In 1972, when the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Japan established formal diplomatic relationship, Mao Zedong met the then Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. When Tanaka personally apologized to Mao for invading China, Mao responded: “ (You) don't have to say sorry, your country had made a great contribution to China. Why? Because if Imperial Japan did not start the war, how could we communists become mighty and powerful? How could we overthrow KMT? How could we defeat Chiang Kai-shek? No, we are grateful and do not want your war reparations! (Translated from Tanaka Kakuei Biography, original in Japanese)." [Source: Arthur Waldron, China's New Remembering of World War II: The Case of Zhang Zizhong, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 30, No. 4, Special Issue: War in Modern China (Oct., 1996), pp. 972]
6 ( +9 / -3 )
@NZ2011 - Democracies have this little thing called 'freedom of speech', which gives even our most odious and ignorant citizens the right to a point of view - but those views can be rebutted by other citizens with evidence and facts. Japan has its share of revisionists but I suggest these are a small and shrinking minority. The thing to watch is how Japan as a nation conducts itself as a global citizen, and since 1945 its behaviour has (and continues to be) exemplary.
China under the CCP on the other hand has an 'us against the world' mentality, is in a constant state of belligerence with most of its neighbours, conducts its diplomacy at the end of a gun or under threat of force, while repressing its own populations freedom of expression and access to knowledge that are harmful to their grip on power and propaganda narratives (including portraying Japan as an evil empire).
The only regional 'trouble-makers, are the CCP/PLA and their friends in the DPRK.
2 ( +4 / -2 )
U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno and a lot of posters here are clearly out of the loop. The Japanese have been requesting high level meetings with both China and South Korea for a year to discuss any issues, and the governments of both countries have flat out refused to do so unless Japan is willing to accede to all their silly demands beforehand.
It's simply wrong to attempt to tar Japan with the same brush when it comes to diplomatic recalcitrance. Rather the Chief of Staff should be asking the Chinese and Koreans why they refuse to test their claims over the Senkakus and Takeshima before the ICJ if they are so 'righteous'.
5 ( +8 / -3 )
@Eiji Takano - Yasukuni is a Shinto shrine, and the Japanese government has no control over who is enshrined there - and enshrinement of the dead there is conducted according to Shinto principles. Abe's and other PM's visit to the shrine is only 'controversial' to Chinese and Korean nationalists, no one else; and your statement that the shrine "IS a revisionist, right-wing propaganda site that glorifies and justifies the Japanese war aggression" is simply propagandist hype that serves their paranoid anti-Japan arguments.
4 ( +7 / -2 )
Good grief, what a beat up. Attempting to link Abe's and Honda's pragmatic comments, with the rantings of Momii is a gross conflation. The only tenuous link is that Abe's visit to Yasukini to pay his respects to Japan's war dead, is somehow linked to Momii's pie-eyed revisionism - and beaten up by Japan's detractors as evidence of a right -wing conspiracy to return Japan to the militarism of the 1930s. Give me a break. Where in Abe's statements to the Diet are there any indication of this?
*Taking questions in the Diet on Thursday, Abe said Japan had caused great pain in Asia and elsewhere in the past. His government would stick by past apologies and the door was open for dialogue with Beijing and Seoul, he added.
“As I’ve said before, in the past many nations, especially those in Asia, suffered great damage and pain due to our nation. Our government recognizes this, as have the governments that have gone before, and will continue this stance,” Abe said.
“In the post-war era, we have deeply reflected on this and have built a free and democratic nation based on fundamental human rights. There will be no change in this path,” he said.*
Similarly, Honda's statements are equally pragmatic and realistic:
*In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Honda defended the Yasukuni visit and said Japan needed a strong economy so it could build a more powerful military and stand up to China, the newspaper said.
The paper also said Honda wanted what it called “a nation that isn’t beholden to the U.S. as a patron, and doesn’t feel restrained by the sensitivities of its neighbors”.*
For decades the US has been demanding Japan be more militarily self reliant, and given China's militarist belligerence towards Japan and other nations in the region and enormous surge in military spending, Japan would be insane not to strengthen its defense capabilities. It's simply ridiculous to criticize Japan for responding to threats in the present, because its neighbors are still upset over events that occurred 70-120 years ago during the Colonial Period and a paranoid fantasy that Japan wants to revisit those times.
To push the conflation along, the article throws in a generalizing statement that:
Many of Abe’s aides share a conservative agenda that includes forging a security stance less reliant on Washington and rejecting what they view as a “masochistic”, overly apologetic interpretation of Japan’s wartime deeds.
Who are these 'many' aides? Again, security self-reliance is something the US has been demanding from Japan since the 1970s, so the 'conservative agenda' is no different to that of the US. The only reason this idea has resurfaced and gained momentum now is because of Chinese military belligerence over the past decade.
Japan executed or imprisoned its war criminals, paid all reparations demanded (and been extremely generous with economic development funds), and issued endless apologies to the nations affected by its pre-1945 policies and aggression, but it is never enough for only 3 nations - China, the ROK, and the DPRK. When apologies are consistently refused and more continually demanded, of course it will become onerous and masochistic to have to keep giving them. Complaining about being overly apologetic has nothing to do with denying the past, and everything to do with China and Korea continually milking this issue to humiliate Japan for partisan political motives.
2 ( +5 / -3 )
@igloobuyer - While there are elements of truth to the claims you list, they are not the whole story and present an incomplete and biased picture of the Japanese occupation. The Koreans simply refuse to accept that millions of their citizens embraced the liberation from feudalism that accompanied the Japanese occupation, and the opportunities presented by the modernity (and industrialization) they introduced.
The notion that every Korean was bitterly opposed to the Japanese occupation, or suffered under it, is a fallacy - consider these statistics: At the end of the Pacific War in 1945 there were an estimated 2.4 million Koreans living in Japan (roughly 10% of the total population of Korea at that time), and after assisted voluntary repatriation, 650,000 Koreans chose to stay in Japan rather than return to Korea. The decision made to stay in Japan by 3% of the total Korean population is counter-intuitive to the argument of universal suffering or 'slavery' promoted by post-war Korean nationalists.
Until contemporary Koreans acknowledge that a large number of Koreans embraced and benefited from the Japanese occupation (including most of the founders of Korea's modern industrial conglomerates), and embrace the truths of their own history, the inane bitterness towards the Japanese and 'the children of collaborators' exemplified by the current Korean government is set to continue. Good luck, Biden.
1 ( +6 / -5 )
The US criticism over China's behaviour in the South China Sea has nothing to do with a 'Japanese lobby' and everything to do with CCP's refusal to participate in UN arbitration processes to settle disputes arising from their territorial/resource grabs in the region - most recently with the Philippines.
6 ( +7 / -2 )
If the political situation in China wasn't so tragic, the CCP's fury would be hilarious - "“a barefaced challenge to international justice”. Before mouthing off the CCP should consider its own affronts to international justice, rather than decrying the musings of an ill informed individual in Japan
Annexation of Tibet; attempts to annex the South China Sea and pulling out of UN process to resolve disputes; refusal to acknowledge international tribunals like the ICJ; imprisonment and/or exile of pro-democracy and human rights activists etc etc. The CCP has no concept of 'international justice'.
-3 ( +1 / -4 )
@Crazy Joe; @plasticmonkey;
Twenty years after World War II, South Korea and Japan re-established diplomatic relations with the 1965 signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations. In 2005, South Korea disclosed diplomatic documents that detailed the proceedings of the treaty. Kept secret in South Korea for 40 years, the documents revealed that Japan provided 500 million dollars in soft loans and 300 million in grants to South Korea as compensation for the reign of Japan, and that South Korea agreed to demand no more compensation after the treaty, either at a government-to-government level or an individual-to-government level. It was also revealed that the South Korean government assumed the responsibility for compensating individuals on a lump sum basis while rejecting Japan's proposal for direct compensation.
This treaty was signed off on when the current ROK President's father (who served as an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army) was President of the ROK. Under the terms of the treaty it is up to the ROK government to compensate victims of Colonial Period Japanese rule.
5 ( +16 / -10 )
These issues with Japan that Korean immigrants import into the US have nothing to do with America, its citizens, or US political/social life. If you can't leave your nationalist hatred at home in Korea where it belongs, don't emigrate in the first place to spread your social poison and nationalist inanities. If any Korean group tried on this type of nationalist political agitation against the Japanese in Australia, they'd be ridiculed as racists and pilloried for being socially divisive. I'm amazed that American politicians are even buying into this nonsense.
5 ( +6 / -1 )
More smoke and mirrors from the CCP in an attempt to divert the UN and other nations attention from CCP China's reprehensible militarist behaviour towards Japan over the Senkakus and SE Asian nations over the South China Sea, its murky internal totalitarian policies, and the kleptomania and criminality of the CCP leadership, their families, and minions.
Just as reprehensible are the leaders of Korea and their nationalist backers who are climbing into bed with CCP to score cheap political points from the Japanese; led by the President of Korea whose father was an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army and thus enforced and took part in the crimes she and her fellow travelers are decrying. The stench of hypocrisy and sycophancy emanating from South Korea is beginning to get on the nose.
1 ( +3 / -2 )
@Frungy - It's 2014, not 1813. If you and the CCP don't realize the world has changed in the past 200 years, you're in for a lot of hurt. Justifying CCP aggression towards its neighbors because of abuse China suffered during the Colonial Period is a specious and childish argument, not least of all because of the huge amount of capital and business development the 'Colonial Powers' (including Japan) have invested in China over the past 20-30 years that have fueled China's rapid development.
Besides, remind me when Tibet, Vietnam and the Philippines (and the other SE Asian nations who the CCP are attempting to rob of territory and resources with their ambit claim over the entire South China Sea) have ever 'abused' or occupied China in the past to justify the CCP's current belligerence towards them?
The CCP have been fueling all the current problems. Using Japan's legal ownership of some islands, visits to shrines, contents of schoolbooks, the right-wing musings of a few insensitive Japanese citizens, and events of 70-200 years ago as an justification for military belligerence and a campaign of (central government orchestrated) anti-Japanese propaganda locally and globally is simply idiotic. Unlike CCP China, Japan has threatened no-one with militarist rhetoric or displays of force, or laid claim to or stolen none of its neighbour's territories lands or resources, or have hatred of any other nation as a central plank of government policy. Japan pushing back diplomatically against CCP belligerence (or altering internal policies to protect themselves from it), does not 'make them as bad' as CCP China.
2 ( +6 / -4 )
Good grief - so many sensitive little flowers in the world, desperately searching for something, anything, to be offended by complain about to feel self-important. I'm white, blonde, and big nosed - and don't feel the slightest bit offended. It's a joke, it's funny. There are greater societal and global issues to get hot over than a corny TV commercial.
0 ( +7 / -7 )
@Strangerland - nonsense.
Japan has regular democratic elections for its leaders every 4 years, China does not. If the Japanese elect a conservative leadership, its their choice. But at least they have a choice, unlike the citizens of China.
The last I checked, the Communist Party of China hasn't changed its name, and Chinese journalists are required to sit for Marxist ideology exams and weekly training on Marxist core values to retain their credentials. Just because the CCP leadership cloaks itself in capitalist trappings, they remain committed to their version of Marxist ideology (and enriching themselves at the expense of the general Chinese citizenry).
@Wellsaid - The free press of the rest allows the CCP to publish its point of view, trusting in the citizens of the free democratic nations who allow it to draw their own conclusions. In China, the CCP does not allow this. If the CCP think the free world is going to turn their backs on Japan because the CCP wants to moan and play the victim over events of 70+ years ago, or the Japanese visiting a shrine in their own country, they are deluding themselves. These petty gripes are not powerful enough reasons for the US or Australia etc to turn their backs on Japan who has been a reliable ally and trading partner, and a model global citizen since 1945 - unlike the CCP/PLA.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
What a joke coming from the CCP. This is the crowd who are masters of denying and rewriting their own history (and everyone else) to suit their own propaganda; and who force Chinese journalist to sit for Marxist (CCP) ideology exams, and their historians to interpret Chinese history (both ancient and modern) through a Marxist lens. The CCP have zero credibility when it comes to telling other nations to be truthful about their histories when they are incapable of doing so themselves.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
I'm sure reporters would be more interested in visiting contemporary CCP 're-education camps' or chatting to imprisoned dissidents than "a camp which housed Western prisoners of the Japanese in World War Two". No amount of whining about Japanese crimes of the distant past can make people overlook the CCP's squalid behaviour in the present.
8 ( +9 / -1 )
@pointofview - It's a mistake to believe that both nations are 'as bad as each other' and equally responsible for the ongoing hostility. All the belligerence, hostility, and aggression is coming from one side - CCP China. In what way have the Japanese been acting against China's interests? When have Japanese ministers, ambassadors', or the PM ever publicly mounted concerted and deceptive smear campaigns against China and the CCP, or condemned them in the UN for their questionable internal polices?
The CCP statement that Abe is trying to make the Chinese look bad is ridiculous - they are accomplishing that without any outside assistance through their own words and actions.
4 ( +7 / -3 )
@ne-tiger - you are being obtuse. No-one is using the CCP's crimes to justify the crimes of Imperial Japan 70+ years ago.
The CCP are claiming that no-one should trust Japan because they are 'resurrecting the militarism' of 70+ years ago and are 'evil' and shouldn't be trusted. Based upon that criteria, other posters are simply saying that based upon their record of crimes, greater brutality, and territorial aggression - all of which occurred much more recently - that the CCP should be trusted even less.
The CCP are becoming a laughing stock pursuing this line of attack against Japan.
6 ( +7 / -1 )
@ConnorH93 - I disagree. Hayashi's response simply highlighted how absurd the original statements by Liu were, and presented facts to rebut the CCP claims.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Truly bizarre. The CCP tolerate no criticism of their own repressive internal policies, deny and whitewash their own bloody record towards their own citizens over the past 60+ years (and lionize those responsible), unilaterally lays claims to its neighbour's resources and territories and then pulls out of (or avoids) UN processes to settle territorial disputes, and annexes independent states (Tibet) - and then complain to the UN about the Japanese, visiting a Japanese shrine, in Japan, that causes no actual physical harm to anyone?
23 ( +27 / -5 )
@JapanVisitor - thanks for your comment, and I agree. My father lost two brothers during the Pacific War fighting the Japanese in Papua New Guinea and Borneo and the post-war period required a lot of soul-searching by ex-servicemen and those affected at home. While some could never relinquish their grudge against the Japanese, by far the majority (including my family) did.
This healing was greatly assisted by the post war relations established between Japan and Australia, where the concerns of the government were never about exaction of eternal revenge, but to assist in the establishing a liberal democracy in Japan and an improvement in living standards there - that is to help establish conditions in Japan that would prevent a repeat of the factors that led to the Pacific War, and foster friendly relations between our nations for future generations (which have proven to be very successful).
We also had amazing public figures like Sir Roden Cutler and Tom Uren who had been victims of Japanese prison camps who spoke against adopting a revenge mentality and taking an approach similar to that advocated by the government of Australia. On a human level, Australian troops witnessed the brutal conditions that ordinary Japanese soldiers operated under and bore them little personal animosity - because they, like our troops, were placed into brutal war environment under orders, and like them would have preferred to be at home with their families living a peaceful life.
While I totally agree with the sentiment of your post on a personal level, this healing must also take place at a national level. Whereas nations like Australia sought that healing with Japan on a national level, in the case of China, the CCP deliberately prevents that healing from taking place by insisting upon maintaining its 'grudge and revenge' mentality with the Japanese and propagating it as a state pseudo-policy. It is incredibly immature and only sows the seeds for further bloodshed.
I'll have to try and get a a copy of the Railwayman. Regards China and Japan, I think Lu Chuan's 'City of Life and Death' is a must see, which revolves around the 'Rape of Nanjing'. This film not only relates the horrors visited upon the Chinese, but also sympathetically addresses the brutalizing affect upon ordinary Japanese soldiers when ordered to carry out commands that conflict with the basic humanity we all share regardless of nationality.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
So...the CCP are like Harry Potter? More laughable blather from the CCP. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming's resorting to a children's tale to discuss China-Japan relations, encapsulates perfectly the infantile nature of CCP foreign policy and diplomacy. The ambassador resorting to a reiteration of events that occurred 70-120 years ago to justify CCP China's belligerent behavior and aggression in the present is pathetic.
The CCP simply don't seem to comprehend that none of the nations which fought Japan in the Pacific War do not harbour eternal resentment towards Japan in the present as they do, or a desire to get 'payback' for it. This infantile obsession about taking revenge on Japan by CCP China for events of 70+ years ago deserves to be ridiculed, and condemned for the warmongering that it is.
17 ( +23 / -6 )
There is no mention of the Germans having any discussions about this issue with Japanese authorities, and no mention of the numerous apologies issued by previous Japanese governments or the vast amounts of reparations and ODA Japan has paid to nations in the region (including China) under the control of Imperial Japan 70+ years ago.
Seibert's comments are vague general statements that could be directed at many nations: E.G. in China and Korea there is no 'honest accounting' of the fact that significant proportions of their populations willingly co-operated with Imperial Japan (or even the industrial scale political cleansings carried out by their governments in the post-war period).
The situation before 1945 in East Asia was significantly more complex than the 'blame Japan for everything' crowd portray, as many peoples in Asia (including Koreans and Chinese) attempted to model themselves upon Japan at that time due to its success in combating Western colonial domination in the region. The events of that period were rooted in colonialist and racist ideologies inherited from Europe which many in Japan, China and Korea at that time accepted as 'modern' thinking (and which they mimicked) - brutal ideologies which have been rejected since 1945 by most nations including Japan.
0 ( +7 / -7 )
Abe's shrine visits of themselves do not raise the risk of conflict with anyone; it is the gross over-reactions to the visits by the Chinese and Korean governments (and their home-grown nationalist loons) that do.
-1 ( +3 / -4 )
@AkashiAussie - The CCP/PLA has been 'lashing out' at Australia for some time over its close alliance to the US and Japan, using the same mangled and infantile rhetoric they use daily with Japan.
Australia has been one of the USA's closest allies since the the 1940s and has been on good terms with the Japanese since the 1960s, and no amount of CCP swagger and bluster is going to change that.
If push comes to shove, Australia is always going to side with our democratic allies in the region, and not with a repressive one party state hell-bent on regional hegemony.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
By proclaiming this bogus ADIZ, the CCP have once again slapped themselves in the face and again revealed how clueless they are in the area of foreign relations. That no-one in the CCP or PLA could predict their unilateral posturing would be comprehensively rejected and defied by the international community beggars belief.
Now their bluff has been well-and-truly called, I suppose we can expect another round of tortured belligerent rhetoric from the CCP or PLA in yet another attempt to save face. The hole the CCP are continuing to dig themselves into over the Senkakus issue is rapidly becoming their grave.
The passage of two US B-52s over the area represents an emphatic and defiant rejection of the CCPs loud mouthed posturing and bogus territorial claims.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
When it comes to the CCP, words are meaningless. The double-speak, tortured rhetoric, belligerent hyperbole, weasel-words, and paranoid threats, reveals a deeply insecure and psychotic leadership prepared to go to war to hang onto their tenuous grip on power and ill-gotten wealth. Neither trust or respect should be extended to them.
2 ( +4 / -2 )