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Abe's visit to U.S. generating a lot of interest, controversy

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Diplomatic sources said that Abe’s speech was expected to echo some of the themes from his July address to the Australian parliament, where he expressed humility about the “evils and horrors” of Japan’s history.

If true, then that would be very productive. But, if he retreats from that, or tries to rationalize it at all, he's likely to incur the wrath of the veterans of the Pacific in WWII. And that could get real ugly. Let's hope he is on his best behavior.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

But, if he retreats from that, or tries to rationalize it at all, he's likely to incur the wrath of the veterans of the Pacific in WWII.

But given China's increasing influence, the US needs Abe too. It will be a matter of balances and tradeoffs.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I think jerseyboy is talking about US WWII vetrans. which i think is not really true. Most have already come to terms with the evils of war and if they have not hardened their hearts to forgiveness already nothing Abe says is going to suddenly make them unforgive. In other words, it's not political for the people who actually FOUGHT, only to people who try to leverage war for talking points.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I hate to say it, but I suspect Abe will somehow screw it up - lowering Japan's reputation and strengthening the hands of Korea and China. I really hope he doesn't, but the combination of arrogance and his slow wit isn't promising.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

The US puppet returns to do his song and dance routine in front of other puppets of the corporate state. Then they will get busy further selling out the public with the secretive TPP agreement written for and by multinationals.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Please please please please DON'T hold your first up in the ridiculous "fight" gesture.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I think jerseyboy is talking about US WWII vetrans. which i think is not really true. Most have already come to terms with the evils of war and if they have not hardened their hearts to forgiveness already nothing Abe says is going to suddenly make them unforgive.

Shinjuku -- that is exactly who I am talking about,and their relatives, but you are dead wrong on the key point. Yes, for sure, Americans have moved past WWII and the Japanese atrocities and even Pearl Harbor. But, that forgiveness would disappear in a minute if Abe did or said anything to make it sound like he was trying to minimize Japan's past deeds or the like -- eg along the lines of the museum at Yasukuni. Rightly or wrongly, Americans are taught that Pearl harbor was a sneak attack by the Japanese, and most Americans had a relative who either fought or died in WWII, so he needs to tread very lightly, especially with cable networks like FOX News and the dozens of talking-head radio hosts who would love to embarrass Obama by raising a stink while Abe is here.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

To realise the full potential of a statesman, Shinzo Abe Japanese first prime minister to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress must dispense with any emotional attachment to reactionary revisionist conservatism.

Shinzo Abe address must embrace a dignified reflection of atonement to past “evils and horrors” perpetrated to the peoples of territories occupied or annexed by Imperial Japan up until 1945. The Speech must inspire confidence that the government of Japan can bridge multiple divides and harmonize relationships to gain political affinity and a lasting trust.

This unprecedented opportunity is essential for Japans future economic and political ability to influence events at home and abroad. Shinzo Abe must reach out to the peoples of South Korea, and China surmounting incumbent political ideologies to gain absolution for coming generations. Abe san must win hearts and minds, a task that will require the sincerity currently lacking in every level of political leadership in governments globally.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Abe's visit to U.S. generating a lot of interest, controversy

So it should. Mr Abe has done nothing to warrant the privilege of addressing congress

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Abe has got to keep his speeches neutral and focus on trade and, since he is intent on building up Japan's war machine again, weapons development. If he for one minute focuses on Japan's past he's going to find a very unwelcoming audience, given that some of the Senators he will be speaking to are the same who have demanded he face the Senate in the first place over his stance on sex-slaves. So, it's nail in coffin if that subject is broached -- he'll suddenly get defensive and try the arguments that work at home, but NEVER of course fly anywhere else, and his visit will have been a political disaster. Sadly, that will solidify things at home with the wingers, who will claim "Abe was misunderstood' and 'attacked', and who will say, 'the US has no right to interfere on "domestic" issues (of Japan's war-time deeds in other nations!)', etc. etc.

I hope he makes a complete ass of himself an does something as stupid as suggest to Congress that the US must change their history books, etc., and he gets ripped a new one and the world sees him for what he is (more than they do now).

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

The Koreans never miss an opportunity to criticise Japan. They ought to worry about transportation safety and hygiene.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

If true, then that would be very productive. But, if he retreats from that, or tries to rationalize it at all, he's likely to incur the wrath of the veterans of the Pacific in WWII. And that could get real ugly. Let's hope he is on his best behavior.

@jersyboy

I can't understand why your comment is getting all the thumbs down. What you have written is obviously on the mark, no matter what side of the fence you are on regarding the Abe administration's sanitized view of history.

Anyway could easily portray a positive image overall simply by not reopening old wounds with a remark about revising Japan's wartime past.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Are they still moaning about how Japan has 'never' apologized or 'properly' atoned?

4 ( +11 / -7 )

jerseyboy - with all due respect. you're wrong. American's, by and large, are indifferent at best to the goings on of a a war we fought 70 years ago and isn't even our last war in Asia. or the 2nd to last. Add to that that most Americans on both sides of the isle see China as their rising rival there is almost nothing Abe could say that would make Americans side with China vs. Japan. The image that most Americans under 40 have of Japan is lovably weird, super smart, earnest and ninja-y. I get what you're saying, but if you think rank and file Americans are that quick to change ingrained mindsets and worldviews...you haven't been paying attention.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

They ought to worry about transportation safety and hygiene.

Don't see how this is relevant. Japan has issues of its own over hygiene anyway.

Are they still moaning about how Japan has 'never' apologized or 'properly' atoned?

With good reason. All the "apologies" in the world count for nothing if people are allowed to refute them. Abe would be wise to pay heed to this when he makes his undeserved speech

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@oldman_13

Are they still moaning about how Japan has 'never' apologized or 'properly' atoned?

Not particularly, but your problems with SK and China inevitably creep into even the uninformed American's consciousness (and I am American). jerseyboy is right that Abe had better be on his best behavior.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I wonder how many Senators and Congressmen in the US would like to talk about WW2 with PM Abe when he visits Washington DC. I think most would like to talk about trade, economy and investment.

His trip is for the bilateral relationship between the US and Japan. I do not think Korean agenda should be placed ahead of those of the two countries.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Still the pivot partner in the pacific theater. Although diplomatic track record is abyssal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are they still moaning about how Japan has 'never' apologized or 'properly' atoned?

Do sheep still say "baa"? Speaking of which, some of these comments are rather funny.

Diplomatic sources said that Abe’s speech was expected to echo some of the themes from his July address to the Australian parliament, where he expressed humility about the evils and horrors of Japans history.

If true, then that would be very productive.

So gracious. He could check for himself but why bother with facts, right?

jerseyboy is right that Abe had better be on his best behavior.

Or he'll go to bed without supper?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think Obama will probably apologise to Abe.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I think Obama will probably apologise to Abe.

How drool... though he should do it. It would be a surefire way to get TPP passed in this Congress.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

First Netanyahooo now Funzo. Congress is really doing a stand up job. Hope Funzo doesn't blow it by making imappropriate comments baout TPP or China or south korea or the war or yen exchange rates or...... what could possibly go wrong?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Abe San is a consummate career politician, don't expect some political nihongo 'Jerry Lewis 'caricature,...Abe's Keynotes are articulate and well thought through..

A New Vision from a New Japan, World Economic Forum 2014 Annual Meeting, Speech by Prime Minister Abe....

http://japan.kantei.go.jp/96_abe/statement/201401/22speech_e.html

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In the words from the warriors who fell in WWII "never forget, never forgive and NEVER EVER NEVER TRUST A JAPANESE". this is so true of the Abe administration and what he is doing to us Japanese. Only Americans can save the oppressed Japanese from Abe and his cronies. Emperor Abe as he wants to be called meets with China and Korea behind the US's back and is slowly emerging the military into a more imperialistic Japan

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A great opportunity and honor for one of America's most trusted and important friends on the world stage, very welcome, indeed. Welcome and good luck!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We should not overlook some of the people who acted to extend the invitation. They include House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, a Republican, and senior member Mike Honda, a Democrat. These are the main leaders behind the Congressional resolution against historical revisionism by Japan. But these leaders are not anti-Japan by any means, and I believe the reason why they support an address by Abe Shinzo is to give the leader of a key allied nation the chance to address America on an important occasion, the 70th anniversary of the end of the most damaging war in history and on which those with direct memory are dying off.

The Japanese government understands this background, and I believe that Abe also appreciates that while he is welcome to represent the one country with the most stellar record of peace and prosperity without unacceptable human costs since 1945, how will not be viewed kindly if he misrepresents the history of Japan's less than stellar record up to August of 1945. He may blow that chance, but I think America should give him that opportunity.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I get what you're saying, but if you think rank and file Americans are that quick to change ingrained mindsets and worldviews...you haven't been paying attention.

shinjuku -- really? Actually, you haven't been "paying attention" to U.S. politics for the last six years or so. If you had been you would know about the deep divide that exists, led by the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. These folks are against anything Obama is in favor of, and are "social conservatives" -- meaning they are pro-guns, Christian, and deeply pro-American. They are, by your definition, the "rank and file Americans". And if you don't think the media that panders to them would wait even one second to jump all over any white-washing or back-tracking that Abe would potentially do, then you simply are not "paying attention". Japan has ZERO equity with these folks.

@jersyboy

I can't understand why your comment is getting all the thumbs down. What you have written is obviously on the mark, no matter what side of the fence you are on regarding the Abe administration's sanitized view of history.

sensato -- thank you. My comments usually get a bunch of thumbs down, - even when they are pro-Japan or neutral --because most of the posters here are "all in" with Japan, and therefore want to convince themselves things are not as bad as an objective person knows them to be. And, since they are powerless to change the direction of the country, they take their frustration out by dumping on people who point out the obvious cracks in the dike.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

jerseyboy - do you honestly think that if Japan had made statements "whitewashing" its war record against Russia or China during the Cold War that America would have rushed to the defense of those countries? The rise of the TeaParty just makes my comments MORE relevant. What is more "anti-American" than communist China in the minds of the right? They will fight TPP every step of the way because Obama wants it, but they won't fall inline behind Red China for the sake of a few decades old warcrimes, No how. no way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is anyone else sick of China using this history as a tool only for nationalistic nostalgia in front of the Chinese [public to help cement these Chinese leaders with a mindset of centuries past as they control every aspect of the people's lives in China??? And.... I am sick of South Korea playing along with China and see it as only a tool for them to use the Japan issue for better trade advantages with China! Just too much of beating a dead horse by both China and South Korea! Apology after apology has shown nothing is going to change the way China uses this issue for the sake of a totalitarian forced control over its people!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

His trip is for the bilateral relationship between the US and Japan. I do not think Korean agenda should be placed ahead of those of the two countries.

When Abe's agenda has poisoned East Asian relations then yes - I think he needs to account for his words

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

When it comes to WWII, Abe is all over the map. One day, he is an apologist; the next day, he offers apologies. It all really depends on to whom he is speaking.

So, he'll come to the US, and offer some vague condolences, and express regret about something, and something about remembering the past for a better future tomorrow, and so on.

And the Vet Groups and the Koreans will protest, and people will mutter, and shuffle their feet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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