politics

Abe honors 'Japanese Schindler' in Lithuania

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Let me say that this is the first decent move taken by Abe since he became prime-minister and hope I will not drown in minuses...

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

‘Japanese Schindler,’ Japanese Hemingway, Japanese eggplant, etc, it’s as if they’d be indescribable otherwise.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Some may say too little too late. I do include myself in that group.

However, it's good that the man has been recognised by Abe (Japan) for the work he had done.

If there is a heaven, I hope he has a special place in it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If Japan (genuinely) admitted to their own mistakes and atrocities, then this gesture would be a lot more palatable. But, no. Just another photo opportunity trying to illustrate Japan as some kind of former and current driving 'peace force' in the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's not forget that Japan was Germany's ally during the war. Fact.

3 ( +16 / -13 )

If Japan (genuinely) admitted to their own mistakes and atrocities, then this gesture would be a lot more palatable.

100% in agreement. Keyword being 'genuinely'

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Nice for Abesan to align with the virtues of Sugihara who was indeed a tremendously brave human being, with thousands of people alive today because of him. A side note to the story is that Sugihara actually went AGAINST orders by issuing these visas and was ostracised upon returning to Japan by the beaurocrats running the country.  Not to be a cynic , but lets hope that this serves as a message for all to follow your own moral compass and not blindly follow rules from above. A poignant and valuable message perhaps for this administration. Wonder how much dissent Prime Minister Abe entertains within his own ranks? Still, official recognition for Sugihara must be viewed in a positive light.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Perhaps this will light a lamp within the mind and heart of Abe and perhaps, he might instruct his own people to sign some papers for those in need as the Jews were and to give them refugee status.

Shalom Abe-san

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

The only person who should be receiving praise and recognition is Sugihara-san. A definite credit to the Japanese and a hero and role model to all.

His diplomatic career was cut short after the war and his actions remained largely unknown in Japan for decades after the conflict ended.

Has the Japanese government of the day both publicly and privately apologised to the Sugihara family for its shameful treatment of Sugihara-san?

Have they included his incredibly brave exploits into Japanese school text books and forms part of the standard school syllabus and required reading for pupils regarding Japans involvement in WWII?

If at the very least neither of these things has yet happened the current government should be keeping as quiet as a mouse on the issue and shamefully hanging their heads low and not attempting to politically cash in on this mans street credentials!

This tells you all you need to know about a politician!

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Chiune Sugihara was obviously a man of great personal morality and strength of character, and stands alongside Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg. Sad that, although unlike Wallenberg he made it home, he was ostracised when he got there. Someone should write his story; it would be good to know what he did with the rest of his life.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Sugihara didn't follow orders?

That didn't go well for diplomats then nor does it now!

Free thinking is not encouraged in Japan.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The only person who should be receiving praise and recognition is Sugihara-san.

It was Japan's policy to save the Jews.  Sugihara was not a diplomat at that time, but later he was promoted to a diplomat because of this hard work to save the Jews.

Here is from the Wiki of Kiichiro Higuchi who helped tens of thousands of Jews.

"General Hideki Tojo, then Chief of staff of the Kwantung Army, assented to Higuchi's view that the German policy against the Jews was a serious humanitarian concern. Higuchi's lieutenant Norihiro Yasue advocated for the protection of Jewish refugees to General Seishiro Itagaki, which led to the establishment of the Japanese Jewish Policy Program in 1938"

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

"I am really proud of him as Japanese."

knew it! No mention at all of the shame in what the government of the time did to him, and Abe’s relatives are included in that. Just instead takes credit for the man’s actions.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

A picture is worth a thousand votes.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The only person who should be receiving praise and recognition is Sugihara-san. A definite credit to the Japanese and a hero and role model to all.

Disagree. The Imperial Japanese government and the WWII Japanese public deserve praise and recognition for saving and settling thousands of Jewish refugees.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Kobe

Already housing a modest Jewish community by the start of World War II](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II), Kobe existed as a safe haven for thousands of Jews fleeing Europe during 1940 and 1941. At its height, the Jewish community of Kobe had thousands of residents, two synagogues, and recognition from the Japanese government. After[World War II, however, the community became greatly diminished and remains extremely small today.

The Imperial Japanese government settled and integrated Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust. Canada and The United States turned them away.

Many of the Jewish people turned away by Canada and The United States would die in concentration camps:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1174272-canada-turned-away-jewish-refugees

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-39857056/the-jewish-refugees-the-us-turned-away

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Chiune Sugihara  , all the people of our planet will never forget you .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Disagree. The Imperial Japanese government and the WWII Japanese public deserve praise and recognition for saving and settling thousands of Jewish refugees.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Kobe

Already housing a modest Jewish community by the start of World War II, Kobe](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe) existed as a safe haven for thousands of Jews fleeing Europe during 1940 and 1941. At its height, the Jewish community of Kobe had thousands of residents, two [synagogues, and recognition from the Japanese government. After World War II, however, the community became greatly diminished and remains extremely small today.

The Imperial Japanese government settled and integrated Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust. Canada and The United States turned them away.

Many of the Jewish people turned away by Canada and The United States would die in concentration camps:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1174272-canada-turned-away-jewish-refugees

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-39857056/the-jewish-refugees-the-us-turned-away

2 ( +7 / -5 )

His diplomatic career was cut short after the war and his actions remained largely unknown in Japan for decades after the conflict ended.

I really hate sentences like this, enough whitewashing, just explain MORE about the history involved here!! Shine some light of the nasty bits, stop trying to push them aside with lame platitudes like the above, sadly as usual MUCH is left out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A true hero and well done on honouring such a man

5 ( +6 / -1 )

please keep in mind that Japan has already honored the great humanitarian by establishing a beautiful memorial park in Yaotsu Gifu Prefecture a number of years ago. I have visited this solum spot a few times and prayed for the spirit of Sugihara San. Bless him and those who pay respect to him

6 ( +7 / -1 )

utorsaToday 10:36 am JST

The Imperial Japanese government and the WWII Japanese public deserve praise and recognition for saving and settling thousands of Jewish refugees.

But there is more to the story than your simplified (and glorified) version...

With the beginning of the Showa Era (1926-89) and the emergence of the Nazis, however, Japanese newspapers began to discuss the issue of Jews enthusiastically. Although Japan’s media were critical toward the Nazis when the Nazi Party assumed power in 1933, the press radically changed their attitude in 1935. The turning point was the interview between Hitler and Reiji Kuroda, a correspondent of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. The front page of the Asahi Shimbun issued on January 27, 1935, was virtually dominated by a report on this interview. Kuroda was the third foreign reporter to whom Hitler granted an interview after his inauguration as the head of state. Their meeting helped build a friendly relationship between the Asahi Shimbun and Hitler. In that year, Japanese journalism, including scholars and opinion leaders who wrote articles for newspapers, changed their attitude toward Germany and Hitler, and began to praise them.

Based on the argument that real Japan-China relations could not be understood without recognizing the presence of Jewish people behind the Western powers, the Japanese newspapers advocated that Jewish influence should be eliminated by defeating the United States and the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, there were a few Japanese who did not align themselves with the trend of supporting the Nazis and anti-Semitism.

http://www.cismor.jp/en/2014/01/26/negative-views-of-the-jews-in-the-japanese-newspapers-during-world-war-ii/

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

AgentXToday  10:59 am JST

In that year, Japanese journalism, including scholars and opinion leaders who wrote articles for newspapers, changed their attitude toward Germany and Hitler, and began to praise them.

But there is more to the story than your simplified (and glorified) version... 

In America, antisemitism, which reached high levels in the late 1930s, continued to rise in the 1940s. During the years before Pearl Harbor, over a hundred antisemitic organizations were responsible for pumping hate propaganda throughout the American public. Furthermore, especially in New York City and Boston, young gangs vandalized Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, and attacks on Jewish youngsters were common. Swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans, as well as antisemitic literature were spread. In 1944, a public opinion poll showed that a quarter of Americans still regarded Jews as a "menace." Antisemitism in the State Department played a large role in Washington's hesitant response to the plight of European Jews persecuted by Nazis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_antisemitism_in_the_United_States

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sugihara was a RARE exception among Japanese diplomats and officials most who were

ready to die for the Emperor without hesitation, having been brainwashed for centuries

that Emperors were living gods !

Let's hope that Abe did this for serious motives and NOT economic ones.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

tinawatanabe: “It was Japan's policy to save the Jews.”

that is not true, and you know it. Some may have felt that the German “final solution” was a wee bit of a humanitarian crisis, but officially policy was to side with their allies, Nazi Germany. Hence, tina, Sugihara was forbidden from issuing visas and later destroyed for disobeying Tokyo. If it was official policy we to save Jews, why was he forbidden? And how do you support Abe on this when on the same day he recognizes this he allows working visas for refugees to end?

utorsa: “Many of the Jewish people turned away by Canada and The United States would die in concentration camps”

both nations have admitted this this is a black mark in their histories. Why can Japan not do the same?

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

@utorusa: You are right. when Yosuke Matsuoka was in charge of China, Hitler asked Matsuoka to kill. all. Jews in China and Matsuoka said there is no. Jews. Then he ordered Ambassador to shiP Yudaya jin to Japan. Then the ship brought Christian ministers to China. He later said he did not lie because Jew is not Japanese language. He died with TB while waiting war criminal trial. He was the last soul enshrined in Yasukuni. After the war,, ministers returned to Japan. Several years ago,, US officials tried to find Ambassador and when he said, Matsuoka ordered, they got out from Japan. Matsuoka was the father in law of Abe's grand uncle Satoh.

Why UN avoided Matsuoka? He,, Hitler and Mussolini created Triad alliance to create WWII. Jewish people were very respected in Japan.

They helped Japanese small business men becoming big,,,, too.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

OMG there are some.. devout.. nationalists in here. If Japan was so kind and welcoming to the Jews (as they are to anyone being persecuted...); where are the thriving Jewish communities in Japan today?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Chiune Sugihara's action in defiance of the national government's order was indeed commendable, which even PM Shinzo Abe says he can be proud of as Japanese. The Sugihara episode is a typical example in which the government is in the wrong completely while a whistle blower against the government can be absolutley right.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The decision was made that any Jews who hadn’t lived in Kobe prior to the war were to be deported to Shanghai and the port was cleared out in preparation for war.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

 'Japanese Schindler'

Yes. Oskar Schindler did good during the time his country did bad. Chiune Sugihara is a great comparison with him indeed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It must be cold there. Mrs. Abe must have forgotten bringing her Morinaga caramel candies and chocolate. She looks like frozen. Somehow Abe is holding his pen without gloves.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Today, Kobe has the legacy of Jewish immigrants' entrepreneurship in the different famous food businesses to be found here.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Chiune Sugihara was serving as Japanese consul in Kaunas, then capital of Lithuania, when he disobeyed his superiors and issued Japanese visas to Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied Poland 

By the way, when Nazi come to Lithuania, Lithuanians immediately started to hunt Jews

Most Jews in Lithuania were murdered not by German Nazi but by local people

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Compassionate Japanese hosts, as well as organized and well financed Jewish aid, made the Jews of Kobe some of the most fortunate of WWII.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Kobe

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Approximately 24,000 Jews escaped the Holocaust by immigrating through Japan or living under direct Japanese rule (in cities including Shanghai) by the policies surrounding Japan’s pro Jewish attitude.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_settlement_in_the_Japanese_Empire

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well I suppose life in the Shanghai Jew Getto was better than the survival rate of the Nazi Death Camps.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So the japanese government at the time was favorable to europeans but nor fellow Asians under similar conditions? What warped reasoning!!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

AgentX.  Didn't you read the article?

"Chiune Sugihara was serving as Japanese consul in Kaunas, then capital of Lithuania, when he disobeyed his superiors and issued Japanese visas to Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied Poland despite his country being a close ally of Nazi Germany."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

quercetum   What's your point?  There is a similarity in Sugihara's actions and Schindler's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Olegek.  "Most Jews in Lithuania were murdered not by German Nazi but by local people."  Yes, but it was supervised by the Nazis , and would it have happened had the Nazis  not "come to Lithuania?'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You are missing the point never2late...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

From 1943, Jews in Shanghai shared a "Designated Area for Stateless Refugees" of 40 blocks along with 100,000 Chinese residents. Most Jews fared as well, often better than other Shanghai residents. The ghetto remained open and free of barbed wire and Jewish refugees could acquire passes to leave the zone. However it was bombed just months before the end of the war by Allied planes seeking to destroy a radio transmitter within the city, with the consequential loss of life to both Jews and Chinese in the ghetto.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_settlement_in_the_Japanese_Empire

0 ( +1 / -1 )

never2late

Yes, but it was supervised by the Nazis

No it was started before Germans took country under any control

It was a local initiative

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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