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Kishida marks 78th anniversary of World War II end without mentioning Japan's wartime aggression

61 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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61 Comments

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He should have offered a sincere apology for the actions of Imperial Japan.

-11 ( +27 / -38 )

Japan will “stick to our resolve to never repeat the tragedy of the war”.

I am afraid, sadly the governments of China and North Korea are along way from such declarations of peace.

Emperor Naruhito the true beating heart of the nation reflects wisdom on this day of remembrance

"Reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never again be repeated,"

14 ( +30 / -16 )

78th anniversary of World War II end without mentioning Japan's wartime aggression

Japan always be a victim when it comes to World War II, other country attack Japan for no reason at all from Japan's perspective. That's why there is always movie Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor or Chris Nolan's Oppenheimer to remind the actual world history.

-13 ( +32 / -45 )

What he said was totally acceptable for the translation.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Just continuing in the footsteps of his predecessors! (No one should forgive it!)

-10 ( +16 / -26 )

It is in the realms of the Countries education system that past and future lessons will be learnt.

The constant insistence that the people of Japan prostrate themselves in humiliating amende honorable whilst dictatorships, the governments of China and North Korea threatens nuclear Armageddon is the case in question.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

What was Japan doing in Asia (empire building) that France, the UK and the Dutch were not doing?

Japan lost so has to get on its knees every August 15th?

11 ( +27 / -16 )

It may not necessarily be to keep apologising or expressing remorse but inherent in its duty leading on from WWII is to make sure fascism and militarism never happen again if Japan truly learned its lesson. Sadly such resolve seems missing when their mention are absent. They were the roots of ordinary Japanese suffering as well as others in Asia and that could be the tack taken every year but this is too close to mentioning a flaw in the cultural hierarchical DNA and that is anathema to many. Japanese can never be allowed to consider themselves victims of Japanese policy, no matter how historical, no matter how repellent. The leaders must remain infallible.

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

Kishida did not mention Japanese aggression across Asia in the first half of the 1900s or its victims in the region, as with last year, following a precedent set by then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2013 in what was seen by his critics as a move to whitewash Japan’s wartime brutality.

Kishida stressed destruction on Japan's own land, including the U.S. atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, fire bombings across Japan and the bloody ground battle on Okinawa, and the sufferings of Japanese people.

Bravo to PM Kishida for focusing on the suffering of Japan, especially now when faced by the clear and present danger of Chinese and North Korean aggression in the region.

Germany should wisely follow this example, now with Russian aggression at its door.

Don't mention Nazi expansionist aggression or the Holocaust.

Focus on the firebombing of Dresden, massacres of Germans by Soviet occupiers and the years of suffering caused by the Allies and Soviets by their dismemberment of Germany.

It is the only way to wisely move forward.

-23 ( +1 / -24 )

He should have offered a sincere apology for the actions of Imperial Japan.

Japan has apologized multiple times. It is just South Korea and China that perpetuate the myth that they never have.

7 ( +18 / -11 )

In December, 1941 my mother, six sisters , brother and uncle went to the country out of Teluk Anson in Perak, Malaya to escape Japanese bombs. The bombers came very early in the morning! Machine-gunning the ground on their way to bomb the town! We ran out of the palm leaf hut! Not knowing what to do! Where to go! We ran into the shade of a rumbutan tree! Piling up one onto another! Crying! Praying! We were a family united in fear!

0 ( +17 / -17 )

Mark

   He should have offered a sincere apology for the actions of Imperial Japan.

> Japan has apologized multiple times. It is just South Korea and China that perpetuate the myth that they never have.

The apology should be made every year they hold a ceremony

0 ( +12 / -12 )

I am sorry to hear your story, Stephen Chin. Thank you for telling it. It would be a story repeated all over South East Asia, sadly. There were mass murders and killings of innocents in many places. Perhaps Japan would be happy to hear these stories in the schools and in town halls and in the media in order to "never repeat the tragedy of the war."

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

“He should have offered a sincere apology for the actions of Imperial Japan.”

I agree. Leaders of every major country, especially those with colonialist and slave-trading past, should offer a sincere apology for their past actions.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Yup, that’s a good idea, seeing as they STARTED it.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@winston

Spot on. I'd go even further and say no sincere apologies have been made, at least not by the system the PM represent. Saying "sorry" while keeping denying you did anything wrong doesn't sound very sincere to me.

But for Kishida to even publicly acknowledge any wrongdoing by the then Japanese government and army would be enough to enrage some of his voter base and other supporters, so he won't even do that.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Present PM of Japan disrespects health or the lives of ordinal people to prioritize thoughtless arms race, ignores constitution that is lesson of war, bring society closer to war, beginning new prewar.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Wallace Japan is a paradox, we have this debate every so often.

To probably go back and forth trudging through the pollical quicksand of guilt and my I suggest the absence of pardon or absolution.

What does the future have to offer the present and future generations having to bow incessantly at the alter of an age of the political apology, from a country now close to eighty five percent of its population not even born when imperial Japan existed?

Lessons need to be commemorated in classrooms, an historic understandings of past grave hostilities and conflicts left to historians educators not the murky world inhabited by politicians.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan wants to whitewash its aggression, but always remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing. Cause and effect comes to mind!!!

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

wallaceToday  04:42 pm JST

He should have offered a sincere apology for the actions of Imperial Japan.

Go do something about it. Dont forgive Japan, dont visit, dont think about Japan.

Pretty sure your country plays BFF with Japan selling weapons and earning good cash, not minding what Kishida says every August 15th. Life goes on

3 ( +8 / -5 )

itsonlyrocknroll

What does the future have to offer the present and future generations having to bow incessantly at the alter of an age of the political apology, from a country now close to eighty five percent of its population not even born when imperial Japan existed?

That makes an annual apology even more important because days kids know so little of their real history. My family and community fought the Japanese in Burma many ended up in POW camps where brutal treatment was handed out. if they managed to survive their lives were changed forever. I have been witness to that history.

It must be remembered every year so that it will never happen again.

It's not a daily even if it's an annual event so memorials are made.

We still mark the days of the atomic bombings even if there are so few survivors living. What is the difference between those?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

To be honest, it is ridiculous to apologize for something you didn't do ( sins of the father).

That Japan is not the same Japan, everyone involved on wars, did questionable deeds, are we still blaming Germany, for the Nazis doing during WWII?.

Seriously.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Tell_me_bout_it

   wallaceToday 04:42 pm JST

   He should have offered a sincere apology for the actions of Imperial Japan.

Go do something about it. Dont forgive Japan, dont visit, dont think about Japan.

I did do something about it. I married a Japanese and our families came together. Even my family members who fought in Burma accepted the situation with open arms, compassion and kindness. We are united. I have lived here for 30 years contributing to the society and culture.

But the dark days of WW2 need to be remembered every year and taught to the kids in schools.

Pretty sure your country plays BFF with Japan selling weapons and earning good cash, not minding what Kishida says every August 15th. Life goes on

I do not understand your comment.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japan's friends and allies - and there are certainly many - no longer require endless apologies about events that occurred 80 plus years ago. They know Japan is famously committed to peace, and is completely freedom-loving.

Japans adversaries - Communist China, fascist Russia and the Korea's, on the other hand - will insist on Japan being on her knees apologising forever. Tough luck - they're not going to get it under PM Kishida who is standing strong.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Lots of Japanese politican are dumb as a sack of rocks,if the US condemned this it would mean the end of Kishida or any insecure Japanese politicians

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Fighto!

Japan's friends and allies - and there are certainly many - no longer require endless apologies about events that occurred 80 plus years ago. They know Japan is famously committed to peace, and is completely freedom-loving.

So why are the atomic bombings remembered?

8 ( +13 / -5 )

I don't expect an apology. I expect the Japanese PM and people to at the very least to just acknowledge the millions of people they are responsible for killing with a war of aggression that they started and not only refer to dead Japanese to commemorate WWII. They won't and complain about Asian nations not forgetting yet don't want to forget about the atomic bombs. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Due to the lack of discourse, regret, contrition, and shame, it's hard to really know how supposedly peace-loving Japan is. Japanese don't like to talk about it so what are their true feelings that they hide and never reveal openly. Most likely quite a few hiding right wingers in the population including government and corporations. You'll never know how they really feel cause they won't openly say it but behind closed doors or anonymously let their true colors come out.

Just look at the downvotes on this site on posts about Japan's WWII past. What does that tell you about some Japanese posters on this site. Most won't engage in dialogue but their downvotes speak volumes. Just how peace-loving can they be when they have zero sympathy for the millions their country killed for greed and power. They don't even want to mention them when commemorating WWII.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

My Japanese family did not agree with the war. My FIL was sent to fight in China. He survived minus an arm. Several members of the community refused to serve and were imprisoned and some died.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

wallace, yes a dark page in history for the POW's appalling suffering.

The annual political apology is lost in its own necessity to recite an obligatory display of rectitude.

It can be a false premise, without any commentative reflection other than a display of acquiescence, a forced requirement to wallpaper over historic wrongs.

Solemn remembered must become a shared experience, and the most poignant place is inside the classroom.

Which I believe a point we both agree on

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I would like to separate the advent of the first use of atomic warfare.

And how all nation commemorate as one we are now all potential victims are we not

Its destructive force, to annihilate whole cities, catapulted every nation to accept that future world wars could be the end of human life.

Total obliteration.

It is such a horror scenario, that needs its own understanding and significance.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

itsonlyrocknroll

Japan acknowledges the end of the war and its surrender in a way it is the victim and not the aggressor. People visit the Yasukuni Shrine to offer prayers to the people who died defending the country. The atomic bombings are marked with special events. Apologies have been given but too many of them sound hollow.

Is it so difficult to offer an annual apology for terrible and tragic wrongdoings? It would help to improve relationships with those countries that suffered.

I do not think, unlike in Germany, students spend enough time on what their country did during the war.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

What do you expect from a bunch of Japanese politican sociopath, who are unemotional and lack empathy of others beside themselves,that is common in Japan political elite

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

@Stephen Chin.

It's rather sad - and perhaps illuminating - that some are downvoting your heart-rending story. Maybe there are those among us who do not have the "resolve to never repeat the tragedy of the war" on this day of peace.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Wallace I would like to dodge your point of German rectitude, as having financial consultative dealings with populist political party AfD.

Where indeed the germen education system has embraced the extremities of national socialism, the AfD is another matter.

Can actions speak louder than words?

Yes I believe so, the trips to the Yasukuni Shrine to offer prayers is a case in question.

As much as the heartfelt display of the people releasing Doves of peace at the same Yasukuni shrine 

Which holds ones attention a political apology or a genuine declaration of peace and remembrance.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Yrral, quit beating a dead horse.

And as for the annual reminders of the terrible way WW2 ended, I think quieter reminiscence is appropriate. Not all this media/political hype. It's over. Get over it. You want to protest war? Try those many genocidal wars in Africa, and that really ugly one in Ukraine. And put your money where your mouth is - contribute to the decent charitable agencies that are trying their best to care for the dispossessed and displaced. Especially the children.

Lecture over.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

wallaceToday  06:29 pm JST

I did do something about it. I married a Japanese and our families came together.

Fantastic, mate. Well done, Fair play. But why do you want Kishida to apologise every year? Are you asking your wife to apologise as well?

People who committed those crimes already apologized and punished. Governments moved on, so did America. Now Japan and America are best friends (more like suzerain and vassal).

And Kishida is adressing to his people. He is not standing in front of UN to all of a sudden apologise. Context bro. Nobody owes you an apology.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

wallaceToday  07:04 pm JST

Apologies have been given but too many of them sound hollow.

Well, it's like um, your opinion, man

Is it so difficult to offer an annual apology for terrible and tragic wrongdoings? It would help to improve relationships with those countries that suffered.

I am baffled at why you want an apology so much. Whoever wanted to improve relationships with Japan has already did. Japan has a super economy (for now), so your Chinas, your Koreas, your USs, decades ago sorted things with Japan and scratching each others' back. If they are still so pissed, they would have played the sanctions card already.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

What was Japan doing in Asia (empire building) that France, the UK and the Dutch were not doing?

Change that to “had not already done”.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

On August 15 and 16, some Japanese soldiers, devastated by the surrender, committed suicide. Well over 100 American prisoners of war were also murdered. In addition, many Australian and British prisoners of war were murdered in Borneo, at both Ranau and Sandakan, by the Imperial Japanese Army. At Batu Lintang camp, also in Borneo, death orders were found which proposed the murder of some 2,000 POWs and civilian internees on September 15, 1945, but the camp was liberated four days before these orders were due to be carried out.

I'm thinking of those unfortunate souls today.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Mr KiplingToday 05:16 pm JST

What was Japan doing in Asia (empire building) that France, the UK and the Dutch were not doing?

> Japan lost so has to get on its knees every August 15th?

Why not? Germany shows contrition constantly, while Japan reminds the world about their suffering every year on August 6th and 15th without showing any real feeling or remorse for the war they started and the immense suffering they inflicted upon many. As one poster wrote, peace was forced on them. It wasn't something they all of a sudden chose to embrace.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

Isn't that the same floral set up for the Abe funeral in the picture? Or something similar?

Did this event also cost 69 Billion dollars or whatever the price was?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tell_me_bout_it

   wallace

   I did do something about it. I married a Japanese and our families came together.

> Fantastic, mate. Well done, Fair play. But why do you want Kishida to apologise every year? Are you asking your wife to apologise as well?

PM Kishida is in a temporary position. If each year there is a ceremony to mark the surrender of Japan then it can include a short but meaningful apology.

People who committed those crimes already apologized and punished. Governments moved on, so did America. Now Japan and America are best friends (more like suzerain and vassal).

I am sorry but many people who committed war crimes were not even prosecuted. A small section of Class A war criminals were tried and sentenced to death. None of them apologized for their crimes.

And Kishida is adressing to his people. He is not standing in front of UN to all of a sudden apologise. Context bro. Nobody owes you an apology

Every year, other countries like China are watching these events.

I also strongly believe school kids should be taught about the war.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

itsonlyrocknroll

this is a comment from another poster

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opheliajadefeldtAug. 14 12:25 pm JST

*

As a young German my recollections of WW2 history being taught in school are recent, about 7yrs ago. Our teaching was comprehensive and left nothing out, we even had to visit Nazi concentration camps, which is some thing I will never forget. Later as a student of history and P.Science at Uni I learned so much more about what happened the world over, and it was not very pleasant. The war crimes, committed by the Japanese army were atrocious, from China to Indonesia, in fact, in all the Pacific countries they occupied. The murder of unarmed civilians was unparalleled except by the Germans and Russians. Yes, do not forget Stalin, one of the winners. War crimes were committed by all the countries but we do not hear much about the ones who 'won' the war. The history of WW 2 should be taught in every school around the world, but I doubt if this would even resonate with modern students who's grasp on any thing historic is minimal. In fact I have met young students who know nothing of 9/11 in NY. I do not know the depth of what is taught in Japanese schools, but every thing should be included. Every thing.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/u.s.-author-of-wwii-related-book-urges-youth-to-learn-war-history

6 ( +9 / -3 )

heers Mate!Today  08:13 pm JST

Japan always be a victim when it comes to World War II,

And the west always thinks it is the good guy.

Who started the war with the US with a cowardly sneak attack? It'll probably take you a few minutes to figure that out.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Nice try, Fumio! But history has the receipts. The one thing that has changed in my thinking about the Japanese and WW2 is the realization that the Japanese soldiers who did the killing were for the most part young adults, children to a man of my years, who were coerced into uniform and dispatched abroad to kill in the name of the Emperor. They were victims, too, of nationalistic brainwashing by a fascist military government and the dead and the surviving maimed and traumatized deserve our compassion and understanding. But not so those who planned the war that cost the lives of 30 million and more. The correct attitude of Japanese today should be to excoriate and condemn those who launched the wars of aggression against their Asian neighbors and the so-called "ABCD" powers, but, unlike the Germans, those who have ruled post-war Japan have stubbornly refused to condemn the actions of their extreme right-wing militarist predecessors.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

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