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Past and future hang heavy as Abe heads to U.S.

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“Major U.S. media, like the New York Times, have voiced open criticism about Mr Abe and Japan turning to the right,” Fukuda said.

“He could use this trip to ease worries and lay out his vision for the Japan-U.S. partnership in the face of a rising China,” Fukuda said. “The key will be how well Mr Abe explains his agenda to Congress and to the U.S. media.”

Abe is said to be right winger due to his outrageous view on WW 2 history. If Abe want to ease worries, he should apologize. Japan-US partnership against rising China is another story though it is necessary.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Abe's praying as we speak that the entire second world war is forgotten. He's IMMEDIATELY going to lead with his generous offer of Japanese soldiers' lives and the potential profits off of arms sales, and if he mentions WWII it'll ONLY be after he's shown dollar signs to the audience.

I hope, though, that Congress isn't duped by this fool. Hopefully, too, they allow former sex slaves, former WWII vets unhappy about Abe's stance on history and the path Japan is taking, and all concerned about the shift to the right to voice their concerns and let it be heard through Congress. Better yet would be if he's heckled and booed out during his speech, but you can't hope for everything.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I hope Abe and US sec. of defense can highlight key points in the partnership while Japan upgrades its security role. . . . Its not like he (Abe) has a lot to say about Abenomics.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe will not say "shazai suru". What he will say is "fukaku hansei suru". "Hansei" normally means "reflect". The official translation into English issued by the Japanese government will say "deep remorse" rather than "deep reflection". Japanese people will hear Abe's comment as "deep reflection" but the people in America will hear "deep remorse". So everyone should be happy except for the Koreans and Chinese who can understand the meaning of the kanji "hansei", and know it only means "deep reflection".

6 ( +7 / -2 )

While we are on the subject of apologies for atrocities, I wonder if Abe is going to demand that the US apologise for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

He could just stand up in Congress and say, "Well, guys. Let's just call it quits, ne?"

But somehow I don't think he will.

-8 ( +6 / -12 )

Abe asking for an apology for Hiroshima & Nagasaki? That's ludicrous. Many young precious American G.I. lives were saved.

-6 ( +4 / -9 )

BertieWooster: "I wonder if Abe is going to demand that the US apologise for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?"

If he's going to 'demand' anyone apologize for those things, he should be doing it to the spirits at Yasukuni. No one demanded Japan start the Pacific War except some misguided Japanese leaders. They didn't deserve the atomic bombings, but to deny the bombings would not have occurred if they did not start the war themselves is folly.

2 ( +6 / -5 )

Wc626,

Abe asking for an apology for Hiroshima & Nagasaki? That's ludicrous. Many young precious American G.I. lives were saved.

At the cost of several hundred thousand Japanese - mostly noncombatants.

-3 ( +3 / -4 )

Both the countries' leaders know what they'll say already. They want us, ordinary people, think it will be a surprise. It's like for all the things...TPP and other stuff. Politicians already know their facts, they speak about them in secret, later they let the press to make us know only what they want we believe.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Bertie. War is hell.

America saw an opportunity to end it quickly and decisively. No need for US gov to apologize.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

America saw an opportunity to end it quickly and decisively

Please, people, stop trying to find excuses about the use of mass destruction weapons. They shouldn't even exist in the first place.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

We should look at Abe Shinzo's trip to America in terms of whether he can achieve a "blue line" of accomplishments in partnership with America without falling below a "red line" of historical revisionism that will upset not only the Koreans, America's allies, and Chinese but also many Americans, too.

First the blue line. Many powerful American interest groups want the TPP with Japan in it because it theoretically can pry open a market that is among the most advanced but which also has an incredible amount of protected sectors -- agriculture and rice especially -- and non-tariff barriers. Many defense and security interests want to end the Japanese "free ride" in which the Japanese are prepared to throw money at conflict areas but not military personnel and other assets despite having one of the strongest navies in the world and a highly capable Air Force (forget this Self-Defense Force terminology). This "free ride" would be replaced by an arrangement by which Japan continues to throw money but also puts boots on the ground and on decks and butts in cockpits. Most immediately this is justified as being aimed at North a Korea but increasingly explicitly this is aimed at China.

And America and Japan do want to acknowledge together that since the end of a World War II 70 years ago, Japan has had the most remarkable record in the world of developing a liberal democracy that has conscientiously pursued peace and prosperity and which has shared a considerable amount of its success with developing nations, including China and Korea incidentally.

Now for the red line. Abe Shinzo is too shrewd to offend America. The notion that he will perform as he did in Indonesia as well as in an earlier trip to Canberra is highly likely. He will invoke a memory that touches on Japanese actions in World War II, carefully evading words like aggression and invasion, and he will speak of his personal heart felt anguish and remorse and a vow that Japan will do all in its power to prevent such wide spread suffering ever again. Because the Congress has passed a resolution calling on Japan to refrain from historical revisionism on war time sexual slavery, Abe will likely use the words "human trafficking" to denounce violence against women that occurred during the 20th century -- without specifically mentioning Japan's major rounder the notion that "everybody was raping women" -- and to call on international efforts to prevent such atrocities in these times. The Chinese and Koreans -- and many American experts -- will recognize such language as the weasel words that they are and denounce Abe's tricky legerdemain. But most Americans who care about the subject will likely give Abe a passing mark, with some even praising Abe for his heart-felt remorse and expressing wonderment as to why Chinese and Koreans despise this visage of banality.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The only thing that the US government really cares is their strategy of pivot to Asia can work. Abe's revisionism is useful or not to this aim? People should think about this point, despite all the things you read on the press.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

United States sent a fleet of warships under the command of Commodore Matthew C. Perry since then the economy of Japan change their way to make business, However, in the 1970s Japan’s financial and real estate industries began adopting American practices— a move that was to result in a financial melt- down that began in the mid- 1980s and came to a head in the early 1990s, in part the Japanese character coupled with the belief that they could lead a rich and secure life for the foreseeable future without making dramatic changes in their attitudes and behavior. How you can change the way Japan's think if they don't like mix with other cultures? But they wanna adopt the US culture? Is not copy or adopt is because you need some genes of that culture, we can't avoid the fact our genes made us what we are. If Japan wants be equal to the outsider world has to mix, is not only learn skills and mentally is evolve your genes the next level of evolution, that is the key of the success but is a double edge of the knife if you mix with less intelligence people the consequences will disastrous but if they choose intelligent people the consequences will favorable. Is a controversial topic and hot topic, you can't avoid the fact of science and technology. If you are surround with intelligent people you will intelligent but if you are surround with less intelligence people we you will be less intelligent, It's what it's.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

United States sent a fleet of warships under the command of Commodore Matthew C. Perry since then the economy of Japan change their way to make business

Perry forced Japan to open itself under the threat of war, it's not like Japanese wanted it in the first place. Another sad page of White suprematism during hystory. Plus, the rest of your post is full of DNA racist crap! Who would be the "smartest people" with whom Japanese people should mix their genes?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Darn right Perry went to Shimoda to force open trade. The business of America is "business". It was time to awaken the slumbering isolationist and transform their barbaric society.

Now look. Japan has become one of the elite world economies. ( kinda' lagging though past 2 decades. @Alex- "what can italy boast of" ? ? Cat got ur tongue!?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

if you are surround with less intelligence people we you will be less intelligent, It's what it's.

I think Japanese people prefer hard working kind people, not lazy aggressive intelligent people who dictate what to do to Japanese.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Darn right Perry went to Shimoda to force open trade. The business of America is "business". It was time to awaken the slumbering isolationist and transform their barbaric society.

"Barbaric society"? It's because of people like you I often use harsh language towards America, even though I know there are some respectful American people. But in general I can't stand American and European mindset about how they must bring their superior "civilization" to other countries, while in the process they are the most barbaric, killing tons of innocents. Indeed Japan copied European colonial model as an answer to the White threat, it's not like they suddenly decided to conquer the whole Asia. America was born with the genocide of the natives, how is this "civil"?

@Alex- "what can italy boast of" ? ? Cat got ur tongue!?

I'm not a nationalist person, but if you studied at least a bit, you should know that Italy and Greece it's where Western civilization was born. Italy owns more than 70% of artistic heritage in the world. While all the rest of Europe invaded Italy, in Italy we had artists like Raffaello, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, etc. But Italy got also Mussolini. It has its dark hystory pages and I'll never forget it.

Anyway, also your superior country, America, was discovered by an Italian, Cristoforo Colombo. And America's name derives from another Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. All this means nothing to you, I know it, don't worry. But today, Italy is one of your country's main allies in Europe, indeed our position makes my country very strategical to your wars, so in the latest years you increased your presence here. Plus, my government is very servile, and let you make all you want in our territory. Every Italian knows it. Since we serve American interests so well, you should think poor and useless Italy is someway useful, after all, uh? :)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@BertieWooster

At least at that time Japan wasn't forcing its power and culture over other countries. Well, I guess it's not easy to understand right-wingers mindset. I guess according to his logic, one of the few Italians who he would respect is Enrico Fermi, since he likes atomic bombs so much, and Fermi is one of the men referred to as the "father of the atomic bomb".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Please, people, stop trying to find excuses about the use of mass destruction weapons. They shouldn't even exist in the first place.

On that point I agree; however if the war had been permitted to continue (and there were last minute attempts by diehards at the imperial palace to intercept the recording of the surrender speech - it wasn't a live broadcast) then Russia would've invaded Hokkaido. The Allied invasion of first Kyushu, then Honshu would've taken place. Many more lives would've been lost. I am not condoning the use of atomic weapons (I've been to both museums) but there wasn't a realistic alternative for ending the war - beyond perhaps guaranteeing the emperor would stay in power.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hearts have been buried in many places: Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, Nanjing, Ouradour-sur-Glane, Auschwitz, Burma Railway, My Lai, Rwanda, Srebrenica. (ETC.) We should know as much of the truth as possible and make it available for those who want to know. Denying the truth is despicable and unacceptable for a politician.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As long as Abe says something regarding the past that seems sincere and contrite, people will take that and say it's enough. Chinese and Koreans will be scrutinizing every word. Abe knows no matter what he says, he can't satify them. What he wants to do is say enough to satisfy U.S. And the mood coming out of U.S. is quite positive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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