Markus L comments

Posted in: China says Japan should have made 'sincere' WWII apology See in context

Strangerland: Kwatt - please show some link that shows he was a class A war criminal.

Kishi illustrates the ambivalent role of America in post-war Japan, and the difficulty of eradicating nationalist World War II revisionism from a postwar Japan where tainted political dynasties still clung to power. As prime minister, Kishi's own legacy was ambivalent: on the one hand he worked for international peace, but on the other he promoted postwar nationalist revisionism...

Like Grandfather, like Grandson...

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Posted in: China shows off victory over Japan logo See in context

Japan may have lost - but China did nothing to cause the win.

Nicholas, do a bit research please. The official death-toll of Japanese troops killed in China, according to the Japan Defense Ministry, is 480,000. That's 39% of the total number of Japanese troops who died during the war. Not only that, but due to it's size, huge amounts of munitions were bogged down in China (tanks, artillery, planes etc.). This had a major impact on other campaigns in the war. Many battles were fought during which Chinese troops fought with incredible bravery and suffered huge casualties (including battles in the Burma campaign). Although these battles may not have received the same amount of nationalistic chest-pumping that battles like Iwo Jima and Tarawa received, do you consider them meaningless? And the 20 plus million Chinese civilians who died (many due to biological warfare and the intensional spread of cholera, typhoid, plague and dysentery pathogens), I guess they were "nothing" as well. I wonder if many of the respondents to this article would dare to be as flippant about civilian victims of the Nazi atrocities?

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Posted in: China shows off victory over Japan logo See in context

Nessie, you might want to do a little research before making pronouncements like "the Chinese communists were hiding for most of the war". For example look up the "Sankō Sakusen" scorched-earth policy implemented by the Imperial Japanese Army in 5 Northern provinces of China in direct response to Communist Chinese offensives against them. This policy (which was authorized by Emperor Hirohito himself) resulted in the death of more than 2.7 million civilians alone. Total Chinese military casualties in the Second Sino-Japanese War totaled 3.7 million dead of which about 500,000 were Communist forces. In contrast total US military casualties in the Pacific War were around 112,000 dead. Many more Allied troops would have died had Japan been able to mobilize the forces (over 75 %) that were tied down fighting in China. So belittling China's contribution to the defeat of Japan, is not only insulting, it's as historically inaccurate as many of the recent denials of Japanese atrocities made by Japanese "Nationalists".

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Posted in: From Brando to Waco, bikers are part of Americana See in context

Q: What's the difference between a Hell's Angel and a vacuum cleaner?

A: The position of the dirt bag.

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Posted in: Canadian police arrest 10 youths for wanting to join IS See in context

While, as an atheist, I find Islamic fundamentalist groups like ISIS absolutely abhorrent, I do think it's a bit hypocritical that young Jewish Canadians can very easily go to Israel and join the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and partake in the killing of muslim women and children in Gaza and the Occupied Territories, and no one questions their motives or confiscates their passports at the airport. Apples and Oranges? I personally don't think so. Young Muslims are joining the ranks of ISIS because they firmly believe they are defending Islam and the Islamic Caliphate from forces apposed to it (initially the armed forces of Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad, with the support and blessing of the West) and I presume that young Jews who join the IDF do so to defend what they perceive are threats to Israel, the Jewish state. An honest evaluation would conclude a double standard.

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Posted in: Japan's view of WWII history rankles some U.S. veterans See in context

I just finished reading Pacific War Diary, 1942-1945: The Secret Diary of an American Sailor written by a US Navy sailor onboard the light cruiser USS Montpelier. In September 1945 they were sent to Wakayama to pick up what was expected to be 20,000 Allied POW'S. However, out of that number only 3,000 had survived their captivity and the brutal slave-labour to which they were subjected. All of them were emaciated and many had gone mad. The fact that it's written by an enlisted seaman, in simple, honest language, based on what his own eyes witnessed, makes it all the more disturbing. It's a disgrace to the good people of Japan that their government denies or whitewashes these atrocities in the face of so much evidence, and it's hard to believe that so called "Nationalists" go along with it. It's absolutely cowardly and is dragging down Japan's generally positive reputation.

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Posted in: WikiLeaks creates online archive of hacked Sony documents See in context

Whether or not you agree with Julian Assange on this particular issue, all of us should be grateful for people like him, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden (all three of whom are either in prison or in exile). I find it pretty hypocritical that the mainstream press (quite rightfully) heaped praise on the bystander who videoed a US cop shooting an unarmed black man in cold blood, rightfully referring to him as a hero whose actions lead to an arrest for murder, and proved the failures in US law enforcement procedures, hopefully leading to changes, while at the same time generally vilifying Assange, Manning and Snowden. Manning's postings on Wikileaks proved the US Government lied when they denied press reports of US servicemen targeting unarmed civilians in Iraq and allegations about the use of torture by the US military. These were clear violations of international law and it was heroic to make this public. We need whistleblowers more than ever.

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Posted in: Hillary Clinton launches presidential campaign See in context

That is what happens when you pass the ball to Republicans. 4000 dead in a stupid war of election

Actually it was 4,491 U.S. service members killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2014 in a war started by Bush and his neocons based on lies, and then totally and disastrously mismanaged. And of course 174,000 Iraqis were reported killed between 2003 and 2013, with between 112,000-123,000 of those killed being civilian noncombatants. And the killing continues. It should also be pointed out that the 4 people killed in Benghazi were killed by the same "freedom fighters" who the US and it's western allies hastily backed when they saw an opportunity to get rid of Muammar Gaddafi. Of course those "freedom fighters" in Libya (and Syria) are now called "terrorists". I'd say the US government is two doors to the same room frankly.

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Posted in: Hillary Clinton launches presidential campaign See in context

On the subject of "Benghazi" and the House Republican's embarrassing attempts to make political hay against Obama/Clinton out of the incident, this is an excellent article from The New Yorker that clearly illustrates how morally decrepit House Speaker Boehner and his Republican cohorts have become...

Here's a good quote from it...

If you compare the costs of the Reagan Administration's serial security lapses in Beirut to the costs of Benghazi, it's clear what has really deteriorated in the intervening three decades. It's not the security of American government personnel working abroad. It's the behavior of American congressmen at home.

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Posted in: Multiracial Miss Japan hopes to change homeland's thinking on identity See in context

tinawatanabe "If I hear the word "ethnocentric", it reminds me of Chinese. "

Which "Chinese" are you referring to Tina? China has 56 different ethnic groups.

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Posted in: After Fukushima, Japan gets green boom - and glut See in context

ifd66 ”a whopping 3 trillion yen would be added to electricity bills.“On the positive side this will make energy costs higher which will finally make people think more seriously about conserving it.

We run a small resort in Japan and I'm just appalled at the complete disregard many Japanese visitors have toward conserving energy. I'm honestly not being a "Japan Basher" when I say that the difference between our Japanese customers and those from other countries in basic energy conservation (turning off lights, fans, aircons, heaters etc.) is troubling. It's as if they don't seem to realize the crisis Japan is having at the moment in paying for it's energy needs, not to mention the critical state of the planet.

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Posted in: What habits have you picked up from living in Japan that you sometimes have to try and stop yourself doing when you go overseas because you don't think it will look right? See in context

Getting hog-whimpering drunk and falling asleep on the sidewalk. Not a good move in places like LA or Vancouver.

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Posted in: Abe sent support message to war criminal memorial service in April See in context

What is largely forgotten in Japan is that the same men who lead Japan's plunder of China, Korea and SE Asia, now described by Abe as having sacrificed their lives to form the foundation of peace and prosperity in Japan today, also plundered Japan. No sooner had Emperor Hirohito finished his announcement of surrender, when Japan's military and political leaders, with the help of local police and yakuza, stole what is estimated to be 80% of Japan's wealth. This included all essentials such as rice, coal, gasoline, lumber, cement etc. which were sold on the black for up to 34 times their market value, as well as money "26.6 billion yen were hastily distributed before the arrival of occupation forces, mainly to military contractors". The result was 4 years of starvation, depravation and misery for the Japan's population. The same people who had sacrificed so much their country during the war. With what is referred to as the "hoarded goods scandal...structural corruption was established as a foundation stone of the postwar political economy of Japan". It's no wonder people like Abe worship these criminals.

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Posted in: Japan's youth Olympians told to keep low profile in China See in context

What ridiculous advise. Fujiwara should have told his students to wear their team uniforms with pride, and that he would personally be leading the entire delegation on a visit to the Nanjing Memorial to place a wreath on behalf of Japan' youth. What a powerful and positive message that would be.

OssanAmerica>Do you honestly think there is one person on the Japanese team who was around in 1937?

Man, talk about missing the point. I would encourage you to read the story of Ayako Kurahashi, who at the behest of her late father had his apology for acts committed while serving the Japanese military in China inscribed on his gravestone. " In doing so, she defied powerful social pressures. Kurahashi, saw herself fitting a common pattern in Japan: although people have silent knowledge of Japanese aggression, it is taboo to talk about it."

By searching for answers the reality of father's war crimes finally sank in. I am now able to write without any hesitation that during his ten years as a military policeman, he did many inexcusable things to Chinese people, and that while he was suffering with the memories of what he did, he was unable to speak about it. There is not much to smile about when I look back over the extremely hard journey that I had to go through in order to be able to write the previous sentence. I would like to be able to laugh off the fact that war issues must still be dealt with even half a century after the war, but I cannot.

Kurahashi Ayako My Father's Dying Wish

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Posted in: Israel, Hamas vow no let up in Gaza fighting See in context

Kent Mcgraw : The mission statement of Hamas is to destroy Israel.

This book review of "Hamas in Politics: Democracy, Religion, and Violence" is well worth reading for those interested in getting a deeper understanding of Hamas and the reason for their popularity among the residents of Gaza than that offered by the mainstream media...

Some quotes...

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Americans resoundingly demanded that their leaders take up arms against Islamic militants and the governments who sponsor them. The minority of Americans who expressed hope in nonmilitary solutions were derided or sidelined, and in some cases, openly attacked. Can anyone expect that the Palestinian people, who have suffered proportionately much more damage than America did, will not do the same?

The shared experience of occupation, curfews and collective punishment accelerated this process as did the rapid expansion of Israeli settlements, competition for water resources, attacks on religious sites, and public calls for the transfer of Palestinians out of Palestine, which made Palestinians fear that their land and identity were under threat.

Hamas gained more popular support in the 1990s once most Palestinians realized that the 1993 Oslo accords could not halt Israeli settlements or improve the Palestinian economy; Hamas’ opposition to the peace process became a more credible argument...In the eyes of most Palestinians resistance was achieving more for them than the peace process ever would.

Also, this is an excerpt from last night's BBC interview with Palestinian spokes person Dr. Hanan Ashwari...

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Posted in: U.S. lawmakers warn Japan, Canada on Pacific trade deal talks See in context

One of the reasons the US is having trouble stemming the huge flow of immigrants from Mexico is that thousands of them are corn farmers who can no longer make a living due to subsidized USA corn Mexico is forced to buy due to NAFTA. Over 1.5 million Mexican corn farmers were put out of work and many of them were forced to go north of the border to work illegally (ironically many with huge US meat packing companies who advertised for workers in Mexico).

Just as the small farmer in America has been largely put out of business by huge Agribusinesses, Asian farmers will suffer the same fate. Those with any doubt about that should watch the documentary "Food Inc.".

Canada and Japan are wise to protect their farmers from the onslaught of US Agribusinesses. And a lot of the criticism about Japan's farmers is simply wrong. Their produce are superb and their prices are not high, especially considering the quality.

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Posted in: Hamas, Israel blame each other for deaths of 9 children See in context

After Israel's 22-day campaign in the Gaza Strip in 2009, during which 1,300 Palestinians were killed and 5,000 injured, UN investigator Richard Falk, who is Jewish, compared the campaign to the starvation and murder of Warsaw's Jews by Nazi Germany in World War II... "To lock people into a war zone is something that evokes the worst kind of international memories of the Warsaw Ghetto..." He was widely criticized at the time, but watching the news this morning I truly felt the comparison is credible. This happens every couple of years and the world just watches.

And the US taxpayer is financing this outrage...

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Posted in: Name 3 of the best documentaries you have ever seen. See in context

"Food, inc" (a shocking look at the US food industry, especially relevant due to the recent food scandal involving the subsidiary of a US food company in China).

"5 Broken Cameras" (made by a Palestinian and an Israeli film-maker about the plight of a Palestinian Village and their resistance to Israel's security barrier. Troubling to say the least and very relevant in light of the recent events in Gaza).

"Zeitgeist" (debunks religion; a MUST see)

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Posted in: Photo of man dressed as Tojo at LDP conference causes stir online See in context

JoeBigs, The issue is not the "kid". And I actually didn't make any mention of the "kid's" personality, although walking around in the uniform of the Kempeitai, an organization that struck terror into the hearts of millions in Japan and throughout Asia, does seem a tad insensitive. Not only would it be illegal to walk around in a Gestapo uniform in Germany, but, and this is the main issue here, it would inconceivable that the ruling party, the CDU, would lead someone in a Gestapo Uniform onto one of their campaign trucks to give the audience a Nazi salute, no matter what the event. It seems obvious that the LDP people who did this either had no idea what that uniform symbolized for millions of fellow Asians, or just didn't care. Either way, it's troubling.

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Posted in: Justin Bieber says sorry after visiting Yasukuni shrine See in context

OssanAmerica: That's a total fabrication. You think I would have missed that? Or the countless American and other tourists that have been there?

It was there alright. Perhaps there were so many complaints it was finally removed. I took my brother, who teaches Modern History at a university, and he was appalled.

But here are some accounts from recent visitors (and there are literally hundreds to be found online)....

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Posted in: Photo of man dressed as Tojo at LDP conference causes stir online See in context

Thanks JoeBigs, it's comforting to know that the LDP didn't let someone dressed as Tojo climb onto their campaign truck and salute the audience, just someone dressed as a member of the Kempeitai, the Japanese equivalent of the Nazi Gestapo. We can rest easy.

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Posted in: China releases Japanese wartime documents See in context

This article goes into more detail about the contents of the files and why the files are being released now...

Deniers and revisionists in Japan (like CH3CHO) have brought this upon themselves it seems, as the documents are being released "because of recent denials by right-wing Japanese politicians of the use of 'comfort women' during the war". So keep it up, there's more to come. Hopefully most Japanese will start to see what an embarrassment you are to your country.

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Posted in: China releases Japanese wartime documents See in context

Indeed many of Japan's most notorious war criminals were not convicted due primarily to their recruitment into the anti-communist cause and, in the case of Unit 731, in exchange for their research into the results of chemical and biological warfare, based on human experimentation. One of the most notorious is Yoshio Kodama, extreme right-winger and Yakuza boss who made a personal fortune running the organized looting of China and SE Asia (in an operation allegedly headed by the Emperor's brother, Prince Chichibu), as well as the manufacture of crystal meth and heroin in Manchuria. The U.S. intelligence community later secured his release in exchange for his aid in fighting communism in Japan and Asia. Perhaps the cruelest was Col. Masanobu Tsuji, a pathologically brutal staff officer of the IJA who among others, bore responsibility for massacres in Singapore and the Philippines (including the Bataan Death March). Among his boasts was having never spent a day in prison and cannibalism following his execution of an American POW. After the war he was employed by Chaing Kai-shek. He became a celebrated author in Japan when he published his memoirs. He later became a member of the Diet.

As for Unit 731.. >After discovering the research papers, MacArthur secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731 and it's leaders,including Kitano Masaji, who later founded Green Cross Corp. (now Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation) in exchange for providing America, but not the other wartime allies, with their research on biological warfare and data from human experimentation.The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal heard only one reference to Japanese experiments with "poisonous serums" on Chinese civilians.

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Posted in: China releases Japanese wartime documents See in context


I generally agree with your posts, and this one is no different. The points you make are valid. I do however feel that the argument that China and Korea are simply redirecting their citizens anger and dissatisfaction away from their own governments toward Japan is overly used, particularly in Japan. Polls seem to indicate that the vast majority of Chinese view their government positively and feel they are doing an excellent job. The problem is the sincerity of the Japanese government in addressing these issues. And your comments about the Japan-Korea Treaty are also correct. Unfortunately reparations paid are often not directed toward the actual victims. This also occurred in Europe. Also, Japanese reparations (and Aid in general) is often perceived to benefit large Japanese companies, who profit from the technology transfers and mega-projects that these monies pay for. The way to address both the issues you raise, is for the Prime Minister (or perhaps the Emperor) to make a state visit to China and Korea and lay wreaths in Nanjing and Seoul, and formerly and sincerely apologize for Japan's wartime atrocities and colonialism. Until that happens, the wounds felt by these nations will not heal. Germany has done that and the issue settled. Do you feel this is unreasonable?

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Posted in: Justin Bieber says sorry after visiting Yasukuni shrine See in context

OssanAmerica: The museum that contained military history and exhibits was very cool though. I didn't see anything "glorifying rape and plunder".

The museum contains an entire wall of photocopied pages from revisionist history books in English, with sentence claiming that Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was completely justified under the circumstances, highlighted with a yellow marker. There is also a huge painting of Sikh soldiers who chose to fight with Japan with a caption saying something about "our Sikh brothers in arms fighting against British colonialism". It also glorifies the Kamikazes, without any condemnation of the militarists who ordered that madness. So when the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said “I hope that this Canadian singer after visiting the Yasukuni shrine can have a clear understanding of Japan’s history of invasion and militarism, and of the source of Japan’s militarism”, I doubt that happened. The museum, while indeed containing some unique artifacts, is a disgrace to Japan.

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Posted in: China releases Japanese wartime documents See in context

OssanAmerica: When has the South Korean government actually attempted to lay blame to the countless Korean agents who recruited the Comfort women?

Totally wrong. Last fall my son and I visited Korea and went to the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan. This is the official government museum that focuses on the Japanese colonization of Korea. They had a large exhibit dedicated to the Comfort Women and they made it very clear that Korean agents were involved (in Korean, English and Japanese). This included a large, full scale diorama showing a Korean agent being handed money as an ox-cart with young Korea girls is being lead away by Japanese troops. So get your facts straight.

And JoeBigs, I suppose the Japanese veterans confessing to atrocities they committed in China (including rape and murdering babies) in this BBC documentary were also products of the Communist Chinese propaganda machine? And all those pictures and film footage are all clever CCP forgeries.

Watch the whole 7 minutes as it also refers to "thousands of documents" held by the Japanese Government that have not yet been released. Will you claim they are also fakes if they are ever released?

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Posted in: China releases Japanese wartime documents See in context

OssanAmerica: So you are excusing Koreans on the basis of numbers? Yet Koreans and Chinese can't excuse Yasukuni for 14 class-A war criminals out of 2,466,000?

Not at all. These Korean and Taiwanese collaborators were tried as class B&C war criminals and 40 were rightfully executed for their crimes. However, the excuse that Korea has no right to raise issues like that of the "comfort women" as well as the looting of it's wealth and use of it's populace as slave labour under Japanese colonization is often used by Japan apologists, revisionists, and atrocity deniers, many like CH3CHO on this forum, and it's frankly offensive. As for the 14 class-A war criminals, China and Korea, as well as most countries, "can't excuse" the fact high ranking Japanese politicians, including the Prime Minister pay tribute to them. These men were the Japanese equivalent of Hitler, Von Ribbentrop, Borman, Goring etc. Do you remember when President Reagan and Chancellor Kohn laid wreaths a the German Cemetery at Bitberg, where there were no convicted war criminals, let alone Class A war criminals, only soldiers who served in the Waffen SS, which was deemed a criminal organization at the Nuremberg Tribunal. There was general outrage. That this sort of denial (or ignorance of history) is so widespread in Japan is truly troubling.

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Posted in: China releases Japanese wartime documents See in context

A number of Koreans were prosecuted and convicted as class B and C war criminals at the Tokyo Trials for their brutality towards allied POWs.

While there were 148 Koreans indicted for war crimes after WW2 there were also 178 Taiwanese, which never seems to raise an issue on this forum. There were 5,700 Japanese indicted. Compare the number of convicted Korean collaborators to the number of slave laborers (667,680) and you can see how minimal it actually was. In comparison, there were entire Divisions of Dutch (SS Nordland) as well as Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Estonians, Finns and Belgians (SS Viking) that volunteered to fight with the SS in WW2, yet I doubt anyone would suggest those countries were an accomplice of Germany. LIke Austrians were into the Wehrmacht, Koreans and Taiwanese were conscripted into the IJA. For people, particularly Japanese, to now start pointing fingers and accusing Koreans of complicity, is shameful, and frankly reeks of ethnocentricity.

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Posted in: China seizes Mitsui O.S.K. ship over unpaid wartime contract compensation See in context

China is certainly not alone in seeking compensation from corporations for their actions in WW2.

Lawsuit against Swiss banks, launched to retrieve deposits made by victims of Nazi persecution during and prior to World War II, were only finally concluded with reparations paid in October 2009. Settlements with German and Austrian Corporations as a result of numerous class action lawsuits that were filed in the United States seeking compensation for forced/slave laborer during WW2 were only initiated in 1999 and final payments were made in 2006. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated in 2007 that "Many former forced laborers have finally received the promised humanitarian aid"; she also conceded that before the fund was established nothing had gone directly to the forced laborers. German president Horst Koehler stated...

It was an initiative that was urgently needed along the journey to peace and reconciliation... At least, with these symbolic payments, the suffering of the victims has been publicly acknowledged after decades of being forgotten.

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Posted in: BABYMETAL invasion of the West marches on See in context

they’ll be thrown in the mix with some of the biggest names in the metal world, including Slayer, Metallica, and Iron Maiden

Oh God. Jeff Hanneman, Cliff Burton and Clive Burr must be rolling in their graves.

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