politics

Singapore PM asks Japan to turn page on history

58 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2014 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

58 Comments
Login to comment

He's half right... China and Korea need to lay off too. If Japan had left things as they were even a few years ago and backed off it would have had the high ground. Its one thing to have apologized and not have that apology accepted.

But it is another thing to turn around and say it never happened...and then we apologized already. If it never happened then there would have been no need for an initial apology. The Kono statement doesnt mean anything if a statement is issued saying it never happened to begin with.

Asia needs to put this behind it. It was terrible. It was 70 years ago. Its over.

The future cannot always be reconciled with past regardless if that is the tradition that keeps all these Asian countries harping on about it. The future is far more important than the past. China, Japan, Korea et al. put your Confucius down and come into the 21st century.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Some people cannot let things go, shame as sometimes you need to move forward or stay hobbled and mired in the past.

Many nations have committed atrocities over history but thankfully most nations have been able to let things go and move forward. Until China and Korea gain enough maturity and move forward this will never happen,

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Well, my Prime Minister is right. Turn the page on history. It is not to Japan's interest to constantly wishing to rewrite and revisit whether the PM, or a Minister or some Mayor. Each time you deny something, the merry go round starts afresh again. I am surprised that PM have it in him to speak out at a forum. All the while we can only hear from SK and China.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Augh, he's addressing the wrong nation. If he wants to address another nation to leave behind the past then he should be addressing SK and PRC.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

It would help if Japan stopped trying to revise its imperialist past and stop denying the atrocities committed during the Imperialist Empire in the Pacific War. Accept and move on. It won't stop SK and PRC from making further comments.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

You may note that this was basically the Japanese strategy in the 80s and 90s. The Chinese (I don't think the Koreans were a major voice back then but I could be wrong) "find out" about Yasukuni visits and object. The Japanese agree to let them interfere with their internal affairs.

The Koreans "find out" about comfort women and scream. Kono Statement.

Then we have Maruyama.

At some point, the Japanese realized that apologizing carried costs larger than they are willing to pay, that it isn't going to be like Germany at all, and if not for the United States needing Japanese atrocities to justify its own (atom bombings, for example), the Japanese would have turned around 10 years ago.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The Japanese and others must face the vexing problem of how to hand down to the coming generations of the experiences of the tragic war.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

They arrived at the solution to that 'vexing problem' years ago: lie about it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You will not find a more progressive, intelligent, fresh and innovative people in Asia like the Singaporeans. The difference between SG and Japan is readily apparent once you arrive at immigration, Changi. A multicultural staff, fluent in English, a Metro city that accomodates foriegners etc. Yes, there are strict rules and what some might consider archaic laws, but after what I have seen/expereinced in Japan, I welcome SG anyday. SG embraces the outside world instead of shutting it out. I have read much of the critics crap about SG but I find them to be different.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Abe has said he will not change a landmark 1993 apology to “comfort women” forced into sex during World War II. But his government last week released a review that said there was no evidence to corroborate the testimony of Korean women in Japanese military brothels.... While mainstream Japanese opinion holds that the wartime government was culpable, a small but vocal tranche of the political right—including Abe—continues to cast doubt, saying the brothels were staffed by professional prostitutes."

How much were they paid, then, Abe? No receipts? Then sorry, we have to cast doubt on the professional prostitutes claim.

"Singaporean historians say Japanese forces killed 50,000 ethnic Chinese in the island city before surrendering in 1945."

I wonder how many more would have been killed if Japan hadn't been bombed into surrender in 1945...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

You may note that this was basically the Japanese strategy in the 80s and 90s.

Conveniently ignoring the fact that Japan's problem of denying and visiting war shrines were existing in the 80's and 90's as well.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Serrano

While mainstream Japanese opinion holds that the wartime government was culpable,

Where did you pull this one out?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Singapore has been very mature in their approach to dealing with Japan with respect to the Sook Ching Massacre where males of military age men of Chinese descent were rounded up, taken to the beach and machine gunned down. If LKW's son has advice on how Tokyo should approach the Comfort Women issue, they better listen well knowing that what he says is sincere unlike Beijing and Seoul's usual playa-hating antics.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

According to Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister, "Somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 young men, Chinese" Another major massacre by the imperialist forces during the occupations and period of the Pacific War.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

According to history many ethnic Chinese in the Malay peninsula acted as Communist insurgents associated with the Malayan Communist Party which was a puppet of CCP. In April 1930 this faction developed the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army fighting the Japanese before Japan reached the Malay peninsula.

From 20 December 1941 the British military began to train party members in guerilla warfare at the hastily established 101st Special Training School (101st STS) in Singapore. About 165 MCP members were trained before the British defences collapsed. These fighters, scantily armed and equipped by the hard-pressed British, hurriedly dispersed and attempted to harass the occupying army.

Just before Singapore fell on 15 February 1942, the party began organise armed resistance in the state of Johore. Soon four armed groups, which became known as 'Regiments', were formed, with 101st STS trainees serving as nuclei. In March this force was dubbed the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) and began sabotage and ambushes against the Japanese. The Japanese responded with reprisals against Chinese civilians. These reprisals, coupled with increasing economic hardship, caused large numbers of Malayan Chinese to flee the cities. They became squatters at the forest margins, where they became the main source of recruits, food, and other assistance for the MPAJA. The MPAJA consolidated this support by providing protection.

O'Ballance estimates that in mid-1942 the regimental strengths were about 100 in the first Regiment, 160 in the 2nd, 360 in the 3rd, and 250 in the 4th. At this time a 5th, 6th, and 7th Regiment were formed. This army, which included women, was conceived as both a military and political force, along Maoist lines.

After the war this group kept on fighting which escalated into what is now known as Malayan Emergency.

Long story short, no the ethnic Chinese were not innocent bystanders.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

“Unless you can put the Second World War behind you and not keep on reopening issues of comfort women, of aggression, of whether or not bad things were done during the war, I think that this is going to be a continuing sore,” Lee said at the Council on Foreign Relations on a visit to Washington Tuesday.

Don't see how anyone looking at things objectively can argue with this. As he said, he is speaking to Japan as a partner.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Whatever imperialist atrocity is mentioned, the Massacre of Nanjing, the Massacre of Manila, the Massacre of Singerpore, the experiments on live humans with the Unit 731, the execution and torture of the POW's, the forced labor of more than I million POW's and civilians, the comfort women and sexual slavery. The deniers are always ready and willing to jump out of the woodwork.

Time for Japan and its leaders to accept its past so we can all move on.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I have no idea what he is talking about.

Is he saying that politicians shouldn't do things like reexamine past apologies?

Or is he saying that Japanese politicians should just leave this whole thing alone and move on?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And I see someone is denying my post referring to history.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Lee is preaching to the wrong choir. Japan has apologized to everyone and signed peace treaties and had no problems with WWII issues. IT is only after China and South Korea in complete denial of their 1972 and 1965 treaties with Japan started the anti-Japan movement based on WWII history, as if these treaties didn't exist. South Korea has accepted money for Korean "individuals who suffered" but did not give this money to the former Comfort Women. They had input in the 1993 Kono Statement which apologizes, but they say it's not an apology. Yet when Japan said it may revise it, they screamed bloody murder. Now even though Japan says it will not revise it, South Korea and China are complaining that it is "being reviewed". Makes any sense to anybody? All of Japan's actions and statements regarding WWII are reactions to China and South Korea's perpetual anti-Japan policy. If these two countries wanted a relationship with Japan like Singapore does, WWII would not be an issue.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

zichi: "It would help if Japan stopped trying to revise its imperialist past and stop denying the atrocities committed during the Imperialist Empire in the Pacific War. Accept and move on."

Exactly! Japan needs to stop trying to revise or review apologies and sincerely atone for the actions of the past, and all parties will let it go; or at least, it'll be a step towards doing so.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Japan has apologized to everyone and signed peace treaties and had no problems with WWII issues.

Its true that Japan issued apologies, like the Kono Statement and from PM Murayama and the Asian Women's Fund. But then, and its a very big "but" along come prime ministers like Abe, other gov't ministers, LDP Diet politicians, historians, professors, writers, head of NHK who all undermine those issued apologies by denying all or part of the atrocities committed.

At least in part, and at least by some countries, those apologies were not fully acceptable to the victims.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

OssanAmerica Lee is preaching to the wrong choir. Japan has apologized to everyone and signed peace treaties and had no problems >with WWII issues. IT is only after China and South Korea in complete denial of their 1972 and 1965 treaties with Japan >started the anti-Japan movement based on WWII history, as if these treaties didn't exist.

I second that. When you apologize, and then the very people who told you how to apologize tell you you haven't apologized enough, what would your reaction be?

On the other hand, if I were the CCP, it would be in my interest to keep the South Koreans focused on "comfort women" so when I come to Seoul to visit, we don't have to talk about more interesting topics, like North Korea. And it's somewhat the same situation with the rest of South East Asia: look their way, what they did 70 years ago, that will save you from looking at what I'm currently doing in your backyard.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I guess someone should have told this guy about the sincere apologies?

On 31 October 2008, the chief of staff of Japan's Air Self-Defense Force Toshio Tamogami was dismissed with a 60 million yen allowance due to an essay he published, arguing that Japan was not an aggressor during World War II, that the war brought prosperity to China, Taiwan and Korea, that the Imperial Japanese Army's conduct was not violent and that the Greater East Asia War is viewed in a positive way by many Asian countries and criticizing the war crimes trials which followed the war.

And Sister Bullwinkel http://www.chuckhawks.com/sister_bullwinkel.htm

And the article by Hayashi Hirofumi, professor of politics at Kanto-Gakuin University and the Co-Director of the Center for Research and Documentation on Japan’s War Responsibility. http://japanfocus.org/-Hayashi-Hirofumi/3187

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I second that. When you apologize, and then the very people who told you how to apologize tell you you haven't apologized enough, what would your reaction be?

Do what Germany and four other European countries had to do: Make war-crimes denial a crime in itself.

That is what is most galling and criminal in its impact. One Japanese will apologize and another official will deny that the crime being apologized for ever happened. If you were the recipient of such an "apology," what would your reaction be?" Visiting the site where convicted war criminals have been interred is another thing that a public official should never** do -- at risk of being immediately removed from his post.

That's the kind of consistent behavior that makes apologies stick.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

From the Japanese point of view, there are no war criminals in Yasukuni or elsewhere, since the country have never accept the verdict of the Tokyo War Criminal Trials or any others in other countries.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

ossanamerica:

Japan has apologized to everyone and signed peace treaties and had no problems with WWII issues.

Then why all the backtracking, revisiting past apologies, denials, etc. No problems? Sure!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

yabits I second that. When you apologize, and then the very people who told you how to apologize tell you you haven't >apologized enough, what would your reaction be?

Do what Germany and four other European countries had to do: Make war-crimes denial a crime in itself.

The very fact that not all European countries make it a crime is due to us in Europe having to balance it with Freedom of Speech. Indeed Communist China is doing a good job brainwashing people into contrasting Germany and Japan. Having grown up in France I don't remember a month going by without another "pre-eminent" historian claiming the holocaust never happened.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the main purpose of this arrogant Commie China and ally S Korea. I have more respect for the Japanese than either one of you. What is your real reason ??????

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The very fact that not all European countries make it a crime is due to us in Europe having to balance it with Freedom of Speech.

The fact that the main perpetrator (along with annexed Austria) did make it a crime is all that matters. (The other nations are just icing on the cake.) Japan was another main perpetrator of serious war crimes. As such, denial of them by people in official positions should lead to termination of their position and charges filed. Of course, Japan doesn't seem to care a bit about the damage caused by these insane denials.

Oh, way to turn an obvious comparison between two Axis powers into a plot by the Chinese to brainwash people. LOL! Germany knows how to handle a serious historical situation. Japan has yet to learn.

From the Japanese point of view, there are no war criminals in Yasukuni or elsewhere, since the country have never accept the verdict of the Tokyo War Criminal Trials or any others in other countries.

If that is true, any country would be stupid to accept an apology from Japan. Thanks to Japan's continued insincerity and lack of remorse, it is left to rational nations like Singapore to put forth appeals such as this one.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Indeed Communist China is doing a good job brainwashing people into contrasting Germany and Japan.

Who? Communist China does not exist, as China is not a communist state (even if the PRC wants you to believe it is), so it's not clear what you are talking about here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

yabits

Oh, way to turn an obvious comparison between two Axis powers into a plot by the Chinese to brainwash people. LOL! >Germany knows how to handle a serious historical situation.

That's what the Germans (and the rest of the world) think:

From all these developments, it seems to me that German leaders also suspect that Chinese leaders are trying to exploit >the issue of Japan’s history for strategic gain, and want absolutely no part in helping Beijing to succeed in this endeavor.

http://thediplomat.com/2014/03/germany-rebukes-chinas-anti-japan-pr-campaign/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr Abe said that the 28 Japanese military and political leaders charged with Class-A war crimes are "not war criminals under the laws of Japan." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/9930041/Japan-PM-dismisses-WWII-war-crimes-trials-as-victors-justice.html

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Mr Abe said that the 28 Japanese military and political leaders charged with Class-A war crimes are "not war criminals

Oh wow. So Japan was out there massively killing off Chinese, Southeast Asians, anyone who got in their way, in order to "defend Japan." Abe ought to be delivered to the Hague. Many who know would consider his act to be criminal.

From all these developments, it seems to me that German leaders also suspect that Chinese leaders are trying to exploit >the issue of Japan’s history for strategic gain

First of all, an ordinary person who is not a Chinese leader should be able to compare the different responses to their nations' crimes by Germany and Japan without being "brainwashed." Secondly, Germany is marking its words well: To the extent that Chinese leaders are playing a cynical game, Germany does not want to help in it.

By contrast, Japan will willingly involve itself in cynical games if there's something to be gained for Japan. That describes a lot of its postwar history in dealing with its crimes. (Like working with a corrupt Korean government to apply some whitewash.) And I appreciate your bringing out a another difference between the two nations.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

were there any documented allied brothels?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichiJun. 25, 2014 - 10:38PM JST "Japan has apologized to everyone and signed peace treaties and had no problems with WWII issues." Its true that Japan issued apologies, like the Kono Statement and from PM Murayama and the Asian Women's Fund.

Japan also apologized to South Korea and China respectively in establishing ties through a peace treaty which both of those countries signed.

But then, and its a very big "but" along come prime ministers like Abe, other gov't ministers, LDP Diet politicians, >historians, professors, writers, head of NHK who all undermine those issued apologies by denying all or part of the >atrocities committed.

As far as I can tell Japan has never rescinded any apology it has made to ay country nor has denied or voided any treaties it has signed. In other words, Japan's official position has not changed. The anti-Japan crowd takes every comment from individual politicians from PMs down to city mayors, people who are not even politicians like network executives, professors, historians, writers, the rantings of some insignificant right-wing looney group to reduce the official position of Japan down to "insincere". Such people are not, and in most cases not even qualified, to make statements represent the nation.

At least in part, and at least by some countries, those apologies were not fully acceptable to the victims.

Both the 1965 Treaty with South Korea as well as the 1972 treaty with China, which incidentally China reaffirmed in 1978, ensured that there would be no further claims by the country or it's citizens. Both nations are in violation of the terms of those treaties. South Korea did not even disclose the terms of their treaty to their own people, including the fact that Japan paid compensation to "Korean individuals who suffered".

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Singapore's suffering while great was brief through mainly the Sookching Massacre and still does not compare to the years suffered by China and Korea. Millions were killed in China and Korea underwent a long period of humiliation. Both also had to endure shocking brutality like Unit 731, Comfort Women, and the Nanjing Massacre.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

OssanAmerica

The anti-Japan crowd takes every comment from individual politicians from PMs down to city mayors, people who are not even politicians like network executives, professors, historians, writers, the rantings of some insignificant right-wing looney group to reduce the official position of Japan down to "insincere". Such people are not, and in most cases not even qualified, to make statements represent the nation.

Again you don't really know what you are talking about? I'm certainly not anti-Japanese and unlike you have lived here with my Japanese wife for more than 20 years. Because I question the revisionist and deniers of the imperial past does not make me anti anything.

I have also questioned the war past of my birth country, Britain and my other adopted country, America. I have also questioned their modern time roles in places like Iraq. But none of that makes me anti-Britain or anti-America.

I could live with the history of Japan provided the leaders were also willing to accept it and move on.

You really need to learn to develop some perspective on the history of this country instead of trying to defend its imperial past at every twist and turn.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

PM Lee has spoken. If you want to listen, listen. If you don't want to, then don't. Don't go and claim that ethnic Chinese Singaporeans killed in Sook Ching are not innocent! If you are not careful, you will have SK and China and then Singapore against you. Then Malaysia and Myanmar and Philippines, Vietnam, Australia and India and Britain and so on! The more you deny......!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Such people are not, and in most cases not even qualified, to make statements represent the nation.

Ossan -- exactly. Which is precisely what Lee is saying . ALL Japanese government officials should just shut the hell up about war issues and stop discussing them. It is a chicken or egg situation now between SK, China and Japan -- which came first, SK and China complaining or Japan re-visiting/backtracking? And until one of them decides to show some maturity/take the high road and just move on, these issues will just fester. "He said, she said" diplomacy is for children.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is no he said she said.

Japan had a policy of rape and murder during WWII. In fact, your military and gov't organized the collection and kidnapping or sex slaves/comfort women to satisfy the sexual needs of your Imperial soldiers. And since that wasn't enough, your military command organized and allowed your Imperial soldiers to rape, murder and plunder cities after cities like barbarians and Nazi would do. It was a tactic and strategy that you used to intimidate, subjugate and break the will of the people you invaded. The difference is, you don't live in the medieval time. You lived in the modern and industrial time. And you still behaved like savages with no account for humanity.

And to this day, some of you people, and many of them highly influential and person with power, still denied the existence of such savagery. And year after year, you are the one that revised, white-wash, and eventually wipe out all memories and history of your own nation's horrific crimes.

How dare you! How dare you to have the audacity to pass the bug to others, especially the victims at the hands of your predecessor's savagery. Who gave you the rights rape, kidnap, victimize, murder and then denial.

If only ONE of your gov't officials deny it, then your entire gov't is to blame because you elected or appointed that official. But its not just one. There are hundreds of them with millions of supporters supporting them.

We have a few here. You know who you are. That's ok. You people just proved the point that Japan isn't what it seems to be superficially. All smiles on the outside, you turn your back on some of them, the ugliness comes out.

That's ok too. At least we know that now. And the whole world knows it. We are prepared for you. And the longer you deny, the longer and stronger the world doubts you.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“Again you don't really know what you are talking about? I'm certainly not anti-Japanese and unlike you have lived here with my Japanese wife for more than 20 years. Because I question the revisionist and deniers of the imperial past does not make me anti anything.

I have also questioned the war past of my birth country, Britain and my other adopted country, America. I have also questioned their modern time roles in places like Iraq. But none of that makes me anti-Britain or anti-America. I could live with the history of Japan provided the leaders were also willing to accept it and move on. You really need to learn to develop some perspective on the history of this country instead of trying to defend its imperial past at every twist and turn.”

Right on the spot. It’s absolutely amazing to see the same narrow-minded posters keep repeating the same century-old hogwashing and warmongering cliches day in and day out.

The world has already changed so much that people want to have peace not war and not hatred, yet some people are still living the past not to mention in denial and dilution.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

zichi JUN. 26, 2014 - 01:53AM JST Again you don't really know what you are talking about? I'm certainly not anti-Japanese and unlike you have lived here with my Japanese wife for more than 20 years. Because I question the revisionist and deniers of the imperial past does not make me anti anything.

That's because he's Ossan. Makes sense considering how he keeps repeating the same thing. Reminds me of them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adze5L8xFzU

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It was 70 years ago. It doesn't matter any more.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm certainly not anti-Japanese and unlike you have lived here with my Japanese wife for more than 20 years. Because I question the revisionist and deniers of the imperial past does not make me anti anything.

To the people who think Japan can do no wrong, any criticism of the country makes the person doing the criticizing a Japan hater. It ignores the fact that many of us live here, and love the country, and just want to see it improve, for the greater good of Japan both internally, and on the world stage.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is no he said she said

Highball -- you missed my point. I am not disputing in any way whether or not Japan committed atrocities -- numerous and completely heinous ones. The "he said, she said" I was referring to was this seemingly constant back-and-forth between the three countries where SK and China complain that Japan has not sincerely apologized and continues to pay homage to war criminals at Yasakuni, while Japan reacts to that criticism by circling the wagons and letting their hurt pride and nationalistic tendencies over-rule its good sense, and go into denial/white-wash mode. I specifically said "he said, she said DIPLOMACY". And, IMO, both sides are about equally quilty and it would be great if Japan would man-up and just let the whole thing die.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

zichiJun. 26, 2014 - 01:53AM JST

OssanAmerica "The anti-Japan crowd takes every comment from individual politicians from PMs down to city mayors, people who are not even politicians like network executives, professors, historians, writers, the rantings of some insignificant right-wing looney group to reduce the official position of Japan down to "insincere". Such people are not, and in most cases not even qualified, to make statements represent the nation."

Again you don't really know what you are talking about? I'm certainly not anti-Japanese and unlike you have lived here >with my Japanese wife for more than 20 years. Because I question the revisionist and deniers of the imperial past >does not make me anti anything.

If you have lived in Japan for more than 20 years as you say, then I would expect you to recognize that Japanese people are individuals in a democratic society which allow the freedom of speech, no matter how stupid, crazy or distasteful. That you use comments by people who do not represent the government or people of Japan to paint a picture of Japan as a whole, while ignoring it's official positions and statements puts our above declaration in question. As for your "unlike you" statement, it is so far off the truth that it doesn't warrant as response.

I could live with the history of Japan provided the leaders were also willing to accept it and move on.

Japan's leader most certainly have accepted and moved on. Or do you not recognize Japan's progress and relations with all countries over the past 70 years? There are only two nations today that are not "moving on", and that is China and South Korea, both for separate reasons.

You really need to learn to develop some perspective on the history of this country instead of trying to defend its >imperial past at every twist and turn.

Show me one instance where I defend Japan's military aggression in WWII. I dare you.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

many of us live here, and love the country, and just want to see it improve, for the greater good of Japan both internally, and on the world stage.

Sound like what parents tell to their kids or a guru tells to his followers. Most of you always have exactly the opposite opinions of what Japanese think is right in almost everything.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

OssanAmerica

If you have lived in Japan for more than 20 years as you say, then I would expect you to recognize that Japanese people are individuals in a democratic society which allow the freedom of speech, no matter how stupid, crazy or distasteful. That you use comments by people who do not represent the government or people of Japan to paint a picture of Japan as a whole, while ignoring it's official positions and statements puts our above declaration in question.

You are so wrong again and as usual your comments is so wide and off the mark. None of my comments on JT elected posts are never directed at individual Japanese people or nationals or anyone else who lives in this country. I make an effort to only quote from reliable sources which I bother to check and read.

You state that I make quotes from people who don't present government or the nation. How bizarre?

There are leaders like prime ministers who earn their positions from being elected. Other like professors and historians earn their position from academic efforts, usually involving research and publishing results from that. Other on a local level like majors earn their positions from being elected too. The chairman of the NHK is elected by the government. All of these important people, just like in any country have great powers and influence over the common people.

So in your country, America, if a professor writes on the period of black slavery or the genocide of the natives, we shouldn't pay any attention because he does not present the government.

I have never made crazy, stupid or untasteful comments and in fact those people on JT would consider my comments to be researched and thoughtful?

You have stated that the leaders of the country have moved on when clearly from the articles and comments in the media your opinion is so far from what is happening.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

zichiJun. 26, 2014 - 11:15PM JST OssanAmerica "If you have lived in Japan for more than 20 years as you say, then I would expect you to recognize that Japanese people are individuals in a democratic society which allow the freedom of speech, no matter how stupid, crazy or distasteful. That you use comments by people who do not represent the government or people of Japan to paint a picture of Japan as a whole, while ignoring it's official positions and statements puts our above declaration in question."

You are so wrong again and as usual your comments is so wide and off the mark. None of my comments on JT >elected posts are never directed at individual Japanese people or nationals or anyone else who lives in this country. I >make an effort to only quote from reliable sources which I bother to check and read.

I never said your comments were DIRECTED AT individual Japanese people. I said that you consider comments made by Japanese individuals NOT IN AN OFFICE OR POSITION OF AUTHORITY to speak for the nation, government or people of Japan to paint a picture of Japan's position as a whole.

EXCAMPLE... zichiJun. 25, 2014 - 10:38PM JST "...along come prime ministers like Abe, other gov't ministers, LDP Diet politicians, historians, professors, writers, head of NHK who all undermine those issued apologies by denying all or part of the atrocities committed"

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

OssanAmerica and zichi, please do not address each other any further on this thread, since all you are doing is bickering.

OssanAmerica

I never said your comments were DIRECTED AT individual Japanese people. I said that you consider comments made by Japanese individuals NOT IN AN OFFICE OR POSITION OF AUTHORITY to speak for the nation, government or people of Japan to paint a picture of Japan's position as a whole. EXAMPLE... zichiJun. 25, 2014 - 10:38PM JST "...along come prime ministers like Abe, other gov't ministers, LDP Diet politicians, historians, professors, writers, head of NHK who all undermine those issued apologies by denying all or part of the atrocities committed"

Your comments are becoming very strange. Are you on medication or something? First you accuse me quoting from people who you consider not to present the government and nation. I'm actually one of the people on JT who posts a very high number of links compared to the very few you post? I provide the links so people can read and decide for themselves. I very rarely quote from something a blog or something like that.

Then you accuse me of quoting from prime ministers, present and ex, elected Diet members (100 LDP members passed a motion denying the Comfort Women) historians, like Professor Hata on the Kono Statement panel who previuosly dismissed the events of the Comfort Women? The government elected head of the NHK who also dismissed the Comfort Women. But according to you, none of these are important and don't present the government, including PM Abe who also stated that under Japan Law there are no War Criminals.

But anyway I'm done responding to this very stupid line of comments coming from you. Can't you at least come up with something real and meaningful, otherwise, please stop wasting my time?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Segregation among Asian Countries are increasingly evident siding with either Japan or China. Surprisingly this nonsense is also going on in Central and South America between China and Japan competing to gain a lead in support in the region over one another. Both China and Japan shouldn't drag other nations into their quarrel and settle the dispute peacefully without testing each other militarily.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The anti-Japan crowd takes every comment from individual politicians from PMs down to city mayors, people who are not even politicians like network executives, professors, historians, writers, the rantings of some insignificant right-wing looney group to reduce the official position of Japan down to "insincere".

There is no "anti-Japan crowd."

Singapore's leader is gently castigating Japan for the things so many of us who wish nothing but the best for Japan have been doing. We have a saying: "Your best friends won't tell you." In reality, the things that need to be said must come from the best of friends. The people who make excuses for, or otherwise defend the things that nationalists do to undermine past steps toward reconciliation, are not friends of Japan at all.

People speak of freedom of speech. In a nation that has committed atrocities within living memory -- as Japan has -- one voice that attempts to downplay or deny those atrocities has to be immediately countered with voices in opposition. Have there been examples of far-right nationalists attempting to silence those who reaffirm Japan's crimes in WWII? If yes, then where is free speech? If anyone should be hammered down and muzzled, it's the right-wing thugs.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

yabitsJun. 27, 2014 - 02:18AM JST There is no "anti-Japan crowd."

Sure there is. Just look through the threads on this and may other news site related forums.

Singapore's leader is gently castigating Japan for the things so many of us who wish nothing but the best for Japan >have been doing. We have a saying: "Your best friends won't tell you." In reality, the things that need to be said must >come from the best of friends. The people who make excuses for, or otherwise defend the things that nationalists do >to undermine past steps toward reconciliation, are not friends of Japan at all.

If you are saying that the United States, or Australia, or other democratic nations who support Japan's shift towards changing it's military role in maintaining the peace and security of the region, are NOT true friend's of Japan, I'd have to say that the credibility of your argument is pretty much shot.

If anyone should be hammered down and muzzled, it's the right-wing thugs.

Then where is the free speech of which you speak? In a democratic system you will have a wide range of opinions. But to take those individual opinions and consider them to represent the position of the Japanese nation or people is absurd.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan needs to listen to its friends like Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Obama who recently spoke out about the Comfort Women events.

The country, and more importantly, its political and academic leaders who constantly attempt to revise and deny the historical period of the imperialist past need to accept what happened and move on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@zichi

I only recently registered JapanToday account so quite new here but I'm really disturbed by bunch of your comments as if Japan is trying to revise the history to deny past atrocities, namely what had happened during WW2. For the sake of saving time for commenters as well as yourself, why don't you explain what do you want to accomplish in here once and for all?

As far as I'm concerned, everyone is entitled to discuss the history because everyone has their own view of history based on their beliefs and proofs but no emotional sentiments must be inserted into historical discussion. You must respect what others say and counter-argue if you disagree along with sufficient and rational explanation. If you agree or cannot refute back, then you need to refine your argument and that's how you gain a better and objective understanding of history.

What's bothering me on your comments is you are keep insisting on your idea of given premise "Japan is unconditionally bad". You are looking for evidence which only supports "Japan is bad" and neglecting to look for evidence that comes against it. The history is not black and white since every nations have different aspects per events and it usually is written by dominant parties. For example, the legitimacy of Tokyo Trials itself can be subjected to discussion by introducing Radhabinod Pal standpoint. However, most of Japanese wouldn't do that because Japan accepted what was concluded by Tokyo Trials and it's completely meaningless. Japan accepted what Japan had done during WW2 was wrong and apologized/compensated countless times to regain the diplomatic relationships with battled nations during WW2. Please name any other nations who expressed apology or provided compensation in a civilized manner as how Japan did?

What Japan is objecting is some unsubstantiated incidents that were introduced after WW2 with no willingness to study nor investigate what had really happened nor to settle via diplomatic approach and instead using those incidents to discredit Japan. This doesn't mean Japan is trying to revise the history and forget about the past as you are keep repeating. There is an immediate threat that China may start the war by tiny misoperation or mistake, so PM Abe is reviewing the current regulations to gain the restraining power but it doesn't mean Japan wants to start the war. The most important thing as a "good human being" is to learn from the past and not to make the same mistake again as you also mentioned. If you lived in Japan for 20yrs as you say you were, you should know well Japan is repenting the past and unwilling to enter into war by all means.

What's going on today in Japan is that the most of Japanese are fed up with constant Korean accusations (Chinese accusations, except for unsubstantiated number of casualities by Nanking Massacre, can be somewhat understandable since they were victimized by Imperial Japan while Koreans weren't) and we have no intention of passing them over to our children.

So let's get back to what you want to accomplish here. If you are expecting Japan to inherit the remorse over WW2 for substanciated atrocities, then Japan will. Though, if you are expecting Japan to inherit continuous gestures of apology and compensation for WW2 over generations forever and ever, that's not going to happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can we all move on and focus on what happen next rather than keep living in the past. Every time the word history is mention, tensions and problems tend to follow. If every one of us looks back into our past I can guarantee you that, we all have our regrets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites