politics

China, S Korea urge Japan to reflect on wartime aggression

114 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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114 Comments
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I humbly express my deepest sympathy for the martyrs ...

Martyrs? Strange choice of phrase for war criminals.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Not a smart move by Abe.

You give these anti Japan nationalists and their merry supporters around the world an inch, they take a mile.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

'You give these anti Japan nationalists and their merry supporters around the world an inch, they take a mile.'

I think Abe has given them a bit more than 'an inch'.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Japan is a sovereign nation. . . . So China and S Korea need to stop being so condescending and think they can direct the policies of this country . . . . . .Maybe Japan is a good diversion from all their own internals problems

1 ( +16 / -15 )

Bad move and poor judgement by Abe to call convicted war criminals martyrs. To try and take a detached, fatalistic view by saying they sacrificed their souls for today's peace and prosperity is just doublespeak. Was this ceremony only honouring convicted war criminals?

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Did Monty Python write this script? I had no Idea that real politicians Had No Idea about International Politics.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@ Cricky, you don't live in Japan then!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I think Abe is, as my old Latin master used to say, "with the fairies."

It's not uncommon for people to confuse imagination and reality, but when that person is in Abe's position, it is a bit dangerous.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

What is the use of bringing back a negative historical past and damaging the present and future relations?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

China and S Korea, that is impossible, because this is Japan.

Change the history and remember what should be remember and forget what need to be forgot, Japanese are good at this for many centueries, So the answer is aways "no way".

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

You can be arrested in Germany for making the Hitler salute in public.

Japanese government have in the past apologized for war time crimes. It is not an apology to continue to praise or express warm approval or admiration of internationally recognized criminals.

To continue to honor war criminals at these shrines there should equally be shrines honoring all the criminals who were executed last year and all the years before that with no exception ..... WE WANT A SHRINE FOR ALL CRIMINALS foreign & domestic.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

SchopenhauerAUG. 28, 2014 - 05:16PM JST What is the use of bringing back a negative historical past and damaging the present and future relations?

It only went away in the minds of the majority of Japanese and their leaders - that's the problem.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Unlike Germany, Japan has been living in denial over what it did leading up to, and during, World War II. Japan's behavior since WW II has been much better, but whenever a people are ignorant about the past, they are in danger of repeating it, and Japanese are ignorant about what they did.

7 ( +14 / -6 )

Well done Abe, I also have sympathy for them but by the way who are them?

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Why does that sound like America talking? While Im not much of a Abe fan-he played their game. Decidely using the word martyr means he knows that it isnt entirely incorrect. Is he showing off to SKorea and China that he thinks he really knows the game? That's where I find Abe and the Buddhists so disenfranchising, they really do think that it is just words. Then again there's times when the other parties seem to think so too.....And as for Germany, they ARE in denial right now over how un-German their country has become, ignorance alive and well there.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Martyrs? Strange choice of phrase for war criminals.

Yes, It is not clear what the original Japanese is, but martyr ain't bad.

Wikipedia's opinion of the definition of Martyr

A martyr (Greek: μάρτυς, mártys, "witness"; stem μάρτυρ-, mártyr-) is somebody who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, and/or refusing to advocate a belief or cause, usually a religious one.

We can comment about the cause, but the definition fits.

We might also consider that the Allies essentially wrote the laws on short notice and applied them retrospectively. In many ways, the Tokyo Trials is very much a feel-good event for the Allies rather than a serious trial.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Oh the hypocrisy is overwhelming!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

When you're a country with dopey neighbors you just keep your window shades drawn and pretend they're not there.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Those who got hung after the war for abusing and torturing allied POW's are martyres?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I'd think especially China has a couple of things to reflect on itself.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Abe’s message raises a question on the sincerity of Tokyo’s past apology over Japanese wartime aggression, and urged Japan to act in accordance with its stated willingness to contribute to regional peace and improve ties with South Korea.

Honestly, how can anyone argue with the logic of this? Sure all the SK and China haters here can trot out all the worn-out statements about China being a hypocrite and SK just using Japan as a convenient whipping-boy to deflect attention from domestic issues (huh?), but the fact of the matter is that if Japan wants to truly "contribute to regional peace" as is stated here, this kind of behavior by the PM is simply unacceptable. I have said it before, and will say it again, Japan is its own worst enemy when it comes to foreign relations because they belief they can say one thing, and do another to please domestic interests, and no one will care. If you are going to talk-the-talk, you have to walk-the-walk, and Japan falls far short in that regard.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

He was referring to the vast majority who were NOT war criminals. The dead include my ancestors who were farmers and fishermen but were butchered by the Americans. My point is the Americans, Chinese and Koreans consider all Japanese nationals war criminals.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

@YuriOtani

"... the Americans, Chinese and Koreans consider all Japanese nationals war criminals."

But they don't, not really, do they? I think you know.....

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@YuriOtaniAUG. 28, 2014 - 10:29PM JST

My point is the Americans, Chinese and Koreans consider all Japanese nationals war criminals.

Americans are puppet masters while China and SK are pawns.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Abe: a couple of onigiri short of a bento?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yeah, but, even I found Abe's comments about the war criminal generals being martyrs to be offensive, so it's not hard to understand the offense taken by those who were victims of Abe's martyrs.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

SenseNotSoCommon,

Abe: a couple of onigiri short of a bento?

Nice one!

Gate's down, bell's clanging, light's flashing. But the train isn't coming.

That's our Abe, Japan's answer to GW Bush.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

the excuse with yasukuni that abe was praying for the war dead other than war criminals can no longer be used. abe is praying for war criminals and does not believe they are even guilty. the japanese equivalent of hitler and goebels is not guilty to abe.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Abe got the wrong "m" word.Morons is what he meant.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

" Americans consider all Japanese nationals war criminals " @ Yuri Otani - That's kind of a strange thing to say considering you are a Japanese living in the US , Yuri .....so you are saying your American neighbors consider you a war criminal?... A bit hard to believe.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

What if the German chancelor said the Nazi war criminals who were convicted and executed were martyres for Germany, would she even have a job today? What is the reaction of the general population of Japan and the media? Are they outraged by this comment?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

How dare Abe praise the men who tortured, starved and killed many allie POW's while some of their grandchildren live and work in this country and help pay his salary.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is true, however, that when the victors decide who the war criminals are, as they did in the very dodgy Tokyo Trials, the vanquished will never get a fair trial. That's the price of losing. Having said that, Abe would be better off not reminding Korea and China that his grandfather was imprisoned as a war criminal and who later became prime minister.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is pretty simple to solve. Have two shrines; one for regular martyrs and another for the war criminals. If then no politician visits the war criminals then poof, Asia can relax. Nakasone moving the war criminals into the shrine secretly in 1988 means never ending consternation. It's not like Japan can control spirits so just make another alter and the world can see for itself that Japan is either serious about peace or war.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow, Abe isn't the only one who thinks the war criminals were heroes. There actually is a Japanese ceremony to honor those who were tried, convicted, and executed for crimes against humanity.

From New York Times:

Japan’s conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, sent a message of support earlier this year to a ceremony honoring more than 1,000 Japanese who died after convictions for war crimes

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/world/asia/japan-says-premier-supported-ceremony-honoring-war-criminals.html?_r=0

1 ( +5 / -4 )

He was referring to the vast majority who were NOT war criminals.

No he was not. Read the article properly.

My point is the Americans, Chinese and Koreans consider all Japanese nationals war criminals.

That's nothing but paranoia. It's no more accurate or truthful than saying people from other countries think Japan is full of samurai, ninjas and mutant dinosaurs.

11 ( +11 / -1 )

This is shameful. Remember, the Chinese and S Koreans are not he only ones that suffered tremendously. Once the other nations that suffered and become strong enough, they will similarly condemn such actions. The earlier Abe disappears, the better it will be for Japan. Hopefully the war criminals take him with them.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is getting rather pathetic. From time to time headlines concerning China, Korea, and Japan light up. Nothing comes of such childish games of so-called world leaders. The first to either step down or cease this non-sense will be wiser one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Will China reflect on its current peacetime aggression? Repeatedly and illegally, it is infiltrating foreign territories with warplanes and warships and even using civilian aircraft and vessels. It is also, in the eyes of the world, consistently lying about such aggression. Reflect on that.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What's even just as disgusting is the Chief Cabinet Secretary making another weak excuse to excuse this inexcusable act, as if sending a note as a head of ruling party, and not as the PM, in anyway mitigate this act.

From the Diplomat:

A Japanese government spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a note to a ceremony where over a thousand World War II-era war criminals were being honored. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga noted that although Abe did send the note, he did so in his capacity as the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and not as the prime minister of Japan. The message in question was delivered to a ceremony on April 29 at the Koyasan Buddhist temple. According to the organizers, Abe is the first prime minister to send a note to the ceremony during his time in office.

According to the Associated Press, which saw the note, Abe wrote the following: “I humbly express my deepest sympathy for the martyrs … who sacrificed their souls to become the foundation of peace and prosperity in Japan today.”

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Jumping in late, but . . .

First of all, contrary to someone's assertion up thread, Americans don't think everyone on the Japanese side of the Pacific War were war criminals. Being that the war ended 69 years ago and with most of the dwindling number of still living vets in their 80s and 90s, most Americans don't think about the war at all. Hell most American, like most people not directly affected by something (war, natural disaster, local murder, foreign elections), don't even think about the Iraq war very often. The Vietnam war is ancient history to most Americans.

Abe is, for sure, a gold-plated horse's a$$ and, as someone else suggested, the closest Japan has to Shrub - clueless and without any empathy or even common sense.

That being said, no amount of China and S. Korea bashing Japan and the Japanese over the head about WWII is going to change things at this point. Abe's generation is the last to have any recollection of the war and it's aftermath and few Japanese under the age of 60 care about it at all.

Japanese leaders, if they had a shred of political savvy, would humbly acknowledge the pain and suffering Japan caused throughout Asia and the Pacific during the war every time it came up, but then remind China or S. Korea, whichever the case may be, that the former killed or starved tens of millions of its own people during the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward and that the latter lived under martial law for nearly four decades.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is pretty simple to solve. Have two shrines; one for regular martyrs and another for the war criminals. If then no politician visits the war criminals then poof, Asia can relax. Nakasone moving the war criminals into the shrine secretly in 1988 means never ending consternation. It's not like Japan can control spirits so just make another alter and the world can see for itself that Japan is either serious about peace or war.

That would require them to actually want to solve the problem. But the right-wingers like the status quo. They can pray for the souls of the war dead out of one side of their mouth, while protesting that it's for the souls of all dead soldiers out of the other side of their mouths. If they did something to actually solve the problem, they wouldn't be able to play stupid anymore.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Like clockwork, the ONLY two are protesting again.

I guess since they now discovered "Koyasan Buddhist temple " which specifically honors the so-called 'war criminals', Yasukuni's OK now.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

YuriOtani: He was referring to the vast majority who were NOT war criminals.

sf2k: This is pretty simple to solve. Have two shrines; one for regular martyrs and another for the war criminals.

Article makes it clear that this ceremony was for the war criminals, not the other vast majority.

"The ceremony was held in front of a stone monument that honors about 1,180 Japanese war criminals, including wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and the 13 other executed officials."

Papi2013's NYTimes link also says

The annual ceremony, which is not well known in Japan, honors 1,180 Japanese who were executed or died in prison after being convicted of war crimes by Allied tribunals. The tribunals, which were held across Asia after the war, convicted the Japanese soldiers and officials for crimes such as the massacre and rape of civilians and the killing of Allied prisoners of war.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My point is the Americans, Chinese and Koreans consider all Japanese nationals war criminals....

Get a grip Yuri, I don't consider Japanese war criminals.

China and SK seem to play that card all the time though. Once China decides to live up to international standards I might consider listening to their complaints. As for SK, if the US hadn't used Japan as a base to fight off NK they would all be bowing their starving bodies to the pudgy Un now instead of living in a free society. They should grow up too.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I give up! Lastly there are a lot more people honored than the war criminals which are a very small minority. There are millions of innocent civilians caught up in the war. The Chinese and Koreans having whitewashed their own war criminals use this to distract attention from problems at home. Am beginning to think Japan should revert to isolationism. The Americans, Chinese and Koreans demand that they have the right to interfere in the domestic policies of Japan but would scream like a stuck pig if it was reversed. la la la la...I do not hear you! Oh as for the southern faction of the Korean war the US puppets, it makes no difference to me if the northern group takes control. It is not Japans problem or concern. Japan should never interfere in another countries affairs again.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

YuriOtani: I give up! Lastly there are a lot more people honored than the war criminals which are a very small minority. There are millions of innocent civilians caught up in the war.

This is not the Aug. 15 ceremony for all war deaths, but a ceremony SPECIFICALLY for the 1,180 war criminals, in front of a monument just for those war criminals. And different temple than Yasukuni.

The ceremony was held in front of a stone monument that honors about 1,180 Japanese war criminals, including wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and the 13 other executed officials.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"1,180 war criminals"

Yes, it's a good idea to honor these "martyrs," including Class B and C criminals who were responsible for some of the most disgusting crimes against humanity.

Nice work, PM Abe. And it's comforting, I'm sure, to the Chinese, Koreans et al. that you expressed your appreciation for the "martyrs" in a role other than prime minister.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The whole world urge China to reflect the aggression they are currently doing in the ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and others. And also what they have done in Tibet. China, please reflect.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

And it's comforting, I'm sure, to the Chinese, Koreans et al.

There is no "et al."

The whole world urge China to reflect the aggression they are currently doing in the ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and others. And also what they have done in Tibet. China, please reflect.

This is why it falls on deaf ears to those countries as well as Japanese population, in general. There's a reason why 'Practice what you preach' rule applies to global public opinion.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

these war criminals housed in yasakune cannot really be hated, they were victims of the militarist sentiment that plagued japan at the time. if you hate general tojo then you might as well hate every kamikaze and imperial soldier that fought in wwii because they did what they believed to be best for their people. all these people were willing to die for their country, regardless of what part they played in the war, i think it is a crime in itself to dishonor their memory and deprive them from receiving a proper afterlife.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Abe said that those convicted by the tribunal are not considered war criminals under domestic law.

These 'War Criminals' broke many of their own domestic laws and International Agreements signed by the Emperor himself. Illegal mass killings of Civilians, abuse of prisinors, use of chemical weapons and biological experimentations, forced labor/human trafficking and the infamous the 'Comfort Women' sexual slavery cases. Their are much more... but for a right wing hawk like Abe none of these horrendous acts are considered Criminal as long as Japanese were not victimized.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

If I understand the Japanese ancestor-worship and angry kami/ghost placating system correctly, the practice of "honoring the war dead" is actually a defensive one, from a Japanese cultural point of view. Rather than elevating the memory of the deceased and holding them up as models to the living, as might be the case in another culture, if I understand the culture correctly, the Japanese are concerned with preventing angry ghosts from rising up and chasing them in today's world. Perhaps PM Abe is particularly concerned that angry ghosts might go after his family if he doesn't take the proper measures to placate them. What we might have here is a totally non-modern government which has an overt religious purpose component needed (in their eyes) to keep modern Japan safe -- this is unknown in any other democratic country, I think.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I think that japanese people have the right to pray for all those young soldiers that had no choice to go to war. Those people gave their lives for Japan. The war criminals have to be transferred from Yasukuni. But we have to be respectful and thankful for all the other japanese people who gave their young lifes for Japan. China and Korea don't have the right to tell japan what is right to do or not all the time. They have to turn the page of history and look for peace rather than eternal spite. Imagine Japan criticizing the chinese government and telling them what is right or wrong to do. Imagine the japanese baseball team planting the japanese flag on the playground when they win the game, like the koreans do all the time. This is so ridiculous and stupid. We have to move on and look for peace, or this will never end. The majority of people criticizing and attacking japan's behaviour are people who didn't participate or witnessed war. It's all about chinese and korean government propaganda. Criticizing Japan give them more credibility and good image for the elections.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

You know, I can actually respect this; Certainly people can criticize, but they did fight and serve their country at the time. Like any veteran, they should be treated with a certain amount of dignity, let alone the fact of their age now places them in a unique position. Certainly, what they did was wrong, however; The hands of the chinese are just as guilty and stained with thier actions in the past, let alone how they and America and Russia are all equally guilty of selling weapons to other countries to advocate fighting.

In other words, let the old men die peacefully. They already suffered the loss of thier country, the riots of the 60s, the american imperialsation from the 50s onwards.

While everyone points fingers, it's best to merely understand history rather then blame children for the crimes of thier fathers.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Do we all agree that fatherland Japan's foundation is built upon by the war criminals? Abe thinks so.

Mr. Abe wrote in the message that the convicted war criminals had “sacrificed their souls to become the foundation of the fatherland.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Abe actually shows his ultimate arrogance and disrespect for the WW2 victims caused by the Japanese invasion by calling the mass murderers martyrs.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Patrick HattmanAug. 29, 2014 - 02:10AM JST "1,180 war criminals" Yes, it's a good idea to honor these "martyrs," including Class B and C criminals who were responsible for some of the >most disgusting crimes against humanity

"173 Taiwanese who served in the Imperial Japanese military were found guilty of Class B and C war crimes. 26 Taiwanese servicemen were sentenced to death, although only two sentences were carried out." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwanese_Imperial_Japan_Serviceman

"In various BC Class war crimes tribunals,148 former Korean guards were proven guilty and 23 of them got executed. There was no appropriate witness. Nor was there interpreter. The prosecutors did not consider the fact that they were born and raised in the colony rather than in the sovereign nation. Perhaps, this is because the prosecutors themselves had benefited from their own colonies. As a result, 23 of the Korean guards got either hanged or shot and 125 of them received prison terms in various prisons in South East Asia." http://www.ne.jp/asahi/nadja/bc/frameHISTRYe.html

tokyodoumoAug. 29, 2014 - 02:57AM JST "Abe said that those convicted by the tribunal are not considered war criminals under domestic law."

"A Korean government commission cleared 83 of 148 Koreans convicted by the Allies of war crimes during World War II. " http://www.rjkoehler.com/2006/11/13/korean-war-criminals-cleared/

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

What's even just as disgusting is the Chief Cabinet Secretary making another weak excuse to excuse this inexcusable act, as if sending a note as a head of ruling party, and not as the PM, in anyway mitigate this act.

Papi2013 -- exactly. Especially since the two are inseparable. By definition he would not be PM if he was not the head of the LDP. That is trying to split hairs that simply do not exist. But even if you are willing to stretch reality to meet this line of "thinking", how does that make it any better? Is it OK for the head of the ruling party to think this way? Or, is he somehow schizophrenic and he only thinks this way when he is in Head-of-LDP mode, but has a different opinion when he is in PM-mode? Truly sad for a country that wants to be taken seriously to try to hide behind such childish nonsense.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

these war criminals housed in yasakune cannot really be hated, they were victims of the militarist sentiment that plagued japan at the time.

Ridiculous. They were the ones creating this sentiment. That's like saying you can't blame a serial killer because they were victims of their desire to kill.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The point is they are deceased though Abe says these STUPID things to piss off China and Korea. Well I did not support him and his LDP. The people of Okinawa also do not support him. He is a brown nose to the Americans.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@1glenn

Unlike Germany, Japan has been living in denial over what it did leading up to, and during, World War II. Japan's behavior since WW II has been much better, but whenever a people are ignorant about the past, they are in danger of repeating it, and Japanese are ignorant about what they did .

Such statements are the biggest problem when it comes down to talking about history. You say the Japanese are ignorant about what “they” did, implying that present day Japanese were the culprits. Truth is that close to none of those who committed the war crimes are alive today and, if anything, the civilian population of Japan at the time was not involved in the crimes either. The opposite, the people killed during the bombing of Tokyo, and the two A bombs were civilians who never took part in any battles which makes them victims, pure and simple. Putting present day Japanese, the civilian population at the time and the Imperial Army together and saying/implying that “they did all that” is one of the reasons why so many people here refuse to talk about this issue today.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Japanese civilian populations of war time 70 years ago did chanting 'Mansei' slogans to support that war and Japan was fully mobilized her militia civilians to commit a preceieved landing on homeland front…… so they were militants instead of regular army/navy. They were not totally innocent although they were forced by their government , the war time japanese civilians were also combatants

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@elephant

Even so how does that make the women, children, elderly and the men who never went to battle perpetrators and how does it make present-day Japanese guilty of the war crimes? I think you are implying that every Japanese is to blame for what the Imperial army did, regardless of generation, age or occupation?

You might want to improve your English before you try to write half-understandable statements though.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's actually really twisted to say that the war dead are the foundation of modern Japan.

Obviously, as war dead, they did not do the huge work of rebuilding Tokyo and major cities of Japan that were bombed and burned until the aggressions stopped. They were removed from their daily productive lifes as farmers and merchants, fathers and sons, and they were ground up by the cruel war machine.

PM Abe is lying, a really big lie, if he insists that the sacrifice of the lives of soldiers that is commemorated at Yasukuni Shrine is at the foundation of modern Japan, since the dead were absent from the post-war rebuilding effort and their contributions to Japanese society were limited by their call to duty. I believe what PM Abe is really trying to say is: Japan today rose from the ashes of defeat, please rejoice for your country (as ghosts) and forgive the government for sending you to your deaths -- which had very little to do with the prosperity Japan enjoys now!

What PM Abe is showing me, at least, is that State Shinto is alive and well, within his political party at least, despite the law of the land, that is, the Japanese Constitution which explicitly made the Emperor a "symbol" of Japan, stopping the Emperor from continuing on in his capacity of the Meiji Era as the chief Shinto Priest. In this sense, I believe neighboring countries of Japan are right to call "Foul"! Japanese people need to see through the LDP politics and respond to the concerns of other countries about the resurgence of State Shinto in whatever way they can. It is an urgent matter for world peace.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

" I have said it before, and will say it again, Japan is its own worst enemy when it comes to foreign relations because they belief they can say one thing, and do another to please domestic interests, and no one will care. If you are going to talk-the-talk, you have to walk-the-walk, and Japan falls far short in that regard."

Under the rationale that the word martyr is going a bit far, although technically it is correct, it can also be said that the US goes a bit far when insisting that visiting the Yasukuni Shrine is equal to visiting the dead.

So it is a bit like Liar, liar, pants on fire. You are lying when you think you can visit the dead, and you are also lying when you think you know the relations between China SKorea and Japan are not good.You are flaming lying. You dont really know is what it is. And here's the catch, China is big, and if you think that you know how to handle China, Id guess you were wrong. Japan on the otherhand does pretty well compliment China. Like one of the biggest catches if you havent noticed is the language (but before you start throwing around your tests of ability, how about learning some culture to really get it) China knows it and Japan knows it. SKorea also adds great spice.So whoever wants to stir the talk up, if you havent realized, you are talking to yourself. Work is easy, just press repeat until someone realizes that that flame has been burnt, and then things would move a little quicker-which is by the way what they are always frothing about.

Dont worry livvy I wasnt ignoring you-your just stuck in that "you dont understand" whine, and Im one of the type who has deaf ears to that sort of whining.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan lost the war. So from a pure logical point of view how could the inflence of these 'martyrs' contribute to peace in Japan today? It really is a case of Abe making a completely perverted inversion of historical actuality. It is an insult to hardworking Japanese that rebuilt the country after these heroic martyrs (misnomer in English anyway) ensured its complete and utter destruction.

But this is not the first time Abe has made the same 180 degrees to reality comment.

He really is an arrogant, effete little politcal blue blood that has absolutely no business at all being PM.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

YuriOtaniAUG. 29, 2014 - 01:35AM JST

The Americans, Chinese and Koreans demand that they have the right to interfere in the domestic policies of Japan but would scream like a stuck pig if it was reversed.

Good point !

Aki SakaguchiAUG. 29, 2014 - 03:17AM JST

The majority of people criticizing and attacking japan's behaviour are people who didn't participate or witnessed war.

But they are brainwashed since a very childhood.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan lost the war. So from a pure logical point of view how could the inflence of these 'martyrs' contribute to peace in Japan today?

That depends on what you believe would have happened to Japan had it avoided war with America at all costs. While Americans generally want to think good about themselves, it is quite possible that Japan would have been worse off in a hypothetical world where Americans just retain their racist eyeglasses against Asians like Japanese, without the shock of war that showed, at least for a time, that Asians can be significant threats.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

elephant200Aug. 29, 2014 - 12:51PM JST The Japanese civilian populations of war time 70 years ago did chanting 'Mansei' slogans to support that war and >Japan was fully mobilized her militia civilians to commit a preceieved landing on homeland front…… so they were >militants instead of regular army/navy. They were not totally innocent although they were forced by their government , the war time japanese civilians were also combatants

Anyo elephant. That's read Banzai in Japanese. Only in Korea is that read Mansei.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If someone here proudly claimed the ordinary Japanese were armed militia/combatants during WW II, then, does that mean American A-bombs on Japan’s two cities at the end war were justified actions ? or let me modify the question in other way, that’s why Japan never officially blames the US for using nuclear weapon on its civilians because huge portion of those perished were combatants who should be treated as enemy forces ?

Imo, to slaughter 200, 000 Japanese people at the end of war was absolutely unjustified and unnecessary even kamikaze pilots(J-govt sponsored suicide bombers) indeed inflicted some painful damages on allies’ forces.

A follow-up question, can other countries in the world use nuclear weapons on Japan in case of war because of the precedence ?

BTW, it’s true that only two of Japan’s neighbors voiced their objections on Abe’s backpedaling nationalistic shenanigans, but please don’t forget the silent majority of countries are distancing themselves from Abe’s admin. For naysayers, you may mark my words on this.

Again, working on peace not war would be the best approach.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Humph!

More Political Propaganda from the Raciest Nationalists Politicians in China & Soith Korea.

Is this the only thing they can Grand Stand upon?

Besides,, I just watched on NHK that there has been over 1.2 Million Chinese Tourist visiting Japan since January 2014 ~ August 2014 - THIS YEAR!

Does that translate to "We hate Japan"?

*I don't think their propaganda is working very well.

When NHK interviewd some of the tourist from China, the Chinese tourist said "We love Japan. We have no idea why our Givernment says such terrible things about Japan and the Japanese. So far everyone had been so polite and nice to us and Japan is so Cool!"

Same interviews went for the South Korean Tourist and same answers, so it is very obvious and transparent that their governments are spitting out all this Hate and Propadanda and I am happy to learn that the people themselves from China & South Korea are traveling to Japan and seeing the truth for themselves and learning first hand that their governments are just full lies about Japan.

Finally, there was study conducted by a French University that examined the population of China & South Korea immediately following WWII and the study discovered that the population in China and South Korea didn't drop hardly at all compared to the levels before the Japanese invaded China & South Korea, so where's all the massacring, rapes, and sex slavery comming from?

The mathematics are just not in their favor - sorry and I do believe that Japan did not commit all of these "alleged atrocities" at the levels being reported by China & South Korea therefore I think we need China & South Korea to tone down the retoric and start working with Japan with a more clear and transparent point of view.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

BTW, it’s true that only two of Japan’s neighbors voiced their objections on Abe’s backpedaling nationalistic shenanigans, but please don’t forget the silent majority of countries are distancing themselves from Abe’s admin. For naysayers, you may mark my words on this.

Lol. "Silent" majority. I see absolutely NO EVIDENCE of these majorities distancing themselves from Abe.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

`That depends on what you believe would have happened if Japan had avoided war with America at all costs'.

No, it absolutely doesn't. History is not a hypothetical propositon. But that view is not surprising as most nationalists seem to view history as a malleable substance that can be remolded at their convenience. The article above provides a textbook example.

If you don't get the history you want-- you cant just reshape it into one that is convenient to you...and that applies to all countries across the board...but particularly to those countries which deny the darkest parts of their respective histories the most vehemently.

I know...I know... Its all just victor's justice, which is precisely what Goebbels said at the Nuremburg Trials.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you don't get the history you want-- you cant just reshape it into one that is convenient to you...

True. Then perhaps the better question to be asked is why is both China and South Korea bringing this issue up when most other countries have moved on? Why did they even agree to sign a treaty with Japan when they exonerated all so-called 'war criminals' and reclassfied them as "war deceased" where surviving families were able to receive pension from the government? (1953) Why would a U.N. member states allow so-called 'war criminals' to serve as key diplomatic positions in Japan's post war government without any issues? In fact, a convicted "Class A" criminal served as a foreign minister for Japan who played a leading role in Japan's entrance to the U.N. in 1956 and made the acceptance speech at the U.N. General Assembly.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I disagree. It is not a better question to ask why the Chinese and Koreans are briniging it up. It is the same question as to why Japan keeps denying its role. They are opposite sides of the same currency.Two wrongs dont make a right. And the answer is that East Asian countries all follow a confucionist mindset that demands that history must be reconciled with the present at all costs even if it means re-interpreting it to a more user friendly version. To champion one side over the other here is to lose sight of any objective engagement with historical actuality.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I disagree. It is not a better question to ask why the Chinese and Koreans are briniging it up. It is the same question as to why Japan keeps denying its role. They are opposite sides of the same currency.Two wrongs dont make a right. And the answer is that East Asian countries all follow a confucionist mindset that demands that history must be reconciled with the present at all costs even if it means re-interpreting it to a more user friendly version. To champion one side over the other here is to lose sight of any objective engagement with historical actuality.

It appears Japan doesn't follow your version of "confucionist mindset" (no compensation and apology requested by Japan for air raid massacre by U.S. ,for example) so as I alluded to in another related article, it's best that Japan distance herself from these two.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@EthanWilberAUG. 29, 2014 - 09:01PM JST

that’s why Japan never officially blames the US for using nuclear weapon on its civilians because huge portion of those perished were combatants who should be treated as enemy forces ?

Because after WWII Japanese history books were completely re-written by Americans. And Japanese post-war generations were taught that A-bombings were not pure examples of horrible crime against humanity but no less than Acts of Salvation performed by Americans. Millions of Japanese people were completely brainwashed. Now while having a possibility to get true information from various sources via internent, Jap[anese people are awaking.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Nigelboy

Is Amweica actively challenging Japan's view of its own history? For the most part no..although there are overtures from Washington saying 'Put this behind you' to all three of the countries-and of course the Korean American contigent is doing its best to keep history at the forefront.

But you are way off the mark to say 'your confucionist mindset' when it is in fact Japan's, China's and Korea's mindsets that are being referred to here. Where else in the world do you see conflicts over 70 year old historical issues. Religion, territorial sovereignty, ethnic divisions...fine. But historical interpretation? Come on.

Reconciling one's own historical actuality with one's present actuality wouldn't necessitate Japan demanding payment ffrom America. I suggest you read up on your Confucious to understand the culturall significance East Asian countries place on the importance of history before making unrelated analogies such as demanding compensation from America. Treaty dates, signatoires etc. can be rattled off ad infinitum, but without a cultural context they exist in a vacuum.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

People who think that China and Korea are in the wrong are deluding themselves. China and Korea are annoying with their constant complaining, but the wrongs were perpetuated by Japan, and continue to be perpetuated through a lack of proper acceptance of their guilt. Korea and China are just annoying in their constant complaining about it. But they haven't actually done anything wrong.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

But you are way off the mark to say 'your confucionist mindset' when it is in fact Japan's, China's and Korea's mindsets that are being referred to here. Where else in the world do you see conflicts over 70 year old historical issues. Religion, territorial sovereignty, ethnic divisions...fine. But historical interpretation? Come on.

Yes. Only China and Korea are having problems of how history is dealt by Japan. On the flip side, Japan does not in regards to the two. Don't include Japan as part of the ' irrational' two.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Because after WWII Japanese history books were completely re-written by Americans. And Japanese post-war generations were taught that A-bombings were not pure examples of horrible crime against humanity but no less than Acts of Salvation performed by Americans.

You should be grateful that the Americans didn't allow in Japan what happened in Austria and Germany, where war crimes denial and any sort of commemoration of the Nazi regime is a criminal offense. You might not enjoy prison very much.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

You should be grateful that the Americans didn't allow in Japan what happened in Austria and Germany, where war crimes denial and any sort of commemoration of the Nazi regime is a criminal offense. You might not enjoy prison very much.

I'm quite positive that U.S. and other members of the U.N. can distinguish a night and day difference between the Holocaust and the individual criminality imposed to Japanese individuals. There is a reason why a former class A convict can serve as a foreign minister and convince the U.N. Members to allow Japan into the membership and even make an acceptance speech at the General Assembly.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Simon FostonAUG. 30, 2014 - 01:18PM JST

You should be grateful that the Americans didn't allow in Japan what happened in Austria and Germany, where war crimes denial and any sort of commemoration of the Nazi regime is a criminal offense. You might not enjoy prison very much.

I see no reasons to be grateful to them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Now there is no longer any argument, abe clearly LOVES his war criminals & he sadly is not alone, a great many here in Japan only regret that Japan lost WWII, they are SO DAFT they cannot to this day see that the prosperity they have enjoyed is PRECISELY because Japan lost WWII, NOT because of what the war dead did, Japan has prospered DESPITE what Japan did in the 1930-40s.

And as many have been saying Japans supposed "apologies" about WWII are insincere............well if the rest of you still cant see the blatantly obvious insincerity wrt to WWII there is likely no hope you ever will.

Japan continues to reap what she sows!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

'Don't include Japan as part of the 'irrational' two.

I don't include them as part of the 'irrational' two. I include them as part of 'an irrational' trio.

If 'Youre Voldemort', 'No youre Voldemort' is essentially the quality of argument you get from the Chinese and the Japanese ambassadors to London respectively, then I have no problem at all in terms of dismissing the rationality of the argument. No problem whatsoever...As this is the mantra that is the crux of the argument. 'Yes, You did', 'No we didn't' ad nauseum.

If you see that as a wothwhile argument you are welcome to it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, it absolutely doesn't. History is not a hypothetical propositon. But that view is not surprising as most nationalists seem to view history as a malleable substance that can be remolded at their convenience. The article above provides a textbook example.

Actually, in insisting that the martyrs could not have contributed to peace, you have a hypothetical proposition yourself. There is only one true historical track, but whether you think someone contributed is very much dependent on your guess as to what would have happened without that person.

That's why historical is very much reshapable. You don't have to lie. In the limited time in a history class, there will always be selection of points of emphasis. For example, when discussing the annexation of Korea (1910-45), you can choose to focus on the Koreans being treated as 2nd class citizens or you can choose to emphasize how these "2nd class citizens" are still receiving for example educational opportunities that they won't have had if the Korean king had been allowed to continue. You can also choose to or to not point out that the concept of a "2nd class citizen" is much more tolerable in that time, which as a whole is much more racist.

And even after the points are selected, by changing such parameters as the allocated time and method of presentation, you can create a huge difference in perception (consider the standard Japanese one-paragraph treatment of the Nanking Incident versus the much more "thorough" Chinese treatment of the Nanking Massacre). And there's always a choice. You can say this is an unfortunate blowout that the Japanese higher ups themselves would prefer to have done without. Or you can treat it as part of a long list of Japanese atrocities in Japan.

There are an infinite number of choices like this, and thus even using the same facts, you can create very different perceptions in the learners.

Because after WWII Japanese history books were completely re-written by Americans. And Japanese post-war generations were taught that A-bombings were not pure examples of horrible crime against humanity but no less than Acts of Salvation performed by Americans. Millions of Japanese people were completely brainwashed. Now while having a possibility to get true information from various sources via internent, Jap[anese people are awaking.

I won't completely say that. I think relatively few Japanese actually counternance the A-bombings as necessary, much less an Act of Salvation.

What Japanese history education does with the A-bombing is stereotypical of a nation that has previous brushes with another, but now has to work with it. They make themselves the victims, but the Americans are not really vilified.

Unfortunately, Chinese and South Korean history does not work that way.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

If you see that as a wothwhile argument you are welcome to it

Perhaps I was not clear. To reiterate, Japan does not interfere with how both China and Korea interpret their own respective history. On the other hand, both China and Korea moat certainly interferes with how Japan interpret their own history.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

China is bitching about this as they are trying to essentially turn Japan Into to a vassal state. China should stop bitching about what Japan does and concentrate on its own problems

3 ( +5 / -2 )

i think the term "martyr" is more religious than political. and i think, if japan can correct and face up with its wwii realities, i think that will finally bring peace to the souls of the foreign soldiers (named here as 'martyrs'). but lying about what happened, and facing away from the truth, will only result in neighboring countries (and perhaps the world) coming back to japan saying things like "reflect on wartime aggression". and if lying and backtracking rules (as evident in the current leadership), that won't give or bring peace to the souls of Japanese dying during the war, imho. perhaps we can ask the question, do the souls of the fallen soldiers really want the tragedies they cause (during wwii) to be debated over and over again? i would say they would rather see it being solved rather than being created or used as a political issue to garner votes, etc.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

i think the term "martyr" is more religious than political. and i think, if japan can correct and face up with its wwii realities, i think that will finally bring peace to the souls of the foreign soldiers (named here as 'martyrs'). but lying about what happened, and facing away from the truth, will only result in neighboring countries (and perhaps the world) coming back to japan saying things like "reflect on wartime aggression". and if lying and backtracking rules (as evident in the current leadership), that won't give or bring peace to the souls of Japanese dying during the war, imho. perhaps we can ask the question, do the souls of the fallen soldiers really want the tragedies they cause (during wwii) to be debated over and over again? i would say they would rather see it being solved rather than being created or used as a political issue to garner votes, etc.

The question here is "what happened?" which in this case involved the victors to be the judge, jury, and the executioner.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Well, "the victors were the judge , jury and the executioner " over in Germany as well and funny Germany doesn't have the same ongoing issues with her neighbors since the Germans faced up to what their war criminals did and have not since tried to whitewash, clarify and revisit " their guilty past, unlike Japan. But of course the J nationalists always try to paint Japan as the unfairly treated victim, poorly done by the victors. Get real.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Well, "the victors were the judge , jury and the executioner " over in Germany as well and funny Germany doesn't have the same ongoing issues with her neighbors since the Germans faced up to what their war criminals did and have not since tried to whitewash, clarify and revisit " their guilty past, unlike Japan. But of course the J nationalists always try to paint Japan as the unfairly treated victim, poorly done by the victors. Get real.

Here's the difference, Marcelito. The Germans chose a strategy of "diving" as fast as they can. Fortunately for them, Europe needs them because of the Soviet "threat". So their willingness to "open" themselves was to a great extent not exploited.

Korea and China have much lesser need and are less inclined to do so. Had Japan tried "diving" as fast as Germany, the most probable outcome is that Korea and China would get a yard and ask for a mile.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Well, "the victors were the judge , jury and the executioner " over in Germany as well and funny Germany doesn't have the same ongoing issues with her neighbors since the Germans faced up to what their war criminals did and have not since tried to whitewash, clarify and revisit " their guilty past, unlike Japan. But of course the J nationalists always try to paint Japan as the unfairly treated victim, poorly done by the victors. Get real.

German high courts have already ruled on stoppage of compensation of individual claims and their government basically told the Greeks that they aren't getting a single Euro.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki : The Germans chose a strategy of "diving" as fast as they can.

I thought the Germans didn't have a choice. Their country was flattened a lot more than Japan. They lost half of it to occupation by Russia right away, did not get back til many years later. East Germans WISHED the Western Allies had occupied them, like US did Japan. German leadership was gone, not like Japan's.

Japan lucked out. China and Korea were left much worse off than Japan and didn't even have means to get at Japan. Russia didn't have means to contest US occupation of Japan, their forces were concentrated in Europe.

If China or Korea or Russia HAD had the means, situation would be a lot different for Japan, because China and Russia at least certainly had the will.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

China aside, how was Korea worse off. They weren't bombed!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"German high courts have already ruled on stoppage of compensation of individual claims and their government basically told the Greeks that they aren't getting a single Euro."

That doesn`t diminish the difference in the way Germany has dealt with its past for the past 70 years versus Japan one bit. This is pretty evident by the state of the official relations Germany has with its neighbors that were occupied by it during the WW2 ( Poland, Czech republic, France etc....) vs the state of relations Japan has.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

That doesn`t diminish the difference in the way Germany has dealt with its past for the past 70 years versus Japan one bit. This is pretty evident by the state of the official relations Germany has with its neighbors that were occupied by it during the WW2 ( Poland, Czech republic, France etc....) vs the state of relations Japan has

.??? It appears Germany is in the same boat except I would venture that since most European states are 'mature', they will not push the envelope like the two from East Asia.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"??? It appears Germany is in the same boat except I would venture that since most European states are 'mature', they will not push the envelope like the two from East Asia."

Not even close...once again the difference is in the fact Germany owned up to its past while Japan didnt and continues with the "revisions" and denials. You know it , just dont want to admit it...thats all.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Not even close...once again the difference is in the fact Germany owned up to its past while Japan didnt and continues with the "revisions" and denials. You know it , just dont want to admit it...thats all.

It hasn't. Hence the dismissed lawsuits and the Greek situation.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I think a better conclusion to this whole "German" story may be the cautionary tale of what happens to excessive apologism. No matter how hard you apologize, there will be some people whose appetites are only whetted. You'd get fed up footing the bill sooner or later, and now people start bawling.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

marcelitoSep. 01, 2014 - 11:13AM JST That doesn`t diminish the difference in the way Germany has dealt with its past for the past 70 years versus Japan >one bit.

There are 12 Neo-Nazi organizations/political parties in Germany today. How many Imperialist/Militarist ones are there in Japan?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hold up a mirror and tell them to reflect on themselves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are 12 Neo-Nazi organizations/political parties in Germany today. How many Imperialist/Militarist ones are there in Japan?

In Germany, there about 6,000 neo-Nazi who are prohibited from publicly expressing their views and its a criminal offense to display the swashka flag or deny the Holocaust.

While in Japan, there are over 1000 nationalist right-wing groups with 100,000 members. They can express their war time view and deny much of the history and events. They are the ones with black vans and blasting loudspeakers around places like the Yasukuni Shrine which also has a war museum showing its own version of wartime events. All of this is illegal in Germany.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan could so easily fix the issue. But it's full of gits in government. Germany faced up to its past and no whitewashing their text books. In the US there were war crimes and the US did face up to the consequences and aftermath of the A-bombs. Many Americans can easily find out what wrongdoings happened behind the scenes during the occupation of Japan. Same with the Germans. As long as the Japanese heads of government try to downplay, hide, and sweep over this, they're just letting China and SK keep fanning their little embers to keep their own populace on fire.

And I really really do want to see China's gov have to face up to its own past with how the PRC came to power and ruined its own cultural history and potential to be a world power worth looking up to instead of talked about with distaste and ridicule.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

zichiSep. 03, 2014 - 07:57AM JST "There are 12 Neo-Nazi organizations/political parties in Germany today. How many Imperialist/Militarist ones are there in Japan?

In Germany, there about 6,000 neo-Nazi who are prohibited from publicly expressing their views and its a criminal offense to display the swashka flag or deny the Holocaust.

"According to the annual report of Germany's interior intelligence service (Verfassungsschutz) for 2012, at the time there were 26,000 right-wing extremists living in Germany, including 6,000 neo-Nazis.[65] The Neo-Nazi organizations are not outlawed in Germany,[63] although Holocaust denial is."

While in Japan, there are over 1000 nationalist right-wing groups with 100,000 members.

And how may of those are political parties? And "nationalism" is not a crime in Japan or anywhere else, Even Japanese right wing who support the Emperor do not support Militarism.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

And how may of those are political parties? And "nationalism" is not a crime in Japan or anywhere else, Even Japanese right wing who support the Emperor do not support Militarism.

They just vote for the LDP.

You asked the original question, "how many Imperialist/Militarist ones are there in Japan"

I answered your question correctly, more than those in Germany. They all seek to justify Japan's role during WWII.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They just vote for the LDP.

Completely oblivious to the fact that Kono who issued the statement was an LDP member and was a president.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Completely oblivious to the fact that Kono who issued the statement was an LDP member and was a president.

What parties do you suppose they vote for? I don't think anyone like Kono would ever get elected as an LDP candidate, let alone party president, if the black truck crowd had anything to do with it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

There is nothing hypothetical about the fact that 'martyrs' (for want want of a better term) mentioned here were involved in starting and fighting a war that lead Japan to total destruction. History is not reshapable in its actuality. It is a sequence of factual events that follows a causal nexus and it is is immutable.

Perceptions of history, how it is taught and the politcal agendas as to how it is taught change-but the facts remain as they are. But if you want your history books to say in twnety years time that evidence has emerged to validate the fact that Japan won the war then fine. It wont be history it will be your story.

Just like it is Abe's story that the people who contributed to the peace in Japan today were the ones who brought total desturction down on it. The real people to thank in Japan are the hardworking citizens responsible for Japan's post-war economic miracle...and not the dictatorship which preceded it. There is nothing hypothetical is giiving credit were credit is due on both counts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What parties do you suppose they vote for? I don't think anyone like Kono would ever get elected as an LDP candidate, let alone party president, if the black truck crowd had anything to do with it.

Zichi thinks it's LDP. Why don't you take it with him?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I thought the Germans didn't have a choice. Their country was flattened a lot more than Japan. They lost half of it to occupation by Russia right away, did not get back til many years later. East Germans WISHED the Western Allies had occupied them, like US did Japan. German leadership was gone, not like Japan's. Japan lucked out. China and Korea were left much worse off than Japan and didn't even have means to get at Japan. Russia didn't have means to contest US occupation of Japan, their forces were concentrated in Europe. If China or Korea or Russia HAD had the means, situation would be a lot different for Japan, because China and Russia at least certainly had the will.

I wholeheartedly agree with this – and would just add the following. Russia, or more precisely Stalin, was intent on invading and occupying Hokkaido at the conclusion of the war – and partition Japan much as he had planned for Korea. To his credit, President Truman, in his typical style, told Stalin that if any Russia troops landed on Hokkaido, then he (Truman) would send B-29s similar to the ones used over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to Vladivostok. Stalin backed down.

Interestingly when I speak with older Japanese who experienced the war, they almost all show no animosity towards the US – quite the contrary, they express sincere appreciation for three things; 1) for forcing Stalin to retreat from invading Hokkaido in 1945, 2) for feeding Japan during the potential famine of 1947, and 3) for authoring Japan’s post-war constitution that has kept Japan at peace for over 60 years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All the excuses. Yes we all know that Japanese people you know are nice to you and you like the food. That's doesn't change the fact that WWII nationalist, fascist sentiments are still alive and well from the black van crazies and the swatstika fliers to the right wing conservative majority who see no contradiction in claiming Japan already apologized many, many times more than enough for the very things they claim didn't happen and Japan didn't do. Japan is the ONLY democratic developed country that still glorifies its racial, nationalist ideologies from early parts of the 20th century.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Under Japanese law, those enshrined at Yasakuni were not classified as war criminals

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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