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S Korea: Japan must educate its people about World War II

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until Japan educates its people about crimes committed during colonial rule.

Sounds fair.

14 ( +26 / -13 )

Messages from China and Korea are disgustingly political and backward.

1 ( +23 / -21 )

"Japan must educate its people about World War II"

This is obvious. And it really wouldn't take much. Out of all the stuff they do in school, a one hour documentary once a year could cover it. Most Japanese just think there was a war that they shouldn't have started because they lost! But, that they had no alternative. And they think that while some countries accuse them of doing bad things, that was settled in an unfair war crimes tribunal, and that every country does bad things in war. And finally, that no matter what bad things they did it pails into comparison to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the firebombing of Tokyo.

That, is what most people think about the war. So, they don't really understand why Korea and China keep harping on about it.

Most have never heard about massacres, death marches, atrocities in POW camps, the real extent of Unit 731 etc, and life under occupation in Korea etc.

One hour is all it would take, and at least then if they want to go to Yasukuni, and push for Senkaku, Takeshima etc, they would at least know the feelings of other countries.

It's very basic. 1895 - 1945 is the most important era to study for understanding Japan's relations with Asia, but instead they major on hundreds, or thousands of years ago history which doesn't really matter so much now.

South Korea is right, but it's a pity there aren't Japanese saying it because you can't tell another country what to study.

28 ( +38 / -13 )

I agree. Here is my idea for these lessons as recommended by the Koreans:- Lesson 1: The Japanese imperial army were responsible for war crimes, murder and rape. However, don't forget that was over 70 years ago and Japanese today are not responsible. Lesson 2: The Americans dropped 2 atomic bombs on Japan and firebombed Tokyo. Lesson 3: The Koreans took the area around Takeshima by way of force without international approval. Lesson 4: Remember that the Koreans live in a past that they did not actually experience in real life. Great idea.

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

Kim accused Japanese politicians of denying war crimes and said Japan’s failure to educate its people properly about the past was the root cause of its various territorial disputes over islands in the region—including with Russia and Asia’s premier power, China.

“It’s in sharp contrast with what Germany did to get the support and respect from the neighboring countries” after World War II, Kim said. “If Japan does it, I’m sure they can (get) respect from neighboring countries.”

Absolutely... I've been saying this for 20 years...Japan makes small token, sample like apologies, in a third-party sort of way, then goes back to the same old song and dance of re-writing history books, not too mention almost every big city Mayor, Governor or PM japan's had for the last 50 years is either denying anything out of the ordinary ever happened during WW2, or visiting Yasukuni, or involved in some controversial book or paper labeling WW2 a work of fiction.

Show the world you are really sorry Japan, build some memorials to the victims of YOUR war machine...! How about a Nanking Memorial? How about a Unit-731 Memorial? These are just some basic ideas I'm throwing out to you Japan, but there's a thousand others you could build, we'll leave the details up to you. But it has to be to the people YOU hurt, NOT Japanese people.

The international community wants whole-heatedly to welcome you in, but you've got to do some small things first.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

S Korea: Japan must educate its people about World War II

They do - they learn that they were the greatest victims of WW2 due to the atomic bombings and that their "minor" incursions into Asia were the result of western provocations.... This is essentially what Japanese learn about WW2

0 ( +11 / -11 )

@yasukuni

Spot on, very concise and astute!

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

@TigersTokyoDome

I agree. Here is my idea for these lessons as recommended by the Koreans:- Lesson 1: The Japanese imperial army were responsible for war crimes, murder and rape. However, don't forget that was over 70 years ago and Japanese today are not responsible. Lesson 2: The Americans dropped 2 atomic bombs on Japan and firebombed Tokyo

(1)Nobody is accusing the Japanese of today of committing those crimes, but they are accusing the Japanese of today of denying it ever happened, and distorting the facts to make Japan look like the victim.

(2) You logic is seriously flawed, Japan started the war by invading and colonizing these countries, The U.S., (after being attacked) only tried to STOP Japan's WAR Machine. There's a BIG BIG Difference. You should know that...

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

The younger generation isn't taught what happened in the war because it was disgusting what Japan did. Unit 731 anyone?

There are no winners in war, only losers, and war is a touchy subject at the best of times, but never get into a conversation about world war 2 with a Japanese person cus they are absolutely clueless and you may as well talk to a wall. They always play the victime card, and yes, as bad as Hiroshima and Nagasaki was, it didn't "just happen for no reason".

7 ( +13 / -7 )

And the Koreans should teach that many Koreans volunteerly joined Japanese military and many of them committed war crimes against citizens and POW, some of whom were executed as war criminals. Koreans playing the victim card would be equivalent to Austrians pretendimg to be victims.

10 ( +23 / -12 )

"but never get into a conversation about world war 2 with a Japanese person"

Precisely, because they don't have the knowledge. And it's not their fault because nobody ever taught them. They all went on excursions to Hiroshima, and they learn about that, and if they watch war movies they see brave Taro going off to fight against the enemy who are attacking his country, leaving behind pure girlfriend, adoring younger sister, weeping mother and strong silent father in the beautiful countryside. And they've heard snippets about how much people suffered from granny.

So they have little idea of the war from other's perspective. I defend the right of people to go to Yasukuni and debate Senkaku and Takeshima and want to defend them - BUT, as long as they know about ww2.

And Tigerdome, for Koreans and Chinese it didn't start in 1941.

Can anyone imagine Germany fighting tooth and nail over some land on the French border? The Polish?

6 ( +15 / -9 )

All the Japanese people I know are great people. They just don't know their own country's 20th century history.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

And the Koreans should teach that many Koreans volunteerly joined Japanese military and many of them committed war crimes against citizens and POW, some of whom were executed as war criminals. Koreans playing the victim card would be equivalent to Austrians pretendimg to be victims.

@ black_jack: You are correct in your post. Many Koreans were drafted into the Army of Japan and fought in various areas across the pacific. Also many were prison guards at the POW camps that were in Korea and they didn't exactly treat Allied prisoners very well.

But as others have pointed out, Japan needs to do a better job at presenting WW2 in its schools. Many people that I have run into and have had serious talks with, really don't understand the entire role of Japan in WW2. Like I posted here earlier in a related story about China and Japan over issues with other islands, the Nationalist protestor had the audacity to say that the Chinese were acting like "Nazis" in their attempts to claim the islands. He obviously skipped the class on WW2 that Japan and the Nazis were allied together, and that the Japan at that time that he wants to go back to was in favor of the actions that the Nazis were doing back then. But, this guy must have had an unclear understanding of Japan's role in WW2, and that's what causes some of the problems with Japan today.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I agree in principle to educating young people. But will SK insist on approving the program? Will they want to vet what's taught? You can imagine that they'll never satistfied.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@black_jack

Yes, and South Korea is really the pot calling the kettle black regarding the war crimes committed in Vietnam by Korean soldiers, the tens of thousands of Vietnamese woman raped by Koreans, their wimpy "apology," refusal to pay compensation and not forcing Korean kids to learn about crimes their grandfathers committed.

As Japan is now a peace loving nation there is no reason to change how things have been handled.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Japan must educate its people about World War II

That's quite simple, all you need to tell them is Japan was only trying follow the British model of creating an empire. To study further, please study the British model.

2 ( +7 / -4 )

I will ask again the question that the "Japan must apologize and teach history" crowd can answer: why, what is the purpose?

1 ( +4 / -4 )

Why is the history keeps repeating with South Korea? The recent SK President Lee’s trip to Dokdo Island has unnecessarily raised tensions between SK and Japan. Lee's claims the South Korea occupied islets by describing Dokdo as “genuinely our territory,” and insisted the isolated rocks were “a place worth sacrificing our lives to defend.” Defend against what? While Japan periodically restates it claim, it has never threatened to use force to recover Takeshima/Dokdo. Nor has it sent warships into nearby waters or turned a blind eye to activists to land there, as China does periodically in the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. So what is the real purpose of Lee going to Dokdo? Because of sinking single digits in his popularity in SK? Lee might be better learning refresher economic course so that his people can purchase cheaper nappa and cabbage.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Why does Japan keeps loving their past imperial history? I hope Koreo-Japanese relations get worse.

-14 ( +4 / -17 )

Yasukuni,

While I agree with your general gist about the overall lack knowledge about Japanese aggression in the 20th Cent, I think it also fair and important to say, that most westerners I have met assume that Japanese are not taught about the war at all, even though they actually have no idea what is taught in schools, or how it is taught. Like maths, science or any other subject, every student gets a different education, most schools suck at equipping kids with what they really need. The lack of knowledge about Japan's part in the war, is often overlooked through incompetence, rather than malice. The same statements about how 'knowledge of Japans past' are taught, could also be said about how 'ethics and manners', 'respect for the elderly', or 'discrimination' are taught. Overall schools are doing a pretty lousy job at all of them, but don't not teach ethics on purpose. Extremes aside, most Japanese people are 100% anti war and they agree with Japan's constitutional pledge that Japan should not have an army and they want peace forever. Schools and teachers in Japan are the same, if anything, they would be even more to the left of the spectrum.

Elementary schools that I have been involved in, do a lot more than your suggestion of a '1 hour video' a year to educate Children about Japan's past. Do you honestly think that a video once a year would change things? I have seen many DVD's and books about japan's aggression in Asia in Japanese public and private elementary schools, some of them violent enough to make me stop and think. I have also seen children do presentations and cute little powerpoint displays about the nastier side of Japan's 20th century. I have even seen Chinese guest speakers talk to children about Japanese occupation. There is a lot more than most foreigners actually think.

High school on the other hand is all about facts. Look at any text book (and text book is all that's important in HS) about any war that ever happened, it's all about facts. University history exams don't care about reasons, they only want to test dates, people and places. I agree with you, Japan's history between 1895 and 1945 should be the most important, but that won't change until universities start testing it. Schools don't have time to talk about stuff that won't be an the exam. But I would much rather they focused on science, ethics and common sense than the war, those issues are much bigger problems for Japan's future as a society.

A bigger reason for the viewpoints we see represented in the media or talked about at around the coffee maker at work, are patriotism. If my country was fighting for islands with another country and I knew there it wasn't 100% ours, I would still be annoyed that the other country was being aggressive over it. That's just human nature, neurology, we can't change how our brains work.

15 ( +17 / -3 )

Did any of you ever try watching a WWII movie together with a Japanese person? It is interesting to watch their complete lack interest , they just cannot relate to the story at all.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

That's a good idea. Except that South Korea needs to educate it's own people even moreso-

Korea was part of the Japanese Empire during WWII over 240,000 Koreans served in the Japanese military, the vast majority willingly as iithe numbers far exceeded recruitment quotas that didn;t go even go into effect until 1944 Koreans were known to be extremely brutal soldiers according to US troops that fought them in the Phillipines Korean POW guards were known to brutralize allied POWs in the camps Korean soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Army had full use of the Com,fort Women System and in fact received services at a discounted rate Some Koreans were charged and convicted as Class-B War Criminals at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials That South Korea portrays itself as a "victim" of Japanese aggression onnthe same level as the Chinese and other Asian countrries is deceitful and in denial of their own role in history.
10 ( +17 / -8 )

So the Japanese people have no clue about the war? The Korean government has sent in spy kids to sit in Japanese classrooms during their history lessons.

There is one thing to be educated about the cruelty of the war and another to constantly dwell about it. There are many young Koreans who hate Japanese because of this though they have never talked to a single Japanese person. Do you think that a girl born today in the middle of Shimane, Japan is responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of Korean people?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said: “We are victims of Japanese colonial rule.”

We? We? How did it affect YOU exactly?

How about you educate your people on the mattter of the 1965 treaty and the compensation that Japan gave instead of covering up the fact that it was wasted. Works both ways.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

TigersTokyoDome: "4: Remember that the Koreans live in a past that they did not actually experience in real life."

And you wonder why the Japanese are hated for denying history. Meanwhile, you have failed former PM Abe, now allowed to run for PM again (only in Japan!), as though people forget his own personal history of quitting over stress, claiming that there were no sex slaves, or Rape of Nanjing, and that while he was never there but knows what didn't happen, men who WERE there and admit it are either liars or have 'faulty memories'. So who's living in a past that did not exist, Tigers? Current politicians who were born long after the fact, or the victims, like sex slaves, who were there and experienced it?

The man is right, Japan DEFINITELY needs to address not only the victimhood of its history (ie. atomic bombs), but also the crimes it committed. No one has said it needs to be drilled into the youth of today that they are responsible or any such garbage, because they are not in any way responsible. But NOT teaching is also in no way being responsible, and it is the duty of adults and the elderly to pass on the knowledge of history to the young. When Japan white-washes its textbooks and assigns a mere couple of pages to the entire colonial history of Japan, saying, "Colonial rule was necessary for and contributed to the stability of the Korean Peninsula", all it's doing is lying to its youth and encouraging them to do it again. Worse yet are the nationalists who were all spewing hate in order to secure the LDP ticket -- they are the ones actually making up the past.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

History books should not be written by natives or those from the neighbouring countries. The job should be left to scholars from a neutral country.

There was a French academic who proposed to write one. I thought it was a good idea.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hiroicci: "There was a French academic who proposed to write one. I thought it was a good idea."

I think it's definitely a good idea that foreign scholars and/or people who experienced the events be allowed to add to or give input for the texts, but I'm not sure about having an entire textbook to be used nationally written by foreign bodies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Empires rise and fall, the Romans, the Persians, the Chinese, the Mongols, the English.. Japan just joined the Empire making game too late with not enough resource and chose the wrong team.

They were beaten and unquestionably and its true that Japan or at least the Japan of the past is guilty of some horrible things..

War is terrible and everyone does terrible things its absolutely true.

But for how long, am I responsible for what my Grandfather did? Are you?

I have travelled all around the world, and guess what, most people are just trying to work hard to feed their families and put food on the table, they have no particular hate or dislike of anyone, they are just trying to live the best they can.

How long are we going to let politicians play political football with sensitive issues for their own selfish gain.

Asia, specifically China, Korea and Japan, its pretty simple, Together you Stand, divided you will all fall.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I remember for a short time beginning in 1995 with the 50th anniversary of WWII it seemed like Japan was ready to move beyond portraying the nation and its people as predominantly victims of the war, to a more honest view also fully addressing its role as a perpetrator in causing undo suffering to its neighbors.

I was very optimistic at the time. Many former Japanese soldiers were still alive then, and quite a few of them would appear on television during the anniversary year talking not only about how they had suffered, but about how they had been involved in and witnessed atrocities committed by their units. Schools at the time also seemed to be going beyond the genbaku dome/Tokyo air raid view of Japanese victimization and openly discussing painful truths.

It's sad, but with the WWII generation all but gone at this point I don't see much hope of Japan reversing its Hashimoto/Abe/Ishihara-fueled nationalism and going beyond the current genbaku dome WWII curriculum in its schools.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Ossan made a great point. I would like to add to that and say that if Koreans look even closer at their history they would see that koreans have worked served in the Japanese military far before WWII. Their history has plenty of well known Korean men who in the past took Japanese names and became "Japanese" military officers. Koreans need to take a look at themselves. This will help them understand why they were and have been victims throughout their history. They have been invaded countless times by many different players. French,Russians,Chinese, Mongolians,Japanese, so on. They themselves have committed some of the same war crimes of beatings, rape,murder, in the past when they were in WWII and even after WWII i.e. Vietnam War. Korean units were notorious for being brutal and raping children/women in villages during that war. People are victims of Koreans too. Educated your own kids before you tell someone else to educate theirs.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

I agree that Japan needs to educate its people on WWII and the exact role Japan played.

But then what? If the Koreans see that Japanese textbooks are teaching how evil they once were, are the Koreans gonna back down? No, they are going to continue to hate Japan and will continue to ask Japan to apologize.

Kim is saying Japan should own up to what they did so that they can get respect from neighboring countries. This is just my opinion but I really don't think Japan cares what neighboring countries think. Japan will always have that "shima-guni" mentality and keep everything within Japan.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan. pleaseeeee educate your Japanese people with original history not the revised history....so Asians will look at you as a human not a w+r c+i+a+ like those enshrined inside the Y+S+K+N+ SHRINE. Pleaseeeeee.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Look East Asia needs stop trying to be so nationalistic and brainwashing their children to support their governments more. They're just going to look more and more pathetic.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There is one thing to be educated about the cruelty of the war and another to constantly dwell about it.

Exactly.

I understand S.Korea's general point in all of this, however I do not think this is exclusive to Japan. Do British kids learn about the 'reality' of the British Empire at school? (I for one didn't) Do French or Dutch kids learn about the brutality during their colonial rules in Vietnam and Indonesia respectively?

I'm not sure if S.Korea will ever be satisfied, even if Japan did exactly what they say - no doubt they would be demanding further apologies when there is another election over there.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It's simple: Learn from your mistakes. This is why we are educated about history. So we don't repeat the bad parts! It is a bit sad when Japanese people can't accept their mistakes or things from the past their ancestors did wrong. Japan is educated about the A-bomb, etc but they did their fair share of damage in many countries too. Guess what though people! Japan will never change! Now I am off to read about the mum who threw her baby away in a garbage bag. Another sad case of 'lack of education' and lack of common sense.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

1965 normalization was nothing, but bogus. The compensation was nothing but a loan and many issues in wartime period was not even discussed. Japan is so good!

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

There's always going to be idiot nationalists pointing fingers saying "See! See? They do it too!" and "It didn't happen. None of that happen. Our country is perfect and it did nothing wrong!".

1) Focus on your own country.

2) Your country isn't perfect. Get over it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

why does Korea care about Japan's education system... they need to focus on their own problems

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Most Japanese just think there was a war that they shouldn't have started because they lost! But, that they had no alternative. And they think that while some countries accuse them of doing bad things, that was settled in an unfair war crimes tribunal, and that every country does bad things in war. And finally, that no matter what bad things they did it pails into comparison to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the firebombing of Tokyo.

I agree that the above is largely what a lot of Japanese people think. But how wrong is this view?

I think that the Japanese have only a little more guilt than the victors. How right or wrong is that?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Where do you start..You have to go back to the Greeks, Eygpt, Russia, Spain, Portugal, France, England, etc., etc.. I believe every country has a similar problem, it is only 70 years ago for the Japanese.. Lets forget the past and make sure these things do not happen again... I must say this is only wishful thinking..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I agree that Japan needs to educate it's population about the war .

“We are victims of Japanese colonial rule.”

However as foreign minister Kim has to stop playing the "Korean's are victims" card. They were victims YES, but that is past tense and has been for over 50 years. He and Korea as a whole have to look at what happened as being a part of history and not the present.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

omg like f$%^n move on! that was in the past! everyone by now should know that war kills innocent people. the next war, the soldiers should protest and not listen to their governments order. massive world against war protest! ^-^

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Before and during world war 2, Japanese school children from Kindergarten to University and even up to Doctorate Degree has Marching/Drill subject. small boys were carrying wooden guns and Katana.

After the war, there was no such subject even up to University Students.

Korea and China and many countries has ROTC and actual military service for a year or two.

Japan ready reserve force is only 50,000. China and Korea and many other nations has a ready reserve force of hal a million to 2 million.

FOR SHORT, actions speek louder that mouth. Korean are living in the past and can become more ferrocious monster than the Japanese Imperial Army 70 years ago because everything DOES NOT START ON THE (History Book) but in ONE's HEART and MIND

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Views on this will continued to be divided. Many of the intellectuals growing up and educated in Japan will argue that such criticism tend to lack decent knowledge of what is currently being taught at the schools in Japan. As someone has suggested here, unless any credible and neutral party actually considers conducting a detailed assessment of any of the history textbooks used and publicly available in Japan, don't think the Japan side will ever be convinced, especially as they too have similar suspicions over the heavy anti-Japan bias in history education in neighboring countries under direct regulatory control of the governments concerned. If the question is about "weight", it should be difficult to avoid the clear tendency for the people here to be more knowledgeable about the atomic bombings than they are about the details of the aggression, which partially has to do with the availability of those who have personally gone through the experience and/or those willing to speak up as well as availability of factual evidence, while any educational bias driven by lack thereof would need to be avoided by the academicians.

That said I believe it is a good thing that SK's foreign minister has offered an unusually candid remark likely to be representing the general views of many in the country, to which the Japan side may need to formally respond. This is in itself a healthy debate, and would hope to see both governments begin to get to the details of things as typically repeated by the posters here which should hopefully provide more clarity on the whole issue.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanks to Japan, Korea is divided.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

To many Japanese, the only things of consequence that happened in WWII were the two atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They really only see themselves as "innocent" victims in any situation. It won't change anytime soon because it's an ingrained part of their national identity. Yesterday someone told me that Japanese haven't hurt any Koreans or Chinese here in Japan so it's a shame to see what is going on in those two countries. I told her about the nationalists beating up the Korean guy in front of Yasukuni last week and about the happenings in Korea Town but she just blew it off. She just refuses to remove her head from the sand. That woman travels a lot and she never fails to call the people in the countries she visits 'gaijin' and she also refuses to see any of Japan's faults. Don't see them ever understanding why they are so disliked in some parts of Asia.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Thomas You were spot on. The fact is Japan lost WW2. They have apologized, they paid reparations and they paid a heavy price in terms of lives for being involved in the war. How they feel about the war doesn't matter. They are not likely to do it again because they remember what happened last time they went on an imperialist rampage so why does Korea care? Your gonna let this stand in the way of economic prosperity? The immaturity of the Korean people never cease to amaze me...

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I've talked to my Japanese wife about this and according to her, WWII history is taught in Japanese schools, but is not taught in depth or over a long period of time. There is no special semester or textbook dedicated to everything that Japan did during that war. I asked a lot of questions, such as "Did you know that Japan did this or that" and she knew everything that I did. Then again, she was a fairly good student who always attended and got good grades. The same cannot be said of many students in Japan. In my American school, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima took about 2 paragraphs in my history book. It was mentioned in one day of history class and we did not dwell on it. It was basically "We dropped a bomb and it helped end the war." I think we all need to go back and do our own individual research, but that's easier said than done.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Thomas You were spot on. The fact is Japan lost WW2. They have apologized, they paid reparations and they paid a heavy price in terms of lives for being involved in the war. How they feel about the war doesn't matter. They are not likely to do it again because they remember what happened last time they went on an imperialist rampage so why does Korea care? Your gonna let this stand in the way of economic prosperity? The immaturity of the Korean people never cease to amaze me...

You missed my entire point, congrats.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

President Quirino of the Philippines from 1949 to 1953 lost his wife, several children and many relatives in his clan and in his wife family/clan in the hands of the monster Japanese Imperial Army. Some happened right before his eyes.

But in 1952 to 1953, he gave pardon to 300 remaining Japanese War Criminals and sent back to Japan. 59 out of those 300 were already waiting execution.

This incident was made or desribed in the POEM of the two war criminals waiting execution and was turn into the Song by the famous Japanese actress at that time, HAMAKO WATANABE.

The song title is "The Night Goes On on the Hills of Muntinlupa (Japanese War Criminal Prison Camp in the Philippines)"

It must have been difficult for Quirino who lost his wife, children and other members of his family in the hands of Japanese soldiers. Add to this traumatic incident was his imprisonment and torture. His pardon was a magnanimous act of kindness that our leaders these days can learn from. I could just imagine how difficult it was for him to offer friendship to those who took part in committing unspeakable atrocities against his family and country. KINDNESS and COMPASSION and MOVING FORWARD, is what humanity (civilized people) differ from ANIMALS (or people with great anger in their heart)

3 ( +8 / -5 )

All East Asian countries do whatever they can and come up with whatever BS to try and save "face" and pretend that their countries did nothing wrong. It's so pathetic.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

“It’s in sharp contrast with what Germany did to get the support and respect from the neighboring countries” after World War II, Kim said. “If Japan does it, I’m sure they can (get) respect from neighboring countries.”

Even the most staunch Japanophile would have to agree that there is a lot of truth to this statement. But, unfortunately, it will never happen. First, Japan conveniently took on the victim mentality due to the dropping of the two atomic bombs, so they could rationalize not really looking into their own actions. Second, the "Japan Miracle" occurred, which, unfortunately IMO, made Japan very arrogant as they were the economic engine driving Asia during the 60's, 70's and 80's. So they convinced themselves there was no real need to look back -- better to just ride the wave and enjoy the good life. Third, due to the first two, at least two generations of Japanese have gone through the education system without getting a thorough look at the entire picture and those foks are the ones setting Japanese policy today. Abe-san being a perfect example.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Thomas It not only East Asain countires it all countries around the world if you want to gloss over with such a general statement like yours.

Most all European nations that had colonized South East Asia had nevered issued a formal apology nor paid any reparations to those former colonies. Compared to that Japan had done much more to repay the damage to Korea, Taiwan and all the other South Eastern nations.

The problem is not teaching what happened during the war but what led to the war so not to repeat it again. Something both China and Korea needs to revisit.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Thomas It not only East Asain countires it all countries around the world if you want to gloss over with such a general statement like yours.

Yes, yet the Japanese are always complaining about Korean and Chinese government sponsored "anti-Japanese education". But ok, it's not only Korea and China, so I guess it is ok.

The only reason that the Japanese education about WW2 is halfway decent, is because the GHQ has ordered Japan to teach their side of the history.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

If it weren't for the GHQ, then Japan would still be teaching nationalist revisionist history. And they would not be paying a cent for reparations.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

I'd just like to see Japan not made out to be the awesomest country in the world in so many of their textbooks.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is why it's so hopeless. You tell them the truth and the Japanese people get angry because they can't handle the truth.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

I used to be one of the foreigners who thought that Japan does not educate its people about its terrible deeds during the first half of the 20th century. However, I have met the parents of at least 4 of my Japanese friends. On different occasions (long before the current situation occurred) I talked with them about Japan’s past. Every time I was surprised to see that all of them were well aware of the atrocities the Imperial army committed in the first half of the 20th century. So are their adult children, my friends. Yet, they still believe that the civilians killed by the A-bombs were victims. That’s why I guess all of them want peace and do not want Article 9 of their constitution to be abolished.

Some foreigners say that Japan deserved the A-bombs but remember that the bombs killed civilians and only a few IF ANY of the imperial soldiers who committed the war crimes. So just like every other country which actively took part in WWII Japan suffered because of the millions of civilian lives lost during and at the end of the war. Millions of people who never committed any crime suffered in so many ways during and at the end of WWII. While it is true that Korean civilians were victims, it is also true that part of those war crimes were committed by their own people. But does the ordinary Korean know about this? Does he/she know about the agreement of 1965? Do they know about the compensations paid? Who is the kettle and who is the pot here?

How long are we going to dwell on the past? Yes, for as long as there are politicians who need to use them to push their own agendas.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

How long are we going to dwell on the past? Yes, for as long as there are politicians who need to use them to push their own agendas.

Don't just sweep it under the rug and hope that it will go away. Have a talk about it. Get it out in the open and have an open debate and discussion. Sure it may anger some, it may make some uncomfortable, but at least that there will be some sort of a conclusion.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think all Asians need to be taught their history properly; Japanese, Chinese and Koreans.

And before someone comes up with the cultural relativist point, 'Does anyone teach their history properly?', Yes they do. Germans learn about the holocaust, French learn about the colonial wars and English learn about their unfair treatment of the Irish.

Asians can come across as pretty ugly in the propganda history stakes. Many Koreans were also involved in the selling of their women to the Japanese army. More Chinese died of starvation in the Great Leap Forward, under Mao than were killed by the Japanese.

However the japanese take the biscuit with their whole victim mentallity and complete denial of doing anything wrong.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Get everyone out in the open and have an honest talk and a debate. Get all the crazy nationalists, get all the anti-war people, get all the neutral people, get all the young people, the old people, get all the Koreans, Chinese, victims, soldiers, have a big debate and broadcast it on TV.

Do it!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yes, Japan does too little to teach its children of its past misdeeds. But JESUS, look at what Korea and China do, encouraging their children to draw Japan burning in flames with everyone dying. Both are over the top.

One theory I have is, the "real" crime Japan did (and I am not really being serious) is to engage in the kind of empire building that Britain, France, Germany and everyone else was doing in the19th century...but doing it in the 20th century, when there were actual cameras to record such deeds. Was Japan subjecting the Korean peninsula really so much worse than Britain's subjegation of India, Kenya, Australia? The real crime (if you buy this at all) is to do it in an era that it could be recorded photographically, unlike all that the British did. Is my theory 100% wrong?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@Dog, yes, the idea that Japan could do all that they did without tie help of many, many Koreans is hilarious. Yet they believe that only the Japanese are to blame, that every daughter sold by their parents to the army as comfort woman was actually seized at gunpoint by the military. Of course nothing so black-and-white could ever exist in history,

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think it happened in every country. There are bound to be some politicians who would rewrite the history and purposely skirt the vital part just to serve their political purpose. I do wonder what do they teach in Japan on their history and their position in WWII.

Altough there are nothing the present could do about the past (like changing the city course of history or the outcome of decisions made) the least we could do is to acknowledge it did happened. Apologise if it was deemed or expected for, but both parties need to move on too.

One can't inflict the burden of guilty on the future generation for what has been done by their fore fathers. We need to see it that those mistakes would not be inherited and repeated. In the past, with such primitive weapons, many super powers of the world, including Japan, made quite a large scale of damage to the invaded nations. Imagine with state of the art weaponary and latest advancement in tactics and warfare, what would the damage be,if countries decided to wage wars against another, because of the past sins? Because of the old grudges, intensified with the lack of care by the other party?

As a citizen of a nation once colonised by the west as well as occupied by Japan, albeit briefly, I do watch the latest development between Tokyo and Beijing over the island. And it does concerns us, as we are depending on world trade between the said countries, not to mention the other issues entails, should disagreement escalates to conflicts.

The fact that there has been an occupation by the Japanese troop and there were also war crimes done, are something that cannot be denied. Yet, we, the current generation need to address it without getting too emotional and carried away with ego and what not. Just my two cents

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JaneM Some foreigners say that Japan deserved the A-bombs but remember that the bombs killed civilians and only a few IF >ANY of the imperial soldiers who committed the war crimes. So just like every other country which actively took part in >WWII Japan suffered because of the millions of civilian lives lost during and at the end of the war. Millions of people >who never committed any crime suffered in so many ways during and at the end of WWII

Very well said. As many posters have pointed out, just as Japan might be somewhat hesitant to look upon a darker past, Korea might have the same problem and the US are not immune to it either - do we even realize it? The 4th Geneva Convention (1949) addresses that: "parties to a conflict often would resort to "intimidatory measures to terrorize the population in hopes of preventing hostile acts, but such practices strike at guilty and innocent alike. They are opposed to all principles based on humanity and justice."( comments from the ICRC)

I don't believe anyone is in a position to give morale lessons until they've been able to look upon their own past

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As stated in previous post, history is written by the victor and all nations have dark past in their history. There are two sides of the story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I just finished talking to a korean school teacher and she said that in school they are not even taught World History in school unless they choose it. She had no idea what the Holocaust is or was! She never learned anything about WWII war history outside of Japan attacked us. She said students can choose geography or society etc and World History is not even a requirement . So WHO needs to educate who? The korean education system needs to improve the quality of its education.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Unfortunately even if Japan does everything that PRC and South Korea demands in regards to past, they will still never forgive unlike other countries in SE Asia. It's too convenient of tool for Chinese and Korean politician to use to distract their citizens from other issues.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I love the ongoing dialogue that "Everyone is to blame so it's nobody's fault".

Japan does not educate their people about WW2 history but neither do China and Korea. And neither does the US. And neither does Europe. And on and on... pointing fingers and blaming everybody else.

Jesus H... no wonder we're not going anywhere.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@AU_user_since_1998

We can not blame Quirino for just a song and forget everything. We can not blame you for if you are not a La Sallian. But for us we WILL remember what happened in ww2 the date On February 12, 1945. Not only us but million of the Filipinos. Not only the Filipinos but the whole Asian

God bless u whoever u are..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What I'm saying is that no one should be pointing fingers; we're indeed all guilty one way or another. I spent a few years in England and during that time was traveling to Germany regularly for work. While there I talked with many people and candidly asked what they thought about being litterally drowned with reminders of the holocaust. Their reaction was the same as people in that situation all over the world: "we don't want to know; we are not responsible for what the previous generations did"

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Internally, the Korean kingdoms of Silla, Baekje, Goguryeo, Gaya etc. waged savage wars invading each other repeatedly over the centuries, sometimes enlisting the help of foreign powers. Should we not remember this too while we are at it?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

NZ2011: "But for how long, am I responsible for what my Grandfather did? Are you?"

Why is it some people simply cannot tell the difference between being educated about historical FACTS and being told "it's your fault". Should we stop teaching and learning about the Holocaust because, hey, "Wasn't me!"? I certainly had nothing to do with the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Tokyo, but I would be utterly disappointed if it was left out of textbooks and Americans started saying, "There were no atomic bombings" (as it is it's bad enough what they print about the bombings). The Japanese denying their history or saying, "such and such was necessary and had benefits" is akin to what American textbooks or people often say: "The bombings were necessary to save American lives... helped progress technology... ended the war..." etc. Well, okay, the last one is fact, but you catch my drift. How do Japanese feel, by the way, when Americans say "We don't need to apologize. The atomic bombs were a good thing and brought about peace in a war of attrition"? My guess is, especially those who suffered in the bombings, they're not to happy with such statements.

So again, NZ2011, you needn't feel guilty at all for what your grandfather and/or relatives did in the past -- but not wanting to know about it, or worse yet HIDING it (as the white-washed textbooks here do) is only admitting for whatever reason that you SHOULD be ashamed or guilty about it. Why else revise history and/or ask people to forget about something, or even deny it flat out?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Thomas You were spot on. The fact is Japan lost WW2. They have apologized, they paid reparations and they paid a heavy price in terms of lives for being involved in the war. How they feel about the war doesn't matter. They are not likely to do it again because they remember what happened last time they went on an imperialist rampage so why does Korea care? Your gonna let this stand in the way of economic prosperity? The immaturity of the Korean people never cease to amaze me...

Yes, but that's NOT what South Koreas foreign minister is talking. He's simply saying that Japan needs to teach about history, because so many many many Japanese have no idea other than they think they are victims.

It's a pretty simple concept, I don't know why all these die hard rightist, (just here on the JT site) are digging their heels in screaming bloody murder at the very notion that Japan should teach REAL history, it's utterly astoundingly that people are so angry over someone telling them to LEARN REAL History... For that matter just focus on 1895 - 1945 as Yasukuni, AlphaApe, Smithinjapan have so eloquently mentioned, time and again.

But don't do it for us, do it for yourself, expand your minds, and because you want to be a responsible member of the international community!

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

One more thing that I think is an amusing conclusion most nationalists on here jump to: I agree 100% Japan must acknowledge and teach about its past, but why do nationists automatically shout: "B-b-b-b-b-but China and SKorea have done vewy bad things too!"? Whoever said they didn't? I think ALL of these nations, and they all white-wash their books to an extent and promote nationalism (China probably being the worst for brainwashing, although Japan's atrocities through Asia go far beyond), should be teaching proper history. That's why the outcome for the 'joint history projects' between the nations always end in the same outcome: 'nothing agreed upon'. It's a good idea, of course, and the only way things would be taught accurately if they were all objective, but when you have two or more groups of ultra-national history revisionists getting together, what do you THINK is going to happen?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

The reason why they dont know anything is because in school the textbooks focus more on an anti-nuclear issue than the war itself. This gives the education ministry an opportunity to get their jab in at the American atomic bomb droppings. It focuses on what nuclear weapons can do so its the perfect example to reflect only on the hardship Japan dealt with rather than what all countries involved in the war dealt with. Its the perfect sly approach. I dont recall seeing anything about Pearl Harbour in the texts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

South Korea could do well to educate its people about WWII also.

The big difference between ROK and Japan when it comes to history education is that history education is dictated by the government in ROK and politicized. In Japan, history education and textbooks are relatively open and free, thanks to reforms instituted by MacArthur to prevent the kind of nationalist brainwashing that ROK continues practising today.

If you want to research or discuss alternate views of history, you can do that in Japan. NOT in Korea.

Every time Korea tries to open up commissions into its own colonial past, they fall apart under the revelations of people's links to colonial collaborators - because modern Korean history makes the idea that the vast majority of Koreans collaborated with Japanese rule, and worked as civil servants, went to universities, joined the military, etc, has been made unthinkable and shameful to them.

Japan's history is constantly out in the open here. Teachers unions are radical leftist and in favor of CCP and ROK narratives of history. It is regularly debated from different viewpoints, and Japan's neighbors regularly push these views. Everyone knows Korea's narrative of WWII, even if they disagree or favor other viewpoints.

Korea should learn from Japan about self honesty and history education. The government should not dictate history to its citizens - that will put ROK as it is, on the road to where PRC is now.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Their reaction was the same as people in that situation all over the world: "we don't want to know; we are not responsible for what the previous generations did"

1) They are not responsible, but they also benefited from it.

2) Why are people genuinely and candidly interested in what happened 1000 years ago, but they don't want to know what happened 70 years ago?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Japan's history is constantly out in the open here. Teachers unions are radical leftist and in favor of CCP and ROK narratives of history.

These kinds of conspiracy theories do not further the dialogue. And why are viewpoints from China and Korea automatically put aside? THAT is not a democratic dialogue.

Korea should learn from Japan about self honesty and history education.

HAHAHAHAHA. Good one.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

And I guess the rest of the world should learn from Japan's nuclear agency transparency. And business transparency. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

In korea, students are forced to learn the "we love beautiful dokudo" song and draw pictures of the rocks. Yeah, that's not brainwashing ...

4 ( +9 / -6 )

Ossan America - that's true. I think every country needs to study their own history more - especially the recent history that affects the way other countries perceive them.

As for Korean troops committing rape in Vietnam - yeah, Koreans need to learn that too.

If Koreans learn about the way they were treated by japanese, then they should be told. "On the other hand, our troops did this and that in a later war", and that our Korean soldiers used comfort women too.

Luchbox, I agree with a lot of what you said, and as I stated - it may not change the outlook, but at least you understand the grievances.

I'm basing my statements about lack of knowledge based on conversations over a long period of time. I'm sure some people know some things, but in general the lack of knowledge isn't there.

Case in point. Australia was once Japan's biggest trading partner. Volumes could be written about atrocities against Australian POWS, nurses and the simple fact that many people suffered due to Japanese aggresson. But lots of Japanese are surprised that Australia was even in the war.

Now that shows how overrated Aussies think their importance is..... but, it also means that Japanese have little idea of the experiences of other countries re ww2.

So many people obviously didn't learn, or weren't awake in class when they were told that japan not only bombed Pearl Harbor but Darwin, Townsville etc, and that people lived in fear of a Japanese invasion. many Japanese learn that for the first time on a trip.

People spend 12 years in school. There should be enough time in there for each student to graduate knowing where their soldiers went and what they did and how that affects peoples view of Japan.

And yes, they should also learn about hiroshima, nagasaki, Tokyo and Okinawa.

An informed populace is not a bad thing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Even if China and Korea stopped formal education about ww2 and the colonization era, there's always grandpa and grandma who talk about it. It would help if Japanese knew more.

Just sayin.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Smith

"NZ2011: "But for how long, am I responsible for what my Grandfather did? Are you?" Why is it some people simply cannot tell the difference between being educated about historical FACTS and being told "it's your fault"."

Exactly. I don't think Japanese need to feel responsible for ww2 or 1895. But it wouldn't hurt to know about it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"What the research uncovered was quite different from the common perception found in media, not only in Asia but also in the United States. Far from being nationalistic, Japanese textbooks seem the least likely to stir patriotic passions. They do not celebrate war, they do not stress the importance of the military, and they tell no tales of battlefield heroism. Instead they offer a rather dry chronology of events without much interpretive narrative.

Japanese textbooks are deliberately written in this somewhat subdued manner, partly to avoid overt interpretation and because they are aimed at preparing students for university entrance examinations. Nonetheless, Japanese textbooks do offer a clear, if somewhat implicit, message: the wars in Asia were a product of Japan’s imperial expansion and the decision to go to war with the United States was a disastrous mistake that inflicted a terrible cost on the nation and its civilian population. Indeed, that basic tale is what prompted revisionist critics to author their own textbooks to correct what was seen as a "masochistic" view of modern Japan."

http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00703/

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Contrary to popular belief, Japanese textbooks by no means avoid some of the most controversial wartime moments. The widely used textbooks contain accounts, though not detailed ones, of the massacre of Chinese civilians in Nanjing in 1937 by Japanese forces. Some, but not all, of the textbooks also describe the forced mobilization of labor in the areas occupied by Japan, including mention of the recruitment of "comfort women" to serve in wartime brothels. One clear lacuna is the almost complete absence of accounts of Japanese colonial rule in Korea.

Japanese textbooks are perhaps the least overt in their mission to present a patriotic narrative about the story of the nation. In contrast, national curriculum guides in most other East Asian countries assert the promotion of national pride and national identity as the primary function of history education. The "war stories" told in their textbooks are clearly intended to do just that, Duus notes."

http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00703/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"The desire to nurture a sense of national pride sometimes produces curious forms of myopia about the wartime period, most notably in the South Korean textbooks. The narrative of the wartime period offered to South Korean students is focused almost entirely on the oppressive experience of Koreans under Japanese colonial rule and on tales of Korean resistance to their overlords. The larger wartime context for Japan's increasingly desperate and forced mobilization of Koreans for the war effort - namely the quagmire of the war in China and the mounting retaliatory assault of the Americans after 1942 - is not provided. South Korean textbooks barely mention the outbreak of war in China in 1937 or the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in the case of the main textbook published by the government there is no mention at all of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Passage from a Chinese history textbook on the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Chinese textbooks are most obviously imbued with a passionately patriotic and ideologically shaped narrative of the war. In the textbooks used up until the last decade, the war story is one of heroic military operations mounted by the Chinese, and for the most part by the Communists, against Japan. Little or no mention is made of the fighting in the Pacific or the role of the Allied powers. The role of the atomic attacks in ending the war is mentioned in only a single line. Mao Zedong's call for an all-out attack on Japanese forces and the Soviet declaration of war in August 1945 are seen as the decisive factors. The victory in the anti-Japanese war represents, in this account, the end to a century of humiliation at the hands of foreign imperialists who rode roughshod over China's rights and interests, and the return of China to its historical position as a major world power."

http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00703/

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"The Chinese textbooks, published by the People's Education Press, underwent a significant revision in 2002. The revised textbooks were slowly introduced around the country and offer a distinctly more nationalistic account of the wartime period. The previous edition focused on the civil war struggle between the Communist Party and the Nationalists, supporting Communist claims to have borne the brunt of the resistance to the Japanese invasion. The new version downplays the civil war in favor of a narrative of national unity against Japan. The Nanjing massacre had previously been downplayed - it was inconveniently a battle in which the Nationalists played the main role. Now Nanjing occupies extensive space in the textbooks, complete with graphic descriptions of Japanese atrocities."

http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00703/

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Korea may be claiming that the problem is education, however it really isn't. Many, probably even the vast majority (then again, my students tend to be executives in corporations, so their educational level may be higher) are fully aware of Japan's actions during the war. So, the problem isn't educational. The problem is cultural, and as with all cultural problems, it isn't one-sided.

The Koreans who refuse to understand Japanese culture accuse the Japanese of denying history and never apologizing. The Japanese who refuse to understand Korean culture feel slightly offended at complaints about visiting war shrines and confusion at the continued calls for apologies. Both sides feel the other are intentionally provoking each other, that their actions are based on intentional deception. As a logical extension to this, any statement made by the opposition is, by default, either nonsense, deceitful, or hateful. It becomes a vicious, self-perpetuating, cycle.

Both sides refuse to consider the possibility that the opposing side actually, sincerely, believe they are correct.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have to wonder what kind of Japanese person some of you have been talking to. I think people I know usually know about all the stuff you have been mentioning here.

I must admit that we(I mean "I") could get diffensive when people keep saying your country did this and that, and it gets tiring real quick all you hear is Japan is this bad country. I know it is not right to point a finger and say "your country did the same thing too" when your country did some really awful things, but I get frustrated. I usually keep it to myself, because I know our grandparents generation did some really horrible things(tust me, my parents even took me to an island where Japan made posison gas. hope all of you know what I am talking about. yeah, all the experiments with human. yes, I know!) and we are really sorry for those things. We are not letting that happen again.

But no country's got clean hands. Also, I feel real defensive when people talk about Japan like it is the only country with all these attrocities. Japan should do this and that. And now, we have to be told what shoud be taught in school. (like learning could only happen in school.) I must wonder how much people learn about their own horrible history in a way victims can be satisfied. There is no chance of that I am pretty sure. Japan is no different from any other country.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In the documentary The Fog of War, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara recalls that General Curtis LeMay, who relayed the Presidential order to drop nuclear bombs on Japan, said, "'If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals.' And I think he is right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?

August 11, 1901, all members of US Company C of the 9th Infantry was nearly killed by Filipino guerillas in BALANGIGA SAMAR Province. Out of 74 infantry men, 48 died on the spot, 22 severely wounded and only 4 unharmed. In US HISTORY, it is the day when benevolent mission of the 9th Infantry was tracherously ambushed by FILIPINO MONKEYS (Natives who did not want to fight face-to-face). They ambushed US troops many are men dressed as women and parading a coffin going to cemetery but the coffin was full of arrows and rifles.

In the Philippines, that day was the day when US troops retaliated with every FiLIPINO on sight 10 years and older were killed. SOme were rounded-up and turned into pieces by GATLING Machine GUN. Death toll was over a thousand villagers, more than half were women and teen-agers.

In US History books, no mention of the Filipino Native Massace but only the 48 US Infantry Massacred by the brown Monkeys, as the US racists recorded.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@alliswellinjapan

"Contrary to popular belief, Japanese textbooks by no means avoid some of the most controversial wartime moments. The widely used textbooks contain accounts, though not detailed ones, of the massacre of Chinese civilians in Nanjing in 1937 by Japanese forces. Some, but not all, of the textbooks also describe the forced mobilization of labor in the areas occupied by Japan, including mention of the recruitment of "comfort women" to serve in wartime brothels. One clear lacuna is the almost complete absence of accounts of Japanese colonial rule in Korea.

I don't know the people that you know, or your experiences with the Japanese educational system K-12 and University, I can tell you, I do not know, exactly what they teach, other than preparing students to read and write Kanji and other forms of rote learning. But I can tell you, I know probably well over a thousand Japanese people, 90% of them university grads (albeit japan universities) and I've never met one that has more than a basic knowledge about what JAPAN DID during WW2, but they ALL know about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When they are confronted with evidence of Japan committing any kinds of atrocities or war crimes, other than say it's fake or propaganda, their next response is, "Well Everyone Did It!" Sorry, to break this to you, NO NOT Everyone committed war crimes, maybe except Nazi Germany.

Hence as the South Korean Defense Minister said, Japan Needs to Educate it's Populace about what Japan Really did... That's All.. Nobody is calling the Japanese of today War Criminals, we're just say You need to educate your people. As someone already posted on here, can you imagine the outrage if Germany was to try and argue over land bordering its country...? That's how outrageous some of the things Japan is doing appear to the rest of Asia, even though, you cannot understand why.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It’s in sharp contrast with what Germany did to get the support and respect from the neighboring countries” after World War II, Kim said. “If Japan does it, I’m sure they can (get) respect from neighboring countries.”

It is absolutely correct. While Japan is bitting with neighbors, Germany is bailing out the struggling economies of neighbors. Germany is strong and successful however it is getting along with neighbors. Gemany admited their sin and crimes they did not argue with anyone. Gemany is well behaved and civilized. Gemany did not change history herself. Germany admitted masscare of Jewish people. Germany is contributing the EU stabilty and prosperity. Germany can be called as a buillder of EU peace and prosperity!

Japan is disliked by South Korea. Japan has conflict with North Korea. Japan does not get along with Russia. Japan has old wound with China. Japan has dispute with Taiwan. Japan is untrusted by Brunei. Japan does not get along with any neighbors. Japan is arrogant and promoting the pre-war nationalsim. Japan has no more friend in Asia now. Japan is a wrecker of friendly relaionship.

Even in UN meeting, no one was seriously paid attention for Noda Speech. Japan may have to move another continent for getting more friends.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maybe some of you don't realize but after the Schengen Agreement was signed and implemented, European countries are virtually without borders except for the ones with non European countries. You can drive from one country to another without realizing it. There is something to be said about their ability to move forward and China and Korea pulling continually pulling Japan back.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hikozaemon: "In Japan, history education and textbooks are relatively open and free, thanks to reforms instituted by MacArthur to prevent the kind of nationalist brainwashing that ROK continues practising today."

I agree there's a lot of brainwashing going on when it comes to learning history in the ROK and the PRC, but to suggest it's not happening in Japan is ridiculous. How many pages on Japan being the 'victim' vs. their more than 30 year colonial rule in parts of Asia and the 10 million people they killed? How about the mention of sexual slavery, and politicians like Abe saying 'it never happened'? Is that not brainwashing? Are lies of omission not lies? I'm not saying any one side is any better -- not at all. But denying the kids of today the history of the past and/or telling them it didn't happen, perhaps in a 'more subdued manner', is just as bad.

Two wrongs... or three in this case... don't make any of them right, despite what the Right says. Why can't some of you guys just admit that despite the brainwashing and politics shoved into down the throats in other countries, Japan could do more to educate their youth on the facts of the past instead of omitting or denying them? ALL countries around the world can do better -- that's a fact. Japan is not exempt.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Ryu-1: "There is something to be said about their ability to move forward and China and Korea pulling continually pulling Japan back."

Another example of "Japan is the victim" as an argument against the fact they don't talk about their aggression.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Let's face it, S Korea won't be happy until every single Japanese man, woman, child and pet dog get down on their knees and beg forgiveness. I will never understand why people need to apologise for something which happened two generations ago... and keep apologising. My Japanese friends and loved ones weren't even born until the 60s... why should they be made to feel guilty for something which happened more than 20 years before they were even born?

I agree that children should be educated about what their country did during the war, but they shouldn't be made to feel guilt or shame. They didn't do it, neither did their parents. Maybe the S Koreans need to learn about what their country did with its own people in the Korean War... http://www.jinsil.go.kr/English/Information/notice/read.asp?num=500

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I know probably well over a thousand Japanese people, 90% of them university grads (albeit japan universities) and I've never met one that has more than a basic knowledge about what JAPAN DID during WW2

You asked over a thousand Japanese people about their knowledge of WWII? I seriously doubt that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Thunderbird2: "why should they be made to feel guilty for something which happened more than 20 years before they were even born?"

once again you have someone mistaking a person saying Japanese youth need to learn the real facts of history with someone saying all young people should feel guilty. Why you guys consider this a defense instead of seeing it as a cop-out is beyond me. He's not saying all Japanese should get on their knees and apologize -- YOU are saying he's saying that. Please show me where he says 'all Japanese should feel guilty for the acts of their ancestors. I won't hold my breath waiting.

"They didn't do it, neither did their parents. Maybe the S Koreans need to learn about what their country did with its own people in the Korean War..."

And cop-out number two. SK should teach about their own history, but not Japan -- they should be exempt, otherwise they might feel guilty, etc. etc. etc.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

General Curtis LeMay, who relayed the Presidential order to drop nuclear bombs on Japan, said, "'If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals.' And I think he is right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?

You are making the same mistake people who don't do their own research and just quote what others say make. General Lemay was making an admission of remorse or commenting on any sort of ethical situation. He was actually talking rather frankly about politics, and it was in answer to the questions you yourself just asked (What makes it immoral or not immoral is which side wins the war). Incidentally, I think it is just because you are parroting someone else and not intentional, but your post incorrectly implies that he was referring to the atomic (not nuclear) bombs. This statement was made in reference to the fire-bombing campaign he carried out, not the atomic bombs.

August 11, 1901, all members of US Company C of the 9th Infantry was nearly killed by Filipino guerillas in BALANGIGA SAMAR Province. Out of 74 infantry men, 48 died on the spot, 22 severely wounded and only 4 unharmed. In US HISTORY, it is the day when benevolent mission of the 9th Infantry was tracherously ambushed by FILIPINO MONKEYS (Natives who did not want to fight face-to-face). They ambushed US troops many are men dressed as women and parading a coffin going to cemetery but the coffin was full of arrows and rifles. In the Philippines, that day was the day when US troops retaliated with every FiLIPINO on sight 10 years and older were killed. SOme were rounded-up and turned into pieces by GATLING Machine GUN. Death toll was over a thousand villagers, more than half were women and teen-agers.

Yep, war sucks, no two ways about it. It bites the big one, it results in nothing but atrocities, it dehumanizes everything we stand for...feel free to add your own claim. Can't really imagine anyone disagrees.

In US History books, no mention of the Filipino Native Massace but only the 48 US Infantry Massacred by the brown Monkeys, as the US racists recorded.

Actually, in most history books, neither massacre of either side is mentioned (I would actually be surprised if more than 50% of Americans were aware we fought a war over there). If you want to read about the history of the Philippines, you need to go to the books (or the internet), and get a book specifically about the war in the Philippines. Same holds true for pretty much any armed conflict in the States. All you get in school are the ones that influenced social or political change on the national level, and mostly an overview of those.

Most high schools, after all, aren't military academies, and the ones that are tend to focus on the battles that one can learn lessons from. Mostly, US guilt trips focus on the massacre of the Native Americans.

But I can tell you, I know probably well over a thousand Japanese people, 90% of them university grads (albeit japan universities)-

Well over a thousand, huh? If you say so.

and I've never met one that has more than a basic knowledge about what JAPAN DID during WW2,

Considering how abrasively you approach the topic here, have you considered that perhaps these over a thousand people just didn't want to talk to you about Japan's past? What is more likely, that over 1000 people are all completely ignorant about such a major part of their recent history, or that there is one common element (one guy) that people know not to get into a discussion with?

--but they ALL know about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

So do pretty much all the school kids of all the other developed countries. It isn't much of a secret. It quite literally changed the course of history in more ways than just WWII.

When they are confronted with evidence of Japan committing any kinds of atrocities or war crimes, other than say it's fake or propaganda, their next response is, "Well Everyone Did It!" Sorry, to break this to you, NO NOT Everyone committed war crimes, maybe except Nazi Germany.

Really? Do you have anyone in mind? Who has ever waged war without having committed war crimes?

As someone already posted on here, can you imagine the outrage if Germany was to try and argue over land bordering its country...? That's how outrageous some of the things Japan is doing appear to the rest of Asia, even though, you cannot understand why.

Sure, we understand why. We just think that Korea and China doing it is even more outrageous than Japan doing it. Incidentally, I'm still referring to education; I didn't jink over to land grab.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Correction:

The second sentence in my response above should read "General Lemay was not making an admission of remorse or commenting on any sort of ethical situation."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Quite frankly, how many of our younger generations know our participations in WW2? Be it in Japan, be it in Korea, China, Taiwan, the whole Southeast Asia? History lesson is no longer compulsory in many nations, and even if it is, how many of the students really reading it beyond what is expected in exams?

Whatever many of my generations would know about WW2 came from snippets of bedtimes stories or fragments of memories by our grandparents while the grandchildren sitting around during hailstorms because the electricity is out and they can't watch the tv.

In present day, even my nephews and nieces regards Japan occupations in Malaysia and Singapore as second chapter in their history books, not more, not less.

Something like maybe one or two questions for the multiple answers question. The younger generations were born in the world of electronics and the technology, they don't care what happened 70 years before. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't let them know what happened in the past. We need history to try preventing future mistakes. And it's not wrong to learn the history.

I've got a friend who, upon hearing my experience in Japan, pointed out to me, that he hated the Japanese for what they done to his families during the occupation. I told him, my family might be spared, but we might just be a little lucky. Tht's all. Fact remains Japanese forces went and occupy my country. But should I be bitter about it, I don't see the reason why.

The Japanese people I've met were not like what my parents, or my grandmother used to tell me about. Every country in this world should learn what their leaders subjected their people to especially when it is about their relationships with the other country.

History lesson should be about facts as it is, not glorified beyond comprehension or glossed over to cover the heinous act. You want what people really feel about anything, look up for anthropology books. Or try to look out for those who were there when it happened.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posts stating that Japanese people do not know about their history continue to appear on this and other threads. Yet, have you ever thought that it might be a cultural thing. In general, people in Japan avoid talking about problems and problematic issues with people they do not know well. They simply say “A, so?” or “ I didn’t know”, which is their way to avert an unpleasant turn of the conversation. This, however, does not mean that they lack the knowledge – they simply do not want to talk about problematic issues with somebody who they do not know well. I am talking from experience as it took me several years (too long, indeed) to actually realize this.

As Kaykay said above, the Japanese have been told many times that they were the villains and they do know about the Japan’s past actions pretty well. And that's why I believe, except for the bunch of extremists, everybody in Japan wants peace.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

once again you have someone mistaking a person saying Japanese youth need to learn the real facts of history with someone saying all young people should feel guilty. Why you guys consider this a defense instead of seeing it as a cop-out is beyond me. He's not saying all Japanese should get on their knees and apologize -- YOU are saying he's saying that. Please show me where he says 'all Japanese should feel guilty for the acts of their ancestors. I won't hold my breath waiting.

The complaint is that Japanese people don't know their history. The assumption is that if Japanese people did know their history, they would agree with your position. Japanese people do know their history. However, that doesn't mean that they agree with your position. Whether they are right or wrong is secondary; the perspective that knowing Japanese history will lead to the territory disputes being solved is incorrect at the foundational level. Because of that incorrect assumption, the Korean position has stuck itself into a circular argument:

Why doesn't Japan acknowledge that the islands are Korean?

Because they deny their history.

How do we know they are denying their history?

Because they don't acknowledge the islands are Korean.

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JaneM: "Yet, have you ever thought that it might be a cultural thing."

Since when is ignoring when you've done wrong an excuse called 'culture', and isn't that insulting to Japanese culture if you really think so?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@ Ryu-1inOH

I spent a few years in England and during that time was traveling to Germany regularly for work. While there I talked with many people and candidly asked what they thought about being litterally drowned with reminders of the holocaust. Their reaction was the same as people in that situation all over the world: "we don't want to know; we are not responsible for what the previous generations did"

I think this comment needs some clarification.

First of all, you're absolutely right regarding one point: German public discussion is literally drowned in reminders of the Holocaust. But the reaction is not exactly "we don't want to know; we are not responsible for what the previous generations did" - at least as far as the vast majority is concerned. (There are, however, nutcases who still don't get it or deny it outright but these won't learn whatever might happen.) Most Germans either do want to know or are constantly confronted with it, at school, in political discourse, etc.

The point is that whoever sees fit to "remind" the Germans once more of the Holocaust and the atrocities committed by Germans (at that time) seems to do so with an attitude of "it's about time you learn this". So, the average German has learned of the Holocaust at school (usually twice in a normal gymnasium - junior high school/high school - curriculum), and is being reminded nearly constantly, reminded again, reminded again and again... What these people you've met might have wanted to tell you is actually: Yes, we've heard it, we've learned it, we've been fed it over and over again - but why are we always being treated as if we hadn't?!

One more thought. I would strongly state that today's Germans are not "responsible" for what their ancestors did. You can't be and you can't be held responsible for something that happened before you were born or before even your parents were born. But you definitely ARE responsible for the way you handle the history of your nation. And this, in my opinion, goes for today's Germans as well as for today's Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, British, French and whatever nation comes to mind.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Since when is ignoring when you've done wrong an excuse called 'culture', and isn't that insulting to Japanese culture if you really think so?

Every culture has a different manner of responding to someone rubbing the past in their face. To assume this reaction is due to ignorance of your own history (as opposed to simply being tired of foreigners thinking they are the only people who have heard about your country's more more embarrassing moments) is somewhat insulting.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

JaneM. I'm talking about people in my family. Some people know of course, but the vast majority of people i know don't. People don't usually hold back with me. I'm not a gaijin who got off the boat yesterday that people don't try to offend.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And I'm not suggesting that Japanese have to have a time of self-flaggelation either.

Just know some of the basic facts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

look at what Korea and China do, encouraging their children to draw Japan burning in flames with everyone dying.

I think those drawings are basically drawn by Japanese based on scenes taken from disaster movies such as Sinking of Japan.

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The fact is Japan lost WW2. They have apologized, they paid reparations

Japan had offered some vague apologies but have yet to admit its wrongdoings. And Japan did provide some ODA or low interest loans to China and S Korea but insisted that they were not indemnity. The reason being that Japan did not see any need to pay indemnity since Japan did not do any wrong in the first place.

As to the reason why Japan found it so hard to admit its war crimes, let me ask you just one simple question. Do you think Germany would have admitted the war crimes committed by the Nazis if Hitler or his right hand men got to regain control over Germany after WWII and get themselves jailed? Unlikely right? Now, that is exactly what had happened in Japan. Shortly after the war, the Japanese war criminals and the people who brought Japan to war regained control over Japan for many more decades to come through the LDP, a political party founded by the fascists, WWII criminals and Yakuza godfathers with the money that they looted from China and Korea.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

How about South Koreans grow up and join the 21st century?

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I had a rather awkward experience, whereby my lovely and entirely delightful J-mother in law quite innocently said to me one night at the dinner table; "Australia is quite a peaceful country, Tamarama kun, it's never really been in any wars. Desho?"

I looked at my wife, who looked bug-eyed at me, and then preceeded to tell said J-mother in law that, in fact, both of my grandfathers had spent some time in and around the Solomon Islands in 1944/45 thinning the Japanese Imperial Forces that were infesting that verdant island chain. Pregnant pauses. Throat clearing.

"Beer, anyone?!"

A little more education about the war?

It wouldn't go astray.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The truth of history is rarely told anywhere so beware about what you believe. For example, Unit 751 was terrible no doubt and this really has nothing to do with Japanese but just crazy warped people. Second, the USA was interested in the findings from Unit 751 since they knew it would be useful info that could not be gotten anywhere else. As such the USA made a deal with Japan to hand over all the data and this matter would not be brought up in a criminal court or something to get Japan off the hook.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Another fact and something people do not want to consider--especially Koreans--is that first Korea is a masculine dominated country and women have less rights. As such the women do not have a way to advance to higher positions as easily as in all the western countries. The result of this is that many of the Korean girls have no choice but to become hostesses or prostitutes. It is becoming a big problem in other countries where many of the Korean women are of this bunch. Not all but I am generalizing for the whole country. As such when Japan took over Korea most of the women were not forced to become prostitutes but this is all they knew how to do to make money. Probably some were forced and in war back in those days it was common for example in China for the Chinese to rape other Chinese women when they invaded towns. It is all bad of course, but we need to see things from a different angle to really understand history.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

One thing to understand about the Koreans is that their way of though which is based on culture is based more on feelings and beliefs than logic. The islands that they are fighting with Japan about is first a stupid thing to fight about, but that being so, the Japanese offered for them to settle this in an International court. The Koreans have refused because they know that they will lose since their story has little logic. The Koreans believe it to be there island so they stick with that belief even if it is not true. A similar thing happened when Apple met with Samsung and Samsung said that they did not steal anything and believe that Apple stole from them! The belief or feeling has no rooting in the facts or logic so this scenario applies to everything that Japan is throwing at Japan. Japan has saved Korea many times and given large sums of money and built their infrastructure during the colonial rule. Korea should actually be sending presents to Japan to thank them for all they have done. If it was not for Japan I wonder how many years back in development they would be -- maybe still a developing country.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Joseph? Japan saved Korea? Since when? The colonial infrastructures are all gone by Korean war. Japan should be thankful to USA for being so nice to them and giving them money. Japan is USA dog, nothing more.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

JoeBiggs: "South Korea should teach it's people that the war ended 67 years ago."

They know full well when the war ended -- it's a shame people like you wish to forget what happened DURING the war and instead insult the victims while calling the aggressors saints.

"South Korea should teach it's people that without the U.S., Japan and S.Korean alliance South Korea would be starving to death like it's northern cousins."

And what would Japan be without the US? They'd still be eating whale blubber for nutrition, perhaps. Actually, SK is in a much better boat in that regard than Japan because they have the land and natural resources to be pretty much self-sufficient while Japan is only 40% as such and STILL depends on everyone else to help them.

"South Korea should teach it's people to stop eating dogs and cats."

And Japan to stop eating whales and dolphin. ZING!

nigelboy: "This type of whitewashing is the primary reason why there is no chance in hell there would be any consensus among East Asians in regards to history."

Especially when people like yourself learn from white-washed Japanese textbook and claim it as fact. It's always sad, and quite amazing, when you see young Japanese go abroad on exchange and learn what actually happened. The saddest part is that they feel guilty, which they should not -- there is no reason for them to because it had nothing to do with them -- but the government should not only feel guilty, but ashamed. Meanwhile, one of the biggest history-deniers and white-washers, Mr. Abe 'my tummy hurts!' is probably going to be the next one-year PM (again). He'll no doubt start off with legislation he tried in the past -- to rescind Tanaka's apology to the sex slaves, and beg the US Senate not to prove him wrong again lest his IBS or whatever ails him acts up again.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

breakingpoint: "Joseph? Japan saved Korea? Since when?"

Joseph probably read a Japanese history text, for that's the kind of thing they usually say when defending their rape of Asia and colonial massacres. "It was necessary for stability!", "We gave them modern education!", "Taiwan loves us because we 'helped' them" (won't hear that quite so much these days), etc. Then turn to the chapters upon chapters of how Japan was the victim of the wars, despite being the 'saviours' of Asia in the preceding chapters.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Japan has been pumping tons of money into Korea to try and repent for what they have done in a sense. Was it 10 years ago that Japan propped Korea back up out of its financial crisis? For the last 40 years the amount that Japan has spent on ODA which went to China and Korea. This was used for building hospitals, roads, bridges, etc. (actually i meant this period --not during the colonial rule--my bad).

Yes I agree that Japan should be thankful to USA though I think they are appreciative even though the USA bombed the hell out of them. Also you are right, Japan has been a USA dog for too long because Japanese race in general has a weak spine (not necessarily the women or housewife though!) nowadays. This has to change, but keep in mind that Japan has also helped the USA with money problems too.

Japan has brought the advanced technology to Korea. Without that Samsung would not be what it is.

Much of the history of what Japan has done for Korea is not taught in the Korea schools. They are all ignorant of the facts--check ODA for starters.

Japan is not perfect and neither is any country and my point is that we should stop complaining between countries on these things from so long ago when actually there are positive points that are not being shared in China and Korea.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

canadianbentoSep. 28, 2012 - 10:09AM JST

Where do you start..You have to go back to the Greeks, Eygpt, Russia, Spain, Portugal, France, England, etc., etc.. I believe every country has a similar problem, it is only 70 years ago for the Japanese.. Lets forget the past and make sure these things do not happen again... I must say this is only wishful thinking..

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”. ― Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

Forgetting is perhaps the worst thing we could do even if forgetting was truly possible. Yes we have to make sure these things never happen again in our world, that's why no one should ever try to forget the past, as it will have a way of catching up with you sooner or later... No one should ever forget horrific and shameful time in world history so that it will never be repeated. We must look to the past, honor the memory of victims and recognizing that mankind was powerless to prevent and stop atrocities of the past, and we must also look to the future and think about what we could do to better prepare ourselves to act decisively against the possibility of a new atrocities.

NEVER FORGET! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_forget_%28political_phrase%29

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Actually I have never read a Japanese history text. I only speak with Japanese people though some would consider this biased and it is.

Japanese history texts are not bad at all. They only tell the facts for the most cases. These texts do not say that Japan saved Korea. This is not a fact and can only be an opinion drawn from data. This whole thing about Japanese texts giving a wrong impression is so warped. The impression they give is only facts!!! Kids only remember facts in Japan, which is one of their major problems. Of course sometimes these facts are wrong and eventually when we have a discussion about the emperor they are 'unknown facts' that will shock the world once I reveal this info.

The USA history texts in high school were so bad. They just gave a general overview. Japanese kids are learning things that we learn in college back in the states.

Japan has been a wallet for the world.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

nigelboy: "Sorry to break it to you but I was never educated in Japan but after learning the language(which you still have not yet done),"

But clearly you've been white-washed in Japan. And as for the "you've never learned Japanese" garbage, I more than know and speak it fluently, thank you. Just because I don't resort to reading nationalist rags in the language or watching 2-channel doesn't mean I cannot speak it. Stop lowering the level of debate because you cannot provide a decent retort.

"it's quite obvious which party is whitewashing history here."

Ah, so you think it's just ONE party doing the white-washing, while the other is the victim. Hmmm... Nah, Japan's never white-washed anything (I notice you couldn't comment on what I said about Abe, by the way... but nah, no white-washing on this side).

"Smithinjapan has NEVER read (or can't read) Japanese textbooks. He is merely echoing English based articles which cites Korean claims that Japan is whitewashing history."

And nigelboy shows again the credibility of his arguments; lowered to trying to insult a person's language skills and making baseless claims about sources without... well... sources.

Newsflash, nigelboy, this is an ENGLISH news site. Why do I need to prove my Japanese skills to you here? Just because I don't bother to read the right-wing blog 'links' you provide doesn't mean I couldn't if I wanted to waste my time.

But hey, here's a challenge for you nigelboy: try posting on the thread at hand instead of simply, and rudely, trying to attack other posters who don't agree with you?

White-washed indeed. :)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Joseph: "They only tell the facts for the most cases."

And omit all the facts that the nationalist 'historians' consider negative to Japan's image. Go figure! Like I said, go ahead and tell me how many pages there are on the atomic bombings vs. how many pages there are on sexual slavery, the Rape of Nanjing, and the 10 million Japan murdered Asia-wide during their colonial reign and WWII combined. Like I said before to another poster who refused to answer, I won't hold my breath while you refuse to count.

"The USA history texts in high school were so bad. They just gave a general overview. Japanese kids are learning things that we learn in college back in the states."

About what, exactly? Things that happened in Japan? Most Japanese think WWII started in 1941 -- how's that for history? All countries put priority on their own history, and rightly so, but don't make blanket claims that Japanese history texts teach more in highschool about the world than other nations' textbooks do in college. Hardly any Japanese know when WWI started and/or ended, nor do they even know they housed German POWs in Naruto (the camp was called Bando), where they learned a bit about soccer from said POWs, and the reason why Beethoven's ninth symphony was first performed in Japan there. That's but one tid-bit you can learn elsewhere about even THIS nation that you can hardly learn here. Just proving a point.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

South Korea's foreign minister saying that Japan must educate its people about WW2 and China telling that Japan stole their islands are largely a sophistry of them not to bring the disputes to the ICG. It sounds as if they talk their way out of accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ which Noda urged them to. They should if anything condemn Japan at the ICJ instead of in an interview with news media for the quickest solution.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

detlef langer

Yes, we've heard it, we've learned it, we've been fed it over and over again - but why are we always being treated as if >we hadn't?!

You've certainly got a point and I somewhat agree with you there. Most of the adults in their 40s, born 10/20 years after WWII ended definitely know and sometimes just agree with you when reminded and do not push the discussion any further. I've got to say the younger generations definitely do not want to know - I remember some TV programs where they interviewed university grads after a speech made by some holocaust survivor. I will explain my point.

But you definitely ARE responsible for the way you handle the history of your nation. And this, in my opinion, goes for >today's Germans as well as for today's Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, British, French and whatever nation comes to >mind.

I totally agree. There is a duty to remember so as to not repeat the errors of the past. But the burden can be very heavy to bear, espcially when the prescriptor - and here is my point - hasn't done their own due diligence and uses it as an excuse to bear a grudge and push other agendas. If whoever tries to give morale lessons to Japan took the time to reflect upon their own past history and deeds, they wouldn't take that condescending attitude when doing it and it might go through a bit better too.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said: 'We are victims of Japanese colonial rule.'"

No, you aren't, you preening, opportunistic, smug, little jerk. People long since dead were victims of Japanese colonial rule, an issue that was laid to rest not long after the end of the war via multiple treaties, conventions, agreements, and declarations -- and at least once every decade ever since with the latest generation of angry young men looking for a patsy to pin their woes upon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Seiharinokaze --good point in that Korea should condem Japan but actually they should just tell their story and set the facts straight.

But as I previously said I think the nations should be smart and work together and thus create a JV to share whatever interests can be gained from these islands. It would be a new beginning and change the whole nature of the beast. WIN/WIN scenario here for every country to follow the flow of money in a way that creates friendship and peace for all. Everyone is acting like kindergarten children.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The biggest problem with SK is that they can not give credit when credit is due. Have you ever read a Taiwan history book?

They still teach about Yoichi Hatta that made the Usantou Reservoir possible. They also recognize Nemoto Hiroshi another Japanese that hade been instumental in the Battle of Guningtou that led to independence of Taiwan. There are many more Japanese that faught in Indonesia independence and/or Malyasian after the war.

From where I see it Korea can not admit those because they are fixated in "WE are the bless therefore we cannot do wrong" Why not teach your fellow Koreans that they could be wrong and that they did do so mistake instead?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Good one SamuraiBlue

Tell me how did mortality rate expand by five folds before and after the anniexation? How about literacy rate? How about school attendance rate? How about mrotarilty rate?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There's an awful lot of "whataboutry" in the comments, what exactly does Britain, America or whatever have anything to do with this?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan has is the only country to be atomic bombed and it seems like everyone forgets this

Hardly, there are plenty of people who bring it up. Don't they have a remembrance ceremony in japan every August too?

Japan was already defeated! The USA burnt Tokyo when there was no need to do it. This was all a kind of revenge for Pearl Harbor.

Blame Hirohito and his cronies for stalling their surrender for so long.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Actually, thats not completely true. If I'm correct, they're refering to a Right-Wing Textbook (revisionist) that got approved by the Ministry of Education a decade ago?

You know what happened afterwards? The Japanese Teacher's Union started a massive lobbying effort and effectively stopped the book from being used in all of Japan's public schools and the vast majority of its private ones. In fact, according to wikipedia, the book they're probably mentioning is only used in .0039% of the schools in Japan.

Regarding Education, I'll just post what another expat said in the history sub reddit regarding the Neighboring countries clause, which was put into effect and as such, all textbooks have to teach past acts of agression and crimes commited by the Imperials.

http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/d6xaz/nice_try_japanese_warmuseum%E0%B2%A0_%E0%B2%A0/c0y0zik

Quote sloan: As a journalist working in Japan, over the years I've been here I've taken a great personal and professional interest in examining how Japan deals with its past aggression. What I can say right up front is that the way the Japanese are represented in these kinds of debates on reddit is pretty disgraceful. Most of the information posted here is second-hand "internet wisdom" from people who have never visited the country and are just repeating the same propaganda and half-truths that come up every time this topic is mentioned. So, in the interests of providing a little balance, let me put straight a few things that frequently come up in these debates.

•The Rape of Nanking is taught in Japanese schools, and is taught entirely from the perspective of being a shameful incident that Japan needs to learn from and not repeat. I know this because I've been an invited guest in a wide number of schools and have seen for myself what takes place in the classroom. The amount of graphic coverage varies from teacher to teacher, however I have on a number of occasions witnessed students in tears over the scenes that have been presented to them.

•The last revisionist textbook was published in 2000. It was published by an extremist right-wing organization, not a mainstream publisher, and was used in only 16, mostly private schools in Japan. While regrettable, in context this is a tiny number, and nothing like on the scale that we in the west believe the problem to be.

•There was a tradition of Japanese leaders visiting Yasukuni Shrine (mentioned above) to pay homage to the Japanese war dead. However the last five Japanese Prime Ministers have stopped this practice and on a number of occasions have made their reasons for doing so quite clear; namely the fact that it's highly offensive to Japan's neighbors.

•The younger generations of Japanese society have largely shed the victim complex and clearly recognize the fact that Japan was both the aggressor during the Imperial era and received the comeuppance it deserved. There is some regret about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as any country who suffered massive civilian losses would be entitled to feel) however most Japanese accept that they brought this upon themselves. I remember recently watching an interview with a leader of one of the survivors groups associated with the bombing on NHK (the national broadcaster) where he stated clearly his view that the actions of the Japanese military invited the bombing to occur.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It is sad to see there are still some non-Japanese who tend to speak without actually reading Japanese textbooks and simply swallow the whatever a louder voice or government/media says. From a person who actually attended history classes in Japan, it's mainly about memorization of a list of the historical facts for mere tests and exams with no trait of imperialism at all. Some schools even show a film of how bad the Japanese troops were during the war then have the students write an essay about why war is bad.

The truth is that Japan does teach the kids historical facts but it's not as much as Korea or China want them to. Due to their curriculum, they have to go through all of the events that happened since B.C., thus they don't have much time to focus on one particular part of history for weeks on end.

Textbooks often gloss over of colonial histories in an attempt to remain "neutral" but this does not accurately reflect what is being taught in class. Critical thinking exercises are up to the teacher, and it is wrong to say that a textbook eliminates serious class discussion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think the Chinese or Korean has no need to remember the painful part of 20th century, after all what's the point of dwelling on your wound when it's healed. RATHER they should add a chapter to the "Art of War" which will serve Chinese, Korean and Japanese just right: if you have a remote island attacked by others regardless how far it is from the mainland, even in the middle of the Pacific AND regardless of the mental state of the attackers ( legally speaking, those insane shan't be punished ) BUT you must drop bombs on their homeland, a FAT BOY which kills ten times what they killed on that remote island far far away from your mainland THEN build YOUR airbase on THEIR land. This is the only way they will listen to you, about the past, present and future. ~ Leniency was promoted by Confucius ~ so confusing for us who live in the 21st century, leniency is not appreciated, nor rewarded, certainly less memorable than atomic bombs. The worst part? It only speaks of weakness, nothing else but weakness, to non gentlemen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All readers, please stay on topic.

US Strategic Bombing Survey Verdict

After studying this matter in great detail, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey rejected the notion that Japan gave up because of the atomic bombings. In its authoritative 1946 report, the Survey concluded:

The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs did not defeat Japan, nor by the testimony of the enemy leaders who ended the war did they persuade Japan to accept unconditional surrender. The Emperor, the Lord Privy Seal, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Navy Minister had decided as early as May of 1945 that the war should be ended even if it meant acceptance of defeat on allied terms ...

The mission of the Suzuki government, appointed 7 April 1945, was to make peace. An appearance of negotiating for terms less onerous than unconditional surrender was maintained in order to contain the military and bureaucratic elements still determined on a final Bushido defense, and perhaps even more importantly to obtain freedom to create peace with a minimum of personal danger and internal obstruction. It seems clear, however, that in extremis the peacemakers would have peace, and peace on any terms. This was the gist of advice given to Hirohito by the Jushin in February, the declared conclusion of Kido in April, the underlying reason for Koiso's fall in April, the specific injunction of the Emperor to Suzuki on becoming premier which was known to all members of his cabinet ...

Negotiations for Russia to intercede began the forepart of May 1945 in both Tokyo and Moscow. Konoye, the intended emissary to the Soviets, stated to the Survey that while ostensibly he was to negotiate, he received direct and secret instructions from the Emperor to secure peace at any price, notwithstanding its severity ...

It seems clear ... that air supremacy and its later exploitation over Japan proper was the major factor which determined the timing of Japan's surrender and obviated any need for invasion.

Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945 [the date of the planned American invasion], Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

One thing to understand about the Koreans is that their way of though which is based on culture is based more on feelings and beliefs than logic. The islands that they are fighting with Japan about is first a stupid thing to fight about, but that being so, the Japanese offered for them to settle this in an International court. The Koreans have refused because they know that they will lose since their story has little logic.

This is what I've been saying all along. It's really hard to treat an emotion-based culture like Korea seriously, where there's little or no room for logic but plenty for emotions and temper outbursts. You'll see this reflected in their countless sappy, cliched melodramas. Have you seen two grown-up Koreans argue? Doesn't take long for it to become a screaming match. Pretty funny, actually.

Japan has saved Korea many times and given large sums of money and built their infrastructure during the colonial rule. Korea should actually be sending presents to Japan to thank them for all they have done. If it was not for Japan I wonder how many years back in development they would be -- maybe still a developing country.

True. There were some photos of Seoul before and after the annexation and you can see the difference. Korea owes her modernization to Japan, yet is being an ungrateful wretch. Compare that with Taiwan who gives credit where it is due. Despite their strong economy and all their Samsungs, LGs, Hyundais, etc. Korea is still a culturally undeveloped country, and time and time again they continue to show the world how true this is. And that's why as a culture and as a people they'll never be taken seriously.

-4 ( +3 / -6 )

As bad as Japan is or was they have not divided their own nation in half. S Koreans need to shut up about WW2 and work on pressuring China to end support for the Stalinist freak show, North Korea.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

SamuraiBlue: "The biggest problem with SK is that they can not give credit when credit is due. Have you ever read a Taiwan history book?"

Once again, the victim mentality; it's perfectly alright to keep in 'positive' things that Japan brought about through colonization, but mention the bad and you're 'not giving credit' or are 'brainwashing', while Japanese texts completely leave out the bad, minus one or two pages they try to justify and bad with, as Samurai is doing here.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Bottom line is, it's not South Korea or China's fault Japan white-washes its textbooks and omits most of the atrocities; so people should stop ignoring this fact and somehow suggesting that omitting the facts are okay because the other nations white-wash as well. Lee is just pointing out the facts, and the reactions of the nationalists on this site trying to deflect and blame everyone but those at fault by pointing out the fauls of others is quite telling that Japan has never 'learned' from its history -- with the reason for some being that obviously it was never properly taught and many facts left out.

You're doing your children and the nation a great disservice by lying to them .

0 ( +4 / -4 )

SK doesn't want to reunite with NK not at present her present state anyway. If NK was to disband and declared they want to reunite with SK, SK will have a major disparity between the borders and will require a major rehabilitation program for the NK which may bankrupt SK in the process.

At the moment the US, Japan China and Russia pitches in to contain the problem but once the wall is down most nations will not provide the long term commitment required forcing SK to shoulder most of the money. Some may point Germany reunification as an exmple but the truth is East Germany was much more wealthy and much more educated than NK today.

If and when this does happen SK will be harping the ant-Japan slogan hopeing they can milk more money from her.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

mrkobayashiSEP. 28, 2012 - 05:00PM JST I know probably well over a thousand Japanese people, 90% of them university grads (albeit japan universities) and I've never met one that has more than a basic knowledge about what JAPAN DID during WW2

What's so hard to believe...? Unless you were home schooled or never leave your house. 30 Years multiplied by 50 or 100 people a year (the average person meets or interfaces with...) 1000 is a very conservative estimate.

I didn't say, I duct taped them to a chair and water-boarded them... You meet a lot people in your life and course of doing business. And if your part of business is learning about history and other nations and peoples views, you tend to ask quite focused questions.

You should get out more, maybe visit a few other Asian countries, expand your mind and maybe you'll pick up a thing or two... Maybe take a university class outside of Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bottom line is, it's not South Korea or China's fault Japan white-washes its textbooks and omits most of the atrocities

I'm very curious to know, how many people here who are raising opinions about what's taught in Japanese class so assertively, have actually experienced Japanese history class or at least have read the text book? Can you give me the name of the publisher and text book, and its edition you are mentioning?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

chinsailor, I meet 30 clients per WEEK for my business. Have I ever spoken to them or asked them "focused questions" about WWII? Never. You do not talk about such subjects when you are making smalltalk in business situations. Anyone with a basic understanding of western business etiquette would know that. I don't doubt that you have met and spoken with 1000 Japanese people. What I doubted was that you asked each of them about their knowledge of WWII.

You should get out more, maybe visit a few other Asian countries, expand your mind and maybe you'll pick up a thing or two... Maybe take a university class outside of Japan.

FYI : I went to university in the States. I've been to over 20 countries.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

SamuraiBlue: "If and when this does happen SK will be harping the ant-Japan slogan hopeing they can milk more money from her."

Your entire post is off-topic save this last line, but whatever. The people who are the most anti-Japan on this and other threads are those who insist on omitting and hiding the truth in the white-washed texts, for they are the ones truly doing harm to the nation. Lee pointing out the facts is not 'anti-Japan' one bit.

Kaori: "New History Textbook (Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho, 新しい歴史教科書). There you go! This 'new history' book was compiled by a bunch of conservative scholars and published in 2000 (don't forget history texts are written and published by private companies, not MEXT!). It downplays and/or white-washes Japan's aggression from as far back as the First Sino-Japan war to WWII.

I believe it was around 2007 that a new edition was published after the LDP successfully had any reference to sex slaves struck from the book (yet another omission, I think under Abe at that), and they even had to get rid of any reference to the forced suicides Imperial Troops made people carry out in Okinawa.

So there's a start for you, Kaori. That help?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Smithy

I believe cabadaje discribes your logic most elequently ;

Why doesn't Japan acknowledge that the islands are Korean?

Because they deny their history.

How do we know they are denying their history?

Because they don't acknowledge the islands are Korean.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I apologize to all readers for posting offensive messages.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SamuraiBlue: "Why doesn't Japan acknowledge that the islands are Korean? Because they deny their history. How do we know they are denying their history? Because they don't acknowledge the islands are Korean."

Well, despite the fact that's not at all the way I think or post, it's clearly indicative that you think and post in terms of syllogism, as do many of the other nationalists on this site:

A) China and Korea have done bad things in the past. B) Japan is not China or Korea C) Ergo, Japan has not done bad things in the past.

At least, that's you how guys seem to be defending/deflecting the fact that Japan committed atrocities that are ommitted from books and that Lee is saying students need to learn: "Oh, but maybe SK ought to learn it's own history!"

Like I've said before, there is no denying Chinese and Korean texts are rampant with white-washing and playing up Japan's atrocities, who says they don't? But some of you guys seem to think this nullifies wrong doing by Japan and that as a result their texts are like the most objective books, detailing everything, on the planet by comparison. You're wrong, and while Lee ought to practice what he preaches (or have the Korean education system do so), he is not wrong, and you guys canNOT deny that. So, let's quit with the deflection and blaming other nations for Japan not owning up to its past as much as it should (nor teaching its students as much as it should).

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Just to clarify one of the above sentences as I know some people will intentionally misinterpret it, "he (Lee) is not wrong with regards to his comments on Japanese education".

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"New History Textbook (Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho, 新しい歴史教科書) I know the media played up this text book at a point so you could know the gist of it without reading it. BTW, there are two versions under the same title. Which one particularly are you mentioning? What page of it is actually downplayed? Do you know how many local governments actually used the textbook? My mother is Chinese and I was educated from both sides. Did you learn from both sides? And what's the exact reason why only Japanese one has to be "perfect" in your eyes? Like some other countries, there might be some subjective descriptions in it but my conclusion is that Japanese one is still far more neutral, for example, than a Canadian text book that tries to justifiy their Indian slaughter by saying "Colonization had its drawbacks but on the other hand the natives were introduced to Christianity" or something to that effect. BTW, do you really believe you can make a text book without standing any side of the views?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sorry, posted the previous one with a wrong quote.

"New History Textbook (Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho, 新しい歴史教科書)

I know the media played up this text book at a point so you could know the gist of it without reading it. BTW, there are two versions under the same title. Which one particularly are you mentioning? What page of it is actually downplayed? Do you know how many local governments actually used the textbook? My mother is Chinese and I was educated from both sides. Did you learn from both sides? And what's the exact reason why only Japanese one has to be "perfect" in your eyes? Like some other countries, there might be some subjective descriptions in it but my conclusion is that Japanese one is still far more neutral, for example, than a Canadian text book that tries to justifiy their Indian slaughter by saying "Colonization had its drawbacks but on the other hand the natives were introduced to Christianity" or something to that effect. BTW, do you really believe you can make a text book without standing any side of the views?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ Joseph What does Hiroshima or Nagasaki have to do with this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whats makes things like this worse is there ares still politicians in japan who deny certain events of the war.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kaori: "BTW, do you really believe you can make a text book without standing any side of the views?"

Not at all -- all textbooks are going to contain some bias, which I've already stated time and time again, and some (especially China) will contain a lot more than others. My point is that these omissions mean the students aren't learning about some of the past that occurred, and that is harmful to them and the nation as a whole.

SamuraiBlue: "Your remarks are simply delusions manifested from your hatred towards Japan."

That's when I know you have no valid response -- you can only call it "Japan bashing" or say a poster hates the nation when you are presented with the facts. Pretty sad response, don't you think? I was asked to provide the name of a text as an example and an example of omissions, which I did. Some people can't handle it, so they simply say, "You're just bashing". I don't hate Japan at all, which is why I'm still here. I just hate SOME of the elements of the politics here, including the white-washing of textbooks, which I've more than proven exists and which you can't deny. Nor can you simply deflect by saying how much worse other nations is. As I said, Lee would be wise to have his own nation heed his own remarks, but he is not wrong in what he says about Japan, bottom line.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

SamuraiBlue: "I believe Kaori's question was I quote; have actually experienced Japanese history class or at least have read the text book? Which you replied;"

Unfortunately your cherry picking of posts doesn't help your 'defense' of your so-called arguments here, for Kaori also said in the next line: "Can you give me the name of the publisher and text book, and its edition you are mentioning?"

Which I believe was specifically answered in whole (but which you chose to ignore). And yes I have read the textbook I cited, but as to you wanting page numbers, why should I go to the library or a school and refresh my memory of what page to what page when you guys can't be bothered to answer the questions I have asked time and time again such as: "How many pages on the atomic bombing vs. pages on the Rape of Nanjing and the sex slave issue, as well as the 10 million people Japan murdered across Asia"? You guys have managed to shy away from that one quite transparently.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@smithinjapan

what page when you guys can't be bothered to answer the questions I have asked time and time again such as: "How many pages on the atomic bombing vs. pages on the Rape of Nanjing and the sex slave issue, as well as the 10 million people Japan murdered across Asia"? You guys have managed to shy away from that one quite transparently.

Which proves you have not read it since there is a passage concerning Nanking.

Again when have you read it?LOL

1 ( +2 / -1 )

SamuraiBlue: "Which proves you have not read it since there is a passage concerning Nanking."

There is a REFERENCE to Nanjing, and I believe I asked you 'how many pages'? I never said there were none (save for the sex-slave part). In fact, in referring to the invasion of neighbouring nations it's been changed to 'advance' thanks to said conservative scholars. But hey, you still can't answer my question; instead you just cherry-pick and seem to make up your own conclusions.

And yes, I have read it... just because you choose to read into things that aren't there is not 'proof' of anything except that you are unwilling to face the facts and admit you are not only wrong, but have been misled and strive to carry that torch.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

SamuraiBlue: I've not only proven a request for an example of text and omissions, and proven that you are wrong and cherry pick comments, make up quotations that do not exist, deflect when you cannot argue a point, and are utterly wrong when you say I hate Japan. In fact, it's people like yourself, who refuse to acknowledge history even in the face of proof, and refuse to admit you're wrong in the face of proof, who hate this nation and the people who want to make it a better place. That's a shame.

You cannot admit at all that what Lee said is true; you only deflect and try to blame China and South Korea's own problems on Japan's inability to acknowledge the past to its own people. Shame on you.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

smithinjapan and Samuraiblue, please do not address each other on this thread anymore, since neither of you is willing to be civil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not at all -- all textbooks are going to contain some bias, which I've already stated time and time again, and some (especially China) will contain a lot more than others.

Although I agree on that the other nations doing worse doesn't nullify what they are doing, somehow, Japan's education seems to be specifically "imperfect" to you for its outstanding evil glare and you only can't accept it as a common political strategy seen in an every nation even if it was most modest of all. Hope you eventually get mature enough to know that there are no politicians in the world that truly think of their citizens, let alone the other nations.

My point is that these omissions mean the students aren't learning about some of the past that occurred, and that is harmful to them and the nation as a whole.

Thank you for your concern but you obviously do not know how the actual class has been done by those Japanese teachers, even with the forceful use of the text book....sigh

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Whats makes things like this worse is there ares still politicians in japan who deny certain events of the war.

Yes, this is a major problem of Japan, inconsistent official announcements with the fluid PM position. Even though a former PM apologised, those successors easily nullify it, which I think gives a good excuse for C & K to use it as a diplomatic tool. (with that said, a part of me doubts any modest textbook could satisfy them though.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

smithinjapan you make some good points. These text books you talk about not having enough info on the atrocities that Japan committed may be true but I have no clue. Whatever the case may be it is a fact that Japanese kids have to learn a lot of history going back thousands of years. Whether these things are down played on purpose or because they do not have time is a big question. In general I do not think the Japanese are trying to run away from the issues, though probably some of the conservatives are.

Every country has their damn problems. Point is that we all need to get away from this hatred and just try and get along as best as possible. We are all humans right?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So many comments above but let me summarize.

Ok so some politicians apologize and others don't. The nature of humans is not to be the same. Japan is pretty much a free society and people can view their opinions. We will never get all people to believe in an issue. So give up on trying to get some to apologize if they don't want to for whatever reason they have.

Second, this is an old issue and it mainly comes from the negativity that Koreans and Chinese are taught about Japanese from a young age. Lots of brain washing going on there and of course some in Japan but not nearly as bad. Every country has their level of brain washing and with North Korea near the top of the list.

Third, Japan does not need to apologize any more. They have already paid for their 'sins' by giving so much money and help. Korea would not exist at the level it does today if it were not for Japan. The good that Japan has done outweighs the bad that has been done in a sense. By paying all this money the Japanese have already apologized in the only way that matters. Giving lip service is a bunch of BS anyways.

Fourth, Korea needs to be appreciative of Japan. Why doesn't Japan ask Korea for an apology? Well because the Japanese are not stuck in the past as much.

Fifth, if politicians want to visit Yasukuni shrine then fine. Let them do whatever they want. It is a personal issue and if one understands about the culture one can see why they do it. In Japan all warriors are respected irregardless of what they have done. It is not for us to start judging people--let God be the judge if you want.

Sixth, this text book thing is ridiculous. Most of these hard line text books are not even used in schools and definitely not public schools. No history book is perfect anyways. The damn USA history books still think that they had to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war. An old myth and one that is proven to be wrong. The only reason for the bomb now is to show countries not to use them.

Seventh, sex slaves issue is all out of context. Most of these women were paid money. Koreans have a high number of prostitutes since it is a macho culture and there is nothing else for these women to do to make such good money. Maybe some were forced and that is the nature of war. Every country has done this when they entered a war back in the days. Probably Americans did it when they went to Vietnam. Germans probably did it.

Eighth, this islands issue is crazy. First Korea should go to an international court as requested by Japan, but since they know they do not have any facts and the old story written about an island is actually a different island and everything else shows that Korea is definitely wrong. Even so they need to have a meeting through logic and not emotions. Better would be to just split the islands and get along.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kaori: " Hope you eventually get mature enough to know that there are no politicians in the world that truly think of their citizens, let alone the other nations."

Umm... I've already said that that is the case, I hope you 'get mature enough' to understand that.

"Although I agree on that the other nations doing worse doesn't nullify what they are doing, somehow, Japan's education seems to be specifically "imperfect" to you for its outstanding evil glare and you only can't accept it as a common political strategy seen in an every nation even if it was most modest of all."

Kaori, this is a thread about how Japan's education system and how it is not addressing the issues of history. If you have a problem with me taking a stance on that, that is your problem and yours alone... well, okay, not alone -- there are plenty of others willing to ignore the topic of the thread and let bias sway their posts beyond reason. Show me a thread about Chinese textbooks being bias and I will gladly put my voice in and talk about how much worse the bias is there -- as it is, we are talking about how a politician from a nation wronged by Japan in the past is addressing the fact that Japan does not talk about such grievances in the texts, and hence my comments. Or are you suggesting this is a thread about Chinese or Korean textbooks?

Come on, Kaori... you are better than that. Don't let personal opinion blind you to the topic of the thread, and don't reduce yourself to suggesting that I am one-sided because I comment on the thread at hand instead of talking about how bad everyone else is in comparison.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kaori: "Thank you for your concern but you obviously do not know how the actual class has been done by those Japanese teachers, even with the forceful use of the text book....sigh"

I do, and have worked with them on it. Have you?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kaori: "Kaori: "Thank you for your concern but you obviously do not know how the actual class has been done by those Japanese teachers, even with the forceful use of the text book....sigh"

Like I said, I have worked with many people in lessons on the topic, and some have been amazing, while others have not. There were a few monster parents, I'm hoping you're not one, who assume I had no idea while I was far more informed than they were of the facts (though kept it largely to myself at the BOE's behest). So, what have you done on the issue to help educate the children? You admit yourself PMs like former PM Abe, who is unbelievably, and this only happens in Japan, set to be PM again, who tried to take back an apology from former PM Tanaka about sex-slaves, are inconsistent and only pander to the masses, so how am I wrong by saying it's the same with the history texts? Private companies hire 'historians' to compile what they feel is history, then they publish it so long as it meets MEXT standards, which dropped under former PM soon to be PM Abe because he denied any wrong doing happened under colonial rule.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Lets get to the bottom of the truth on all these issues. Japan has clearly done bad on many fronts during the Imperial times, but so have many countries. Mao 'Say Tongue' is still respected in China though he killed about 60 million people. Some of the Korean sex slaves were reportedly murdered and if this is true then it is horrible. We can find so many bad things in every country, but should we not look for the good in every country?

Korea needs to see the good that Japan has done and Japan has to see the good that Korea has done. We could tell Korea to put this and that in their text books. If the text book says something wrong then it should be fixed but if there is an addition then one's own country can decide to add it or not. If people want to study history then they can do that in college.

If Korea wants more apologies then it is absurd I feel. The past is important to know so we do not make repeated mistakes and if Japan is pushing things under the rug then shame on them. The truth eventually will come out.

But the USA also needs to apologize to Japan. Japan though has not asked for this in the way that Korea is asking for something that is much smaller in significance.

Whatever the truth is let it be known. I do not care about country or race on any issue as long as the truth be told. The problem is that people can not handle the truth since beliefs get in the way. Korea has been taught since an early age to view Japan in a negative way. Everything they see is coming from a distorted lens. Muslims are taught to hate USA and Israel.

All these countries are caught in the same trap though some countries hide the truth more than other like in the case of China which censors everything.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan not only forced Korean women to work as sex slaves but also "paid" Japanese, Dutch, Chinese and Filipino women. In many cases they were not paid as promised but the fact that many women took this position because of money is a mistake the women made. If they were forced then it is a serious problem though the Japanese military had the problem to keep the men happy. At first they were hiring Japanese girls but these were eventually not enough.

"Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said he was “unpleasantly surprised” to hear of the Japanese cabinet’s statement that there was no evidence that Japan directly forced women to serve as sex slaves. The Dutch minister said that he has instructed his foreign minister to summon the Japanese ambassador to explain Japan’s position. Dutch women living in the Dutch colony of Indonesia were taken by the Japanese military to serve as comfort women during the war."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Joseph: You make some good points, but you also make some very off-the-wall points, and given that you have stated flat out on other posts that you actually have no knowledge of the contents of things (ex. textbooks), it stands to reason you have little experience on other things. Let me just make a few points.

"Ok so some politicians apologize and others don't. The nature of humans is not to be the same. Japan is pretty much a free society and people can view their opinions. We will never get all people to believe in an issue. So give up on trying to get some to apologize if they don't want to for whatever reason they have."

Who has ever asked all the people to apologize? Lee has asked the government to teach the Japanese citizens about its past. That's all. The idea that everyone need apologize and feel guilty is the excuse of the weak minded and insecure.

"Second, this is an old issue and it mainly comes from the negativity that Koreans and Chinese are taught about Japanese from a young age. Lots of brain washing going on there and of course some in Japan but not nearly as bad. Every country has their level of brain washing and with North Korea near the top of the list."

Yeah, it's all one-sided. Japan never does any of that. They never omit anything about sex-slaves or talk about how Nanjing death tolls were exaggerated; well-off Japanese female reporters followed by a crew who give her water and food and talk about "easy the it was to do" in regards to the march the Sandakan Death March POWs and Indonesians had to endure and most died; but they are pretty quick to talk about how much they helped Taiwan by raping them and their people.

"Third, Japan does not need to apologize any more."

Japanese people don't, but the government does.

"They have already paid for their 'sins' by giving so much money and help. Korea would not exist at the level it does today if it were not for Japan."

Better give that aid money back for 3/11 of last year to Taiwan and SK then, the two top donors in the world willing to help out their neighbour, despite history and not being told to do so because of atrocities. You seemed to ignore this comment the other day, and as one with radical opinions, I don't blame you. I mean, how you could you possibly talk about aid or recompense with a serious face one minute, then conveniently forget how much Japan's neighbours help Japan out every time a natural disaster occurs, only to be urinated on a few months later?

"The good that Japan has done outweighs the bad that has been done in a sense."

Ummm... no, it does not. A genuine apology would do far, far more than any monetary compensation save where the compensation is needed to survive, and even then they should go hand in hand.

"Fourth, Korea needs to be appreciative of Japan. Why doesn't Japan ask Korea for an apology? Well because the Japanese are not stuck in the past as much."

An apology for what??? Being COLONIZED, RAPED?? What are you on about here?

"Fifth, if politicians want to visit Yasukuni shrine then fine. Let them do whatever they want. It is a personal issue..."

Correction: it's a personal issue if they go personally and sign in using their name and not their title. If they go in on the clock and sign in under their title, it ceases to be a personal issue and is then a political one.

Sixth, this text book thing is ridiculous. Most of these hard line text books are not even used in schools and definitely not public schools. No history book is perfect anyways. The damn USA history books still think that they had to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war. An old myth and one that is proven to be wrong. The only reason for the bomb now is to show countries not to use them.

"Seventh, sex slaves issue is all out of context. Most of these women were paid money. Koreans have a high number of prostitutes since it is a macho culture and there is nothing else for these women to do to make such good money."

So, since you admit to never having read a Japanese textbook but stand behind the rhetoric, where did you pick this nonsense up? Are you a Shinzo Abe fan? He tried this line in 2007 or so and when the US Senate passed legislation to press him not to rescind an apology, as he tried to literally, and I do mean literally (and hence part of what Lee is talking about) rewrite history before his tummy-ache, and what an embarrassment it was when he was proven wrong. He first tried to prove it was all voluntary. WRONG. He then said that Imperial troops did not engage in sexual acts with the sex slaves. WRONG. He then quit as PM soon after, largely out of embarrassment, though he claimed it was health.

"Maybe some were forced and that is the nature of war. Every country has done this when they entered a war back in the days. Probably Americans did it when they went to Vietnam. Germans probably did it."

And you know what, those countries and often the individual soldiers apologize, unlike certain... ahem... governments who try to pretend it never happened (I respect Tanaka for apologizing to the women, and would personally love to slap Abe hard for trying to pretend there was no apology).

"Eighth, this islands issue is crazy. First Korea should go to an international court as requested by Japan,"

Why? They believe it's their land. Japan has stated the same thing with the Senkakus -- there is no issue, according to Gemba. Why is it this case with Japan in one dispute, but the opposite the next? Why is the spoils of war okay with Senkaku, but when Russia took back the Kuriles in the closing days of WWII does the 'spoils of war' argument become null and void? Why is administration of the islands an argument in Japan's defense when it comes to the Senkakus suddenly the opposite when SK administers Dokdo? Furthermore, let's say SK and Japan go to the ICJ and the ICJ says the islands belong to SK; first and foremost the issue is non-binding. Secondly, do you honestly believe Japan (or if vice-versa, which is unlikely) SK lost that either nation would say, "Damn... okay, it's yours. Thanks, ICJ!". No, they would not.

"...but since they know they do not have any facts and the old story written about an island is actually a different island and everything else shows that Korea is definitely wrong."

This is where your credibility goes further down the toilet. You claim to have never read history books and not know much, but evidently 'Korea is definitely wrong'. You sank your own arguments before you made them, my friend.

"Even so they need to have a meeting through logic and not emotions"

As opposed to the unemotional Japanese? If they or their supporters are not emotional, why not just give them up? Why should they care? It's amazing how subjective people can be.

"Better would be to just split the islands and get along."

Now THAT, I can agree with... though I doubt it would work with Dokdo as they are a bunch of rocks not too far apart.

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Here is some history on the sex slaves issue..

It appears that Japan has done enough on this issue and it is because of Abe's remarks that things got worse again.

In 1965, the Japanese government awarded $364 million to the Korean government for all war damages, including the injury done to comfort women.[52] In 1994, the Japanese government set up the Asian Women's Fund to distribute additional compensation to South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Indonesia. [53] Each survivor was provided with a signed apology from the then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama, stating "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women."[54] The fund was dissolved on March 31, 2007.[55] Three Korean women filed suit in Japan in December, 1991, around the time of the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, demanding compensation for forced prostitution. They introduced documents found by history Professor Yoshiaki Yoshida that had been stored at the Japanese Defense Agency since their return to Japan by United States troops in 1958.[56] Subsequently, on January 14, 1992, Japanese Chief Government Spokesman Koichi Kato issued an official apology saying "We cannot deny that the former Japanese army played a role" in abducting and detaining the "comfort girls, " and "We would like to express our apologies and contrition".[57][56][58] Three days later on January 17, 1992 at a dinner given by South Korean President Roh Tae Woo, the Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa told his host: " We Japanese should first and foremost recall the truth of that tragic period when Japanese actions inflicted suffering and sorrow upon your people. We should never forget our feelings of remorse over this. As Prime Minister of Japan, I would like to declare anew my remorse at these deeds and tender my apology to the people of the Republic of Korea." and apologized again the following day in a speech before South Korea's National Assembly.[59][60] On April 28, 1998, the Japanese court ruled that the Government must compensate the women and awarded them US$2,300 ($3,280 in 2012) each.[61] In 2007 the surviving sex slaves wanted an apology from the Japanese government. Shinzō Abe, the prime minister at the time, stated on March 1, 2007, that there was no evidence that the Japanese government had kept sex slaves, even though the Japanese government had already admitted the use of brothels in 1993. On March 27 the Japanese parliament issued an official apology.[62]

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After Japan's defeat, the Japanese military destroyed many documents for fear of war crimes prosecution. Documents were found in 2007 by Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Hirofumi Hayashi.

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So this comfort thing is not only for Korea. Japan did it to many countries. Why are not the other countries complaining as much as Korea?

Treatment of comfort women Approximately three quarters of comfort women died, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually transmitted disease.[37] According to Japanese soldier Yasuji Kaneko. "The women cried out, but it didn't matter to us whether the women lived or died. We were the emperor's soldiers. Whether in military brothels or in the villages, we raped without reluctance."[38] Beatings and physical torture were said to be common.[39] Revisionist Japanese historian Ikuhiko Hata claims Kaneko's testimony is false since he testified about the 1937 Nanjing Massacre but he was not in the Army until 1940.[40] Ten Dutch women were taken by force from prison camps in Java by officers of the Japanese Imperial Army to become forced sex slaves in February 1944. They were systematically beaten and raped day and night in a so called "Comfort Station".[10][39] As a victim of the incident, in 1990, Jan Ruff-O'Herne testified to a U.S. House of Representatives committee: "Many stories have been told about the horrors, brutalities, suffering and starvation of Dutch women in Japanese prison camps. But one story was never told, the most shameful story of the worst human rights abuse committed by the Japanese during World War II: The story of the “Comfort Women”, the jugun ianfu, and how these women were forcibly seized against their will, to provide sexual services for the Japanese Imperial Army. In the so-called “Comfort Station” I was systematically beaten and raped day and night. Even the Japanese doctor raped me each time he visited the brothel to examine us for venereal disease."[10][39] In their first morning at the brothel, photographs of Jan Ruff-O'Herne and the others were taken and placed on the veranda which was used as a reception area for the Japanese personnel who would choose from these photographs. Over the following four months the girls were raped and beaten day and night, with those who became pregnant forced to have abortions. After four harrowing months, the girls were moved to a camp at Bogor, in West Java, where they were reunited with their families. This camp was exclusively for women who had been put into military brothels, and the Japanese warned the inmates that if anyone told what had happened to them, they and their family members would be killed. Several months later the O’Hernes were transferred to a camp at Batavia, which was liberated on 15 August 1945.[41][42][43] The Japanese officers involved received some punishment by Japanese authorities at the end of the war.[44] After the end of the war, 11 Japanese officers were found guilty with one soldier being sentenced to death by the Batavia War Criminal Court.[44] The court decision found that the charges those who raped violated were the Army’s order to hire only voluntary women.[44] Victims from East Timor testified they were forced into slavery even when they were not old enough to have started menstruating. The court testimonies state that these prepubescent girls were repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers[45] while those who refused to comply were executed.[46][47] Hank Nelson, emeritus professor at the Australian National University’s Asia Pacific Research Division, has written about the brothels run by the Japanese military in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea during WWII. He quotes from the diary of Gordon Thomas, a POW in Rabaul. Thomas writes that the women working at the brothels “most likely served 25 to 35 men a day” and that they were “victims of the yellow slave trade.”[48] Nelson also quotes from Kentaro Igusa, a Japanese naval surgeon who was stationed in Rabaul. Igusa wrote in his memoirs that the women continued to work through infection and severe discomfort, though they “cried and begged for help.”[48]

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All the war crimes of WWII are supposed to have been judged in after war court of justice. I cannot imagine US military forces did that wrongly... Former leaders of imperial Japan have been judged and condemned. Should present Japanese leaders apologize ? Why should they ? The only representative of old time Japan is the Emperor. He only could be asked People of Japan has suffered from war with allied bombings and final A-bombs. I pretty well understand that people do not want to apologize for what Imperial regime did. Finally, I agree that a balanced history teaching has to be made to people allowing them to make their own mind about it and understanding why Chinese and Koreans are complaining. By the way, are they some kind of historians in Japanese Universities ?

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Now look at how Korea treats their own people when they commit sex crimes. Just one year sentence!

According to South Korean reports, Jang claimed that her agent Kim Sung-hoon had regularly beaten her and forced her to have sex with a string of VIPs, including directors, media executives and CEOs.

The former manager of Jang's management agency, Kim Sung-hoon, was arrested in Tokyo in June 2009 for overstaying his visa. Korean police requested Kim's extradition on a warrant related to Jang's death. Kim at the time of his arrest stated that he "committed a crime in South Korea and overstayed in Japan to avoid being arrested." 20 figures were investigated b the police, resulting in 7 prosecutions. Kim was sentenced to one year in jail, two years of probation and 160 hours of volunteer work.

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It is difficult to prove that the comfort women were forced into this as the facts are misleading and limited.

One of few instances in which forcible recruitment was officially confirmed was a case of Dutch detainees who was forced to entertain soldiers by front-line Japanese troops in Indonesia during the war. When the incident was known to the local Japanese army leadership, comfort stations were immediately closed. At a military tribunal set up by the Dutch after the war, Japanese officers and civilians involved in the case were found guilty and one of the officers was sentenced to death. There is no such instance with regard to Korean comfort women.

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During the search by the Japanese government in 1992-93, a U.S. military document which reported about the interview with twenty Korean comfort women and Japanese owners of the comfort station captured by the allied forces in Burma in 1944 was found at the U.S. National Archives. The Korean women were not forcibly recruited by the Japanese military. According to the document, at their comfort station in northern Burma, (1) comfort women had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles, (2) they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men, and attended picnic, entertainments and social dinners; they had a phonograph, and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping, (3) some of the girls who had paid their debt were allowed to return to Korea, (4) the health of those girls was good, and any girls found diseased was given treatment, secluded, and eventually sent to a hospital. That status is quite different from that of the “slaves.”

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other views that also seem viable. My conclusion now is that the Japanese military did hide as much as possible about this so it is difficult to know the complete truth, but the testimonies from people should be a cause for concern. I do not think these old women would be testifying just to get money---that does not make sense.

-Testimony is the evidence that supports the issue of comfort women. Not only Korean comfort women testified, but also comfort women from other countries, such as Dutch and Chinese women, testified about their experience in comfort station. In addition, Japanese testified what they had done in the past.

-Comfort women got paid for their job. However, not all of them got paid and there is no meaning of get paid for their job. They were isolated from the world, which means money is pointless thing for them to have.

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Watch these videos to hear some of the stories from the Japanese military and doctors who experienced the 'comfort stations' first hand as well as the Korean women who were raped.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~lee33s/classweb/worldpolitics/Korea.html

One soldier commented that the purpose of the comfort station was to prevent the soldiers from raping but this did the opposite. When the soldier entered into a village he found women everywhere and he could get them for free just by raping. At the comfort stations the soldiers had to pay and this is probably part of the reason that some Japanese politicians say there is no proof. Whether all this money went to the women or not does not matter since some/many (?) could not use the money at that time anyways.

Also reasons that the Japanese government likes to say there is no proof is because the military actually did not directly allow women to be turned into sex slaves but in truth they were making decisions on the battle front since what is done on the ground is different from what is decided up in the air in a sense.

So the government has apologized for this but recent politicians have screwed up and belittled this issue. Maybe many were paid well and had freedom to choose but definitely a good number were not treated well.

Japan is probably too ashamed of the truth to fully admit to these horrors.

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smithinjapan --thank you for tearing apart my ideas. I love it. I have read and will reread and reconsider my views as long as it makes sense. I know you keep on mentioning about me not reading the history and this is a shame since I have to rely on people's comments and then question my wife as much to pull out some info, but then I find when i dig deeper I find some mistakes I have made. Most of the people here probably do not know much about the history either and we are not history professors as such. The more one knows sometimes does not help much but just confuses you more--of course we need to know the basics.

You may be onto something and for some of the views i have expressed from the gut they may be off the mark.

It appears that Abe did screw up and helped to get the snow ball rolling again.

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Interesting story I just found about the Emperor of Japan wanting to apologize to Korea if it helps but Korean President Lee had a harsh tone to demand an apology before the Emperor steps foot in Korea. This is such an egotistical way of going about things. The Emperor has already said he would apologize and the way Korea responded was not diplomatic at all and coming from a sense of hatred and that same old negativity thing that keeps the Koreans ticking because of all this political non sense.

Local media says that on September 4th, Emperor Akihito told Koji Tsuruoka, the Foreign Ministry’s director-general for global issues, that at one point in the future he wants to visit South Korea with his wife, Empress Michiko. The emperor also wishes that the two countries can maintain their friendly relations into the future, despite their recent troubles. If it is necessary, Emperor Akihito is willing to apologize, if it will benefit the friendship between the two nations.

Upon his return from the islands, Korean President Lee demanded that the Japanese Emperor apologize for past wartime acts, such as the Japanese Imperial Army’s use of “comfort women,” or sexual slaves, before he could visit South Korea.

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smithinjapan the reasons that Korea should apologize is because they have not been grateful for what Japan has given them and for instilling a negative view of Japanese. You may think that this negative view is granted, but no it is never a good thing to think negatively about another country and especially one that is your neighbor and ally.

You are right that money can not solve the problems and I was waiting for someone to sieze at that. The fact is that money does solve problems and the whole world is controlled by money. That is what these sex slaves want is more compensation and the fact is that they have been given compensation though I don't know specifics on whether every one has been given this.

We are again talking about something from 60 years ago. Maybe it is good that Korea is sticking to this issue, but still it is not something I would ever stick too. As you can see North Korea has stuck to their state for that long + and it is obvious that the Koreans have a penchant for the past. There is enough to deal with in the present that we don't need any more crap from the past. So be it--let's just get along and get ready to start war with China.

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smithinjapan--i explained about the apology thing and now the colonization thing. First, there is nothing wrong about colonizing. It has happened throughout history. The English are leaders in this game. Alexander the Great too! It has been going on since the beginning of time. Only now has it pretty much stopped. Have you ever played Risk?

And about rape. Well that has been going on since the beginning of time too and still exists in every society. It is not good thing but what can we do? Especially in war it happens and one of the rules of war is that there are no rules. Japan was just at the cutoff point where the rules were about to be changed. WWII was the end of the world in a sense and the beginning of a new one. We should not blame the Japanese people for this past and this is what is being done. We can blame the soldiers who did this, but not necessarily the whole army since there were clear orders to set up 'comfort stations' but in a way that women were paid and not raped. Of course these rules were not obeyed and such as war is everything goes out the window.

"Fourth, Korea needs to be appreciative of Japan. Why doesn't Japan ask Korea for an apology? Well because the Japanese are not stuck in the past as much." An apology for what??? Being COLONIZED, RAPED?? What are you on about here?

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smithinjapan --another good point that i need to reconsider. There should be a separation of church/religion and state and Koizumi did try to avoid this by not visiting on Aug 15 except for once before he left office.

"Fifth, if politicians want to visit Yasukuni shrine then fine. Let them do whatever they want. It is a personal issue..." Correction: it's a personal issue if they go personally and sign in using their name and not their title. If they go in on the clock and sign in under their title, it ceases to be a personal issue and is then a political one.

In the case of Prime Minister Koizumi, he visited regularly every year after he took office, but avoided the date of 15th August from 2001 to 2005. Koizumi also wanted to avoid the class A war criminals’ becoming the point of dispute, but the Chinese government kept their criticism against Japanese politicians’ visit to the place enshrining those criminals. Prime Minister Koizumi made the visit on 15 August only once in 2006, just two months before he left office.

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Obviously South Korean Government is using past for their reelection. President Lee M Bark and bunch of idiot Ministers is opportunist. Japanese Companies and Japanese peoples stay away from South Korean a long as they hanging on past. Japanese peoples know about history and how many Trillion Dollars compensation payment to South Korean and Communist China as well as Government aid. Corrupted Government in both countries is hidden from public and embezzlement money from Japanese Government compensation and aid to the country. I don’t bother by morally corrupted South Korean Minister’s cheap shot.

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Joseph: " Japan did it to many countries. Why are not the other countries complaining as much as Korea?"

There are, brother.... you just choose not to see and instead choose the latest headline. Nah.... women who were raped over and over, day after day in order not to be murdered and maybe to get a few yen in order not to be murdered doesn't get your attention, but a thread about Japan acknowledging its past and suddenly you sprout wings and talk about how Japan is a fairy that can fly!

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Kobuta Chan: "Obviously South Korean Government is using past for their reelection. President Lee M Bark and bunch of idiot Ministers is opportunist"

Umm... sorry to point out the idiocy of sad comment, but unlike Japan, where a quitter can be re-elected if he thinks his tummy-ache is better, Lee is done and cannot be re-elected. So 'Obviously Japanese morons are using the past for their re-election". After all, Abe is one the the best examples of Japanese Holocaust denials, then taking it back, then admitting it, then taking it back, then admitting it and suggesting his tummy hurts.

Kobuta: How many PMs has Lee outlasted, just out of curiosity? Is it eight now? or nine? I feel sorry for the kids who have to read the white washed history books. 20 pages of some old man who had no idea what happened outside the instruction book from the Ministry.

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smithinjapan:

I do, and have worked with them on it. Have you?

Why would I have to be engaged in educational position? Are you a licensed history teacher at Japanese school? How can you be so sure that you truly provide the students with a best education while you admit you can't teach without any biases? I hope you are licensed history teacher at least.

Having had opportunities to learn in three countries, I was lucky to be able to have more balanced views than those who just learned in one nation. So I naturally doubt those who asserts with certainty, what's taught in one nation's history class. Many non-Japanese seem to be confident that they know what's taught in Japanese schools around the country without actually witnessing it firsthand. Who could possibly tell the world what sushi tastes like without trying one before? Moreover, just because one sushi happened to contain a lot of bacteria doesn't mean food poisoning sushi is epidemic in the country. FYI, if you think the text book in question is used throughout the country you are wrong. They have different companies make 4 or so and open them to the public to gather public opinions during summer. So I would go give them my opinions if I were so worried about Japan's education rather than continuing unfruitful accusation here.

As for the PM announcements, I was just saying their inconsistency can cause a diplomatic confusion, even within the country. Even so it's their choice to make. I'm not supporting that feeble guy, Abe either.

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Here is one solution to the Yasukuni issue: There is in fact a memorial to the Japanese war dead within walking distance of Yasukuni, called Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery (千鳥ヶ淵戦没者墓苑). This could be used as an alternative by Japanese politicians to pay their respects to those who died during the war.

Overall, the enshrinement of the Class A War dead in 1978 was probably a mistake though there is the belief that once they are enshrined then all their past deeds are dissolved, so from this angle it is good to enshrine these criminals there. Might as well clean these guys up and make the universe more bright.

On another view you could say that every country has memorials to their war dead and these are used in official capacity. This whole thing about labeling people as Class A is just a concept/label. Every war has Class A criminals and the focus is mainly on Japan and Germany.

There were none of the victors facing tribunals for mass civilian killings in firebombings of major cities, the mass deaths of non-repatriated Japanese soldiers, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The USA committed war crimes in Vietnam and probably in Korea too. It is all relative. None of these people are tried.

So it is not fair. President Obama visited Arlington cemetery to honor the fallen soldiers. These guys are not classified as Class A since they were not tried like Japan was.

Yasukuni has a problem image though since it seems to appreciate the principles of the Imperial Army. It appears militaristic and very hard lined with crazy military buffs.

They say that they can not deshrine those who have been shrined. Others say that this can be done.

Whatever--if Japanese politician wants to visit as personal visit or as official visit it should not matter to any country besides the Japanese people. It is none of anyone else's business. The people of Japan just have to decide what is the right thing to do and not be bullied by other countries. China and Korea need to clean up their own back yard and not worry about Japan's back yard.

We should tell China to disregard all of their war criminals who would be too many to list though we could start with Mao Zedong. But we don't do that since it is their own home and business. As long as you are not hurting the people in a country which is inhumane then there is no need to intervene for the most part.

So point is that this shrine, which the Emperor stopped visiting because of the enshrinement of the Class A 'heroes' is for Japan to decide on what should be done. I personally feel that they made a mistake and the other memorial can be visited since Yasukuni is too one sided and militaristic minded and not really the religious place that one would consider holy.

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Umm... I've already said that that is the case

Excuse me if I missed one but I simply do not have much time to go through all of your posts reflected to others bacause they are way too many.

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Kaori, this is a thread about how Japan's education system and how it is not addressing the issues of history. If you have a problem with me taking a stance on that, that is your problem and yours alone... well, okay, not alone -- there are plenty of others willing to ignore the topic of the thread and let bias sway their posts beyond reason.

Yes, I'm aware of tha and I think I'm the one of those who try to stick on the topic most of the time ( see I haven't been scolded by the admin. :P).

I'm just saying "that's how the cookie crumbles" but if you want to continue your unfruitful journey with those people, good luck.

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To consider the Yasukuni Shrine as not an official shrine at the moment can be justified with the below facts. The conclusion is that since the Emperor does not visit the Shrine it is in no way an official shrine for the moment. If the Emperor ever decides to visit then the case for the prime minister to visit will be muted. The attention will then be drawn to the Emperor. The whole shrine is built upon the fabric of the Emperor and without his presence there is no meaning to the Shrine. Until that time the shrine is meaningless and should not be of any importance and especially to China and Korea.

Fact 1: It is dedicated to the soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan.

Fact 2: It was the only place to which the Emperor of Japan bowed.

Fact 3: The the Emperor is not prohibited to visit although he does not visit nowadays due to various matters. There is no legal restriction to obstruct the Emperor from visiting the Yasukuni.

Fact 4: The intrinsicalness of the "Emperor" is the highest Shintô priest, namely, the "Shintô Pope"

Fact 5: Since the Emperor and the Imperial Family are not "Japanese nationals," there is no reason to limit them under the Article 20, "Freedom of religion" which right is of Japanese nationals.

Fact 6: visiting Yasukuni Shrine to pray for the repose of 2.47 million war dead is certainly a part of the "ceremonial functions" and a part of "acts in matter of state" that is guaranteed in the constitution.

Fact 7: Foreign VIP's and military officials visit the Yasukuni Shrine every year and from a wide number of countries. Why can't the Japanese also visit?

Fact 8: Emperor Hirohito did not visit Yasukuni from 1978 until his death. His son, Emperor Akihito, has not visited the shrine since becoming emperor, instead choosing to send a lesser member of the royal household. On 20 July 2006, Nihon Keizai Shimbun front-paged an article about the discovery of a memorandum detailing the reason Emperor Hirohito stopped visiting Yasukuni. The memorandum, kept by former chief of Imperial Household Agency Tomohiko Tomita, confirms for the first time the enshrinement of Class A War Criminals such as Yosuke Matsuoka and Toshio Shiratori was the reason. Tomita wrote down the contents of his conversations with the emperor in his diaries and notebooks in detail. He left 12 diaries (1975–1986) and some 20 notebooks (1986–1997).

Fact 9: According to the memorandum, the emperor expressed his strong displeasure in 1988 at the decision made by Yasukuni Shrine to include Class A war criminals in the list of war dead honored there by saying, "At some point, Class-A criminals became enshrined, including Matsuoka and Shiratori. I heard Tsukuba acted cautiously", Tsukuba is believed to refer to Fujimaro Tsukuba, the former chief Yasukuni priest at the time, who decided not to enshrine the war criminals despite receiving in 1966, the list of war dead compiled by the government containing their names. "What's on the mind of Matsudaira's son, who is the current head priest?". "Matsudaira had a strong wish for peace, but the child didn't know the parent's heart. That's why I have not visited the shrine since. This is my heart", Matsudaira is believed to refer to Yoshitami Matsudaira, who was the grand steward of Imperial Household immediately after the end of World War II. His son, Nagayoshi, succeeded Fujimaro Tukuba as the chief priest of Yasukuni and he decided to enshrine the war criminals in 1978. Nagayoshi Matsudaira passed away a year ago, which is speculated as a reason for the release of the memo.

Fact 10: Recent rulings by the Supreme Court have also indicated that visits by the prime minister or the emperor are constitutional.

Fact 11: The Yasukuni shrine does not include the Tokugawa shogunate's forces (particularly from the Aizu domain) or rebel forces who died during the Boshin War or Satsuma Rebellion because they are considered enemies of the emperor.

Fact 12: There are over 2,466,000 enshrined kami currently listed in the Yasukuni's Symbolic Registry of Divinities.

Fact 13: Currently, Yasukuni Shrine has enshrined 27,863 Taiwanese and 21,181 Koreans without consultation of surviving family members and in some cases against the stated wishes of the family members. Even so, this shows that the Shrine is dedicated to all people that were killed irregardless of race.

If China takes up the issue of the Emperor visiting Yasukuni, then we can just oppose by using cards of "China's war responsibility" for the China Incident (支那事變; English: Second Sino-Japanese War; 1937-45)[4] and China's "invasions" on such as Tibet and Uyghur.

Note: Many of the POWs that were first found guilty were later dismissed since the evidence was lacking.

There is a monument at Yasukuni which is dedicated to Indian Judge. honours Indian judge Radha Binod Pal, the lone justice on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East's trials of Japanese war crimes committed during World War II to find all the defendants not guilty.[35] On April 29, 2005, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told his counterpart Koizumi Junichiro that "the dissenting judgement of Justice Radha Binod Pal is well-known to the Japanese people and will always symbolise the affection and regard our people have for your country."

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I completely agree on the need for Japanese to be educated about WWII, but I am certain that South Koreans would regret the outcome. Japanese would form their own interpretation of history that differs from the view of S Korean government.

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“When the Japanese government claims Dokdo is their territory, Korean people (take) it as another attempt to invade our country,” Kim said. “So that’s the Korean sentiment and I hope that the Japanese government understands this.”

This is a classic result of teaching the warped history by Koreans. The reason why Japan is bringing this issue to ICJ is because your former President unilaterally took the islands by force which resulted in kidnapping, injuring and killing of Japanese fishermen. I guess Korea doesn't teach this inconvenient fact.

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“We have to try to overcome these differences. It’s up to the Japanese attitude."

I see that the Chinese satellite state is doing their masters bidding.

Seems like Korea has forgotten that the PRC's main goal to to regain lost Mongolian territory and they were part of that territory.

Only a matter of time before South Korea rejoins their Nrothern brothers in starving under the PRCs rule.

One good thing will come for that, not more K-Pop.

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If one needs to address proper history, Koreans were willing participants of IJA for they were volunteers. They are much like Austrians with germany. Hence, the Koreans are the last people on earth to claim themselves as victims if IJA. This is again, another by product of a warped whitewashed education in Korea.

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If one needs to address proper history, Koreans were willing participants of IJA for they were volunteers. They are much like Austrians with germany. Hence, the Koreans are the last people on earth to claim themselves as victims if IJA. This is again, another by product of a warped whitewashed education in Korea.

that is correct. Korean leaders never educated their citizens properly. They brainwashed their citizens that Takeshima was part of former KOrean territory annexed by Japan in 1910 and part of the territory hand-over by the US in 1951 Dan Francisco treaty. They became part of the Protectorate of Japan in 1905 not by forceful intent of Japan.

They killed 5 Japanese fishermen in cold blood since 1952 and detained thousands of other fishermen and boats. Korean coast guards are killing machines.

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Nigelboy, so what if there were some volunteers, probably from poor backgrounds, it doesn't erase the fact that Japan did many horrible things to Korea. As for 1905, yes it was forced upon Japan. Go back and learn your history right.

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"For 1.2 million Koreans, this meant performing forced labor in Japan and, later, forced military service. By the end of the war, Koreans constituted ONE-THIRD of Japan's industrial labor force, of which 136,000 worked in mines under abominable conditions. Recruitment took place through labor mobilization offices located in local Korean police stations. These were usually staffed by Koreans, and targeted mostly the POOR and DISADVANTAGED."

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Heck, why bother asking when S Korea itself has its own version of history.

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@nigelboy Sep. 30, 2012 - 06:15AM JST

If one needs to address proper history, Koreans were willing participants of IJA for they were volunteers. They are much like Austrians with germany. Hence, the Koreans are the last people on earth to claim themselves as victims if IJA. This is again, another by product of a warped whitewashed education in Korea."

Indeed blame the Koreans.

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Kaori: "Having had opportunities to learn in three countries, I was lucky to be able to have more balanced views than those who just learned in one nation. So I naturally doubt those who asserts with certainty, what's taught in one nation's history class."

I'm glad you've had an opportunity to study abroad and get a more balanced idea of history -- which is my point; 99% of Japanese don't, and don't have a balanced idea of history as a result. I also have been able to learn history in a number of countries and have a more balanced perspective, which is why I think Japan needs to gain some perspective and teach its students a more balanced history -- perhaps allowing foreign scholars to give input into the history textbooks would be a good solution, although I doubt the closet historians here would allow it.

nigelboy: "This is a classic result of teaching the warped history by Koreans."

Says someone warped by the white-washed history of Japanese 'scholars'.

"The reason why Japan is bringing this issue to ICJ is because your former President unilaterally took the islands by force which resulted in kidnapping, injuring and killing of Japanese fishermen."

Sorry, laddy, I'm a Canuck -- I have no president. I have a PM... one that was elected about 5 Japanese PMs ago, I believe. And the reason why Japan is bringing it to the ICJ is because they are unsure of their claim, which is tenuous at best, while SK is sure of their claim and don't need the ICJ to prove it in some non-binding statement that would send radicals in Japan screaming and stomping on flags again.

"I guess Korea doesn't teach this inconvenient fact."

Korea doesn't teach a lot of things, which is sad. Doesn't mean Japan not teaching its history is any better. Sorry you choose to ignore that point time and time again.

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Japan should stop this nonsense and tell China to go to ICJ if they are so sure about Senkaku. Contradiction anyone?

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smithinjapan -- This logic of yours does not make sense. Why would a country agree to bring someone to 'court' if they were unsure of their claim??? This is totally illogical. If someone is sure of their claim then they would bring the story to international attention since it should be an easy thing to prove. You keep on bringing about the radicals in regards to the outcome and this does not matter what the radicals do after the fact. It will be the job of Japan to quiet them down since the case will be lost. Why do you say that Japan is unsure of their claim? You can not assume this because of Japan's desire to go to the ICJ.

Also, why do you keep on sticking up for Korea? Do you think that the Koreans are right about all these things even though the Koreans do not base much of their info on logic or facts? I have seen both issues and at this point the strongest side is on Japan though Korea does have some points to consider.

And the reason why Japan is bringing it to the ICJ is because they are unsure of their claim, which is tenuous at best, while SK is sure of their claim and don't need the ICJ to prove it in some non-binding statement that would send radicals in Japan screaming and stomping on flags again.>

But I still believe that the only solution if they do not go to the ICJ is just split the island and make it a shared interest as a symbolism of peace and unity between both countries. I am really tired of all the negativity going on here.

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Joseph: "smithinjapan -- This logic of yours does not make sense. Why would a country agree to bring someone to 'court' if they were unsure of their claim??? This is totally illogical."

Since you're relatively new here, allow me to use the analogy I often have in the past with this issue. Do you own a bicycle? Let's say you do. Let's say it's not your domestic 'mama-chari' and you have a decent bike. Some guy sees it and says he used to have one, likes yours, and therefore yours is his. Should you therefore go to some court to protest ownership because some lout said what you own is his? NO. Why do you need to have a judge declare who's property it is when you know full well it's yours?

"Also, why do you keep on sticking up for Korea?"

This is a petty question. Trust me, there are a lot of things I dislike about Korea (both north and south), but this is a Japanese oriented news site. Are you suggesting I should automatically praise everything Japanese when I deem something wrong?

"Do you think that the Koreans are right about all these things even though the Koreans do not base much of their info on logic or facts? "

So what are the facts, then, Joseph? You seem pretty eager to say one side is right and the other wrong, while admitting you know no history of the events. I have said time and again both sides contain bias, and both sides need to right their history, but this thread is about Lee saying Japan needs to teach its history correctly, and I agree. So does Korea, so point me to a thread that says as much and I will gladly say so. So please stop trying to undermine my comments by suggesting I am one-sided when you really have no idea what you are talking about.

"But I still believe that the only solution if they do not go to the ICJ is just split the island and make it a shared interest as a symbolism of peace and unity between both countries. I am really tired of all the negativity going on here."

Sadly, the negativity is not going to stop. The island split thing would work in only one of Japan's many island disputes, I'm afraid, and that would be with the Russian Kuriles. Russia offered that option some time ago but thanks to right-wingers Japan gave it up, and have as such given up the islands completely to Russia. I would not work with Dokdo, or the Senkakus for that matter. The proximity in those cases is far too close, and with the supposed natural resources at stake no government would allow a compromise.

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smithinjapan -- I do understand the history of events on various issues here much better than when I wrote that message. I probably understand it better than 90% of the writers here. I believe that you also do not know the history of the events perfectly nor does anyone know the history of the events perfectly. By knowing nothing you will come to know everything. Getting into the Zen here. If someone perfectly knew the history of the events there would be no discussion or debate.

About the bike issue that is correct but it is not a good analogy for the situation with Japan and Korea. It is not like Japan just popped by and said the other day that this is a nice island to have.

I am not saying that Japan is right and that Korea is wrong, but just that the facts seem to outweigh the facts from the side of Korea. I will present the facts later.

About the decision of Korea not to go to the ICJ I can understand that they would not go either if they had no proof or like you said they were so sure that the island is theirs that they would not bother to go in case they lost their fight for something that they are sure is theirs. However, this is one sided thinking and as usual the Koreans do not think logically on these things and just want to believe whatever is thrown at them.

The Japanese school books do mention about the comfort women. It is not being covered up. Japan gave money to Korea for this and probably the money was not even given to the women but just put in the politicians pockets. The politicians do not care about the women. This is just an issue caused by jealousy since Japan became the #2 country--well #3 now.

I really do not have a decision on one side or not in regards to the island issue, but the repeated pattern of lying coming out of Korea, negativity on all fronts, and their own disregard to the horrors they have committed on their own people with genocide which they have covered up and will not mention in their text books shows to me that Korea is not on the same level as Japan and it is like we are dealing with children.

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smithinjapan -- good--just wanted to make sure you were not one of those hawks who only stick to one side of the story because of some nationalistic craze. This is also the reason that I condemn Japan and Korea on different fronts and praise them if there is something to praise. For me, the best country is probably Thailand since they are not involved in a lot of this political crap of fighting over an island--they know how to be simple and have a fun life.

Also, why do you keep on sticking up for Korea?" This is a petty question. Trust me, there are a lot of things I dislike about Korea (both north and south), but this is a Japanese oriented news site. Are you suggesting I should automatically praise everything Japanese when I deem something wrong?>

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Joseph: "However, this is one sided thinking and as usual the Koreans do not think logically on these things and just want to believe whatever is thrown at them."

Your comment was decent up to this point, where you obviously declare your bias and therefore forfeit any claim to being objective. One thing you should think about when you call Koreans 'illogical' in their thinking towards Dokdo being a non-issue; Gemba in Japan has declared more than once that the ownership of the Senkaku islands is a non-issue.

"The Japanese school books do mention about the comfort women. It is not being covered up."

Do they now? Can you give me an example? Old textbooks do indeed give a passing reference to it, I believe two sentences or so, followed by a bevy of excuses. The newer issues, thanks to Abe, have them stricken.

"Japan gave money to Korea for this and probably the money was not even given to the women but just put in the politicians pockets. The politicians do not care about the women. This is just an issue caused by jealousy since Japan became the #2 country--well #3 now."

What a sad statement. You're right, though, that the so-called 'sumimasen' apologies were just politics. As for jealousy, how does Japan feel about China being its superior? As for SK, it's growing while Japan shrinks. Within the next 10 years Japan will be at best #5 in terms of world economy, since you brought it up -- so does that mean we should expect a lot of misdirected (more than now) hostility from Japan?

"I really do not have a decision on one side or not in regards to the island issue, but the repeated pattern of lying coming out of Korea, negativity on all fronts, and their own disregard to the horrors they have committed on their own people with genocide which they have covered up..."

So, in other words, you have no opinion either way about the people you condemn as murderers and genocidal maniacs in defense of a nation that actually murdered 10 million people from north of Australia to India? Sounds like you have 'no decision' indeed. :) You might want to check that bias at the door before your next post.

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I may be new here on the discussion of politics surrounding Korea and Japan and that is because my focus has been on the discussion of the nuclear situation which I deem much more important than a bunch of rocks.

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Joseph

one of the rules of war is that there are no rules. Japan was just at the cutoff point where the rules were about to be changed

This is something I can totally agree on. Was Japan informed about the new rule then? I don't think so. Tons of crimes can easily happen, that's the nature of war. While raping is no-no, why the heck killing is OK? How could we possibly selectively bomb non-civilians with 100% accuracy? Could we perfectly distinguish disguised soldiers with civilians in one glance? In the end, it is better to say war itself is bad, and in regard to that,  Japan engraved anti-war sentiment in the citizen's mind (good or bad, with GHQ's big help). That should count at least IF what they want is solely Japan's sincere remorse but of course I doubt that.

As for the comfort woman issue, considering multiple countries have same or similar stories, I think it most likely happened but I would be careful about evidence/testimony presented especially by C side as it might be fabricated. In either case, who knows which is a genuine evidence/witness or not? Most of the stories from any sides sound a sort of surreal. In reality, without a stedfast ground presented it could be just a tear-jerker fiction. It's like a child fight occurred without under your surveillance. Digging up an issue that no one can prove will go nowhere.

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Joseph: "I may be new here on the discussion of politics surrounding Korea and Japan and that is because my focus has been on the discussion of the nuclear situation which I deem much more important than a bunch of rocks."

And yet here you are commenting on something you declare non-important compared to the nuclear issue. I agree with you that the nuclear issue is more important, but that does not make your lack of argument here any more justifiable.

"one of the rules of war is that there are no rules. Japan was just at the cutoff point where the rules were about to be changed"

So then why does Japan want the Kuriles back as they were the spoils of war for Russia? Why is it always one side for one issue, but the opposite for the next.

Kaori: I'm glad you agree on the spoils of war thing... Japan should definitely give up its claims to Dokdo and the Kuriles in particular. Thanks for that.

"As for the comfort woman issue, considering multiple countries have same or similar stories,...."

For example? And even if multiple countries are guilty of the same thing, does that mean Japan shouldn't teach their kids about how they were involved in it? This constant deflection of blame is part of the problem, not a solution.

"Digging up an issue that no one can prove will go nowhere."

It has been proven, the Japanese government is just trying to bury it, Abe being a leader as such, and hoping all the women involved will just die and the issue keep quiet. Or do you deny it, as Abe did (before being proven wrong and resigning, I might add)?

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Joseph: "just wanted to make sure you were not one of those hawks who only stick to one side of the story because of some nationalistic craze."

I'm sorry I did not see this post before my last post on the comment, but rest assured you are correct -- I do not stick to only one side of the story. The thing a lot of people forget is that this is a news site solely geared towards news gleaned from/about Japan (save the International section). So it's easy to fall into the trap that things are one-sided when only one side is really represented.

"This is also the reason that I condemn Japan and Korea on different fronts and praise them if there is something to praise. For me, the best country is probably Thailand since they are not involved in a lot of this political crap of fighting over an island--they know how to be simple and have a fun life."

Was in Thailand for a while. I wouldn't want to live there for any prolonged period, but it is an amazing place in a lot of ways, and definitely somewhere I want to visit again for a good stay.

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Joseph:

Better would be to just split the islands and get along.

Sorry that will never happen. That's simply against the national interest from both sides.

smithinjapan:

perhaps allowing foreign scholars to give input into the history textbooks would be a good solution, although I doubt the closet historians here would allow it.

That will never happen either.  Like I said,  education is part of nation's strategy, it is too crucial. Likewise, in many nations they don't allow you to be involved in a strategic national planning unless you are a citizen.

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Facts concerning dispute of islets. In keeping in line with the discussion thread for this article these facts are used to show that Japan does not need to improve their text books any more than Korea would need to improve their text books in regards to many issues including the disputed islets. The knowledge of this history needs to be understood by Korea and placed in their text books.

Fact 1: The dispute on the islets between Japan and South Korea started when South Korean Patriotic Old Men's Association demanded that the MacArthur line established after World War II continue to be enforced in August 1948.

Fact 2: On August 10, 1951, the United States sent Korean Ambassador Yang You Chan the Rusk documents, stating that the official policy of the United States was that the "MacArthur line" would be abolished by the Treaty of San Francisco, which was signed on September 8, 1951, by 49 countries, about a month after the documents were sent, and was to come into effect on April 28, 1952.

Fact 3: The South Korean government declared the "Syngman Rhee Line" three months before this date, when the extinction of the MacArthur line and the return of sovereignty to Japan were meant to be established.

Now, just from the above facts it is already apparent that Korea is in the wrong. Once the MacArthur line was broken the return of Japan's sovereignty would come into effect. It is obvious that Korea tried to create their own new territory. The history of Japan and these islands goes back well before 1952.

Fact 4: According to the Report of Van Fleet Mission to Far East made in 1954, the U.S. government maintained that the one-sided declaration of the Syngman Rhee Line was illegal under international law.

Another point to show that what Korea did was illegal. This may be one reason why Korea does not want to go to the ICJ and that is because what they did was illegal.

Fact 5: North Korea, technically still at war with South Korea, reportedly supports South Korea's claim.

Well the support from North Korea will really go a long way in convincing international circles.

Fact 6: The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in accordance with the Treaty, considers its position "inalterable".

Yes, it is a done deal. So far the facts are all on the side of Japan.

Fact 7: South Korea maintains a nationwide educational program which sends students from 62 elementary, middle, and high schools on field trips to the rocks on a regular basis. The government has also written a textbook about the rocks, intended to be used in elementary schools across the country, and manages a year-round national educational tour

This Fact 7 just shows how South Korea knows they are in the wrong and need to send children there and write false history in text books to get the country all rilled up. It is like they are doing this to try and support their claim since they know they have already lost. This is what Korea could only do in this situation to give a false disguise to the issue.

Fact 8: When Japan's Shimane prefecture announced a "Takeshima Day" in 2005, Koreans reacted with demonstrations and protests throughout the country, extreme examples of which included a mother and son slicing off their own fingers and a man who set himself on fire

Yes, of course Korea would protest after being brain washed for 50 years into believing that these were there islands and then sending kids there to effect the brain washing at a deeper level. People cutting off their fingers is a sign of extreme brain washing.

Fact 9: Other notable protests featured South Koreans decapitating pheasants in front of the Japanese embassy, and a South Korean soccer player Park Jong-Woo holding up a sign stating "Dokdo is our land", after the bronze medal match with Japan during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

More signs of brain washing that it even leads olympians to get involved in politics during the Olympics and people decapitating pheasants--come on! The stupidity of this just shows how backward Korea can be and all of this is caused by what Korea did after they drew their own illegal line and then brain washed the country into thinking that it was legal and a sovereign part of their country. Imagine if Japanese would go decapitate dogs in from of Korean embassy and tell them to stop eating dogs, but if you want to we have your dog meat all chopped up and ready. Crazy people do crazy things.

Fact 10: Japan proposed bringing the issue to the ICJ four times, in 1954, 1962 or 1964 and in 2012.

Now these are just the recent facts going back to WWII. The facts going before this will be discussed later and continue to show to Korea that they are the ones that need to update their text books.

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I think the main reason why J won't try to bring senkaku issue to ICJ is that C is the No.1 trading partner but K isn't. Simple. BTW, isn't talking about Senkaku off topic too? What's the criteria here?

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Kaori: "That will never happen either. Like I said, education is part of nation's strategy, it is too crucial. Likewise, in many nations they don't allow you to be involved in a strategic national planning unless you are a citizen."

So then while you brag about being more educated than most, you say it is impossible to educate the masses. Well done.

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Kaori: You have only yourself to blame for Japan repeating its history -- but wait! let me guess, you think it's not japan's fault.

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smithinjapan

Thank you! You have forced me to see the truth.

Now I agree with you on the Korea issue with the islands. Korea definitely has the facts in favor of their ownership.

The fact that the U.S. government maintained that the one-sided declaration of the Syngman Rhee Line was illegal under international law was actually an incorrect analysis of the facts which may not have been available at the time. Korea has gone through much trouble to share the knowledge.

The island definitely belongs to Korea and Japan must hand it over!

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Joseph: All you have proven is that you are unable to come to your own conclusions based on facts, but depend on the opinions of other Rightists on this forum and stoop to quoting blogs.

I am genuinely interested in knowing your 'proof' about Koreans on this matter, since you have never been there, never read any texts, and know nothing besides. Come on, my brother, tell me what you know! As it is, you are going beyond proving my point that people with no idea will stand behind a cause for no reason. So thank you for proving that you have no case and likewise a lot of the radicals on this site do not either.

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smithinjapan:

Kaori: I'm glad you agree on the spoils of war thing... Japan should definitely give up its claims to Dokdo and the Kuriles in particular. Thanks for that.

That's not what I said. Speak for yourself. How comfort can the comfort woman issue be related to those territorial issues?

"As for the comfort woman issue, considering multiple countries have same or similar stories,...." For example? And even if multiple countries are guilty of the same thing, does that mean Japan shouldn't teach their kids about how they were involved in it? This constant deflection of blame is part of the problem, not a solution

You are misunderstood here. I meant similar stories from testimonies from those different victimized countries. It may be hard for you but please try not to draw your sword so easily with a certain supeculation.

"Digging up an issue that no one can prove will go nowhere." It has been proven, the Japanese government is just trying to bury it, Abe being a leader as such, and hoping all the women involved will just die and the issue keep quiet. Or do you deny it, as Abe did (before being proven wrong and resigning, I might add)?

What has been proven? No idea what's in your head here. BTW, you are not going to convince me by saying "it's been proven".

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I was brain washed by Japan! The brain washing even goes on here too. For all those readers who are stuck to their views they should look up the facts and study the history in at least a minimum to the way I did. If I can be brain washed as an American in Japan then think how easy it is for a Japanese to be brain washed.

The only way towards resolution on these issues is for people to learn the truth. The truth will set us free.

In this regards I am totally indebted to smithinjapan.

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Yes no need for aggressiveness.

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Kaori: You have only yourself to blame for Japan repeating its history -- but wait! let me guess, you think it's not japan's fault.

Seriously, no idea what you are talking about here. Some sort of imagination game...? What is not Japan's fault? Of course they are responsible for what's teaching in a class. On the other hand, teachers can compencate for a lack of information in textbooks by suplimenting their own secondary materials.

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Kaori: "That will never happen either. Like I said, education is part of nation's strategy, it is too crucial. Likewise, in many nations they don't allow you to be involved in a strategic national planning unless you are a citizen." So then while you brag about being more educated than most, you say it is impossible to educate the masses. Well done.

I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings for being so lucky but you seem to be talking to an imaginary opponent. I never said "it is impossible to educate the masses". I'm saying leaving taxtbook making to non-citizens, as you suggested above, won't happen as it is part of national strategy for them.

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smithinjapan--I have already shared enough info on what I now know. I have been to Korea--albeit only the airport! Blogs--I have not read blogs so not sure where you are getting these ideas. I have spoken to many people and have researched many of these issues to the point that many things are clear now. At this point I have enough knowledge to satisfy my hunger for the truth. I need to get back to doing real work since these issues for the most part are not important except to the extremists.

My opinions are based on the facts as I have presented since you wanted to have the facts.

Yes it is true that people with no knowledge will stand behind an idea. I was using myself as a test case for your cause and for turning other people around to the truth.

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perhaps allowing foreign scholars to give input into the history textbooks would be a good solution, although I doubt the closet historians here would allow it.

See, you think that's not going to happen, either. Why are you lashing out at me over this?

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Joseph: "The island definitely belongs to Korea and Japan must hand it over!"

Japan doesn't need to hand anything over, South Korea already owns, lives on, and administers the islands. I guess Japan COULD hand over its pride on the issue, but they've already done that long ago by admitting they want to go to the ICJ.

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Kaori: "See, you think that's not going to happen, either. Why are you lashing out at me over this?"

Ouch! Hard to get through the density here. I said nothing will ever be free of bias, I never said the facts should not be presented. Try not to cherry pick comments, please.

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Joseph: "My opinions are based on the facts as I have presented since you wanted to have the facts."

Whose facts? The facts of a man that has never been to the place he condemns, has never read textbooks on the issue, but somehow knows everything all the same?

"Yes it is true that people with no knowledge will stand behind an idea."

You are a case in point, evidently, since you admit no knowledge of anything and no experience.

"I was using myself as a test case for your cause and for turning other people around to the truth."

I'd say, since you admit to not knowing anything, that you were simply turning in circles and seeing if anyone followed. Sorry to say only the blind follow the blind. You say you have never been to Korea aside from the airport (probably a cheap flight on Korean Air to save you a few bucks and transfer at Inchon), but you know all about Korean facts and history, and how Lee is wrong in suggesting Japan learn from the past, etc. How can you even argue what you have no idea about?

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Kaori: "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings for being so lucky but you seem to be talking to an imaginary opponent. I never said "it is impossible to educate the masses". I'm saying leaving taxtbook making to non-citizens, as you suggested above, won't happen as it is part of national strategy for them."

Oh, Kaori-chan, you never hurt my feelings one bit. In fact, the fact that you needed to state your history is proof that you are insecure on the matter of Japanese history, but I'm glad you have an opinion to share. It's "textbook", not "taxtbook", by the way, and I also know it is extremely unlikely to happen, but no reason why it cannot be suggested as a means of getting a more rounded history.

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Joseph: "In this regards I am totally indebted to smithinjapan."

You're welcome.

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Joseph: I think you mean, "In this regard", though. No plural.

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Kaori: "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings for being so lucky..."

You didn't hurt my feelings at all, and I'm sorry you insinuate as such. You said so yourself, you are lucky. My only wish is that the rest of Japan be given the facts, if not in such a manner as you have been given them (although you could not name a textbook or know the omissions in them), then in a manner that is objective and not formed by nationalists with vested interests.

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smithinjapan--right, Japan needs to hand over the pride, but since what Korea did was considered illegal they also need to deal with that. With that quagmire, either Japan has to see the facts or just stick to its guns based on the sovereignty that is also claimed to them though incorrectly.

Going to the ICJ does not completely show that they admitted to the issue but I can now see how that does show some admission.

Japan could have taken over the islands before but Korea was the first to do that and easily took control after the war when Japan was weak. So lets say that if Japan was living and administering on the islands then I suppose that Korea would then ask Japan to go to the ICJ and Japan would say no.

I don't see the reason for the ICJ.

One more thing to clear up is that Korea does not have an old history so these stories going back a thousand years in regards to the islands may have been stories from when Mongolia controlled the area. In this case, the islands may not have been owned by Korea but by Mongolia, which would mean that Mongolia should ask for their islands back.

There were Japanese fisherman who lived on those islands a long time ago and they were killed by the Koreans, but from the data I presented before it is clear that Korea had a much longer history before that incident.

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Joseph: "but since what Korea did was considered illegal they also need to deal with that. "

Considered illegal by whom? Was Japan taking Senkaku in the Sino-Japan war not "illegal"?

"Going to the ICJ does not completely show that they admitted to the issue but I can now see how that does show some admission."

Again, no need to go to the ICJ for SK as they consider it a non-issue. Only people who consider it an issue need go. And again to remind you, Gemba has stated the Senkaku issue is not an issue.

"Japan could have taken over the islands before but Korea was the first to do that and easily took control after the war when Japan was weak."

Wow.... you really don't know much on the facts, do you?

"So lets say that if Japan was living and administering on the islands then I suppose that Korea would then ask Japan to go to the ICJ and Japan would say no"

May well be the case. I guess we'll never know, since Dokdo is South Korean and it's the Japanese whining about it after the fact. What would Japan do if China wanted to go to the ICJ over the Ryukyus, I wonder?

"One more thing to clear up is that Korea does not have an old history so these stories going back a thousand years in regards to the islands may have been stories from when Mongolia controlled the area."

Oh really! Well then, if Korea doesn't have an old history Japan REALLY doesn't have an old history, since most of Japanese outside of Ainu (and does Japan consider them Japanese?) come from either Korea or China.

"...which would mean that Mongolia should ask for their islands back."

And North America should give up the entire continent to the few remaining Native North Americans. You seem to miss the point pretty badly... over time, the person who lives on and runs the property becomes its owner, regardless of history. Japan had that in its favour with the Senkakus until Ishihara decided to be his usual idiot self and announce the buying of the islands.

"There were Japanese fisherman who lived on those islands a long time ago and they were killed by the Koreans, but from the data I presented before it is clear that Korea had a much longer history before that incident."

What data was it you presented? So Korea doesn't have a long history, but they had a long history before the facts you 'presented'? Sounds more like you just choose to see certain things as fact when it suits you.

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smithinjapan--it appears that you did not read all the facts I presented--well some is data. This is the illegal aspect of the dispute and one of the main reasons Japan wants to go to the ICJ.

According to the Report of Van Fleet Mission to Far East made in 1954, the U.S. government maintained that the one-sided declaration of the Syngman Rhee Line was illegal under international law.

And you are right I really don't know much on the facts. You are actually helping me to clear this up sooner than later.

Yes, North America should give back more of the continent to the Native Americans. Giving the island to Mongolia is not giving back the whole of Japan.

There is debate on that issue of Japanese coming from Korea--no they came from Mongolia. Back in those days one could say that Korea was Mongolia, but as I said i don't know much about the facts.

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Joseph: "There is debate on that issue of Japanese coming from Korea--no they came from Mongolia. Back in those days one could say that Korea was Mongolia, but as I said i don't know much about the facts."

Back in those days Mongolia was not Mongolia, nor was Japan Japan, or the Koreas the Koreas. Talking about ancient history is somewhat silly, really. The Ainu are the native inhabitants of this island chain, everyone else came from somewhere else a long time ago.

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Yes i know its silly but fun to be silly

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Smith:

Kaori: "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings for being so lucky..." You didn't hurt my feelings at all, and I'm sorry you insinuate as such. You said so yourself, you are lucky. 

Yes, I said I was lucky being able to learn multiple views because I was.  "you brag about being more educated than most" is a misinterpretation because I didn't mean to suggest I was bragging. If someone says "Everyday I feel I'm lucky to be healthy" I wouldn't consider it "bragging" and would instead feel happy for the person.

My only wish is that the rest of Japan be given the facts, if not in such a manner as you have been given them I agree. But as someone mentioned somewhere, definition of the facts varies. Seeking genuine evidence which is close to 70 years old is tough. Many would end up with collecting fragments of "fact-ish" things.

(although you could not name a textbook or know the omissions in them),  I am not sure what you mean by this. Are you talking about the text books I learnt from ? I don't remember anyone asked me the name of a textbook but If you are talking about the textbook you mentioned earlier, I have it though.

I said nothing will ever be free of bias,  Totally agree.

I never said the facts should not be presented. ???? I didn't say you said that. Aren't you confusing me with someone else?

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All readers: Please focus your comments on the story and not at each other.

The Senkaku islands do belong to Japan no?

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I totaly agree with Kim Sung-hwan! There lots of ignorant youngsters in Japan which has never heard of Nankin, and about all the horror of what Japan did in S Korea. I don't point the finger at Japan now but I think Japan should do like Germany. Germany admitted all the crimes they did during WII and is teaching in school about it to avoid to do the same mistakes. Germany did everything to repair their mistakes towards the world. Japan did not.

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There was an interesting point brough up in the article. Why doesn't Japan take an approach that is more along the lines of the one West Germany took after the war?

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Then Japan should teach their youngsters all the good and bad things that Japan did during the war just like every country in the world should also do. For example, Japan was well regarded in Burma as treating the people nicely. Even the comfort women there reported earning much money, getting nice clothes and just having very few complaints. I met a Buddhist monk who personally told me how he missed the occupation of Japan in Burma. Once the British were kicked out in many countries by the Japanese there were countries that preferred that situation.

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Japan is really more interested in the future and remaining as a powerful nation instead of getting stuck in the past like Korea has done and as a result their GDP has suffered. The longer Korea stays in the past the bigger a hole it is building for itself. Telling the truth in text books is good but it has nothing to do with that of Korea. There is much more important history around the world that can be taught. History is endless. What the Germans did in the Holocaust is not at all like what Japan did to Korea in rescuing that country.

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An interesting thing to consider in history is what if Japan did not attack Korea what would have happened? Maybe China or Russia would have taken over Korea. That would have been much worse. The Japanese maybe blocked that event from happening. Another useful thing to consider is what was the difference between when the US was fighting in Korea and when Japan was fighting in Korea? Who treated the people better? Probably the USA but still I would like to hear any thoughts on this.

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Crazy that people are arguing (at great length) based on those 新しい歴史教科書 textbooks - maybe they should have a look at what % of schools actually use them.

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Koreans need to stop whining about stuff that happened many decades ago. You don't hear us complaining about the Brits burning the White House or attacking Philadelphia or New Orleans even though, to my knowledge, they have never apologized.

These days Koreans seem intent on presenting their nation as a collection of sleep deprived five year olds.

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TravelingSales

Koreans need to stop whining about stuff that happened many decades ago. You don't hear us complaining about the Brits burning the White House or attacking Philadelphia or New Orleans even though, to my knowledge, they have never apologized. These days Koreans seem intent on presenting their nation as a collection of sleep deprived five year olds.

Amusing you say the Koreans need to stop whining about their treatment at the hands of the Japanese, yet year after year, month after month we hear about the poor Japanese and how they suffered... Don't hear you telling them to stop whining.

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新しい歴史教科書 textbooks - maybe they should have a look at what % of schools actually use them. Agree. I saw a class where the use of the use of the textbook was mandatory and the teacher wasn't using it most of the time. Instead he was giving out a lot of handouts. He says "the students can't pass an exam with this book".  So I think when it's in the teachers hands, you can not really tell what's actually taught in a class untill you see it. We need a proper research throughout the country before making an assumption.

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新しい歴史教科書 textbooks - maybe they should have a look at what % of schools actually use them.

Agree. I saw a class where the use of the use of the textbook was mandatory and the teacher wasn't using it most of the time. Instead he was giving out a lot of handouts. He says "the students can't pass an exam with this book".  So I think when it's in the teachers hands, you can not really tell what's actually taught in a class untill you see it. We need a proper research throughout the country before making an assumption.

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what if Japan did not attack Korea what would have happened? Maybe China or Russia would have taken over Korea. That would have been much worse. The Japanese maybe blocked that event from happening.

That almost sounds like the same logic of some people who claim "if it were not for America's A-bombing, it would have been worse for Japan under Russia's  occupation".  I agree on that Korea should look to the future more but I don't think that "what if" makes up for what Japan did.

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One thing is that the amount of history my 14 year old son has learned in Japan is enormous. He has to also go to Juku and study for tests to get into high school. The history he has learned up to 14 is more than I have learned in USA high school and college combined. It is crazy all the things they need to memorize. It is way too much. Of course Japan should learn about the horrors of its past and things should not be hidden. I believe Japan is trying to do that. It may take some time. Every country has their bad past so Japan should not be the only country to be isolated in this regards.

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No "what if" does not make up for what any country has done. The Japanese military regime had its good and bad points and we are all thankful that Japan did not win the war. We all need to learn from history and not repeat the past mistakes but we need to see the larger picture. Britain was encroaching into Asia and Japan was forced to take some action. France came into Vietnam. UK took over Hong Kong. The past is littered with countries trying to conquest each other. What Japan did is not something astonishing. China or Korea would have done the same thing if they had the resources. China was fighting between themselves. So many countries doing harm to themselves and to others. It is an endless cycle.

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I believe that most of the Japanese are glad that they lost the war. The times have changed and Japan is no longer like it used to be. Japan is not the same Japan that it used to be and the Koreans are clinging to the past too much. Japan will never go back to the way it was and people in China and Korea are ignorantly afraid of this. It is like saying the americans will go back to the cowboy days or Germany will go back to the Nazi regime. Japan has given up on the idea of having nuclear weapons. China has never learned this lesson. Japan is a country of peace now and what it has become should be respected more than what it was.

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Yeah Right - happy to clarify on this. Everyone should stop whining about ancient history. It's boring, childish and unintelligent.

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"Britain was encroaching into Asia and Japan was forced to take some action..."

Yeah, that could be true. However, they weren't forced to take such atrocious actions. As is the case with the A-bombs for the Japanese, it was such a traumatic event for the victims. Even though they were not there, people can feel the pain their descendants had to go through via films or stories, like a lot of people shared the Japanese agony due to the recent Fukushima NP incident. With that said, Korea probably doesn't need to educate thier citizens to the point that it inspires hate towards Japan.

I believe that most of the Japanese are glad that they lost the war.

Disagree. Who would be glad to lose a war? It would significantly depend on the generation and each education level but from my impression, a lot of them feel more or less guilty, "Why must three generations later shoulder the cumbersome burden of their forefathers?" To alleviate the pain, some might become indifferent, some might drift to the right.

I understand your efforts to look at the bright side but that doesn't solve the problem. The fatal drawback is the gov's poor foreign diplomacy skills.

we are all thankful that Japan did not win the war.

I might not say that in J forum...lol

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They are glad because if they know the truth about how life was in Japan during the Imperial rule they may think that things are better now. The older generation was probably against losing the war, but now Japan's new generation would never want to go back to the old days. I don't think they feel guilty about losing the war but more guilty about what Japan did in those days.

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They are glad because if they know the truth about how life was in Japan during the Imperial rule they may think that things are better now.

Some might. but not sure as they can not actually compare the current situation with the "what if" under Russian occupation. I think the more they are annoyed with their neighboring countries, the more they might wish they didn't lose the war.

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You are right--Japanese are not glad that they won the war for the most part. I was asking around. For the young generation it is not that they are guilty or happy or sad. They just do not care or think about it. They are more interested in food and shopping and just daily life since things are at peace now.

But I spoke to another Japanese person who said that his ideas are not common and he feels regret that Japan lost the war because they tried to fight USA which was much stronger. He thinks they should not have fought because Japan should have realized they were too weak to win. Then I asked well if Japan was stronger would you have wanted them to win the war and his answer was yes because it would have been nice for Japan to control all of Asia.

I then asked him about the bad things that Japan did during the war and he said what Japan did is not uncommon. He also said that during that time there were no rules about war like we now have. He also said that the UK has colonized countries throughout the world and still holds onto some.

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Joseph: Thank you for the personal interviews. It's interesting.

"I asked well if Japan was stronger would you have wanted them to win the war and his answer was yes because it would have been nice for Japan to control all of Asia"

LOL. I think that's the thing those Asian countries are afraid of. In the Japanese sentiment, being called "bad Japan! bad bad!" numerous times, they've felt so oppressed and come to a sort of backlash. Again, "Why must three generations later shoulder the cumbersome burden of their forefathers?" I guess the answer to this question is 1. "because the J politicians didn't try to solve the issue which could have solved much earlier". 2. "Anti-Japan education is very convenient as a political tool for those neighboring countries politicians".

I then asked him about the bad things that Japan did during the war and he said what Japan did is not uncommon. He also said that during that time there were no rules about war like we now have. He also said that the UK has colonized countries throughout the world and still holds onto some.

Although he is a closeted imperialist, this is an example of reason why S Korea/China are crying out against Japan. I take it as a form of the backlash though. In extreme situations during war, it's difficult to anticipate how people might act so that's why I think we shouldn't go to war to begin with. Article 9 is crucial to Japan but the LDP leader Abe will want to change it once he gets back in power. The US might be glad because they can cut back on their military cost and sell weapons to Japan.

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Well my friend said that everyone would like to control other countries or the world so this is not something unique to just the Japanese. It is the nature of power. As you can see that the USA is trying to control the world in a sense but not as much as China would do if they were in that position.

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What the Korean foreign minister said is spot on and reasonable. Anyone who disagrees is simply in denial.

Don't sidetrack the discussion in typical rightwing Japanese fashion with "evidence" of Korean cooperation. Of course, there are traitors and people who go along with the ruling colonial regime. That doesn't mean most Koreans wanted to be a part of the Japanese Empire. Korea does not equal Austria. Hitler came from Austria. Tojo came from Japan.

Such pathetic arguments make me really sad... Grow up, Japan!

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The only reason Japan would have to educate their people is because Korea is stuck in the past and continues to feel jealous of Japan. Even if Japan apologizes again things will not change. There will always be more that Korea will want. Maybe 100 years later Korea will forget about this and just move into the future. I do not care about WWII and care more about WWIII.

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That doesn't mean most Koreans wanted to be a part of the Japanese Empire.

When the amount of Korean applicants for services of IJA exceeded the amount required by tenfolds, they in fact wanted to be part of Japan. Secondly, there are 148 Korean war criminals. As I stated previously, Koreans of today don't have the qualifications to talk about misdeeds of Japan's conduct during WWII.

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Joseph:

Well my friend said that everyone would like to control other countries or the world so this is not something unique to just the Japanese.

That would be more so if one is power-hungry. However, your friend might change his view once he gets drafted. Ultimately, war is a chess game for higher-ups who never have to go to the battlefield. I don't have any army experience but you wouldn't want your child to go to war especially when your country is losing.

Now I'm curious; supposing your country is in critical peril and you luckily have a way to escape to your wife's country in order to avoid your/your kid's military draft, would you fly out with your family or you stay to fight for your country?

Now this is an ex-UN worker told in the Fukushima crisis: "In any nation, 99% of the higher-ups don't care about their own citizens. When their country faces hideous peril, they all abandon the citizens and run away with gold & money. So those citizens don't trust the government, always thinking about how they can survive with their family whether it be inside or outside of the country. Those who haven't had to worry about such were just lucky. After all, nations could be just a mere illusional icon".

As you can see that the USA is trying to control the world in a sense but not as much as China would do if they were in that position.

I think one reason of that is because the US is a Christian based country whereas China is not so religious. Religion can contribute to a moral education. At the same time, I worry of the pervading idea of heroism in the US that "a hero must protect the weak! We must be the savior of the world!" could backfire and jeopardize the country.

Japan will never go back to the way it was and...

On a couple of conditions; preservation of Article 9 and the J citizens remain smart enough.

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I wonder if the old East Asian tradition of making the children accountable for the sins of their forebears and to continue to bear the shame of it until a future generation atones is what is at the inner most core of this dispute?

It is true that war crimes were committed in WW2. But also is true that the barbarity in that war historically is precedented throughout East Asia ... China especially.

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Japan should teach the reality of their part in WW2. As an american I know what crimes my country committed against native americans, Japanese interment camps, Jim Crow laws, even the war crimes that soldiers (on the "good side") did in WW2, Korea, Vietnam and even now.

Japan needs to accept what things that the country did in its past so they will never repeat it in their future.

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even the war crimes that soldiers (on the "good side") did in WW2, Korea, Vietnam and even now.

Can you list them that are on the textbooks? Yeah. I thought so.

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Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said: “We are victims of Japanese colonial rule.”

Mr Kim, Yes,Korean people were victims of Japanese colonial rule, but those people are dead now and people responsible for that are also dead. What you need now is collaboration and friendship with your neighbor so that people in both countries live peacefully.

I guess that you are bringing this issue now for your own benefit. This is just politics nothing else. You are selfish Mr Kim.

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Maybe this: http://www.silentshamedocumentary.com/

Is a good start?

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@HonestDictator,

"As an american I know what crimes my country committed ......... did in WW2, Korea, Vietnam and even NOW. Japan needs to accept what things that the country did in its past so they will never repeat it in their future."

Emphasizing on "NOW" in first statement. Why are you repeating the mistakes now? I ask. So, Teaching and knowing about past mistakes will not stop mistakes happening again. Isn't it ? When need arises all the past mistakes seems RIGHT.

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Nigelboy

"even the war crimes that soldiers (on the "good side") did in WW2, Korea, Vietnam and even now." Can you list them that are on the textbooks? Yeah. I thought so.

If you care to look you will find many references.....

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Kaori Georges-- yes I am sure he will change his view once he gets drafted. He is not living in the reality of war world but in the protection of the corporate world with all the luxuries of life. People who experience war realize how terrible it is and never brings any peace or justice to the world.

For the hell of it it seems like Japan should know what war crimes they have committed if they already do not know. If this is what Korea wants then let them have it so they feel at ease. If they ask for anything more after this then we will know what their real intentions were.

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"When the amount of Korean applicants for services of IJA exceeded the amount required by tenfolds, they in fact wanted to be part of Japan."

Poor men needing a wage doesn't equate with wanting to be part of Japan.

"Secondly, there are 148 Korean war criminals. As I stated previously, Koreans of today don't have the qualifications to talk about misdeeds of Japan's conduct during WWII."

Most of the Koreans were the bottom of the rung and were continually bullied by Japanese soldiers. But the fact that there were Korean war criminals doesn't change anything about the need of Japanese to educate. Some black slaves mistreated other black slaves. So - was it wrong of blacks and others to see the value in teaching Americans about slavery? No. Teaching history is a good idea. That's shouldn't be such a controversial thought.

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If it is true about the 148 Korean war criminals then when the Japanese textbooks are updated they should also include this history as well so that everything is balanced. Then the Japanese will be able to see that they are not alone and end up having a one sided view.

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For me one of the most notorious things that the Imperial Army did was carrying out Unit 731. This should be thoroughly explained in Japanese text books and is probably there to some extent. It does not get worse that this.

Though the USA had a role to play which was also nefarious as shown below so that the USA could make use of such information since they knew that they would never be able to obtain such data on human experiments. This whole thing is simply grotesque and we can not blame the USA of course but definitely this shows the level at which the Imperial Army was willing to go and their disregard for human life. This is even worse than what the Nazis did to the Jews.

On 6 May 1947, Douglas MacArthur, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, wrote to Washington that "additional data, possibly some statements from Ishii probably can be obtained by informing Japanese involved that information will be retained in intelligence channels and will not be employed as 'War Crimes' evidence."

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Pointing out Korean collaborators is just a tactic to water down the atrocities committed by the Japanese Empire overall. It's a pathetic one at that.

Of course, there are going to be collaborators. Korea was colonized for over 35 years by Japan. I'm sure some Koreans even started to think of themselves as "Japanese" by a certain point. The Koreans hate these collaborators as much, if not more, than the Japanese colonialists. Personally, except for the war criminals, I don't blame the average soldier though whether Korean or Japanese.

Korean war criminals should also be noted in history. BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT! Don't dilute or detour from the facts.

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Japan should educate her Japanese ppl that Japan committed atrocities that causes so much sorrow to the ppl of Asian during ww2.

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What is clear from the discussion on this thread is that those who are usually the quickest to point the finger and most persistent in criticizing (in this case the history education in Japan) are the ones who have little knowledge of the real facts and – what is equally important in this case – of Japanese culture. They simply continue insisting on what they have already decided for themselves and while demanding that everybody else give them proof for any differing opinion, they never even once name the source of their “facts”.

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• "Contrary to popular belief, Japanese textbooks by no means avoid some of the most controversial wartime moments. The widely used textbooks contain accounts, though not detailed ones, of the massacre of Chinese civilians in Nanjing in 1937 by Japanese forces. Some, but not all, of the textbooks also describe the forced mobilization of labor in the areas occupied by Japan, including mention of the recruitment of "comfort women" to serve in wartime brothels. One clear lacuna is the almost complete absence of accounts of Japanese colonial rule in Korea. Japanese textbooks are perhaps the least overt in their mission to present a patriotic narrative about the story of the nation. In contrast, national curriculum guides in most other East Asian countries assert the promotion of national pride and national identity as the primary function of history education. The "war stories" told in their textbooks are clearly intended to do just that, Duus notes." http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00703/

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http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/d6xaz/nicetryjapanesewarmuseum%E0%B2%A0%E0%B2%A0/c0y0zik Quote sloan: As a journalist working in Japan, over the years I've been here I've taken a great personal and professional interest in examining how Japan deals with its past aggression. What I can say right up front is that the way the Japanese are represented in these kinds of debates on reddit is pretty disgraceful. Most of the information posted here is second-hand "internet wisdom" from people who have never visited the country and are just repeating the same propaganda and half-truths that come up every time this topic is mentioned. So, in the interests of providing a little balance, let me put straight a few things that frequently come up in these debates. •The Rape of Nanking is taught in Japanese schools, and is taught entirely from the perspective of being a shameful incident that Japan needs to learn from and not repeat. I know this because I've been an invited guest in a wide number of schools and have seen for myself what takes place in the classroom. The amount of graphic coverage varies from teacher to teacher, however I have on a number of occasions witnessed students in tears over the scenes that have been presented to them. •The last revisionist textbook was published in 2000. It was published by an extremist right-wing organization, not a mainstream publisher, and was used in only 16, mostly private schools in Japan. While regrettable, in context this is a tiny number, and nothing like on the scale that we in the west believe the problem to be. •There was a tradition of Japanese leaders visiting Yasukuni Shrine (mentioned above) to pay homage to the Japanese war dead. However the last five Japanese Prime Ministers have stopped this practice and on a number of occasions have made their reasons for doing so quite clear; namely the fact that it's highly offensive to Japan's neighbors. •The younger generations of Japanese society have largely shed the victim complex and clearly recognize the fact that Japan was both the aggressor during the Imperial era and received the comeuppance it deserved. There is some regret about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as any country who suffered massive civilian losses would be entitled to feel) however most Japanese accept that they brought this upon themselves. I remember recently watching an interview with a leader of one of the survivors groups associated with the bombing on NHK (the national broadcaster) where he stated clearly his view that the actions of the Japanese military invited the bombing to occur.

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I have to wonder what kind of Japanese person some of you have been talking to. I think people I know usually know about all the stuff you have been mentioning here. I must admit that we(I mean "I") could get diffensive when people keep saying your country did this and that, and it gets tiring real quick all you hear is Japan is this bad country. I know it is not right to point a finger and say "your country did the same thing too" when your country did some really awful things, but I get frustrated. I usually keep it to myself, because I know our grandparents generation did some really horrible things(tust me, my parents even took me to an island where Japan made posison gas. hope all of you know what I am talking about. yeah, all the experiments with human. yes, I know!) and we are really sorry for those things. We are not letting that happen again. But no country's got clean hands. Also, I feel real defensive when people talk about Japan like it is the only country with all these atrocities. Japan should do this and that. And now, we have to be told what shoud be taught in school. (like learning could only happen in school.) I must wonder how much people learn about their own horrible history in a way victims can be satisfied. There is no chance of that I am pretty sure. Japan is no different from any other country.

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Most Japanese and for that the younger to middle generation would never do the same things that have been done in the past. Every country has done wrong in their past too and I do not think that every country feels as ashamed as Japan because Korea and China keep bringing these things up to try and make the Japanese remember. This does no good for anyone since the only reason to remember these things is so that they are not done again. Japan will not do that again! Japan has apologized and just shown by JaneM that these incidents are clearly written in text books. Again we are talking about stuff from 60+ years ago and this is getting ridiculous to even discuss anymore. We are in the 21st century and the age of the internet. Japan has suffered more than or equal at least to any of the other countries that have suffered. People need to learn to forgive and forget in order to move on. Holding onto the past is only what old people do since they have nothing else going on in their life. Make the world a better place by helping people in need and stop wasting time on negativity. If Japan really covered up all their atrocities then I would be the first to condemn that but at this point Japan has seen the past and is moving on. If some people do not want to see it then so be it--let them live their own life.

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How about you move on South Korea.

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Yes, I am moving on Akemi and I hope that everyone else moves on.

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"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

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Japanese history is the most edited history in the world, back to its origins even. The worst part is WWII.

Why doesn't Japan just get the facts straight and move on?

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My response is "Ferme ta geuele", try educating South Korea about those wonderful Korean guards in the POW camps. How about the Korean Tigers in Vietnam? Before lecturing Japan, please clean up your own house.

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Sir_Edgar --ok fine but just provide the facts then to support your claim.

Japanese history is the most edited history in the world, back to its origins even. The worst part is WWII. >

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Yes, this is correct and something the whole world needs to follow. Pretty much the whole world has made the same mistakes over and over since the beginning of time. We can even go backt to Rome and show how it is similar to what the USA is coming through. The point is that every country needs to learn from history. To single only Japan out is the biggest mistake people are making here and it starts to come down to racism.

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana >

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YuriOtani

My response is "Ferme ta geuele", try educating South Korea about those wonderful Korean guards in the POW camps. How about the Korean Tigers in Vietnam? Before lecturing Japan, please clean up your own house.

YuriOtani, of the two items you describe where either of them issues that the Koreans inflicted on the Japanese? No they where not. One is Koreans assisting the Japanese with their murderous rampage and the other is the Koreans assisting the US and others in Vietnam. Neither instance is Korea inflicting pain or damage on Japan. However the Koreans are specifically referring to your nations occupation and cruelty towards them. The other incidents you mention are between the Koreans and the allied nations and the Koreans and the Vietnamese. Oh and by the way the Koreans make full mention of their activities in Vietnam you can go to the Korean war memorial in Seoul to get a better understanding if you wish.

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Since 1965, Korea has been teaching and promoting "HATE" towards Japan in school.Korea is not in position to tell Japan what to do.

I am sure Japan will take this Korean's view as a constructive, positive feedback, and they will work on that. Korea has to change too.

When both countries are willing to do this, the relationship between Korean and Japan will improve. The little effort like tthese will bring a positive outcome that is HUGE!!. .Korea and Japan, let's go and and change. Let's move forward for your children and grand children to make this place as a better place to live. It is not too hard to do. Everything has to start from education..

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Poor men needing a wage doesn't equate with wanting to be part of Japan

There were shortage of male workers in Japan because of the mandatory draft among Japanese men during that time. Despite this, the Korean men decided to apply and enroll for the IJA. Poor excuse.

Most of the Koreans were the bottom of the rung and were continually bullied by Japanese soldiers. But the fact that there were Korean war criminals doesn't change anything about the need of Japanese to educate. Some black slaves mistreated other black slaves. So - was it wrong of blacks and others to see the value in teaching Americans about slavery? No. Teaching history is a good idea. That's shouldn't be such a controversial thought.

The fact that there were Korean war criminals indicates that it's the Koreans that need to be educated. As I addressed previously, they don't get to join the party of "IJA was baaad" parade. They were much a party to the Asian invasion as were Austrians to Germany. Austrians apologized for their conduct but why can't Korea face up to history? Why you bring ridiculous American slavery into this discussion is beyond me.

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yeah right just because they did not do it to Japan does not excuse it. The Korean guards were known for their brutality. Now their actions have been removed (not whitewashed) from the Korean history books. What is wrong for one is wrong for all. In Vietnam they were know for being brutal. The collected body parts, massacred entire villages after they bases were attacked. How about what they did to the communists in the south? Is any of this taught to school childern? If not what right does South Korea to instruct Japan, a country at peace far longer than South Korea. 67 years of peace for Japan, 1 year for South Korea.

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Good point YuriOtani. Japan has been at peace for a long time and it is a lesson that all countries should follow. Japan should be admired for the changes it has made from the past. It is an example Korea and China should follow. Japan is not a nation of war but the negative attacks from its neighbors are actually pushing Japan to rethink that position in order to better defend itself. In a sense, China and Korea are unknowingly creating the Japan that they fear most. As children are taught things and continue to believe such things it creates a reality of its own. Everything they see around them is focused upon these beliefs and only those things which fit with those beliefs are further carved into the mind. What they do not see is the other 99% of the world that exists to destroy these beliefs. This is scary reality of brain washing.

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south korea is using the islands for a while already , and skorea is not longer poor , so it is time to return the disputes back too japan to make people thinking that south korea is the correct one , not like as the idiot , starving super power dragon

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I agree that Japan should educate its ppl about WWII, like the US educating its people about Vietnam and the atrocities against Native Americans. Japan treated WWII differently than how Germany treated WWII. Each nation has its moment in history where it was not its most glorious moment, and it is important to understand that instead of shelving it.

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Also interesting to note that the agitation for better redress and comprehension of what happened in WW2 currently is being pressed by the successor political party in Korea, the Saenuri Party f/k/a Grand National Party f/k/a Korea National Party in part and f/k/a Democratic Justice Party in spirit and f/k/a Democratic Republican Party, the Party of Park Chung Hee, the original negotiator of the 1965 treaty with Japan which actually did address the issues that the current government today says needs to be resolved.

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Japan is not a nation of war

Depends on the time period you are referring to.

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yes because it would have been nice for Japan to control all of Asia.

Don't know if the non-Japanese would agree with that.

To single only Japan out is the biggest mistake people are making here and it starts to come down to racism.

What race?

what Japan did is not uncommon.

Were places like unit 731 common?

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Seventh, sex slaves issue is all out of context. Most of these women were paid money.

No, they were most certainly not.

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@ MasterBape...Right on...No one is free form guilt in war...but Japan needs to apologize for it's atrocities in many countries... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu7GMMIfvoo

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And what good would "educating" them do? Do we still educate Germany on how they (those children born in 2002) killed jews? NO why? Because they (those children born in 2002) had NOTHING to do with killing jews - point being, Japanese, Chinese, Korean children, if raised to as children to respect each other and work together, will do just that...why continue to remind these children, that have nothing to do with the war back in mid-1900s, to hate each other today?

Another point - “We have to try to overcome these differences. It’s up to the Japanese attitude." What attitude is this? Korea wants Japan to say, "have the island". Japan wants Korea to say, "Have the island"... So if one side doesn't agree that side has a bad attitude? well then, both sides have bad attitudes since both sides disagree with the other.

i.e. - They do not do what I want, it's their fault they have the bad attitude... Right and so do you for not doing what the other side wants... A no win situation with both sides having "bad attitudes"....

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@mtwildman - Japan has apologized many times. Korea and China just want to continue to argue and use this as an excuse for political gain.

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Japan has apologized many times.

Yep, and then senior politicians start denying certain events that took place. Kinda makes the apologies a bit hollow.

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Do we still educate Germany on how they (those children born in 2002) killed jews?

Yes, Germany does educate its own people about its own history. Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany and in many European countries. Germans have to register just to own a copy of Mein Kampf. Nazi flags cannot be displayed publically. Education makes all the difference dude.

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Right now many issues with Korea are coming to the surface because of the elections in Korea. The politicians needs to show strength so until the elections are over including in the USA nothing much will happen. That is the only reason that Lee Myung-bak went to the disputed Dokdo island at this time.

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Japan and every country for that part should have as detailed and factual history as possible. Japan should not change their text books because Korea says so but should at least make sure that the history is adequately explained. Whether Korea or China does not have the best history text books is no excuse for Japan to excel in this regards. Japan should just do what is right. I have no idea about what is written in Japanese text books but we all know that there will be much less propaganda than in a Chinese text book. I believe that most Japanese know about Unit 731, but from my interview of one Japanese who thought this was a common thing of war just shows that Japanese text books do not shed enough light on this tragedy or it shows how uncompassionate this person is.

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Just found some research on Unit 731 that seems to substantiate the idea that Japanese are not educated enough on Unit 731. I did not know there were remains in Tokyo that were just found in 2011! Plus I forgot that the former members of Unit 731 became part of the Japanese medical establishment. Dr. Masaji Kitano led Japan's largest pharmaceutical company, the Green Cross. Others headed U.S.-backed medical schools or worked for the Japanese health ministry. Shirō Ishii moved to Maryland to work on bio-weapons research.

For me this is proof enough to show that Japan needs to educate the people more openly through the textbooks. An atrocity of this size which is mainly covered up is a nightmare and one that Japan will regret for as long as they try to keep it hidden. People know but they don't really know. The USA is mainly responsible for keeping the lid drawn down as much as possible. Maybe Japanese know enough but they don't want to know any more because of shame or whatever?

Much of the documents on this research is classified still because the USA thinks it could be used to build biological weapons.

The Economist reports that the Japanese press is oddly silent about excavation, and notes, "Since 2002 Tokyo courts have at least acknowledged that Unit 731 took part in experiments in germ warfare...yet the government has never acknowledged Unit 731’s atrocities, even after mutilated skulls and bones were discovered in 1989 a few hundred yards from the excavation site.">

The fact that Japan can not fully disclose this means that there are many other historical moments that Japan is trying to keep silent and probably things we do not even know about.

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@AnotherGaijin

And what good would "educating" them do? Do we still educate Germany on how they (those children born in 2002) killed jews? NO why?

You're absolutely wrong.... Germany still teaches in K-12 in detail exactly what the their country did during WW2, not only that, they have Laws against "Atrocity" deniers, they will put public officials in Jail that make public statements saying that the Holocaust never happened... Not too mention they have a plethora of Museums, Monuments and Displays dedicated to their victim, NOT their own German people, but people that were victims of the Germans.

Half these racist government officials in Japan would be in Jail today if they said those kinds of things in Germany. Japan is soooooo lucky for what they have today and how easy they got off after WW2. You're NOT Victims Japan, YOU were the WAR Machine. Thank your lucky stars for everything you have today, because the best things were given to you!

2nd point, NO ONE is blaming the Japanese alive today for committing these acts, most of the people that did commit them have long since died... But what we are saying is YOU NEED to KNOW exactly what YOUR COUNTRY DID 70 Years ago, Live it, Learn it, Understand it! So you are never temped to do it again...

Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it! Please learn it, for everyone's sake!

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The truth of the matter is SK is continually trying to defame Japan to try and gain ground or get ahead in the global stage. Whether it's truth or lies, they use the media to spread Japanese resentment. There are increasingly more Koreans writing in the associated press than years past, and Korea is well known for its propaganda and libel cases. These pro-korean AP writers are using the english medium to spread their propaganda and defamation of Japan. The SK government, like most governments, are guilty of white-washing textbooks, but in that regards, I feel it IS necessary to do so, at least at the grade school "textbooks" level. It is inherently damaging and unproductive for an adolescent's mind-frame to be fed texts on war crimes, genocide, rape and pillage when they cannot think for themselves to know right from wrong. Wars are wrong, and peace is right is what needs to be taught to the youth who are at an impressionable age. In highschool, our teacher had us read a book called "Lost Names", an account of the occupation of Korea by Imperial Japan. It is written by a korean and translated into many languages. We also watched a film called Red Sorghum, a chinese film depicting the Imperial Japanese invasion of China. I learned of the atrocities by the imperial army and how it led to the United States choking off supplies to Japan in order to stunt their expanse in Asia (even though they were "allies" at the time). I learned that it was those events that led to the atomic bombing of Japan, a route chosen for many reasons including the showcasing of a weapon as well as minimizing casualties of a land invasion on both sides. None of that education bred any hatred toward the US, nor toward any of the countries the Imperial Army of Japan had invaded. I, like many Japanese, have been educated on Japan's war crimes, as well as many war crimes committed by the Nazi regime, and know the difference between an ethnic genocide and imperialism. Biological weapons (used in both WWI and WWII) were not taught in ANY grade-school textbook, be it the US or Japan. US textbooks don't teach about the 442nd Regiment either. Later in University did I learn more about the details and intricacies of war, but even still, many truths have gone untold as well as the reasons for which events played out as they did. For one to think they know and understand the whole truth is absurd. The Japanese are educated, not just in math/science/technology, but a great deal in arts, literature and history. One thing we AREN'T taught in grade school is hatred and racism, unlike the SK neighbors.To say that 99% of Japanese aren't aware of its past is beyond ignorance- it is an irrational, incompetent thing to say. Shame on those who try and spread false information.

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Do we still educate Germany on how they (those children born in 2002) killed jews?

We don't, German teachers do though.

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It's pretty pathetic when one country has to tell another country to get the facts right and educate their people correctly. The Japanese are so ignorant about the DETAILS of their history, especially WWII. It's all just glossed over. A real tragedy. And that current politicians are denying facts that are known worldwide is just preposterous.

Japan: A country in denial.

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@wasabizuki You have a point but it is seriously flawed and misleading. Not teaching children of the disasters and consequences of WWII but downplaying such an event of war crimes and emphasizing the glories of Japanese imperial era don't teach "adolescent's mind-frame" of peace but promotes completely the opposite. Children might misinterpret the whole aspect of relationship between Imperial Japan and WWII as they can be misled to believe they are treated unjustly as a consequence of war, such war crimes and aggression are common in wars, and are in need to restore its allegedly glorious Imperial Japan.

Since the 19th century, as Japan modernizes itself through the influences of the western civilization, Japanese government put a vast effort in fabricating its cultural history to be the most advanced and sophisticated civilization of Asia in an effort to establish themselves as the elite nation of the world along with other western nations. They vastly forged fake ancient artifacts and historical writings, destroyed and modified treasures and documents of past history, and presented them to the world to see. These had been carried out by professionals so precisely and systematically as well as expertise that it became impossible to determine many aspects about the origins of Japanese culture. Although number of evidences suggest that Japan was never sophisticated or advanced enough to try and invade Asian mainlands through Korea and China but, in fact, was largely influence by both cultures, Japanese historians insist otherwise and erroneous textbooks are published for schools to adopt.

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