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People in Japan tend to associate the Holocaust only with Europe. I want young people to realize that a Japanese was a beacon in the darkest of times. I hope that will eventually lead to them taking action for peace.

18 Comments

Makoto Otsuka, 68, head of the Holocaust Education Center in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, which celebrates the life of Chiune Sugihara, often referred to as "Japan's Oskar Schindler" for his heroic efforts in World War II to save thousands of Jews from Nazi persecution.

© Asahi Shimbun

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I think theres a lot of other studies on history young people can do here first, in my opinion.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

" a beacon"

Yeah, for Japanese troops bayoneting pregnant mothers in Nanking.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I really thought this was a headline from The Onion

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cue "my country is/was not as bad as your country" style posts.

Depressing.

Chiune Sugihara's story needs to be heard by a wider audience. Just as the rape of Nanking does. One does not cancel out the other.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Holocaust Education Center in Fukuyama

I wonder when the Japanese War Crime  Education Center in Fukuyama will be opened??!!??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Disney should add "Selective Memory Land" to its Tokyo location.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Let's ignore the bad we did and the fact that we were on Nazi Germany's side. Just focus on one Japanese person and don't mention Pearl Harbor, Nanking, Bataan, etc. It is the Japanese way.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Don't forget how Chiune Sugihara was treated by the Foreign Ministry when he returned to Japan. He was not honored for his humanitarian work. In fact, he was "downsized" out of the Foreign Ministry and had to work at menial jobs. He became a non-person in the eyes of the Japanese government. Now that he is dead Chiune Sugihara can be used to promote an image of Japan that ignores the facts of it multiple crimes against humanity. If Chiune Sugihara is a "beacon" it is too long after the "darkest times."

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just focus on one Japanese person and don't mention Pearl Harbor, Nanking, Bataan, etc. It is the Japanese way.

It may be the Japanese way for some but there are those across the Pacific who still justify the internent of US citizens because of their Japanese ancestory, not to mention those who justify using nuclear weapons on innocent Japanese citizens.

Open minds, take in the good and the bad. Learn from history. There is no victor in war.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You people expose yourselves, or your agenda for what they are. You cannot even give one Japan person credit for one act goodness. You have to use every possible opportunity to denigrate Japan and reinforce the same old, largely false and exaggerated, worn out old tropes.

@Mocheake

Let's ignore the bad we did and the fact that we were on Nazi Germany's side.

Japan was not "on Nazi Germany's side", and specifically refused to adopt its anti-semetic ideology.

It joined in an "anti-communist pact" (Anti-Comintern Pact) with Germany at the same time as the USA was not just a 'communist ally' but heavily investing in building up and supporting the creation of Soviet Russian military-industrial complex, and the Chinese military-industrial complex, what the anti-communists described in their pact as,

"A menace to the peace of the world ... [being] desirous of co‑operating in the defense against Communist subversive activities".

So who was right about the effects of Communism ... Japan and Germany, or the US and the Allies?

Which side did your daddies an grandpappies take ... the Communists or the Anti-Communists?

If you are a Chinese Communist Party member, then I can understand your position but if you are not, it is illogical to the point of hypocrisy.

The Axis's only shared ideological aims were to "oppose hegemony of plutocratic-capitalist Western (colonial) powers and defend civilization from communism ... Desiring to co-operate for defense against communistic disintegration" at the time as the USA was supporting the Communists and planning to usurp them as the number one colonial power in Asia.

Largely, except for the USA, Japan was actually successful in defeating and bringing about the final removal of Western colonial powers in Asia.

Was that not a good thing, or would Asia have been better off if it was still enslaved to the Western empires?

In reality, Japan - who had fought on the Allies side in WWI - was forced to make an agreement with Germany for the sake of certain a technology transfers, not ideologies, use to the USA's embargo. It turned out to be futile and ineffective due to having Soviet Russia between them. Very little was actually transfered.

At the same time, the Germans were supply the Chinese with military weapons and technology.

One of the key Germans who were supply the Chinese with military weapons and technology was John Rabe whose name you might have heard in relationshipship with Nanking. Nazi John Rabe, along with Alexander von Falkenhausen and others, had stood to make their fortune supplying the Chinese with equipment to fight Japan.

His report was intent on encourage the Nazi headquarters to drop support for Japan, and adopt support for the Chinese Nationalists (not Communists) and failed.

Does that sound like a useful ally to have, or an impartial witness? A witness who never actually saw any of the events they reported but accepted them from Chinese activists?

@Toasted Heretic

Are we talking about the reality of Nanking, or the poisonously exaggerated Communist Party script version?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The area was called "the Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees".

It was not walled, nor surrounded with barbed wire, it did not suffer the same circumstances as the European ghettos.

Therefore, that term ought not to be used in order not to present an erroneous picture.

Shanghai already had a extremely wealthy and well established Jewish community, albeit oriental Baghdadi Jews (Mizrahi) and not European Ashkenazi.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Hammerhead - there is plenty of documented evidence of close connections between Imperial Japan & Nazi Germany.

To imply as you have done, that the relationship was somehow forced out of necessity is easily disputed.

You can search and find much yourself. Useful terms such as Hitler Jugend vist Japan, Honorary Aryans, Prince Chichibu and the Nuremburg Rally etc etc etc.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"I want young people to realize that a Japanese was a beacon in the darkest of times"

The guy is joking, right? The very same Japan that, even forgetting the millions more it killed than Germany did the Jews, tried to STOP Sugihara from doing what he, fortunately, did anyway, and then forced to resign for it? Sorry, but this man's ignorance on Japan's roles in WWII makes the whole idea of him honestly believing in educating young people a joke. SUGIHARA was a beacon of light while Japan put itself into dark times, for sure, but "Japan was a beacon of hope" is absolute nonsense given the atrocities this same man probably denies.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Smithinjapan,

yes, there is a world of difference between saying "Japan" did such and such and "a Japanese" did such and such. Did you bother to read The quotation of Makoto Otsuka before rushing to smear him?

"I want young people to realize that a Japanese was a beacon in the darkest of times. "

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I want young people to realize that a Japanese was a beacon in the darkest of times.

What an insult. It's disgusting for this man to brush up the image of Japan during WW2 by saying something like that, and not even mention the events of the Pacific War.

People in Japan tend to associate the Holocaust only with Europe.

....it it wasn't only Jewish people either that died at the hands of state-sponsored violence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've heard and read about Sugihara many times over the years, both in Japan and overseas. He's hardly a secret.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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