politics

Merkel reminds Japan to confront wartime past

127 Comments
By Andreas Rinke

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A change in roles for Angela? She's been on the receiving end of a similar message recently from the fun-loving Greeks who went on a massive shopping spree using German, sorry EU, money.

3 ( +20 / -17 )

Great that she picks up the topic in a respectful way.

Japan should be a leader in an open discourse about WWII and its own crimes. That would lead other states as well to confront their shortcomings.

21 ( +31 / -10 )

“Without big gestures by our neighbors, that would not have been possible ... But there was the acceptance in Germany to call things by their name.”

A very intelligent comment. There is no doubt the leaders of China and Korea are making political capital from this but 'call things by their name' is the uppercut. The stench of the rightists and their revisionism carries much further than Korea and China.

22 ( +33 / -11 )

Angela Merkel .... well said!

But will "they" understand? I doubt it again.

17 ( +28 / -11 )

Japan will never understand, nor will China nor Korea. South East Asia has long moved on to the future. The one who caused the war were long gone. Asking the present and future generations for apology is unproductive.

Have you asked Greece how they feel about Germany Ms. Merkel?

-18 ( +15 / -33 )

Germany is the example that Japan should follow. Their apologies and self-reflection have not been without pain. The Japanese, particularly as they already have cultural emphasis on the importance of "hansei", should follow suit.

Instead in Japan, we see a concerted effort to shift the focus to an argument over the accuracy of casualty statistics or to degrees of coercion, and to push for "correct" figures to be published. This is a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the debate and avoid a German-like confrontation. It gets easier nowadays because those who lived in those times are passing on.

24 ( +35 / -11 )

The rising anti-semitism in Europe, including Germany certainly does not point to anybody confronting the wartime past. It shows that some people have forgotten the past and are doomed to repeat it.

Has Japan shown tried to attack any of its neighbouring countries since 1945? No Has it shown expansionist tendencies since then? No

On the other hand its neighbours , without a trace of apology, have started redrawing their borders.

The way Japan confronts its past is by being pacifist, not by making empty, I apologise therefore I am superior, speeches.

-17 ( +13 / -30 )

It is not Japan that needs to apoloize for its wartime past. It is Japan and all of Europe, including Germany, that need to apologize for their Imperialist past. Why is Japan singled out for doing what everyone else was doing. Japan was just one piece of the pie, and it was a late entry into the Imperialist rampage around the globe. This double standard is what Japanese rightists plenty of fuel to burn. And I'm not a rightist.

-16 ( +15 / -31 )

Excellent diplomacy, especially the way in which she broached the topic. Not chiding Japan or calling out Abe directly, but expressing Japan's need to call things what they were and squarely address history instead of white-washing it -- if they want to get along with neighbours and prosper with them as Germany now does instead of the tensions that exist between Japan and neighbours now.

But, Japan will sweep it under the rug and pretend she never mentioned it, instead focussing more on questions like, "What's your favourite part of Japan?" and insisting she eat Fukushima produce, etc. Abe won't pay any of her remarks any attention otherwise, and with his 'expert panel' consisting of members like the entrepreneur who said Japan was merely defending itself before and during WWII (they never attacked anyone and were not the aggressors) and historians who claim South Korea is making the whole sex-slave thing up, you can bet he's not going to squarely address anything but his own agenda to paint Japan as the victims and the true victims as liars.

This speech of hers shows a LOT about what being a good leader requires, vs. how easy it is to do what a horrible leader like Abe is doing.

23 ( +37 / -14 )

Falling on deaf ears.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

@Smith That is a great comment. However, where do we go from here? I recently had the opportunity to attend an alumni function at my Japanese alma mater where a lecture was given by a well-known history professor whose claim to fame is that modern Japanese history is a series of 25-to-30 year episodes, devoid and divorced from each other. Looked at as a continuum from the Meiji Restoration forward, this argument does have some appeal. However, the major outlier is this denial of history. What certain groups in Japan don't realize is that no matter how much they ignore the past, others who they cannot control (China, South Korea) are just as willing to keep bringing it up, again and again. There doesn't even need to be a denial of history for this paradigm to continue. The simple fact is that by self-denying history, Japan are deceiving nobody but themselves because beyond this sure the propaganda of other countries will just go on and on. Thus, the net result will be a perversion of two extremes, the Japanese blank slate (it never happened) vs. the overseas demonizing of Japan (which will become more and more extreme). Where will it all end up? Perhaps the largest rupture in modern Japanese history is yet to occur, because nobody in power has yet realized that the ongoing denial of the past is a zero-sum game. Accordingly, to put Merkel's speech in perspective, surely Japan would be better served by at least recognizing it in the mainstream media for what it is, rather than denying (or ignoring) what was said.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

It is not Japan that needs to apoloize for its wartime past. It is Japan and all of Europe, including Germany, that need to apologize for their Imperialist past. Why is Japan singled out for doing what everyone else was doing. Japan was just one piece of the pie

And now we're back to the 'well they did it too' excuse.

Which of course is no excuse.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Here is a very good example.

German ----- France Japan ------ Taiwan

Taiwan favors Japanese side.

German ----- Greece Japan ----- China/Korea

Germany rejects Greece's demands for $11 billion of Second World War reparations http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-rejects-greeces-demands-for-11-billion-of-second-world-war-reparations-10035837.html

China/Korea just stay hostile against Japan forever, not just ww2 issue, but territorial dispute island or cultural issue, simply jeaous, and use hatred against Japan to unify thier people, which I think is utterly STUPID.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Merkel is right in that Germany's neighbours were willing to forgive Germany. (France, Poland etc) But that was because Germany showed sincere remorse in the first place - while in Japan apologies have been followed by denials. Thus Germany has moved on, while Japan hasn't

12 ( +22 / -10 )

asking Japan for yet another apology only to please China and SKorea is like asking the Jews and Muslims to stop fighting as both are so used to fighting that its' doubtful either remembers what started them to fight each other in the first place, hence no matter how many times Japan has apologized and paid in the past it seems like it will never be enough

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

hence no matter how many times Japan has apologized and paid in the past it seems like it will never be enough

While Hashimoto, Abe and Ishihara get to deny everything that Japan apologised for - you're right. It will never be enough

8 ( +19 / -11 )

Go to yasakuni and that is enough to remind anybody of the so called "deep remorse" the nutters in Japan have what a sham nothing more than twisted tribute and whoa is us victim crap that is the norm here as far as ww2 and Japan's feelings about it

9 ( +20 / -11 )

After WWII, both Germany and Japan developed a strong pacifist attitude. Concerning the concept of war guilt, Japan deliberately accepted the longer road to reconciliation, while Germany took a short cut, detaching itself from its history and thereby setting a dangerous precedent. YMMV, but I really prefer the Japanese approach and hope Japan will follow it through.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

Abe is preparing to issue a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War Two

A statement prepared, over several weeks by a 16 member panel.

Paid for, like Abe's massive reelection campaign with taxpayer's money.

Yours and mine.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

This

But there was the acceptance in Germany to call things by their name.

And this

China and South Korea also keep tensions alive because history can be a useful political and diplomatic card.

That pretty much covers what's being going on all this time between China, Japan and South Korea.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

would have to agree with Kevin Davis, there isnt really an apology made in Japan and my personal views are that there never will be because its an impossible task. Its much easier and funnier (as in mischief making) to make yasukuni and yushukan visits. There are some that express sincere remorse; but not the majority. As who has the real power in Japan has forever remained a mystery, its easy to see why many dont believe one regime to the next. Agreed, China and Korea taunt Japan for a remorse and stir up trouble, but a part of me realizes that its hard to count anything as sincere.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Angela,

EXCELLENT way to put all this, brilliant! Sadly it will SOAR over the abe & his ilk's heads!!

Japan has had 70yrs to get this sorted & has basically done squat, mumbled several incoherent "apologies" & mixed in with TONS & TONS of outright denials!!! And here we are & Japan wonders why China & Korea have issues.......well DUH!

Like I have been saying this year the 70th anniversary of WWII & abe at the helm .............. it doesn't look good at all because he will either lie big time or if he dares to say what HE thinks it will be a disaster!

Japan could have & SHOULD have put this all to rest decades ago, but no it just hoped the rest of the world would forget, meanwhile it hoped to whitewash without drawing attention to itself...........WELL newsflash it DIDNT WORK!!!

5 ( +14 / -9 )

It is important to note that it took forty years to get to a point when then German President Von Weizsaecher could make his famous pronouncement, which is worth quoting. He said that a relative few might have carried out the crimes, "but every single German could witness what the Jews had to suffer."

A German president holds a ceremonial role, and Von Weizsaecher was not as powerful as then Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Still it was not easy for the former to do what he did because his own father had signed an order to deport Jews to Auschwitz even though the family came from military regiments that opposed Hitler. But Von Weizsaecher nevertheless did what history gave him a chance to do.

There are reasons why the Germans waited forty years. They were divided, but in that division, the French and British had come to value the re-establishment of ties among each other even while the a Soviets dictated a view of the war to the East. Moreover, the Germans could put the responsibility on the Nazis because enough of them had resisted during the war and evolved after the war by embracing history, maintaining the monuments to inhumanity rather than hiding from them. Nuremberg was not about victors' justice but about raising the level of humanity by specifying the principles of crimes against humanity.

Von Weizsaecher just died this last January. Few in Asia might have noticed, but many others understood he was a great man. Can Abe Shinzo accept that his grandfather was imperfect, that tribunals can dispense true justice even if convened by the victors, that Japan's honor has been restored by what it has done since 1945 and dishonored by denying and falsifying what happened until 1945, and that the best way to manage Korea and China is to pre-empt their grievances by taking the higher road to truth and acceptance?

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Kevin DavisMar. 09, 2015 - 05:38PM JST

Go to yasakuni and that is enough to remind anybody of the so called "deep remorse" the nutters in Japan have what a sham nothing more than twisted tribute and whoa is us victim crap that is the norm here as far as ww2 and Japan's feelings about it

So, you say all the people in Japan are nutters.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

She is right. I think confrontation to past is what world needs. All of us. Recognition, or awareness, whatever you name it.

Let me pick up the comfort women issue. I feel sorry for these women and it is appaling that US GOVERMENT NEVER APLOGIZED ON THIS ISSUE. while J-goverment Murayama prime minister already aplogized.

Former Korean 'comfort women' for U.S. troops sue own government http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/11/us-southkorea-usa-military-idUSKBN0FG0VV20140711 Confort women for US soldiers committed suicide, see how they were treated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jlfAqR8uBc

But I were to pick up this issue here, some people will instantly brand me as "Right wing Japanese" and don't even care about this issue. This is exactly what I call "NOT CONFRONTING THE PAST".

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

I am French, and whereas I wasn't born during WWII, we French were able to forgive Germans about the war because they were able to call things by their name, as Merkel said. I think that's a cultural thing to be ambiguous in Japan but this clearly makes things worse.

Japan has often apologized but the apoligizes are always followed by denials. Japanese citizens may say that the denials are marginal. But the fact it that no one in Japan, even left wingers, blames these persons for their denials and there is no law to punish them neither.

In Germany, if someone denies the truth of what happened during WW2, he is blamed by the German public opinion AND punished by the law. That's what make a huge difference in my humble opinion, and that's why things don't move on.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

In response to some posters above, I have never said Japan should not apologize. What should be recognized is that there was a context called "modernization" that all developing countries were going through. It took the form of imperialism. Japan became part of the imperialist international order as an Imperialist nation to avoid becoming a colonized country. An apology has to be from the Imperialist nations, as a group, to the colonized countries. That is the only meaningful apology. And if the US hadn't forced Japan to open up in the first place...

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I am French, and whereas I wasn't born during WWII, we French were able to forgive Germans about the war

Which one?

0 ( +12 / -12 )

There are some important facts:

1) People can't compare post-war Germany to post-war Japan. You should compare post-war Japan to post-war Italy, where the situation was similar. Why? Because Germany was under the control of the US AND the Soviets. The US couldn't whitewash hystory in Germany like they did partially in Japan and Italy, in function anti-communist. In Italy we didn't even get a trial for our war criminals like Nuremberg's or Tokyo's, and today you have Italians who still believe "il Duce" (Mussolini) was great. Her grandchild (Alessandra Mussolini) is in politics, and she often praised her grandpa. And not only her, there's plenty of politicians who sometimes praised Mussolini to some extent (also Mr. Berlusconi did). So, you can't simply ignore the facts that the winners treated Germany, Italy and Japan in very different ways, according to their needs.In Germany the US weren't alone. So, it's not like Germany faced her own hystory better because they are better people. The presence of the Soviets was a huge factor in how the things went. Look at the documentary "Fascist Legacy" made by BBC, it explains how the British and the Americans saved big war criminals like Pietro Badoglio, Mario Roatta and Rodolfo Graziani, just because they needed an anti-communist Italy. The only Italian war criminal took to trial by the British and condemned to death penalty was Nicola Bellomo, an anti-fascist responsible for the death of some British prisoners. 2) Merkel speech was very politically correct, of course. But it wasn't useful. If she wanted to be more pragmatic and direct, che could speak about how she is dealing with the Greece's requests for war reparations TODAY, that is a very similar situation like the one between S. Korea and Japan. But, of course, she didn't speak about actual problems, her words were generic. Italy was the first country that invaded Greece, even though the biggest destruction was brought by the Nazis, this is why the Greeks have nothing agaisnt us Italians, while they still harbor negative feelings towards Germany. But there's also another reason why the Greeks love us Italians (they call us "brothers"), while they despise the Germans (of course not all of them hate Germany, but I'm speaking about the general mood): it's because of the current attitude of Germany towards the Greece. You can side with Germany or the Greece, but you can't deny there are current problems, so it's not HONEST when Germany says she is living pacifically with all her former enemies and victims. It's just a facade, because the current situation in Europe isn't pacific and "happy" at all. I'm not saying it's only Germany's, but that she is portraying a fake image of the current Europe, plus presenting herself like a model in the Far East, where people know few facts or nothing about Europe for sure. And it's also this "we are always a model" syndrome that the Germans still have, that makes many people in South Europe diffident towards them.

I already know I'll get many thumbs down because here there are many Anglo-Saxon people, but if you want a more complex and detailed vision about the situation of post-war and current Europe, these are only some facts. If you prefer to continue to live in your happy bubble where Germany treated properly with her past because they are better than Italy, Japan and any other else just because of her own merits, and currently in Europe there aren't situations like that of Greece requests for war reparations (that Germany continues to deny), it's your own choice, but it is biased. Intellectual honesty is a huge value to me.

-2 ( +19 / -21 )

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, referring to Germany’s own experience, reminded Japan on Monday of the need to squarely confront its wartime past

The Germans needed to apologise because they conducted the mist horrific genocide in recent history. They attempted to wipe out a religion because of an ill-founded belief in racial superiority. They also had to apologise because they lost the war.

The glory always goes to the victors however shameful their intentions might have been and the shame is reserved for the vanquished.

20 years down the line, when there will not be a single minority left in Iraq, will America apologise for starting the Iraq war and starting the endless cycle of genocides.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

I'm not saying it's only Germany's*

I'm not saying it's only Germany's fault, I meant. I forgot the word "fault".

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

No what Japan does to apologise, beijing and seoul will not move on and GET OVER IT

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

It is important to note that it took forty years to get to a point when then German President Von Weizsaecher could make his famous pronouncement,

True, but by 1970 West Germany at least, had fully reconciled with its neighbours, and was even actively pursuing Nazi war criminals itself. Japan can't make the same claim

2 ( +15 / -13 )

"But it is unclear whether Abe will repeat the “heartfelt apology”

Abe can't repeat it because he doesn't feel it in his heart.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Quasar80Mar. 09, 2015 - 06:32PM JST

In Germany, if someone denies the truth of what happened during WW2, he is blamed by the German public opinion AND punished by the law

That is only when denying TRUTH. There are way too many evidence that Korean former ianfu are not telling the truth. http://archives.republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/33317.pdf

Compare 2 version of testimonies by Ms Yong Soo Lee on page 17 and page 19, and 2 versions of testimonies by Ms Koon Ja Kim on page 30 and page 32. They are each contradicting in so many critical points. These are not isolated cases. Just google any name of Korean former ianfu, and you can find multiple versions of contradicting testimonies.

Following is what professor Soh at San Francisco State University had to say,

http://www.amazon.com/The-Comfort-Women-Postcolonial-Sexuality/dp/0226767779/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1QEJ4QETGC15VJ4T29N6#reader_0226767779

(page xvii) Despite its important contribution to the international recognition of wartime sexual violence as a war crime, the Korean redress movement has employed "approximate truths" or strategic exaggerations that have effectively impeded deeper understanding of the comfort women issue and real progress toward its resolution.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

hey germany, compensate for greece.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Japan should be a leader in an open discourse about WWII and its own crimes. That would lead other states as well to confront their shortcomings.

A bit late dont you think? It's been 70 years since the end of the war, and Japan is now looking to rewrite history. Japan can not lead, it doesnt have the will nor desire to admit fault. Unlike Germany Japan has collective amnesia.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Compare 2 version of testimonies by Ms Yong Soo Lee on page 17 and page 19, and 2 versions of testimonies by Ms Koon Ja Kim on page 30 and page 32. They are each contradicting in so many critical points.

You're grasping at straws if you think that disproves the fact that Japan systematically kept sex slaves.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

ulyssesMAR. 09, 2015 - 06:53PM JST The Germans needed to apologise because they conducted the mist horrific genocide in recent history. They attempted to wipe out a religion because of an ill-founded belief in racial superiority.

Same can be said of Japan.

They didn't commit systematic genocide but they did torture, kill and rape millions of men, women and children believing that they are racial superior to other Asians.

Germany grew up, Japan didn't; as much as I love them as a people, they still openly admit to being racial superior to all other Asians.

0 ( +16 / -15 )

It is ironic that, while working toward the same end, some Japanese see criticism from outside their country as interference in a problem best left solved internally.

0 ( +5 / -4 )

People who will give thumbs down (and as I thought; I'm already getting them) show only how biased they are. At least, look at "Fascist Legacy" , and you will understand how important was the role of the Allies in post-war Italy (Japan was in the same situation). Do you think a BBC documentary isn't good enough? It was never showed by RAI (the Italian NHK). Why so many people don't want to know real hystory, but only the usual two or three things that the media tell us everyday? I watched that documentary because I wanted to know more facts about Italian war crimes, and I'm glad I watched it. I hate the "myth" "Italiani brava gente" (Italians are good people), created for us believing that our soldiers weren't cruel as much as the Germans. Some people almost forget that we were allies both with Germany and Japan. Anyway, people shouldn't believe Germany/Italy/Japan were the "evil", while the other Imperialistic powers were "angels". No. Hystory is more complex than this. Also the British Empire, the French Empire, etc. made some horrible atrocities, Imperialism was bad everywhere. And people should also admit the fact that if Japan hadn't started its own imperialistic politics, probably the whole Asia (Japan included) would be still colonized by the Western powers. I'm not saying that Japan acted to save Asia, it acted to protect itself and its own interests. But the result was that it destroyed the idea that the White people were the most powerful. Indeed, the Japanese-Russian war, that Japan won, had a huge impact on the Western imaginary, because for the first time the West saw not-White people defeating White people. These are facts that you should admit and know if you like hystory. It's also true that Japan modernized some of its colonies, while the Western powers usually only exploit their colonies resources. This doesn't change the fact Japan committed some horrible war crimes. It remains in all its evidence. But studying hystory means learn all the facts about it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@igloo,

Yes it think thats one of those fundamentals we were discussing before. Japan didnt grow up, which leads to the next question, why? Well its one of those fundamentals that isnt easily answered. The mickey mouse games of regime changes and blame shifting is all too common in Japan. I guess we have all experienced cases of expecting a simple direct answer but given something else, having to back up and look at everything just to find how amazing complicated the answer given was. One regime apologizes and you expect things to move on but another regime totally disqualifies what the other said, so how can you expect any closure?. All governments do this to some degree but in Japan its just part of the culture, therefore I dont think any apology will ever be finalized.

-3 ( +8 / -10 )

Japan didnt grow up, which leads to the next question, why?

An answer already does exist, but if you want to deny the role of the US in Japanese politics is another matter. Look at how the US contributed to Hatoyama's failure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is a "temple of patriotism" in Germany. This is what an Australian history prof ( Cambridge Uni) called "Walhalla" monument over the weekend on German tv. Now twothousand years of history are assembled there in the shape of some 200 busts of distinguished citizens, latest addition in 2003.

The only temple of patriotism here seems to be called "Yasukuni" focussing on a very limited timeframe but nonetheless blocking entirely any advance in neighborhood diplomacy.

Who will bring forward East Asian affairs?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Okay, people. If you don't want to watch a well done and honest British documentary, at least try to read Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascist_Legacy

Part two The second part, called A Pledge Betrayed, aired on November 8, 1989, exposes British (and American) hypocrisy, >which prevented extradition of 1,200 Italian war criminals (the most wanted were Pietro Badoglio, Mario Roatta and >Rodolfo Graziani), for whom Yugoslavia, Greece and Ethiopia provided full documentation of their crimes.

The documentary's cynical conclusion is Churchills quote about "the better tomorrow with a new world order."

Historical truth If Italian officers were prosecuted by the (British controlled) court at all, they were accused only of the death of the British prisoners of war, but not of the death of the civil population in occupied territories. It was on September 9, 1943, the day of Allies' invasion of the Italian mainland, when anti-fascist Nicola Bellomo then commander of the XII MVSN Zone, formed a makeshift Italian force and counterattacked Germans that tried to occupy the port of Bari [1]. In this successful defence action, general Nicola Bellomo was wounded. As an anti-fascist, general Bellomo may have been considered a threat to the Badoglio government. Nicola Bellomo, as a gesture of military honour, preferred not to escape from the prison when the door was intentionally left open, after he was sentenced to death.

§Non-prosecution of Italian war criminals Yugoslavia, Greece and Ethiopia requested extradition of 1,200 Italian war criminals who were however never >prosecuted because the British and American governments with the beginning of cold war saw in Pietro Badoglio a >guarantee of an anti-communist post-war Italy.

Italian public media Italian public television RAI bought a copy of the film but for years it was never shown to an Italian audience because >it would significantly change the opinion Italians have about their role during World War II - if asked about their >country's role, they will remember Italian partisans fighting the Germans, but when asked about atrocities, Italians will >only remember Tito's troops hurling Italians into ravines after the war without knowing anything about Italian war >crimes against ethnic Slovene civil population, unlike the French who, having deconstructed resistance mythology, >are aware of Vichy, too

After in the 1950s two Italian film-makers were jailed for depicting the Italian invasion of Greece, the Italian public >and media were forced into the repression of collective memory, which led to historical amnesia and eventually to >historical revisionism.

In 2004 only the Italian private channel La7 has shown large excerpts of "Fascist Legacy". Showings of the >documentary were also organized in Italy by groups with an anti-fascist orientation and members of the Slovene >minority in Italy

Germany, with the Soviets in their country, was treated this way? NO? Japan, was treated by the US like Italy? YES! This explains many things, but if you want to deny them, sorry, you are a historical revisionist, and it's shameful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There was no Russian controlled East Japan, Allied controlled West Japan, with a divided Tokyo having to survive by Allied Airlifts of food aid, like Berlin. The Gernan experience post WWII was accentuated by the trauma of national division, beyond a more benign American occupation, which has allowed the next generation in Japan to move ahead more peacefully.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

descendent - "Germany is the example that Japan should follow"?.....This example yes?.......'Making sense of Germany's rightward shift'.... http://www.dw.de/making-sense-of- germanys-rightward-shift/a-18128536

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The full text of Merkel's speech is available online on the webpage of the 'Deutsch-Japanisches Zentrum Berlin'. It is among her most despicable and hypocritical ever but it does NOT CONTAIN A HINT OF REMINDING JAPAN OF ITS WAR CRIMES. She has at least the good sense not to do that. But the scandal of this article is to name Washington in one breath with the victims of Japanese militarism in Asia. JAPAN is the victim of the USA's most montrous war crime in WWII. Before Japan apologizes to anyone the US should apologize to Japan. But instead of this Truman prided himself of his actions; when Bush senior was asked to apologize he derided and offended the Japanese people. I wonder how long it will take until the Japanese people stand up against continuing US occupation and form a coalition with China instead!

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

@itsonlyrocknroll: Some people don't know Europe, her past and present history, they are okay with the stereotype "In Europe everything works, Germany apologized, everyone forgave, the pigs fly, etc." and here you'll rarely read some complex comments about the REAL European situation (the huge increase of extreme right-wing parties, anti-EU parties, anti-islam movements, anti-German feelings, anti-South European feelings, Germany/Greece clash about war compensation, etc. etc.) Europe is a happy island, just because Merkel in Japan said something like that.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Hi Alex80..I don't know where to start, I/we live in this bubble spun to differentiate past misdemeanours. Nuff said.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan don't have to apologize. It's too late. Because any apology that's done because of outside pressure is worthless. Only time may heal. Soon the remaining 250 comfort women in Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, China, etc will be all dead, and there will be no more reminders and calls for Japan to recognize them. And along with that, other issues will die with them as the generation who were victimized die off completely. All I ask from Japan is to stop the antagonisms with its outrageous claims, rhetorics, and statements about their WWII behaviour that keeps reminding their neighboring countries into resenting Japan. Can Japan do that, or is that even too much to ask?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

From the article it sounds like the she parried the question gracefully. Now lets hope her answer survives the translation/distortion/spin. In that regard, I am not holding my breath as far as China and Korea are concerned...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Alex80MAR. 09, 2015 - 08:48PM JST Europe is a happy island, just because Merkel in Japan said something like that.

If Germany would be on the same terms with its neighbours like Japan is now, then something like the EU would have never happened. There were immense diplomatic steps in the past. Imagine my Polish Grandpa was a prisoner in Auschwitz and 40 years later my parents immigrated to Germany! So, the current developments of course give reason to be bothered. But in regards how to deal with its past I think Germany has done a great job so far and will hopefully continue to do so.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Japan didnt grow up, which leads to the next question, why?

Grow up? Japan got to where it is today through a hell of a lot of trial and error, protected for the most part by the US, which allowed it to develop without the need of having to really worry or be concerned about it's own defense. (Which btw COSTS a hell of a lot of money)

Japan should find it's own way in the world, and cut the cord to the US.

But using your analogy here consider Japan as no longer being the adolescent but the parent (USA) not wanting to recognize or allow the "child" to become an adult, and always be dependent upon the adult for support, guidance, and protection. The US NEEDS to let Japan find it's own way, for good or bad, just as a parent needs to let their own child find their own way, and sometimes getting their lumps in the process.

The US has to see Japan as an equal, and needs to amend the treaties between the country's to reflect that as well.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@warausalesman: I already explained how the way Germany, Italy and Japan faced their role in WWII was influenced by the winners strategies, Germany has not any particular merit about it. Currently, the EU is a disaster and you know that many countries want to leave the EU. Something went wrong.

Being in denial, like Merkel is, it's not a good thing.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

I've had several elderly Japanese people tell me how much they admire Hitler for being a great man....

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I've had several elderly Japanese people tell me how much they admire Hitler for being a great man....

You can find people of every age and nationality that think the same, sadly.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

If the we had a minute for every promise or apology pompously perpetuated by our pontificating political elite, hospitals would go out of business because perpetuity would overwhelm us all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, referring to Germany’s own experience, reminded Japan on Monday of the need to squarely confront its wartime past but also signaled that neighboring countries must do their part to achieve reconciliation.

Three cheers. Just yesterday numerous posters were jumping all over China because they made a similar statement -- taking the easy way out -- trashing China because of its human-rights record, rather than addressing the real issue of Japan back-sliding under Abe's "leadership". And I got lots and lots of thumbs-down for saying just that. But, guess what, now a world leader, from a country that has no axe to grind with Japan, has said the same thing. Imagine that. Grow up folks and look yourselves and your country in the mirror, rather than simply fall back on the "attack the messenger" defense.

Great post smithinjapan.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Look at the deniers scrambling to play this down! Shame on you, and everyone who denies history and or tries to white-wash it and proclaim Japan is some kind of victim!! It is YOU Merkel is pointing out as needing to address the facts squarely.

Hachioku: "a/Korea just stay hostile against Japan forever, not just ww2 issue, but territorial dispute island or cultural issue, simply jeaous, and use hatred against Japan to unify thier people, which I think is utterly STUPID."

How Truly sad! Replace "China/Korea" with Japan and you're bang on. Need proof? South Korea isn't the nation bringing up island disputes--in their eyes there isn't one. japan is. So, so much for that argument.

Just own up to the truth, Japan. May sting a bit but you'll then be sable to hold your head up high without the shame of lying about history, and your neighbors will forgive you.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Japan revisionism is a red herring, the legacy of reconciliation will not be achieved by Angela Merkel, referring to "Germany’s own experiences".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Great point Yubaru. Japan should indeed find its own way in the world. However, that is an issue for Japanese & Japan to figure out by themselves. Japan has prospered & enjoys the US umbrella. Which you stated that btw COSTS a hell of a lot of money. Which price is higher? That which runs red with young American G.I. blood or the sacrifices of Japanese who will have to endure the new burden for the rest of their generations?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Good for you, Frau Merle. You have politely embarrassed the pants of Abe.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

descendentMar. 09, 2015 - 03:36PM JST Germany is the example that Japan should follow. Their apologies and self-reflection have not been without pain. The >Japanese, particularly as they already have cultural emphasis on the importance of "hansei", should follow suit.

Japan already apologized and settled with South Korea in 1965 and China in 1972, both nations having benefited from relations with Japan to become where they are today. It's disgusting that these two countries completely ignore "history" and pretend it never happened. Since WWII ended both South Korean and Chinese troops gave killed other nationalties, whereas Japan outlawed war in it's own constitution and it's military have not killed one individual. Germany's military have killed people since WWII. It's China and South Korea that needs to reflect on their own attitude and why they need the crutch of an anti-Japan political position.South Korea which relies on the US-Japan alliance for it's own defense, and China that is actively stealing territory from it's smaller Asian neighbors.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

, kill and rape millions of men, women

igloobuyer, if you believe that, then there is no point discussing really.

Japan committed atrocities and tried to make up for it in the post-war period. They helped both China and Korea and all that they get in return is demand for apologies and more apologies.

Japan grew up, but others did not.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

There needs to be a balance between remembering the past and being chained by it. Japan may not be as conscious of it as it could be, but Germany is also too conscious, to the point where it still controls its European policy. The answer lies somewhere between these two responses.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I've had several elderly Japanese people tell me how much they admire Hitler for being a great man....

About this, you could be surprised by the fact that Hitler is admired by some people also in China. http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/oh-to-be-jewish-in-china/?_r=0

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Odd an and Ulysses: you guys can claim "japan had made up for it" while you deny their wrong doings and support denial of the past all you like. But please stop pretending to be surprised why others question your and and the sincerity of Japanese who deny it. It's really pathetic, especially when you try to downplay Japan's by pointing out wars in other nations. Germany has owned up and SINCERELY atoned for the past -- not denied it -- and yet you can't downplay it by pointing out some of those nations they committed atrocities in because those nations have had problems since. Red herrings.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Pardon the gremlin. Frau Merkel. So why does Japan fess up like Germany? The persistent power of the right wing in Japan. That should be extreme right wing in global terms. I do not only mean the LDP types and other right wing politicians. We have generational right wing terrorist cells that have threatened, assaulted and murdered dissidents in Japan. As Honda Katsuichi why he wears a disguise when he goes out.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing to issue a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War Two

This statement will forever underline Prime Minister Shinzo Abe premiership. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has it within his grasp to reconcile the past or enslave future generations to a legacy of perpetual regret and sorrow for which they are not remotely responsible for.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, referring to Germany’s own experience, reminded Japan on Monday of the need to squarely confront its wartime past but also signaled that neighboring countries must do their part to achieve reconciliation .

Asked how Germany was able to reconcile with its one-time enemies after the war, Merkel said: “Without big gestures by our neighbors, that would not have been possible ... But there was the acceptance in Germany to call things by their name.”

Ok - Mr Abe can be can be quiet and he can gently ask Mrs Merkel - and what about Russia ??

So I can say that between Russia and Germany there are almost the same problems of misunderstanding about WW II as between China and Japan

Germany resolve most of the problems with USA but not with Russia....

Even today for lot of Russian Germany means SS, Gestapo , Abwehr , Auschwitz

And German diplomats really do nothing to change situation

So Mr Abe can be quiet

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Good input Olegek. You brought a nice twist the comments above & this article.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

A certain class of Japanese rode the country into absolute ruin, reckless, insane, narrow-sighted ruin. The vast majority of Japanese at that time were essentially peasants, it was a highly agrarian society that had only just left the era of shoguns, civil war, and three hundred years of isolationism behind them, Japan, forced open, by who? Why did Japan take the path that it did? Of course that in no way mitigates the horror they unleashed, the death marches, Unit 731, the fanaticism etc, etc... but who forced Japan open and set that class of people rampant? A sad, terrible history, one they have to face, but do take into account the cultural aspects the peoples in Korea, China, Japan, they are different culturally, very, they are not based in a Judeo-Christian garb, or Western philosophy.

Also, read what the crown prince recently said, also what Mr murayama said, you all jump onto the entire nation of Japan... but this is Abe and his right wing shysters, not everyone who lives in the Land of the Rising Sun.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

'A sad, terrible history, one they have to face, but do take into account the cultural aspects the peoples in Korea, China, Japan, they are different culturally, very, they are not based in a Judeo-Christian garb, or Western philosophy.'

Germany has contributed some of the greatest, probably the greatest, minds in science and philosophy over the past few centuries. It is the country which produced Luther. It is most definetly 'based in Judeo-Christian garb'. So were the other primitive fascists in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. It seems this didn't prevent the rise of murderous fascism. Many countries, including my own, have behaved at a level lower than animals at various times. Some people in countries who pretend their beloved countries didn't are as low as it gets.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Here's the problem mein kanzler , the Japanese do not share burdens similar to Germany's continuing EU and NATO obligations, which would prompt it to act towards reconciliation as desired by most of humanity.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Merkel meant well. In `1970's Germany was busy regretting WW II and Japan Inc. increased Japan Inc products in Germany, This time, Merkel came to advice Japan to look back WW II. She must be shocked that Japanese Honda Robot greeted her instead of Japan listening her recommendation to go back to WW II era memory.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

When you have people like Abe and his crew wanting to deny and revise their war time past, and enacting policies reflecting it, then it's impossible for Japan's previous apologies to be considered as sincere. If they can truly apologize, and China and Korea still doesn't let it go, than that wouldn't be Japan's problem anymore. Apologists often like to say "China and Korea would always find something against Japan no matter what", but that's not an excuse to deny Japan's wrongdoings in the past. If Japan shows a willingness of sincere remorse, then her neighbors will be more willing to forgive too, just like Germany and her neighbors. However, we know for a fact that Japan is unwilling to do so. Apologists often always say "Why can't China and Korea move on?", but if you see Japan protesting a comfort women monument in California, or their government talking to other governments to remove the term "comfort women", or having public figures saying that Japan "was not the aggressor and were just defending themselves and Asia", and etc, do you think that Japan has moved on as well?

As expected, some people here are going to criticize Germany, but here's the thing, they only use her current disputes with Greece instead of history and WW2......because Germany actually sincerely apologized for what they did. It's almost like these Japan history deniers are admitting their country has done atrocities and not apologize for it every time they argue like this. And I thought wumaos were bad enough......

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Angela Merkel always stirs waters, sometimes in good, other times in bad ways. This time in a good way I see, I'm glad that for once I don't have to feel angry about what she said. She's right about Japan having to atone for the past more sincerely. BUT, just as there are right wingers in Japan, there are right wingers in Germany, and there are right wingers in Italy.

at @Alex80... Well I think we southern European people like each other best from Europe, because we know what we are passing through and share common reasons for disliking the EU, despite our WWII past that is. Because, Europe pulled a chain together and we managed to move on, whilst (northern?) Asia still hasn't moved on, which is a pity.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I feel that rather than repeating the apologies countless times, Japan should just make a penalty law like everytime a politician says something stupid or controversial, they need to pay a penalty fee or increase their tax amount. If that system had been implemented, most politicians in LDP would have received them. Japan cannot afford to to grand gestures at this time when their mainstream media is mostly nationalistic.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Asked how Germany was able to reconcile with its one-time enemies after the war,

"...Greece has an obligation “to our people, to history, to all European peoples who fought and gave their blood against Nazism,” he said.

But the response from Germany was blunt.

“The likelihood is zero,” Sigmar Gabriel, Angela Merkel’s vice-chancellor, told a party meeting in the state of Brandenburg. .."

This is how it's done.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

I agree, Japan should fess up and earnestly apologize. But, really, would it do any good?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Yes, Japan should be apologetic about their deeds. It's only fair. Those that forget their past are doomed to repeat it.

But then Japanese politicians, like all countries' politicians, will always try to play the international politics game for the sake of their own popularity. China, Korea and others that were invaded by Japan will do the same. In that respect, valid though Angela Merkel's words might be, she too is playing the same game by issuing them. Just as when whichever American leader calls themselves the "leader of the free world" yet still wage war where it suits them. Just as IS beheads another innocent just to make their point. Name any political leader and somewhere, somehow, they are guilty of the same thing.

It matters not that Abe might actually do the right thing and issue an unreserved and outright apology because those that will hear it in the rest of south-east Asia probably won't believe a word of it. Not that I am that confident that Abe will actually go that far.

But it's the thought that counts.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@The PeaPos: When you have people like Abe and his crew wanting to deny and revise their war time

They are not denying or revise war time. They just ignore demand because they were not born war time and they havn;t got idea of WW II. All they know is they did not start WW II. Somebody else did. So, Japan used Honda creared Robot to welcome her. Robots do not have WW II memory.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

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 China. But the Japanese were insistent on evading responsibility. They still are, and many Japanese really believe it.

The real message of the war criminals being enshrined at Yasukuni is that no matter what you do, no matter how much suffering you inflict, if you have Japanese blood in your veins you are ok. On the other hand if you are foreigner, no matter how much they have suffered it is not important, you are not Japanese. Considering the suffering inflicted on neighboring Asian countries by Japan is it so hard to call them the 'invasions' that they are rather than 'advances'? If Hiroshima and Nagasaki are crimes then surely Japan's wartime actions are also crimes, why is it so easy for Japanese people to acknowledge A-bomb victims and so hard to acknowledge Asian victims of Japan's wartime aggression? Simple, The A-bomb victims were Japanese and therefore important and the others were foreign and therefore less than human and unimportant. That is the underlying fact that is hard to move beyond that for Japan.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

This statement is what is problematic " Abe is preparing to issue a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War Two, the legacy of which still plagues Tokyo’s ties with China."

No Prime Minister has ever made any statement regarding its own defeat, so why should Prime Minister Abe? Chancellor Angela Merkel has never made such a statement before, so how can she come to Japan and ask Japan's Prime Minister to make such statement. When will Angela Merkel make such a similar headline?

"Merkel is preparing to issue a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of Germany's defeat in War, the legacy of which still plagues Munich and its ties with the Western world."

Where is the hypocrisy? Prime Minister Abe should not even offer a speech.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Ihave been in Germany mrs Merkel. Stop the racism toward tujs. Its sad

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

Nipponation:

" Chancellor Angela Merkel has never made such a statement before, so how can she come to Japan and ask Japan's Prime Minister to make such statement. When will Angela Merkel make such a similar headline? "

Firstly, German chancellors and presidents make such statement every year, and secondly, Merkel did not choose to bring up the topic, she was asked about it and had to respond. Which she did quite diplomatically. What is your point??

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@yubaru

*But using your analogy here consider Japan as no longer being the adolescent but the parent (USA) not wanting to recognize or allow the "child" to become an adult, and always be dependent upon the adult for support, guidance, and protection. The US NEEDS to let Japan find it's own way, for good or bad, just as a parent needs to let their own child find their own way, and sometimes getting their lumps in the process.

The US has to see Japan as an equal, and needs to amend the treaties between the country's to reflect that as well.*

Ive processed that thought as well, that is that its the US fault for Japans lack of accountablity and adolescent behavior but it doesnt add up or can be used as a perpetual excuse because they have had more than enough time to acknowledge and move past the war but so many continue to wallow in it. Agreed, the US provides the paternal bond that is important in Asian culture (master / servant relationship). If this relationship discontinued, who would be the new parent? There is no real accountablity or checks and balances. I think you can only blame the US for so long until you realize you must examine the fundamentals.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To really understand this...just look around you!! Here, nowadays, Japanese people will decline apologizes to foreighners. They will, of course, gesture bows of excuse me for this and that, and on more severe issues, express sorries - but deep-down apologies?? As many of you here have already posted, they only do so among themselves. Sad, but true. But I still keep myself optimistic on the matter. Hope for best outcome.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"We apologize for our role in advancing the cause of Imperialism, which we learned from Europe. We should have helped Asia free itself from European invaders. Our bad."

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

while you deny their wrong doings

@smithinjapan, show me where I deny wrong doings.

There is no doubt Japan committed wrong, but its time people got over it. Everything Japan has done since 1945 has been to make up for the wrongs committed during and before the war. Do you need them to wake up every morning rub their noses to the ground and grovel to the Chinese and Koreans.

I bet if they did that people still would not be satisfied.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Everything Japan has done since 1945 has been to make up for the wrongs committed during and before the war.

Riiiiight.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Everything Japan has done since 1945 has been to make up for the wrongs committed during and before the war.

Nope. They have paid "blood money" to some of their victims. But giving money, and showing remorse are two different things. Every statement of remorse a Japanese leader has made has been contradicted many times over by other politicians. Until that cycle stops, Japan can make no further progress with its neighbours

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Oh man. With so many urgent current problems, do we really have to obsess about the proper way to atone for what happened 70 years ago? I completely understand why the Chinese and Korean governments are hell-bent on keeping the issue alive, but foreign residents in Japan?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I completely understand why the Chinese and Korean governments are hell-bent on keeping the issue alive, but foreign residents in Japan?

Just because we weren't directly affected by what China and Korea endured doesn't mean we shouldn't feel disgust at Japan's attempts to cover it up

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And today in the infamous rag of a "newspaper" the "Japan News" reported on Angela M's trip & was kind enough to completely OMIT the most important bit about Japan's WWII history & utter lack of atonement, glad to see such BLATANT censorship, NOT!

Japan continues to dig itself in deeper, I don't have a good feeling about 2015!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ulysses: "Everything Japan has done since 1945 has been to make up for the wrongs committed during and before the war. "

No, everything that they have done has been to try and deny, and cover it up; to say, "forget it already and move on" when it was them who committed the atrocities, and to "never forget" when they were the victims. To play down the former and play up the latter. Demand love and attention, and deny wrong doing or blame someone else when they do wrong. You are doing that here as well. No one is going to 'get over it' until Japan is sincere about atoning -- and that does not include denial, cover-ups, and forming panels of right-wing nationalists to 'make a new apology'. In the past few weeks I have heard countless people refer to colonization and brutal atrocities as "benevolent governing and defending of Asia"; to slaughters and sex-slavery as "lies and propaganda", etc.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I guess nobody here went to public school in Japan. In history we study about the war. And teachers are very leftist. They prepare "supplementary materials" to detail what the official history books lack. I still remember some photographs a teacher showed in class of what happened to some Chinese almost 20 years ago. I won't describe the content here. We do know more than you think.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@gokai

How is seeking to tell the truth "leftist"?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

But giving money, and showing remorse are two different things.

Woo, so remaining peaceful, not starting any new wars is not enough for your likes. You want them to grovel on a daily basis until somebody with a vague idea of right and wrong can decide they have shown enough remorse.

"forget it already and move on"

More like stop soaking in self-pity and do something useful. Whining about past wrongs will not make the future right. The countries which cry loudest for apologies are the ones which have gone on to commit worse atrocities. I say shame on such countries which try to deflect attention from their own brutal pasts and present by raking up old issues.

Shame is also on the on those who, basking in the glow of their perceived self-righteousness, unwittingly serve as the propaganda tools for such regimes.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

now even japan's other western allies does not trust Abe is sincerely to make peace with neighboring countries.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is a brave and good thing that Germany dare to confront its ugly past and Japan should learn from them. Nobody wants to continue living in the past right ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Germany has huge investments in China so there goes Merkel.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I have said it before and I'll say it agaain: no matter what Japan does, seoul and beijing wont let them forget the war or move on from it

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Germany has been generous in recognizing its role in WWII atrocities and aggressions. Where is Japan's monuments, museums, holidays, laws banning denials in recognitions of its victimized neighbors and minorities living within Japan under what the UN calls "deep and profound racism"????

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Jay WilsonMAR. 11, 2015 - 02:15AM JST I have said it before and I'll say it agaain: no matter what Japan does, seoul and beijing wont let them forget the war or move on from it

============================================

The same with Hollywood and Germany. No matter how Germany do good, Hollywood create anti Nazi theme added TV show all the time. Maybe Lynda Carter;s wonder Woman was top viewed show for a long time but it sure knoves to degrade Germany.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wonder Woman was creared in 1970s and MeTV channel televise on Saturday every week. Somehow Japan related comments in TV shows used to be explaining cheao imitation antiques as Made in Japan. The time changed and now mystery solving of antiques say Made In China, Japan attacked USA so Hollywood can make TV shows like they do for Germany.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think a few above have made the point that for years -- even today -- France, the US and the UK have vilified the Germans (Nazi's) over and over and the Germans have very little to say about. The Japanese on the other hand tend to take offense to such portrayals. When North Korea went nuts over "The Interview" I had to laugh at how childlike the regime there was. But at the same time -- "Unbroken" came out and while the government did not outright ban the movie -- there was enough of a movement to prevent the film from being released.

Phrases like "Get over it" etc. do not help the dialog here. The Current Western allies of Germany haven't "gotten over it" completely either. Not until 2013 did Germany join D-Day memorials. It takes time but Germany has gone above and beyond -- fully acknowledging it's place in WWII. I went to University there and we were required to take classes (with Germans) that reviewed the horrors of the war. Not just the fire bombings of Dresden etc. but the role the German populace played as well. This Honesty allows the Germans to embrace the heroes of this time as well -- Like the White Rose movement (whose leaders were beheaded for opposing Hitler).

Japan has yet to have an honest national discussion that embraces its past. This leads to the current revisionist movements that quit frankly never learned any better.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Its been too many years after WW2. Why have remorse of something. I WASBT ALIVE back then.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

AramaTaihenNoYouDidntMar. 10, 2015 - 09:09AM JST

Here, nowadays, Japanese people will decline apologizes to foreighners. They will, of course, gesture bows of excuse me for this and that, and on more severe issues, express sorries - but deep-down apologies??

Two questions. How many Japanese nowadays are directly responsible for what happened 70 years ago?

How many "foreigners" nowadays are actual victims of what happened 70 years ago and are due receivers of the apologies?

You also take into account the facts that war criminals were punished, that apologies were made, and that reparations were made in the form of economic aids.

The descendants of victims demanding "deep-down apologies" from descendants of perpetrators even after everything was settled by the perpetrators and victims decades ago is just strange. What is the meaning of "deep down" in this case? Can a person make a "deep down" apology for what he did not commit?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You know what C3P0? You can claim ignorance as to what is expected, and that is your right. But this problem will go on indefinitely as long as you take that stance. Assuming you would like the problem to go away, you should research what is expected, rather than ignoring the multitude of times it's been pointed out here. Unless you want this problem to continue that is, in which case you should continue with the exact stance you are taking.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

StrangerlandMar. 11, 2015 - 11:36AM JST

what is expected

What is expected is to tell the truth. The problem is that there are too many Koreans who cannot accept the truth, and there are too many Westerners who blindly support them saying facts are irrelevant.

I am open to criticism based on facts. But all you do, Strangerland, is criticism based on your policital preference.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

But all you do, Strangerland, is criticism based on your policital preference.

Far from it. I think you'll find yourself in the minority here. Japan has a responsibility to the rest of the world to say the right thing on August 15th

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When I was in Frankfurt we got a tour with a tour guide who must have been the only Nazi left in the country. He'd start to say something about Jews then correct himself, "Well, being German I can't say anything about the Jews, you know." It was pure comedy after a few hours of this.

No, this is a complex issue. No country faces up to its own past without bias. My (right wing) sister has gotten mad at me for talking about American massacres in Vietnam, saying "That was a long time ago!" when it was barely two generations ago. Modern Germans have this thing about "Hitler was from Austria, so really, we were invaded by Austrian Nazis, and it was all them that did those things, not us at all." Every country has some version of this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

True, but at least Germans have come to terms with it. They KNOW what they did

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

CH3CHO MAR. 11, 2015 - 03:47PM JST

The problem is that there are too many Koreans who cannot accept the truth, and there are too many Westerners who blindly support them saying facts are irrelevant.

Of course Koreans are always guilty. Good that you have a culprit, CH3CHO, to justify your upside down worldview... at least in front of yourself.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hey Merkel, about that 150 billion Euro's Greece is demanding from Germany for WW2?????

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Germany has no outstanding debts to the countries that suffered from its aggression, and moreover Germans are fully aware of what they did, in every detail. Go out on the street, and ask the average Japanese what they did in WW2. "I don't know..." will likely be your answer

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

proxy.

" Hey Merkel, about that 150 billion Euro's Greece is demanding from Germany for WW2????? "

The 150 billion Euro that Tsipiras is demanding are a polemical cheapshot by a desparate politician forced into a corner by his own rethoric. They are related to troubles caused by the Euro currency system and have no historical basis. Don´t confuse propaganda and facts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Apology should not be resulting from coaching pressing shaming or threatening it should come from the hearts of perpetrators to be accepted as a true apology.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They are related to troubles caused by the Euro currency system and have no historical basis. Don´t confuse propaganda and facts.

Exactly. Germany has propped up Greece's economy for years

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Its been too many years after WW2. Why have remorse of something. I WASBT ALIVE back then.

@KiyoshiMukai - Nobody is asking you to feel personally guilty. What is being asked is that you acknowledge the crimes of your grandfather's generation, and stop denying the past atrocities. You already know this, but still choose to go with "I didn't personally kill anybody" line.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I am curious....Would it not mean more if someone from the Royal-Emperor's family made a heart felt apology? Were they not consulted during the war, did they not have any input as to what was being done? If the eldest member of the Royal family made an apology on behalf of all Japanese past and present... also addressing the issues at hand should that not leave no doubt in anyone's mind as to the sincerity of Japan. Even if the oldest member of the family was only a child at the time of the war, one would have to think that such an apology should lay the issue to rest.

Is it wrong to ask the Royal family to do such as thing?... Or have they already done so? I do not know...I am merely asking.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Merkel is right in that Germany's neighbours were willing to forgive Germany. (France, Poland etc) But that was because Germany showed sincere remorse in the first place - while in Japan apologies have been followed by denials. Thus Germany has moved on, while Japan hasn't

Agree with you. For every apologize made by a Japanese, there will be another Japanese who deny it making the apologize null/void.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Merkel reminds Japan to confront wartime past

Interesting, Merkel has had the same thing happening in her back yard and what she did was a bit different than what she is telling the Japanese to do.

Let's play a game, I'll call it ,"What did Merkel do when the Socialist government of Greece demanded a Trillion Euro's and more apologies."

A. Merkel apologized to the victims of German aggression (again) and then paid the Trillion Euros?

or

B. Germany told the Greeks to go and shove it where the sun don't shine and reminded them that all that was taken care of with the treaty both parties signed?

To help folks out I have provided some links.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/09/12/does-germany-really-owe-greece-a-etrillion-in-war-reparations-probably-not-no/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/11/greece-sours-german-relations-further-demand-war-reparations

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/12/german-anger-over-greek-demand-for-war-reparations

Hypocrisy.........

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

No, not really. Germany has more than made amends for its WW2 misdemeanours. It's gone above and beyond, and educates its people on what happened. Japan can't say the same

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Christopher GlenMar. 16, 2015 - 12:56PM JST No, not really. Germany has more than made amends for its WW2 misdemeanours. It's gone above and beyond, and educates its people on what happened. Japan can't say the same

I wouldn't call the murder of countless Millions of human beings a misdemeanours/misdemeanor, I would call it a huge crime against humanity.

But, I am not a Liberal....So, your view and mine are very different....Where I see a crime against humanity, you on the other hand see a simple case of misdemeanours/misdemeanor....

Same as the crimes committed by the CPC and the KML during their civil war.

But, I understand your sides attempt to minimize Germany's atrocities and trying to hide the CPC's and KML's atrocities. It's an effort to promote your sides attempt at shaming Japan into paying more. It's a typical strategy that has come and gone on more than one occasion over the last 70 years.

Christopher GlenMar. 16, 2015 - 12:56PM JST It's gone above and beyond, and educates its people on what happened. Japan can't say the same

Are you trying to claim that the Fascists, Nazis' and Communist anarchist are no more in Germany? Or are you trying to paint a rosy picture where one doesn't exist?

Which is it?

Tell me a joke, what happened to all the French Vichy leaders? wink wink

Hint, nothing......

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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