politics

Ghosts of WW2 haunt East Asia as Abe prepares statement

41 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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Abe should just say: "Done, finished, complete...get a life Asia and move on just as we have done!"

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Abe has said he upholds past official remarks on the war, including the Murayama Statement and a 1993 apology to “comfort women” [Kono Statement]

On July 28, Abe's "special committee to restore Japan's honor and trust" (「日本の名誉と信頼を回復するための特命委員会」) presented its report on the comfort women issue to Abe. The report was highly critical of the 1993 Murayama Statement.

One of its conclusions was that "the 1993 Kono Statement is largely to blame for the widespread belief overseas that women were forcefully taken [to the comfort stations], which is a major problem." — in other words, the LDP committee does not acknowledge that any women were taken to the comfort stations by force. (1993年の河野洋平官房長官談話は「強制連行があったかのような事実に反する認識を国際社会に広めた大きな原因になった。重大な問題だ」)

This makes it look to me like he is already laying the groundwork for backpedaling on the 1993 Kono Statement regarding the comfort women (no mention of the 1995 Murayama Statement, though).

7 ( +7 / -0 )

get a life Asia and move on just as we have done!"

but Japan hasn't moved on. Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are widely commemorated every year.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

All this talk has less to do with the past than the present. It benefits leaders in all countries to be able to play the nationalist card at a time when their policies are helping to expand class differences and grow the income and wealth gaps. Nationalism diverts attention from the worsening material conditions of many and it also justifies weapons sales that divert public funds to the death industries as part of corporate welfare.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

All this talk has less to do with the past than the present. It benefits leaders in all countries to be able to play the nationalist card at a time when their policies are helping to expand class differences and grow the income and wealth gaps. Nationalism diverts attention from the worsening material conditions of many and it also justifies weapons sales that divert public funds to the death industries as part of corporate welfare.

Exactly.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

In other issues (such as his re-interpretation of Article 9, relocating Futenma), Abe acts as though he doesn't actually have to take meaningful actions, he just has to say the right words to force people to agree with him. He's like an antisocial teen trying to memorize the right lines to get a woman to sleep with him. I'm worried he's going to take the same approach to this speech, pretending that if he can string together the right combination of words everyone will be happy. And that's not going to happen. The best he can realistically hope for is to not make the situation worse.

A better politician who was willing to make hard choices (as opposed to forcing through unpopular choices) could in theory make a speech that solves this conflict. Abe is not that politician, because fundamentally he has no respect for people who don't already agree with him.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

A better politician who was willing to make hard choices (as opposed to forcing through unpopular choices) could in theory make a speech that solves this conflict.

Wrong, a politician is going to do what Abe will probably do, beat around the bush and not get nailed down to any one thing.

A LEADER (which Abe is in name only) would do what is right and lay it all to rest by admitting all the faults, and sincerely apologizing and promising to work for a better future.

Abe is a politician, nothing more, nothing less, and the double-speak will probably raise more protests and questions than not.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Abe should just say: "Done, finished, complete...get a life Asia and move on just as we have done!"

Extremely Machiavellian, delicate and diplomatic. This genius statement touches on - and solves - every lingering issue between Japan, China and Korea.

for the sake of peace in East Asia, I hope Abe reads JT comments...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Technically the 15th is the anniversary, but no doubt Mr Abe wants to get it done early. He won't say anything that will upset his right wing backers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Move on Asia just we have done "

I,m looking forward to you saying the same thing in the next couple of months when Japan whines again to Putin about Russia not wanting to return some" Japanese islands" territory. You know, as they do year after year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is a group of politicians in Japan that are not sorry for starting the war. They are only sorry for losing it. They are the ones who have steadily been reverting Japan bact to the 1935 era. Abe and his LDP are dishonarable cowards who only care about power and money for themselves and their rich friends.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

marc: I already say that. Move on and let the Russians keep those islands. The perils of war. I wish America had kept Okinawa actually.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Abe is going to continue to destroy relationships with Japan's neighbours, as he has been doing since his reign (first or second) began. So far we know he's going to: 1) not bother apologizing to China or Korea again, 2) not bother mentioning sex slaves, 3) MAKE Japan be seen in a 'more honorable' light by changing the language so it is not 'negative towards Japan', 4) not going to 'buckle' to 'Western nations' (actually every single nation on the planet, and even Japanese historians) who are asking him to reiterate apologies, 5) he has uyoku dantai as 'advisors' in his statement group, etc. He is going to bring on the criticism of the whole world, including Japanese people, and IMMEDIATELY after demand to know why Japan is being dragged through the mud for it; that Japan is the VICTIM -- when he started it.

He is a self-proclaimed revisionist who claims his war-criminal grandfather was great, and he wants to return to a 'beautiful Japan', so we know full well he's going to take Japan backwards a HUGE step, and blame everyone else for it, too.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

A sex slave support group in Taiwan for ianfu women still alive, called wei-anfu in Chinese Mandarin, has produced a documentary movie titled "song of the reed" - 75 minutes long- showing this week in movie theaters in taiwan where hundreds of mostly aboriginal girls were tricked by colonial era police into going to work at comfort stations run by ija during war. At that time these girls were japanese citizens under colonial masters. Movie interviews the few known survivors old women now. Google title for news story in www.taipeitimes.com online.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Danny Bloom: " At that time these girls were japanese citizens under colonial masters. "

And for this exact reason you have a lot of revisionists and denialists in Japan and posting on here who will literally say: "Therefore it was not a crime against other nations, was it?" and brush any criticism aside, if they cannot flat out deny it. Forget about the fact that they would deny this anyway, as they claim they helped give Taiwan modern education, taught them how to take baths, and were defending them in WWII and so all Taiwanese love Japan.

Denial is that deeply rooted in some!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I wish America had kept Okinawa actually.

There used to be a time when SOME Okinawan's felt the same way, as after the war they were treated rather well by the American's, but then they grew up.

Being able to see things from both sides of the fence let me say that even with all the problems Okinawa has with the bases and US Military, they are totally better off being a part of Japan than being a protectorate of the US.

If Okinawa had stayed a part of the US things here would be a nightmare.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@smithinjapan - you are right. Good to point that out too.

Footnote: there about 2000 such sex slaves from Taiwan. Mostly dark skinned aboriginal girls who were told they would be helping ija war effort and since these girls were japanese subjects under japan colonial era 1895 to 1945 they did not think too much of it until ...they woke up to the reality of being raped by ija soldiers ten times a night. Sigh.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Technically the 15th is the anniversary,

Do you understand WHY Abe is giving this speech on the 14th and not the 15th? It isn't a "technical" issue either, Abe is giving it the day before the ACTUAL anniversary because why......? Do you know?

If you dont know, answer as such and I will share with you the reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

while am a bit optimistic about the speech in that perhaps Abe will show remorse, looking only to his last speech to congress only change that positive to negative.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Emperor gives a speech commemorating the end of WWII and the PM and Emperor do not give their speeches on the same day. THe PM by tradition gives his speech prior to the Emperor, and in a way the PM has to be aware of what the Emperor will say because with THIS Emperor it is very possible that he will say something that will put the PM on the spot.

This Emperor has the heart of the people, unlike Abe, and this Emperor could make ABe look like a fool if he doesnt make proper atonement for the past.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's not just "conservative supporters" who reckon it time to end not just the "humiliating cycle of apologies" but the increased demands for apologies (compensation and political benefits).

Any reasonable person who has observed the motivations and modus operandi of the anti-Japanese lobbies would say the same thing.

No more apologies until China and Korea are willing to accept the last one as a final one forever and the US gives up its own brand of historical revisionism.

If we must, them wait until the last living participant in WWII dies - all of the responsible proponents have already died - but, please people, it is over.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The right-wingers say enough is enough regarding unending apologies, but with over 20 million Chinese killed by the JIA, between 1931-45, one would think the govt. can't apologize enough. I predict Abe will miss the chance to rise to statesmanship with a vague, murky statement that the Japanese are known for. I hope I'm wrong.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am sorry but "20 million Chinese killed by the JIA" is not a factual statement.

For example, the high estimates also include the millions killed by Chinese forces and Chiang Kai Shek.

The Japanese statements are all fine enough, and there's been far more of them than is necessary. It's only those with their own propaganda spin who want Japanese to appear "murky".

That stuff is all just an attempt by Beijing to destroy political and military support for Japan in America.

Unfortunately, Beijing not the most reliably objective sources, not the most connected to reality.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

newyorknewyork: "Any reasonable person who has observed the motivations and modus operandi of the anti-Japanese lobbies would say the same thing."

Sorry, but anyone who says that a person who wants Japan to own up to history is 'anti-Japanese' is part of the problem, not the solution. I am very much pro-Japanese and wish that Japan and it's neighbors would get along an prosper. The ONLY way that is going to happen is for the wingers here to stop denying the past, make an official apology, and THEN offer to move forward with neighbors. Someone who points out the facts and asks for this and is automatically branded 'anti-Japanese' is faced with people who have already decided Japan is the victim and has done nothing wrong, plain and simple. Your statement is proof of that.

"If we must, them wait until the last living participant in WWII dies - all of the responsible proponents have already died - but, please people, it is over."

It's over, eh? Please tell that to the people who gather at Hiroshima and Nagasaki every year. Tell those who still suffer that they should shut up and give it up already, we've heard it all. Right? Why do they still want to tell the young people what happened and who their scars? It's OVER! Why do they object to their own government's steps to ratify existing defense laws so they can send people off to war? How dare they! NO MORE! Right, newyorknewyork? How dare they!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's nice to see the cadre of professional posters rattling off opinions based on nothing more than some myths they dreamed up that Japan is still fighting the war.

Here's the looooong list of Japanese apologies:

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

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nationalism diverts attention from the worsening material conditions of many and bal bla bla

Yes, yes. We've heard this all before.

Before WWI.

How did that go?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why only China and South Korea are crying on this issue all this time? What happen to the rest of Asia countries ? Hmm! Just curious!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ok, why is China and South Korea piling on Shinzo Abe?

Shinzo Abe was not even born until 1954.

I mean, why is Shnzo Abe being treated like HE started The War?

Shinzo Abe did not order the Invasion of China or the rape Korea, nor did he order the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

To best of my knowledge it was a General Hideki Tojo "Razor" who initiated a "Coup d'état" on February 26, 1934 that overthrew the Democratic Parliament of Japan & assassinated Japanese Politicians and Japanese Citizens who refused or did not want to go along with his vision of Japan's militarization of Asia.

All of that led to the Invasion of China, Korea, and the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Shinzo Abe has nothing to apologize for since he nor his administration did not initiate these events nor where they there to stop Tojo.

Maybe if Abe was there, he would've stopped Tojo or even brokered a deal with The U.S. to form a resistance to STOP The War & Tojo before The Nightmare began.

Yes, Abe now has to build up his National Defence to protect his country because Japan is being constantly threatened by China, North & South Korea, and Russia over decisions made by an out of control now Prime Minister - 70 Years Ago.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's over, eh? Please tell that to the people who gather at Hiroshima and Nagasaki every year.

I don't think they're asking apology from the U.S.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Today is the day............................will abe get it right or flush the countries reputation down the craper!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even if Abe said "the right things" it's not going to make a dent in Chinese relationships. China is very interested in bolstering itself with nationalism. Having tense relations with Japan helps out with that greatly. No matter what Abe says it will be spun in state controlled Chinese media to serve a pre-defined narrative.

What I think is short sighted is the rest of the neighbors. Japan should have been spending the last decade brown nosing everyone who's not China. If that means you stop visiting some war shine so be it. Instead no one really gets along too well and that creates a huge opening for China to project power. China uses that to start gobbling up other countries resources.

At least when the US decides they want natural resources we pay royalties to whoever happens to be in charge of the country. China just declares it part of their economic zone and sends in the fishing boats and oil rigs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm sure Abe will end up saying too little of what matters and too much that is disingenuous at best.

How refreshing it would be if a Japanese political leader stepped up and said he'd had enough with this posturing in denial and to just say. The nation is a first world nation and needs to acknowledge its responsibilities as such both economically, militarily and politically. And as far as the political acknowledgment goes, that terrible things were done by various Japanese actors and agencies and that Post War Modern Japan core foreign policy is to not letting that be repeated by this Nation or by any other nation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At least when the US decides they want natural resources we pay royalties to whoever happens to be in charge of the country. China just declares it part of their economic zone and sends in the fishing boats and oil rigs.

You were doing great until this here, then you blew it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Abe’s conservative supporters, however, want to end what they see as a humiliating cycle of apologies."

Then stop the cycle of denial of apologies...make one grand apology and stick with it for ever, Abe-san

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I just want to know why the Abe Administration has to apologize for events that were never initiated by the Abe Administration?

The events of WW2 where initiated by the Tojo Administration under the blessings of The Emperor.

The Chinese and Koreans keep saying "The Japanese Government" but which government? Tojo is dead and so is Emeror Hirohito.

Should The Obama Administration apologize to The Japanese for a decision made by The Truman Administration for the Fire Bombings of over 60 Cities in Japan and for the Atomic Bombs being dropped on Hitoshima & Nagasaki that killed

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Should The Obama Administration apologize to The Japanese for a decision made by The Truman Administration for the Fire Bombings of over 60 Cities in Japan and for the Atomic Bombs being dropped on Hitoshima & Nagasaki that killed"

Yes

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@smithinjapan

I think the problem is with the myth makers who are exaggerating a situation they actually know nothing about.

WWII is so last century.

I mean it. It's over. Stop fighting it. Stop trying to blame individuals who grand parents were not even born at the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Kenny Iyekawa

That's impossible.

Hypothetically Speaking, and if this is the standard moving forward, then every single nation that has gone to War throughout history MUST apologize for going to War no matter the method nor the outcome of the War - Win or Lose - All current and future Administrations of every Nation that has gone to War must develop a practice of apologizing for going to War.

Ok - Sorry for going to War: Great Britain, Mexico, Tripoli, Union & Confederates, Spain, Germany, Germany again, Italy, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and The World on Terror?

Did I miss anyone?

Oh, and Sorry Mankind for Darwin pointing out that we really are the smartest tool using fire making animals on the planet.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is more of an issue of education. Do Japanese people know their history (the good, the bad and the ugly)?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is more of an issue of education. Do Japanese people know their history (the good, the bad and the ugly)?

Simple answer; No.

I have even had a Japanese history professor tell me one time that he can not take the time to teach about WWII other than the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki because Japan has such a long history and he doesnt see the need to spend time on only a 5 to 10 year period.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Saketown: "Shinzo Abe was not even born until 1954."

And yet, he claims to know more about what 'actually happened' than the people who were there, and tells them they are wrong while he is right. Go figure!

"I mean, why is Shnzo Abe being treated like HE started The War?"

Again, he tells former troops who confess to atrocities that they have 'foggy memories' and their apologies and confessions are not true and do not reflect the government's position. He talks like HE was there, and HE knows what happened. Never mind the victims in other countries, whom he just spits on.

"Shinzo Abe did not order the Invasion of China or the rape Korea, nor did he order the Attack on Pearl Harbor."

He doesn't even admit that the first two exist, and I'm willing to bet is quite proud of the latter, if not openly than in his heart.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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