but they did not bring any charges against it to the war crime court. So, the allegation is far from established. Unit 731 did exist as a medical unit in the Japanese army. There is no physical evidence the unit killed thousands of civilians. If it had done so, there would be no justification, and I would have no intention to justify it. But first you have to establish the facts, and I think you cannot because even the Allies at that time could not.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

If Japan wanted to "exonerate" the colonies from Western powers - why she attacked Manchuria, Formosa, and other non-colonial territories like Australia and New Zealand by sea? Were they mere excursions of curious tourists? Japanese insatiable attacks against innocent peoples and mass atrocities implemented during WWII are on a par with today world terrorism.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Japanese_atrocities_imperial_war_museum_K9923.jpg

Japan and Austria never felt guilty or responsible for war crimes because of nationalistic ego.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

BOOK SNIFFER,

Japan invaded Asian countries, justifying its action by saying it would liberate them from Western powers' colonization. I'm not saying Japan's wartime action can be justified at all. It was a lucky hit, though, that those Asian countries were indeed liberated and became independent after WW II.

What I want to say is that Pearl Harbor can't be used as a justification for dropping the atomic bombs on these two cities saying, as did Truman, that they were military targets.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

BOOKSNIFFERMAY. 27, 2016 - 10:41AM JST

If Japan wanted to "exonerate" the colonies from Western powers - why she attacked Manchuria, Formosa, and other non-colonial territories like Australia and New Zealand by sea?

Your link does not seem to work. So, I have not read your link.

Japan did not attack Formosa. It attacked mainland China over the sovereignty of Formosa.

Japan did not attack Korea. It attacked China and Russia over the "special interest" in Korea.

Japan did not attack Manchuria. It attacked China over the sovereignty of Manchuria.

They were "freed" from the rule of China, though I do not buy this logic. If you dare ask why, this would be the answer.

Japanese insatiable attacks against innocent peoples and mass atrocities implemented during WWII are on a par with today world terrorism.

Which is more atrocious, a war or a terror? I think a war is far, far more atrocious than a terror and I believe everyone would agree. And we are talking about WW2 which was the worst war in the history.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

As for my haircut comment, I was being facetious.

The IJA attacked Manchuria without the authorisation of the Showa government. They did the same with China proper later, and Mongolia where they got a bloody nose from the Soviets (which led to their Pearl Harbour plan). By supporting these actions, you are condoning the actions of people who acted rogue, without authorisation. So on that note, I hope Obama doesn't get cornered re. an apology. He should give Japan a little history lesson in his speech about their own atrocities in Asia. There are only two people Mr Abe can't get around. One is the emperor, the other the US president.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

BOOK SNIFFER,

Hostility between Japan and China started when Japan took over the rights/interests in Kwantung province and the South Manchurian Railroad from Russia after the Russo-Japanese War. Chinese asserted their rights to abolish unequal treaties which they concluded with the West including Japan and regain concessions. They tried to do that not by living up to the world standard and modernizing their social system but by spewing anger and violence. Communism was also fanning their nationalism. Even in Mukden (Shenyang) area alone, more than 300,000 cases of damage and injury to Japanese and their property were reported annually in early 1930's. These Chinese intifada or terrorism led Japan to the Manchurian Incident.

As for the liberation of Asia from the western colonization, Japan sent troops to the South East Asia because the Allies laid an embargo on oil to Japan while supporting KMT China. Security and cause for independence were symbiotic making use of each other at this time of history. So the Burma Campaign was fought between the forces of the British Empire and China with support from the United States, against the forces of Japan, the Burma National Army, Thailand and the Indian National Army. Chinese merchants in Malay however who got a commission for managing plantations on behalf of absent landlords in Britain sided with the Allies unlike other Burmese and Malays.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When it comes to the atomic bombing, Japanese politicians rarely mention the fact that Japan was preparing to hit mainland United States with a radioactive dirty bomb within a week or two after those strikes forced their surrender. Though they could not perfect the fission process at the time, Germany provided the enriched materials, the planes were loaded, flight plans ready. It was not going to be some smaller military manufacturing town. If the US did not do what they did, San Francisco bay area would be still partly radioactive today. That's right, in the 90's, Japanese declassified documents showed a readied plan to strike the bay are with a dirty bomb. So if the atomic weapon was not used, the losses would have been worse on both sides. In addition to the US mainland dirty bomb strikes, before any surrender would have happened, the US would have had to invade, which is done only after defenses are weakened with carpet bombing and artillery strikes for days, if not weeks. All combined the widespread death and damage would have been much worse cumulatively than the atomic strikes. It is also a very important factor when considering that the US attempting to stay out of the war, and was attacked first, by a country with a peace envoy sent in the weeks prior. Just saying, the news try to make it look like the US overstepped some boundary in defending themselves, when the enemy at the time was just as ruthless.... If you ask me, no apologies needed, both sides did some despicable stuff, which is why war is so bad.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese politicians rarely mention the fact that Japan was preparing to hit mainland United States with a radioactive dirty bomb

It is not a fact.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bob Mouser,

A very interesting post purely based on a fancy.

I think you are talking about the balloon fire the Imperial Japanese Army developed and actually launched toward the end of the war. We hear one or two balloons hit the mainland U.S.A. by fluke and caused wild fires in Californian forests.

Japan lacked enough fuel to fly its precious stock of aircraft toward the end of the war, so any aircraft left intact were sitting ducks for U.S. bombers and fighter planes bombarding and attacking Japanese cities and targets. Naval forces were also non-existent at the time.

I wouldn’t deny, though, that there was an incipient study of atomic energy going on by Japanese physicists spearheaded by Dr. Yoshio Nika. But even if they developed nuclear weapons, how could they transport them across the Pacific and drop on U.S. cities?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think the issue Americans have with Pearl Harbour is the fact that it was weasely.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru MAY. 26, 2016 - 07:10AM JST THAT is the problem, until Japan, through Abe, accepts that they are all connected together, like some big play on a stage, there will never be a true closure to that portion of history.

The 1995 statement issued by then PM Murayama on the 50th war-end anniversary and the 2005 statement by former PM Koizumi both included “heartfelt apology” for the suffering Japan inflicted on the peoples of other nations through its colonial rule and acts of aggression. This 1995 apology included U.S. and all Asian countries that Japan hurt.

Abe thinks that if he makes an apology in his statement, he will leave it up to future prime ministers to deal with the issue of how long Japan should continue apologizing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In Japan, Pearl Harbor is not seen as a parallel for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and then Nagasaki three days later, but as an attack on a military installation that did not target civilians.

On just this aspect, they are 100% correct. One was a military operation against the opposing military installations' naval and air power, and the other was two military operations against the opposing civilian population. The military at Pearl had the chance (and some took it) to fight back. The residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no chance at all. By any other measure, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were massacres. If the United States were to try the same thing these days, it would be a war crime against humanity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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