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Japan says sex slave issue not a diplomatic topic after Obama comments

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Wow, impressive to see Japan standing up for themselves this way. It's about time. When you play the door mat diplomatically with westerners it will not work out for you, you have to show some back bone.

-9 ( +18 / -26 )

Japan warned the issue of its wartime system of sex slavery was not a “diplomatic” subject

Of course it is, not only in the eyes of the US and South Korea as illustrated here, but also the dozens of other countries from whom women were taken and used as sex slaves by the IJA. It doesn't matter whether Japan likes this or not - it's just fact.

So, Japan should stick by it's apology and never allow statements to be made by any officials that undermine the merits of the apology to the broader international community. These things should be sacrosanct and never tinkered with under any circumstances. I've said before that people will forgive providing they feel as though there is genuine contrition expressed. But they won't forget, and they certainly won't just sit idly by to let Japan try to revise it's history.

12 ( +26 / -14 )

Obama put his foot in his mouth on S. Korea's behalf. Japan could have pressured Obama to do the same regarding S. Korea, but it did not.

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

President Obama is not man of his word, untrustworthy, a political opportunist, telling Heads of State and Government what they want to hear. This is President Obama political back to the future, for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, it's Senkaku Islands and security issues, for South Korean President Park Geun-Hye it comfort women and sex slaves. Pure and shameless opportunism, propagating a false empathy to garner future support, seemingly unbiased, but deliberately manipulative.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yōhei Kōno statement is equivocal:

"Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honour and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women"...... August 4, 1993

President Obama failed to draw on this statement choosing instead to grandstand to the populists.

President Obama's imminent visit to the Philippines, and the announcement of a new U.S. Philippine alliance agreement so allowing U.S. forces to return to the Philippines more than two decades after the US forces withdrew could indicate the US government current agenda.

-16 ( +8 / -24 )

Japanese were all in love with Obama, until he said something they didn't like. Japanese were all in love with Caroline Kennedy, until she said something they didn't like. Japanese were all in love with Clinton, until she said something they didn't like. Japanese were all in love with Park, until she said something they didn't like.

When will Japan learn that having good relations does not mean agreeing on everything and always being 'nice'. Time for Japan to wake up to the realities of international relations, or become isolated like North Korea.

Yes, today Japan is a peaceful nation who offers a lot of aid, but the international community agrees Japan should do more to show a genuine attitude of remorse for its actions during the war.

5 ( +21 / -15 )

well said Obama. we in Indonesia have bad history by japan too, thou we not care anymore as we feel they are peace. But when they dont admit and try to revise (if there is), it opens the crack back. it doesnt same for everyone. And the best to move is to recognize their own history and dared to faced it.. If America just sided with Japan, it'll look bad for others..Some right wing japanese might never understood, just try to view history book of other nation, even in indonesia and what it means to us...We today not live in faction community, but openly connected world..America has to remain true to peace order of all nations, not just japan and represent the voice of others too

8 ( +12 / -6 )

This is not a political issue. It is a moral issue! Everybody knows there are no morals in politics!

6 ( +11 / -6 )

Let the next round of (never ending) white washing of what Japan did or didn't do in regards to comfort women issue begin.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Sounds like the Japanese media is generally not critical of Obama's speech then, especially the more liberal ones. Japan needs to be more "pro-active" (in other words do more) about the lack of atonement for comfort women, and S. Korea needs to be more flexible and less emotional. Sounds perfectly fair -

Come on Japan be the adult in this relationship and make a step. A letter from the emperor, or better yet, a law to ban denying comfort women! Then all this would be over in day!

7 ( +13 / -6 )

A letter from the emperor

Then some right-wing politician will say the Emperor was forced to write the letter and South Korea will reset relations to square 1 again. South Korea needs to say exactly what will put this issue permanently to bed. After that no whining about individual politicians saying X or doing Y.

a law to ban denying comfort women!

I disagree. No country should have laws on historical (re)interpretation. It is for academics to decide on history, not politicians.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

GalapagosnoGairaishuAPR. 26, 2014 - 06:06PM JST Obama dined on 30,000-yen sushi and then on his way out left behind a tur*d on Japan's doorstep. What a shocking lack of common sense.

No, what he left was a dose of reality medicine. His views reflect the international community - there is a growing attitude of revisionism and denial in Japan and if it continues Japan will become increasingly isolated.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

I disagree. No country should have laws on historical (re)interpretation. It is for academics to decide on history, not politicians.

Then tell that to Japanese politicians. They are constantly giving their own versions of history which do not agree with the majority. Make it law and you don't have the problem of revisionism.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Igloobuyer@Smart diplomacy is the art of knowing when to keep one's mouth shut. If Obama had intended to lecture the Japanese on the errors of their ways, he should have done it to their faces, and not across the "East Sea."

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Barack Obama has warned North Korea over nuclear testing, there are clear indications this is the fourth nuclear test, there needs to be complete unity between all governments.

Hardly a word has been muttered unless it a insult, how does stating the obvious, in such a manner, bring forth a harmonious response?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

GalapagosnoGairaishuAPR. 26, 2014 - 06:25PM JST Igloobuyer@Smart diplomacy is the art of knowing when to keep one's mouth shut. If Obama had intended to lecture the Japanese on the errors of their ways, he should have done it to their faces, and not across the "East Sea."

I see no lecturing in his statement. He just said Japan needs to be more pro-active and Korea needs to be less emotional. Now do you know he didn't bring it up with Abe anyway?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

This is one of the issues contributing to the current diplomatic rift. Of course it's a "diplomatic topic." Gimme a break.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Obama was way out of line. Thankfully Japan had the b@lz to check mate him . . . .

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Now do you know he didn't bring it up with Abe anyway?

Well letsbe@ Isn't that the whole point here? Whatever Obama and Abe discussed was carefully vetted by their handlers before served for public consumption. In Korean the finger-wagging was done at a televised press conference. I bet you a kilo of kimchi that no Korean will escape the impression that Obama has taken their country's side in this particular dispute.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Germany never would have responded this way.

And that folks explains why Germany does not get treated this way anymore.

The only explanation I have for why Japan insists on shooting itself in the foot is a traditional inexperience with dealing with the rest of the world. It takes a serious navel gazer to not understand where this reaction is going to go after the hundredth time of the same reaction.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Our president is a true diplomatic fool!!! Real stupidity is the only thing that I can think of that would lead him bring up this issue. Why blame the present day government of Japan for something that took place during WWII?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Reality is just too painful for the Japanese and so they live perpetually in their imagine world and manga.. A rude awakening is needed and soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many times do the world have to tell you?

"Comfort woman was NOT sex slave but prostetutes. THere is a lot of evidence or documents for that." "THere is NO evidece existing that ex-Japanese troop force these woman to have sex in organized manner, while there is an evidence of ex-japanese troop that issued to prohibit its army or locala bases from forcing these women to have sex"

Evdence is the only way to show what really happened.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Did Obama make the statement about comfort women in Japan, South Korea, or in both countries? If he did not say it while in Japan then why say it at all? In South Korea he is just singing to the choir.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I wud bet some ca$h that Obama DID mention the sex slave issue, IN PRIVATE, hoping Japan would man up & take responsibility, PUBLICLY..................but alas once again we see Japan likes to take the low road, she will never learn by the looks of it & continues to reap what she has sewn for many many decades & STILL counting

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

hachikouAPR. 26, 2014 - 09:03PM JST How many times do the world have to tell you? "Comfort woman was NOT sex slave but prostetutes. THere is a lot of evidence or documents for that." "THere is NO evidece existing that ex-Japanese troop force these woman to have sex in organized manner, while there is an evidence of ex-japanese troop that issued to prohibit its army or locala bases from forcing these women to have sex" Evdence is the only way to show what really happened.

Sure, and there was no Nanking massacre, no 'death railway', no torture and starvation of POW's, yes, Japan liberated Asia from the oppressive Western colonialists. You go ahead and believe what you want to believe, and the world will go on and believe what overwhelming evidence shows and never the twain shall meet.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

So everyone trashed Abe for running everything by visiting Yasukuni. So what do we call Obama who has been working to resolve SK-JPN tensions for the sake of US regional strategic policy, even reaching a point where both countries are prepared to discuss the issue together, and he comes out with this utterly stupid counter productive comment?

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Hachikou >How many times do the world have to tell you?

What planet are you living on? UN and rest of the world acknowledge that the Japanese army forced these young women into sexual slaves. It's not only Korea. Wormen but Chinese, Taiwanese, Dutch, and etc. UN report clearly states up to 200,000 women forced into sexual slavery. So stop pretending to deny this fact.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Absolutelt agree with subyyaki. Japan shows more backbone compared to my mommy jeans wearing President.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I just think it's just a matter of interpretation from the Japanese and SKorean's sides. I just think Pres. Obama is being neutral and just natural in abhorring comfort women issue as a form of degradation of women since they brand it as sexual slavery. But I just think he says to move on and meet halfway to resolve the historical issue. He's not really siding. Since as one poster said PM Abe's main agenda is the Senkakus which I think he won and not the comfort women issue. I applaud him for really knowing his priorities. Whereas in SKorea, they brought out the comfort women issue and Pres Obama of course responded as he did. Nothing bad with his response, I think. Only, the SKoreans overhyped the response of the US pres and claimed the US Pres is on their side which I think is not. @Hachikou, I partially agree with you!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

igloobuyer there was no Nanking massacre

It is fact that innocent Chinese civilians were killed by ex-Japanese troop. But question is how many?? 1? 2 people? Chinese claims 300000people in Nankjin, which is impossible considering population there at that time.

Asianhometown UN and rest of the world acknowledge ...

You see, this is Exactly what I am talking about. Your logic is groundless. Instead of showing evidence , your logic is just "everybody says blah bla blah". Was any of UN member there at that facility during WW2? Name the witness! Show us the link. I would love to hear it. Originally Confort woman issue started from Japan not korea. Japan has been studied extensively including testimony and interview, whole nation wide debate had already done. Take a look at wikipedia. You will see the whole list of references and source of information.

Recently, Koreans found diray of the man working at comfort women facility. We are looking for that kind of evidence. Unfortunatly Korean says most of context is gone, so it doens'T show the evidence that Japanese forcing sex as a slave.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

“This was a terrible, egregious violation of human rights. Those women were violated in ways that, even in the midst of war were shocking,”

Obama did an absolute right thing to speak for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Furthermore, Obama has every right to tell the world the simple fact, as a decent human being as well as a president represent the US: the sexual enslavement of women by Japanese imperial force brutally violated those victims’ basic rights, in any occasions he sees fit. (it's not up to Japan's approval.)

Japanese govt should recognize Japan's horrendous wartime crimes committed to humanity, and stop manipulating and whitewashing the facts.

The more Japan wants to hide the truth; the worse the Japan’s public image is portrayed in the world community. It is sample like that, but Abe & Co. still don't get it.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

OssanAmericaAPR. 26, 2014 - 10:03PM JST So everyone trashed Abe for running everything by visiting Yasukuni. So what do we call Obama who has been working to resolve SK-JPN tensions for the sake of US regional strategic policy, even reaching a point where both countries are prepared to discuss the issue together, and he comes out with this utterly stupid counter productive comment?

I'm interested to hear why it's counter-productive.

The way I see it; The 'comfort women; issues is the main cause of poor relations between Japan and Korea. America desperately wants its closest Asian allies to get on - so he wants to encourage Japan to be more pro-active with demonstrating greater remorse and atonement and Korea to be less emotional and more flexible.

How do you see it?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Ilgoo, Counter-productive because the REAL issue which is supposed to be the one on the topic table is weathered by South Korea's manipulations to divert and mislead everyone away from the Takeshima/Dokdo dispute.That's the real cause of poor relationship between Japan and RoK. The whole comfort women issue is all but cover-ups! Did you heard anything from Mr.Obama about the Island? None! Japan wants to settle it through the ICJ but RoK refused. Instead RoK uses propaganda about Comfort Women.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

hachikouAPR. 26, 2014 - 10:20PM JST igloobuyer there was no Nanking massacre It is fact that innocent Chinese civilians were killed by ex-Japanese troop. But question is how many?? 1? 2 people? Chinese claims 300000people in Nankjin, which is impossible considering population there at that time. Asianhometown UN and rest of the world acknowledge ... You see, this is Exactly what I am talking about. Your logic is groundless. Instead of showing evidence , your logic is just "everybody says blah bla blah". Was any of UN member there at that facility during WW2? Name the witness! Show us the link. I would love to hear it. Originally Confort woman issue started from Japan not korea. Japan has been studied extensively including testimony and interview, whole nation wide debate had already done. Take a look at wikipedia. You will see the whole list of references and source of information. Recently, Koreans found diray of the man working at comfort women facility. We are looking for that kind of evidence. Unfortunatly Korean says most of context is gone, so it doens'T show the evidence that Japanese forcing sex as a slave.

You want to believe that the Japanese military was no worse than any other. They weren't, they were far worse.

What you and many Japanese fail to accept is that Japan committed the most heinous and inhumane war crimes above and beyond those of any other nation (and not terribly far from those of Germany). You cannot go on denying the Nanking massacre, the death railway, comfort women and torture and starvation of thousands of POW's in countries throughout Asia were fabrications.

Japan, stand up, face the facts, bow humbly express genuine regret and never forget. Then, finally, we can all move on. Do nothing and Japan's isolation will only deepen.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Katsunobu Kato, deputy chief cabinet secretary, said Japan was aware of the suffering of the victims and was trying to avoid politicizing the emotional issue.

Hypocrites. Then how come the General Counsel from the Japanese Embassy in New York went to Palisades Park in New Jersey to meet with the town council there to try to prevail on them to take down their monument remembering the Korean sex slaves? Guess it can only be "politicized" when it is Japan doing it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@letsberealistic, Japan's isolation will deepen? Isolation in what sense? How many times Jpolitician would vow down? It would never really end simply because they want a slice of Japan not just expression of remorse. I still stand with my belief that those women discovered prostitution as a way of survival during the war. For nowhere else could you find plenty of provisions other than the military camps during war. And those very same obaachans re-discovered that by wailing about how they were "forced" to prostitute themselves during war, could make their remaining life comfortable .

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

titaniumdioxideAPR. 26, 2014 - 10:39PM JST Ilgoo, Counter-productive because the REAL issue which is supposed to be the one on the topic table is weathered by South Korea's manipulations to divert and mislead everyone away from the Takeshima/Dokdo dispute.That's the real cause of poor relationship between Japan and RoK. The whole comfort women issue is all but cover-ups! Did you heard anything from Mr.Obama about the Island? None! Japan wants to settle it through the ICJ but RoK refused. Instead RoK uses propaganda about Comfort Women.

Oh, so you are deciding what the priority in improving relations, not Obama or Park?

So, the comfort women issues is all just a 'cover up' a conspiracy to 'deflect' interest away from the 'real' issue of Takeshima/ Dokdo. Thank you for enlightening us with that piece of intelligent and informed revelation.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

letsberealisticAPR. 26, 2014 - 10:42PM JST hachikouAPR. 26, 2014 - 10:20PM JST igloobuyer there was no Nanking massacre It is fact that innocent Chinese civilians were killed by ex-Japanese troop. But question is how many?? 1? 2 people? Chinese claims 300000people in Nankjin, which is impossible considering population there at that time. Asianhometown UN and rest of the world acknowledge ... You see, this is Exactly what I am talking about. Your logic is groundless. Instead of showing evidence , your logic is just "everybody says blah bla blah". Was any of UN member there at that facility during WW2? Name the witness! Show us the link. I would love to hear it. Originally Confort woman issue started from Japan not korea. Japan has been studied extensively including testimony and interview, whole nation wide debate had already done. Take a look at wikipedia. You will see the whole list of references and source of information. Recently, Koreans found diray of the man working at comfort women facility. We are looking for that kind of evidence. Unfortunatly Korean says most of context is gone, so it doens'T show the evidence that Japanese forcing sex as a slave. You want to believe that the Japanese military was no worse than any other. They weren't, they were far worse. What you and many Japanese fail to accept is that Japan committed the most heinous and inhumane war crimes above and beyond those of any other nation (and not terribly far from those of Germany). You cannot go on denying the Nanking massacre, the death railway, comfort women and torture and starvation of thousands of POW's in countries throughout Asia were fabrications. Japan, stand up, face the facts, bow humbly express genuine regret and never forget. Then, finally, we can all move on. Do nothing and Japan's isolation will only deepen.

Unrealistic BS! Worse than two atomic bombs? Worse than Mao's greatest slaughter of millions of Chinese? Your definition of the word "worse" is subjective and is limited to yourself. You always talk about facts and Mr.hachikou is providing you one but you fail to acknowledge a single. Not very realistic!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The real problem is Japanese think the biggest mistake they regretted is they failed to win the WWII.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

titaniumdioxideAPR. 26, 2014 - 11:11PM JST

Unrealistic BS! Worse than two atomic bombs? Worse than Mao's greatest slaughter of millions of Chinese? Your definition of the word "worse" is subjective and is limited to yourself. You always talk about facts and Mr.hachikou is providing you one but you fail to acknowledge a single. Not very realistic!

Atomic bombing was a horrible act, brought on by a desperate US that could see Japan would fight until all were dead anyway - a horrible decision that some same had to be made, some say didn't. Maos' massacres were truly horrible and yes on a par, with Nanking and other Japanese massacres, but not, you did not happen during WW2 and were not committed by an invasionary foreign force but by their own people.

So, do you have anything on a par with what Japan did, during the war, that was not a desperate measure to end the war that seemed endless?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Atomic bombing was a horrible act, brought on by a desperate US that could see Japan would fight until all were dead anyway - a horrible decision that some same had to be made, some say didn't. Maos' massacres were truly horrible and yes on a par, with Nanking and other Japanese massacres, but not, you did not happen during WW2 and were not committed by an invasionary foreign force but by their own people.

So, do you have anything on a par with what Japan did, during the war, that was not a desperate measure to end the war that seemed endless?

Unbelievable, you actually think the Japanese were the sole victims during the war. I think you are completely misguided. Japan brought that all on themselves, pure and simple! No one told Japan to bomb Pearl Harbor, had they not done that, history would be very different from that what it is today. War is war and if you are trying to kill me, I will use ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in my arsenal to neutralize or kill you. It's that simple. You might disagree on the bombing and that is your right, but there are other people that think it was the right thing to do at the time. Just depends which side of the fence you fall on.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I agree that Obama has done a bit of a snake act by waiting until he get to Korea to bring up this topic, but his Japan visit was more about socializing than discussing the issues at hand. There were no resolutions to the TPP or security and occupation by US troops. It was all beer and prawns! (Sake and sushi) - Obama's timing may not be great, but his point is relevant and must be addressed. I can just imagine Abe sitting back with his ten dollar sake saying, "WTF? I thought we were best buddies!"

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Pretty much what I thought would happen.

The US should not get involved unless it is prepared to mediate at a summit. Statements like this will only further highlight South Korea's and Japan's differences.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Shumatsu_SamuraiApr. 26, 2014 - 05:43PM JST

A letter from the emperor

Then some right-wing politician will say the Emperor was forced to write the letter and South Korea will reset relations to square 1 again. South Korea needs to say exactly what will put this issue permanently to bed. After that no whining about individual politicians saying X or doing Y.

Very well, South Korea should say that what needs to be done must include no politicians afterward being allowed to say anything in public that contravenes the Emperor's apology -- not even as "a private citizen" -- and anyone who does, will be immediately fired from his post and never be allowed in politics again. Happy? **

a law to ban denying comfort women!

I disagree. No country should have laws on historical (re)interpretation. It is for academics to decide on history, not politicians.

In Germany denying the Holocaust is a prosecutable crime. Japan cannot claim a special dispensation, not with that giant precedent in effect for decades.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Most historians" ... is one of the most meaningless and overused memes in this debate.

Most people cannot tell the difference between "historians" and "war time propagandists" past and current.

Life is not a football game. I don't think like a nationalist. I don't own any people, they are not "my people".

No Japanese alive today is guilty, nor needs to bear any guilt or shame for any action they did not carry out.

That is logical and that is the law.

They are no more or less guilty for others actions than you are.

This is all a propaganda war. Elements within China, Korea, the USA wish to bow, damage or break today's Japanese, and damage public support for them abroad, e.g. in the USA. Many of those elements are government sponsored, they are encouraging a ripple of support amongst race haters.

What a way to earn a living, or spend your life ... It and the conflict and hatred it encourages, is nothing more than a deluded and toxic mental pollution.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

There is always a price to pay, G7 group of nations agreed today to impose further sanctions on The Russia Federation, so that basically adds Japan to whatever "significant impact" these sanctions will take to stop Moscow backed pro-Russian separatist violence in eastern Ukraine.

Also this morning pro-Russian separatists in Slavyansk are reportedly holding 13 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observers hostage.

President Obama is requesting support for 2nd and 3rd stage sanctions, and EU governments are reticent, with Germany particularly resistant, if further UN resolutions are needed, then support in the shape of a positive vote, will be expected in return.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, that has be proven time and time again by studying the details and the provenance of the originals ...

That was one of the issue with Iris Chang's campaign. It was shown to her and her publishers that a number of images were well known fabrication or falsely attributed and they refused to remove them.

Punishment like stripping the flesh off things are not traditional Japanese punishments, which generally depended more on humiliation rather capital punishment.

I am not a denier, I just get sick of these people peddling their nonsense generation after generation. That's why I just call them "atrocity pornographers".

There is no morality to their position, they just enjoy looking at and showing each other nasty pictures and calling girls bad names.

(*A simple truth folks,

More than 53% of Japanese are women and never had any part in anything you accuse, neither did the children who were made victims too, neither did the farmer who stayed at home and farmed, neither did the workers, neither even did the Navy or much of the army ... by the time you logically work out who might have been involved, it is down to a single % of the population, less the a similar amount of criminals in any society, and a hell of a lot less than most societies*).

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

After the war, the Germans and Japanese had a different reaction to their bad behavior during the war. Most of the Germans were remorseful and guilt ridden. The Japanese immediately tried to rewrite history, and are still at it. Within days of Japan's surrender in 1945, coded messages went out from Tokyo to Japanese diplomats around the world, ordering them to start a campaign portraying Japan as a victim in the war, and to play down Japanese atrocities and play up Japanese civilian losses in the recent atomic bomb attacks. What was not so secret were Japanese efforts to ignore the war and portray themselves as victims. Many Japanese opposed rewriting history, which was often quite blatant. This meddling with historical facts regularly caused problems with neighbors, especially Korea and China. But the Japanese were insistent on evading responsibility. They still are, and many Japanese really believe it.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

what South Korea failed to tell Obama is that they 1965 Treaty resolved all issues during Japan's Colonization of Korea, and Japan's past apologies. Double Jeopardy?

Japan has done that, yet Korea still plays the victim card, which it no longer is. Korea have no shame.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I agree with Obama, and I disagree with Japan -- it is a diplomatic topic.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

After the war, the Germans and Japanese had a different reaction to their bad behavior during the war. Most of the Germans were remorseful and guilt ridden. The Japanese immediately tried to rewrite history, and are still at it. Within days of Japan's surrender in 1945, coded messages went out from Tokyo to Japanese diplomats around the world, ordering them to start a campaign portraying Japan as a victim in the war, and to play down Japanese atrocities and play up Japanese civilian losses in the recent atomic bomb attacks. What was not so secret were Japanese efforts to ignore the war and portray themselves as victims. Many Japanese opposed rewriting history, which was often quite blatant. This meddling with historical facts regularly caused problems with neighbors, especially Korea and China. But the Japanese were insistent on evading responsibility. They still are, and many Japanese really believe it.

This is the crux of the problem and the reason why these Asian countries cannot move forward. Because the Japanese feel like they were the main victims of the war, it keeps throwing a sharp knife in the sides of the countries that were brutalized under the Japanse and this is the fundamental problem why the other countries equally will never let it rest. Compensation, smiles and handshakes are not enough. Had Germany gone the same route as Japan did, Europe would be a very different place today. Go to Germany and ask the average German about the war. Most Getmans think that part of their history was the worst and should never be repeated again. Everything was based on lies and they are ashamed of it. On the flip side, the Japanese think differently and for some reason it's everyone else's fault except Japan's. Had Japan gone the same route ad Germany, the relationship between Japan and Asia would have made this entire continent a mega powerhouse, stronger, wealthier, unstoppable.be that as it is Japan and this topic with its neighbors will never be resolved as long as Japan and it's sympathizers dig in their heels and play the card of victimization.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

On the flip side, the Japanese think differently and for some reason it's everyone else's fault except Japan's.

There is a school of thought that suggests this is due to the fact that Emperor Hirohito was never held accountable for what Japan did. John Dower covers this is his Pulitzer Prize winning 'Embracing Defeat'. The train of thought goes along the lines that everything that happened in WW2 was in the name of the Emperor, that it was all for him, and so, if the Allies decided that he held no responsibility for what happened, then it was not really fair for the common people to accept the responsibility either. The destruction of the country, starvation, disease and poverty of the Post War years combined with this lack of responsibility began to contribute to feelings of being victims.

If you compare this to Germany - Hitler died. The ultimate symbol of evil from Germany paid the ultimate price, and we still really associate Hitler with Germany's worse atrocities. There is a focal point, someone to point to and more or less say 'It happened because of him'.

You don't have that with Japan, which is particularly interesting given that Japan is a country where people traditionally died as a way of accepting responsibility for such things. There is lots of evidence suggesting that the Japanese people expected the Emperor to be executed, or commit suicide for his part in the war. But he didn't. I think the state of modern Japan's attitude to the war is directly related to this.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Bass, I rarely agree with you on political stuff but you nailed it at 06:19!

Tamarama, interesting post there about if the Emperor had been............I think the US did make some big strategic errors at the end of WWII.

In todays Japan we see often a total lack of responsibility from those in charge in all areas of life here, imo its because Japan is designed to leave pretty much everything vague, hence no ones to blame for anything. But it doesn't work outside of Japan & imo needs to be changed inside Japan as this also is a major cause of the rot we are all witnessing right in front of us in Japan here & now!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

bass4funkApr. 27, 2014 - 06:19AM JST This is the crux of the problem and the reason why these Asian countries cannot move forward. Because the >Japanese feel like they were the main victims of the war, it keeps throwing a sharp knife in the sides of the countries >that were brutalized under the Japanse and this is the fundamental problem why the other countries equally will never >let it rest. Compensation, smiles and handshakes are not enough

Germany and Japan have completely different geopolitics surrounding them immediately after WWII ended and can not be compared equally. Furthermore Germany even before it's unification never had any countries using anti-German sentiment as an official political and diplomatic tool as China and South Korea have done. Considering the circumstances Japan has made peace with all Asian and western countries for WWII and even South Korea in 1965 and China in 1972, which those two countries are refusing to now recognize. As for Japanese feeling like victims, that is natural since the Japanese civilians were bombed from the sky on their homeland. Why would they know of what the Imperial Military were doing in other far off countries? Do you think any Americans are aware of what our troops were doing in Vietnam? Remember this is before CNN, TV and the internet under a fascist regime that censored all information and media. Compensation, smiles, good will have been enough for Japan to rise from as devastated defeated country to leading the Asian nations economic rises over some 50 years or so. Don't make the mistake of thinking that China and South Korea's policies reflect the views of all Asia or the world.

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Furthermore Germany even before it's unification never had any countries using anti-German sentiment as an official political and diplomatic tool as China and South Korea have done

For petes sake man! The answer is simple, Germany dealt with their history, so better relations with the neighbours, Japan............... tried to ignore, forget, deny.........but they did eventually sign some papers, BUT its been patently obvious for many many decades that Japan HAS NOT dealt with its history.

It really is THAT simple & why Japan is where it is today & its not good, it was ENTIRELY in Japans control but Japan decided to take the low road & is why Germany & Japan are in completely different places with regards to their SHARED history, its entirely Japans making, pretty simple!

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GWApr. 27, 2014 - 08:58PM JST "Furthermore Germany even before it's unification never had any countries using anti-German sentiment as an official political and diplomatic tool as China and South Korea have done" For petes sake man! The answer is simple, Germany dealt with their history, so better relations with the neighbours, >Japan

Brick wall syndrome. Name the German neighbors who have made anti-German sentiment an official political and diplomatic policy.

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Doh! THATS because Germany has DEALT with it s history! And meanwhile here in Japan decades later they DONT

That's why! Like I said SIMPLE!

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ABE's entire cabinet must have alzheimers diseases.... First of all it was ABE who politicized this issue to withdraw the Official Govt Apology to Korea and Re-investigate Sex Savery abuse clamming insufficient evidence... and after all that arrogant nonsense they are complaining about people talking about there abuse nature? Japan must realize soon that ABE is the probably the worst diplomat/politican in the World outside of Japan.

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No, it was the Korean nationalists who politicized it first this time round.

Unfortunately, there is insufficient evidence to support their accusations. That's just an unfortunate fact of the matter.

As to the Chinese troll army persistently targeting Abe ... it's just silly. They obviously don't understand how politics works out in the free world.

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The root of this problem comes from Abe & LDP not responsibly accepting the abuse that occurred while trying to brainwash people with lies. Mr Abe doesn't realize his denial is the cause of all the embarrassment Japan is facing today.

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Japan was never a victim during the "Pacific War". Everything that happened to Japan later in the war was the direct consequence of the policies executed by the Japanese at the start of the war. To say that the US made Japan attack the US because the US implemented a policy that would not sell raw materials to Japan because the US didn't like what Japan was doing is "NUTS!". Japan should have found another source of supply. At the start of the war, Japan had a choice of who to attack, it was between the US and the USSR. Wonder how history may have been different if Japan went with the other choice? But those in charge has no clue about the US and decided to attack the "weaker" party but they actually attacked the stronger party in the sense that the US had every resource in the world at the time. And because of Japan, Germany lost the war.

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