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Murayama urges Abe to follow his lead on war apology

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Abe and the Japanese goverment should follow the examples that were set by Merkel. If you notice recently, the German chancellor flew to the Russian capital to lay a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Soldier, close to the Kremlin. Merkel said "History teaches us that we must do anything possible to resolve conflicts, however, difficult they may be, peacefully and through dialogue". But your talking about Japan. I doubt any Japanese leaders will go to China to lay a wreath in Nanking.

30 ( +31 / -5 )

Good man.

Japan needs far more of these kinds of balanced, strong statesman-like voices of opposition to show that debate and differences of opinion are alive and well in contemporary Japan and that Shinzo Abe's propensity for re-writing the past in unacceptable and is not universal sentiment.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

But, it's not only about words. They also need actions to back up the apology. At least Hashimoto will be out of the picture soon, hopefully.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Beijing and Seoul vociferously argue that Tokyo has not properly atoned for its actions in the 1930s and 1940s, and does not fully accept its guilt,

Japanese government tied treaty with China and South Korea and paid huge amount of reparations to both countries. They also apologized repeatedly. What should they do more? German apologized to only victims of the Holocaust. They have never apologized for going to war.

http://www.jiyuushikan.org/e/reparations.html

Korea 1965 108 billion yen (Indemnity & grants), 72 billion yen (Loans)

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E3%81%AE%E6%88%A6%E4%BA%89%E8%B3%A0%E5%84%9F%E3%81%A8%E6%88%A6%E5%BE%8C%E8%A3%9C%E5%84%9F

China ODA more than 3 trillion yen. Japanese property donated to China after WW2 more than 200 billion yen.

-21 ( +4 / -25 )

Japanese government tied treaty with China and South Korea and paid huge amount of reparations to both countries. They also apologized repeatedly. What should they do more?

If you have to ask that, you obviously haven't read up much on the matter.

17 ( +20 / -4 )

Sunrise777 MAY. 19, 2015 - 07:57AM JST Japanese government tied treaty with China and South Korea and paid huge amount of reparations to both countries. They also apologized repeatedly. What should they do more? German apologized to only victims of the Holocaust. They have never apologized for going to war.

Japan’s direct compensation payments both to war victims and their heirs have totaled only $1 billion. This contrasts remarkably with Germany’s record. The compensation figures from a decade ago, Germany’s payments to victims and their heirs had exceeded $70 billion. The contrast is all the more remarkable for the fact that Imperial Japan’s victims outnumbered those of the Nazis by at least three to one. The truth is that most of Japan’s victims, including millions in China, have not received a penny. And in the small minority of cases in which compensation has been paid, the sums have been laughable.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

An apology is only an apology if it's truly heartfelt. The actions of some Japanese politicians show that the words are empty. The actions of the state show that the words are empty, specifically with regard to sex slaves. And perhaps most importantly, Japan, as far as I know, is not teaching an honest and true portrait of the actions of the state and individuals to its children. Without this, all words are empty of genuine acknowledgement.

21 ( +22 / -2 )

China and South Korea agreed to the treaties. Moreover, Japanese Imperial Army did not systematically excuted deeds such as the Holocost. German did not paid for going to war itself. Of cource, they did not pay to the government of USSR.

-24 ( +2 / -25 )

Shame there is no one like him in the current Japanese political environment that is standing up and being counted on matters like this. Knowing Abe he will say something along the lines of "I agree with what has been said BUT....."

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Murayama, with his statement, has the air of a leader. I'm sure the man loves his country as much as the next guy, but that he also understands the value of speaking honestly and acknowledging that Japan did many wrongs in history. If Japan had more such leaders, I'm sure this wouldn't be such an issue now.

It is pathetic to see how defensive the Japanese are. It reeks of insecurity and minority complex when the government (and people in general, including commenters here, no less) try to re-write history, and dupe their fellow man into believing in a history that is not accurate. Japan of today is not honest and forthcoming about history and that is why China and Korea pounce on this issue. It is too easy.

15 ( +17 / -3 )

Former Prime Minister Tomichi Murayama, whose 1995 statement is widely seen as the high watermark of Japanese contrition for historic wrongdoing, said the words of the country’s leader carried real gravitas.

“If it had just been my personal statement, it would have had little value, but it was adopted by the cabinet and so its weight is different,” Murayama said in Tokyo Monday.

But the 91-year-old Murayama said Abe appears ready to “dilute” the apology when he makes his own statement later this year.

“I think that’s wrong,” he added.

Spot on all elements. Wisdom born of age.

8 ( +14 / -7 )

Japan has done many good and useful things over the past 50 years the albatross of its militaristic and imperialistic past will continue to hang a lodestone around its neck until it fully recognizes and atones for its past crimes against humanity. All full and unequivocal apology from the nation is not only needed, it is necessary if Japan expects to be accepted as a stalwart leader of the free world. Japan can do this. It can make the kind of apology that will endear it to most of the free world, especially to most of Asia. Apology freely requires a good deal of courage. When someone truly apologizes, they put honesty and honor above personal conduct or self-protection. The bottleneck is pride and nationalism. By humbling themselves before the rest of Asia and the world, they will gain a status and stature that at the present is only an unobtainable dream. In the end what it doesn't understand is that money does not buy forgiveness.

12 ( +11 / -0 )

Abe said he may not issue a direct apology for Japan’s past aggression, saying as long as he says he agrees with what was written in the previous statements, “I don’t think I need to write it again”.

That statement says everything. What a wimpy way to say "I don't stand behind the apology at all, but international pressure keeps me from expressing my real opinion".

On the international stage Abe's pretentious display of strength and resolve is... a paper tiger.

9 ( +9 / -1 )

He can urge all he wants. Mr Abe is a law unto himself

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Good on Murayama, although I guarantee it'll fall on deaf ears with Abe and the right-wing crowd. Murayama is a truly wise man who can recognize the folly of war, and Japan's atrocities, and it is through that kind of recognition and attempts at contrition that Japan and those it wronged can move forward together. With the kind of speech and actions Abe is making, however, ANY and all progress Japan has made since being defeated in WWII is null and void in the light of his insincerity, his denial, and his lies.

Let's spread Murayama's statement, and Abe's refusal to own up to history, and hope there is further pressure for Abe to change his ways (never in his heart, I know, but at least in public on the surface).

9 ( +14 / -5 )

This should be the new statement. "What is past, is past. We don't talk about it anymore."

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Abe Lincoln, "Abe" Murayama, yes, but "Abe" Abe?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"“If it had just been my personal statement, it would have had little value, but it was adopted by the cabinet and so its weight is different,” Murayama said in Tokyo Monday."

Is Murayama aware that his apology is considered "not sincere" by China ajnd South Korea and therefore doesn't mean squat?

-17 ( +3 / -19 )

@Sunshine – Yes, Japan has made many apologies and has paid quite a bit back to the countries that it damaged, however those apologies are all useless jibber jabber if…..

History is not taught correctly in schools and when it is people scream foul and that teaching true history is spirit breaking falsehoods and grossly exaggerated. The country plays the victim card every August and never talks about its negative past deeds. Politicians continue to downplay events of the war and make excuses for them and try to say that certain events did not happen. Call the comfort women common prostitutes.

Their actions make apologies and reparations meaningless. How many times have you seen the atrocities on Japanese TV actually shown? But then again how many times have you seen some blowhard on TV saying that falsehoods were being spread and that Japan was not guilty of so many terrible things? Many, many times. How many times have you seen the Philippine massacre shown on Japanese TV? Do you know how many people were massacred?

One Japanese order read, "The Americans who have penetrated into Manila have about 1000 troops, and there are several thousand Filipino soldiers under the Commonwealth Army and the organized guerrillas. Even women and children have become guerrillas. All people on the battlefield with the exception of Japanese military personnel, Japanese civilians, Special Construction Units, will be put to death."

Has that ever been shown on Japanese TV? I think not. Anytime that a negative light has been shown on Japan’s WWII past, the TV station has been inundated with angry telephone calls and death threats. Why? Because the politicians here have coddled the Japanese public for votes and told you that you are the victims of an evil plot by the Chinese and Koreans and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So many times on Japanese TV we have been shown the lives of Japanese suffering, never have I seen a drama depicting the lives of its victims. Apologies have been made and money has been paid in full is all I ever hear from Japanese people as if that should be enough? As if you should be allowed to just say, “GET OVER IT. We don’t believe it really happened as you say”. That is not the way that it should be at all and that is why Japan will never have peace with China in the Koreas. It needs to follow Germany’s great example.

Both countries have apologized to their victims, but in different ways. One apologized without conditions and excuses. The other apologized with conditions and excuses. Both countries paid a lot of money to their victims. One country is teaching history in its schools. The other is not following suit.
10 ( +13 / -4 )

Is Murayama aware that his apology is considered "not sincere" by China ajnd South Korea and therefore doesn't mean squat?

Denials by Abe and Hashimoto have certainly rendered it moot

9 ( +13 / -5 )

Well spoken Mr. Murayama!

Wish others, especially the present PM would follow your footsteps!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Is Murayama aware that his apology is considered "not sincere" by China ajnd South Korea and therefore doesn't mean squat?

When have either of these countries ever said that?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Is Murayama aware that his apology is considered "not sincere" by China ajnd South Korea and therefore doesn't mean squat?

Ossan -- really??? Prove that with a single direct comment by either SK or China about his apology at the time it was stated and adopted by the cabinet. Please stop stating things as fact that are simply figments of your fertile, biased imagination.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

@Sunrise777

If you don't mind, but please let me correct you and .......

Germany never apologized to the Holocaust victims only!

Germany did apologize to all countries that were drawn into this unholy war!

German presidents and chancelors went to those countries and are still going there for apologies without denying that Germany was at fault!

Money alone doesn't make it! And Germany has paid a lot until now, as others have already stated. Turning around the facts won't either. But this is exactly what is happening in Japan at the moment! Just look at the textbooks of (also) junior high school students.

School children should be taught the truth about their history, whether the good or the bad points. I don't see this happening here!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

If abe has any balls(very un-likely!!) in Aug he will come out & FULLY endorse BOTH Murayama-san & the Kono-san apologies! He will announce they have become OFFICIAL in Japan!

After announcing this & adding more about the sex slaves(truth this time!! NOT BS!), THEN he will add about Japan's 70yrs of peace since WWII etc.

Yeah I know a pipe dream, HOWEVER the above is EXACTLY whats needed this Aug, will abe deliver

Sadly I cant see him doing so, I cant see him doing right. If him just mumbles a bit under his breath Japan will have lost its greatest chance to break free of its pathetic stances on WWII etc

So Japan what will YOU do!?!?!?!

Please I BEG you, prove me wrong! I would love to be wrong!

10 ( +11 / -2 )

School children should be taught the truth about their history, whether the good or the bad points. I don't see this happening here!

I heartily agree

10 ( +12 / -4 )

This guy Murayama truly love his country Japan while Abe is only good at shaming Japan.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Beijing and Seoul vociferously argue that Tokyo has not properly atoned for its actions in the 1930s and 1940s, and does not fully accept its guilt,

This means Murayama's 1995 apology was a failure.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

This means Murayama's 1995 apology was a failure.

Thanks to Abe.

But the 91-year-old Murayama said Abe appears ready to “dilute” the apology when he makes his own statement later this year.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@CH3CHO

Did you read the rest of that sentence?

... insisting that the Murayama Statement is the standard against which future utterances be judged.

Like other commenters have already mentioned, it's not Murayama's Statement that's the problem. It's the attitudes of politicians that have followed him. His statement could be perfect, but if current leaders like Abe consider it "masochistic," it does make you wonder if Japan has really accepted it's past.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

"This should be the new statement. "What is past, is past. We don't talk about it anymore."

Murayama said in a recent NHK interview that what needed an apology needed an apology. Unfortunately Abe doesn't think that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This means Murayama's 1995 apology was a failure.

No it doesn't. It means all the deniers that have come after have undermined his apology.

9 ( +10 / -2 )

Murayama-san, you go, dude! 91 years old and you are still eager, willing and able to get involved and speak your mind. And to do so coherently and with purpose. Hats off to you!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

MrBumMay. 19, 2015 - 01:37PM JST

Did you read the rest of that sentence?

... insisting that the Murayama Statement is the standard against which future utterances be judged.

Yeah, but who said that? It is only the writer of the article who said that, I am afraid. If any high ranking official of Korea or China has said so, please let me know.

On the other hand, this is what we hear all the time.

Beijing and Seoul vociferously argue that Tokyo has not properly atoned for its actions in the 1930s and 1940s, and does not fully accept its guilt,

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Judging from the comments from Japanese contributors here Japan is failing to educate its people about the realities of its wartime aggression which leads to the growing attitude, "the whole world is deliberately trying to make Japan look bad". A dangerous direction.

7 ( +8 / -2 )

Here are list of Japanese that deny their war atrocities.

Japanese PM denies wartime 'comfort women' were forced http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1544471/Japanese-PM-denies-wartime-comfort-women-were-forced.html

Shinzo Abe’s inability to face history http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/shinzo-abes-inability-to-face-history/2013/04/26/90f5549c-ae87-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html

Hashimoto denies "comfort women" were sex slaves http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130519/hashimoto-denies-comfort-women-were-sex-slaves

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara: There was no Nanking Massacre http://shanghaiist.com/2012/03/03/to...shihara_th.php

Nagoya mayor sticks to 'Nanking Massacre' denial http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_...AJ201202280033

NHK Governor: Nanjing Massacre ‘Never Happened’ http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/nhk-g...ever-happened/

Banned manga depicting Nanjing Massacre http://www.mutantfrog.com/2005/04/11/banned-manga-depicting-najing-massacre/

12 ( +14 / -2 )

CH3CHO,

Yeah, but who said that? It is only the writer of the article who said that, I am afraid. If any high ranking official of Korea or China has said so, please let me know.

The way it's phrased implies that some Chinese/Korean official or academic with an opinion that matters said it. A serious journalist wouldn't just throw that in there based on nothing. I'm not going to search for exact quotes, but I'm sure I've heard of Chinese/Korean officials praising the Kono and Murayama Statements.

On the other hand, this is what we hear all the time.

I agree but maybe that's because we hear about high ranking Japanese officials downplaying their role in history just as often.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Sorry, didn't post properly some of the link.

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara: There was no Nanking Massacre http://shanghaiist.com/2012/03/03/tokyo_governor_shintaro_ishihara_th.php

Nagoya mayor sticks to 'Nanking Massacre' http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201202280033

NHK Governor: Nanjing Massacre ‘Never Happened’ http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/nhk-governor-nanjing-massacre-never-happened/

7 ( +8 / -1 )

In 1970 Willy Brandt the German premier got on his knees in Warsaw and won the worlds respect with such a simple gesture.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

It's also worth noting that Murayama's Statement was divisive even during its time.

From a NY Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/16/world/japanese-apology-for-war-is-welcomed-and-criticized.html):

"No sooner had Mr. Murayama concluded his remarks than minister after minister made a pilgrimage to the Yasukuni Shrine, a place that honors the Japanese dead and worships as gods the Japanese soldiers who died in battle, including military war criminals. "

Even more proof that the shrine visits are used by right-wing politicians as a way of showing their true colors and loyalties, and not just praying for peace like they claim.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This decision comes after a group of 37 local assembly members complained that passages from “Kuni ga Moeru” (“The Country is Burning”) printed in the magazine’s Sept. 16 and 22 editions “distorted history” by describing Japanese soldiers massacring civilians in the Nanjing Massacre of 1937.

The politicians claim no such massacre took place. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2004/11/12/national/manga-account-of-nanjing-massacre-axed-amid-protests/#.VVrczdxmUbI

What a bunch of bullshit by the Japanese politician. Aww...man. I want to read the manga but too bad it's been ban.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Another strawman argument.

He pointed out that there is no documentary evidence that Japanese army abducted Korean women for Ianfu.

That's true, because they were abducted to be sex slaves. That's the word you're looking for. There you go.

Your world is very convenient for you. So, discount everyone and all that they are saying just cause you found a few slight errors and provide no information to the contrary. Too convenient. Oh, and I never said that Korean woman was a liar. YOU DID.

Precisely

5 ( +10 / -4 )

Wise elderly statesman.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

sandiegoluv: Absolutely disgusting, isn't it? People like CH3CHO will use uyoku 2-channel posts as 'proof' that things they were not around to witness happened, while discrediting, with nothing but the opinion of Japanese 'scholars' (ie. right-wing nuts who got their degrees through nepotism) and politicians who were also never there, the accounts of people who WERE there and who suffered greatly under the Imperial Army of Japan. What's worse are people like Ossan who claim the women were all prostitutes and all Koreans did it willingly (in fact, he goes so far as to state Korean prostitutes are the reason for today's human trafficking, etc.!), and the men were all keen on employment in the Japanese army and willingly carried out slaughters (which the Japanese, of course, never had anything to do with!). No one was coerced, no one forced, and Japan was just helping its neighbours in defense of Asia! That's the beautiful Japan Abe and Co want to present you with, and the reason why EVERY nation in the world (despite the denial of wingers) mocks Japan for its lack of contrition. You point out a Dutch woman who was forced into sexual slavery and raped, they ignore it and claim only South Korea and China want apologies and the truth admitted and apologies. Show Japanese IAJ troops who admit to kidnapping women and watch them either just ignore it altogether or claim those men have faulty memories while the people who were never there know better.

And they wonder why they need to keep apologizing (despite those who need to ask why wanting to repeal any apologies in the first place).

CH3CHO: "Koreans were Japanese citizens at that time. Why would Japanese army abduct its own citizens?"

FORCED into taking citizenship, then stripped of it later. And it's funny, in a pathetic way, that you would call them Japanese citizens because whenever you point out that Japanese blood is full of Korean ancestry, like that of the Imperial family, and people like you go ballistic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

but who said that? It is only the writer of the article who said that, I am afraid. If any high ranking official of Korea or China has said so, please let me know.

How about this:

China will question Japan's commitment to peace if it adopts an ambiguous or defiant stance regarding its wartime actions, Beijing's ambassador to Tokyo told the English-language China Daily newspaper in an interview published on Friday.

China hopes Japan will "take a correct attitude, stick to its previous correct positions and statements, including the Murayama Statement.

Source:http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0M905020150313

2 ( +4 / -1 )

Lone words whispering in the wind.

Waste of time to even hope.

Just cut off all relations with this country Japan, they are not worth the effort.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You'll have to come up with better supporting evidence than that

-3 ( +1 / -3 )

StrangerlandMay. 19, 2015 - 07:20PM JST

China hopes Japan will "take a correct attitude, stick to its previous correct positions and statements, including the Murayama Statement.

Thank you. That would be nice. So, with regard to China, this part of the article was wrong, and Japan fully accepted its guilt with Murayama Statement.

Beijing and Seoul vociferously argue that Tokyo has not properly atoned for its actions in the 1930s and 1940s, and does not fully accept its guilt,

-3 ( +0 / -4 )

Ossan -- really??? Prove that with a single direct comment by either SK or China about his apology at the time it was stated and adopted by the cabinet. Please stop stating things as fact that are simply figments of your fertile, biased imagination

Ossan, myself, Strangerland and others are still waiting. Thought not!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Her case is well studied and is known as Semarang case. Though it was Japanese military who took her illegally as Ianfu, it was JAPANESE military police who resqued her from illegal brothel operation in April 1944, well before the end of WW2. Her case cannot be generalized.

@CH3CHO ah, you CONVENIENTLY FORGOT SOMETHING..... Over the following four months, the women were repeatedly raped and beaten by whom? The Japanese. ONLY SHORTY before the end of World War II, the women were moved to a camp in West Java, where they were reunited with their families. The Japanese warned them that if they told anyone about what happened to them, they and their family members would be killed.

Hmmmm, that comes from her, herself. Illegal brothel? Hmmmmm. You mean illegal by humanist standards, which the Japanese at the time were not playing at at that time. Sounds like she was really rescued by the police and they sure did not mind her telling what had happened to her. Oh, wait. Yeah, they did. They said they would kill her and her family, or is she not to be believed? Did she say that she worked there of her own free will? Nope! See, we can pick cherry pick all day long and choose people to validate our side. Oh, and what about all the other people who have came out and said that very same things? Should we just say that they are all liars? It appears that that is what you would like.

Now on to, Professor Ahn Byeong Jik. Ah, so he found a diary! Nobody ever said that the Korean had nothing to do with prostituting their own people at all. I am sure quite a few of them did. Just like Africans sold other Africans to westerners as slaves. Not doubting that at all. Half of the managers of the brothels were Korean. I have always said that. But the other half were not and that is where the problem is. The diary in question conflicts with assertions by some Japanese like yourself that comfort women were involved in a purely private business, and by some South Koreans that the women were completely enslaved. I would honestly bet it to be a 50-50 deal, if you don't mind me saying so. It also goes on to say, that "the Japanese government had organized comfort teams and took women to the frontline.”

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that many women say that they were forced. Women just like Jan Ruff-O'Herne, who have said they were forced by Japanese officers to work in the brothels. I hope you are not calling this woman a liar nor trying to say that this was a rare case, cause it was not and many have come forward to say that it was not.

It is easy for Korean Government to find those Korean colabolators. But they will never do, for that will destroy the "innocent Korean" image.

Not hardly. Many Korean women have come forward and told how they were raped and beaten by the Japanese as well.

I hope I have been polite enough.

We can cherry pick all day long. You can bring up this person, I can bring up that person. We may not have documented proof sitting right here staring us in the face about what the Japanese did, but we have the testimony from the survivors. They are not only Koreans and Chinese either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, with regard to China, this part of the article was wrong, and Japan fully accepted its guilt with Murayama Statement.

Yes, it's too bad that so many have come along and undermined that apology after it was made.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Praises to Murayama. Now if Abe would only listen.....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The statement of Murayama didn't follow "The Fact". So we cannot accept his words. There are so many "Sure & NOT sure things. That statement was "The give & Take Treatment with Korea". They were also so noisy at that days. They treat money & Service statement to quit noise as confition. But they didn't stoped. Again & again, when govt. had changed. We don't like ANYMORE!! Too much appology for them had done!!!!!!!!!!!**

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Chinese commentators out here, pls clarify these two for me:

Does the apology has to be made continuously? Doesn't one apology hold enough water? Why does it have to be made everyday? Doesn't that render the previous ones useless? When did Abe, or any Japanese cabinet make any resolution to cancel the previous ones? and maybe one last question, draft your ideal apology note here and I will have Abe read and act it verbatim. Yours, A person close to Abe
-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Mr Abe, by questioning the Japanese Government of the day's support for Mr Murayama's own apology, supported by the Emperor, and trying to cast the modern day Japanese as supporters of such a revision by oppressive and aggresive conduct, will mean the modern day Japanese WILL be placed under suspicion. They allowed it to happen. I am sure Mr Murayama's apology was sincere as were those that supported it. No 91 year old man....even such an important one as Mr Murayama, would even bother to speak up if he did not mean it and was concerned that the validity of his apology was compromised by it being undermined by Mr Abe and his comments and in seeking to 'de-pacify' the Japanese pacifict constitution. Once you declare you are not going to be 'so pacifist' you are then declaring you are going to be more aggressive......then, logically, others are going to wonder...."How aggressive?" And with Japan's track record (forget the record since the war.....that was under occupation) it is legitimate for many countries to worry. And why would Abe knowingly cause such concern? Why indeed!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In a wording and verbal openings on diplomatic meets, Japanese officials delivered apologies, but there were never formal documentation of apology with promises to fix their mistakes by taking such actions and such. The Japanese apologies were always vague and lacked details, other than saying sorry and we'll never do it. In meantime in Japan, over 100 Japanese politicans worship their old war criminals as gods and glorify the old days by adding easily accepted forms such as textbooks, popular magazine and newspaper articles and suggesting Japanese legitimacy on their position in WWII. Then someday, we'll come across generation of Japanese population that really believes that their course of action in WWII was the right thing and wanting retribution. With Abe's administration Japan things really started to look that way.

The young Japanese students are clueless of Japan's relations with the outside world. They are taught too late. Young Japanese people often fail to understand why neighboring countries harbor a grudge over events that happened in 1931-45. The reason, in many cases, is that by the time they reach high school, they barely learned any 20th century history. Many young Japanese got a full picture when they left Japan and went to school in foreign countries. It's hardly surprising that some classes, in some schools, never get there, and are told by teachers to finish the book in their spare time. Many young people in Japan really don't understand the Japan's war history and making the point that many of today's geopolitical tensions stem from what happened then. In Japanese textbook, only a footnote on the Nanjing massacre. Why they couldn't go straight to that period if it was so important, instead of wasting time on the other subject. When students did finally get there, it turned out only few pages dealt with events between 1931-45. Reading many factual books on the incident at least allowed them to understand why many people in China still feel bitter about Japan's military past.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Murayama is a socialist, which is why the LDP made him prime minister during the 50th anniversary. The LDP did not want to be making an apology. And since Murayama is a socialist, they can disown the apology.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@change

Does the apology has to be made continuously? Doesn't one apology hold enough water? Why does it have to be made everyday? Doesn't that render the previous ones useless?

No, but genuine acknowledgement goes a long way. Murayama's apology in 95 seemed genuine but it wasn't a unanimous decision among Japanese politicians, and since then, it's been called "masochistic" by politicians currently in power. Put yourself in China/Korea's shoes. Does that sound like genuine remorse?

When did Abe, or any Japanese cabinet make any resolution to cancel the previous ones?

They've never resolved to do so, but they sometimes convey a belief that previous apologies went too far and often express doubts about internationally accepted history. Remember when Abe's recent "expert" panel debated whether Japan was the aggressor during the war? Again does that sound like genuine acknowledgement of the past to you?

one last question, draft your ideal apology note here and I will have Abe read and act it verbatim.

I don't have time for that, but if you want a good example, look to Germany. I think they go too far in outlawing revisionist speech, but the attitude of remorse in their leaders seems sincere. You will never hear a German official question whether their country was the aggressor in a war they started, because that would be ridiculous. They also go out of their way to visit memorials in the countries of their victims. Actions like that show genuine acknowledgement better than half-hearted decisions to not cancel previous apologies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Murayama, I hate to say it, but with each passing day I feel more and more like you made a strategic mistake without taking into account the national characteristics of Japan, China, Korea or America. I don't care if it is sincere or not.

As the leader of a national government, you should never make an apology without making sure it doesn't become a bottomless pit. Obviously, this can't be done above-board, but behind the scenes he should have his Foreign Ministry ensure that "If we apologize, maybe make this and this amend, that WILL be the end of it." Without such quiet guarantees, all apologies do is give your opponents something to grab, and this is basically what's happening now. If your opposing government cannot be trusted regarding this kind of guarantee, the only choice is to NOT issue an apology.

An apology permanently reduces every future government's freedom of action and if it doesn't get you corresponding benefits, agreeing to one is a mistake, no matter how "sincere" you are.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I think they go too far in outlawing revisionist speech

I disagree: It's what's allowed them to reconcile with their nieighbours, without having Japan's endless cycle of apology and denial

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Japan doesn't need to apologize or give any financial compensation. All they really need to do is actually admit what truly happened, to teach everybody these historical facts, and to finally stop denying it. There's more integrity in that than to insincerely apologize using empty words, or to even bribe the victims and their families to shut up.

If Japan can't do this for the sake of their relationship with their neighbors, then they should at least do it for the sake of their own souls.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

gokai_wo_manekuMay. 20, 2015 - 10:35AM JST **Murayama is a socialist, which is why the LDP made him prime minister during the 50th anniversary. The LDP did not want to be making an apology. And since Murayama is a socialist, they can disown the apology.***

Aha! I see now...foolish me. You mean all apologies and government statements, even from the once respected word of the Emperor, are all utterly meaningless as its ok for some future politician to go back on it as it was not made by his political party. In other words the honourable assurances and contractural arrangements of all Japanese people mean nothing at all whatever strata of society, employemt or inclination they come from....if it suits them.? Is that it?

Funny thing is...that's exactly what many people in China, Korea, Phillpines Thailand.....all over the Far East and in the west where there are plenty of similar views within the UK, USA, European countires etc etc....have said over the years despite people like myself saying 'Look the Japanese are not like they were....they have their peace movement and constitution, they do not make or want nuclear weapons, they have apologised for their atrocities before and in World War II. But 'Deep Remorse' to you sir,' therefore, means a kind of fraud to get whatever you want only to change your mind when it suits you. Hey...there I go again...sorry everyone. Some say they never changed their minds...the Japanese apology is meaningless, and their politeness and courtesies false. That they are a nasty, vicious little lot with a smile on their faces and terror in their hearts.

Now I know many Japanese people who would feel abject shame that anyone should excuse themselves in such an evil and unacceptable way with a shrug of their shoulders and sneer at such suffering that they caused and, some suspect, would be pleased....and I mean 'pleased' to do so all over again. You do know that in Germany it is an imprisonable offence to deny the Holocaust? Then how could you know such things....your school history books don't print anything that casts 'the Japanese in a way that shames them. You don't do 'guilt' very well do you? Too much loss of face involved.

I can tell you this...if ever Japan tries to come even close to the terrors they inflicted on others ever again, what is left of their dwindiling indigenous population will be eradicted much quicker than might otherwise be and I do not want that to happen. There are Japanese people I love deeply and to be subjected to the results of such atrocities ever again unthinkable.

My advice is stop wittering on and right now. You will not win the argument and you will lose the war. I am not expecting vast sums to be paid....just because your culture 'demands' a full apology has to be made with a gift that is one 'word' you do not have to keep. . What I have seen I find distressing . Distressing for all those Japanese who do not think that way. Such statements and careless attitudes place them all in danger. Shut up, sir and quick at it and all like you....that's my advice.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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