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Panel meets to discuss Abe’s speech for anniversary of WWII end

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By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Crown Prince Naruhito should demand a seat on that panel.

33 ( +35 / -2 )

What war?

24 ( +24 / -0 )

Only three out of the 16 members on the panel are reported to be liberal or at least not right-leaning people, and the rest are more or less revisionists if not outright revisionists. So it isn't difficult to predict what kind of advise the panel will come up with for Abe. Emperor should have a seat on the panel as well as Crown Prince.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Goddamit Im Japanese in my 30s, I don't have any recollection of war, but I DO feel sorry for people who were hurt as a normal human being would. What's wrong with a little humility and normal human decency? We should just bypass the suits and make a webpage that offers an honest apology to others. I'm sure millions of Japanese would sign it.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

So, just to understand correctly. Abe has appointed a panel to advise him on the contents of his statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2? Not on government policy, not on potential legislation, but on a statement?

What complete nonsense. Abe is the PM. If he needs input before making the statement, then he should meet with these people privately, get their input and then make his statement. If he truly needs to have a panel advise him on a statement like this, he shouldn't be PM.

@Yubaru's assessment is spot on. This IS a dog and pony show.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

This is all a dog and pony show. Abe is going to say whatever the heck he wants and will use this so-called panel to back up or justify he stance that "this is what the people want".

Overly heavy on "academics" I do believe.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

I wonder why they have to waste time and a lot of money paying 20 "experts" just to discuss it. Gives you an idea of how far from real life these politicians are.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

tinawatanabe - It is South Korea that demanded this statement this year again. They must be gratful that Japan is complying again. Abe can write the statement himself, but being careful and consulting a panel. Nothing wrong.

You actually believe this, don't you? They are meeting to determine how they can twist the historical facts to relinquish themselves of any wrongdoing and to downplay the atrocities committed by the imperial army during the first half of last century.

It is a fact that, history never repeats, but, unfortunately, the history of Japan downplaying and denying the events of their occupation of Southeast Asia during the first half last century just keeps repeating and this little gathering of so-called 'experts' will undoubtedly provide another repeat of this history.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The Japanese nation should eliminate self-righteous nationalism and advance peace and democracy through international cooperation.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

On one side are those who say that accounts of Japanese wartime atrocities are false or exaggerated, and that it’s time to restore Japanese pride in their country.

Why are these separate things always tied together?

Whatever did or did not happen 70 years cannot be undone. - We (all humans) will learn from the past

Just as the peaceful actions of Japan for the subsequent 70years cannot be erased - That is something to be VERY proud of.

Trying to ignore the past in order to feel pride? Unforgivable.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

@Tamarama I second that.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

How would those of you from the Netherlands, Russia, France, Poland feel if Germany were to say "we did many good things for you doing WWII and we were just defending yourselves." I would like to hear your perspectives.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

A panel of experts appointed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

And thats where I stopped reading.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Abe is trying to pass the buck here. He loads the panel with people who will write the statement in the manner he wants it to be written, then when there is blowback, he can blame it on them. This lets him meet his goals of saying what he wants to say, without having to take the responsibility for having said it. Politically, it's a smart move. Ethically it's disgusting.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Tamarama for PM!

All those thumbs down are making me feel like Tony Abbott!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Oh, like that old joke.. How many people does it take to change a light bulb?

A: How many people does it take to apologize? B: Just one, YOU! You're the prime minister, fool!

A: How many ways can you say I'm sorry? B: Just one, from the heart!

A: How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb? B: None, they're busy changing the constitution. B: None, first you need a panel of experts to agree the light bulb needs changing. B: ...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I can write the speech for him

"We lost and we are sorry for the misery that we inflicted on others and inflicted on our own people as a result."

The end

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Abe will blow this, we can all count on that. The ghost of his grandfather will take over and maybe we will hear the familiar line from the right wing reactionaries that Japan's invasion of Asia was after all for the good of Asia. Oh and Nanjing, did not happen. Or the sex slaves.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Regardless of what he says, apologists will say he meant something else when it draws criticism. And thenthey'll even blame South Korea and/or China despite them being the victims of Japan's aggression. Just watch! Oh, wait, Tina's already starting.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

@tinawatanabe:

There are a couple of things at work here that give rise to these statements by Japan.

We should keep in mind that the statements by Japan can be broken down into two categories: those linked to the end of World War 2 (around August 15th) and those related Japan's military & colonial activities in Asia up to and including World War 2. Here is the link that contains the list, which I think is pretty accurate:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

Following the end of the war and the occupation, Japan had to go through a process of normalizing relations with other countries. Some were easier than others. Korea and China proved the most challenging.

Korea was a challenge because it was not just a question of the war, it was a question of 35 years of colonial rule. And, of course, Korea itself had subsequently split into North and South and the South was a military dictatorship at the time of normalisation.

Similarly, China had been occupied by Japan, in part, prior to the war and obviously there were the wartime activities that occurred in China. And, of course, China became the PRC in 1949 and was in the midst of the Cultural Revolution when normalisation of relationships with Japan occurred.

In both countries, there was this added history that made the dynamic around normalisation more complicated. There most certainly was an expectation that, as part of normalisation, Japan apologize for this history. Which both countries took very seriously.

Obviously, as the years have passed, there have been repeated expressions of regret by Japan specifically regarding their activities in relation to these two countries. I won't get into the quality/content of them, but they are numerous.

However, the statement being discussed here is the annual statement regarding the end of World War 2. Every year, Japan holds it commemoration ceremony to commemorate the end of the war on Aug. 15th. It is a solemn ceremony, as you know. The Emperor typically attends and the PM typically provides some comments/statement. It is an annual event.

So, in that sense, there is an expectation that this is what will happen every year. It just so happens that this year is the 70th anniversary. There are lots of events happening this year linked to the 70th anniversary of events around the end of the war worldwide, not just Japan.

Therefore, when you say that South Korea is demanding this statement, I don't think demand is the right word. They certainly have expected Japan to continue to remember the events of the war (and of the colonial period), both in relation to statements specifically directed to South Korea (when the Emperor or PM visit) and in relation to generic statements, such as the annual Aug. 15th statement.

I will not get into whether or not China, Korea or anyone else are overly sensitive to these things. There is no question, though, that they pay close attention to all things related to Japan that they view as a revival of Japanese militarism or as backsliding on previous apologies/statements of regret.

In this case, they are deeply suspicious of PM Abe and his intentions. I could list all of the reasons for this, but undoubtedly you have heard them before.

In the end, no one is demanding that the PM make a statement. However, if he does, the statement will be watched very closely, if for no other reason than PM Abe himself has made a big deal out of the statement he will put out this year.

Regarding your last post, regarding the situation in other countries, you should read the attached article. I found it interesting and think you might as well. It is titled Facing History-Germany's "Culture of Remembrance".

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/adv/chuo/dy/research/20140703.html

9 ( +10 / -1 )

A panel of experts? What are they experts at?

I don't know which one I am more appalled by, the fact they have to write a speech for the anniversary of the war or, the fact they need a panel of 'experts' to write it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I'd love to be a fly on the wall here. The smell of what is being proposed would no doubt delight me.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Q. How many Abe panelists does is take to change a light bulb?

...[1 week of deliberation]...

A. Panel Consensus Statement: "If the light bulb hadn't been made in China, it would not need changing."

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It's Groundhog Day! Just another Abe "Smoke'nMirrors Produktion": "Fawlty Experts" The panel's main recommendation: DON'T MENTION THE WAR!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@tina

It is South Korea that demanded this statement this year again

Is it? Your say-so isn't sufficient to persuade me of that, so do you have any further argument as to why you say so?

Fact is that the leaders of all countries who were involved in the war will be making statements to mark its 70th anniversary. We will be hearing from Putin, Merkel, Obama, PM whoever-wins-the-next-UK-election, Xi, Abe etc etc

Nothing to do with demands from anyone.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I wonder if Abe had a panel of advisors to recommend his "secrecy bill," or to ignore the problems in Fukushima, change the constitution so that "Japan will fight alongside her American brothers," or force YET ANOTHER American base on Okinawa in spite of massive opposition.

A panel of two (my wife and I) thought of recommending Abe change the name of the LDP to the IFP (Intolerant Fascistic Party).

But on the other hand, it would probably be better to leave it as it is as.

Then people might continue to believe they are getting liberalism and democracy.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

They are demanding loudly what should be included in the statement. I think it's the right word.

Care to give a link? I see absolutely nothing about it on google, although I do see links to articles about Japanese nationals demanding apologies for the Asahi Shimbun debacle.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@tina

Did you actually read my post? I already provided an English translation (only ever so slightly different to the one you've provided), and explained why it doesn't say what you are claiming. Park said:

The historic dynamic of one party being a perpetrator and the other party a victim will remain unchanged even after a thousand years have passed

Which does not say that "Korea will never forgive Japan even after a thousand years", even when taken out of context like that. What it says is that Japan will remain the historical perpetrator and Korea will remain the historical victim, i.e. it is history and cannot be changed, but this does not preclude forgiveness. She also said:

The same is true for the history between Korea and Japan. Only when there is honest soul-searching about the past will our two nations be able to usher in a future of shared progress together... It is incumbent on Japan to have a correct understanding of history and take on an attitude of responsibility in order to partner with us in playing a leading role in East Asia in the 21st century

So she is saying not that Korea will never forgive Japan, but rather that Japan needs to face up to its past misdeeds in order for them to be able to do so. It's a rebuke to Abe certainly, but it's not nearly as hostile as you're making it out to be. As Zones has pointed out, perhaps the Japanese translation you've read gives it a different slant - could you provide the Japanese version for us?

Why do you hate Korea so much? Have you ever been there?

@toshiko

Hello. I'm not Tina bashing, I'm engaging with her in debate on a point she raised. You are correct that it's a little off-topic to be discussing President Park's address when the article has nothing to do with that, but you'll have to ask Tina why President Park was brought up in the first place!

@thepersoniamnow

Well said.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is starting to get ridiculous. No doubt "preach to the choir" would be a prerequisite for being on Abe's panel...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe the panel of "experts" can help him remove his foot from his mouth where he will undoubtedly put it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@thepersoniamnow

That is an excellent idea. During my times in China and Korea, I often challenged peoples' anti-Japan arguments there and tried to point out to them that what the right-wing politicians of Japan say does not represent what the entire population of Japan think. It was hard to convince them; but if I had been able to refer them to such a website as you suggest, I believe I could have convinced them much more easily. Really, if you have the skills to make such a website you should do it!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

God forbid he'd have some outside perspectives, say from Chinese or Korean academics, on his panel of experts...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@tina

Did they do a similar a decade ago?

Of course they did. So did the Japanese PM:

On the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, I reaffirm my determination that Japan must never again take the path to war, reflecting that the peace and prosperity we enjoy today are founded on the ultimate sacrifices of those who lost their lives for the war against their will...

In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. Sincerely facing these facts of history, I once again express my feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology, and also express the feelings of mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, in the war. I am determined not to allow the lessons of that horrible war to erode, and to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world without ever again waging a war...

I believe it is necessary to work hand in hand with other Asian countries, especially with China and the Republic of Korea, which are Japan's neighboring countries separated only by a strip of water, to maintain peace and pursue the development of the region. Through squarely facing the past and rightly recognizing the history, I intend to build a future-oriented cooperative relationship based on mutual understanding and trust with Asian countries...

Junichiro Koizumi, August 15th 2005

Likewise the 1995 Maruyama statement marked the 40th anniversary. Speeches by leaders to mark the major milestone anniversaries of the end of the war are normal (and expected); it has nothing to do with demands by anyone.

Any watering down by Abe of those earlier statements will provoke uproar, and rightly so.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@tinawatanabe:

Actually, pretty familiar with the history here as it relates to the statements and their content and how we have gotten to where we are now.

As I said, I think SK and PRC have certain expectations as it relates to any statement, so when the PM alludes to potential revisions to what has been stated in the past, they naturally reiterate their expectations. Which are, basically, don't backslide on previous statements.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@tinawatanabe et al:

Regarding President Park's statement in her speech, while it is a side issue, it needs to be addressed, given the back and forth on this.

So, let's deal in facts here.

What did President Park say/mean in Korean: I don't know. A question for Korean speakers, if there are any here. Does anyone know?

What was the English translation: According to what appears to be the official English translation, the text is as follows - "The historic dynamic of one party being a perpetrator and the other party a victim will remain unchanged even after a thousand years have passed. " Here is the link to the website I quoted from:

http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/Policies/view?articleId=106019

What was the Japanese translation: @tina, what is the Japanese translation/wording you are using? The reason I ask is that it has been translated a variety of ways. I certainly am familiar with the rather extensive coverage of these remarks in Japan and have read many postings on this. If you can provide the link to the translation/text to which you refer, then at least we are on the same page as to the Japanese translation you are using.

Here is my point. In English, the text is straightforward and does not necessarily contain a negative meaning as it relates to the future. It is saying that 1,000 years will not change the historical fact that Japan was the perpetrator of the colonisation of Korea and Korea was the victim of that colonisation. And in that aspect, facts are facts, unless Japan does not believe it was the perpetrator in this respect.

In English, it does not in any way imply that Korea will never forgive Japan. There is no discussion of forgiveness or holding a grudge.

So, the question is two-fold: 1) what was the intended meaning of the original Korean version, and 2) how was it translated into Japanese, and, as importantly, WHO translated it into Japanese.

This how international misunderstandings can potentially get perpetuated and magnified - poor translations. Particularly where sensitive topics of national pride and identity are involved.

There is no question that President Park was speaking to a domestic audience on probably one of the most "patriotic" days in South Korea, so she would naturally be delivering a strong, patriotic speech. The question is whether she actually said what you are attributing to her, with all of its implied meaning.

I will try to separately comment further on the broader issues of the Abe statement.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japanese public expect him to visit Yasukuni shrine

The Japanese right-wingers expect him to visit Yasukuni. But the right-wingers are only a small percentage of the population. The average Japanese person either doesn't care, or doesn't want him to visit, so as to stop the controversy.

Changing history textbook in US?

Wait, I thought you were talking about other countries, not Japan. After all, the most recent news is of Japan trying to change the history textbooks in the US.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I agree with thepersoniamnow "Goddamit Im Japanese in my 30s, I don't have any recollection of war, but I DO feel sorry for people who were hurt as a normal human being would. What's wrong with a little humility and normal human decency? We should just bypass the suits and make a webpage that offers an honest apology to others. I'm sure millions of Japanese would sign it." I think any statement by any political leader of a supposedly democratic country who proposes to represent and to speak for an entire nation of people should gather his opinions not from academics and diplomats but from the entire nation of people! I do think all nations involved in that terrible war need to move "forward" -- no nation should be forever held accountable for what a past generation did. But as they say about the holocaust "never forget", for if we deny or erase the past no one will ever really move forward. Instead Japan and the global may someday resume the same horrid ethnocentric nationalist thinking that fostered colonialism and nationalistm, and wind up setting the world stage to repeat the same terrible atrocities that led to the death of innocent millions throughout the world.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

why does japan care so much about this issue? it's baffling because the outside world, except china and SK, have a very positive image of japan being a peaceful, law-abiding society. the more japan raises this issue, the more people become aware of how brutal and sociopathic japan used to be. but the key phrase is used to.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I'm not very web or tech savvy, but if I did have the skills to do so I would probably have to be very careful. Imagine if it were a resounding success, had a message of peace and reconciliation that many related to and tens or hundreds of thousands or more signed it? I'd probably be painting a target on my back for hate groups and right wingers. Now if it got millions of people's attention, I'd probably get assassinated! Lol

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, you knew they were demanding, even threatening.

No Tina, that was demanded that Japan not backtrack on the Kono statement- what a terrible thing to expect!!! This is precisely why relations between SK and Japan haven't improved.

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20150115001243

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@tina

No. No matter what Japan does, the relations will not improve. Japan has given up on them

Of course relations can improve.

Do you know what President Park said in her inauguration speech? She said SK will not forgive Japan 1,000 years to come. So, no hope for 998 years to come

Did she say that? If so, then that is also a statement to be condemned. (Do you have a link for it?) But she will not live for 1,000 years, and she will be president for far less than that.

...ah, in fact I've just found an english translation of her inauguration speech. What the hell are you talking about Tina? Her speech is the usual load of patriotic soundbite stuff, but it absolutely does not say what you have claimed above. The only mention of Japan:

To ease tensions and conflicts and further spread peace and cooperation in Asia, I will work to strengthen trust with countries in the region including the United States, China, Japan, Russia and other Asian and Oceanic countries

So where did you get your outrageous claim from? Did you make it up, or did you read and believe some BS on 2chan? Explain yourself.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@tina:

OK, whether all of that is true or not, the question at hand was the quote that you mentioned and what exactly was said. As I said at the beginning, it really is a side issue to this article and the discussion, but wanted to take it on because it seemed important.

However, let's take everything you just said with regards to President Park. You are saying that, because of all of her other actions, she is just an anti-Japan President of SK and her comment should be interpreted accordingly.

Well, OK. So, it doesn't matter what she actually said, it is what she really wanted to say or what was really meant in between the lines.

Fair enough. Let's apply the same approach to Japan and PM Abe. Think of PM Abe's decision to look at the statement to be made regarding the end of WW2 and the possibility that it will be "watered down" from previous statements. That would be consistent with Abe's reputation as a right wing conservative politician, who wants to institute new patriotic education, who wants to amend the constitution to allow for a wider use of the Japanese military, who wants to expand the military, who insists on visiting Yasukuni, who is surrounded by colleagues who deny certain wartime atrocities, etc. etc.

Based on your logic, it is reasonable to assume, given all of these other facts and that he is a demonstrated conservative nationalist, that Abe is intent on revising Japan's view of its history as it relates to WW2 and the colonial period, which is why China and SK are concerned about the contents of his statement and suspicious of his intentions.

In any event, this is all really a side issue.

If Abe is determined to revise the official Japanese government's view of its history and how it wants to represent itself to its neighbours, then he just man up and do it. Don't hide behind a panel of advisors. He should come out and say that he believes in a strong Japan, one that has apologised enough for the war and that the war is now in the past, that it disputes many of the "facts" that have been propagated regarding the war (including comfort women, Nanking, etc.) and that the government will aggressively seek to correct those incorrect "facts", that has the right to operate like any other country with a military capable of offensive (as opposed to defensive only) activities, and that is determined to install in its youth a patriotic education that cherishes and values Japanese ideals just as many other Asian countries do. And, yes, that he will visit Yasakuni whenever he darn well pleases and that it is an internal matter for Japan and not the business of any other country.

I am not saying I agree with any of this, I am just saying that he should stop playing around with this. He should say what he means and mean what he says. Otherwise this just ends up being a long, drawn-out painful drama.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@zones2surf

I have great respect and admiration for your efforts to engage the poster in question in a civil, logical manner and thereby attempting to raise the bar in terms of interactions on this forum.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

All those thumbs down are making me feel like Tony Abbott!

A pity Tony or Julie haven't expressed a view on Abe and WWII as the US has. It would carry weight.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How many other world leaders appoint panels of upstanding citizens whose sole function is to put words in their mouth?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@thepersonIamnow: why dont you start one? Seriously? A website giving an alternative speech of apology and acknowledging the real truth about what happened, and asking the world now for support and acceptance in moving on together and building a brighter future whilst not forgetting the past. Make it public and invite any Japanese who wants to, to sign it. That way everyone gets to say what they really feel and if people dont like it - dont sign it. I bet it would go viral.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just look at how bloated that room is with identikit apparatchiks, all getting paid handsomely with our money to make the country we live in look shameful to the rest of the world. I'd like to know what consultation fee Abe has offered the yes-men to give him the script he wants.

I'm with all the posters above who disagree intensely with Abe's blatant revisionism.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The ghost of his grandfather will take over and maybe we will hear the familiar line from the right wing reactionaries that Japan's invasion of Asia was after all for the good of Asia.

Actually grandpa Kishi made a reasonable apology on his visit to Australia in 1957: "It is my official duty, and my personal desire, to express to you and through you to the people of Australia, our heartfelt sorrow for what occurred in the war."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@thepersoniamnow

Imagine if it were a resounding success, had a message of peace and reconciliation that many related to and tens or hundreds of thousands or more signed it? I'd probably be painting a target on my back for hate groups and right wingers. Now if it got millions of people's attention, I'd probably get assassinated! Lol

You laugh, but unfortunately you are probably correct! A friend of mine has had a number of articles published on Japanese history and culture (he's a foreign resident of Japan), and one of them in particular caught the ire of the right wingers and led to him being subject to a campaign of abuse and intimidation (thankfully only online). This atmosphere of the right wing feeling so emboldened that they can use threats and intimidation to cow their opponents with impunity is deeply disturbing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@tina watanabe

As usual she is inaccurate about most things but Park did in fact say something about 1000 years. It occurred in her first March 1st speech following an inauguration celebration in which Aso Taro, that paragon of Japanese courtesy, chose to insult her. In the March 1 speech Park called on Abe and Japan to confront history lest these issues be unresolved for 1000 years.

That was 2013. Her speech in 2014 retained the call for Japan to confront history, because Abe had equivocated and avoided.. And in a couple of days she will make her 2015 speech. In 1919, Japan brutally suppressed the Korean independence movement even though it was peaceful. That was the Tiananmen of its time, perpetrated by Japanese soldiers and police who did things like torture a high school girl to death and dumping her in a barrel sent back to her school.

The March 1 speeches take place with that background, and they are indeed nationalistic in tone. But they also involve no violence or harm to people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@theFu: You are quite correct in everything you have written, but when you have right wingers, such as Tina, who insist on rewriting history and denying Japan's responsibility for the suffering of tens of millions throughout the first half of the 20th century, 'forgiveness' is awfully hard. I welcome the day when the powers that be in japan stop quibbling over the past and actually work towards a better future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tina,

That English translation appears to be from the The Japan Times. I don't know where they sourced it/who translated it, but it does not appear to be the official translation.

The link I provided is from the official Korean website. So, they have provided the English translation that reflects the intent, or, at least, how they want the language to be read in English.

Could it be that the Korean had a different intent? Possibly. I don't know. That is why I said what I said about the original Korean text.

I have no idea who did the English translation for the text you reference. Was it done from Korean to Japanese and then from Japanese to English? Was it done directly? Was it a JT staffer that did it? I don't know.

These things are important.

Equally, what Japanese language version do you rely upon when you look at this quote in Japanese? Where did that translation come from? Who did it?

I am not trying to be difficult, but we have all been around long enough to know that how things are translated can completely change the meaning or at least the nuances. There may be an inference made based on an incorrect translation that then perpetuates and creates more problems. That should be avoided at all costs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strangerland: "Wait, I thought you were talking about other countries, not Japan. After all, the most recent news is of Japan trying to change the history textbooks in the US."

Exactly! Classic, isn't it? tina has absolutely ZERO right to complain about the US 'changing' history books, when it's Japan demanding they change the books, and when she fully supports the white-washing of history in Japan. But you've likely just misinterpreted what she meant, or she didn't say that, or what have you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Tamarama for PM!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

These people will either be 'yes men' or 'ignored'!

Many world leaders will have speech writers - and that is essentially what this is - so I haven't got a problem with that.

My issue with this is that due to the fact Abe is a politician, his speech will be laced with 'politics'. I don't really understand what this will achieve besides further aggravation, especially on a more focused anniversary.

Surely it would be a lot more meaningful and constructive for the Emperor or his son (who spoke intelligently about the issue earlier in the week) to make 'the' speech, or 'a' speech with Abe standing beside him, and maybe offering a few words of his own.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I bet this speech is a real humdinger if it is being written by a panel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nobody alive today caused the war. I don't need an apology.

Everyone in the world can learn something from history and try hard to live in peace and prosperity with our neighbors world-wide. Nobody's parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were perfect. Put yourself into their place during any war and think about how you'd really have acted. Can you say that you wouldn't have behaved the same way, under the same situation? It was a different time and they had different values.

I can accept the history of my friends from around the world and hope that our leaders don't make poor choices which lead to any harm anymore.

Readers here know that the best way to create international friendships is to travel, live abroad and get to know the great peoples of this world. Forgiveness is also a great trait for everyone to have. Try it. It feels good.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tenacious Tina! I really dont have a decent comment on this article by JT, but its cool to hear everyone putting in their 2 cents. 998 yrs is a long time though-

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@tina,

First of all, to avoid confusions please take the time to be a bit more accurate before claiming who said what in a certain speech.

Secondly, as zones has said above, her speech did not say that Korea will never forgive Japan in a thousand years - at least, not in the English text (I second zones in asking what translation you have and who translated it). It reads:

The same is true for the history between Korea and Japan. Only when there is honest soul-searching about the past will our two nations be able to usher in a future of shared progress together.

The historic dynamic of one party being a perpetrator and the other party a victim will remain unchanged even after a thousand years have passed.

It is incumbent on Japan to have a correct understanding of history and take on an attitude of responsibility in order to partner with us in playing a leading role in East Asia in the 21st century

If you think that says Korea will not forgive Japan in a thousand years, then you are lacking in comprehension - it isn't a matter of interpretation. She is saying that the roles of Japan and Korea as perpetrator and victim back then are unchangeable i.e. that it is history and cannot be undone, but she says nothing about being unable or unwilling to forgive; in fact she talks about ushering in a future of shared progress. Positive words, shame you missed them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Mizuame

Actually grandpa Kishi made a reasonable apology on his visit to Australia in 1957: "It is my official duty, and my personal desire, to express to you and through you to the people of Australia, our heartfelt sorrow for what occurred in the war."

This objectified language can be called a reasonable apology, because reasoning was used to not really take responsibility and apologize in a direct way for harmful actions. Compare that "apology" with the one the PM of Canada made in 1988 for the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II.

I know that I speak for Members on all sides of the House today in offering to Japanese Canadians the formal and sincere apology of this Parliament for those past injustices against them, against their families, and against their heritage, and our solemn commitment and undertaking to Canadians of every origin that such violations will never again in this country be countenanced or repeated.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yoshitsune

I think the right way to go about this issue would be to keep it simple imo. Versions of history differ all over the world and I have noticed ( having lived abroad half my life) that for instance the Japanese view of wartime history and the American opinion is quite different. To try to "educate" any race of history from a foreign POV is always gunna be a sensitive topic and you can expect a lot of push back. None of us were there, none of us know for real what happened exactly and in detail. But I for one deplore racism, war, and hurting others. I believe that honesty and humility, and a willingness to work together are the way forward. So I'm not concerned about the details and nit picking, especially as it does truly seem that a lot of harm and wrong was done. So I am sorry for all those people, and even though it wasn't me, I have no problem apologizing, shaking hands, and letting it be done with if it means a better tomorrow. The current stance held by the governments involved reeks of tit for tat immature bigotry and I can't stand it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I suppose there was no room for an enlightened view, what with all the black vans filling up the parking lot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank you Strangerland!! Its the JAPANESE who were approaching the US textbook authors & requesting to change history therein.

Yasukuni Shrine is nothing more than a deplorable structure enshrining Class A "war criminals" who died for Japan in such vain. Good luck on whoever (Abe or his cabinet) pays the next visit there. Might P.O. Washington DC again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The people who demanded contents change to M-Hill did not know unlike Japan, textbooks are different in everywhere/ If they want USA change contents of historybooks, they have to go every city and county/ Many places. county and big cities in that county use different textbook publishers. Because of their demand. many USA people found Japanese open secret past digging WikiPedia etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A panel of experts appointed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met for the first time Wednesday

Well, if they were going to make recommendations he wouldn't like then he'd hardly have chosen them, would he? This is getting embarassing

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe told the panel he hopes to get their views on what Japan has learned from the past, how Japan has contributed to international peace in the postwar era and what Japan’s regional and international contribution should be in the future.

All three of those things are great, and Japan should be jutifiably proud as a result. But, they have no bearing at all on Japan's apology or the truth about its atrocities.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Imagine if there is no sort of oppositions from the two neighbors (SK and China) and they both just quiet, maybe the PM will not even need a panel, and will just say whatever pleases his own version of history and ignorance.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Unless its a full and honest apology with nothing missing, you know dam well China is going to say "He didn't mean it" Back to square one again!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Abe’s 'speech' for anniversary of WWII end highlights a political conundrum, the fundamental important difference between 'state' and 'government' .

Rothbard famously defines the 'state', as 'the organization of robbery systematized and writ large'. Government or governance, deferring to Mark Twain..... 'Is merely a servant – merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them'.

Tina W reference to various personalised statements reflects the feelings of individuals as heads of government rather than with the general or abstract national consensus of the peoples of Japan.

Government function begins and finishs as a 'role' in society, the state civil government if you will is the 'institution' and above the 'state', the Imperial House of Japan.

Only a commission under the patronage of His Imperial Majesty can reflect the opinions and views of the peoples of Japan and end once and for all this relentless tug if war between the revisionist nationalists and liberal majority for the heart, spirit and soul of Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

-3 OssanAmericaFeb. 27, 2015 - 02:16AM JST

MizuameFeb. 26, 2015 - 08:16AM JST A pity Tony or Julie haven't expressed a view on Abe and WWII as the US >has. It would carry weight.

What view has been expressed by the United States? Where can we read this?

No answer to a simple question but 3 thumbs down, LOL

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Isn't it rather a speech about being an island and having been great; or becoming a member, a active part of the rest of it all.....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A key question is whether Abe will use the same terms such as “colonial rule” and “aggression” in his statement

How do you say "comfort administration" and "comfort protection" in Japanese?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

theres no need for some silly panel or other nonsense. During the fukushima disaster, we got to endure panels every day for months, and they still havent resolved how to fix all that. The Japanese way to deal with anything is a group consensus panel; which is why they cant never move foward.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

MizuameFeb. 26, 2015 - 08:16AM JST A pity Tony or Julie haven't expressed a view on Abe and WWII as the US has. It would carry weight.

What view has been expressed by the United States? Where can we read this?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let us stop writing tina bashing and discuss about above article. Aug 15 (US Aug 14) and discuss why Abe needs so many people and so many months to prepare memorial statement. If you guys know how Japan surrendered on that day, it will be nice.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Oops I meant to say "Japan and the global community"!! blush

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

zones

President Park is well known for anti-Japan President as other ex-Presidents. Her "thousand years" comment is consistant with her other actions and comments, such as speaking ill of Japan when she travelled around the globe, erecting comfort women statues many places in USA, ignoring PM Abe when he said hello, and many many more.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I am very sorry it was 3.1 speech, not inauguration speech. If I can find it in English or Korean, I'll let you know.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yoshi

Presiden Park of South Korea said in a 3.1 speech, "The dynamic of (Japan) being the aggressor and (Korea) being the victim will never change even after the passage of a thousand years"

Please enter the sentence and see.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

It's 70 years ago. Get over it already!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Yoshi,

President Park's remark 1,000 years is famous in Japan. Just enter Park and 1,000 years in Japanese.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

@zones

Your are wrinting a long nonsense again.

I am not saying I agree with any of this

Abe is PM of Japan and does not need your consent. What he writes in his statement is none of your or my business because it's Abe's statement. Japanese public expect him to visit Yasukuni shrine, and movement of his body in the direction of the shrine is guranteed by the constitution, freedom of movement.

Otherwise this just ends up being a long, drawn-out painful drama.

What painful drama? Making all the hate speeches against Japan? Erecting comfort woman statue in front of Japan's Embassy? Hurling feces at the Embassy? Changing history textbook in US? Japan has been enduring all those things, nothing new.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Yoshi, It's true that SK had been demanding this statement since long time ago. If you check SK or Japan papers, you will find it. But it seems that Japan did not object. I don't know the situations in other countries. Did they do a similar a decade ago?

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

when the PM alludes to potential revisions to what has been stated in the past

He did not allude to revisions. Abe's statement is Abe's first statement. Murayama's statement was Murayama's statement. Kono statement was Kono's

don't backslide on previous statements.

So, you knew they were demanding, even threatening.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

zone,

I know all those things you are writing. I don't think you know how last statement, Kono statement was made. It was collaboration of SK and Kono. You should know it in full detail. Each country has different circumstance, so behave differently.

when you say that South Korea is demanding this statement, I don't think demand is the right word.

They are demanding loudly what should be included in the statement. I think it's the right word.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

This is precisely why relations between SK and Japan haven't improved.

No. No matter what Japan does, the relations will not improve. Japan has given up on them. Do you know what President Park said in her inauguration speech? She said SK will not forgive Japan 1,000 years to come. So, no hope for 998 years to come.

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

It is South Korea that demanded this statement this year again. They must be gratful that Japan is complying again. Abe can write the statement himself, but being careful and consulting a panel. Nothing wrong.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

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