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Should the emperor apologize to South Korea for Japan's colonial-era abuses?

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No. Not anymore. Various political(and national) figures have apologized to South Korea. At least 15. Enough is enough. Now is the time to move on. It has become apparent no amount of apologising will make Korea stop asking for them so just stop giving them. His imperial majesty, the Emperor, even apologized back in 96. What more does Korea want? This is getting annoying.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

I think, enough apologies have been given! That happened more than 60 years ago, it's time to move forward! Japan has formally apologized sufficiently. Demanding that His Imperial Majesty the Emperor apologizes again is a way of easing internal discomfort an also a way of trying to submit Japan in the eyes of the world. Korea's demands to continue negotiations show a lack of confidence in their negotiation capabilities, Mr. Lee should be ashamed of this! It looks as if Korea doesn't want a normalization or to negotiate with Japan

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Yes.

Just so they can't play the victim card anymore.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

The emperor has shown in the past that he's willing to express opinions that are outside the norm of the royal family (even progressive to an extent) . He's plain spoken and doesn't seem to have a big ego. And I admire him for that. If he were to apologize, it will put pressure on South Korea to accept and could box them into a corner about their constant apology demands.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

No. I think the window to offer an apology has closed a long time ago. I suspect the only thing that would be served by asking this, is political, a feather in the cap of the official who thinks the Emperor should.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

No. War is war. During war, atrocities of all kinds are committed. There is really no such thing as human mercy. Americans, Germans, Italians, British, Chinese, Japanese and so on all committed terrible war crimes. Thats why we must avoid war at all cost.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

An apology from the Emperor would be a grand gesture and would end a great deal of justified bitterness toward in both south and north Korea. Ironically, it would benefit the emperor system too as it would establish that the Emperor as having some sort of definitive authority over international affairs. Likewise, it would defuse the nationalists in both countries. With some luck, the nationalists in this country will all jump off the boat the next time they sail to a disputed territory.

For years official Japan has mumbled half-baked "regrets" while ignoring, covering up or downplaying Japan's crimes against humanity in Korea and elsewhere, which, together, have only made matters worse.

Another grand gesture Japan could make would be to stop harassing South Korea about those rocks in the so-called Sea of Japan. It's the least Japan can do considering what they did to Korea.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

His apology wouldn't end the issue.Then they gonna want compo and has to meet and greet victims and then .....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Again?!

May 24, 1990, and October 8, 1996. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

I'm sure when they look up Wikipedia, everything will now be hunky dory, right?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No... the war ended 67 years ago. Time to move on people.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Thunderbird2

No... the war ended 67 years ago. Time to move on people.

Interesting comment Thunderbird2, this is twice now you have said essentially the same comment about South Korea and China moving on as the events where 67 years ago. Im just wondering if you would say the same to the Japanese when they are commenting on things like.... oh the a bombs for example?

Oh no you didnt say move on you actually came out and refered to people in the discussion as "Here's a question for all you pro A bomb ladles and germs". So l guess your move on comments are reserved for the victims of Japan but you do not equally apply them to Japan.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Why even bother to ask this question? The emperor is a puppet whose strings are pulled by political forces with no inclination whatsoever to issue apologies.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Fair comment, Cletus. Difference being the Japanese aren't demanding apologies, they just want to everyone to remember the bombings. We can all remember wars and the victims of wars and attrocities, but to keep the hatred going achieves nothing. The Koreans and Chinese are the only people keeping the hatred of WW2 going.

Oh, and I had a relative interned and tortured by the Japanese on the Burma Railway, Cletus, so don't bring up Australian and other Commonwealth POWs. I bare no hatred towards the Japanese for what they did to my Great Uncle... neither do I hate the Germans for killing my great great garndfather in WW1... or the Americans for killing my ancestors in 1776-ish. Wars bring out the worst in people, as well as their humanity.

So don't forget, just let the hatred and the anger go.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

He should announce he's cancelling his imaginary trip.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

In other words, an imaginary apology for an imaginary trip.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Thunderbird2

Fair comment, Cletus. Difference being the Japanese aren't demanding apologies, they just want to everyone to remember the bombings.

Really! So the annual "where the a Bombs a war crime thing" is just a way of getting people to remember is it. I dont think so, if it was a mere memorial why every year is this old beauty thrown up?

We can all remember wars and the victims of wars and attrocities, but to keep the hatred going achieves nothing. The Koreans and Chinese are the only people keeping the hatred of WW2 going.

I agree that keeping the hatred going achieves nothing. But when you get the pathetic apologies from an unrepentant country that to this day still worships its war criminals, denies its past actions and tries very hard to portray itself as the sole victim of WW2 then it is hard for the real victims to move on. Its akin to Ted Bundy trying to portray himself as the victim because he is being punished.

Oh, and I had a relative interned and tortured by the Japanese on the Burma Railway, Cletus, so don't bring up Australian and other Commonwealth POWs.

Funny l wasnt going to mention them but as you did bring them up.... I honestly do not believe that the Japanese have fully atoned for their actions against all the nations it fought and inflicted pain on. Just go to Yasukuni shrine and you will see the lovely train from the Burma railway. The train that the Japanese killed thousands of POW's just so they could have their railway. And who did they do that for? They did it for their beloved emperor thats who. And yes l have been to Yasukuni shrine and it nearly made me sick the way they portray poor Japan. And before you get all high and mighty how you forgive those that imprisoned your relative not all are so forgiving. I know and knew quite a few who did not and do not forgive the Japanese for their actions. And l for one think that it would be a good thing to see the emperor apologize for the actions of his countrymen that they carried out in his fathers name.

So don't forget, just let the hatred and the anger go.

Can l make a suggestion. Dont lecture others on what they should and shouldnt do. Personally the half hearted apologies in the past have been a joke. They apologize then a month later they are denying an event, they apologize then they visit Yasukuni, they apologize and then they say or do something else that makes a mockery of that apology.

If you have forgiven the Japanese for their treatment of your relative that is good, l havent and l dont. Simple as that.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I don't understand these comments. He did nothing wrong. That is the starting point, OF COURSE. He was only 12 when the war ended! He has nothing to apologize for.

If he should do anything, its to admonish his subjects for their continued whitewashing of Japan's dirty history. He might even express his remorse over the fact to Korea. But apologize? No. He has no sins, and no power to change anything. Not even those whitewashed textbooks went through him, so he has nothing to apologize for!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I don't understand the point of these comments. The Emperor has apologized TWICE already.

This whole thing is right wing nationalist Korean fantasy aimed purely to create issues that don't exist, in order to win votes

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No. Korea should stop playing the victim card and accept the fact Japan paid compensation years ago but they just wasted it away.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Of course people say no and that SK needs to move on. Yet every year Japan likes to play the "never forget" victim card for the end of WWII and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not saying that they should forget, but how can the users of this site sit here and say SK needs to move on but the pity fest happens every year?

Maybe it's time to move on from that too?

I think an official written apology is due to a lot of countries that Japan ruined back in the day. Nothing more, nothing less, then everyone should move on.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Japan can play the "never forget" card because to-date they are the ONLY ones to have suffered a nuclear attack and not once, but twice. They are allowed to mark those events irrespective of what their military did at the time.

Japanese Prime Ministers have already apologized for Japan's actions during WWII multiple times. IMHO, for the current Emperor to aplogize for something that happened when his father was the Emperor is pretty much beating a dead horse. They should have gotten the Emperor in power at the time of the colonialization to apologize for the apology to mean anything.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Korea should stop playing the victim card and accept the fact Japan paid compensation years ago but they just wasted it away.

The question is not about compensation. Its about an apology. Can anybody quote for us an apology made by any Japanese leader to South Korea that really is an apology and not a statement of "well its too bad what happened"?

I don't think any Japanese leader today did anything wrong so I think an apology is out of the question. However, a stronger statement on Imperial Japan's wrongs is sorely needed. Japan is most certainly not following the German example regarding statements about WWII.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The Japanese Emperor is not a political figure in any way. His apology means nothing else than he as an individual apologizes.

Anyway, apology without real regret should be ignored since it has no value. If Japanese want to remember what happened in WW2, they should remember EVERYTHING that happened in WW2. Historical facts are not open for editing nor debating.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Even the countries that "win" a war commit atrocities. ........................................................................................ So, it begs the question: " should only countries that 'lose' apologize - or does the standard of a 'war crime' apply EQUALLY to every country: winners & losers" ?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No, he shouldn't. There have been many already by various people, including Prime Ministers. It's childish to keep demanding it. Time to move on.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I say no and the reason being, will it comfort the dead? will it undo the past? A gesture of apology is nice ,but action will show your intent and begin reconiliation for the past .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It too late. The emperor that should have apologize died in 1989.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japanese has mouthed apologies, but never really meant them. It's easy to say "sorry" or "deep regret", but does Japan (or the Japanese) feel apology or regret on any emotional level? Of course not.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think South Korea should issue an apology for being rude to the emperor.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What I really would like to see, is the full story being told in Japanese text books.

If an apology would benefit the relation between the two countries, it seems a small price to pay.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If an apology would benefit the relation between the two countries, it seems a small price to pay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

I don't want to argue that there are no Japanese who deny that there was anything wrong with what happened in the war. There are quite a few of those folks around, but the worst of them are considered oddballs even in Japan.

There have also been many, many people who did feel bad about what happened. There have been many, many apologies, some heartfelt, and some not. The thing is, it's now 70 years after the war... isn't it time to move forward toward a better relationship between the Japanese and Koreans who were born long after the war. When and how is that going to start?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry, I didn't make the link properly above:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listofwarapologystatementsissuedby_Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh I see. It's a problem with the cut and paste process. The underlines disappear so that I can't make a link. You can search for it and find it on wikipedia if you google "Japanese war apologies."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese leaders' apologies did not sound genuine because they were simply paying diplomatic lip service.

After all, the two countries concluded a settlement treaty in 1965. Any claims or complaints arising from Japan being in Korea between 1910 and 1945 were finalized and Japan paid 800million dollars in grants and soft interest loans and gave massive technological transfer to Korea. Despite that, Korea continued to ask for apologies, so what else could those leaders have done?

Emperor's apology is out of the question. Neither is his visit to Korea which President Lee asked for.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, get it done, and move to the 21st century. The average person in either country has no idea what this dispute is about. Just send NHK out on the streets in Tokyo and Seoul at midnight an randomly ask people. They won't know, but they will know the best sushi or noodle shop. It is hard enough for people to just survive in the economy. One hundred years! Incredible. If the people didn't die in the dispute, they are now or soon will be dead. Loss of life is regrettable and inexcusable, but if an apology will end the "one hundred year" war, then do it. How about a message from Korea that says, "We forgive Japan." Then, Japan would have to react. Politics is promoting hatred between two countries. The children today really don't care. It is just another question on a test that the government wants the "correct" answer to.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Stephen JezAug. 21, 2012 - 12:23AM JST Of course people say no and that SK needs to move on. Yet every year Japan likes to play the "never forget" victim card >for the end of WWII and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not saying that they should forget, >but how can the users of this site sit here and say SK needs to move on but the pity fest happens every year? Maybe it's time to move on from that too?

Pity Fest? Yu like many others haven't grasped the significance of the A-bomb memorials. It is not a "playing victim" game because all civilians are victims in wars, and we are all potential "victims". It is not the same as the Chinese, amd the far less justified Korean hate orgies demanding an infiunitye number of ceaseless apologies which are always not accepted on one pretense or the other. People from many countries all over the world partake or honor the A-bomb memorials. Such people do not joing the Chinese or Korean J-flag burning hate fests. Services are held at gthe same time in many countries around the world and attended by mostly non-Japanese people. The U.S. government sends representatives to these memorials. They are a far cry from what you imagine them to be.

I think an official written apology is due to a lot of countries that Japan ruined back in the day. Nothing more, nothing less, then everyone should move on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the Koreans should apologize for being such pains in the ass!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And so the sons shall continue to be punished for the sins of the father. I don't actually blame Japanese for wanting to hide their 'sins', who would want to admit to the things they did. They should and I do feel it would be better if the truth be known publicly ie: public school systems. However those that are here today had nothing to do with that war. I wasn't even a thought when we enslaved the black man in America, nor were my parents, however I refuse to be held "responsible" for what my great grand parents did 200 years ago. I believe we should never forget, but don't dwell on it. The Japanese are guilty in their own sense for the way they view the war, but that doesn't make them guilty of committing the crimes their forefathers did. Not owning up to what someone else did nearly 70 years ago, does not make them guilty of those crimes. My 2 cents. You can't move forward until you take it out of reverse....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's so funny how many times people have posted "Japan has already apologized enough!".

Equally hilarious is when a moment later the Japanese politicians deny those atrocities again and again.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think that somebody should apologize at least, as a gesture. Look, if somebody gets into an accident for example, you would say "I'm sorry", not because you feel personally responsible, but as a gesture, because you feel sympathetic.

I also think that there's some sort of a collective responsibility for those who grew up in Japan. It's true that they did not commit those crimes, but it's also true that the Japanese society was built up on the crimes of the past.

In Japan, it's the same, all the racism and nationalism from WW2 still lives on in the Japanese society. If people do not take responsibilities for the crimes of their past, then it will never go away.

In a way, Japan is cowardly for trying to hide its past.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hiding the truths, not taking responsibilities, not saying "sorry" - isn't that how the Fukushima disaster occurred? How the teachers and parents of the bullies are not saying sorry and taking responsibilities? It's all connected... it's all a part of the Japanese culture now. The ghosts of the past still lives on in Japan. Japan has not learned its lessons from the past.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

German kids may be bullied and get called Nazis - but at least they understand why since they are educated enough to understand that their country has committed such atrocious crimes in the past. It's not right, at least there's an understanding.

Many Japanese are genuinely bewildered when the Koreans, Chinese, or other people of Asian nations, do not like them, or hate them. They are even more bewildered if the rest of the world are outraged whenever a certain politicians or celebrities deny the Japanese WW2 atrocities. That's because most of the Japanese are not taught the proper history of their past. So in a way, they suffer more for being barred from learning about their history.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He already did that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese Emperor is not a political figure in any way. His apology means nothing else than he as an individual apologizes.

Then why Korean government has been asking Japanese Emperor to do this?

Because Korean government understands what Emperor means to Japanese soul.

They want to rape Japanese emotionally in shame, disgrace and humiliation. That is a true intention of Korea. Korean will never advance as long as they live in the past and they will never see hope beyond horizon.

Japan, just move on for the future. You are better than this. .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why? What did he do bad over there at that time? He was 9 or 10 years old. Was he naughty?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thomas Anderson - Thank you for your humorous posts.

"I also think that there's some sort of a collective responsibility for those who grew up in Japan. It's true that they did not commit those crimes, but it's also true that the Japanese society was built up on the crimes of the past. "

So funny. It could only be the work of Japanese right-winger trying to make Koreans look insane. It's working.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

thywillbedone: I think that it's a legitimate moral argument. There is a such thing as a social responsibility. You may agree or disagree with it, but you need to come up with an argument as to why.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rounin said "No. War is war. During war, atrocities of all kinds are committed. There is really no such thing as human mercy. Americans, Germans, Italians, British, Chinese, Japanese and so on all committed terrible war crimes. "

Please read a good book of history, you may know that the imperial Japanese army was the most cruelest army in the world, more than Nazi.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A big NO from me...........we should learn from our past and go on..........

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really like the emperor and don't like him being ordered to apologize. What I'd rather him do is publicly whip politicians when they make absurd denials that negate his previous apologies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is two questions..... that I ask.....in the form of "IF".

If your family is killed by a person, would you ask and demand that his/her children to apologize and pay for what ever damaged you want to claim?

If you kill a person, would you want the survivors to ask and demand that your children to apologize and pay for what ever damages they claim?

If the answer is NO.... life may possibly go on.

If the answer is YES.... cycle of violence may continue in the form of revenge.

Here in the Korea/Japan issue as with China/Japan issues regarding WWII, it appears that the demands are more economically "motivated" behind the guise of justice and "closure". The Emperor has nothing to do with the issue except to be used as an excuse to extort financial "retribution" if and when he does "apologize". Meanwhile they have an "issue" to keep alive to keep the Japanese feeling "guilty", so that they may have the political advantage internationally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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