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Aides give Abe a headache on history, U.S. alliance

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By Linda Sieg and Elaine Lies

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Time for that little fireside chat between the US ambassador and NHK about the visa status of NHK hacks in the US. A message by proxy. If Abe keeps beating this revisionist drum then NHK are more than welcome to report on US policy from Mexico (with apologies to the Mexicans). That should turn a few heads.

The other question is who are these advisers? It would be interesting to know what some of the bureaucrats here think of these political interlopers.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Many of Abe’s aides share a conservative agenda that includes forging a security stance less reliant on Washington and rejecting what they view as a “masochistic”, overly apologetic interpretation of Japan’s wartime deeds.

A clear and honest reflection on what took place between 1937-1945, and what Japan did during that time should not, and need not be masochistic. Neither is that what most reasonable countries expect from Japan. It's old history, it's long past, and Japan paid it's price for the war. Most mature and reasonable countries also understand the value, and spirit of forgiveness, and actively practice it.

What is dangerous is eliminating history from the record, so that the average Japanese person has absolutely no idea about what happened in the war. I had this conversation with my wife the other day. She did her first home stay in Australia as a 16 year old, was sitting around the lounge room one evening with the family, which just happened to be Remembrance Day. They were watching a TV show that began to show Japanese soldiers fighting Australians, and the Bombing of Darwin. She told the story that she had absolutely no idea what was going on - had never seen or heard of these things before and felt immense confusion and extreme discomfort sitting with that family.

If nothing else, Japan is completely failing her citizens by choosing to omit this honest and transparent reflection of the war. When clown like Morii express an offensive and inaccurate 'personal opinion', it should be absolutely howled down by the public, but it isn't, because the people don't know enough to know he is wrong.

That's the real issue here. I don't think Japan should constantly apologise for WW2 - they don't need to endlessly self-flaggelate over the war. But they need to be more honest with themselves, and educate the kids more thoroughly and fairly in school to try to add perspective and balance that is missing at present.

29 ( +31 / -2 )

Can't Japanese public figures work out that ignorant and untrue statements have an effect that is detrimental to the people of Japan?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

“a nation that isn’t beholden to the U.S. as a patron, and doesn’t feel restrained by the sensitivities of its neighbors.” It’s bizarre that a barrage of affronts came from these high level associates of Mr. Abe this week.

Well, they all will get away by invoking something call “personal opinions”

Hawkish Abe’s admin has been kept using a familiar, yet extremely lame excuse, “personal opinions” to dodge the responsibility and cover his admin’s true intends. For instance, when NHK chairmen Momii uttered offensive and obnoxious comments on Japan’s wartime sex slavery, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga shrugged the question from the reporters by saying “that was Momii’s personal opinion.” Okay, I might buy that. But when Etsuro Honda, a senior aid to Abe and a major architect of Abenomics said at the interview with Wall Street Journal “Japan's peace and prosperity has depended on their (kamikaze pilots’) sacrifices. That's why Mr. Abe had to go to Yasukuni.” While raising his left hand above his head and letting it drop to describe the death plunge of kamikaze jets onto the decks of U.S. aircraft carriers. Personal opinion, again ? com'on, enough nonsense. Please don’t forget, both Mr. Etsuro Honda and Mr. Seiichi Eto are close aids to Mr. Abe: It takes one to know one.

Unfortunately, Washington has to hold its nose and stick with its fishy ally for now, but at the same time it would be delusional to think that the White House would buy Abe’s argument and explanations in terms of his true purpose to visit Yasukuni shrine not to mention his hidden agenda behind its economic reviving plans.

In case anyone is interested, please refe to the article published by Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304899704579390293541736638?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304899704579390293541736638.html

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I can understand what Eto said. America does not understand the Japanese government's extraordinary efforts to keep U.S. bases on Okinawa holding down anti-bases movements there. It was a big "disappointment" for us that U.S. Forces on Okinawa did not become any deterrence against China on Senkaku. What is our efforts for?

About Yasukuni, I recommend Americans to visit the memorial statue built near the Kototoi Bridge near Asakusa. On March 10, 1945, the great air raids hit Tokyo and 85,000 citizens died. At Kototoi Bridge over the Sumida River near Asakusa, citizens were fleeing from fires in Asakusa district and when they were crossing the bridge to go to the other side of the river, American fighters assaulted them from the air killing many people. People still can see marks of bullets remaining in the stones of the bridge. America is not innocent.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Honda sounds like a person who says things to give himself the ego boost of his own perceived importance sounding off. Unfortunately, he said things that were taken at face value. Duh. Afterward, trying to back away from his own comments. Petulant Japanese government typical.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I was going to rant, but the above posters have already made my points for me (and probably me intelligibly than I would have), so I'll just add "indeed".

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Japan's media and government are sounding more and more like North Korea everyday.

I don't think the US realizes Japan's leading them to war.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Japan's media and government are sounding more and more like North Korea everyday.

I can't see what's the difference between North/South Korea when talking about Japan these days.

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Tamarama - well said mate. Re. Abe and his aides comments - a case of " like father ,like son " really . Somehow I tend to believe the Wall Street Journal " we stand by out story " statement more than the " I was misinterpreted " comment which usually just means - I said what I think but it's politically untenable so I gotta claim misinterpretation if I wanna keep my job.

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Since Perry forced by violence Japan to open itself, they ruined it. Japan is only a pawn for the US. Now the US are creating the image of a Japan thread for their personal strategies in Asia. I fear the US so much. They will enjoy a conflict in the Far East while they are only watching, selling their weapons both to China and Japan. Sorry US, your propaganda don't work with me and it will never work.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Tamarama:

That's the real issue here. I don't think Japan should constantly apologise for WW2 - they don't need to endlessly self-flaggelate over the war. But they need to be more honest with themselves, and educate the kids more thoroughly and fairly in school to try to add perspective and balance that is missing at present.

Agreed. It is detrimental to Japan, not to be transparent and open to real truths. WW2 is over, and gone, but the lessons learned for themselves...not for other countries...has not been prioritized, and it will forever haunt future Japanese because they have not faced up to themselves. That inability leads to a loss of integrity, and valuing lies over truth hurts Japan greatly, because the lies continue to be part of the way the Japanese government expresses itself. Now it has become so blurred...what is right and wrong, and there is apathy in actually wanting to do the right thing. It makes for a people uncomfortable in their own skins.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

7sky7,

If you didn't know, Koreans and Chinese also distort their history heavily and provide very intensive anti-Japan education. So no amount of apology will heal. Their elementary and secondary school history book have so many descriptions to plant seeds of hatred against Japan and Japanese people.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

the image of a Japan thread*

threat

Agreed. It is detrimental to Japan, not to be transparent and open to real truths.

You should "thank" the US if revisionism is so strong in Japan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Don't forget that Abe got his "Secrecy" bill through last year. It comes into effect this December. After that time any disagreements with his (or his successor's) policies could be met with a quiet knock on the door in the middle of the night and a trip to somewhere deep in the mountains for an indefinite time.

This guy is screwing up the Japanese economy, massive overspending on public works and military hardware, about to launch a tax hike, making the rich richer and the poor poorer, building up the military, making a very dangerous situation with neighbouring countries and trying to rewrite history to hide Japanese war crimes.

He even calls his party "Liberal" and "Democratic" when it is clearly neither.

Time for him to go.

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About Yasukuni, I recommend Americans to visit the memorial statue built near the Kototoi Bridge near Asakusa.

Schopenhauer -- great idea. But a terrible anology to visiting Yasakuni. Should all Japanese visit Pearl Harbor? Or how about Battan? It is attitudes like yours that allow Japan to keep rationalizing the stupidity of continuing to make WW II atrocities an issue, when they should just let it go already. It is not a debate they will ever win.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Schopenhauer “It was a big "disappointment" for us that U.S. Forces on Okinawa did not become any deterrence against China on Senkaku. What is our efforts for?”

Do you really believe that American young soldiers coming from California to New York stationed in Okinawa should shed their blood for a few piece of remote rocks in the middle of nowhere in East China Sea with a justified purpose to defend Japan? You must be kidding Americans’ intelligence and pragmatism.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

sfjp330:

If you didn't know, Koreans and Chinese also distort their history heavily and provide very intensive anti-Japan education. So no amount of apology will heal. Their elementary and secondary school history book have so many descriptions to plant seeds of hatred against Japan and Japanese people.

Japan is wrong about how she approaches her own history. They need to fix it for themselves. What I'm saying is Japan should take pride and do what's best for her own country. I never even mentioned anything about apology, that's for someone else's sake. Japan should do what it needs to for its own well being, first, and foremost. If they take the lead, maybe Korean and Chinese attitudes would change as well.

Alex80:

You should "thank" the US if revisionism is so strong in Japan.

I have no idea what you mean. The revisionist history of Japan is on Japan, you can't possibly blame the US for this.

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'Suga said Honda’s remarks had been distorted. “What I meant was not conveyed at all. I never said Abenomics had a military objective,” Suga quoted Honda as telling him.'

Ah, the usual, "it was taken out of context" or "mistranslated" BS! Classic. Seems that nothing the Japanese say can be translated properly these days, unless of course it's something positive. As for Abe's headaches, the only reason he's truly in pain is because he believes everything these aides say and he can't figure out how to make it seem like he's being diplomatic about anything.

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Tamarama nailed it. I mean you ask any Japanese person about feudal Japan, and they'd be able to give you a comprehensive summary of what happened. Yet, most know next-to-nothing about what really happened between 1937 - 1945. I feel this is an inherit problem with the teachings of modern history in Japan. Students spend countless hours studying the intricacies of European & Chinese history for the Center Exam, yet have hopeless knowledge about the major events leading up to and post-War.

THIS is a crime against humanity! Don't hide the facts!

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War Crimes - Manila 1945 by BGen Romulo : -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9xOp8z2Q-w - Can't Japanese public figures work out that ignorant and untrue statements have an effect that is detrimental to the people of Japan?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

With what the Americans did to the Okinawans they have no room to talk for when Americans killed hundreds of women and children just to kill the 4-6 soldiers that were in a cave with them they have no room what so ever to talk.

Also during the attack on Pearl Harbor not one American civilian was killed by the Japanese. The damage to Honolulu and it's civilians was done by the warships in the harbor not the Japanese navl pilots.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Two major trouble makers in Asia: North Korea and Japan.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I have no idea what you mean. The revisionist history of Japan is on Japan, you can't possibly blame the US for this.

You have no idea because, ironically, while you blame Japan for historical revisionism, you don't know history very well, otherwise you would get my point. The US protected many war criminal after WWII always supporting the right-wing in Japan, because they wanted the country fulfilled an anti-communist function.

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@sooner41: Your average people know Japan's wartime atrocities, don't worry, I wonder how much the Americans know about their own wartime atrocities.

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Japan's World War II history keeps coming back to haunt a nation that built its way out of ruin but not past its past.

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As someone who lost a grandfather at Pearl Harbor on that attack, I do wish Japan would pay respects there and say, We really screwed the pooch that day in killing so many people and starting this whole war with you guys. Our bad.

And then, I'd love for the US to say, Well, this occupation was fun but it's time for us to go home. It's your turn, Japan, to fight your own battles and if you need help, give us a ring.

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@Tamarama. Extremely well said.

@Shopenhauer

"About Yasukuni, I recommend Americans to visit the memorial statue built near the Kototoi Bridge near Asakusa. On March 10, 1945, the great air raids hit Tokyo and 85,000 citizens died. At Kototoi Bridge over the Sumida River near Asakusa, citizens were fleeing from fires in Asakusa district and when they were crossing the bridge to go to the other side of the river, American fighters assaulted them from the air killing many people. People still can see marks of bullets remaining in the stones of the bridge. America is not innocent."

If they have the chance, I think all Americans (and the rest) should indeed visit and learn about the Tokyo fire-bombing. And Nagasaki, and Hiroshima and Okinawa. For sure. Maybe they can learn that American women were raped during the occupation.

Here's the difference. I can acknowledge that it happened. I've been to Hiroshima and Nagasaki many times, and in the Australian War Memorial when I went there was a display about the atomic bombs. There is no denying of all that. And most westerners I know have the sense to realise that many Japanese also suffered. In Australia there is a monument in Cowra in remembrance of the hundreds of Japanese POWS who died trying to escape. I've gone overboard trying to understand the Japanese side. Most here do too.

But, the revisionists deny and don't even think about the suffering that Japanese caused Americans, Australians, British, New Zealanders, Koreans, Chinese, Papuans, Vietnamese, Indians - you get the point.

Also, can you look at the timing there. March 10, 1945. People like you will argue that there was this war that went on like a boxing match and both sides were bad.

March 10th, 1945. Go back and study what happened from Dec 7th, 1941 to March 1945. Also go back further in the case of the Chinese. Nanking, Unit 731, Use of chemical weapons, looting, raping, destroying. Then look at how many died in the Allied forces. what happened to the POWS. The rape of Manilla. The list just keeps on going on.

So, have a look at what went on, and then you might understand the context of March to August 1945.

The Germans suffered terribly at the end of the war too. The rape of by Russian soldiers etc.

But, if Germans just talked about their suffering at the end of the war and didn't want to acknowledge what happened before what would happen?

You can't even imagine, because Germans wouldn't do that.

There's a lesson in there.

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I mean, "that Japanese women were raped during the occupation"

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Some people here are like broken records...they repeat always the same things, without trying to understand the real causes behind the facts.

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Japan will need a more powerful military to counter China and the North Korean threat. To rely solely on the US under the mutual defense pact will not cut it. The only country responsible for defense of Japan is Japan itself. You can't rely on other countries to come to your defense, it may come too late. Japan should not restrict itself to just self defense. It needs an offensive capabilities in order to stop aggression from starting.

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Investors have begun to worry that Abe, who took office in December 2012 pledging to revive the economy, is shifting more attention to his conservative agenda to bolster Japan’s military and recast history with a less apologetic tone.

I wish the Abe administration would just stick to the task of improving the livelihoods and wellbeing of Japan's citizens and residents, rather than making Japan a laughingstock from daily news of public denial by politicians of Japan's war conduct and backpedaling on its past apologies. Counterproductive and pathetic.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There's a lesson in there.

And the lesson is: Germany was occupied partially by the Russians, not only by the Americans like Italy and Japan, for this reason their war criminals were basically all processed. In Italy our war criminals didn't even get a trial. In Japan the Americans have spared some scientists of Unit 731 in exchange for their scientific results.

If you deny these facts, you are a revisionist as well and you show your biased view of history. It's damn naive to pretend that Japan has this kind of attitude towards its own history just because they like to save the face.

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sfjp330, what parts of text books in South Korea plant seeds of hatred against Japan and Japanese people? Which text books, and which parts, do you have a problem with? Specific examples please? Otherwise, you're just parroting out the common lip service in Japan trying to deflect criticism of Japan's version of history. And nobody said anything about apology, so don't even bother trying to use that excuse to deflect from the real issue.

sfjp330FEB. 21, 2014 - 08:40AM JST

If you didn't know, Koreans and Chinese also distort their history heavily and provide very intensive anti-Japan education. So no amount of apology will heal. Their elementary and secondary school history book have so many descriptions to plant seeds of hatred against Japan and Japanese people.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

" In Japan the Americans have spared some scientists of Unit 731 in exchange for their scientific results."

I am aware of that, and I think most people who have done the slightest bit of reading on the subject are too.

On the contrary, it's incredible that the people involved lived happily ever after so to speak.

Once again, I nobody denies that the Unit 731 scientists were let go free.

But if you want to talk about the Russians, Japan can thank their lucky stars that they were occupied by the US and not china or russia.

Then you wouldn't even be able to have this conversation, and Yasukuni would have been burned to the ground never to rise again.

Think about it.

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I've been plenty of critical about Abe and his comments in the past. But the media here plays a part in things as well. When Abe says something bad, that is the headline, and the article focuses on it. But looking at this quote:

“As I’ve said before, in the past many nations, especially those in Asia, suffered great damage and pain due to our nation."

While it's not exactly an apology, it's an acknowledgement of Japan's military history, and in balance to reporting his negative comments, this should have had more of a focus within this article, instead of being buried in the middle with little to no comment on it.

It's sensationalistic reporting.

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I agree with the comment that says Japan does not need to self-flagellate about the war, and they have made many apologies and given financial compensation, and yes - Japan has built a free and democratic society whereas China has not, and until relatively recently it was prohibited to listen to Japanese music or read Japanese books in South Korea...

BUT...

If certain prominent people in Japan cannot leave the past in the past, how on earth do they expect China and Korea to? They should just shut up and move on, and not give high profile jobs to idiots who want to revise history.

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The re-examination of Japan's war role is more complicated than academic muckraking through Japan's unsavory past because it begs the question: If Japanese refuse to learn from the past, are they doomed to repeat it?

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But, the revisionists deny and don't even think about the suffering that Japanese caused Americans, Australians, British, New Zealanders, Koreans, Chinese, Papuans, Vietnamese, Indians - you get the point.

Indians? India was a British colony. I wonder how many times the British apologized to India, Australia (where they killed all the natives), African countries, etc.

I find funny how the Westerns ignore the fact they have been (and they are also today) the biggest imperialists ever, and they play the role of the innocent guys all the time, at least in this site.

what parts of text books in South Korea plant seeds of hatred against Japan and Japanese people?

Come on, I saw what they teach to kids in South Korea about Japan, plus I sometimes read Korean press and it's full of hateful articles about Japan. It's sad how Asian countries like Japan and South Korea love the Westerns so much while they hate each other, when the Westerns are the ones who created the racism in the first place. I'm European and I hate what Europe did to the world, in all the continents: America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Do you really believe this?

don't think the US realizes Japan's leading them to war. Who do you think is the US, a little kid or the biggest superpower with tons of nuclear weapons and bases all over the world that is playing strategically all its cards to keep its empire in decline? You are Korean-American and you have been brainwashed very bad if you think the US is a poor little kid involved in the Asian disputes against their will. When I read the comments on this site or on CNN, I get the feeling the democracy is just a dream. People are brainwashed all over the world.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'm all for a strong Japan that can take care of itself, but a lot of these politicians seem equate being blowhards with strength. You can admit to past mistakes while not being pushed around at the same time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I messed up the quote in my earlier post. The correct version:

Do you really believe this?

I don't think the US realizes Japan's leading them to war.

Who do you think is the US, a little kid or the biggest superpower with tons of nuclear weapons and bases all over the world that is playing strategically all its cards to keep its empire in decline? You are Korean-American and you have been brainwashed very bad if you think the US is a poor little kid involved in the Asian disputes against their will. When I read the comments on this site or on CNN, I get the feeling the democracy is just a dream. People are brainwashed all over the world.

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Schopenhauer,

I am certain fire bombing so many cities in Japan, that killed even more people than Hiroshima or Nagasaki would no qualify as proper war time behavior and we Americas did in Germany and other places. I am sorry but the excuse the Germans did it first hardly justified what we did as we leveled far more cities than the Germans did.

Just as the widespread us of Napalm, White Phosphorus and of course all the various chemical poisons we. proper warfare behavior.

How about our creation of al Qaeda some 9 Billion dollars worth, whom we now are also financing and providing weapons for in Syria.

So Japan is not the only country that needs to own up to atrocities they have done. But that is not an excuse for Japan not to do it, but I think they do have the right to demand the same of other countries, say perhaps Red China, who is now once again becoming dangerous do to heavy financing by the United States and Europe. Everything we do affects everyone in some way. It is far past time that we come to understand that and all of us stop being so hypocritical.

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Alex 80

Some people here are like broken records...they repeat always the same things, without trying to understand the real causes behind the facts.

Um, that's you, mostly. You can't seem to acknowledge the revisionist history in the Japanese texts are written and edited by the Japanese, and it is their responsibility to tell the truth. Whatever happened, whether it was US influence, US support of Japanese war criminals, etc....whatever happened... is irrelevant to the idea that history should be recorded, and taught for its truths, not written and edited to fit a narrative.

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So Abe did a joe bidenism by putting his foot in his mouth, by going to the shine it was in bad political taste, but considering how many of their own people have died by Chinese government hands, China has no room to talk. And lest we forget how many people died during the Korean War by Chinese hands.

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Two major trouble makers in Asia: North Korea and Japan.

You forgot the third, hiding in the wings, egging them on, selling arms and laughing all the way to the bank.

The U.S.A.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@laguy19: I hate biased, hypocritical and superficial historical views. I'm not "anti-American", I'm against imperialism. Today the biggest Empire is the US and you can say they are "great" if you live in their sphere of influence (until the damn capitalism doesn't destroy the economy of your country, of course, like it's happening in all the countries that adopted the American model of growth). But what about if you live in Iraq, for example? Would you see the US like a model of justice? Europe has been the biggest imperialist power ever. This is a historical fact. Why do you think English is spoken in so many countries? Because it's beautiful? No. I'm European, yeah, and I am aware about our historical responsability. I hate how many western people forget that Japan was forced to open itself. It was a huge cultural shock for the Japanese. They saw how strong the Westerns were and they thought they had to become like them to keep their indipendence. So, they copied the European imperialism. Japanese imperialism is a consequence of European imperialism. If you want to be honest about history, you must remember also this.

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A clear and honest reflection on what took place between 1937-1945 …

What is dangerous is eliminating history from the record, so that the average Japanese person has absolutely no idea about what happened in the war.

I totally support a clear and honest reflection on what took place between 1937-1945, but I am afraid that regardless of the outcome of such reflection, many will protest. In other words, even accurate and honest opinions will be considered wrong by those with different views; this is true for both sides. The accuracy of the record must not be influenced by politics and investors. What we need are honest and unbiased investigations and reflections by all sides.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

until relatively recently it was prohibited to listen to Japanese music or read Japanese books in South Korea.

There was never prohibition of listening to Japanese music or reading Japanese books. Where are you even getting this from? Are you mistaking import distribution for purpose of sales of Japanese pop music which was eliminated over 20 years ago? That was a law which the sole purpose was to protect South Korean pop culture sales which has long been gone, and it had nothing to do with hate.

Come on, I saw what they teach to kids in South Korea about Japan

Huh? You've been in school classes in South Korea to observe and study for yourself what they actually teach?

plus I sometimes read Korean press and it's full of hateful articles about Japan

I read both Japanese and Korean, and trust me, the Japanese media is 100 times worse to the point of stalking material, when it comes to spreading anti-Korean news with many lies. I doubt you can read Korean, other then English language news.

.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

That was a law which the sole purpose was to protect South Korean pop culture sales which has long been gone, and it had nothing to do with hate.

As far as I am aware, it is still illegal to broadcast Japanese music and television dramas over terrestrial signals in South Korea. I know that the Korean government did a test broadcast of one song in 2011. Have they completely lifted the ban since then?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Whatever happened, whether it was US influence, US support of Japanese war criminals, etc....whatever happened... is irrelevant to the idea that history should be recorded, and taught for its truths, not written and edited to fit a narrative.

Sorry, but the US role in revisionism isn't irrelevant when if Japan votes for a left-wing party that wants to get closer to Asia, admitting its past atrocities, the US intervene because they doesn't want a united Asia and basically make to fail the project (see Hatoyama's case). Also about the nuclear energy policy: maybe you don't know that the US (and the UK and France to some extent) made pressure on Japan because it doesn't abandon nuclear power. The US always interferes in Japanese affairs.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The cacophony of Shinzo Abe's cronies are deafening and represents a clear indication of the continued cowardice and stubbornness of the Japanese leadership with facing reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alex 80

Sorry, but the US role in revisionism isn't irrelevant

You're missing the point. I wrote this in the context that history should be written truthfully and not edited to fit a narrative. If you believe accuracy of history in the Japanese texts is not a requirement, then you've got no idea what the value of historical reference is about.

the US intervene because they doesn't want a united Asia

That's simply untrue. The US has reasons for each Asian country it associates with, and tries to recognize the differences and the need for Asian countries to get along, within the realms of each countries' policies.

maybe you don't know that the US (and the UK and France to some extent) made pressure on Japan because it doesn't abandon nuclear power

There are requirements of safety to nuclear power that all nations need to focus on, and if those measures are not allowed to be monitored transparently, accidents may happen. Japan has shown irresponsibility concerning its nuclear power plants and upkeep that has threatened not only her on people, but worldwide possible danger, so it is not out of US bullying they are concerned with Japan's nuclear power plants, it is out of pragmatism.

The US always interferes in Japanese affairs.

Not always. A majority of the time, the US aids Japanese affairs. The US respects Japan, and Japan respects the US. When a disagreement does occur, the US will stand up for human and environmental rights, as do many other nations. I personally do not think the Whaling issue, the dolphin issue, the comfort women issue, the visit to Yasukuni, the child abduction by Japanese parents are points that should be defined as interference. The US is taking a stand which it believes is right, and will not allow Japan to freely violate world wide rules and opinions.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Schopenhaur

when they were crossing the bridge to go to the other side of the river, American fighters assaulted them from the air killing many people

Do you have a source for this information?

It seems untrue...

There were huge fires burning at the time creating massive updrafts. The B-29s, even though they were at higher altitudes, reported great difficulties in controlling their aircraft because of these huge upward gusts of air from the fires.

For a small fighter at a much lower level and close to the fires to be able to control the aircraft and accurately machine gun people on the bridge... it seems very unlikely.

I would like to hear your sources for this information... if it is just based on the fact that there are "holes in the bridge" then I think it has to be rejected.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is funny... I wonder if the Abe administration went too far and will be shut down by the US, the very country that they were desperately trying to get an approval of.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

look at the track record of Japan:

1) Nanjing - never happened, it's a hoax.

2) Comfort women - they were prostitutes who were paid well.

3) Pearl Harbor - it wasn't a surprise attack, it was a defensive preemptive strike.

4) Invasion of SEA and China - they were not invasions, they were war to free Asians from European colonists.

5) Mistreatment of allied POW's - what mistreatment? All the camp guards were bad Koreans disobeying Japanese orders.

6) Colonization of Korea - Japan didn't colonized, Korea volunteered to become third class Japanese citizens.

7) Unit 741 Germ warfare - what germ warfare? They were just helping to fight disease and treat sick local people.

8) Wanton cruel murders and pillaging of Asian countries and cities - all propaganda lies, never happened.

9) Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal - American attempt to frame Japan using fabricated evidence to hide American war crimes.

10) Hiroshima and Nagasaki - American racist war crimes against poor innocent Japanese.

11) Yasukuni - it's just war memorial to honor Japan's war dead, just like what everyone else is doing. There's nothing political or anything problematic about this place.

12) Fukushima - there are no radiation leaks anywhere, foods and fish from Fukushima are safe to eat. Everything is under control.

looking at their track record of questionable and outrageous claims, does any country take Japanese claims seriously? Only in Japan, do these claims are accepted as the truths. To the rest of the world, it's a complete joke.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

This right wing trend Japan has been on recently is scary.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Good grief, what a beat up. Attempting to link Abe's and Honda's pragmatic comments, with the rantings of Momii is a gross conflation. The only tenuous link is that Abe's visit to Yasukini to pay his respects to Japan's war dead, is somehow linked to Momii's pie-eyed revisionism - and beaten up by Japan's detractors as evidence of a right -wing conspiracy to return Japan to the militarism of the 1930s. Give me a break. Where in Abe's statements to the Diet are there any indication of this?

*Taking questions in the Diet on Thursday, Abe said Japan had caused great pain in Asia and elsewhere in the past. His government would stick by past apologies and the door was open for dialogue with Beijing and Seoul, he added.

“As I’ve said before, in the past many nations, especially those in Asia, suffered great damage and pain due to our nation. Our government recognizes this, as have the governments that have gone before, and will continue this stance,” Abe said.

“In the post-war era, we have deeply reflected on this and have built a free and democratic nation based on fundamental human rights. There will be no change in this path,” he said.*

Similarly, Honda's statements are equally pragmatic and realistic:

*In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Honda defended the Yasukuni visit and said Japan needed a strong economy so it could build a more powerful military and stand up to China, the newspaper said.

The paper also said Honda wanted what it called “a nation that isn’t beholden to the U.S. as a patron, and doesn’t feel restrained by the sensitivities of its neighbors”.*

For decades the US has been demanding Japan be more militarily self reliant, and given China's militarist belligerence towards Japan and other nations in the region and enormous surge in military spending, Japan would be insane not to strengthen its defense capabilities. It's simply ridiculous to criticize Japan for responding to threats in the present, because its neighbors are still upset over events that occurred 70-120 years ago during the Colonial Period and a paranoid fantasy that Japan wants to revisit those times.

To push the conflation along, the article throws in a generalizing statement that:

Many of Abe’s aides share a conservative agenda that includes forging a security stance less reliant on Washington and rejecting what they view as a “masochistic”, overly apologetic interpretation of Japan’s wartime deeds.

Who are these 'many' aides? Again, security self-reliance is something the US has been demanding from Japan since the 1970s, so the 'conservative agenda' is no different to that of the US. The only reason this idea has resurfaced and gained momentum now is because of Chinese military belligerence over the past decade.

Japan executed or imprisoned its war criminals, paid all reparations demanded (and been extremely generous with economic development funds), and issued endless apologies to the nations affected by its pre-1945 policies and aggression, but it is never enough for only 3 nations - China, the ROK, and the DPRK. When apologies are consistently refused and more continually demanded, of course it will become onerous and masochistic to have to keep giving them. Complaining about being overly apologetic has nothing to do with denying the past, and everything to do with China and Korea continually milking this issue to humiliate Japan for partisan political motives.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

SecularBeast

The only tenuous link is that Abe's visit to Yasukini to pay his respects to Japan's war dead, is somehow linked to Momii's pie-eyed revisionism - and beaten up by Japan's detractors as evidence of a right -wing conspiracy to return Japan to the militarism of the 1930s. Give me a break. Where in Abe's statements to the Diet are there any indication of this?

It's because the Yasukuni IS a revisionist, right-wing propaganda site that glorifies and justifies the Japanese war aggression. Abe knew that the visit would be controversial, but he went anyway.

But it's too late though, because some people are saying that what Honda said was already "fatal" to the US-Japan alliance, and for that reason, the Abe ministration might be "game over".

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Eiji Takano - Yasukuni is a Shinto shrine, and the Japanese government has no control over who is enshrined there - and enshrinement of the dead there is conducted according to Shinto principles. Abe's and other PM's visit to the shrine is only 'controversial' to Chinese and Korean nationalists, no one else; and your statement that the shrine "IS a revisionist, right-wing propaganda site that glorifies and justifies the Japanese war aggression" is simply propagandist hype that serves their paranoid anti-Japan arguments.

4 ( +7 / -2 )

Go there yourself. It's not a lie, and it's not just Korea and China. Even US said that it was "disappointed". Actually, there is no country in the world that approves of the Yasukuni shrine. If there is one, then please let me know.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Actually, there is no country in the world that approves of the Yasukuni shrine. If there is one, then please let me know.

Russian officials think that it solely belongs to domestic affairs of Japan. Were you enough educated, you would know it.....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Russian officials think that it solely belongs to domestic affairs of Japan. Were you enough educated, you would know it.....

Russians officials are being diplomatic as they began their newly founded partnership with Japan, of course they will say something like that. Like it or not JIA were part of Axis power. Elsewhere, honouring Nazi and Axis powers are incredibly frowned upon. That's common sense.

SecularBeastFEB. 21, 2014 - 02:43PM JST Yasukuni is a Shinto shrine

Make that "Shinto shrine that honours the war criminals and glorifies the military aggression". What irritates me about the visit for me is that Abe has the galls to lie through teeth to pray for peace. Say that at least after you get rid of the morons in high ranking positions at NHK.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Like it or not JIA were part of Axis power. Elsewhere, honouring Nazi and Axis powers are incredibly frowned upon. That's common sense.

Vincehwr,

we honour OUR fallen soldiers. Americans, Australians, people of NZ also honour their fallen soldiers. Please, explain me why Japan, an independent country, has no right to do the same.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

we honour OUR fallen soldiers. Americans, Australians, people of NZ also honour their fallen soldiers. Please, explain me why Japan, an independent country, has no right to do the same.

Because they're not honoring war criminals at a right-wing propaganda site. If they want to honor the war dead, then do it elsewhere, at an official, politically neutral site, as simple as that.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Because they're not honoring war criminals at a right-wing propaganda site. If they want to honor the war dead, then do it elsewhere, at an official, politically neutral site, as simple as that.

They honour THEIR fallen soldiers inside a SHRINE on THEIR own soil, as simple as that. They aren't obliged to ask advices from overseas "where" to do it, on "right-wing or left-wing propaganda site".

2 ( +4 / -1 )

They honour THEIR fallen soldiers inside a SHRINE on THEIR own soil, as simple as that. They aren't obliged to ask advices from overseas "where" to do it, on "right-wing or left-wing propaganda site".

You're forgetting that other "independent countries" also have the right to be pissed off at Japan for visiting the Yasukuni shrine. It goes both ways. It's up to Japan to not keep alienating their own supposed allies.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Americans, Australians, people of NZ also honour their fallen soldiers. Please, explain me why Japan, an independent country, has no right to do the same.

Because they are "allied". Australians and people of NZ died defending the countries, not invading them. Imperial Army was part of Nazi, the aggressor.

There is in fact a memorial to the Japanese (unidentified) war dead within walking distance of Yasukuni, called Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery (千鳥ヶ淵戦没者墓苑?). This could be used as an alternative by Japanese politicians to pay their respects to those who died during the war.

There is even another memorial to honour the war dead but they seem adamant that it has to be Yasukuni Shrine for some reason. Why is that?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No matter what these idiots say, and they are idiots, the US is mainly angry that they are not being nice lap dogs that jump when you say jump and play dead when you say play dead. Biden spends an hour on the phone telling Abe not to go to Yasukuni, but he goes anyway. Too bad. Japan can get the benefits of newly found independence, and also suffer the consequences.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Australians and people of NZ died defending the countries, not invading them. Imperial Army was part of Nazi, the aggressor.

Yes, from western point of view, they were aggressors and invaders. From a japanese viewpoint, they are fallen soldiers of Japan. And Japanese people has all rights to honour them either in Yasukuni Shrine ot inside any other place they choose. Plain and simple. Do not treat them as loyal US puppets .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

technosphere

From a japanese viewpoint, they are fallen soldiers of Japan.

Most Japanese don't even approve of the Yasukuni shrine.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

http://www.businessinsider.com/nagasaki-raw-video-2014-2

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There was never prohibition of listening to Japanese music or reading Japanese books. Where are you even getting this from? Are you mistaking import distribution for purpose of sales of Japanese pop music which was eliminated over 20 years ago? That was a law which the sole purpose was to protect South Korean pop culture sales which has long been gone, and it had nothing to do with hate.

Really? http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/01/165_101852.html

Huh? You've been in school classes in South Korea to observe and study for yourself what they actually teach?

I read a lot.

I read both Japanese and Korean, and trust me, the Japanese media is 100 times worse to the point of stalking material, when it comes to spreading anti-Korean news with many lies. I doubt you can read Korean, other then English language news.

Sorry, I don't trust you. I read both Japanese and Korean media, and Korean media are worse. I never saw a Korean center-left newspaper like the Mainichi Shimbun, for example. Korean press is all very nationalistic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chucky - yeah right, "just" a ban on imports to protect Korean pop music sales. LMAO at that one. Can you imagine any other country doing that? The Beatles' records banned in the USA to protect poor Bob Dylan in the 60s? Or maybe Wham! imports banned in Japan to protect the Checkers? One Direction records banned to protect Arashi and Kinki Kids? Funny.

1990s - my wife before I met her (Japanese) makes a good friend (Korean) while studying abroad in the USA. She tells my wife Korean people are not allowed to listen to Japanese music or read Japanese books. After further discussion, my wife discovers Koreans are being told Hello Kitty is Korean! Candy Candy is Korean! WTF??? My wife offers her friend a J-pop cassette to bring back home. No, no, no - I can't!!!

So tell me Chucky, is Hello Kitty Korean? Japanese revisionists are despicable, but so are Korean ones too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You're missing the point. I wrote this in the context that history should be written truthfully and not edited to fit a narrative. If you believe accuracy of history in the Japanese texts is not a requirement, then you've got no idea what the value of historical reference is about.

I blame revisionism everywhere, not only in Japan, unlike you, who apparently think Japan is the only country with this problem. And you can't simply bury the fact that the US built up Japan post-war, modelling it according to their needs, supporting right-wingers and, as consequence, historical revisionism.

That's simply untrue. The US has reasons for each Asian country it associates with, and tries to recognize the differences and the need for Asian countries to get along, within the realms of each countries' policies.

It seems you don't read geopolitical articles but fairytales.

There are requirements of safety to nuclear power that all nations need to focus on, and if those measures are not allowed to be monitored transparently, accidents may happen. Japan has shown irresponsibility concerning its nuclear power plants and upkeep that has threatened not only her on people, but worldwide possible danger, so it is not out of US bullying they are concerned with Japan's nuclear power plants, it is out of pragmatism.

Did you read what I wrote? I said that the US don't want Japan abandons the nuclear power, because it's against the interests of nuclear lobbies worldwide. Your comment completely missed my point.

Not always. A majority of the time, the US aids Japanese affairs. The US respects Japan, and Japan respects the US. When a disagreement does occur, the US will stand up for human and environmental rights, as do many other nations. I personally do not think the Whaling issue, the dolphin issue, the comfort women issue, the visit to Yasukuni, the child abduction by Japanese parents are points that should be defined as interference. The US is taking a stand which it believes is right, and will not allow Japan to freely violate world wide rules and opinions.

You speak like you have been completely brainwashed. World is more complex than "the Americans are the good guys who have the duty to teach the others the right behaviour". Economic interests are always behind everything.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When a real closed senior aid, Mr. Etsuro Honda, to Mr. Abe openly and emotionally worships kamikaze pilots for their so called "sacrifices" ( note: not denounces their brainwashed acts by war criminals), that becomes the pivotal moment for the US department of State and American public to realize what Abe’s admin is really up to. What else Mr. Abe has said so far in front of international audiences regarding to his admin’s stance on Japan’s wartime atrocities may turn to be merely crafted propaganda to cover his tracks.

If any still thinks that the US would be used by Abe’s admin to help it achieve its hidden agenda, one should think twice.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Really? http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/01/165_101852.html

Alex80, it just basically repeats what I just said. It's banning of importation for purpose of sales. What you claimed was that Koreans were completely forbidden to listen to them. Not true.

1990s - my wife before I met her (Japanese) makes a good friend (Korean) while studying abroad in the USA. She tells my wife Korean people are not allowed to listen to Japanese music or read Japanese books.

read above. You are confusing a hearsay, with real facts.

After further discussion, my wife discovers Koreans are being told Hello Kitty is Korean! Candy Candy is Korean! WTF??? My wife offers her friend a J-pop cassette to bring back home. No, no, no - I can't!!! So tell me Chucky, is Hello Kitty Korean? Japanese revisionists are despicable, but so are Korean ones too.

This is all news to me, about Hello Kitty. I think you just listen to what you want to hear, not necessarily that's what happened.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

You are confusing a hearsay, with real facts.

Haha, read this. It lead to release of Japanese mangas under fake Korean names in those times. Japanese are still laughing at that and indeed - if Hello Kitty was visable anywhere in South Korea before 1998 people surely thought that was Korean. Read this:

http://web-japan.org/trends98/honbun/ntj981207.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Alex80, it just basically repeats what I just said. It's banning of importation for purpose of sales. What you claimed was that Koreans were completely forbidden to listen to them. Not true.

You are oversimplifying and distorting the facts, how convenient.

From the article:

Censorship operated on the basis of laws which banned “unhealthy and immoral” works of art. Officials followed government instructions which defined what exactly was to be seen as “unhealthy and immoral,” and Japanese-style art always was a part of the definition.

So Japanese pop culture was always banned simply because Japanese. Yours is revisionism.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The paper also said Honda wanted what it called “a nation that isn’t beholden to the U.S. as a patron, and doesn’t feel restrained by the sensitivities of its neighbors”.

I have no problem with the first half of this statement. The second half, however... that's what got Japan into trouble in the 20th century. Even the U.S. - in all its supposed supremacy - can't just do whatever it wants without at least evaluating the impact it will have on other nations. If we could have done that, the the U.S. would have left Iraq as soon as it was apparent that there were no WMDs and we would have left Afghanistan as soon as it was apparent that bin Laden had skipped the country. But we had to look at how our "legacy" would be viewed by the other countries and so we stayed to try and stabilize the result of our actions. We're now into year 11 of Afghanistan's "stabilization". :-/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@EthanWilber

:"mr Etsuro Honda, to mr Abe openly and emotionally worships kamikaze pilots for their so-called "sacrifices" (note : not denounces their brainwashed act by war criminals)".

Not so-called but real sacrifices. They fought, defending their Motherland. Only jew-controlled westerners could call their heroism as "brainwashed acts".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Abe's aides who want to replace Abe, speak to American media, Aide says, "I have a translater who can explain what I say in English, But, what do you have in your hand?" pointing to a couple i-pad. Aide continues, " Hey why you bring someone whose Japanese is better than mine? Why can;t you give me a chance to explain you distorted my speech?" US media says “We stand by our story.”

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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