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dpurcell84 comments

Posted in: Do it at home: Train manners in Japan See in context

Yeah, the makeup thing does not bother me, and as long as they are in their own personal space, I don't think it is our place to really say anything. I mean how many times to you see ladies putting on makeup while driving in the states? I think doing it on the train is a tad better. Besides Japan is sexist enough against the ladies here, I don't feel like we can really complain.

Now sitting with a mini skirt and your legs open? Here I will complain. I mean c'mon!

The old man that confuses my I-pod for a cell phone: No! It won't hurt your freaking pacemaker for christs sake, I'm not even sitting in the priority seat, just squished next to one. Why don't you ask the Japanese guy that was closer to you? Why the gaijin..oh wait...

The guy who passes gas on the train: you have all been there, crowded, morning rush and some one lets one rip. Could you please get off before you do that?

The 40 year old guy that moves to the other side of the train and stares at me the whole train ride: Slightly unnerving, and has me checking my back the whole way home. I don't want to end up chopped into little pieces and in trash cans all around the train station thank you very much.

The guy who loudly answers his cell phone and talks on it loudly for 5 minutes, and everyone else who does not say anything. I guarantee it, a gaijin could not quietly answer his phone for 2 seconds without someone saying something. Heck I can barely read my Kindle near priority seats without someone saying something.

That Obasan that jumps in front of me while waiting for the doors to open then hobbles along at .00005km/hour, then gets pissed off when I push passed her.

The empty faced 19 year olds who dress like they just stepped out of a Final Fantasy game on their way to do Kareoke with their friends. (moms money in pocket of course) - No reason, I just don't like them and they annoy me. Sometimes I just want to push them down and take their lunch money.

The empty faced 29 year old guys who fit the same description of the empty faced 19 year olds in the previous paragraphs:(for the same reason) They also strike me as the type of people capable of chopping off my arms and using them to decorate their moms attic with.

The 50 year old greasy dude who looks at giant anime porn magazines on the train with a junior high girl sitting right next to him; I mean I don't think you can complain about make up applications without mentioning this one unless you are slightly sexist....(The first time I saw this, I was like...Wow...just...wow)

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Posted in: Three teens arrested for setting homeless man's shack on fire See in context

Their parents don't hit them, they give them whatever they want. Japanese parents here raise their kids (boy's) to be selfish little brats, and if they think that attitude does not carry over into high school, they are greatly mistaken.

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Posted in: Candidates take to streets to appeal directly to voters See in context

The Economist came out and said the DPJ would be worse then the DLP. I honestly don't think a platform matters here, it seems most of it is just popularity contest.

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Posted in: Poll in U.S. finds support for World War II atom bombings See in context

Sorry for the long post. This is for KyotoChris.

We do not hate Japan. (well at least I don't) If you hated a nation based on the sins of its fathers, there would not be anywhere in the world where you could live. no country is innocent. What is important, is that we learn from our mistakes, and attempt to not repeat them. Whith Japan covering up its own responsibilities, it becomes hard to do that. Looking for the truth is not the same as "hate".

If your friend was doing something wrong would you tell him? Or let him continue to do that thing thats wrong? Some one who truly loves his friend will say something. I complain about what the Japanese government is doing because I like Japan, not because I hate it. If you want to just burry your head in the sand then I could make the argument that you hate it.

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Posted in: Poll in U.S. finds support for World War II atom bombings See in context

A lot to deal with, so I will take too posts:

There is no need to speculate at what the Japanese would do to an occupied nation: We have evidence of this from China, and Korea. Not only dominate the nations economically, and use their resources in a Mercantilist fashion, Japan treated the people as inferior beings and disposable trash. Please look up unit 731 to learn more on that. They used people as science experiments. Spread the plague on villages and cut up live prisoners. This is not urban legend, and it was not spread by anti-Japanese sentiment from China. There are Japanese doctors and soldiers who have come out of the closet and admitted to this.

In addition, it is hard to make a claim that Japan does not hide the facts in its textbooks considering the incredible controversy these actions have sparked around the world. While they still state the war as bad, it is done in such a way that omits the cruelty and war crimes committed by the Japanese military regime. While textbooks are chosen by individual schools, the textbooks themselves must first pass scrutiny by MEXT and all books must be chosen from an approved list. There have been three major attempts to white wash Japanese education. While the others are interesting, I will skip to the last one, which is propagated by the “Japanese Society of History Textbook Reform”

Here are two excerpts. The first is from a Junior high textbook in 1983, the second from a high school textbook in 2005:

"The Japanese army occupied the Northern China, then invaded Nanjing, and killed and destroyed the lives of many Chinese people across. Footnote: The Japanese army that occupied Nanjing killed many Chinese people inside and outside the urban district within several weeks. The number of deaths was around 7-80,000 counting only civilians such as women and children. Including the deserted soldiers the number is estimated to be over 200,000. China estimates the number of the victims to be well over 300,000 including war deaths. Japan was condemned by other nations for this incident known as Nanjing Massacre; however, the Japanese people then were not notified of the fact." (p. 277)

"日本軍は華北を占領し、さらにナンキン(南京)へ侵攻して、各地で多くの中国民衆の生命を奪い、その生活を破壊して大きな損害をあたえた。脚注:ナンキンを占領した日本軍は、数週間のあいだに、市街地の内外で多くの中国人を殺害した。その死者の数は、婦女子・子どもをふくむ一般市民だけで7〜8万、武器を捨てた兵士をふくめると、20万以上ともいわれる。また、中国では、この殺害によるぎせい者を、戦死者をふくめ、30万以上とみている。この事件は、ナンキン大虐殺として、諸外国から非難をあびたが、日本の一般国民は、その事実を知らされなかった。"

This is the new one from 2005, covering the same incident:

Nanjing Massacre: "In August 1937, two Japanese soldiers, one an officer, were shot to death in Shanghai (the hub of foreign interests). After this incident, the hostilities between Japan and China escalated. Japanese military officials thought Chiang Kai-shek would surrender if they captured Nanking, the Nationalist capital; they occupied that city in December. But Chiang Kai-shek had moved his capital to the remote city of Chongqing. The conflict continued. Note *At this time, many Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded by Japanese troops (the Nanking Incident). Documentary evidence has raised doubts about the actual number of victims claimed by the incident. The debate continues even today" (p. 49).

The language and the tone, has clearly changed and the last two sentences are designed to cast doubt on whether anything happened at all. They took out Japan’s use of Koreans as “comfort Woman” they omitted Japanese soldiers “helping” Okinawans to commit suicide. These are just a few cases, but I hope this makes the point.

I am not comparing China with Japan’s (or Koreas for that matter) education system. No one would believe they are more open. However, this argument is a straw man. The point is, the truth is being covered up. It does not help to point at another country and say “we are better than they are”. The problem is, the books play down Japan’s responsibility for the war and make it sound like America, out of the blue, bombed Japan.

As far as Kyotochris goes, I was actually responding to a point he made, but you are right it was done in bad taste and I take it back. Bayoneting babies was not an urban legend, there were eyewitnesses, and it is a corroborated fact from eyewitnesses: those who did the killings, western missionaries and survivors of the massacre.

For your last point, I actually agree with you. Notice, I did not say what the US did was good. What I said was they do not have to apologize to Japan for it. It was war, not of the US’s choosing, and of course there were other reasons for dropping the bombs. (Russia, the obvious big one) It was tragic, and we can only hope that something similar will never happen again.

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Posted in: Poll in U.S. finds support for World War II atom bombings See in context

I would like everyone to please contrast the actions of the US upon conquering Japan, and that of Japan in China. The US spent enormous amounts of money and resources to rebuild Japan; it Instituted reforms that gave the people more power, and continued to protect them from aggressors who would have liked to get revenge. Can you honestly say that you think Japan would have done the same thing if the tables had been turned? Not only that but it sent large amounts of grain and food to stave off starvation from the wrecked Japanese economy. The hiding of the truth in Japanese schools makes me sick. My wife did not even know about the rape of Nanking. I learned all about the great injustices done by my country in history class. It would seem the old farts in charge here still bastards with no regard for life and care only about saving face. Or they are possibly trying to create a population that is easily manipulated by turning everyone into a bunch of mindless sheeple. I would just like to hear KyotoChris to admit for everyone here to see, and to apologize for Japans actions in and before WW2. They were the aggressors. They attacked other nations unprovoked, and raped, burned and murdered people who had already surrender in a way that defies humanity. Even going so far as to use babies as bayonet practice because the "liked the noises they made when they were killed". Voxman you have no right to talk about cowardice. As far as I am concerned the US has no reason to apologizing for the bombs. We were not the aggressors, and Japan was offered the chance of surrender. Why should the US have to risk more of its people’s lives for a war that JAPAN started?

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Posted in: Why the Japanese Are a Superior People See in context

agree, with Nessie. Completely out of touch. There are certain things you can attribute to cultural strengths. However, in Japan, those same strengths can also turn out to be weakness. I have serious doubts that if the author of this book, and applied even a hint of the scientific method to his research, he never would have written the book. Just going from the review, it is full of logical and factual errors. Further more, I am not sure if this author has walked down to the local shrine here in Tokyo, but I can tell you one thing. Japan has thrown aesthetic out the door a long time ago. Next to a shrine, will be a glaring pachinko parlor, or a colossal cinderblock otherwise known as a "mansion" with rust lines running down its side. There is no sacred place left..no vista left undisturbed. Even in "picturesque" farming towns are destroyed with glaring neon signs. And have you seen the news here?!! It's they let a kindergartner go crazy with some crayons. I think I will get epilepsy if I even attempt to watch variety. While there are aspects of Japan that I love. The festivals, the old shrines and temples, the polite people (or is it just shy...not sure) the beautiful scenery and onsen..Those things are being covered up in jungles of concrete, steel, neon signs and high-pitched whiny voices in Livin saying "irashimasin" over and over again..Like a 10,000 rpm drill boring into my head...ugh..and don’t even get me started on the f*n trash here. I think my wife spends 20 minutes a day sorting out pet bottles and taking the tin foil off of yakuruto bottle. If you call that superior, then humans are doomed.

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Posted in: Older men up in arms over slovenly female behavior See in context

I think I agree with the sentiment here that Japanese men are, for the most part are Selfish, rude, unmannered, pretentious little piss ants, like that loud Chihuahua at the park. The feeling is something I have a hard time describing. There is no way a Japanese male could criticize the ladies here in society about social manners. And please before you get on my case for “generalizing” I said for the most part, not all. No wonder it's so easy for a "gaijin" to find a nice lady (not from roppongi) to date.

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Posted in: Unresolved debate: Does torture work? See in context

Whats immoral? torturing a low life piece of trash who blows up school bus's in Afghanistan, or letting thousands of innocent people back home die?

Yes, that is a "clear cut example" and life is not usually very clear cut. However the "Torture is immoral" statement is also clear cut. So applied to the clear cut situation as mentioned above, and (for the sake of argument) assuming that it will result in enough actionable intelligence to stop a bomb from going off in a major urban center, what would you consider to be immoral? Letting thousands of innocents die? Some would say that would be quiet the selfish/immoral decision on your part to preserve your conscience at the cost of thousands of lives.

When you step away from your laptop, and step onto the ground, things move from black and white to a bit more gray.

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Posted in: Unresolved debate: Does torture work? See in context

"no it doesnt. People will admit to anything under torture, just so it stops.. so how do you sort out the liers from the ones actually telling the truth? you dont"

I can not speak for the CIA, or for how they conducted "torture" (Sleep deprivation, rock music, slamming against walls etc) but it sounds like Basic Training to me. I would not consider it torture, and a hardened terrorist who has fought in one war or another for most of his life would most likely concur. Even water boarding (done on Special Forces Trainees) Is something that is hard to define one way or another.

However, if I were going to torture some one it would be that I already have some sort of intelligence to go on. IE from another source we found out there is a Bomb in a city. You know from unnamed informants that the current person in question was intimately involved in the planning process. You just need a name. Most likely they would start by asking a series of dummy questions that they already know the answer to. This way they could scare said person into telling the truth. If he lies about something you already know, you can challenge him on it. Do this a couple of times, and the person being tortured won't know what you know or don't know, and will be a bit more careful about telling a lie. Through in sleep and sense deprivation, find out their likes and dislikes and slowly feed them one or the other depending on behavior etc. And you can create a weekened, confused and scared individual who will find it more difficult to think clearly. There are a lot of techniques that can be employed to get at the truth, or get at enough of the truth to take action.

I think interrogations like this are extremely delicate about how they are handled. One wrong step and it is likely you will not get anything useful.

One more problem about this is the publicity of it. We all remember when we caught the "mastermind" of 911. It was all over the news. I bet the CIA BEGGED Bush not to make it public. Terrorists get CNN too and as soon as they new he was caught I am sure they changed any plans he might have known. So timing is also an issue. How relevant is anything he might know any way? Most likely Bush just needed a "win"

So I think the ultimate answer to this question (does interrogation work?) is..it depends.

According to Cheney (who challenged the Justice Department to release ALL of the memo's which apparently detail several foiled plots based on information obtained from the tortured), Some say yea that's just Cheney! But Obama still has not released the memos in question, sooooo...

My opinion? All of this crying and screaming for justice by the politicians is completely political. They don't give to Sh*ts about torture. They have no morality. They just want to get top Bush officials in front of their committees so they can throw out the pre-scripted bullish questions for the camera, look all stern and pretend to be disgusted so they will get a few more people to pull the lever for them back home.

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Posted in: Unresolved debate: Does torture work? See in context

"We must hold the high ground"

The truth is, America has never held the high ground. Where are these "values" that we need to protect? We took the country from others, through force, coercion and disease. I'm not passing moral judgment on America for this what happened, happened. It is just that, as Americans, we do not have a "moral high ground" to defend, and the fact remains the the US, as well as almost any other nation has used torture numerous times in the past to get valuable intelligence.

Tell the thousands of people on 9/11 about the "moral high ground" where a few opened laptops and some illegal wiretaps could have saved their lives. I like Franklin, but he was a bit to idealistic for my taste. I prefer Hamilton, a bit more realism.

I agree with your point about economics being a major factor. When people are working and can feed their families, put a roof over their head and take their kids to the soccer game in peace, they tend not to strap on bombs and go blow stuff up. However that is a different front, and you have to attack both sides of the issue. You have to deal with the here and now (terrorist wants to fly a plain into a building) and the future (how can we improve conditions in countries that breed terrorism)

However let me put the question this way. Lets pretend their is a Terrorist who knows the location, of a dirty bomb in the center of Disney Land. It is set to go off in 15 minutes. You asked him politely, but he refuses to divulge the information. Would you resort to torture?

If you said no, then turn around, walk away, and don't look while people who have the fortitude, do what it takes to save thousands of lives. Maybe the ends don't justify the means, but then again, maybe they do. if ripping the fingernails out of some low life trash will save the life of an innocent little girl enjoying splash mountain, then give me the pliers.

Honestly spare me the political speeches, they last as far as a politicians honesty. Reality is anything but ideal or pretty.

Just answer the question. Rip out the fingernails of the low life scum? Or Let an innocent child die?

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Posted in: Unresolved debate: Does torture work? See in context

"The United States considered torture to be a war crime when the Nazi's used it"

Little known fact, but the US also engaged in torture during WW2. Ask any one who majored in military history. The point about it is your not supposed to tell anyone you did it.

It is possible to get valuable, verifiable, information you would most likely start by asking questions you already know the answer to (but they are not aware of that) then, once you have established that they are telling the truth, you move on to other questions. For hardened people such as the one who masterminded the death of thousands of civilians in New York, I honestly don't care what they do to him. If it were me, I would have started with his finger nails and maybe a car battery before things got ugly.

I mean honestly, it's time Americans (and others) got of there G*d D**m soap boxes and pulled their heads out of their shopping malls for two seconds and took a look around the world. These terrorists are degenerates of the lowest order who would not hesitate to murder an entire city if they had the chance.

When I was in the army, one of the first things they do is sit you down and force you to watch videos of AMERICANS being tortured, and killed (heads cut off with a Swiss army knife killed). They do this to show us that this is not a game. While in a small town in Iraq, we dealt with insurgents who took over a hospital, murdered all of the children (Iraqi children), then placed bombs inside their bodies so that when their parents went to recover them, they would blow up and kill them too.

These people mean business. They are ruthless, cruel and despicable forms of life. If we try and fight them with kid gloves (AKA the US Justice System), we will loose.

I laugh every time I here some indignant blowhard politician crying about water boarding. They don't give two S**TS about it. They just want to get their face on the prime time news for ratings.

In WW2 we did a hell of a lot worse, but we had politicians, who had enough "statesmen" left in them to put aside partisan politics in light of the larger situation

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Posted in: Communist party surges as Japan's economy withers See in context

Leave it to the Universities to fill peoples minds with Karl Marx's theories without pointing out the problems, and unrealistic solutions proposed by him and his successors. Instead of Marx please see Friedrich List, or read Gerschenkron. Marx may have been able to identify some of the problems with Capitalism, but his analytical ability stops at this point and deteriorates into solutions that are baseless and unfounded in History.

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Posted in: What is the most effective way to put an end to Somali piracy? See in context

While it’s true guns are forbidden to be on board while flying on certain flags, (my friends company had that problem, when some jackass watch dog confused his international business with his small security operation based in Seattle) It is very troublesome. In addition many of the boats workers (especially) in Asia have relatives that are pirates and the boat is often captured by using Intel from the crews. Insurance does not want armed sailors, but they often want armed security personnel. Many major security companies are taking notice, and after Iraq comes to an end, I am sure Backwater will turn its services over to the shipping companies as well.

They don't want any one associated with the region to be security so Australians are often the first choice. Our company hired Canadian ex special forces for 60k for a half years work--- these guys have 8 packs and are very impressive. I was a soldier in Iraq, but after seeing these guys Never lost a ship.

the best deterrent is a show of force. Just like a granny with a shotgun is the best deterrent against thieves.

Any way that’s just a little insight into the conflict from someone who has worked with the problem.

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Posted in: What is the most effective way to put an end to Somali piracy? See in context

"Lousy excuse for condoning piracy. Do the pirates distribute their newly acquired wealth to those affected by the alleged 'stealing of fish and dumping nuclear waste"? Pirates = Somali nation? Give me a break. These are thugs of the high seas."

While I don't condone it, I can understand it. I would not lower them to the level of thugs. These are professionals who kill if they have to but are manly out for money. My friend owns an international security company based out of Kuala lumpur and he provides armed security for the smaller cargo vessels against piracy.

So far, with over 20 years of operation he has not lost a boat. A mounted french version of the SAW has been a decent deterrent. He had to spray some bullets in front of a couple bows, but other then that has been OK.

Like I said before they are professionals out to make some cash, they do not want to fight, if they think the crew has noticed them and can mount a proper defense, nine times out of ten, they will leave.

From all reports the Semoli Pirates treat their prisoners very well and are out to make money from the insurance companies who pay the ransom for the shipping companies. The wealth is being spread around actually, and many of the pirates are seen as local heroes, giving their local economy a big boost.

Shipping is about money. At first the shipping companies did not see piracy as much of a threat and did not want to hire armed security (or pay for the permits, weapons etc.) However the insurance companies are now beginning to require armed security for coverage, in addition as the worlds navies begin to hone in on the problem, the threat will continue to be squeezed out.

Ultimately the solution to this problem is economic, both on the shipping companies side and on the pirates side.

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Posted in: Is Japan becoming a 'drug heaven?' See in context

Drugs are very damaging to society in general, and I don't think you can point me to any honest, long term study on the subject that suggests otherwise. Remember the Opium wars with China? Drugs, including and perhaps most importantly, cannabis, can cause irreversible brain damage. Effecting social interaction, new memory retention and a number of other factors that are important for any productive member of society. One noted Psychologist pointed out that Cannibas use was like playing, "Russian roulette" with your brain.

The cost of lost productivity and the increased dependence of those who habitually use drugs, especially from those who start young, to society is greater then the cost of working to suppress drug-use among a population.

So what is my point? I am not out trying to say how evil and how damaging marijuana is. I know many former and some current users of the drug. I interacted with, on a professional basis, one of the top Medical Marijuana Attorneys in Seattle, and they (him and his office staff) were very bright and intelligent people. I think both sides of the issue tend to overreact and overstate their arguments

On the one side you have the, "drugs are bad, drugs are from the devil and they are the root cause of all evil"

On the other side you have "bro--------------...." OK just joking, "drugs are completely harmless! They do no damage, it costs more to fight, just make them legal, everyone will be responsible! We need to find a middle ground, I am vehemently apposed to the use of drugs by the underage and I think anyone caught selling drugs to grade-school junior high, or high school should spend the rest of their miserable and despicable lives hunting for mine fields in third world countries so school children don't accidentally step on them.

For adults? It's their choice, maybe a fine to get the money they made without reporting the taxes?

My solution? that would take an article in itself, but basically get people off drugs in a calm, effective way that focuses on those who use the drugs us much or more so then on those that sell them. Get rid of the demand and the supply wont bother.

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Posted in: Japan seeks to arrest anti-whaling activists See in context

Excuse me, I miswrote on that last post, when I said, "human rights activist" I meant to say animal rights.

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Posted in: Japan seeks to arrest anti-whaling activists See in context

"So, why does Japan need to kill so many, or kill any at all, to do these sort of "scientific studies"? I thought its so-called scientific research unavoidably required killing and dissecting these mammals, but none of these goals require such acts - certainly not 1000 every year. Come on, Japan! Just who are you trying to fool here?"

It's obvious. Whales have been hunted by Japanese for many years. This is the only way in which they can continue to do so. They are not trying to fool anyone, just using loopholes to get at what they are after. Everyone knows it. While in Hokkaido I unknowingly had some whale and you know what? It's not bad at all. As long as whaling is done in a sustainable manner, I don't have a problem with it. However, I believe that the human rights activists need to show the short end of the law. There is no excuse for endangering the lives of humans.

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Posted in: Japan ministers, but not premier, visit war shrine See in context

imagawa: "When I see the day the US, British, Australians, Chinese et al condemn some of their own war dead as war criminals & remove them from war cemeteries then & only then will I see any none Japanese having the right to judge who is & isn’t a Japanese war criminal."

Thank you for saying this. While at first I felt slightly enraged by what I perceived the Japanese government officials blatant insult to Asian nations, I was forced to take it into perspective. Every nation has at one point or other committed unspeakable atrocities. It is in our best interest not to forget them. So when I, as an American, visit a north civil war shrine, I am saying I agree with Sherman? Or when a member of the Apache tribe honors his past, his heritage, is he saying that he honors the way in which homosexuals were treated? By placing them in the desert, tied down with wet leather. As the leather dried out and contracted….well I don’t need to go into the rest. Many societies have participated in extremely violent and extreme actions towards others. Japan is not the exception.

The rape of Nanking was horrific, the death marches were psychotic; I do not disagree with these claims. However, as a recent soldier myself, I can attest to the fact that war has a strange affect on the mind. It is a different type of human that has to fight a war. A common foot soldier can’t view enemies as humans, but monsters. If not, hesitation….and death. How can training and fighting in these ways lead to sane actions?

To me this shrine is there to honor the war dead, those that died as a result to the war. Those that lost their sanity lost the morals in service to a nation. Those who willingly or unwillingly sacrificed their bodies and mind deserve at least some rest in the grave. The Shrine can mean different things to different people. Since I have no family there (well maybe I should ask my wife), it is to me, a place to honor humans who lost their lives in service. War dead are war dead. Atrocities committed, or not, and a nation has the right to honor them. Those that were directly affected by the actions have the right to protest. It’s the way of life. To me this is a non issue. How can you tell some one that witnessed Nanking to, “stay our of our nations business, at the same time how can you tell a Japanese patriot to not honor his nations past? To ask forgiveness of those who fought in wars past?

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