Your argument simply doesn't hold up. We're taught about Nanking in every respectable academic institution in the world, because there is absolutely no doubt that it happened. Yes there are issues with how China politicizes it, but that doesn't detract from the very real fact that the massacre occurred and deserves those people who died there deserve to be honored and remembered. Your infantile argument betrays your own racism and nationalism, it's easier for you to believe that everyone in China is a liar than to face the horrific truth about Japan's war crimes.
Fortunately the more you argue, the more your argument reveals itself to be an apparition, just a ghost in the fog with no discernible weight or power, an ill wind that blows no minds. I'm going to get back to going about my day now and living in the real world. I would advise that you spend the day educating yourself on world history, preferably from a non-Japanese source so that you can gain a more objective insight into global affairs.
3 ( +6 / -3 )
That is literally the dumbest thing I've ever read.
2 ( +4 / -2 )
AND THE AWARD FOR MOST IRONIC STATEMENT OF THE YEAR GOES TO.....
“As an issue of demography, I would say that before accepting immigrants or refugees we need to have more activities by women, by elderly people and we must raise (the) birth rate. There are many things that we should do before accepting immigrants,” Abe told a news conference, according to the official translation of his comments.
Seriously, this is face-palm worthy.
0 ( +3 / -3 )
I agree with your proclamation that Japan isn't a racist country. Japanese people are some of the most accomodating people on the planet. Aside from the daily glares of catatonic businessmen, most people don't mistreat you at all. However your proclamation is a partial rendering of a larger more complex truth. Japan is an island country and was very closed off for centuries, a status-quo-lapping media and the remnant language of that bygone era persist in maintaining a xenophobic outlook that is by and large not representative of most Japanese people.
You also fail to mention that Japan's treatment of refugees has been officially denounced by the UN human rights watchdog as utterly inhumane and treating them as sub-human. No one challenges it because non-Japanese have zero representation in politics. The result is a dehumanising, systematically racist politique.
So yes, Japan isn't a racist country, but the politics of Japan is systemically discriminatory and racist.
On a separate note, as part of the UN, Japan simply doesn't pull it's weight regarding refugees and immigration. I absolutely acknowledge amazing aid work Japan has done in other countries and the fact that its one if the few countries that hasn't been reaping blood money in the middle east via the arms trade for the last century (Russia, US, Uk, Canada)... but If it wishes to be considered an ethical pillar of the world, it needs to start respecting the human rights of detainees and immigrants and it needs to breach this wall of disregard for human life when it threatens to affect the number of 'outsiders currently residing in Japan. Ironically such an influx of young blood would likely be beneficial for a country with an aging population and entropically spiralling economy.
6 ( +8 / -2 )
John GAug. 14, 2015 - 09:47AM JST
"At what point in time will the great grandchildren stop. paying for the sins of the great grandparents ? "
I don't think that's what's happening! Nobody sane is blaming those grandchildren... however some people in their parents' and grandparents' generations have done everything they can to distort history and hide their mistakes... surely it's human nature to repeat mistakes if you don't learn from them? Teaching the indisputable facts of world history would also alleviate resentment from other countries who say they're neglecting history anyway, so the grandchildren win out. Real education (not LDP's propanda) is a win win situation.
3 ( +6 / -3 )
I said 2 years ago that this speech is gonna totally suck and end up betraying the hearts of many Japanese people who have reflected upon the brutality of the world war campaign, really hope I'm wrong!
Unit 731's horrific experiments, the death railway, the rape of Nanking, the Mitsubishi slave ships, sex slaves, Pearl Harbour... these are all part of history, and history belongs to the world, not just Japan. The government is phasing all of these events out of education, the Japanese media in its partial reflection of the war only covers the victimization of Japan during the war and human anecdotes (letters from soldiers, etc), only the veterans seem to speak of the bigger picture... because they know it's their responsibility, because young people no longer learn about them or understand... At 6pm (like in his previous 2 speeches), Abe will most likely gloss over Japan's war atrocities and p**s off the whole world, diminishing the hard work of Murayama and all the other, less arrogance-ridden PM's before him. We knew this 2 years ago, Abe can't accept that his grandfather was a war criminal, he doesn't even regard Japan's violent aggression as a mistake (he's been asked several times) and this is his golden moment to finally cement his delusions of grandeur, by making a nitpicking speech that simply prolongs resentment in other countries (not just China and Korea).
I really, really hope I'm wrong but they say 'a leopard can't change its spots.'
No matter what he says, I will continue to adore the people of Japan, who only really have the illusion of a democratic system, whose younger generations are respectably becoming politically active (SEALDS) against this kind of dinosauric stupidity.
Whatever happens, if people keep studying and learning the internationally validated history of the war (not Abe's little fairytale), there will be understanding and growth.
4 ( +8 / -4 )
I initially liked the show for it's imagination but as it's panned out, it's really revealed the limitations of the writers and the consistent superiority of male characters in this show is just droll. The artists have visibly been upping the ante on how perverted they can make the female character designs, and this (idealistic fanboy rejections aside) IS A KIDS' SHOW! 8 year olds watch this, and they're being presented with unrealistic and warped female body images and an asserted male hegemony. Episode 688 represents every reason why anime is fading and desperately needs female writers, it's just farcically bad. Let's hope the next, younger, less oyaji-fied generation can make a show that doesn't marginalize female characters or perpetuate antiquated gender roles.
-3 ( +0 / -3 )
This is so awesome! Yay for Naruhito's integrity, bravery and humility.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Yes they printed erroneous articles, but hell the Yomiuri publish them every week! In fact the Yomiuri has taken to publishing propaganda that more or less denies government involvement. International historians should be suing them.
*interestingly 50% of the publication amazon.com reviews are 1 star!!!
Also it didn't damage Japan's reputation, the international historical opinion has accordingly adjusted to new testimony or evidence has come to light (such as Lieutenant Nakasone's memoirs, or incredibly horrific, detailed eye-witness accounts). It has never adjusted because of some article in a newspaper, that's a right-wing fairy tale.
Asahi Shinbun has always been the sole democratic voice in a neutered, party-line-towing media, as @nandakandamanda brilliantly illustrated,
'The Asahi Shimbun was admired throughout the world for having the courage to print these stories, regardless of whether every word was true to the letter, and Japan was admired for their freedom of the press.
The world was horrified when on May 3rd 1988 some right-wingers carrying guns went into the offices of the Asahi Hanshin Bureau and caused death and injury over such freedom of opinion.
The repeated actions of these right-wingers brings shame upon Japan, in the eyes of the world.
See: Tomohiro Kojiri
To prosecute the Asahi on this (as inaccurate as their articles were) is to further risk muzzling the one democratic voice of freedom in the Japanese media. A reporter already has already lost his life to right-wing terrorists and it seems now Takashi Uemura's family are being threatened.
Japan needs to stand up against right-wing terrorists in just the same way it must stand up to ISIS.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
@kiyoshiMukai "I dont believe that these women were slaves." I would recommend you read Nakasone's memoirs and the eye-witness testimonies of the women who were enslaved…. You might also enjoy the following article http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/opinion/comfort-women-and-japans-war-on-truth.html?_r=0
To deny their slavery is not an academically viable viewpoint in 2014. Mind you, they say ignorance is bliss.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
Well, as usual, the Japan Today comment section has become a unidirectional morass of thinly veiled racism. I don't understand why Japan Today just doesn't ban every bilious racist slur against Chinese/Korean/Japanese people, it's getting ridiculous.
Earlier @ReformedBasher said "Most of the tourists seem to be Chinese or Koreans so you are talking rot, yet again." What the hell Japan Today? Why are you actively condoning racism by letting him post that kind of bile? Clean up your house!
Anyway, those huge issues aside, less racist, more intelligent commenters made some interesting points.
To add ,
Some more negative points perhaps:
Blatant pedophilia and prostitution in Akihabara and art depicting such at Comiket. Openly racist establishments *Ueno for sure has a few Izakayas like this which, even if you speak Japanese, will not serve youSomeone needs to get some young people (and dare I say some women) to make the Cool Japan campaign actually cool. Who wants to see boring bar charts and some old guy going on about manga?!?! *softcore porn adverts on trains as well as old guys reading porn on the Sobu line (maybe not so cool for families!) The police may well racially profile you. My South American friend left the country because police hounded him once a month. *The bureaucracy is ludicrous sometimes. In America and UK, (philosophically at least) the customer is always right. In Japan, that's not always the case. If you bring a 13th person when you've only booked 12 for a nomi-hodai that hasn't started yet, it may randomly be decided that one more person isn't allowed. So many weird clauses like that really mess up Japanese customer service and probably offend loads of tourists each year! God forbid you ever make a mistake and come up against immigration, they treat non-Japanese worse than animals, several people died last year because of such mistreatment Horrendous Anti-Korean racist groups / racist political broadcasts I've witnessed Japanese men harassing foreign women / spitting on them / aggressive scary nanpa / following girls. *admittedly some foreign guys (we call them Losers Back Home) mistreat Japanese women in the same way, for that I apologise on behalf of the rest of the world! Wandering Gaikokujin Samurai who tell you off for not being as Japanese-ish as them or just hate on Japanese people!!! A lot of things (at least in appearance) seem exclusive to Japanese people. Festivals, Onsens and things can often feel completely Japanese-only, unless you really make an effort (in Japanese) to integrate yourself and ignore/transcend people staring at you (sometimes with a mean expression!!!). Kanji only buses in more rural areas!
On the plus side.Most people feel very safe, even amidst huge crowds that in other countries would be terrifying Even within a week, you're likely to meet some incredibly kind people However Tokyo is certainly more tourist friendly than London. JR staff tend to be very helpful, whereas I witnessed first-hand a London bus-driver swear at a group of tourists for no discernible reason. Usually you can find a JR staff member with at least limited English in Tokyo. +1 for not much trash +people tidy up after their dogs (Amazing!!) Nightlife is amazing If you know even a little Japanese, if you can find a decent bar, you can have an awesome time The atmosphere in the bigger parks is so peaceful and family oriented. There is SO MUCH TO EXPLORE but perhaps it's scary without at least basic Japanese language proficiency. So many people go out of their way to help you find places (often missing their train or ruining their own day in the process)
It's an amazing country. I think if you can find the right places, and right people to hang with, you'll have an AMAZING TIME!
1 ( +3 / -2 )
Just looking at the historical aspect of this.
Yes, the estimated number of those who were killed in the Japanese invasion vary. Most academic sources I've read posit estimate an upper limit of around 80,000. But according to the internet's most basic, vaguely reliable source Wikipedia, mainstream historians admit there could have been anything between 40,000 - 200,000. But the existence of the event is incontestable.
If you think even 20,000 deaths is not significant, you're an idiot.No intelligent, educated person disputes that the Nanking Massacre (or 'foray' in Abe's language) occurred. To deny it is just a peacock'esque display of your own, wantonly ignorant nationalism. Please get educated before you go out there saying things haven't happened, when the rest of the educated world has already validated and accepted these things. I know life is prettier if you just pretend you live in a fairy tale, but ultimately, if you only educate yourself with biased, nationalist propaganda like NHK and the Yomiuri Shinbun, its the education of your children and your children's children than will suffer. Please read a variety of credible, international sources and make an informed opinion.
0 ( +5 / -5 )
This is the first time I've ever encountered such a united front on an issue in this usually divided Japan Today comments section. I guess some things are so wrong, every legitimately sufficiently compassionate, ethical and educated person knows what's right.
Kazuaki Shimazaki and other defenders of the the right-wing fairy tale version of events that helps you sleep better… please entertain me for a minute by following me through these simple logical steps toward understanding world history.Due to the phenomenon of myopic nationalism, countries can't really objectively chronicle actions they took that affected other countries. To understand world history, we must look at the largest amount of credible, academic evidence. If a country has done its best to destroy such evidence to save face, we must listen to the personal stories, the voices, see the scars, wounds of the victims and rationally consider the weight of their evidence. The weight of academic evidence and the amount of eye witness testimonies on this issue is absolutely undeniable
In cases where evidence and testimony is so abundant, the discrediting of one source does not suddenly mean the whole thing is a lie (Despite that being the LDP's and the Yomiuri's position). The UN is appalled by Japan's neglect of responsibility on this issue http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48424#.VHpmwN65CL0In some cases, the weight of evidence is so huge that international scholars more or less unanimously agree on the version of events. By rationally accepting the findings of this majority, who've dedicated their lives to studying the truth behind these issues, we arrive at the internationally recognised version of events. The sheer numerousness of these sources from different countries usually overcomes the inaccuracies wrought by the glorifying principle of one-sided nationalism In the case of Japan's sex slaves, internationally, the near-unanimous decision of historians is that they were just that… sex slaves. If you're going to rationally doubt that with due to some insignificant right-wing publication, you probably also doubt the events of Auschwitz, Nanking and Hiroshima. No one intelligent disputes these events. These are all World War events with significant evidence. I wonder if you doubt the events of all 3. That seems highly unlikely. Why? Because myopic nationalism. In short, to more accurately understand world history, side with the evidence and the weight of internationally validated historical fact.
I hope this helps you comprehend world history… I know it's difficult.
7 ( +8 / -1 )
'Don't you fools know that Japan was a VICTIM of WWII?'
Absolutely it was a victim, as well as any other country involved. But it was also one of the main aggressors. Yes ruthless colonialism by the likes of UK, Spain and America was a factor in creating a hostile international climate and doubtlessly invited Japan to be more hostile too. But Japan's aggressive invasion and it's absolutely relentless progress was Japan's own doing. Given that the invasion took the lives of over 18 million non-Japanese, it's understandable that the world's academic community and indeed the international community greatly object to the Abe admin's latest attempt to sanitise its history, deleting less palatable facts, like the internationally accepted, evidenced version of events that states that these women were sex slaves. That is the UN's official position, it's also the official position of every credible academic without nationalist bias. I understand right-wingers not wanting to accept that, and I understand gaikokujin-samurai wanting to read minor, academically void literature to dispute that, but ultimately, if the conservatives keep veiling and obscuring what happened, we're going to have a generation that doesn't understand World War 2, the sins of war, Unit 731, the sex slaves and myriad abuses against women, the dangers of revering your political leader as a literal divine entity and of course the dangers of military dictatorships. If that's a trivial thing to you, I think that's a case of myopia. History is history. The world will not idly stand by and see these women tarnished as 'liars' when the huge majority of academic institutions around the world supports the facts. This is not a matter of national pride, but pride should be drawn from humble acceptance of history and how a country recovers itself. Japan has done incredibly positive, pacifist things since WWII. And now it seems Abe and the right-wingers are trying to undo that, destroying the worth of the Kono statement, destroying Japan's reputation as a sincerely regretful aggressor in World War 2. Which is ultimately, the only factual, internationally validated version of events.
I am not some left wing nut, I'm just an academic, tired of seeing media outlets tow the government line. Just because one guy was discredited in Asahi articles does not erase the indisputable weight of evidence that says these women were sex slaves, not 'so called comfort women' in the 'so called WWII' where 'so called Japan' abducted, abused and killed so many 'so called women'. You catch my drift?
This is 2014. History affronting, revisionist propaganda ain't gonna fly. Japan will get nowhere with diplomacy if its right-wingers keeps on trying to shirk responsibility like this. These people need to grow up and accept history. I guess a country cannot objectively judge the ultimate nature of its own history and actions on the world stage, that's up to the rest of the world to witness, decide and defend.
10 ( +16 / -6 )
'What is actually true is that the media focus on the negative, as fear drives readership/viewership, which directly translates to advertising revenue. The media needs you to think things are getting worse, to preserve their livelihood.'
I agree with you on this point.
'I don't think changing the law is an ignorant idea, if there is a necessity to change the law. What I think is ignorant is criticizing the police and deciding laws need to be changed based purely on emotion, completely ignoring the actual facts of the situation.'
Inaccurate, but I forgive you. I have nothing against the police, I just don't think the current system is as effective as it could be. I understand your conservative reservations regarding cost, so perhaps even you would agree that a letter of 'suggested referral' to a psychiatrist (issued to the offenders kin as well) would be preferable, anything acknowledging potentially underlying psychiatric illness.
'You also mention that the law fails to protect a girl a month in Tokyo. You conveniently ignore the thousands of girls the current laws protect every month.' No I don't, but the latter doesn't erase the former.
Anyway, I can't imagine we will agree on this subject. You raise some valid points, which I appreciate. Your points about the media are spot on. My experience in psychiatry suggests to me that the earlier an individual can recognize dangerous cognitive patterns and seek to overcome them, the more likely they are to defeat them before they appear impossibly concrete. Psychiatric illness is a stigma in many cultures, but perhaps in a highly collectivist society, such abnormalities are perhaps even more intolerable. I'm aware the police do a lot of good work, but they are not psychiatric experts. My initial outburst on here was illogical, and a knee jerk reaction to my anger at this guy for taking a woman's life. It's clear that these guys (and they are usually guys) need all the help and support they can get. If they have a good network of supportive friends or psychiatric help, they may recover before they actually commit the crime, but if these cognitions aren't recognised as carcinogenic, they simply will act on them. I hope that the Japanese government and police do what they can to promote psychiatric support in these cases, in the hope that they will be able to prevent more cases in the future.
anyway @strangerland, I don't know you, but have a good day. My thoughts and prayers are with with this poor girl and her family.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
'Two more ignorant comments. You are judging the effectiveness of the police actions based only on the ones that they weren't able to prevent, without also including the thousands of incidents they did prevent. Do you people realize that there is absolutely nothing the police can do, in this country or any other, if a stalker is really determined to kill their victim? '
I'm intrigued by your definition of 'ignorant' and I'm surprised Japan Today is okay with this kind of unmitigated slander against other commenters. Certainly some of the comments on this thread may have been over-emotional. But I don't think you can intellectually argue they're ignorant with any kind of logical credibility.
These cases do seem to be rising in Tokyo and it's obviously nightmarish for those involved, as well as the police who find they were unable to stop the perpetrator. A system that enforces at least a couple of psychiatric counseling sessions as well as informing the accused's family of their murderous intentions would clearly be preferable to the current law which seemingly fails to protect someone at monthly in Tokyo alone.
This isn't an antagonistic message, I'm just intrigued as to why you think changing the law is an 'ignorant idea'. I'm aware of the cost it would incur, but surely it's more ignorant to pretend this current law of absolute inaction is something worthwhile?
1 ( +1 / -1 )
I used to work in Ichikawa. I wish I could've been there to stop him.
It's just so sad.
NHK quoted police as saying that the victim contacted them in September about her ex-boyfriend. Police said they issued the man a warning but took no further action.' HOW MANY INNOCENT GIRLS HAVE TO DIE BEFORE THEY CHANGE THIS STUPID LAW. Surely any logical person can see that this warning system is killing people, there's been like 10 cases within the last few months. if the media weren't so ball-less here, maybe there'd be some pressure, but sadly, it seems there's no pressure to step things up. Here's the new law, if you're caught threatening to kill your ex-girlfriend, you get arrested and go to jail.
This isn't even my country. But I'm tired of Japanese women getting 1. abused 2. Zero support from Japanese cops.
Let's hope things change soon. God knows they need to.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
So historical facts change from government to government? I love Japan, and there are many things in its history it should be proud of. It's role as the biggest aggressor in the most brutal war in human history is not something that should be glorified (as it undoubtedly will be.
I absolutely agree that kids should grow up to be proud and love their country. But they should love it for the good, peaceful achievements and triumphs, the humility and kindness that is often under the surface of everyday social transactions, for it's beauty and mystery and a million other things... but those kids also deserve education and their empathy and understanding would be highly cultivated by learning not only about Japanese suffering (at times resultant of its aggression), but also about the suffering of millions of others that Japan caused during its 20th century military conquests.
Education should instill facts (in the case of history, internationally accepted facts), not just patriotic rhetoric based on right-wing propaganda.
6 ( +8 / -2 )
This is the 21st century, Japan does not exist in a bubble, it's part of the world.. I understand it's an important Shinto shrine (that predates the war) and there are many family men who were just following orders from on high, who died fighting for their country. But those men were betrayed by the leaders that sent them on one of the most brutal, relentless campaigns in world history. The internationally accepted and validated facts are clear as day, Japan's forces killed 30 million people, savagely invaded Nanking, the state enslaved an estimated 10,000 women as sex slaves and Japan's Unit 731 tortured human beings in some of the worst ways imaginable. Yasakuni shrine only presents WWII as a proud feat of bravery and celebrates Radha Binod Pal because he said Japan was innocent. Recent quotes by the Abe administration that include 'what constitutes an invasion has yet to be defined', Aso suggesting they learn from the Nazis, Hashimoto denying state involvement in the sexual enslavement of women and the consideration of changing the word 'invasion' to 'foray', not to mention the airbrushed school textbooks all suggest that Japan is not accepting its history with the humility and grace exhibited by Germany after the war. Suga's recent condemnation of the comfort women monument in America does nothing to counter that impression. Abe's in a unique position, with one clear speech he could clarify once and for all that Japan accepts even the ugly parts of its history and also state that for the last 68 years, it's become a peaceful place where many kind people live without hurting anyone. No matter what statements or textbooks the government revises, history is history. People remember pain and who caused it. If Abe really wants to restore ties, the economy and improve international relations, he needs to make some decisive speeches that 1. apologize for the offensive comments by people in his cabinet 2. clarify Japan accepts and holds the rest of the world's fact-based opinion of its wartime actions 3. Say that by teaching and remembering history accurately, Japan will never lose sight of it's path toward peace. I guess it's naive to think this would happen, but it would be a much fairer reflection of the kind, peaceful, incredibly honest people of Japan.
3 ( +7 / -4 )
It's understandable many Japanese people get angry about these headlines, Japan's historical education is offensive. Japan was the biggest aggressor in WWII, killing 30 million people. In its textbooks, children aren't taught the full horrific extent of what happened, the human experiments, the comfort women and the Nanjing massacre, all of which are INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED HISTORICAL FACT. Abe's denial that 'what constitutes an invasion has yet to be academically defined' is just postmodernist rhetoric. It has nothing to do with history, and everything to do with the rose tinted spectacles of neo-nationalist Japan. Whilst anti-Japanese propaganda is a big issue, a bigger issue is not teaching your country's children about the horrific acts of aggression that decimated Asia in WWII. Furthermore by not even teaching this history, these editors dishonor the memories of Japan's victims and also unfairly tarnish previous apologies and government admissions. Japan's history textbooks are no longer academic sources. The idea of changing the word 'invasion' to 'foray' only highlights this. Forays don't kill 30 million people, invasions do.
Japan's philosophy is often one of establishing harmony. Its music and its people often demonstrate this beautifully. If Japan wants harmony in Asia, the government has to stop hurting its neighbours by threatening to make a hip nationalist remix of history because the facts are unsightly. The Japanese government could easily begin this harmonization by publicly apologizing to the few remaining comfort women before they die and ensuring that their plight is DOCUMENTED PROPERLY in history textbooks. That would be a very honourable move that would display the grace and humility I have come to know as characteristic of most Japanese people.
0 ( +5 / -5 )
Posted in: An organization has sent a petition with 11,127 online signatures to prosecutors seeking a reduced sentence for Tetsuya Yamagami, who has been indicted for the murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and asking that they consider Yamagami's upbringing and his mother's massive donations to the Unification Church in his trial. What's your view on this?