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Abe offers 'everlasting condolences' at Pearl Harbor

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All good as far as I'm concerned

8 ( +10 / -2 )

No one came out on top in that war.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"Abe offers 'everlasting condolences'

Better than nothing, but good nonetheless.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“War is war,” Rodrigues said as he looked at old photos of his military service. “They were doing what they were supposed to do, and we were doing what we were supposed to do.”

Wise words.

Also think both Abe and Obama rose to the occasion at Hiroshima and now Pearl Harbor sites. Never easy to represent 'the bad guys' on enemy territory and I think both excelled.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

No one came out on top in that war.

No one comes out top in any war.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

No one comes out top in any war.

Weapon sellers do.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I'm pleased this happened. I think it's great symbolism.

Curious how different media are reporting the event. I just checked BBC, where it was the banner story. Same with CNN.

FOX 'news' reported it in 'latest news' under several other stories. Breitbart didn't report it. Nor did Russia Today.

Could it be possible that FOX, Breitbart and Russia Today (three sources often quoted by the anti-Obama posters) are trying to...?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Obama said Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor is an “historic gesture” that shows the power of reconciliation.

I guess Obama doesn't know that Abe is the fourth Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor, in fact, Abe's grandfather, prime minister Kishi visited Pearl Harbor and offered condolences in 1959. There is nothing at all "historic" about Abe's visit. "Reconciliation" took place long ago, and neither Abe nor Obama deserve the credit they are claiming.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

PTownsend: Breitbart didn't report it.

It's the fourth article down from the top, in the bar they place in the center of the page, to the right of the top headline.

http://www.breitbart.com/

Japan’s Abe offers ‘everlasting condolences’ at Pearl Harbor by AP

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“We must never repeat the horrors of war again. This is the solemn vow we, the people of Japan, have taken,” Abe said.

And he will believe it sincerely, right up to the point where he changes the constitution.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

PTownsend: I just checked BBC, where it was the banner story.

And http://www.bbc.co.uk/ shows no mention of 'Japan' or 'Pearl' when I loaded it just now.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

No apology needed. This has been history for a very long time. It is against the law for sins of our fathers to be held against their children. Done and done.

Too bad the American President couldn't promise against going to war too.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

doing it when it is easy (since obama paved the way), not when it is hard. there is nanjing to prove dealing with difficult diplomacy.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@Turbost I stand corrected on Breitbart.

BBC: http://www.bbc.com/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A missed opportunity to call a spade a spade. But slightly better than not going and not saying anything at all, I suppose.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It is on the very top of BBC too now, but I would think it would be less important news in UK than USA?

I think this was a great gesture on the behalf of Japan and Mr. Abe. What I didnt like was Obama trying to use his speech to take badly disguised shots at Trump. This is a solemn occasion and should be treated with dignity and respect for those who were lost (on both sides)

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A really incredible moment I think between the two nations; once the worst of enemies, now the best of allies. All round extremely happy with this visit by Abe, and good on him with the pledge, not a country on Earth could make a similar plege

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Today there was a clip from 1991 when George H.W.. Bush was president. Speaking on the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor he said (not a quote);

I hold no ill will towards Germany nor Japan. The war is over and we should move on in peace.

There are many things I don't like about Prime Minister Abe but I thought did well in Hawaii.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I guess Obama doesn't know that Abe is the fourth Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor, in fact, Abe's grandfather, prime minister Kishi visited Pearl Harbor and offered condolences in 1959. There is nothing at all "historic" about Abe's visit. "Reconciliation" took place long ago, and neither Abe nor Obama deserve the credit they are claiming.

2 leaders visit and offered condolences together for the first time. That's the whole point

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I know the Japan-haters and Abe-bashers will never admit it, but personally, I think Abe was quite sincere at Pearl Harbor.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A fine gesture from Shinzo Abe as was Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima. For all the criticism he has received, Shinzo Abe has turned out to be a pretty good Prime Minister.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"All good as far as I'm concerned"

Me too.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And he will believe it sincerely, right up to the point where he changes the constitution

Just accept and appreciate this historic moment for what it is instead of being the usual party pooper.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

2 leaders visit and offered condolences together for the first time. That's the whole point

"Pointless" would be a better term. Obama has nothing to offer condolences for, and Japan has already offered condolences. There is nothing historic about the visit, the "leaders" held the event to pose for cameras, and make headlines. Obama needs some good press to cement his legacy, Abe needs to rub shoulders with foreign leaders to impress his constituency. All that actually occurred was a further waste of millions of dollars and hundreds of millions of yen of the taxpayers' money so these men could do what they really wanted to do, and that was to play a few games of golf in Hawaii.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

BrainiacDEC. 28, 2016 - 11:30AM JST I know the Japan-haters and Abe-bashers will never admit it, but personally, I think Abe was quite sincere at Pearl Harbor.

Sincerity does not create policy. The sincere gesture is nice and definitely is appreciated, but Japan needs policy now.

AkulaDEC. 28, 2016 - 11:34AM JST A fine gesture from Shinzo Abe as was Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima. For all the criticism he has received, Shinzo Abe has turned out to be a pretty good Prime Minister.

Let's not allow one diplomatic gesture to overshadow 4 years of failed economic policies and and a dangerously passive-aggressive attitude towards China and South Korea that has left Japan somewhat diplomatically isolated in its own region.

sangetsu03DEC. 28, 2016 - 12:32PM JST "Pointless" would be a better term. Obama has nothing to offer condolences for, and Japan has already offered condolences. There is nothing historic about the visit, the "leaders" held the event to pose for cameras, and make headlines.

In each memorial ceremony, there were outspoken voices in the visiting leader's country outraged that they might apologize for their part in the war and shouldn't even make the trip. The fact that there are still people in the world who are apparently like you outraged by the idea of Japan and the US formally memorializing each other's war dead is what makes this historical. Though I'm no fan of Abe's, it does take courage to against the backwards-looking forces in one's society who want to keep that war mentality going forever, and both Abe and Obama deserve credit and recognition for doing just that, and I'm happy to give it to both of them. In neither case will the kudos erase their mistakes, but to not give credit where credit is due makes the critic look small, petty, and unthinkingly reflexively hateful.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Much better than the last time. He didn't look down on a draft, didn't speak in english.

Sangetsu.

well, reactions from US Medias and usual anti-Abe posters here doesn't make your view persuasive.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

AP: Abe offers 'everlasting condolences' at Pearl Harbor

I hope that will stop people asking Japan for apologies. "Everlasting" is a pretty long time.

PTownsend: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/

I'm picturing bbc.com as either the World or USA site for BBC, and bbc.co.uk as the UK site, so bbc.co.uk as more comparable to Breitbart. Also wondering why BBC-UK isn't covering this.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Abe's ostentatious grandstanding on the international stage continues to earn plaudits from those who are always suckers for "The Emperor's New Clothes". His maudlin Pearl Harbor speech which failed to condemn the aggressive policies of the then Japanese government and made worse by his poor delivery may have fooled some foreign observers but not the Japanese political opposition who remain unconvinced of his sincerity given his loyalty to the beliefs of his A-class war criminal grandfather whose dream was to rewrite the Constitution the restore the Japanese Army to a preeminent role in society. As another poster pointed out this visit to Hawaii was a waste of taxpayers' money since the peoples of Japan and the USA have long been reconciled and Abe's self-serving performance is merely the (sticky) icing on the cake. The prospect of North Korea's future nuclear capability will prove to be the ultimate litmus test of Abe's peaceful intentions beyond his cringeworthy rhetoric.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"No apology needed" "War is war. They were doing what they were supposed to do, and we were doing what we were supposed to do" It's a very nice sentiment from Mr. Rodrigues. However, I think Abe should have apologized since the US and Japan were not at war at the time of the attack. Only after the attack did Japan declare war on the US and British forces.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good for Abe.

A prime minister of Japan did a noble thing. According to the anti Japan crowd, this would never have happened at all. And since it did, now these people are tripping over themselves to save face, by now denigrating Abe by saying he should have formally apologized, or done more, etc etc etc.

Some people.

No apologies were necessary, anymore than apologies were necessary when Obama visited Hiroshima.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Big, unexpected gesture. Nice way to end 2016.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Adding insult to injury. Try expressing your "eternal condolences" when someone brings up Hiroshima and see what happens.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You are way late as the Potus been there some time ago.?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

OK I'm revising my view somewhat. (Not that I am under any illusion that anybody will care, of course!). Abe's actions were meaningful and he deserves credit for doing what he did. I was too harsh/churlish before. And as I noted yesterday, nor do I think he needed to apologize. But I do think there is too little awareness in Japan about how and why the war started, and he could and should have addressed this. So in that sense it was a missed opportunity. But I recognise his actions were positive nevertheless.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A prime minister of Japan did a noble thing.

Abe did nothing unusual or noble, his grand father prime minister Kishi (who had been accused of war crimes following the war) visited Pearl Harbor and offered condolences back in 1959. Abe is the fourth prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor to offer condolences, not the first. Funny that most Japanese news outlets were unaware of this until recently, as the previous visits were not reported widely in Japan or America (neither really cared back then).

As for what I mentioned about Obama visiting Hawaii to play golf, he played on the course next to my vacation home on Friday.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The fact that both Abe & Obama spoke respectively at "sacred" war sites, offering condolences and speaking for everlasting peace (like Miss Universe contestants have been apt to do in the past), is to be commended.

But the cynicism in me stills allows for me to view all of this from the side, without succumbing to tears & hopes. It's Politics. It's establishing a front for the masses to run with. Sure they may feel bad about war - how many of the 7 billion on the planet feel good about it? But, beyond their personalgood intentions, they have their own vested interests in this and it would be naive to think otherwise. Again, this is Politics.

Obama was awarded the Nobel prize for his anti-nuke stance and to the best of my knowledge has failed to make any "real" impact on this, both from an American point and global. He has chummied up to despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia, while villifying countries like Iran. His country produces and sells to the world (directly or indirectly - he, he) sickening amounts of weapons under the guise of freedom or some other implausible nicety. Nice guy, Nice words.

Abe neeeds friends like no one can imagine, so he presents "feel good" words that fit that narrative. Sure, I have no doubt that Japan will never wage war again - we all know that, but if he wants to be remembered for sincerity, he'll need to reconcile with China - the place where Japan started the war and millions died. Sure China uses it's position as a strategic "bash Japan" weapon, but for any truth in words to be realized, Abe needs to take that leap of faith. But I believe his heart is not in it, as he has never, ever retracted any of the statements he has made over the years calling into question the realities expressed by others re ww2. His leading position in nippon kaigi and ther fact that most of his cabinet are members, surely taints any of his heart felt sorrows.

It's Politics.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I think this whole discussion is missing the wider context.

What are the Japanese governments motives, aside from good relations with the US?

Well, for one, Japan is locked in disputes over history with South Korea and China. The prevailing feeling in Japan is that these two nations are 'immature', should 'grow up', and stop banging on about the war.

So what do the Abe-Obama reciprocal visits have to do with attitudes within Japan to its neighbors? Well, both Japan and the US expressed regret and sadness without an explicit apology. The narrative here is that Japan and US are the 'grown ups' (大人) a word even more laden in Japanese with connotations of proper behavior than it is in English.

I think Mr. Obama has been co-opted into Abe's domestic PR. People will say this is 'party-pooping', looking to attack Abe whatever he does. Sure, I grant that it is better for Japan and the US to show mutual respect for each other than still be enemies.

However, I think it is quite persuasive to argue that the arrangement, from the Japanese side, of these reciprocal visits can be seen terms of convincing the population at home in Japan that South Korea and China are the ones with 'issues'.

Of course, this strategy is built on false equivalence since the US has never denied dropping the atom bomb or quibbled about the death toll. Likewise Japan has never denied attacking Pearl Harbor. So the ground is ready for reconciliation.

This argument would be rendered inaccurate if Mr. Abe also makes similar respectful visits to, for example, the site in China where the IJA dismembered live prisoners for biological testing.

This is quite a good hypothesis test and I am willing to bet no such visit will be forthcoming, since Mr. Abe is not motivated either by humanism and a desire to look at all victims of the past without prejudice, but rather by real politik.

China, with its brand of communo-capitalis, certainly has endless issues that we cannot go into here, but South Korea in particular, as a modern, industrial and vibrant nation, certainly gets undeserved criticism in Japan, and these latest developments only help to serve (were partially motivated by the need to the serve?) the narrative that South Korea is 'petulant' and Japan, despite invading the country, assassinating their royalty, and banning the use of their language, has nothing whatsoever to apologize for.

Everything politicians do is calculated, surely? Those who calculate best succeed, and in this regard Mr. Abe knows his audience and is very skillful.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So, now that the Hiroshima and Pearl Harbour visits have been done, maybe the correct history can be taught in Japan. You have no idea how many people here told me that America started the war...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

A war/fight don't start with the 1st punch it starts way earlier. Doubt it read a 'Book of 5 rings' or 'The Art of War' or speak to any MA or Veteran.

There is an escalation procedure and most people trained in warfare/MA know how to escape it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To this article, there are less Abe or Obama haters who also haze Japan and insult Japanese.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

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