politics

Abe's 70th anniversary war speech more than just words

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Enough already.....bring it on.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It really doesn't matter what PM Abe says or what words he uses. China and South Korea will reject whatever he says as insufficient. And if they are sufficient then they will call themt insincere. All part of China's plan. It's a joke to even think that ANYTHING he says going to change China and South Korea's anti-Japan policy.

-17 ( +10 / -27 )

It wont be what he says but what he doesn't say ....

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Now is your chance Abe to step up and be a leader. Deal with this properly and everyone will need to move forward. If you don't you burden Japan and her people.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

OssanAmericaAUG. 14, 2015 - 08:14AM JST It really doesn't matter what PM Abe says or what words he uses. China and South Korea will reject whatever he says as insufficient. And if they are sufficient then they will call themt insincere. All part of China's plan. It's a joke to even think that ANYTHING he says going to change China and South Korea's anti-Japan policy.

Don't count your chickens ...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“Japan’s memory of the war has long been one of a victim. The memory of perpetrator has been taken over,” Yamada said.

Particularly over the last several years, there has been very little recognition across all levels of society that Japan acted as a perpetrator/aggressor/oppressor. Instead, the prevailing self-pity narrative holds that Japan was and is a victim, therefore it could not also have taken on the role victimizer, and any suffering endured by countries Japan occupied is secondary to that endured by Japan.

One difference I am seeing now in comparison with the past is that people here are increasingly talking about the well-intended sacrifices Japan made to liberate its neighbors and modernize them with infrastructure, education and public order. This is complete with historic pictures online of how wonderful life was under Japanese rule (one such photo posted by an acquaintance depicted a leisurely picnic scene in South Korea). Many here are now voicing indignation at the lack of appreciation and scorn shown toward Japan by its neighbors despite these noble efforts.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

OssanAmerica, your comment claiming your country as a victim is explained by this sentence found in this editorial.

While Abe’s nationalism tends to be popular on the political right, Japan’s own national self-narrative has been one more of victim than colonialist aggressor

4 ( +9 / -5 )

As soon as Japan makes proper amends and stop teaching garbage to its kids, and things will get whole lot better

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Maybe he should address a 3 hour apology for china and korea.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

“The prospect for Japan’s relationship with China and South Korea remains uncertain, partially due to (Abe’s) view of history,”

It's not only Abe's view, it's practically all of Japan. They genuinely think they have done nothing wrong, and that they are the main victims of aggression against the West, and victims of "ungratefulness" from some Asian countries who they helped "liberate" (and tried to pay off later).

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I said 2 years ago that this speech is gonna totally suck and end up betraying the hearts of many Japanese people who have reflected upon the brutality of the world war campaign, really hope I'm wrong!

Unit 731's horrific experiments, the death railway, the rape of Nanking, the Mitsubishi slave ships, sex slaves, Pearl Harbour... these are all part of history, and history belongs to the world, not just Japan. The government is phasing all of these events out of education, the Japanese media in its partial reflection of the war only covers the victimization of Japan during the war and human anecdotes (letters from soldiers, etc), only the veterans seem to speak of the bigger picture... because they know it's their responsibility, because young people no longer learn about them or understand... At 6pm (like in his previous 2 speeches), Abe will most likely gloss over Japan's war atrocities and p**s off the whole world, diminishing the hard work of Murayama and all the other, less arrogance-ridden PM's before him. We knew this 2 years ago, Abe can't accept that his grandfather was a war criminal, he doesn't even regard Japan's violent aggression as a mistake (he's been asked several times) and this is his golden moment to finally cement his delusions of grandeur, by making a nitpicking speech that simply prolongs resentment in other countries (not just China and Korea).

I really, really hope I'm wrong but they say 'a leopard can't change its spots.'

No matter what he says, I will continue to adore the people of Japan, who only really have the illusion of a democratic system, whose younger generations are respectably becoming politically active (SEALDS) against this kind of dinosauric stupidity.

Whatever happens, if people keep studying and learning the internationally validated history of the war (not Abe's little fairytale), there will be understanding and growth.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

At what point in time will the great grandchildren stop. paying for the sins of the great grandparents ?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@Overchan

Maybe rather than a 3 hour speech, one where he speaks openly, honestly, and directly, not weeks/months searching a thesaurus to lessen every statement he makes and attempting to placate an every decreasing group supporters whom through their lack of open apologetic contrition not only damage Japan's image globally but also Japans prosperity, might be the way to go.

I have no doubt some degree of the objects and claims launched from Japans close neighbours are nothing more than political footballs, but this doesn't reduce the responsibility to make amends and to genuinely approach this with an aim for the best outcome.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Unlike in Germany, the military took the brunt of the blame for WW2 in Japan but the right wing emerged unscathed. The LDP has ruled the nation ever since, largely defending Japan's imperial past. There are diverse opinions in democratic Japan, but these groups have failed to change the official position on the past. Finally, money and phony political apologies won't win Japan trust in the region. Revising school history texts would be a start. Despite rejecting militarism, Japan is viewed as a major security threat in neighboring countries, mainly due to their refusal to acknowledge the past.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The problem is that Japan has never apologized for being the aggressor that was totally responsible for WWII in the Pacific along with the atrocities and also being responsible for why the Americans detonated the two atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If they would say that in a completely unambiguous manner, the world would accept it and move on. Instead, the subject keeps coming up over and over and will continue to do so until the Japanese government accepts the reality of what happened in the 1930's and 40's.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

John GAug. 14, 2015 - 09:47AM JST

"At what point in time will the great grandchildren stop. paying for the sins of the great grandparents ? "

I don't think that's what's happening! Nobody sane is blaming those grandchildren... however some people in their parents' and grandparents' generations have done everything they can to distort history and hide their mistakes... surely it's human nature to repeat mistakes if you don't learn from them? Teaching the indisputable facts of world history would also alleviate resentment from other countries who say they're neglecting history anyway, so the grandchildren win out. Real education (not LDP's propanda) is a win win situation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

if we go back enough in time we will find that every country has killed, raped,...... japan and the world needs to move on

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Anyone want to predict what China and South Korea will say. Not enough! Not sincere enough! Same BS remarks again and again. Japan has done enough. No more apologies!!!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

only the veterans seem to speak of the bigger picture... because they know it's their responsibility, because young people no longer learn about them or understand...

@excellentadventurer

What you say is true only in some cases. Unfortunately, many IJA veterans are also preaching the Japan as liberator narrative. Scores of such videos that are professionally edited and feature clean-cut, down-to-earth looking grandfatherly type veterans have been appearing online in the last several years. These are not the typical abrasive right-wing types, but very respectable looking model citizens. This clearly fits in with the current government's agenda to teach a "correct" view of the past.

Here is one such video, provided by the large Japanese "religious organization" Happy Science (kofuku no kagaku). The veteran in this video served in Vietnam and claims that Japan was asked send troops. In one segment, the man is asked what he thinks about claims that Japan invaded Asian Countries. He laughs incredulously at the question and replies, "of course we didn't [invade]. It was the other way around. We fought to save Asian people's lives (アジアの人たちを生かしてやろうと思って戦った。). They were like our siblings; they were the same as family."

Here is the clip (4:39, Japanese with Japanese subtitles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM5GLD_egsM

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The trouble is though, these are not his true words. These are the words he has been forced to say due his and his cronies persistent denial and downplaying of the events that took place in the first half of last century. Regardless of how it is worded, we all know it's just words and not his true feelings. Do you really think he is gonna sincerely denounce his war criminal grandfather just to appease the former (and present) enemies of Japan? Really? Not a chance!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I think there should be a tact understanding for the Japanese's sake that we do our part, you do yours. It's a complicated issue that needs collective contributions and mutual trust. I, as a Chinese and accordingly I belong to the victimized group, am not convinced that Japan people have always been the Satan. But please let us move on, let us show the rest of the world what's more we are capable to achieve rather than a bunch of petty wranglers.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

promptly lock the castle at 6.

asian and world-wide, multi-channel podcast.

emperor speaks out, as does his son (each has been grooming for this for months).

masako, this would be your time ... the home atrocities, the embarrassing sexism you faced (greater boston has not forgotten you - all can learn).

royal family? the only face saving that can be achieved is, in a difficult play, to take this opportunity: let the entirety of the moron establishment lose face.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The trouble is though, these are not his true words. These are the words he has been forced to say due his and his cronies persistent denial and downplaying of the events that took place in the first half of last century.

That's ok, as he isn't speaking for himself, he's speaking for his nation.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Some reading for Wilson Lee, who believes that Japan has never apologized (they have, like 40+ times)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@nostromo

It wont be what he says but what he doesn't say ....

Profound! I'd also throw in the potential ambiguity.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan you still have about 6hrs to swap abe out for the Emperor!! Do it!

abe in the worst person for this!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At what point in time will the great grandchildren stop. paying for the sins of the great grandparents ?

The answer? At a point when great grandchildren top justifying, playing down, even lie about the sins of their great grandparents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listofwarapologystatementsissuedby_Japan

Meaningless. It's too bad nobody has compiled a long list of Japanese "unapologies". For every "apology" that'st listed, there are three "unapologies".

2 ( +5 / -3 )

igloobuyerAug. 14, 2015 - 08:53AM JST Don't count your chickens

When one understands that China (and through its proxy SKorea) is carrying out it's anti-Japan program as just a part of it's overall strategy to break up the US-Austr-Jpn alliance, and considering that China is only just getting started in the South China Sea, there is nothing to be gained by China in dropping it's anti-Japan position at this time. Rest assured China and SKorea will not change theor tune no matter what PM Abe says.

Papi2013Aug. 14, 2015 - 09:08AM JST "OssanAmerica, your comment claiming your country as a victim is explained by this sentence found in this editorial. While Abe’s nationalism tends to be popular on the political right, Japan’s own national self-narrative has been one more >of victim than colonialist aggressor

My country? The United States supports PM Abe.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

At what point in time will the great grandchildren stop. paying for the sins of the great grandparents ?

When the historical revisionism stops

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Yes the historical revisionism being carried out by China and South Korea, both of which signed Peace Treaties with Japan in 1972 and 1965 putting all WWII issues to rest.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Agree with Christopher Glen.

When the historical revisionism stops

Plus, we are all sick of Japan playing the victim card for so long.

The atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which led to the Japan’s surrender, stirred that sense of victimhood

. . . Remember Pear? The empire of Japan deliberately attacked it on a quiet Sunday morning.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

while the war is now history, not being well-settled can also mean that you are still in the war. but now, maybe you are in the war of words, and the war of words can be just as powerful as the exchange of gunfires and bombs - it makes you feel uncomfortable all year around trying to find reasons, excuses, exemptions, running around the bush, pretending of not knowing what you were doing back then, disguising yourself as someone who is all good and glorious, with no blemishes. maybe that is what abe and his LDP redundant policies want to leave as a form of legacy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't see how current and future generations of Japanese should perpetually carry the blame for something that happened well before their time. Why can't remembering be enough?

History is a narrative of the victor. Saying the Americans were forced to drop atomic bombs is the same as saying the Japanese were forced to copy Western colonialism after the imposed unequal treaties.

These were different times with different norms and values. Every actor commited war crimes, but we want the Japanese to write in their schoolbooks it was just them.

Looks like nobody has learned. These lingering nationalistic feelings are exactly what cause wars.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Christopher GlenAUG. 14, 2015 - 12:08PM JST

When the historical revisionism stops

Glen, "revisionism" is when everyone agrees what happened was A, and then someone pops up saying B happened instead.

The problem is, the involved Japanese never really accepted the common historical variant. Personally, I cannot blame them. You pay a price in credibility if instead of letting historians play things out you push the charges through with a less than fair court. So whatever you may think, it is not revisionism.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

At what point in time will the great grandchildren stop. paying for the sins of the great grandparents ? "

Here in Japan that would be about the time when the great-grandchildren have great-grandchildren themselves.

So in a very long time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kaz Shimaz:

Glen, "revisionism" is when everyone agrees what happened was A, and then someone pops up saying B happened instead.

You have described the situation exactly.

You pay a price in credibility if instead of letting historians play things out you push the charges through with a less than fair court

And again, you have described Abe's stance on this matter exactly. He should indeed leave it to historians.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't see how current and future generations of Japanese should perpetually carry the blame for something that happened well before their time. Why can't remembering be enough?

I agree. My daughter was born in Japan and has Japanese citizenship. Yet, her great-grandparents fought on opposites sides of WWII. Should one half of her apologize to her other half?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What else do people in Japan and the region expect from PM Abe? Besides apologizing, do they expect him to go on his bended knees & kow-tow? Enough is enough. WW II was fought by the fore-fathers of the present Japanese people. The new generation of Japanese are NOT responsible for past atrocities that were committed, and neither should history of that War be wrongly interpreted. If we are going to start damning those responsible for wars/hostilities, then Red China can also be considered a villain as it supported North Korea in the Korean War. Thank goodness for the Americans and the UN Forces that saved Democratic South Korea from the aggressive Communists (North Korea still is). There are several more examples, BUT let's not overplay these issues. Japan is now facing potential Chinese aggression in the East China Sea, and Abe did right by recently moving changes in the Japanese Constitution re: Defence. Politics & Emotionalism aside, Peace, Harmony, Security and Progress must be the priorities of Japan. Be brave and noble Samurais & never be afraid or subservient to anyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kickboard, it's not a matter of her apologizing to herself. It's a matter of government recognition from the top that history should be honest and open and that should be passed on to future generations on all sides. If kids are brought up in confusion of basic history, they will forever be confused and that will cause internal anxiety that will be with them throughout their lives. That legacy of confusion, void of opportunity from learning of past actions and their results, is not a legacy a parent should wish to give to their children. It's an issue of morality and of the importance of faith and trust in your leadership. Kids in America now don't learn history, nor even how their government works. And that leads to uninformed voters. But they sure know who's on Jersy Shores and who Brad Pitt's wife is. Pop culture vs the lessons to be learned from history are two alternate universes. Here and everywhere else in the world. And my kids have the legacy your grandkids do. The sad thing is it (ignorance) makes for a very difficult world of morality for people when they have no basis from which to draw their own conclusions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@theeastisredAUG. 14, 2015 - 01:52PM JST

You have described the situation exactly.

My point is that they did not pop up. They were always there. Only from a Western perspective with limited visibility to Japan (especially to a part they so stronly deny) does it look like they "popped up" or "appear from time to time to cause trouble".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When the historical revisionism stops

Agree. Japan need to stop distorting history.

Why don't Japan create a law like German where people who deny atrocities are put to jail. People who deny Nanking Massacre where thousands of innocent Chinese civilians who got murder and raped should be put to jail. Do that Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Amazing! Abe actually said he was speechless when he learned that Japan did immeasureable damage to people both at home and abroad during the war! And he upheld the Murayama and Kono and Koizumi statements/apologies!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good on him! I'm glad to hear that. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and it turns out that he deserved it.

I'm hoping that the Chinese and Koreans will accept this appropriately as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Hansaram

Japan isn't falsifying history.

It is just the anti-Japan propagandists who are attempting to establish the lie that they are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree. My daughter was born in Japan and has Japanese citizenship. Yet, her great-grandparents fought on opposites sides of WWII. Should one half of her apologize to her other half?

My daughter was born in the States, she has Japanese citizenship, my sons born here, they are Japanese too, multi-racial children they are, same situation......

They can apologize to each other......or maybe they can have create split personalities and walk around apologizing to themselves all day.

Na...the apologizes have to end, but the ACTIONS have to start.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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