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S Korean media slam Abe's 731 jet photoSEOUL
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Honest Abe really is a classy guy.
Really? Korea, grow up...
korea cry babies
Abe should resign. This is utterly disgusting conduct for a Japanese PM. Coincidental, my arse...
When folks get to this level in the government and are supposedly "leaders", incidents like this are unforgivable.
Heads should roll. Even if Abe himself were unaware of the symbolism, someone from his staff should have checked.
It's amatuer hour.
Oh, what a shame this is! If only accident, Abe and his people are too stupid for a very power place. If this is by plan, I am so shame for Japan.
But of course Abe won't say, "I'm so sorry". He will say "this is miscommunication" and then will be disappoint when nobody buy Japanese exports and his Abenomic is in a toilet.
What disgusting thing!
Really? They get angry at almost anything.
Except that we all know that isn't true, now is it?
Some of you here at the forum seems to want Japan to stay in blame and shame forever. This is a ridiculous critic of a perfectly natural move for a state official. I wonder if I havent seen most heads of state in connection with their own militaries vehicles. Most likely there is political motives behind SKs response. Recommend you to visit a therapist to get help with your need for blame.
Maybe they could have used a number other than 731.
Definitely is not the best week for Japan every time from Hashimoto's or Abe do something is remind the bad things of war in the past. Hope in the future will think before to talk or do something affect other countries.
This is conspiracy-theory level stuff - wacky!
Did a quick check of the SKorean on-line "English" papers and found 2 out 8 or 9 had this story, and one was local. Abe's made some pretty dumb remarks in the past, but how many times do you have to apologize!
Asian Geopolitics is a big fat giant facebook comment board full of 13-year old trolls. SMDH.
This isn't an article about apologizing, and anyway, would you consider it a sincere apology if the next day you rub their face in it with crap like this. Intentional or otherwise, it's an inexcusable goof!
Imagine, for example only here, the German government apologizing for the holocaust and then on the next day having a photo shoot in front of a museum dedicated to Hitler with a Nazi flag in front. Would you accept the apology?
How wacky can things get?
First the so called 731 unit had nothing to do with Korea during WW2.
Second if you start this kind of number game, any number can be ridiculed for one event or another.
I can see this kind of idiocy from unidentified people on the web but a newspaper taking this up as if it is "Real" news?
I can see how low SK newspaper publishers is willing to steep down to sell their paper.
This aircraft has been numbered 731 since it entered service in 1994. All T-4s are given a registration number 600-800. You don't honestly believe that someone on Abe's team planned this?
"Hey look that trainer is 731! Lets do a photo op and teach them Chinese! Abe-San, kochi kitte!"
A survey of all numbers and words that could be offensive to anyone in the world should be taken, and those numbers removed from use by anyone, at any time, for any reason.
Not to mention that T-4 number 731 is the lead aircraft of the Blue Impulse aerobatic team and that team is stationed in Tohoku on a base heavily damaged by the 2011 tsunami. Abe's address to the JSDF forces on that day focused on Taunami rescue and recovery efforts.
@ knowitall with that logic, we are going to need a new set of numbers. Or better yet symbols to represent the new numbers in case people begin to associate the new set of numbers with the old set of numbers.
Must be a slow news day to be drawing conclusions that Japan is actively trying to bait Koreans with the use of number references.
They are just too dumb to know anything.
Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death. There is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.
Robert A. Heinlein
Probably a coincidence (hopefully), but a very poor taste one. The gov and press should have been aware of the significance of this number. It would have taken 30 seconds to photoshop it out. Now they have 'another' international foot-in-mouth disaster to address. Is there no end to the insensitiveness and stupidity of Japanese politicians?
Sentiments: " I wonder if I havent seen most heads of state in connection with their own militaries vehicles."
Have you seen them do so in pacifist nations where war and military aggression are banned? It's not "perfectly natural" at all for the leader of a nation that's renounced war to sit in a war machine and smile, thumbs up.
I DO think the number of the plane is merely a coincidence, but I wonder if it's a coincidence that's the one Abe chose to sit in and pose for the cameras? In any case, coincidence or not, it is irresponsible, and yet another stain on his name and unfortunately Japan's.
Forget the significance or otherwise of 731, what kind of man-child allows himself to be photographed like some kid at a theme park?
Honestly my guess is they didnt even notice it, amateur hour indeed as another poster mentioned!
So this is kind of a karma thing for Japan, too many clueless people in power here & with ever increasing disastrous results
What war machine? The T-4 is a subsonic jet trainer with no fixed armament. The primary mission of the T-4 that Abe choose to sit in is aerobatic demonstration.
It's the lead plane of the Blue Impulse acrobatic team.
This is getting sillier and sillier... what next? "Abe talks to old man... Provocative reminder of the old people who died in the war!" Really, S Korea needs to get it's head out of its arse and stop behaving like this... it's getting so that someone in Japan can't fart without SK bleating on about past war crimes.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a PM checking out the equipment bought by tax payers money and since all the Japanese are paying for the jet S.Korea is insulting a generation that was not involved in the Second World War! Soooooo Gettttt Overrrrr Ittttttt!!!!!
Here is the list of nations that renounced war.
Germany, USA, Belgians, France, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Japan. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Kellogg-Briand_Treaty
What is so unnatural about Japanese commander in chief encouraging his men like so many CICs in the world?
I wonder if SK will ever drop this issue. Japan has apologized many times in the past, but SK says that the apologies were not "sincere". For some reason I doubt that even if Emperor Akihito went to Seoul and kowtowed to Koreans that were victims of Japan during WW2, that SK would consider that apology sincere. The 70th anniversary of war's end is in just two years.
I am not saying that what happened should be forgotten. However, I do think it is ridiculous that SK keeps hanging WW2 over Japan's head like the Sword of Damocles. It's like they use the issue to gain whatever leverage they can.
Are you kidding me? Grow up ROK.
I know about Unit 731, but if I had seen the numbers on a plane I doubt I would have paid any attention unless someone had pointed it out. You don't always look around for things like that, especially when it comes to very every day things like numbers. And numbers are every day things, unlike Nazi swastikas.
This is, I think, an example of over-sensitivity, possibly mixed with a desire from some to see insult where there is none because it suits their political views.
I don´t see that the jet has anything to do with unit 731. The Korean journalists have lost their marbles here.
I just hope no-one in Japan owns a Jaguar SS... that could open up a whole new bag of worms...
Really a lot of people here think way too much of the Japanese government and actually think they are smart enough to pull off this sort of agitation towards their neighbours. What would happen if a Japanese company started making planes using Honeywell's TF731 and sold it to the Koreans? Who's fault would be then? You're all wound up too tight and giving away your leaning left campaign.
Ｇｅｔ ｏｖｅｒ ｙｏｕｒｓｅｌｖｅｓ Ｋｏｒｅａ！
The picture in question showed a smiling Abe giving a thumbs-up while sitting in the cockpit of an air force
Korea should know Abe is Japan's young prime minister and simply enjoying Purikura !
Maybe someone should have noticed the number but I doubt this was intentional. The Chinese are just nitpicking now.
Sorry, the Koreans are nitpicking
Criticism of Abe and his administration on genuine counts is OK but this is just silliness from SK.
As expected, an emotional response from the Koreans. That's what happens when they watch too many of their own sappy, cliched melodramas.
This is an outrage indeed! Unit 731 is enough of an atrocity but it doesn't end there. 7+3-1=9 7+3+1=11 9/11 What kind of sick code is this? hahahahahahah
genjuro, USNinJapan2, shanabelle, hope you lot get dismembered..
genjuro, USNinJapan2, shanabelle, hope you lot get dismembered...
genjuro, USNinJapan2, shanabelle, hope you lot get dismembered. c u nts......
genjuro, USNinJapan2, shanabelle, hope you lot get dismembered. f u ckwits...
This isn't an issue. I don't see Abe directing Japan to sink a SK naval vessel or shell an island with artillery. That's what NK has done and we get nothing out of SK. I say if SK is worried about the actions of a political leader from another country, they should look to the north. Yes Japan ran Korea from the early 1900's to the end of WW2, but in more recent history, it has been NK that has done more to do harm to the people of SK than Japan.
I'm pretty sure it was just a "regrettable co-incidence", however one would expect this temporary PM would have some sharper advisors. Successful japanese companies avoid situations like this to avoid any possible controversy - for example,Subaru in Australia was wise and respectful enough to rename their "Legacy" so as not to upset Aussie war veterans. I doubt Abe has such high calibre advisors.
I understand your point, but there is a big difference. Subaru's clients are Aussies too. Japanese official "clients" are the Japanese people who elect them.
In any civilized country this would be the headline news for days... hmmm not so in Japan. The sensitivities are somehow different here.
Why? Doesn't any countries officials in the world get photographed? Unless you think that, the picture has some significance beyond pm in a trainer jet that is numbered.
Just numerals 731? just as "SS" are mear letters. Guess education, historical awareness and empathy are a cultural thing. Just not in Japanese culture.
No it wouldn't. You think if Angela Merkle was photographed in a Jaguar SS it would be headline news? I seriously doubt anyone would care...
We had similar instances with Dukakis posing in a tank, Bush Jr. posing in flight gear and landing on a carrier... These are criticized because they look ridiculous. As if these politicians ever actually did anything valiant in a war in such machines! That is why this picture of Abe, someone who probably never flew anything other than first class in a jumbo jet, in this plane should be criticized.
Its all a ra ra ra.... Abe can do anything cause this time around, China and Korea will nuke us and all we can do will be pose in a fighter jet..... Keep it up, Abe! Put into harms way the innocent people of Japan.
Yes, exactly. Are we now to scrutinize every number plate or type designation on any vehicle that some politician gets near to for possible secret meanings? The Korean journalists an in phantasy land.
For the last time people, at least get some facts, T4 is not a fighter jet.
Bush was ridiculed, not because of the picture in a jet, but because he does this after STARTING a war, and then posing in a fighter jet.
If Abe or anybody does something like this, they deserve to be ridiculed. But alas, this is not the case.
Its just politics from Abes point of view. He´s showing off his commitment to the military in order to get some credibility for his future agenda. Cant say that I´ve seen Merkel in a fighter jet (yet) but believe most European heads of states are photographed with their military (air force or navy) every know and then (that includes the peaceful nordic countries) simply because that is their job. Every time when there is a need to increase or cut down the military budget politicians have to act and get medias attention. If there is some old shadows lurking in the responses if think its not a fear of old school militarisation of Japan but rather the economic war. Japan and the Abenomics has tipped the balance and are starting to take (back) markets from both SK and China.
It's really ridiculous to say it was intentional. Koreans need to grow up.
Seriously bad coincidence I think. I doubt Abe saw the number on the outside and I'm pretty confident he wouldn't have intended that as a rub.
Still, somebody should've noticed, for pity's sake. His handlers. The official photographer,... Doh!
Really, I'm finding it hard to believe that the not one of the people lining up THAT particular plane noticed. How unaware of recent history are they? Would you put the German Chancellor in from of hafl a KISS concert poster for a photo op and not have someone say, "hey wait a minute." (Maybe, but surely someone would see the big SS...)
Perhaps someone in the Air Self Defense Force really dislikes Abe, and planned this on purpose to make him look like a big idiot. That's almost as easy to believe as to think that all the people picking the plane are completely unaware.
All Politicians talk the talk but non of them or anyone member of their family actually walk the the walk.
IE: Whenever there is a war, you will not find anyone with the surname BUSH or CHENEY or BLAIR or PARK or ABE actually doing the fighting. The young men from those families are too busy working one of their fathers friends companies or at some expensive university.
That said, I see this as another example of KOREA'S apparent endless fascination with JAPAN and yet another sign that they certainly have a huge inferiority complex when it comes to the JAPANESE.
I have not seen or experienced any other "peaceful" country in the world, which instills and nurtures such national hatred or NO PARTICULAR REASON really.
All those people who think this should have been spotted - ask ANY Japanese person what the significance of 731 is... and come back and tell us how many are aware of it.
Abe, mature a bit please~!
C Harald Hansen
I'm sure Abe picked that jet on purpose... I mean, he probably asked specifically for it beforehand. "Do you have one with something inflammatory that will upset people?"
I wouldn't be the least surprised if most Japanese don't know about Unit 731 and what they did.
Sorry for what? That South Koreans have a psychological problem where they deny any role in WWII, play victim of Japan jut like all he Asian nations that were invaded, and get bent out of shape over a total coincidence of the numbers in a photo? Is it Japan's responsibility to be "sensitive" to South Korea's childish feelings to the extent of having to be it's parent? When is South Korea going to actually grow up?
every corner, every chance they get, they just have to play dodgy nationalistic innuendo...they just have to, its like herpes
I just couldn't hold back. You guys defending Abe are just nuts. Let me give you an example that will help clarify what Hashimoto's and Abe's actions would equate to in the USA.
First on Hashimoto's statement on how the comfort women were justifiably needed because it helped relieve the stress of the soldiers. Imagine of Joe Biden (Vice President of the USA) announced that in retrospect slavery was justified in the past because it promoted the economic prosperity in the USA. How do you think the public would react? He would not only immediately lose his job, but he would probably get murdered for the anger that he caused.
Second Abe's sitting in the place. Imagine if Joe Biden sat on a cotton field next to a tree holding a noose?
Its just crazy how the highest ranking officials in Japan can get away with this. I can't believe the feminist groups in Japan haven't renounced Hashimoto's statement for not only is at direct attack on Korea, China etc, but it also attacks females in general. Japan is getting heat from all the USA journals as the USA can no longer stand back to how Japan is trying to rewrite history.
This is a great article written by a Japanese living abroad.
If I was like SK then I would attack every German I see because they massacred my Jewish brethren. However, I do not hold the citizens of Germany or their present government responsible for what happened 70 years ago. I also do not hold anything against Yankees for how they treated the South.
More Psy and less whinging.
Steven C. Schulz
Really? It's like the Koreans just look for reasons to get upset with Japan. And over something that had absolutely nothing to do with colonial Korea. Can only the result of a major inferiority complex...
If South Korea wants to be seen as a major Asian player, they need to be rid of their victimization mentality.
I asked my wife, her friends, and a couple of my friends who were over to the house tonight if they understood, or knew the significance of the number 731.
No one knew.
I asked them if they recalled anything about it from WWII and it's significance.
No one knew.
I asked them if they ever recall learning about the Unit 731 and the horrific experiments that were carried out by the unit during the war.
Guess the answer?
If college educated Japanese folks don't know that is a bigger problem than just Abe shitting in an airplane. I showed them the links to the unit on the internet and they were shocked, and a few of them made comments, "Ahhh, NOW i remember....."
That's a problem.
Koreans are not looking for reasons to become upset with Japan. Look at whats going on here. They are reacting to statements and actions that reflect Japan's attitude towards the past. Hashimoto justifying comfort women. Who were used in the comfort women? Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos. Abe's sitting in the jet that reflect the torture the Japanese inflicted on the Koreans and Chinese.
I can't understand the ignorance of the people who don't see how the Japanese leadership is making the provocations here and the Koreans are reacting!
Let me guess, if Abe goes to the toilet they would also claim he is being imperialistic.....
The man could sneeze and they would take greeeeeeat offense to it.
S. Korea and the others need to worry about their own nations.
That is a ridiculous comparison.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe needs to resign...again. He is making the Prime Ministers office into a giant international joke. In saying that, South Korea needs to stop complaining about every harmless thing that happens in Japan. WWII is over now, you don't need to be so paranoid about the most peaceful developed nation in the WORLD!
DaveAllTogether, can you please tell me a safe number? I think Koreans will somehow find ways to blame any number from 000 to 999.
Star-Viking and the other "apologists"-
It's not about whether it is a "conspiracy theory" or not; sure, it is likely that it is coincidental. It is the very fact that these things don't get checked that is so insulting. They are not aware of, and don't seem to be willing to be aware of, or want to try to be aware of, or think it is at all in the least necessary to be aware of, the fact that something they might do might reverbrate beyond their borders. That the ppl around might have feelings about something.
This aloofness just makes it worse.
I do not see Japan restoking painful memories with this photo. I see SK making a mountain out of a mole hill.
It's the same as saying he looks Japanese and Japanese hurt poor Korea and that means they are mocking Korea about war! Boohoo Korea, what's the point of apologizing to someone that won't forgive!?
It is reasonable to be upset about it because it implies that the apologies were just fake. Did not the Japanese get all upset about some comments made in England and wanted apologies right away? And why do they keep commemorating Nagasaki and Hiroshima attacks? Did not the US recently cancel the reenactment of those bombings at an air show in the US out of concern not to hurt Japan's feelings? If you want sensitivity, it must be transitive, ie., it should be both ways. Japan traumatized its neighbors, do not blame them for expressing their feelings. They are the victims. If you want to come out clean, dispose of anything associated with it.
Abe only wants to become famous with those thing.
smoothd, quite right. At the very best, the PM of Japan, a historical revisionist who has denied comfort women, unit 731, Bataan death march and the Nanjing massacre is painfully unaware that he is sitting in a jet with the number of Japan's infamous biological warfare unit written on it. If he is that stupid, he should resign. But of course Mr Abe knows that number and its symbolism the way we all know 666. He studied Unit 731 in massive detail as head of the program that whitewashed Japan's history texts. Anyone who thinks Abe does not know Unit 731 is deluding themselves. Abe probably thought it very amusing to flick the bird at the victims of Japan's wartime experimentation program in his idiotic little photo shoot. The general lack of historical knowledge of wartime atrocities is disturbing in itself, but the popularity of Mr Abe here is far more disturbing.
Yes, Korea and China leap at anything Japan does for their own purposes, totally agreed, and yes that is childish and irritating, but this time they have a genuine reason to be furious. This is akin to Obama sitting in a B29 with Enola Gay written on it, thumbs up, and smiling at the camera. Abe knows the full significance of the number 731.
Japan is absurd! How can the highest ranking politicians in Japan be excused for these actions? Mind boggling!
@Steven C. Schulz,
Completely agree with you.
It seems to me that Koreans are always looking at Japan, only Japan, not any other country, in the past , today and future. Do you know what this is called? Yes, a stalker. I wonder why they cannot understand that their behavior is considered to be very childish from the world. They keep degraging Japan. For that purpose, they do not hesitate to damage their reputation.
They should stop harassing Japan and face the international society, i.e. reality, if they really think about their national interest.
First, they should teach their children real history, not fantasy, even if it would not be what they want to be.
What problem do you have with a PM visiting a military base, commending the soldiers for their work in tsunami relief and recovery, and sit in the cockpit of a popular aerobatic demonstration aircraft?
I have lost all respect for South Korea if this is an example of infuriates them.
First of all, who takes a look at the number on the side of a plane besides the pilot assigned to fly it that day and the maintenance techs assigned to work on it? We all KNOW what happened here (well, maybe except for the South Koreans who are incapable of seeing anything without believing it was intentionally aimed at them)... The base commander was told that Abe wanted a photo op in a plane and they picked one sitting on the ramp. Nothing more and nothing less.
Second of all (and keeping point one in mind), the photographer was just framing a shot that included part of the plane - and with today's technology who's to say the South Korean papers didn't crop the photo to emphasize the plane's serial number?
Incredibly bad choice of a number for this plane for Abe's photo-op.
It's sort of like if the Saudi king climbed into the cockpit of an airliner emblazoned with the number 911.
This has nothing to do with Hashimotos Comfort Women flap. The Korean journalsts are absurd for imagining conspiracies in a simple aircraft ID number.
Readers, no more analogies please. It is not like anything.
Maybe this is a coincidence but that is why Politicians of this caliber in this field have PR personnel. The Government should have known better than to allow a photo like this to happen if it was truly a mistake then it's easy to issue an apology. But have they even started that process yet?
Asia is a mess, but Japanese politicians are not the only problem. Nationalism is a powerful weapon also in China and South Korea. This pic is pretty an idiotic reason to blame Abe, unlike the shameful things said by Hashimoto.
.Do you believe it is without reason? Consider the 100's of thousands of ethnic Koreans that live in Japan and how they got there. Consider that your next door neighbor has for centuries had designs of ruling you, and for roughly 50 or so actually colonized you and did their best to erase you and your heritage from history.
Ya might think that there is a reason for the distrust, and no amount of apologies can change.You can sit here and say, hey it's the 21st Century lets be friends. But how can you be friends when your actions speak otherwise?
I just Googled this particular aircraft. It has the full code: 46-5731, and flies with a large white '5' on the tail. '731' is merely the call sign. This is a stupid, STUPID over-reaction by the S Koreans.
This is a storm in a cup of tea from my westerner eyes. However after having lived in Japan 3 years and read quite a lot about Far/South East Asia, I have learnt that symbolism and keeping face is a massive thing here, even though for thousands year old matters.
If I could realize that within 3 years, I have no doubt that many fool politicians - like in this case - know they are playing a borderline nasty provocation game.
One thing I could not figure out yet is the unstopping push to make other nation loosing face while this behavior is socially condemned internally. If somebody can explain, please.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/T-4_of_the_Japanese_Blue_Impulse_aerobatic_display_team_(5251520789).jpg The actual aircraft in question.
The 5 you saw on the tail changes over the years. There are also pictures with 2 and it currently has 1 meaning that it is the lead craft of the blue impulse team.
My country, Italy, has been occupied by other European countries for centuries. Anyway, our main thought, when we wake up, isn't what France (one of our former colonizer) or Spain (another of our former colonizer) are doing.
One Prime Minister, one JASDF Blue Impulse Arial Demonstration aircraft that flys in peaceful air shows, bears the number 731 and this equates to.....?? So, could someone have written an article on visiting and spending time with the JASDF? Wait, I'm sure SK and Japan would protest that as a warmongering and proocative act.
perhaps some people see this particular picture as coincidental and has nothing to do with Hashimoto's stupid statement? here is a link of the original picture from another poster, minus the zoom-in.
Abe should have better advisors, but then again it's not as if it would be the first thing to come to mind.
Different cultures and different histories. People tend to forget that Asia cultures and European cultures have different ways of doing things and in some cases have longer memories.
@Open minded: and I live in Europe since I was born. So I know what Germans think aboout our people, and like Italians are treated in Germany, also little kids. For examplpe, in the news they say that Italian and Turkish kids' QI is lower than the ones of the German kids, and they make fun of them.
So they DID crop it, surprise, surprise.
"It has the full code: 46-5731"
Could you give us a link for that please? I can't see anything but 731 in the videos and photos of this plane with Abe I've seen.
I wanted to reply to this
It was supposed to be separated from the rest of my post, sorry.
"Maybe they could have used a number other than 731"
That would be too easy! According to some, the number is actually 46-5731.
So it is 0.001% bad? Is that the basis for such hostility? Or is there a weighting factor to be considered? Are the 14 criminals, 1000x as bad as the others?
Just google the tail number. Tons of aviation sites pop up with lots of different pictures of the plane.
Its incredible how many uneducated comments are made here. People, UNIT 731 is known to be one of the most horrific places during WW2. The japanese dismembered russians appendages and tried to sew them on korean and chinese peoples bodies to see if the korean or chinese person could grow that white arm. This is just one example.
Westerners may not be familiar to this unit, but Koreans and Chinese all are familiar with it. It was an atocious, horrfic place. Now you still think its coincidence? I think its disgusting and inhumane.
And again, how does the president of a country get away with this? Mind boggling!
I posted a link to a photo of the aircraft. The 731 is on the nose, the full code is towards the rear of the plane. The numbers seem to be mostly in the 720s.
Thunderbird2 - Thanks for the link. I see 46-5731 is on the tail, and in bold under the cockpit is just 731.
That's standard practice on all Japanese military aircraft... last three digits repeated at the front, even if they start with a zero.
Japanese T-4s run from 600 to 804. That Abe sat in number 731 is 100% pure coincidence.
Get away with what?? Have the South Korean journalists ever before complained about the trainer airplane with the ID number T4 46-5731? No? Why not? Are they now demanding that all serial numbers used in Japan be purged of the combination "731"? Do you have any idea how many cars have "731" somewhere in their license plates? People in their passports? You better check your own documents, lest you are accused of being a closed fascist.
The only thing mind-boggling here is the phantasy of the South Korean journalists.
You know people, it doesnt matter what type of airplane it is, what make, whether it's a fighter, a trainer, Blue Impulse, whatever.....it's the symbolism!
Some of ya'll seem to be stuck looking at one tree in a forest full of them.
never learned his lesson. no hope on this man.
After all, your logic seems to have gone somewhere.
Mr. Abe cannot get on any vehicle with numbers, you mean. Any number can be interpreted as you like.
Wow. He manages to sit in the plane with the number guaranteed to annoy all his neighbours. That's amazingly bad luck. Don't buy a lottery ticket!!
Anybody who knew about the 731 unit and WW 2 history would look at this image, see the Hinomaru just beside the notoriously unlucky number and a smiling Japanese Primeminister just above it and would be puzzeld. It might not be something to get crazy about, but shit happens. In similar cases in Germany German politicians would just say sorry for being so inconsiderate and for hurting people's feelings and people would believe that there's sincere empathy and consideration for others.
Well, I know about the 731 unit and WW2 history, I looked at the picture, and the only thing I am puzzled about are the hyperventilating Korean journalists.
There is no correlation! If you want every picture of every politician scrutinized for numerology, there is no end to it. Give me any random number, and I can guarantee you that I can find some group somewhere in the world that can tie it to some nefarious eventi.
I am no friend of Abe, but this particular accusation is silly.
You guys who defend Abe and Japan are ridiculous. The picture with Abe in that Jet is just one act of provocation. Hashimoto justifying the use of comfort women, Abe questioning the definition of aggression, Abe's desire to redefine the past history of what Japan did to Korea and China? Are you kidding me? I feel like I am debating with a bunch of uneducated, ignorant people?
Now, lets forget about the Abe picture. How many people can defend Hashimoto's statement that the comfort women were needed in WW2. You probably all disagree. But in Japan, this guy gets praise and honored. Imagine if in the US, Joe Biden said slavery was justified because it promoted US economic growth. Exactly, my point.
Japan is absurd! Foreigners who live in Japan need to realign yourself with reality.
All you guys who gave me a thumbs down, please take a look at this.
You think I am making this stuff up?
Japan is absurd!
WilliB, what do you mean if you say there is no correlation? Of course there is a correlation between the 731, Hinomaru and a Japenese Primeminister. I guess what you want to say is that there is no intentional correlation.
This combination of symbols might not ring a bell with you, but for people who have lost relatives to the infamous 731 unit it will definitely arouse horrible feelings.
This singular incident is not the problem, but the ambiguous and often obstinate stance most Japanese politicians take towards the history of their nation is.
The German example shows us if a nation really cares about the feelings of its neighbors it can find a way to move on from the horrors it once inflicted on them.
This guy is human scum. You don't dilly dally with war atrocities and racist, fascist ideology. Get a clue Japan.
What you are making up is the idea that Abe specifically asked to be photographed in plane no. T4 46-5731, because the last 3 digits are the same as unit 731.
That claim is pathetic.
You mention all of your thumbs downs for your comments. That should clue you in to the fact that your opinion that this was intentional and that South Koreans are justified in being affronted is in quite the minority here. No one is denying the atrocity that was Unit 731. We are merely saying that to believe that the tail number for this aircraft used in the photo op was 46-5731 by design requires a leap of logic. As for Hashimoto's comments, it's completely off topic here and you should go post about it to your heart's content over on the article/thread covering them.
Just an over sight on someones part, people read too much into things sometimes.
I am not focusing on this picture alone. This picture is only one part of a greater and broader movement. The Japanese are trying to deny the past and move towards provoking their neighbors. Everyone in China and Korea knows about UNIT 731. You may not. Abe surely knows. Second, they are are trying justify comfort women from Korea and other countries as a stress relief during combat. Apart from the Abe picture, how can any human being justify forced prostitution?
I dare someone to challenge me on that one. How does Hashimonto and Abe's staff stay in his position, when he said just that? If you can agree with them, please challenge me....
Japan is ridiculously absurd.
Although Japanese prime ministers change so frequently, the society is stable with low crime rate. People can live happily if not wanting too much.
How about Korea or China? Less number of leaders. But It does not seem to me that they are happier than people in Japan. They are always frustrated at something, with violence frequently.
Also, you do not have to worry about Japan's position in Asia that you believe is denoucing Japan. In fact, Japan has many friend countries there. Peolple of Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines etc. clearly state they like Japanese.
Asian nations dislike China and Korea, not Japan. You should see the reality by now.
Sorry, denouncing not denoucing, People not Peolple.
Hope no more misspelling.
Abe gets "A" for trolling. And Korean media gets dunce cap for feeding the troll. How could they fall for such provocation? It's just silly.
Talk about really getting upset over what is, most likely, nothing at all. Don't the Koreans have anything better to do? This just makes it seem that the complaints about comfort women, which have some basis in reality, are just more of the same. Anything to get upset about the Japanese? Get over it. Stick to real, current issues.
When you read about UNIT 731 -- It is pretty freaking disgusting.
I agree, Abe gov't needs to stop politicizing their visits to Yasukuni Shrine or imply that that they'll revisit apologies made for Japan's past.
So I think, I get the link (huge stretch to me but let's go with it)...731 (number of trainer) to Unit 731 that committed atrocities.
Fact is Unit 731 committed horrible acts of barbarism and treated their captives as non-human. No excuse for Japanese acts during WWII. To Koreans and Chinese, remember though that those Japanese are dead and the Japanese today are not doing those acts. Japan was sorely defeated with 2 atomic bombs that killed many civilians, singeing the flesh off of bones due to the intense heat, radiation poisoning, children born with horrible mutations, etc. Not trying to draw an equivalency here but to the victims of Japanese aggression no amount of revenge or retribution can atone for what those Japanese did but the reality that is hard to accept is that the Japanese who did those things were defeated.
In today's world, what matters is, did Abe's handlers pick that plane number on purpose? If they did, gross insensitivity and a refusal to be serious about the atrocities their ancestors committed.
If it was not on purpose, what is the solution to not offend Korea and China? From now on do the Japanese SDF have to count ....729, 730, 732,...?
That's standard practice in Switzerland as well. -> http://www.flightglobal.com/airspace/media/berniec/images/23171/swiss-air-force-f18-hornet.jpg
That 731 plane had the name "S.Abe" inscribed on it, clearly showing that they had thoughtfully picked out this plane.
Also, Abe knew fully well what the number 731 represents:
coupled with the fact that he has been saying pretty provocative things, including challenging the War Crimes Tribunal in Tokyo, and the definition of "invasion" which was carried out by Japan.
Out of dozens of planes he could have used, he had to pick this one. It's coincidental as Bin Laden taking a picture in a jet plane with the number 911 and Bin Laden inscribed on the plane. It's not just a number, it's a combination of all the actions and words Mr. Abe has said, that makes people suspicious of this picture.
@chucky3176: wow, such a great source.
It's the lead plane of the Blue Impulse team. The members of Blue Impulse were giving him an honor by painting his name on their lead plane and letting him sit in the cockpit for a picture. Nothing more.
And those people are idiots.
You know people in Korea or China, or any other Asian country that suffered under Japanese oppression during WWII might have forgiven Japan if the Japanese had taken the same route as the German Gov. did after WWII.
Sadly however it's hard for neighboring countries to believe the sincerity of any apologies made by any officials because somewhere down the line a different elected official says something totally different and erases any goodwill built up by the previous apology.
By human nature it's easier to remember the bad things rather than the attempts to right the wrongs, and while this photo-op was more than likely no big deal in the bigger scheme of things, someone goofed along the way, and missed the symbolism of the number on the jet.
Are people making a big deal about it? Yeah more than likely they are. Is it worth the headaches? Probably not. Yet there are politicians and nationalists on both sides that just love playing this tit-for-tat childs game of one-upmanship and will never pass on an opportunity to tweak the nose of the "other-side".
It's childish no doubt.
It's just Korea and China. Again, don't assume Germany gets along with their neighbors or they are free from baggage from WWII.
There are no coincidences. I doubt that complaint is about 731 but that the leader of Japan is in basically a Japanese military aircraft with those numbers. I don't believe that Abe or his team is so stupid that they didn't know the symbolism. As for the Unit 731 and other units symbolized by unit 731 and every Japanese doctor that serviced in the region during 1937-1944, vivisection was a common practice. The majority of victims were Chinese and Russian but it included Koreans, Americans, English, French, etc. Although their job was to spread disease as plague, cholera, anthrax, etc, they also tested grenades, flame throwers, etc on live subjects.
No offense to anyone, but this is really Ironic because you guys say we can't move on with the past and yet you guys can't also move on with the natural disasters that took place YEARS ago.
Again, Koreans acting as victims. It looks like the Koreans are in desperatae need of critisizing Japan. They use whatever as an excuse to complain and whine against Japan. It must be their insecurity and inferiority complex that act as a driving force to make them do so. And it is funny to see how they like to victimize themselves when in the reality they have nothing to do with WWII. If they had a role in WWII, the only role that played in WWII was that of collaborators of the Japanese in invading China and committing war crimes as well as mistreating the British and American POWs.
@black_jack Again, Japanese people also act as victims as well. They complain about how much money we DONATED for their tsunami relief. Shouldn't they be depending on the government not on other countries? I thought Japan was a wealthy country that could provide almost everything to its citizens without any external help.
Gosh, Korea sure enjoys playing the victim, don't they? Just like China. WWII has been over for more than 67 years and all the leaders of that conflict are all dead and most of the participants are either dead or very old. The rest of the world has moved on, but Korea and China mark time, just like the war is still being fought. In truth there are two reasons for those countries to snipe at Japan every chance they get--one is to have a convenient "outside enemy" to aid them politically at home, the other is because they have a huge inferiority complex and are extremely envious that Japan is their superior economically, technologically and culturally.
Another assumption. Why don't you just dispense the German/Europe comparisons.
What we're seeing here is a birth of another issue they created much like the Naval ensign of Japan which they had no problem up until 2009, but surfaced during the recent Olympics.
Not an assumption at all, fact.
Hopefully the countries here will eventually learn to get along with each other and to dismiss these actions for what they are.
The number 731 may indeed just be a coincidence. The problem is too many Japanese people never learned history, and therefore are clueless concerning actions they take which could upset people, who, for example, had grandfathers who were tortured and murdered by members of Unit 731.
South Korean reaction to the obvious coincidence of the number 731 on the trainer being the same number as the infamous Unit 731 is ridiculous. It goes to show the extent to which Korean anti-Japan sentiment is more based on irrational psychological impairment rather than authentic and valid complaints. Unfortunately, such Korean reaction reduces the strength of the valid claims. Further evidence of the absurdity of this article is that Unit 731 operated in Harbin, which is in China, not Korea. And 70% of the victims were Chinese with the remaining 30% Russian. Then there's the fact that approximately 240,000 Koreans were serving in the Imperial Japanese Forces until 1945. It is not the Japanese government's job to be "showing sensitivity" towards Korea's absurdity. Only to their valid claims.
I'm fascinated by the double standards on display here. We are expected to believe The Koreans have no right to be angry about Abe posing near a historically-charged symbol of Japanese atrocity. That they Koreans are overreacting and playing the victim.
Des anyone remember a couple of years ago when the British quiz show QI made an innocuous, light-hearted comment about the A-bombs? Suddenly everyone in the world had a moral duty to apologise for aggression. The embassy got involved, and the media got frothed up into a lather of self-pitying victim hood until the BBC was browbeaten into a grovelling apology for its insensitivity.
Now the Koreans are supposed to laugh off this - at best, an unfortunate and avoidable accident, at worst, a deliberately provocative and calculated insult?
Of all the possible solutions to this diplomatic blunder, accusing the Koreans of playing the victim card is most ill-advised.
Yes, the Koreans weren't the main victims of Unit 731. The Chinese and Russians were. Furthermore Korea was part of Japan at the time and Koreans were in the Japanese military.
Well, did Abe or the government of Japan make some "innocuious light-hearted comment" about Unit 731's victims? Or even about the Japanese colonial rule of Korea from 1910-1945?
No Koreans shouldn't laugh this off, they should realize that absurd criticism like this it minimizes their legitimate claims. This is the result of Koreans OVER-playing their victim card to the point of ridiculous.
well said Yubaru. Agree 100%
We're not in the 80's anymore.
If one walks through life looking for anything to be upset about it will always be found.
No one is saying the number 731 nor Abe posing for a photo in a jet fighter is particularly bad, but taken together, in this context, at the very least, it shows, how very very little the Average Japanese person knows about what THEIR country DID during WW2..
This would be like Obama posing for a photo with the 3 marines that raped the innocent girl Okinawa in 1995... Japan would be outraged...? And Abe, the Elected Leader of Japan, pulls a stunt like this... Hence Korea, and the rest of Asia, considering what UNIT 731 are also rightly so outraged... It shows, at the very very least, bad taste and terrible recall of earth moving historical events... Unit 731 performed experiments on live human beings... Oh, but I guess according to your logic, they weren't Japanese, so they were inferior to you...?
Come on people, get a clue...
That is an unfortunate coincidence.
lol wow what ever korea
Upgrayyed: "What war machine? The T-4 is a subsonic jet trainer with no fixed armament."
And what's the purpose of said jet? Saying it has no relation to the military and/or war is like saying military combat simulators have no relation to the military because there is no ammunition used.
CH3CHO: Obviously, but not surprisingly, you've again missed the point. Have the nations you listed FORMALLY renounced war IN THEIR CONSTITUTIONS as with article 9 in Japan? Why do you think wingers like Abe are so keen to ammend the constitution?
Ossan: "Yes, the Koreans weren't the main victims of Unit 731."
Ah, so they have no right to mention their suffering because others suffered more.
" Furthermore Korea was part of Japan at the time and Koreans were in the Japanese military."
You always feel the need to pain the victims as the aggressors and vice-versa in some morbid attack on South Koreans. Yes, some Koreans served in the Japanese military, at the barrel of a gun. If it's that or be murdered on the spot, my guess is most people would choose the former.
Even trying to give the benefit of the doubt to the conspiracy theory, I just don´t see the connection. The nefarious unit 731 had nothing to do with airplanes. It was "research" facility operated by Mengele-typ scientists. An airplane has nothing to do with that.
Now if Abe had posed in some grizzly dungeon with surgical instruments and vials of bacteria, and had somehow included the number "731" there, I would get the accusation.
But the lead plane of an acrobatics tesm?? Give us a break.
May I say that the disaster took place 2 (two) years ago while the WWII was over 67 years ago. How do you compare the two figures in terms of human lifespan and number of generations that lived through them?
The civilian population was a victim: the A-bombs and the air-raids of Tokyo and other big cities killed hundreds of thousands if not millions of civillians who never took part in any military actions, unlike the soldiers of the IJA.
And no, Japanese people have not complained about the donations you (whoever you are) made to the country after the March 11 disaster. The donations (all of them) were accepted gratefully. Up to date I have not heard a single Japanese complain about the size of donations made by any country. So stop fabricating "facts" please.
Yes, even with an ailing economy Japan is a wealthy country, which (if I follow your lack of logic) provides a lot of financial aid to other countries around the world, the main beneficiaries being in Asia, Korea and China among them.
Korea vs. Japan, China vs. Japan ohhhhhh how we love the drama? America confiscated all the details on Unit 731. If the Jewish were sliced up and medical examined by Japanese, how many of you would say the "whiny Jewish people"? The nationalist are at work in Japan and apparently setting up the politicians to exhibit their intentions. Does Abe not know the history of War? if he doesn't then he is definitely a tool. On the hand, If he does then ... who really cares? We love Japan, We hate it!
According to everything I've read/seen Unit 731 did not experiment on Koreans so this statement from the article is an untruth/lie/inaccuracy. Correct?
The only ones provoking or resurrecting anything are the Korean media. If they hadn't pointed this out and come up with the conspiracy theory that this was intentional on Abe's part, I'm willing to bet that your typical Korean reader/viewer wouldn't have noticed or attached any significance to the tail number of the plane.
Also of note is the absence of similar reaction from the Chinese, who were the real victims of Unit 731, not the Koreans. I see articles in the Chinese press reporting the Korean media's reaction to the photo but no direct reaction from a Chinese perspective on it. Hmm, could it be that the Chinese also feel that the Koreans are overreacting?
"If one walks through life looking for anything to be upset about it will always be found"
Or, if one walks through life looking to upset anything, it will always be found.
Exactly which "president" is doing this?
The horrors of the past shouldn't be kept alive to stir bad feeling. Remember them, so we don't do it again, but complaining about what really does seem to be a complete coincidence is not productive. At all.
No, it just males Koreans look foolish. They are so mentally impaired with a complex towards Japan that they'll jump on any reason, no matter how absurd, to attack Japan. Not unlike some people's posts..
" Furthermore Korea was part of Japan at the time and Koreans were in the Japanese military."
Nope. I feel the need to let people know that facts since South Korea whitewashes it's history and plays the victim card when they are in denial about their true history. And 240,000 isn't just "some" and it wasn't at the "barrel of a gun" since the numbers far exceeded recruitment quotas and forced recruitment wasn't implemented until 1944 when Japan was already losing the war. S9ome Koreans were convicted as Class B war criminals. I suppose they were "forced" to be barbaric to allied POWs? This is a perfect example of Korean whitewashing and denial. This whole article would have made more sense if China or Russia complained. But then, they aren't nutty enough to to jump on an obvious coincidence and make noise over it.
Lol out of all numbers to pick. Japan knew Korea would bite. Hook line and sinker.
The childish antics of Japan are getting to be sad. When will the idiocy stop. I'll say this again, politicians are truly the scum of the scum.
I find that east asians tend to think alike in terms of these small details. Japan knows how Korea and China thinks as well as vice versa. But it's not surprising from Abe who asks for better relations but tries to disputes territories that were never Japan's to begin with.
i remember when Japan tried to accuse Korea of making fun of the March earthquake in 2ne1's music video. A nuclear reactor explodes and some monster with a reddish purpleish dot on his head starts attacking everyone. Netizens in Japan tried to link it with the japanese flag.
@JaneM Yes. I know that Japan has/had provided tremendous amount of financial aid to Korea, and we are very thankful for that such generosity. However, 60 years should not be considered as a "long time ago". For example, MANY MANY of my relatives have LIVED through the annexation of Korea(Most still alive).
Ian Duncan--I too am fascinated by the double standards here. Why are so many people always ready to jump on Japan with both feet for past grievances and every imagined slight such as that photo? This particular one coming from a country which fought a civil war that is still technically going on over 60 years later. If South Korea wants to vent their hatred against some country every chance they get, why don't they do it against China, whose army killed hundreds of thousands of their soldiers and civilians in the Korean War? Yet today you see South Korea's new president cozying up to China and both countries tag-teaming to bash Japan (which has been the most peaceful country in the world since the end of WWII). Can't you see it is all politics, along with envy and a huge inferiority complex?
I see many people bashing Japan for everything under the sun. I surmise that you are a "gaijin" living in Japan, and like so many others who go to a foreign country fail to understand the culture and sensibilities and cannot adapt to the ways and customs. I have read your past posts and see nothing but criticism, which begs the question: If you are a gaijin living in Japan, why are you there if you dislike the place so much? Do you really not understand that every country is different and that no place in the world is perfect, and no country will adapt to your particular likes and dislikes?
I think Ian Duncan is quite right. Japan is saying "we are a victim" so many time.
A realist: thank you very much for sharing your assumptions about me with the world. May I now cordially redirect you to the topic of this thread: whether or not victims of Japanese imperial atrocities have the right to take offence when, in the same week as one high-profile Japanese right-winger says it was necessary to rape thousands of women and girls, another right-winger, the Prime Minister, sits giving the thumbs-up to a historically-significant symbol of atrocity?
If you read the article carefully, you will note that the topic is not "how similar is Ian Duncan to other 'gaijin' who, being all alike, fail to understand the culture".
The topic is, I would suggest, how can a head of state fail to see the importance of not giving enemies of his country a stick with which to beat him?
Abe is leading the country to a very dangerous situation. Sadly, most of the people are not aware of that.
I`m sure it is coincidental, but it is still a ridiculous cock up. How do things like this happen?
Even Abe is not stupid enough to pull something like this off.
Some element in the JDF however can.
After all these years, you would think that there are certain numbers you just shouldn't use anymore. Its just common sense. Even if you don't think people would still care or notice, getting ride of such number in the military most certainly can't hurt. In fact, that will probably protect you from situation like this.
Maybe Japanese don't care, but having Abe, your PM posing for a victory sign (or peace sign) over a military plane numbered 731 is just plain dumb. You're just asking for trouble. Why would anyone do such things? And don't tell me the JDF doesn't know what 731 stands for. They must know.
There is nothing casual about any coincidental flouting of the history of Unit 731. All civilized human beings should be united in denouncing such human rights atrocities in history or in contemporary times.
melonbarmonster--By all means all civilized human beings should be united in denouncing human rights atrocities. Perhaps you can explain why you and so many posters go to such great lengths to denounce alleged human rights atrocities by Japan, but not by China, the USA, German, Britain, Korea and every other country that has ever engaged in war. Or why not go a little further and denounce human rights atrocities that regularly take place today without even a war, especially in places like China and North Korea? Why just pick on Japan? I find that inexplicable, seeing as how WWII has been over for 67 years, Japan has been probably the most peaceful country in the world since then and has one of the better human rights records in the world (unlike Korea (both North and South) and China. The past cannot be changed, why not be concerned about human rights today instead of dwelling on the past?
A Realist - I'm curious as to why you are so keen to change the topic of this thread.
Abe posed with a symbolically-charged number. Whether it was intentional or just a blunder, by doing so he has given those countries who make a habit of criticising Japan a perfect piece of ammunition with which to do so.
We are not talking about whether ot not other countries are perfect. this topic is about Abe giving the thumbs-up over a military plane bearing the inscription "Leader: S. Abe 731".
Of course those elements hostile to Japan are going to have a field day with this. Why did he give them such a chance?
@JaneM http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/u-s-tops-japan-earthquake-donor-list I see many Japanese people complaining about S. Korean's donation.
Ian DuncanMay. 19, 2013 - 10:57AM JST
A Realist - I'm curious as to why you are so keen to change the topic of this thread.
You think it is not all connected? The South Korean paranoia about that particular picture (which is innocuous) is just the usual Korean and/or Chinese and US anti-Japanese propaganda that is spewed out on a regular basis every day. They search for anything that could be detrimental to Japan and appeal to their "nationalists." I would ask you and all the other-Japan bashers who appear regularly in the media of those countries and on forums like these: why do you do it? Why are you always looking for something to bash Japan for, yet you ignore everything else? If you want to find fault, you can find lots more to find fault about in China, the USA or Korea. Yet you either pretend nothing is wrong in those countries, or deliberately ignore it, or buy into their propaganda. It just makes me suspicious of your motives.
See here's the problem... most Japanese were never taught anything about unit 731 so they are unaware of it and they don't understand why the rest of the world would make such a big deal about it.
Saying sorry and not acting contrite is an empty apology. Japanese educators and politicians have never acted contrite. As the Asian superpower they believe themselves to be, it is too close to the bone to touch. Better to speak empty words and hope the anger dies down or just dies through old age. Trouble is Politicians keep talking and doing unintentional stuff like this, that anger won't die down.
A Realist, hope you get your stomach disemboweled. c u nt
A Realist, hope you get your stomach disemboweled. c u nt.
I would ask you and all the other-Japan bashers
Why so strange comment? This page is for discussing, isn't it? I don't like a spicy food - am I India-basher, Mr Realist? What is your talking point?
Readers, please stay on topic.
When the truth is spoken those who have nothing to fear will stand strong and tall. But those with skeletons in the closet will lash out and find blame elsewhere. No japan bashing here. Just speaking the truth.
The 731 was named S.Abe from my understanding. The number does have meaning as well. Whether it was done tactfully is completely a matter of opinion.