Abe hails 'lessons of history' during visit to Anne Frank museum

Picture expired. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam on March 23, 2014 AFP

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  • -23

    Hokkaidoboy

    As a Japanese, I feel ashamed that the wrong people made the wrong decision at making allies and friends during the Second World War. However, it MUST be highlighter that Japan NEVER persecuted Jews and REFUSED to deport them to concentration camps in Europe. May the memory of Anne Frank inspires us all Japaneses to be better persons. Good gesture PM Abe.

  • 8

    Schopenhauer

    No country should manipulate the histotory of the nation as well as of others.

  • 25

    Crikey

    Hokkaidoboy, your comment is one of the most mixed up I have seen on this site. Okay, so Japan did lots of bad things but at least we never persecuted the Jews. How does that gain you any credit?

  • 8

    JeffLee

    "it MUST be highlighter that Japan NEVER persecuted Jews"

    It must be highlighted that Germany NEVER persecuted Chinese civilians.

    I too feel ashamed that the Nazis made the wrong decision at making allies and friends during the Second World War.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Germancooperationuntil_1941

  • 16

    smithinjapan

    “We would like to face historical facts in a humble manner and we would like also to pass on the lessons and facts of history to the next generation,”

    Face the facts in a humble manner then, but at least face the facts -- don't deny them.

  • 3

    EthanWilber

    "We would like to face historical facts in a humble manner and we would like also to pass on the lessons and facts of history to the next generation,”

    In contrast to his hawkish comments in front of International audiences in Davos, Abe seems becoming more press savvy nowadays. That is a good thing. Hope he really meant what he said by making serious policy effort during his tenure to ensure facts and truths to be taught in the classrooms across Japan when it comes to the Japan’s wartime atrocities.

  • 7

    BertieWooster

    Unfortunately, history is often just what the word says - a "story."

    Interview 10 people who witnessed an accident and you might get ten quite different "stories."

    When they recount the incident, they add or subtract to it and give it their own bias.

    History taught in schools should at least offer various viewpoints and as far as possible present the facts, in correct sequence, with no opinion added or implied and without omissions, additions or political bias.

    And perhaps students should be taught to analyse the account of a historical event so that they can see whether it contains the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    That might be the best lesson learned from history.

  • 10

    zichi

    But there was the Shanghai Jewish ghetto with about 23,000 where about 2,000 died during their internment.

  • -8

    Frungy

    Abe is a popularist politician... he says whatever is popular where he is. Sadly he has yet to realise that the foreign press also pays attention to what he's saying in Japan in Japanese, so he comes across as a bit of an ass when he says one thing in one place and a completely different thing back home. But he's a politician, what do you expect except lies and false promises?

  • 20

    Kabukilover

    Abe is now using Ann Frank to promote himself. This is the man wished to "review" the Kono apology until he was intimidated. This the man who has put the Japanese = of Holocaust deniers on the board of NHK. This is the man who wishes to whitewash Japanese war crimes by excluding the facts from Japanese textbooks.

    There were millions of Ann Franks who were victims of Japanese war crimes.

  • 3

    justbcuzisay

    I am curious the context and exact wording of this statement

    In Amsterdam, Abe noted the “deep connection” between Japan and the Anne Frank diary, and the fact that many Japanese visit the museum.

    Because the use of the word 'connection' seems odd to me

  • 9

    smithinjapan

    Kabukilover: "Abe is now using Ann Frank to promote himself. This is the man wished to "review" the Kono apology until he was intimidated. This the man who has put the Japanese = of Holocaust deniers on the board of NHK. This is the man who wishes to whitewash Japanese war crimes by excluding the facts from Japanese textbooks."

    Exactly, exactly, exactly! He's just trying to make himself look good in light of the backlash over the Yasukuni visit and his revisionism, and before meeting with the SK president. When he won't admit to history during said meeting and demands Dokdo be called Takeshima he can fall back on the, "Hey! I just said we have a connection to Anne Frank (despite one of ours destroying copies of her diary)! I'm the good guy, here!".

  • -1

    Alex80

    Hokkaidoboy's comment can seem a bit weirdt, but maybe I get his point. Japanese colonialism has been very brutal, but you can say the same for any other colonialism (British, French, etc). What made "peculiar" the holocaust was the ideology behind it. Even though Japanese killed millions of Asians to expand their Empire, they never planned something like "The Final Solution" for Chinese or any other ethnic group. I'm not defending Japanese imperialism, only explaining that we are speaking about two different things: Germany occupied some foreign countries like other colonialist powers did, this wasn't something "new" at that time, but Hitler's figure is considered so scary and crazy because of his plan to exterminate a whole "race".

  • -8

    Hokkaidoboy

    Alex80 — Thank you for trying to understand my message. I'm not a denier of our colonialist past. But I defend my country to the bitter end in the fact that we did NOT plan to eliminate any race. The Nazis, however, did.

  • 5

    CrazyJoe

    Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul in Kovno, Lithuania, had defied Japanese orders by issuing thousands of transit visas to help Jews escape Hitler.

  • 0

    Chenchan

    But there was the Shanghai Jewish ghetto with about 23,000 where about 2,000 died during their internment.

    Source is???

  • 14

    smithinjapan

    Hokkaidoboy: "But I defend my country to the bitter end in the fact that we did NOT plan to eliminate any race"

    But will you admit that your nation at the time killed FAR more than the Germans did with the Holocaust? Do you acknowledge that the IJA at the time, with chemical weapons units like 731 who vivisected living beings, dumped some 700,000 to 2M chemical weapons in China, some in rivers in Manchuria, is any different? (all of these things have been denied by the government despite sound proof).

  • -22

    Mitsuo Matsuyama

    Some people need to find some reasons to criticize Japan for anything.

    Japan and Jewish community have a long history of good relationship. People just need to stop this frustration against Japan and recognize positive things about Japan.

  • 3

    igloobuyer

    Mitsuo MatsuyamaMAR. 24, 2014 - 10:02AM JST Some people need to find some reasons to criticize Japan for anything.

    Japan and Jewish community have a long history of good relationship. People just need to stop this frustration against

    Japan and recognize positive things about Japan.

    Absolutely, the good and the bad, equally. Japan committed horrific, inhumane things and did acts of kindness. Acknowledge it all humbly.

  • 5

    letsberealistic

    HokkaidoboyMAR. 24, 2014 - 09:21AM JST Alex80 — Thank you for trying to understand my message. I'm not a denier of our colonialist past. But I defend my country

    to the bitter end in the fact that we did NOT plan to eliminate any race.

    Yes, but there is little doubt at least some Japanese leaders would have committed genocide if they could have. You only have to look at the level of hatred and cruelty every bit as bad as the Nazis, and in some cases worse (Nanking), vested out onto the Chinese to realize this.

  • 0

    Alex80

    But will you admit that your nation at the time killed FAR more than the Germans did with the Holocaust?

    Implying the Germany killed only the Jewish, and not also other civils during their colonialism. And how many people the Brithish Empire killed around the world? What is this, a contest? It's not matter of numbers, we were speaking about ideology.

  • 14

    GW

    Hokkaidoboy,

    Japan brutally & savagely killed between 20-30million, but hey they didn't discriminate in who they killed, men, women, children, young, old, nah they didn't care, they killed them all.....................sorry not really anything to be proud in all that just saying!

    It amazes me how many Japanese can easily see the madness that was Nazi Germany but utterly fail to see Japan for what it was in the 1930-40's, amazing...........NOT!

  • 8

    Jimizo

    True, the issue isn't numbers. It's about denial and facing facts. Abe's change of rhetoric is hardly the result of a Damascene conversion. All of the atrocities mentioned were despicable, and it's generally the despicable who attempt to obfuscate or deny.

  • 0

    Alex80

    and not also other civils*

    civilians, I meant.

    @GW: did Hokkaidoboy say that he is proud of his country's colonialist past? It amazes me how many Western people can easily see the madness that was Japan Empire but they ignore how many people their own country could have killed during its own colonialism.

  • 4

    harvey pekar

    I'd like Abe to visit Pearl Harbor and say these things.

  • -3

    oldman_13

    Good for Abe.

  • 0

    Thomas Anderson

    Yes but of course, Japan can't have any flaws and therefore it is a perfect beautiful country, that's why Abe feels remorse for the nazi atrocities but not Japanese atrocities.

  • -6

    hidingout

    Abe feels remorse for the nazi atrocities but not Japanese atrocities.

    The article says nothing of the sort. In fact, Nazis are not mentioned by Mr Abe at all. Again, I urge you to stick to the facts please.

  • 1

    Thomas Anderson

    I don't know how you can seriously expect that the words of Abe are genuine when his actions don't match his words. He admits nazi atrocities but denies Japanese atrocities.

  • -5

    CH3CHO

    zichiMar. 24, 2014 - 08:12AM JST

    But there was the Shanghai Jewish ghetto with about 23,000 where about 2,000 died during their internment.

    I am not sure if "internment" is the right word, for they were refugees. They were free to leave, if any country was willing to accept them. I also counld not find if the death rate was correct or not.

  • -15

    Hokkaidoboy

    Thomas Anderson - I don't know how you can seriously expect that the words of Abe are genuine when his actions don't match his words. He admits nazi atrocities but denies Japanese atrocities.

    Both are unmatchable, uncomparable. The Nazis had systematic plans to eliminate the Jewish people, while things for Japan got out of its hands and went beyond the comprehensible. I'm a Japanese that after years of insight have come to the conclusion that there were some war crimes committed by Imperial Japan during Second World War. But, as I said, the Nazis' crimes are uncomparable to the Japanese's.

  • -11

    nigelboy

    Since Korea and Nazi is mentioned in the article, let's just make a simple comparison. The Jew population were interned and many fled all over the world to avoid persecution by the hands of the Nazi's. Over half were killed. Korean population, on the other hand doubled and many at that time, tried to enter Japan mainland illegally.

    Perhaps, as Hokkaidoboy asserts, incomparable.

  • 9

    Disillusioned

    So Hokkaidoboy, the Nazis killed around 6-8 million people in concentrations camps, but the Japanese killed around 30 million people throughout all of Asia, many of which were in brutal massacres of innocent civilians. I can see your comparison, but it think your defence is on the wrong and of the scale.

    Abe is only using this as an international PR stunt and nothing more. The vandalism of the diaries was done by one lunatic and does not reflect the opinions of the Japanese people. Yes, it is 'regrettable' but it is not a national disgrace. The biggest disgrace is the way the Japanese government reflect on the history of their imperial rule trying to bend the truth and escape the reality of their huge violation of human rights. Yeah, apologies have been issued, but the constant downplaying and justifying defences of the likes of Hashimoto and Ishihara do nothing but stir up the emotions of the countries that were demolished by the Japanese troops.

  • 6

    zichi

    Abe is in The Netherlands for a Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) and a Group of Seven meeting on the crisis in Ukraine, as well as a much-anticipated mini-summit with South Korea’s Park, hosted by US President Barack Obama after the NSS.

    Let's not forget the important part of his visit. If Russia is expelled from the G8 group of countries this will become more serious has further developments and events happen in the Ukraine. It will also increase the nuclear tensions between America and Russia but I hope both countries will continue to work together to reduce the numbers of atomic weapons they each have. It's not clear what's going to happen over the Ukraine?

    Its important to remember the past, buts it more important to live in the present and decide on the future.

  • -6

    SamuraiBlue

    Disillusioned

    One question, where did you get the 30 million figure? Source please.

  • 11

    JeffLee

    "The Nazis' crimes are uncomparable to the Japanese's."

    Japanese atrocities like the Burmese railroad, the jungle death marches, and the regular torture and starvation within Japanese concentration camps, etc. are on par with the Nazis in terms of the level of inhumanity.

  • -9

    CGB Spender

    Abe calls, reveals three aces and rakes the pot.

  • 2

    Jerrysisland

    German officials visit war memorials even in their neighbouring countries.

    Abe has to go to the other side of the globe to do so.

    Everybody else has moved on like Merkel adressing the Israeli parlament last month on very modern issues. All Japanese foreign policy is capable of is dishing out a few zillions. Will it ever change?

  • -14

    CH3CHO

    JeffLeeMar. 24, 2014 - 01:03PM JST

    "The Nazis' crimes are uncomparable to the Japanese's."

    Japanese atrocities like the Burmese railroad, the jungle death marches, and the regular torture and starvation within Japanese concentration camps, etc. are on par with the Nazis in terms of the level of inhumanity.

    Intentional killing is called murder, but unintentional mishap that results in death of human being is not. If you want to do the pissing contest of comparing crimes, you need to do this kind of analysis.

    I hope you also remember that a lot of Korean guards were responsible and punished for torture of POWs.

  • 7

    Jimizo

    'Intentional killing is called murder, but unintentional mishap that results in death of human being is not'

    I partly agree with your statement but are you truly convinced that 'unintentional mishap' is a fair description of the deaths of thousands due to death marches, starvation and forced labour? I don't think the reaction of 'oops' does this justice, does it?

  • 6

    BNlightened

    Hokkaidoboy claims: " it MUST be highlighter that Japan NEVER persecuted Jews..." Actually, you are wrong about your country's history, my friend.

    The following is a direct quote about wartime Japan from Marius B. Jansen's "The Making Of Modern Japan" (2000, Harvard University Press) page 645 (Chapter: "The Pacific War"): "Governmental monitoring of dissidence increased. The Special Higher Police (tokkou ka), established under the provisions of the Peace Preservation Law, had branches in all police precincts and were under the control of the Home Ministry, while prosecution was left to the Justice Ministry, which maintained special Thought Prosecutors. Particular care was given to monitoring religious sects, Koreans, and of course suspected leftists and pacifists. JAPAN ALSO INTRODUCED GERMAN-INSPIRED MONITORING OF JEWS, ALTHOUGH THE POSSIBLE TARGETS WERE RELATIVELY FEW AND THE RESTRICTIONS WERE NOT IMPLEMENTED VERY RIGOROUSLY." (emphasis added)

    Now, what does "restrictions" of Jews mean to you? Is restricting some group's freedoms based on their race or religious background mean that Japan "never persecuted" Jews? Of course it doesn't! Whether or not such "targets" and "restrictions" were implemented rigorously, I'm sorry, but you simply cannot factually state that Jews "were never persecuted" by the Imperial Japanese Government!

  • -8

    SamuraiBlue

    BNlightened

    You completely misuderstood what the study is talking about. Japanese adopted the system as you emphasised not the target. Toko-tai targeted the various communist movement by the way.

  • 8

    BNlightened

    Thanks for letting my previous comments stand!

    Abe claims "We would like to face historical facts in a humble manner and we would like also to pass on the lessons and facts of history to the next generation." I am glad to hear this. But given that the Japan Times has recently released documented government records that prove wartime Japan had a policy of using sex slaves in its military establishments (and then issued money to pay off those involved in an orchestrated cover-up), I would additionally like Abe be a man, face up to facts, and admit that his country did what he once regularly and publicly claimed it had never done.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/03/23/national/imperial-army-paid-to-hush-up-sex-slaves/#.Uy_Aw2dj51l

  • 1

    CrazyJoe

    The Germans are victims too. The Nazis were able; to come to power because the allied nations of World War I sought revenge for a war for which both sides were equally guilty. The German people have been around for more than 1,200 years. Nazism was around for only 12 years. It is important to remember history so we do not repeat it, but unless we study the cause, we will always repeat it.

  • 3

    justicetz

    No way to understand his action and Japanese behavior. Sth like turnning your head to left while your audience is on right. Simply directly sincerely apologize to victims.

  • -14

    nigelboy

    Abe claims "We would like to face historical facts in a humble manner and we would like also to pass on the lessons and facts of history to the next generation." I am glad to hear this. But given that the Japan Times has recently released documented government records that prove wartime Japan had a policy of using sex slaves in its military establishments (and then issued money to pay off those involved in an orchestrated cover-up), I would additionally like Abe be a man, face up to facts, and admit that his country did what he once regularly and publicly claimed it had never done

    This is getting absurd. Nobody is denying that comfort women existed. Nobody is denying that some military units violated the military code to recruit these women forcibly in occupied areas (Samarang case). As the article clearly indicates, the officer feared that his il conduct would be known to his upper superiors which cements the fact that Very top did not condone recruitment of women using force/coercion (Just like the Senarang case)

  • 3

    buggerlugs

    Perfect timing for abe as a picture of a little old lad marching through Tokyo carrying a nazi flag is trending on the internet. Abe is definitely only performing PR lip service. Good ol honest abe.

  • 8

    JeffLee

    "....but unintentional mishap that results in death of human being is not."

    I didn't know torture was an "unintentional mishap." LOL. According to Bushido, the lives of prisoners had no value, and the Japanese indeed used their slave labor as if these people were worthless.

    The diseased stick men dressed in rags emerging from the Japanese POW camps at the end of the war are a mirror imagine of the people emerging from Hitler's death camps. The Allies -- including the Nazis on the Western front -- didn't treat their prisoners this way.

    "If you want to do the pissing contest of comparing crimes,"

    Another poster started making the comparison. I'm responding.

    "I hope you also remember that a lot of Korean guards were responsible and punished for torture of POWs."

    Of course. It's the Koreans' fault. They make great scapegoats, don't they. And to think that some people accuse the Japanese of evading responsibility.

  • -7

    CH3CHO

    BNlightenedMar. 24, 2014 - 02:09PM JST

    JAPAN ALSO INTRODUCED GERMAN-INSPIRED MONITORING OF JEWS, ALTHOUGH THE POSSIBLE TARGETS WERE RELATIVELY FEW AND THE RESTRICTIONS WERE NOT IMPLEMENTED VERY RIGOROUSLY." (emphasis added)

    What exactly are you talking about? I have no idea what you are talking about from that vague hint. Would you care to explain?

  • -2

    Peacetrain

    I've made my views clear on atrocities by Japan in WW2 but here both Abe and Hokkaidoboy have been unfairly criticized and voted down. Nothing wrong with what Abe did or said at the museum.

    And nothing wrong with what Hokkaidboy said either. Japan never systematically try to exterminate a race as govt policy. That's completely different. There were many atrocities by Japanese no doubt.

    What I would say to Hokkaidoboy is to ask if he's thought about the fact that if Japan surrended a year or two earlier millions more Jews might not have died, neither would many Chinese and others, neither the civilians in Hitoshima, Nagasaki. But, as Abe said, let's learn and make sure we don't let t happen again.

  • -1

    Thomas Anderson

    I don't know why would anyone think that having something as a government policy makes it worse than not having any government policies. The results were the same.

  • -9

    nigelboy

    I don't know why would anyone think that having something as a government policy makes it worse than not having any government policies. The results were the same.

    Deterrence.

  • -8

    CH3CHO

    JeffLeeMar. 24, 2014 - 02:57PM JST

    I didn't know torture was an "unintentional mishap." LOL.

    Let me tell you. Torture is a war crime. If you think otherwise, or if you think someone said otherwise, you should correct your understanding. I only see strawman argument in you.

    According to Bushido, the lives of prisoners had no value,

    Another strawman argument. Where in Bushido does it say so?

    the Japanese indeed used their slave labor as if these people were worthless.

    The word "POW labor" is changed into "slave labor". Hague Convention on War on Land makes it OK to force POWs to work. (Article 6.) Whereas "slave labor" is prohibited by Slavery Convention of 1926. Why do not we keep the argument in honesty?

    Of course. It's the Koreans' fault.

    I agree. The treatment of POWs was bad, but large part of it was inevitable for the losing Japanese armies which were cut off from supply lines.

  • 1

    Thomas Anderson

    In fact you could say that the Japanese government took the cowardly way by not taking any responsibilities. The problem with the Japanese system was that nobody was responsible for anything. And this attitude still continues in Japan to this day. Everyone is collectively responsible, so no one is responsible in effect.

  • -7

    nigelboy

    In fact you could say that the Japanese government took the cowardly way by not taking any responsibilities. The problem with the Japanese system was that nobody was responsible for anything. And this attitude still continues in Japan to this day. Everyone is collectively responsible, so no one is responsible in effect.

    1.6 times payout the national budget of the fonder occupied territory. Unheard of and unsurpassed.

  • 0

    Thomas Anderson

    ...what? I'm talking about how the Japanese government did not take any responsibility during ww2. They could not have controlled the military faction because nobody was in charge and therefore responsible for it.

  • -7

    nigelboy

    ...what? I'm talking about how the Japanese government did not take any responsibility during ww2. They could not have controlled the military faction because nobody was in charge and therefore responsible for it.

    Yes they did. It's known as International Military Tribunal for the Far East.

  • -7

    CH3CHO

    Thomas AndersonMar. 24, 2014 - 03:41PM JST

    In fact you could say that the Japanese government took the cowardly way by not taking any responsibilities.

    What do you mean? What about the 7 class A war criminals responsible for the "crime against peace" who were hanged? Is no one responsible? What about the peace treaties and the large amount of Japanese overseas assets that were confiscated as a result? What about the Japanese money spent for Koreans and Chinese after WW2?

    You clearly do not know these facts.

  • -2

    Thomas Anderson

    So you're saying that the military did not go out of control, but they were doing what they were exactly supposed to do. Killing and torturing 20-30 million people across Asia.

  • -4

    CH3CHO

    Thomas AndersonMar. 24, 2014 - 03:57PM JST

    So you're saying that the military did not go out of control, but they were doing what they were exactly supposed to do. Killing and torturing 20-30 million people across Asia.

    I think you are confusing the discussion here. Your argument is naive and too simplistic. Though politicians lost much of the control of the military, the military leaders such as Tojo had its control. So, you cannot simply say "military went out of control". "What they were supposed to do" was to free Asia from colonialism. One can argue that it was what they meant or did not mean and the true aim was expansion. What really happened was more complicated than simplistic view. But at least, one can say "killing and torturing" was not the objective of the war.

  • 0

    Thomas Anderson

    CH3CHO, that's the typical right-wing revisionism. Japanese Empire killed and tortured 20 to 30 million people across Asia.

    If they DID control the military, then why did they let the military kill and torture 20 to 30 million people?

  • 7

    smithinjapan

    CH3CHO: no, it's not complicated except in the eyes of the delusional. Sword contests, death marches, massacres, rape... You call these "complicated" as compared to other atrocities? "inhuman" is not all that complicated a word, and I suggest you look it up and realize that as human beings Japanese are not exempt. Did you know that as Abe is posturing as some sympathetic politician after bowing to US pressure his aides are saying they will make a new statement?

  • -7

    CH3CHO

    smithinjapanMar. 24, 2014 - 04:32PM JST

    they will never truly admit any culpability,

    This sentence clearly shows your problem. We are talking about "history". No one here was even born when WW2 was going on. Why do we need to discuss the "culpability" of people here? Let us talk about history in a scientific manner.

    Thomas AndersonMar. 24, 2014 - 04:50PM JST

    If they DID control the military, then why did they let the military kill and torture 20 to 30 million people?

    Do you understand what war means? Both sides kill enemy soldiers as much as they can. You just cannot stop killing as long as the war is going on. It is not like Japan unilaterally executed helpless people.

  • 3

    Thomas Anderson

    Do you understand what war means? Both sides kill enemy soldiers as much as they can. You just cannot stop killing as long as the war is going on. It is not like Japan unilaterally executed helpless people.

    No, they killed and tortured many innocent people, and yes that is illegal. They also tortured and exploited POWs.

    • Moderator

      Thomas Anderson and CH3CHO, please stop bickering. You are just going around in circles. Focus your comments on the story and not at each other.

  • 9

    smithinjapan

    Ch3Cho: if, as your main point, we are talking about history and no one was born at the time (save the sex slaves and Japanese troops who admit to massacring innocents), what gives current nationalists the right to even question what happened and nt fully support previous apologies?

    Here's another question: were you born before the atomic bombings? No? So forget about them already! They were the result of Japan's aggression, and ummmm... No innocents were killed. Or wait... Should we not debate what led up to it so that we can avoid similar events/thinking in the future? You don't seem to think so. Errr... You don't seem to think so only when Japan is the supposed victim.

  • 7

    Oki Okinl

    since he is in the netherlands right now, i do think all this is posing at the anne frank house is in bad taste. in WW2, japan had rounded up many dutch people in indonesia (including my uncle, who was just a kid) and put them in camps. dutch women were also used as confort women, and never got any recognition from japan for that. most are dead now.

    my gouvernment apperently no longer cares eighter, as we look at this show at the anne frank house. its sad. japan still has trouble living up to its past, which leaves a bitter taste.

  • -4

    CH3CHO

    Smith, let us talk about history in a scientific manner.

  • 5

    igloobuyer

    CH3CHO

    It is not like Japan unilaterally executed helpless people.

    Where on earth did you learn about WWII. One of the first things you learn about Japan's war of aggression on Asia is that they were extremely cruel and barbaric (more than the Nazis in some cases). Raping and torturing women, killing children, torturing people because they surrendered - thousands of witness accounts.

  • 3

    Vincehwr

    Smith, let us talk about history in a scientific manner.

    You are just excelling at destroying your own credibility aren't you? These extreme right wings have never heard of the quote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".

  • 7

    David Foley

    ive seen quite often in social situations in modern Japan cliquey old Japanese men completely ignoring foreigners and giving nasty looks when engaged. It is not hard to imagine the old goats from WW2 days being totally fine with wiping out entire races that were not Japanese. I think it is this cultural indifference which led to the WW2 atrocities. Japanese tend to stick together and view the rest of the world as a movie or something that doesnt concern them. I have been told by my old students that gaijin have no impact on their lives. Imagine how much stronger that sentiment was in WW2 days. Abe can talk all he wants about Ann Frank, but the proof is in the pudding how connected the Japanese feel with the Jews. Ask any 20 something what a Jewish person is. Most won't be able to tell you.

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    CH3CHO: "Smith, let us talk about history in a scientific manner."

    Talk about history in a 'scientific manner'? That doesn't even make any sense, except of course to say you want to avoid talking about facts. But that's easy enough to dissect and show. You're not interested in talking about history, period, save when it suits right-wing causes. But hey, if you want to talk about science, let's talk about the chemical warfare unit 731. That would fall under chemistry, no?

  • 3

    UR22335

    BNlightenedMar. 24, 2014 - 02:28PM JST

     About the document you posted. From that document, it is possible to know that brothel was made and women were taken up by nearby villages. Forcibly or voluntarily is not written but it is possible that these women were virtually forced to serve, because the necessity of paying money does show higher possibility of virtually forcing women. But some rightists argue back saying even voluntary brothel can cause hate from man in villages therefore the money was needed, but even though it is not clear in the document I personally feel it is reasonable to think that women were virtually forced.

    The document also says, that soldier had to forcibly negotiate with the military outposts to get the money(in Japanese "kyoukou danpan"). That makes me question why did he have to forcibly negotiate with the superior officers to get money. If this is so, it is more reasonable to assume that the soldier was trying to do something that is usually not allowed in the military, hiding up war crime by paying money. If it was a normal practice, he did not have to forcibly negotiate. Other explanations that I have not realized might be possible, and i might be making mistake in reading this document, but at least the Japan times has not mentioned kyoukou danpan part of the document, and I wanted you to know if you do not read Japanese.

  • 7

    Fadamor

    It is not like Japan unilaterally executed helpless people.

    ??? Actually it IS like that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wake_Island#War_crimes

  • -5

    SamuraiBlue

    Oki Okinl

    For your information the Dutch government never made a formal apology toward her former colonial states and had not paid any compensation. This can be said to most European suzerain powers.

  • 8

    melonbarmonster

    Abe just oozes sleaze. Comes to PM office promising to retract WWII Japanese Sex Slaves and denying war atrocities and then visit Anne Frank House to kowtow acknowledgment to Western WWII atrocities. How about a visit to surviving women in Korea's House of Sharing or a tour of Nanjing?

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    melonbarmonster: "How about a visit to surviving women in Korea's House of Sharing or a tour of Nanjing?"

    Ah, but that would be showing actual attrition for Japan's past, and we all know what the right-wingers think of that!

  • 4

    bruinfan

    It is sad, yet I hope it will be remembered by people that Japan was closely allied as an Axis Power with Hitler and Germany... May these horrific atrocities never be committed again. I was just in Amsterdam myself. The Anne Frank House is very popular and the line is often over an hour long to get in.

  • 2

    boweevil

    How can he not fail to see the historical connection between Nazi Germany

  • 6

    Kabukilover

    Do not see.? As always with Abe and the LDP the lessons are for everyone else, not Japan.

  • 2

    ka_chan

    Abe is visiting "Anne Frank house" because the China was refused access to Germany's Holocaust memorial sites. The Dutch don't seem to be as sharp as the Germans. It is also silly to compare German and Japanese atrocities during the fascist era. Most historians would agree that both Japan and Germany killed about 20 million civilians. Both didn't treat prisoners right, Japan slightly worse. The treatment of Chinese civilians were close to the treatment of Jews by the Nazis. The difference was that there didn't seem to be a deliberate plan on the Japanese side but the results were close. It is more interesting to find out why since that effect everyone from every country. There world is turning fascist again but it seems more universal. The Chinese are more recognized for helping the Jews than the Japanese.

    As for Chiune Sugihara, the only Japanese among the "Righteous among Nations", he was Christian, Waseda graduate, an Russian expert, studied English, Russian, and German, who save thousands of Jews when he was Vice-consular in Kaunas, Lithuania. Most likely because of this, we was later dismissed from the Foreign Ministry during a time of "down sizing". There is a Sugihara house museum in Kaunas, Lithuania. A memorial in Los Angeles, a park in Jerusalem, among other things. He also was posthumously awarded the Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Life Saving Cross of Lithuania.

  • 0

    sfjp330

    ka_chan Mar. 27, 2014 - 06:57AM JST The Chinese are more recognized for helping the Jews than the Japanese.

    Aside from Chinese respect for the Jews, the Chinese also identified with Jewish suffering, especially after the realities of the Holocaust emerged, and equated Jewish suffering under the Nazis with their’s under the Japanese. Some Chinese even referred to the Jews as “suffering comrades”. The Jews were seen as a stateless and oppressed people fighting for their survival and freedom, much like the Chinese fighting Western and Japanese imperialism. Though personal interaction was limited, the Chinese could see the Jews suffering alongside them. Both the Chinese and the Jews had to deal with Japanese restrictions, including passing through stringent Japanese checkpoints. The Japanese never committed violence against Shanghai’s Jews because they respected the power of the Jews and viewed them as a tool towards the creation of a Japanese empire in East Asia. Nonetheless, anti- Jewish violence never emerged in Shanghai, in spite of German pressure on the Japanese to solve Shanghai’s Jewish problem. Before the beginning of the WWII, the Japanese’s conception of the Jews was a strange mixture of respect, admiration, suspicion, and a desire to exploit the Jews for the Japanese cause. The Japanese were still grateful for Jewish aid during the Russo-Japanese War, when Mr. Schiff, a wealthy Jewish New York businessman, arranged $180 million in loans for Japan to enable the Japanese to defeat the Russians who had been committing violent riots against the Jews. The Japanese did not forget Schiff’s action and felt indebted to the Jewish community.

  • 3

    Tamarama

    When we look back at the 20th century, it is fair to say that it was the century characterised by the violation of basic human rights Abe said.

    I would have thought there was plenty of room in a statement like this for an open and honest Japan/Japanese leader to include an acknowledgement that Japan played a significant part in that.

    But you don't hear it from Abe. You just get a detached, general observation that must have echoed considerably in the Anne Frank Museum.

    I can honestly say I don't really believe he is sincere.

  • 0

    Open Minded

    It is never too late to learn humility!

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