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Abe: Japan must face history, but future generations should not have to keep apologizing

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Future generations?

You me the present generation, Abe-san.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Abe said Japan must face its history squarely, but that future generations should not have to continue apologizing

He is right. Now only if the present generation would stop denying and dissembling we would all be better off

20 ( +30 / -10 )

nothing lost in translation there. korea and china lift your chin. enough with the sorry crap. get on with it. you lost the war japan won the peace. grow up and move ahead or be left behind. or else suffer the fate of every nation that plays the victim.

-17 ( +16 / -33 )

Well, Tokyo cryptically has often expressed "regret" to the US (and the dozen or so other Asian neighbors it plundered and abused in the first half of the century), but it always seems a bit grudgingly offered. It's a bit of a dark spot on the Land of the Rising Sun that the government there has yet to forthrightly face and admit to the sweeping nature of Japan's aggression and violence, 1900-1945.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

100% right. Stop apologizing. You can't change history.

-6 ( +22 / -28 )

You can't change history.

And yet so many right wingers keep trying to.

32 ( +40 / -8 )

Well, he went a little farther than I thought he would.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

He also said 'We must not erase history'. He emphasized history several times, It sounded good and if one didn't know any better one would say it was a worthy speech from a worthy statesman. But given the fact that government panels in the employ of the Abe adminstration are perpetually editing school text books and the boards of education are being advised to teach 'patriotism' lessons it comes across as being a speech from a person suffering acute personality disorder.

But this is nothing new, Apologize...repudiate apology...apologize...repudiate apology, and then talk about moving on from the issue seems to be one reason why Japan still has to apologize after 70 years to begin with.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

I don't know, I think using the word MUST means a future action. It does not say that you ARE facing it right now. So this does not constitute an apology for me. I agree that the future generations should not keep apologizing, but the first apology should be made. Or if he never intended to make it, this whole farce of an apology should have never occurred. I can't see it moderating the situation but only creating more divisiveness on either side of the argument.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

was better than I was expecting I suppose but its not me that needs to be convinced

10 ( +15 / -5 )

That is 'NO APOLOGY' !

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

I saw Chinese media are more interested in Tianjin blast, his speech wasn't a big news.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

There is no question that it was an apology. But Abe's revisionist viewa are in direct contradiction to it. Also how long will it REMAIN an apology before either Abe or some other high level LDP official completlely rescinds it? A couple of days maybe. It will probably be a senior official in the cabinet and Abe will turn around and say 'He has a right to his own opinion' and 'My government has consistwntly stood behind the Muryama statement' in the same breath. So it is not the apology itself that is at fault. It is the context in which iit is given and the invevitable rejections of it that will follow.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I am sure there will be a full article thread....

Japan PM Shinzo Abe expresses 'profound grief' for WW2....

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33924159

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What's taking China and South Korea so long to reject the speech as :insincere"?? You knw it's coming. PM Abe used some words that already have China fuming no doubt; Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights....

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Full English text of PM Abe's statement on the 70th anniversary of WWII's end.....

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20150814p2g00m0dm053000c.html

Moderator: We have the full statement in our Politics section.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's taking China and South Korea so long to reject the speech as :insincere"??

It was sincere enough, but there was no sincere apology - there was no apology at all, "we feel grief" ≠ "we are sorry". Was it that hard for him to say 'gomenasai'?!

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

I really agree with what he said, so accept it. It was good. Now get down to reality. Stop this regressive tax on necessary staples. That is much more important to the Japanese than having the Chinese and Koreans forever wanting and apology and money.

War done..finished...owari...get on with the future and life. Hug your spouse, your kids and your friends and become friends.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

As I predicted, Abe wasn't prepared to do enough to make any difference. He has no moral center, he's trying to say whatever he thinks everyone around him wants to hear so he can do what he wants. The best we can hope for is to be in this exact same position next year.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

“On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad. I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences,” Abe said.

Actually this is better than I had feared. I just wish one time he would put the victims "abroad" ahead of the ones "at home". That would demonstrate true empathy. Or, better yet, just address the hell Japan unleashed on Asia and its victims without pandering to the domestic audience.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Spoken like a true gentleman and I believe he was very sincere in his remorseful speech today.

And keep in mind, that The Abe Administration did not start the events that led Japan into World War II

Therefore I continue to see no reason and no need for Shinzo Abbe to apologize and I 100% agree with him that future generations and I'm sure he is meaning future administrations of the Japanese government should not have to keep apologizing for crimes against humanity that they did not commit.

Those individuals in the Japanese government during World War II that did commit crimes against humanity were prosecuted by the United States and they were punished accordingly.

But I am sure China and South Korea will "split hairs" on his words and they will spin this as they usually do as this not being a "sincere" nor the word "apology" came out of his mouth, and the cycle of this never ending rhetoric that comes out of China and South Korea will never end because ithis issue the only political leverage that these 2 nations have against Japan in order to acquire - illegally - the wealth away from good and sincere Japanese.

Well done Mr. Abe

0 ( +10 / -10 )

I was 100% correct on Monday when I said there was no reason to "leak" a draft speech if the only reason were not to say sorry.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

@ Crazy Joe

It's a bit of a dark spot on the Land of the Rising Sun that the government there has yet to forthrightly face and admit to the sweeping nature of Japan's aggression and violence, 1900-1945.

I personally know of private sincere apologies to specific ex-POWs from the Japanese Government - on numerous occasions. Apoligies are not always accepted, but I can guarantee you that on these occasions, the apology was very heartfelt and accepted by those it was directed to.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"Japan will firmly uphold basic values such as democracy" ... by enacting State secrecy laws and circumventing the core of the constitution.

"While taking silent pride in the path we have walked as a peace-loving nation" ... by overturning our self-imposed arms export embargo and gleefully diving in to the exciting and profitable business of world arms exporter.

"we Japanese, across generations, must squarely face the history of the past" ... by asking publishers, foreign and domestic, to change their textbooks to fall in line with current revisionist/nationalist views.

Don't get me wrong, it is a very nice speech. It is simply a national shame that it is a complete load of poppycock.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

The Speech was well written, translated and spoken assuring the world that Japan is committed for democracy, human rights and freedom.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Abe has consistently spent his time and efforts to alter the historical narrative, particularly in terms of how it is taught in schools-so it is extremely hard to believe his apology. He is quite right to say that future generations of Japanese should not have to apologize-but as long as there are people in power (like himself) that try and alter the narrative then that is not going to happen.

It was surreal to see him saying that the lessons of history should not be ignored, while at every turn he and his administration have made efforts to whitewash it. Once Japan stops doing that there will be no need for future generations to apollogize.

And while it is true that demands for apologies are used as a political tool by Korea and China, it is also true that every time an apology is retractred or a textbook is sanitized then those demands not only become justified, they WILL haunt future generations to come. Say sorry and MEAN it....or else get off the pot. It is precisely that kind of doublespeak that pften makes the woeld distrustful of Japan, Honnae and Tatamae may be understood in Japan...but in the rest of the world it comes off as lying..

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Another non-apology. Same old crap from the same old families who run Japan; "Bad things happened, lots of people were affected including us, lets all do our best to see it never happens again, yada yada yada"

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I always thought the constant apologies were silly. I don't think modern Japan is in any danger of going down that route of trying to rebuild the Japanese empire.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

And then there is his moves to change the law to allow the sales of weapons and to reinterpret the constitution to allow Japan to support others' exploitative wars. Doesn't seem like a man or an administration that is embracing peace and diplomacy. Words to this fellow are just farts in the breeze.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Well said

“We must not let our children, grandchildren and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologize”.

@Strangerland

And yet so many right wingers keep trying to.

You've got this completely wrong, Strangerland, but I suspect you don't even care.

It's not right or left wing to pursue a better understanding of history as the evidence arises, nor to reject highly politicized propaganda from other parties.

What the likes of you wants is for Japan to accept a false, incomplete and exaggerated history. You react whenever this false, incomplete and exaggerated history is challenged claiming that to do is "historical revision".

It's not, and there is basically no one in Japan pursuing such a bent.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

What a wasted opportunity. You have the chance to come clean and put it behind Japan, but Abe opts to whitewash history by bringing up atomic bombings and fire bombings (Japan as the victim, again). Does he mention Nanking? No, because in his history book it never happened. Does he mention Comfort Women, nope; again, it never happened. Say goodbye to a summit in Beijing Shinzo; you just handed the Chinese President all he needed to cancel that proposed meeting. In case you did not realize it, that summit was contingent ON THIS STATEMENT. Good lord, how on earth did you ever get this far you stupid, stupid man...

Until Japan comes clean (you know, like Germany) your history follows you everywhere. To the Korean, you are "Comfort Women:, to China, Nanking and Unit 731; Filipinos, the rape of Manila, etc, etc.

If you would just apologize, NO ONE COULD THROW IT IN YOUR FACE AGAIN! Are you really that dense?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Credit to Abe on this one. He mentioned that Japan's past apologies were unshakable and Japan shouldn't have to keep apologizing as though one apology is more or less sincere than another. China and Korea need to move on. 70 years is long enough.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/pm/murayama/9508.html

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Howaiti: "Don't get me wrong, it is a very nice speech. It is simply a national shame that it is a complete load of poppycock."

Very well said, and good post. If Abe were to back up what he said with similar actions I think this MIGHT serve to mollify Japan's neighbours, but as you pointed out the actions are contrary to what Abe said Japan is, strives for, and should be in the future. I think this is because he was in the spotlight with the world watching here, whereas his actions at home when others are less likely to watch represent how he TRULY feels.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

You've got this completely wrong, Strangerland, but I suspect you don't even care.

On the contrary, I strongly care. Which is why I keep pointing out how the right wingers are trying to re-write history.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Abe is truely a great leader. What's done, is done. Just concentrate on present and future.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

i think it was well said, but to further correct wrongdoings, what he should do now is take a trip to Korea and make an apology directly too the remaining survivors of the "comfort-women". if he did that, all would be forgiven. theres nothing wrong with what he said in this speech, i just feel that if you really want to let the issue finally settle an not burden any more generations, he should be doing anything possible to show his feelings.

At the same time i wish the Japanese would have stood up an encouraged this ages ago.. theres no shame in admitting your ancestors did wrong, the shame comes from denying people their lives an freedom, in this case, calling bullshit on the hundreds of accounts of ill treatment by the Japanese from neighbouring countries..

Just accept, apologise and advance.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Where is this so called apology? I don't see it anywhere in his speech.

“On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad. I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences

Is he saying this to the Japanese victims of the atomic bombs? That he's feeling grief that they died? Because I don't know what in the world he's referring to.

Again, what did I expect?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

PM Shinzo Abe is an experienced politician and gifted orator, perfect timing, balanced and focused. Abe san 70th anniversary of the end of the war has already been described as a 'tuned down' apology from a Chinese government agency.

I support the essence of the statement as reflective, remorseful, reconciliatory. There are inspirational moments within the speech.

I wish I was not so distracted from the poisonous revisionists within his party that will inevitably undermine Abe san efforts of atonement.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@smithinjapan

Exactly right. Abe puts on a different face for international audiences and then does 180 degree about-- faces to mollify his right winged power base at home. In a few days, weeks or months you can expect him or his administration to say something that completely contradicts his apology when he thinks the world is not paying so much attention. And no doubt he'llll use a nitpicking justification llike 'Well, I was speaking in my official capacity-but my private views are different'-much in the same way he justified illegal tampering iwth the Constitution as 'reinterpreting' it,

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I fully agree with Abe's statement. Enough is enough.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I wish I was not so distracted from the poisonous revisionists within his party

itsonly, they are no revisionists. They are defending against China/SK revisionists.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Ronald Hassem & akoppa

Then People should also stop remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombing! 70 years have passed already! time to leave it behind and Move on!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

You need to look up the word 'revisionist' in the dictionary Tina.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Shinzo Abe did address the Comfort Women issue by stating that Japan remembered: "...women behind the battlefields whose honor and dignity were severely injured..." - That sounds like an apology to me.

Plus he used the words "Profound Grief" for the millions killed during WW2. - Again, that sounds like an Apology to me.

Finally, he said, "Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war".

ALL sounds like an Apology to me.

Guarantee you will never hear Washington use phrases like that with respects to the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But then again, The Japanese have never asked nor demanded an Apology from The United States, but if I were the President I would offer it voluntarily do to the Human Suffering just like the Japanese have for the past 70 Years since the end of WW2.

History cannot be changed by just words alone, but if China and The Korea's do not want to accept this Apology from Japan then that is their "Choice" not to do so, and that means they plan to use Historical Events as a Pretext to change the Status Quo in the Asian Pacific Region and possibly attack Japan someday based upon Historical Events that cannot be changed.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan, stubborn as ever, doesn't get it. You have to have apology in your heart before you can move on. Like Germans have done. Apologizes never end but they do allow one to move on. Otherwise Japan's ties to its nazi past will never be let go. They can't let them go so this will go on for another 70 years. This isn't about Japan changing, for it cannot. Maybe the next generation will get it. Not now

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Saketown AUG. 14, 2015 - 11:39PM JST But then again, The Japanese have never asked nor demanded an Apology from The United States,

The thing that undermines your analogy is that while you're right, Japan never did demand an apology from the US, the US deeply invested in Japan both in terms of economy and military defense, so that Japan came out of its injustices with the world's second most powerful economy and the people of Japan through the post-war years lived with a quality of life and education that was second to none across Asia. Many Japanese victims of America's nuclear bombing famously received treatment in US hospitals. Now none of this excuses the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocents of course, but when your former aggressor helps you prosper, it's a lot easier to bury the hatchet.

Japan has not nearly been so generous to its WWII victims.

Actions speak louder than words. And the only thing the Japanese government's actions towards its past victims says is, "We really wish you'd quit talking about this."

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Saketown Profound grief does not constitute an apology. It implies deep sorrow for something dear to you that you have lost. If the term was profound regret or remorse then maybe. His speech did contain apologies for various points but his governments actions clearly do not back them up. Japanese school history textbooks surely show what they trully feel

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hi Tina the political middle ground, is the perfect fit within the sentiment of Abe san speech, reflection combined with an obligation to define Japan's future as a pacifist democracy. Forwards not backwards. positive not negative. It is imperative that Abe san surround himself with the people that will build upon the underlining theme within speech.

Forthcoming challenges both economically and militarily will come to the fore very soon that will test the resolve of both Japan and the global community to the very limit. Abe san will need to make changes but this speech certainly inspires with or without an apology..... for reference ....

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/full-text-of-prime-minister-shinzo-abes-statement

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yasukuni Shrine visit in 3...2...1.....

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

To flesh out Abe san Abe's 70th anniversary war speech...

Remembering World War II in Maritime Asia....including, Major Japanese War Objectives and Planned Opening Attacks, and Operation Downfall....

http://amti.csis.org/2015-ww2-anniversary/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apologies are useless. In the first place, you can't apologize for something you did not do - Abe was not born until 1951 so he couldn't have had anything to do with WWII. A "country" cannot apologize, only a person can. I understand there have already been 29 previous apologies and none of them were "good enough" or "sincere enough" for China and Korea, so how could this one be any different?

We live in 2015, not in the past. What counts is now, and I think Japan has learned from history and has been about the most peaceful country in the world for 70 and has no intention of waging war now; in fact it does not even have the capability to do so. The danger of war in Asia now comes from China which has the largest military in the world and is threatening its neighbors over territorial claims, and from Korea where South and North Korea are in a constant state of hostility. Why do the Japan bashers ignore those things?

Bottom line, someone hates you they are going to keep on hating you no matter what you do, and China and Korea are full of hate and hating Japan is their policy. It will remain so in the foreseeable future.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Katsu78

On the contrary Japan has done more than just apologize.

And there is something about the Japanese if you all have not learned by now living in Japan is that the Japanese do not engage in Bragging Rights - it's just not in their culture.

But I can tell you that in addition to Millions of Yen paid out to Koreans and Chinese who suffered under Japan's Militarism during WW2, Japan also built Airports, Schools, Roads, Bridges, Railways, and Industrial Infrastructure inside South Korea and China - Post WW2 at No Cost to those Nations. Plus the Japanese had sent Milllions in economic aid to Post-War China and South Korea AND North Korea.

Did they get 1 Thank You from The Korea's or China?

Nope - Just more rhetoric and bitterness.

Japan has contributed SO MUCH to 3rd World Countries around The World after WW2 because they really are remorseful and reflective of the events that their former government and they have not rattled a sword at ANYONE since then.

And China and The Korea's had better understand that despite their "Choice" not to accept Japan's Apology (pending their remarks) Japan will protect their respective boarders and they will work with The U.S. at maintaining "The Status Quo" even if that means engaging in Collective Self Defense in order to help out a friend.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Abe is the champion of the rightwing cause and that's his constituency. Rightwing elements in Japan don't want to see Japan as aggressors. As Japan falls in terms of economy, more people here are hurt by the fact that Japan is no longer the ace in the Asian economy. This bruised pride predisposes them to more right-leaning thinking that placates their ego somewhat. They form an important support base for Abe. It's unbearable for them to see their leader apologizing to these Asian neighbors that they perceive to be so mean to Japan every now and then, though the truth is more in the line of "it takes two to tango." In Japan there's an increasing aversion to anything Chinese or South Korean at the moment and they praise Abe for not unequivocally apologizing. As they try to justify Japan's conduct in the war, frictions with the neighbors get more intensified and the future generations become even less inclined to be contrite about the past as they are not taught the history from Japan-as-an-aggressor angle. Japanese right wingers must be feeling good about this but for northeast Asia's stability, this is quite dismal. Chasms with neighboring countries get deeper and wider.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Japan needs to teach her children the honest truth about the terrible things their forefathers did to their neighbors.

Not the watered down versions, but the parts where 15M+ people were needlessly killed by their aggression throughout the region.

The 3000+ people killed in the USA is nothing compared to the millions in China, Korea, Indonesia, and other places.

Teach the real truth.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@theFU

Actually, The Japnese have been teaching their children about the horrors of War (mainly WW2) and they have been very transparent about the reasons Japan went to war. Japanese students are very well educated on the impacts and the aftermath war.

Did you know that both Peace Parks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki draw over 1 Million visitors a year?

Out of those 1 Million Visitors - 66,000 (2/3rds) are Japanese Students from all around Japan visiting the Memorials and speaking to the survivors and talking about the War.

Is that not educating "The Truth" like right in front of their eyes about WW2 and the cost for going to War?

If not, then I don't know what or how more transparent the Japanese can be.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is about what I expected. Whatever Abe said or should have said is meaningless. Abe and the LDP will continue to distort the truth of Japan's war crimes and try to stifle those who want the truth. Abe has not scored any points, least of all with Japan's former victims.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There's no problem with apologizing and showing understanding of history at any time. The problem is not apologizing and ignoring history at all times.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We apologize and apologize, but people say we have never apologized. When we point out the apologies, then they say we have not apologized sincerely. I propose that China and S Korea write our apologies for us, and we will sign them. With sincerity of course.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I have never been a fan of Abe, yet I give him credit for saying what he did. Yet I temper that with saying that while his words are one thing, it's his actions, and the actions of the LDP from now on, that will speak louder than any speech he gave.

If even one member of the LDP goes and pays respects at Yasukuni today, or anytime in the future, EVERYTHING he said will go out the window, and things will be back to where they were before the speech, if not worse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I bet most of the habitual critics did not even attempt to read their way through the entire speech.

It's the three wise monkeys backwards;

"See no apology, hear no apology, say there was no apology".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I bet most of the habitual critics did not even attempt to read their way through the entire speech.

It's the three wise monkeys backwards;<

It would good IF the Japan government are able to come clean, stating CLEARLY Japan Present Government are SORRY and APOLOGIZE for what HAPPEN in the PAST, and that would SHUT UP China, Korea and SEA countries affect by it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Prime Minister Abe has earned it this time! I have to give it to him on this. A very well-defined, delivered speech! Heck, he even did it in a lengthy, clearly-outlined, accurately-stated manner (without even needing scripts/props/ready memo) ... He just did it!

The "引用文 = quotation way he addressed every topic was not even a problem. IMHO easy to perceive every word and clearly he meant every sentence and did infact put everything in there (the things we all wanna hear and people wanted to put an end on, ehem!). An almost close to 20-minute speech, long but straight (dubbing it while listening wasn't easy for me either). He sounded as if declaiming and delivering oration. The right and proper way to do it, no bloopers no hesitations.

itsonlyrocknroll : PM Shinzo Abe is an experienced politician and gifted orator, perfect timing, balanced and focused. Abe san 70th Anniversary of the end of the war has already been described as a 'tuned down' apology from a Chinese government agency. I support the essence of the statement as reflective, remorseful, reconciliatory. There are inspirational moments within the speech.

Ditto. I likewise agree with you on PM Abe's message! Nevermind the Chinese, they're expected to react in favor of their sentiments. Indeed, not long after dinner last night the South Korean Govt. had also released their comment that to them the apologies wasn't coming from PM Abe himself as if they still wanted to deny the whole thing is actually happening or just i suppose they just wouldn't wanna listen. Someone on Korean side even stated and questioned that while China was mentioned in the Speech, them - the Koreans or Korea wasn't even mentioned and addressed by PM Abe....

I reckon, China and Korea are damn with faint praises/if not filled with just deep hatred and only unreasonable criticisms at practically everything that Japan DO or DOESN'T do. Tsk.. tsk.. Don't you guys have any thing else to do??? Aside from dwelling; mocking; blaming; criticizing; assuming; complaining; whining; demanding; ridiculing; blah.. blah。

To the Chinese and the Koreans: Both of you have been endlessly criticizing Japan and it hasn't work. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.

Holding grudges will not do your country any good. Go on, live for the present instead of the past. Move on in the direction en route to the Peace and in our Asian Region's growth and for its owngg full-prosper, instead of harboring long-kept, severe abhorrence towards Japan.

A Realist : We live in 2015, not in the past. What counts is now, and I think Japan has learned from history and has been about the most peaceful country in the world for 70 and has no intention of waging war now; infact it does not even have the capability to do so. The danger of war in Asia now comes from China which has the largest military in the world and is threatening its neighbors over territorial claims, and from Korea where South and North Korea are in a constant state of hostility. Why do the Japan bashers ignore those things?

ITA, i happened to watch Fuji Tv's debate and panel discussions yesterday prior to their live telecast of PM Abe's address speech. The debate discussion was so timely, informing and very educating, and was really something one wouldn't wanna miss. At some point in the discussion the topic was heated on China - claiming territories of its neighbors and i was a bit apalled at knowing China has the most largest military (army; plains; war ships/submarines; tanks, missiles, bombs, and land weapons) in the whole of Asia, and closely coming in 2nd to the US worldwide for the most numbers of military weapons such as i mentioned above. And the fact that China is one of the few nations in possesion of Nuclear Weapons is kinda alarming, they've been claiming every island even farther from them, and build blockades and slowly but surely building industries and stuctures in some islands that are up to this writing - still in disputes. China harrasing South-east Asian countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam, and creating tentions in Asia is not nice at all. One can only imagine what it's like to be neighbors with this continent..

saketown: On the contrary Japan has done more than just apologize. And there is something about the Japanese if you all have not learned by now living in Japan is that the Japanese do not engage in Bragging Rights - it's just not in their culture. But I can tell you that in addition to Millions of Yen paid out to Koreans and Chinese who suffered under Japan's Militarism during WW2, Japan also built Airports, Schools, Roads, Bridges, Railways, and Industrial Infrastructure inside South Korea and China - Post WW2 at No Cost to those Nations. Plus the Japanese had sent Milllions in economic aid to Post-War China and South Korea AND North Korea. Did they get 1 Thank You from The Korea's or China? Nope - Just more rhetoric and bitterness. Japan has contributed SO MUCH to 3rd World Countries around The World after WW2 because they really are remorseful and reflective of the events that their former government and they have not rattled a sword at ANYONE since then. And China and The Korea's had better understand that despite their "Choice" not to accept Japan's Apology (pending their remarks) Japan will protect their respective boarders and they will work with The U.S. at maintaining "The Status Quo" even if that means engaging in Collective Self Defense in order to help out a friend.

Well said! I couldn't agree less. I echoed your thoughts. Everything, not just the above comment, all you posted in this thread alone are so true!

To Prime Minister Abe, his cabinet, and all our lawmakers in Japan: Y'all have it in your hands now to work on these and fulfill your responsibilities to everyone in Japan, and your neighbouring countries, esp. passing the responsibility on to the coming young generations so as history will not and never repeat itself again.

"Let the refining and continued improving of your own country keep you so busy that will have little and no time to mind criticisms from China and Korea."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

his wordings are not that controversial. but, perhaps he could have listed what actions to back up those words. for example, what laws, are they going to teach the true nature of the war, etc.

because he didn't list any back up, the statement is only open for interpretation, kind of weak one. for sure, he didn't offer any back up because that will go against his right wing political mandate, as his speech was also approved by the cabinet. japan has already gone through much (of the denial saga), it is time to back up those words with concrete actions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

boweevilAUG. 14, 2015 - 09:38PM JST

And while it is true that demands for apologies are used as a political tool by Korea and China, it is also true that every time an apology is retractred or a textbook is sanitized then those demands not only become justified, they WILL haunt future generations to come. Say sorry and MEAN it....or else get off the pot. It is precisely that kind of doublespeak that pften makes the woeld distrustful of Japan, Honnae and Tatamae may be understood in Japan...but in the rest of the world it comes off as lying..

Your priorities are pretty warped. Should the priority not be stopping Korea and China from using apologies as political capital?

I've never been particularly annoyed by the textbooks. Indeed, people may consider what a "full treatment" of Nanking in a Japanese textbook would mean - for a hint, look at the current Japanese Wiki page because that resembles the current Japanese diversity of views. Somehow, I don't think the Chinese or the West would like that presentation at all.

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Japan must face history

So start teaching what really happened.

but future generations should not have to keep apologizing

They won't have to, if the government makes an official apology with the words "sorry", and we "won't deny it anymore"

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The Chinese want a "personal" apology. That is strange because Abe wasn't even born, much less actually personally contributing to the war. He can only make an apology for "Japan", which carried out the war.

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Irrelevant. He has a responsibility to make sure people know what Japan truly did. Unit 731, POW mistreatment, sex slaves, Nanking massacre and so on. That is how Mr Abe can make a true apology

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@Christopher GlenAUG. 15, 2015 - 11:51AM JST

Irrelevant. He has a responsibility to make sure people know what Japan truly did. Unit 731, POW mistreatment, sex slaves, Nanking massacre and so on. That is how Mr Abe can make a true apology

Here is my question to you. Why is it important AT ALL? I know China and Korea loves the idea of Japanese drinking guilt with their mother's milk, but a Westerner should not condone this strategy.

On the scale of a general textbook covering over 2000 years of history, these things are barely worth dots. I mean, how many weapons labs appear in a typical American history book. A logistical issue after a battle. A relatively unimportant part of logistics. An event that happened after a battle of a theater of secondary importance.

Further, I think the truth is that many in Japan would like a fuller presentation of such events. Even from the viewpoint of "right-wing" indoctrination, dealing with such points is favorable, but they are in fact not allowed to do that. They are de facto being presented with the option of A) doing it exactly as demanded by C&K or B) silence, with B being a very unpopular choice but still far less so than C) a fair and full treatment in accordance to the Japanese scholarship, which will be intellectually and academically honest.

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I suggest you address your question to the German embassy. Something like "why should we have to apologise for something that happened long ago?" The German embassy will reply: "Due to our honest admission of war guilt, compensation of victims, correct history education, and criminalisation of denial - we have restored an atmosphere of peace to Europe". Japan has only paid blood money to its victims - expecting silence in return - while remembering the atom bombs. There's your answer.

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Here is my question to you. Why is it important AT ALL? I know China and Korea loves the idea of Japanese drinking guilt with their mother's milk, but a Westerner should not condone this strategy.

Those atrocities are genocide. And in your ignorance you choose to over look them because you have never been educated about them. That isnt your fault really, and it's hard to blame you for something you dont know about.

On the scale of a general textbook covering over 2000 years of history, these things are barely worth dots. I mean, how many weapons labs appear in a typical American history book. A logistical issue after a battle. A relatively unimportant part of logistics. An event that happened after a battle of a theater of secondary importance.

Wow, typical response, they are such a tiny part of history they are hardly worth mentioning taken into context of 2000 years.

What horse-manure.....THOSE incidents and WWII have done more to shape Japan as it is today than ANY other single era in the 2000 year history of the country. Japanese student should be spending more time on the history of WWII and the events that led to it's downfall, starting from at least the Russo-Japanese war, to the final end of the war.

Wanting to stay ignorant and in the dark is not a way to continue peace.

Further, I think the truth is that many in Japan would like a fuller presentation of such events.

While this would be an admirable goal, there are probably very few people in this country qualified to discuss the issues or teach them without bias.

These issues MUST be taught without bias towards one side or another. They need no justification nor comparison to "other" countries and their history.

PM Shinzo Abe is an experienced politician and gifted orator,

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@Christopher GlenAUG. 15, 2015 - 12:52PM JST

I suggest you address your question to the German embassy. Something like "why should we have to apologise for something that happened long ago?" The German embassy will reply: "Due to our honest admission of war guilt, compensation of victims, correct history education, and criminalisation of denial - we have restored an atmosphere of peace to Europe". Japan has only paid blood money to its victims - expecting silence in return - while remembering the atom bombs. There's your answer.

You are not really answering the question, which can be summarized with "Why does '[honest] admission of war guilt, compensation of victims, correct history education, and criminalisation of denial' restore an atmosphere of peace to Europe?"

I put honest in brackets because in truth, German apologies may just not be as sweet as you remember: http://jbpress.ismedia.jp/articles/-/43911

Let me start with Europe by quoting the famous speech by West German President Richard von Weizsacker in the Bundestag on 8 May 1985 during the Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the End of War in Europe and of National-Socialist Tyranny. The following sentences particularly drew my attention:

At the root of the tyranny was Hitler's immeasurable hatred against our Jewish compatriots.

The perpetration of this crime was in the hands of a few people.

There is no such thing as the guilt or innocence of an entire nation.

Guilt is, like innocence, not collective, but personal.

The entire speech was based on the principle of individualism, not collectivism. What would happen if a Japanese prime minister said something like this in a speech? Asian neighbors would instantly join Japanese domestic opponents in denouncing such unforgivable remarks.

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On Saturday, Abe sent a ritual cash offering to Yasukuni Shrine for war dead but did not visit the shrine, seen in China and South Korea as a symbol of Tokyo’s wartime militarism.

So everything he said meant zilch!

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I put honest in brackets because in truth, German apologies may just not be as sweet as you remember

Compared to the half hearted stuff coming from Japan, they are sweet as honey. Your attempts to discredit German remorse just proves me right.

So everything he said meant zilch!

While the have that monstrosity called "Yushukan nearby", exactly.

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@YubaruAUG. 15, 2015 - 01:31PM JST

Those atrocities are genocide. And in your ignorance you choose to over look them because you have never been educated about them. That isnt your fault really, and it's hard to blame you for something you dont know about.

You shouldn't assume too much, Yubaru. I live in HK. The West got to me first on all the issues under discussion (among other things, during my high school they actually invited a former POW to give a speech at our Canadian international school - I bought his book and have no intent of denying his experience), and my Japanese level was so poor before university that if someone stuck a right-winger book under my nose I won't be able to derive meaning from it. So I've actually tried the waters on both sides, and while I hadn't sided with the right-wingers completely, they've impressed me enough (and the West has disappointed me enough) that I think they deserve a fairer break than the West gives them.

To your point at hand generally, to be genocide, there are three factors: 1) The victims are a particular demographic (ethic group, race, religion) 2) A lot of them must be killed 3) The killing must be systematic (thus deliberate)

Now, whatever you may think about Unit 731, POW mistreatment, comfort women (on this point, the West has disappointed me completely, sorry) and Nanking, they simply don't fulfill these conditions. Even Nanking will only satisfy condition 2.

What horse-manure.....THOSE incidents and WWII have done more to shape Japan as it is today than ANY other single era in the 2000 year history of the country. Japanese student should be spending more time on the history of WWII and the events that led to it's downfall, starting from at least the Russo-Japanese war, to the final end of the war.

Really. I agree WWII as a whole did shape Japan to a large degree. But how did Unit 731, POW mistreatment, comfort women and Nanking shape Japan? Does anybody today say Let's Reform Unit 731, mistreat the next POW we get and so on? I don't see it. So its effect in terms of shaping Japan is nil. The most major effect is that every once so often China and Korea dig up these events to talk about them.

These issues MUST be taught without bias towards one side or another. They need no justification nor comparison to "other" countries and their history.

I'll disagree with that last point. A purpose of history is to instill a suitably positive view of country. Since all countries did things that by modern standards would be quite sick, justification and comparison to other countries or other options is extremely common. A simple example is a discussion of Japanese war crimes in the United States. This is not just a "let's teach some truth" moment, it is also a comparison and justification moment, so America's crimes (such as using A-bombs) look appropriately justified and minor in the student's mind.

For your first point, I actually agree, but it won't happen. As a rule, you don't teach things that are still controversial in secondary school level because you want to prepare your students to explore the issue in university, not indoctrinate them one way or another. Since for example Nanking is still controversial in Japan, a correct option is indeed to go over it as quickly as possible. Even if soemthing is considered settled, there is no need to make it too high-key, because a overly high level of indoctrination hinders a student's acceptance that there may be alternatives, even when a valid one shows up.

If for one reason or another, a controversial point must be taught, the alternative would be to teach the balance of controversy at it currently stands. The result would look a lot like the Wiki article on Nanking. This is a fair and unbiased solution, and it would answer one stated concern from China, that students in Japan don't even know why China is pissed at them. After reading something equivalent to the Nanking article, whichever side you fall onto, at least it'd be pretty clear which side most Chinese are on, and probably most people will settle on probably a good number were indeed killed.

Unfortunately, this "fair and unbiased solution" would undoubtedly be rejected by China and the West even more than the present situation. Their idea of a "fair and unbiased solution" is de facto to unconditionally accept their solution with perhaps cosmetic changes (they might allow 200,000 instead of 300,000 for Nanking, for example). This is not very fair or unbiased at all.

Do you understand why Nanking gets a line to a paragraph? And even that famous little museum next to Yasukuni stays silent on a lot of issues?

@Glen Glen, if you thought a statement that pushed all blame to Hitler meant the German people, or he himself was feeling very sorry, there's nothing I can do to help you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

if you thought a statement that pushed all blame to Hitler meant the German people, or he himself was feeling very sorry, there's nothing I can do to help you.

Nope, no black trucks in Germany on May 8th. No Nazi uniforms. No-one praying at the site of the Reichs chancellery. Having Yushukan next to Yasukuni shrine - which teaches revisionist history - belies every claim Japanese politicians make about visiting Yasukuni to pray for peace

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@Christopher GlenAUG. 15, 2015 - 04:45PM JST

Why does "revisionist" (which is not really revisionist at all - the West just never convinced some people) mean a denial of praying for peace. The associations people make on this matter are frankly nonsensical.

As for the thing ... first, they are illegal in Germany.

Second, and this is the main point, I don't think there will be many black trucks, Nazi uniforms or people praying at Reichs chancellery if it wasn't banned. And it has to do with the difference between the way right-wing Japanese and Germans handle this part of history, and it is not necessarily to the Germans' credit.

As can be seen from Weizsacker, the path Germany chose is to push all blame towards Hitler. This is actually not very different from how left-wing Japanese handle everything, except we replace Nazism with militarism.

That’s not really a very intellectually honest approach because let’s face it neither could do what they did without the people supporting them. But it is the approach allowed, even encouraged by the Occupation Authorities and 99% of Germany and a very large chunk of Japan “leapt” at the bait.

Because of this mental lie, all the badness (alleged and real) gets pushed into little boxes marked “Nazism” and “IJA”. They don’t have to resist new crimes being tacked on because it doesn’t affect their self-image – it only affects the image of those isolated into little boxes in their minds. In fact, they want to join the kickers, so they are not suspected. They agree to payouts and apologies but to them it is a bit like charity – they are not really feeling that guilty (or at all) but they’ll pay it anyway just to feel nice or to avoid being branded.

Right-wingers reject this mental model. 1895 to 1945 is part of Japan’s past, part of their identity (at least to the extent the atom bomb droppings and black slavery are part of modern American identity). And when you think like that, you’d inevitably be more exacting over what claims you’ll accept.

So ironically, it is that right-wingers are more squarely facing their past than either Germans or left-wing Japanese that's causing the current state of affairs. Germans don't want to remember they've ever associated themselves with the Nazis, so they will never do the black trucks and Nazi uniforms. Left wing Japanese are similar so they join the condemnations. It is actually the right-wingers that are accepting what happened there as "Japan's acts", but because of that, they won't just accept any claim.

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@Christopher.

Sounds like Abe beat you, and all you can do is panic and fall back on all the usual worst exaggerations.

Why don't you just give your anti-Japanese campaign a rest for a day and acknowledge that it was a good speech?

I would make you a bigger and better person if you were able to acknowledge when your opponent makes a good move.

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Why does "revisionist" (which is not really revisionist at all - the West just never convinced some people) mean a denial of praying for peace.

No need to deny who you are. Get rid of the museum next to Yasukuni, which has a rail engine from the "death railway" and no mention of the POWs who died building it. Aw well as various other exhibits denying Japan did nothing wrong - and the rest of the world might......believe these right-wing LDP politicians when they say they're "praying for peace"

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yes you should have to keep apologizing. or you are doomed to repeat your mistake.

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Japan could have stopped apologising - or toned it down by now - if they had done the following: teach history correctly, have its PMs pay their respects at sites of atrocities - and passed laws against denials. Hashimoto, Abe, Ishihara are a case in point. They have done none of the above, do the apology issue hasn't gone away

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Funny how when it comes to an issue like this all the liberals suddenly believe in the concept of original sin. The modern Japanese have exactly nothing to do with WW2. They're some of the most peaceful people in the world, and the thought of returning to imperialism is laughable. China and SK use this as an issue to deflect from domestic concerns. Notice how it's only China and SK that throw a fit - you barely hear a peep out of SE Asian countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Funny how when it comes to an issue like this all the liberals suddenly believe in the concept of original sin.

Funny how people like you think every issue breaks down into liberal/conservative.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Christopher, you keep repeating absolute nonsense in order to make it true.

That's a typical communist party indoctrination strategy ... "acceptance via repetition".

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@Strangerland

Funny how you can't counter my actual argument. The Japanese have exactly zero chance of committing armed aggression in the future. China does, yet every liberal newspaper around the world makes it sound like the Japanese are what we need to worry about. All because they don't apologize for actions they had no control over.

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Funny how you can't counter my actual argument.

You're not showing much in the way of logical thinking with that comment.

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WE AGREE, PLS write in black & white that We Japanese are very sorry for all wwII agression and send these in writing to all the Asian countries that Japan had attacked. Then , the next generation do not have to appologized anymore. GO ON , PLS DO IT, Then move on not before.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“What is done cannot be undone.”

Or forgotten

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@Strangerland

Illyas comment was a factual observation and perfectly reasonable. I'm afraid in this equation, you don't understand the place of logic. Your rejection of his observation is absolutely illogical and misses the point.

Abe has said and done the right thing to draw a line on all the ritual humiliation of innocent Japanese people.

It's really only just a continuation of traditional Chinese traditions now, the habit of demanding tributaries and for others to kow tow to their leaders.

If you don't know the meaning of kow tow, please look it up and then start to understand what is going on here.

The Communist Party has zero moral authority in these areas, it killed far more man Chinese than died in the Sin-Japanese War and should just be ignored for being like comic book bad guys silly.

Japan never had the tradition of kow towing, and why should they start doing so now to the communist party?

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"We are very sorry for what our nation and our forefathers did to you and your nation. We were in the wrong, we never truly admitted it in the past and you are justified in being angry with us still. But we admit our guilt now, we hope you will accept our apology and can find in your heart to forgive us. We will see to it that our children and their children will never again be deliberately misled about the evils we did in the past."

Now, that's all he had to say -- see how simple? Just say those words and all would really be forgiven; Korea and China would be happy, the anti-Japan factions in those countries would have their legs kicked out from under them, Japan would finally be able to breathe free and join with the other main players in East Asia, and everyone would benefit.

Unfortunately, what we have here is more of the doublespeak and talking out of both sides of the mouth that Japan has become famous for.

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Unfortunately, what we have here is more of the doublespeak and talking out of both sides of the mouth that Japan has become famous for.

Another falsehood repeated ad nauseum.

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