Abe wants to replace landmark 1995 war apology

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  • 19

    paulinusa

    Well this is just the beginning of what will be never ending pandering to the far right. The question is whether a majority of Japanese will be turned off or won't give a damn.

  • 17

    Zetsu

    Abe sends special envoy to Seoul to work to improve ties with South Korea and at the same time he is back-tracking from a 1995 apology for suffering caused in Asia during WWII... does he really understand what he's doing? If he wants to make a "forward-looking statement appropriate for the 21st century" it's fine, but no need to try erase history...

  • 12

    gaijinfo

    Just what the world needs. More right wingers.

  • 10

    icepick314

    can you count how many times Germany had to apologize for THEIR WW II involvement and the holocaust?

    ONE

    do you know why?

    because they don't "sugarcoat" or "replace" or any other non-sense...

    if Japan, Korea, and not to mention China just come out clean, then this non-sense wouldn't have to go on this long...

    it was war...it was ugly and EVERYONE did some atrocious things...

    get over yourself and just say what you did and don't hide behind some empty apology!

  • 10

    smithinjapan

    SamuraiBlue: "The European nation that colonized SE Asia never made a formal apology to those colonies."

    Jeez. And here I was thinking this was about Japan and Abe changing the apology. But go ahead and continue to deflect. If you really want to talk about apologies for war time massacres and what not why not compare what Germany did to other nations and what Japan did, and how those two nations have made amends?

    But hey, why touch on the truth when you can throw out a bunch of red herrings?

  • 9

    smithinjapan

    CrisGerSan: "A wise move...for Japan to be judged solely on the basis of a liberal agenda, for the past, is just silly. "

    Japan is being judged on it's inability to acknowledge the past, not for the past itself. Abe is the prime example of that ignorance.

    "Time to move on into a new future."

    You don't move into the future by trying to sweep the past under the carpet. White-washing textbooks and rescinding apologies makes Japan MORE guilty than it ever was, and makes the grandsons of war criminals and profiteers, like Abe and Aso for example, guilty in the present for crimes in the past. Abe is scum, bottom line, and it's a shame most people in this nation will shrug and say, "Shou ga nai, ne".

  • 9

    BertieWooster

    This was the statement by then PM Murayama:

    June 9, 1995: House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan. "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, this House offers its sincere condolences to those who fell in action and victims of wars and similar actions all over the world. Solemnly reflecting upon many instances of colonial rule and acts of aggression in the modern history of the world, and recognizing that Japan carried out those acts in the past, inflicting pain and suffering upon the peoples of other countries, especially in Asia, the Members of this House express a sense of deep remorse"

    What's wrong with that?

    I wonder how he wants to change it.

  • 8

    paulinusa

    "...Japan bashers!"

    No,not really (at least not in my case). So let's say that China and South Korea have played games with the apology card in the past. That's a fair argument. But what possible good does it do for a newly elected PM (who has pledged to mend relations) to tweak and irritate them now? While It might be good domestic politics, it only has the potential to inflame international tensions, not better them.

  • 7

    Farmboy

    Here's the list of apologies. Look under the 1990s for the statement in question:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

    What I don't understand is what is so different about the statement of Prime Minister Murayama. At least in English, it doesn't seem so different than the others. Even Koizumi issued an apology, and he certainly wasn't Socialist. Of course, none of the apologies were good enough to suit the neighbors, but that's a different issue. Why just replace P.M. Murayama's?

  • 7

    Aristoman

    Why in Europa there is not this problem with Germany? Asia, this is 21st century. Lets build stability. Unconfident Abe will fail his trying to be partiotic hero. People from disaster living in small box houses. I'm sure they feel better after Abe trying to renew patriotism in Japan. Gvnment promise to rebuild 23.000 houses from hit area. Yet only 40 houses completed. This is your real patriotism...

  • 7

    smithinjapan

    Say "Nanking never happened" and watch them nod their heads. Say "The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki never happened" and watch the same heads spin. Right-wingers don't truly want to 'look-forward' and forget the past, they just want to erase all the wrong doings of Japan in the past and keep the victim parts. They want to forget history and move forward? fine, forget that certain islands used to be yours but are now others' and move on.

  • 7

    smithinjapan

    Ossan: "Although all the "anything Abe says is right-wing" crowd have already decided what he';s going to say. "

    It's called 'learning from the past'; something Abe is unwilling to do.

  • 7

    Pontepilate

    @icepick314 You're 200%right! Germany's onetime apology is not only genuine, but sealed in law making it a criminal offense to deny the war crimes under Nazi Germany to which Japan was allied in the Axis Alliance because of shared ideology and intent It is regrettable that this article has something called "wartime militarism" which, in my humble opinion, is another way of not calling the spade a spade, a terminology often used by Japanese to evade responsibility for atrocities committed by their forces. Interesting to try to dissociate self from actions of own military while keeping the spoils they shipped home...

  • 7

    smithinjapan

    Nessie: "I disagree here. If you have done something wrong, it doesn't matter whether the person you've wrong it willing to accept your apology. You make it anyway. The apology is a measure of Japan's willingness to accept responsibility. You don't retract an apology because it's not accepted."

    Brilliant post. This whole 'not accepted' thing, I might add, is merely a means of justifying the rescinding while denying the past, and blaming it on the actual victims.

    Also, what's the government and these people going to use as an excuse once they rescind the apology? They can't very well go on saying "we apologized" if it's on official record they did not.

  • 7

    smithinjapan

    Kazuaki: "And don't bring out the German example. Japan is not Germany, true. But China and Korea aren't Europe or the Jews either, and that's the more important part of the equation."

    So what are they then? less human than the Jews? More incapable of suffering and Imperial Japan less harsh as a result? Don't tell people not to bring up a valid comparison because it doesn't suit your needs. Japan has not done anything to accomodate China or the Koreas, and now they are doing even less than trying by rescinding what MIGHT have been a genuine attempt at an apology some time ago.

    "Well, this won't be popular internationally."

    And for good reason, your understatement. It won't be popular because it is downright wrong. Why do you think Abe is going begging for security ties in Australia and India? The man is more confident than Hatoyama, for sure, but no less a liar for winking to one nation and promising another the opposite. If he wants better ties with China and South Korea, he should send a real message and not just a joke. In fact, I think the envoys were a ploy -- you get into office, promise better ties (while promising a hard line!) and send envoys, then they are rejected by the other nations due to said hard line and Japan looks, once again, like the victim while it is the aggressor.

  • 6

    Jason Stiles

    I'm gonna go with "won't give a Damn" but, who knows.

  • 6

    ogtob

    The article failed to mention that, despite his tough talk, he is a spineless quitter who unexpectedly resigned his first premiership because he couldn't handle it. Just another hereditary politician with nothing more than family history and money as credentials. Let's see if he can beat his earlier mark of just under 12 months in office. For the sake of Japan, good luck Mr. Abe.

  • 6

    smithinjapan

    “I want to issue a forward-looking statement that is appropriate for the 21st century,”

    Walking backwards while looking forwards means nothing. More than that, sending special envoys and saying you're going to improve relations with neighbours while also saying you're not willing to compromise and want to rescind apologies.... well... let's just say Japan has a 'special' definition of moving forward.

  • 6

    Nessie

    China and South Korea have been very disingenuous and have been using Japan as a scapegoat.

    I agree there.

    They have had plenty of time to accept Japan's apology and move forward Fine, apology rejected; apology rescinded.

    I disagree here. If you have done something wrong, it doesn't matter whether the person you've wrong it willing to accept your apology. You make it anyway. The apology is a measure of Japan's willingness to accept responsibility. You don't retract an apology because it's not accepted.

  • 5

    hereforever

    Why do they keep saying landslide victory when 80% of the population couldn't decide on who too vote for? They had only two choices, bad and worst.

  • 5

    paulinusa

    "Time to move on into a new future."

    With maybe a new past?

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    Bertie: "What's wrong with that?"

    It uses the active voice in admitting that Japan carried out those acts. Abe will want to change it so that it only talks about the horrors of war and how badly Japan suffered as a result.

    I've no doubt this part will be removed completely: "Solemnly reflecting upon many instances of colonial rule and acts of aggression in the modern history of the world, and recognizing that Japan carried out those acts in the past, inflicting pain and suffering upon the peoples of other countries, especially in Asia"

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    hidingout: "That's my take as well. All the apology deniers have only themselves to blame for this turn of events. "

    The 'apology deniers' have only themselves to blame for the denial of an apology?

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    Upgrayeed: "The really sad part of all this is that Japanese school textbooks give a far more accurate picture of WWII history than both South Korea's and certainly Communist China's."

    If that's the case then they all lose. Japanese history texts are white-washed and have so much taken out of them they should be called "The Victim". Abe himself was quite proud to have any references to sex-slaves taken out COMPLETELY from textbooks. Now he wants to erase Japan's statement that they did anything wrong. No one blames the people of today for the actions of the past until they are ready to ignore, erase, and repeat them. Forgetting history, and worse still DENYING history, is a crime -- and Abe is probably in part just sore his granddad was a war criminal.

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    Chamkun: " I am sure Japan is willing to apologize if any real inconvenient truth came out from the 3rd party historians..."

    All they'd be willing to apologize for is that they were caught in the lie; not the lie, and not the content. Abe knows this first hand when he had to retract his original denial of Imperial troops engaging with sex slaves. I guess it only took a few years to forget this time.

    "...but I understand our government can not accept something japan might not have done as if it were being told."

    Ah, nothing like rewriting history.

    Upgrayedd: "All the other countries that Japan invaded have long ago accepted Japanese apologies and have positive relations with Japan."

    "All other countries" are about to have that apology stripped from the history books because of this right-wing nut bag.

    "Korea, both of them but mostly the South, is never going to be satisfied until they dominate Japan in economic, cultural, and sporting spheres."

    They already are... well, okay, not quite economically yet.

    "Lets be honest. There is nothing Japan can do to make up to China and the Koreas"

    It's funny you ask for honesty in the face of an apology being rescinded.

    "This is all compounded by the fact that the Koreas and Communist China all teach their students a massively distorted view of WWII history..."

    As does Japan. And if you honestly deny that while you KNOW for a fact Abe has revised them to leave out sex slaves and denies the Nanjing massacre, then you're just as bad as all the people you criticize.

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    hidingout: "The communist chinese have had decades to come to terms with the thrashing they got from Japan."

    Bye bye credibility.

    Graham: "I really do not understand the logic of Abe's thinking. I am assuming that he is neither stupid nor insane (assuming that is...)."

    Exactly, although the stupid part is questionable. The sad part is the guy is literally asking China for more economic cooperation while urinating in their faces. It's pretty obvious he'll never live up to his promise to mend fences.

  • 5

    Pukey2

    I want to issue a forward-looking statement that is appropriate for the 21st century

    You can't move forward without sorting out the problems of the past first. Just my opinion, but Abe can do anything he likes - not my country. Japan depends a lot on China for business and trade, and South Korea has also come a long way. Japan cannot afford to make enemies.

    When a shopkeeper is rude and nasty to its customers, the customers take their business elsewhere, and the shop goes bankrupt. This is how I see it.

    SamuraiBlue:

    The European nation that colonized SE Asia never made a formal apology to those colonies.

    I hope you're not suggesting that European nation went on the rampage raping women and children, carrying out live experiments on human guinea pigs, subjecting people to diseases and letting POWs rot/starve in jail

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    SamuraiBlue: Not going over the top at all, just pointing out the facts you and so many Japanese don't like to hear, and hence the hiding out and denial.

    "The Nazi had a systematic organization of genocide of the jews, Japan never had any such plan. There were no gas chambers nor extermination camps. IJ did not divide ethnic Chinese shoving them into getos either."

    Yeah, Japan never had a unit 731 which did live vivisections or injected acid into living people either, did it? Ah, but wait.... that never happened? So what was the purpose of the unit, SamuraiBlue? except to inflict torture, pain, and murder? Again, how is that different? Why can you not admit it deserves a sincere apology?

    "On the otherhand the European nations placed an embargo on Japan because Japan did not accept the United League of Nations one sided decision not to admiting Machuko which is hypocrisy at it's best not admiting the very action the European nation did within SE Asia."

    Here we go again. It was never Japan's fault it did what it did... only other people's fault.

    • Moderator

      Readers, the subject is Japan, not Nazi Germany.

  • 5

    GaijinNKyoto

    Anyone who believes that the Yasukuni controversy is an obscure historical matter that Chinese and Koreans use to badger Japan for political advantage has probably never spent much time there. The problem is not the 12 Class-A war criminals interred at the shrine. The real problem is the Yushukan military museum next door. Walking past the Mitsubishi Zero, tanks, and machine guns on display in the museum, one finds a history of the Pacific War that restores "The Truth of Modern Japanese History."

    It follows the nationalist narrative: Japan, a victim of the European colonial powers, sought only to protect the rest of Asia from them. Japan colonial occupation of Korea, for example, is described as a partnership, one looks in vain for any account of the victims of Japanese militarism in Nanjing or Manila. One might be able to defend the museum as one viewpoint among many in a pluralist democracy. Although there is no other museum in Japan that gives an alternative view of Japan twentieth-century history as far as I am aware.

    Successive Japanese governments have hidden behind the Yushukan museum operation by a private religious organization to deny responsibility for the views expressed there. That is an unconvincing stance. In fact, unlike Germany, Japan has never come to terms with its own responsibility for the Pacific War as other have stated. Do you see Americans denying Hiroshima and Nagasaki ever took place? However, it is arguable in Japan's defense as well. That Japan has only been able to avoid squarely confronting its war guilt and war crimes because of the active connivance of the United States.

    In 1948, intensification of the Cold War persuaded the American government that Japan should become an American ally and bulwark against the spread of communism in Asia. This was unlikely to happen if investigation and prosecution of Japanese for war crimes continued. Although socialist Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama officially apologized to China in 1995 for the war, Japan has never had a genuine internal debate over its degree of responsibility, and has never made a determined effort to propagate an alternative account to that of Yushukan.

    From the beginning of 1949, the United States called a halt to Japanese war crime prosecutions and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur, began to release suspected war criminals from Sugamo Prison. MacArthur also obstructed prosecutions of Japanese war criminals by Allied countries. So while I don't excuse Japan for their continued denial of history. I also don't excuse the US for it's apparent acceptance of allowing it to continue.

    According to Watanabe , the Pacific War boiled down to race, as the US was determined to keep a non-white people down. Watanabe is thus the equivalent of a Holocaust denier, but, unlike his German counterparts, he easily draws large and sympathetic audiences. I know of a couple of Japanese writers that explain how the Nanjing Massacre was a big fraud. This which leaves the US in a very difficult position. A number of American strategists are eager to ring China with a NATO-like defensive barrier, building outward from the US-Japan Security Treaty.

    Since the final days of the Cold War, the US has been pushing Japan to rearm, and has officially supported a proposed revision of Article 9 of the postwar constitution, which bans Japan from having a military or waging war. So in all fairness to the Japanese the US had this coming. America should be careful about what it wishes for. The legitimacy of the entire American military position in the Far East is built around the US exercising Japan’s sovereign function of self-defense. Japan’s unilateral revision of Article 9, viewed against the backdrop of its new nationalism, would isolate Japan from virtually the whole of Asia. Not a good way to be starting out for Abe barely 3 weeks in office.

  • 4

    paulinusa

    "...does he really understand what he's doing?"

    Zetsu: It's called playing both sides of the fence at the same time. Pandering to domestic right wingers while trying to placate South Korea and China. It's a tightrope walk that's sure to fail.

  • 4

    herefornow

    “I want to issue a forward-looking statement that is appropriate for the 21st century,” he said.

    And so the re-writing of history under Abe begins. This is so sad. Mature people and societies accept responsibility and don't try to re-cast things based on what is "appropriate". Japan will never be regarded in the way it should be with this kind of thinking. Japan seems to be always taking one giant step back for every two small steps forward.

  • 4

    Graham DeShazo

    I really do not understand the logic of Abe's thinking. I am assuming that he is neither stupid nor insane (assuming that is...). Given that China and N. Korea are both growing strategic threats that need to be managed carefully and with a maximum of unanimity from allies, it makes no sense that Abe would dig up this issue. It puts a stick in the eye of China. It makes the S. Koreans less likely to help w/ the North. And it puts the U.S., Abe's stated #1 ally in an uncomfortable spot.

    Lots of risk, very little (international) reward.

  • 4

    Pudduhuk

    At least the Chinese and Koreans got some kind of apology. Almost 70 years and the British POWs of the Far East are still waiting for their apology. All they got was a bit of compensation.

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    Joseph: " Let's wait to see what the new statement says and what the so called experts have to say."

    A down-to-earth and well minded sentiment, but then why have to change it at all? Does anyone think it's going to be changed to make Japan SORRIER for what they did? No! It's going to be changed to erase any fallibility and responsibility. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if they changed it like the textbooks to say what they did: "helped maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula" and ask for thanks.

  • 4

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    Nigelboy --good stuff though my translator of that Japanese site was not the best to fully understand. What seems clear now is that the US oil embargo against Japan prompted Japan to attack USA? Is that correct?

    Sounds kind of like what is still going on nowadays with many countries in that oil is causing wars--IRAQ.

    Well Japan could not get oil from elsewhere?

    At that time Japan was tied up with Italy and Germany so the USA definitely did the right thing in stopping these fascist groups.

    I could not understand all that was written in that document but now their is some understanding as why Japan had to attack the USA--OIL. There are probably many details we are missing here though.

    But getting back on topic about this apology, I believe that all of this is relevant since it shows that history can be distorted and to know the truth is a pain staking process. The question still remains about the apology.

  • 3

    David Quintero Navarro

    The way this idiot Abe is going, I do not think he will last long in power, and this is because most Japanese now could careless about apologies etc...the ECONOMY is going down the drain here in Japan! What will this idiot Abe do by messing around with apologies??? He will only ANGER China, etc...that means less $$$$$$ for Japan! And while this super rich idiot Abe goes around using his right wing racists rants. Japan must change, the LDP must change and kick out fools like Abe!

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    lwsydney: "Hell, how hard is it to say "I'm sorry, I was wrong," and move on? Sometimes I just don't get adults..."

    Exactly. You move on by growing up and making up, not making stuff up and acting like a child. All of Japan's neighbours also have some growing up to do, but they're not going to make any effort when Japan refuses to make any and in fact walks backwards.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Joseph: "China may have apologies to make but as Smith said Japan needs to take the first step. Japan needs to be a role model for the region and not be a coward."

    My gosh, we agree on something. Thank you for that, and since we are talking contrition let me say I'm sorry for any disagreements and wish you a Happy New Year.

    nigelboy: "Thanks. It appears that you are basically solidifying the fact that inevitability of war in the Pacific was just a matter of time and that the coined "unprovoked" or "suprise" term is really does not apply to Japan's attack on the Pacific at all."

    You know full well japan started it willingly... what was the expression the commander used at the time? "I'm afraid we've woken a sleeping tiger"? But he did it anyway.

    "OK. Does that mean if Japan did not declare war on U.S., they would of then declared war on Australia?"

    Why are comments like this allowed to stay on but if you mention something in the actual article it's called "off-topic"? Japan isn't going to declare war on anyone but itself, and that is by doing what it is doing now. Don't you see? Japan's biggest enemy is its government.

  • 3

    simonsaysjapan

    @Joseph Garret Baxter- Japan declared war on Britain and the Commonwealth, including Australia, on the same day it attacked Pearl Harbor. A Japanese force of 57,000 troops attacked a garrison of 14,000 British, Canadian, Indian and Cantonese troops by invading Hong Kong (8th Dec. 1941 Asia time, 7th Dec. in Hawaii). Although an argument has been put forward by Japanese wartime apologists, like Abe, and included in the comments above, that Japan was 'liberating' it's Asian brethren from Western colonialism, this fails to consider the murder of these Indian and Cantonese soldiers, the bombing of Australians in Darwin, their own country, and Japan's atrocities against these same Asians in places as diverse as China (invaded), Korea (invaded and annexed for the Emperor), Papua New Guinea etc. etc.

  • 2

    roughneck

    Well, what is the point of keeping the 1995 apology anyway? Every other week China and Korea ask for apology! So lets make a new one that they actually understands! May be in English this time! :D

  • 2

    tideofiron

    Japan, Korea, and China truly deserve each other. It's so fitting to see them just go back and forth with one another, at each others' throats, forever and ever.

  • 2

    Jaymann

    like an annoying school-yard toad, despised by everyone he wants to stick out his tongue at the world (on behalf of Japan) and shout "nyah, nyah, we are not really sorry any more". The sickening childishness of this moronic action should leave me aghast... yet, sadly, I just think... "of course, this is Japan!"

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    SamuraiBlue: "History is a flow not an isolated point within time that can be cut out."

    A good post. The only problem is that so many Japanese (or wannabes) tend to generalize war as a horrible thing, naming a bunch of countries involved but leaving things out. Japan cannot and should not deny its past, but admit it and actually GROW from it, and get along with neighbours. Granted, this requires the neighbours to meet at least halfway, but now Japan is walking BACKWARDS. You say history is a flow and not an isolated time you can cut out, but that's exactly what Abe is doing -- he wants to cut out an isolated point within time be rescinding the apology and denying Japan's role in atrocities. Japan is not the only country that has committed atrocities in war (or not in war), not at all, but ignoring that they have is so, so much less than what other countries have done to make amends. Japan wants to take any and all amends they've tried to make and say they never happened. Abe is a criminal in doing such: he claims things he was never around to see never happened, while the victims are spit on by Abe's actions and told they are incorrect, their scars are lies, and their memories 'foggy'.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    Vienna1sausage: "This particular article is a dream for your rhetoric!"

    He's busy denying its existence.

  • 2

    tian4670

    At least the Chinese and Koreans got some kind of apology. Almost 70 years and the British POWs of the Far East are still waiting for their apology. All they got was a bit of compensation.

    Yeah, better than nothing.

    One day apology, next day pay tribute to war criminals in the temple, then modify history book to deny massacre.

    It is like stabbing you in the back, then offering some band-aid, then rubbing some salt in your wound.

  • 2

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    China may have apologies to make but as Smith said Japan needs to take the first step. Japan needs to be a role model for the region and not be a coward. To make an apology is not a difficult thing to do. I sometimes apologize even when I know that I am not in the wrong but know that is what other people want to hear. It takes a strong person to apologize and give up their ego. Why can't we all stop acting like children and grow up? The longer this takes the more difficult it will become. The problem is that Japan will not make that apology in the near future as this would also draw conflict into the territory disputes. Japan will never become a leader for the world if it can not do such a simple thing as this.

  • 2

    PhantomPhoneix

    Part 1

    When you ask the average Japanese what they know about their own history. It likely will go on deaf ears.

    When something is going on in a closed space where group psychology and mindset work together, peoples behavior will eventually stop being led by rational thought. Which is why Japan is so dangerous to be left to it's own devices.

    As one Hiroshima citizen put it.

    We, the people of Hiroshima, crushed by nightmares, exasperation, resignation and hardships, have come to hate war, more than any other people, and above everything else. We have eagerly sought for peace, being so urged from the bottom of our hearts, from our very innermost core.

    As though Japan is the only country on the planet to have suffered from war. I highly doubt Japan hates war any more then the millions of others who hate it just as much. Yet in a Japanese mindset there is Japan and then there is everyone else. I would like to know whether those who hate that war was equally from its beginning as from its end. Does Japan hate what they did to Nanking as much as what America did to Hiroshima? After all you don't see Americas saying it never happened do you. Although while I didn't agree with the bombing. I don't deny it ever took place.

    When Japanese forces conquered Nanking, for example, they killed at least 200,000 civilians and probably as many as 300,000 over a six-week period (or so) beginning in mid-December 1937. Japanese atrocities in Nanking were so terrible that Nazi Germany's Consul to the city personally intervened to save hundred of Chinese, especially women, tens of thousands of whom Japanese soldiers gang-raped and then, usually, murdered. The list of Japanese atrocities during the war which it started many years before it attacked Pearl Harbor is literally too long to list here.

    During America's campaign to liberate the Philippines, the Japanese command declared Manila to be an open city, a term in international law with the specific meaning that it would not be defended and American forces could occupy it unopposed. This was treachery and deceit as the Japanese defended the city fiercely, resulting in the deaths of 100,000 Filipino civilians. The city itself was devastated just as completely as either Hiroshima or Nagasaki. During 1945, a half million civilians under Japanese occupation were being killed or dying every month because of the occupation.

  • 2

    PhantomPhoneix

    Its many years of atrocities: concentration camps, its bio-war experiments on Chinese civilians, its deliberate programs of starvation and murder of prisoners, the rapacious pillaging of conquered cities and their peoples, its imprisonment of foreign women as sex slaves for soldiers. This and more all swept under the nationalistic rug without even the barest pretense of acknowledgement that they ever occurred.

    It doesn't help matters any when the West plays along & enables the millions of innocent victims of Japanese bushido militarism to be flushed down the memory hole. Although facts are stubborn things aren't they! Japan and Japan alone is solely responsible for the Pacific and Asia wars and for America's entry into them. This is fact and cannot be denied. This is what happens when you ignore your own history as though it never happened. I personally don't want to be heading down this road again.

    Nothing is ever accomplished by this kind of Nationalistic rederick. Then people wonder why we are still in Japan as maybe this will give them a clue lol. For Japan's sake I hope they realize soon that this road will only bring more suffering. You want to see an economy sink faster then the Titanic then by all means continue down this path. This is what Xenophobia & isolationism gets you. No one is going to hold it against Japan for finally coming clean and if anything it will be a coming of age. Time we all put this in the past and move on. As those who cannot are failed to repeat it.

  • 1

    Mark Bellis

    "Some unpleasantness may have occured in the co-prosperity sphere"?

  • 1

    sojherde

    This guy does not see that he is endangering the whatever fragile peace Japan is still enjoying with her neighbors. And he is risking the ecconomic recovery with his doublespeak.

  • 1

    GW

    And to those that wonder why abe is after the Murayama apology............here is a hint, those who were here then may remember.

    1995 minus 1945 = 50

    ie 1995 was the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII, Murayama's party was a minority party joined to the ldp, NONE of the ldp wanted anything to do with the 50th annivsersary of WWII & THAT was a major reason why they put up Murayama-san as PM at that time!

    Many of you know that I think(rather KNOW) that Japan is in-sincere wrt to WWII & abe certainly makes it obvious, but now years later the ldp want to wipe this off the map what they were TOO CHICKEN to do themselves back in 1995!

    I actually believe Murayama-sans apology was fro him sincere, but like all other apologies before & since none were official

  • 1

    BurakuminDes

    If Abe follows through with this he will be proven to be even more stupid than he looks - which admittedly is pretty hard. This is no way for him to "mend the brdiges" with the Chinese and Koreans as he claimed he would do. Exports to China were down 12 percent in 2012 - I shudder to think what this could be in 2012 - dropkick Abe is going to drive the Panasonics, Toyotas and Sony's to the wall.

    Nice way to cost hardworking Japanese people their jobs, foolish old man.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    tian4670: "It is like stabbing you in the back, then offering some band-aid, then rubbing some salt in your wound."

    It's more like a wink that you can 'trust me' then a bunch of stabbing, THEN adding salt, then kicking, then pulling out a katana for a killing contest; which is another thing Abe would deny.

    The bottom line is sending envoys as a cover for pulling out weapons isn't very good cover, and is only a repeat of history. It seems like this is Abe's purpose.

  • 1

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    Well if Asians have never accepted apologies then why the heck is everyone going ape crazy over this? Apologizing to China is as Neojamal says and kind of crazy to apologize to communists regime. Well there are some other countries in Asia that are not communist and have been colonized by Japan. It was not too long ago that the Japanese were brain washed by the JP military so back in those days the difference between communist China, Stalin Russia and Japan was not that much. Japan just needs to realize that there were a screwed up bunch of military misfits with big ambitions to colonize all of Asia. If anyone remembers it was Japan that attacked the USA first and if they did not do this they may have taken over most of Asia. Japan was totally misguided at the time so if there are still right wingers thinking that Japan was in the right and do not want to see the truth then what can we do? Just apologize and get it over with and if these bullies still keep up their requests for apologies then we should just tell them to go to hell.

  • 1

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    No nigelboy --you have you facts all twisted up. This is the problem with beliefs that people have --they find any way to distort the truth to fit their own ends.

    The Australian Government has repeatedly made it clear, as have the Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the Netherlands East Indies, that if war came to the Pacific it would be of Japan's making. Japan made the first move.

    No other country than Japan desired war in the Pacific. The responsibility for this actual resort to war is therefore upon Japan.... Australia goes to its battle stations in defense of its very way of living.

    Anyways, Japan was going to attack Australia anyways because of the key importance of grabbing Darwin which would allow the takeover of Timor. There is much more to the story and clearly had nothing to do with Australia's declaration of war which came just after Japan attacked the USA.

  • 1

    sfjp330

    nigelboy Jan. 04, 2013 - 03:39AM JST As the title suggests, this summarizes what had transpired diplomatically as well as within Japan's top officials. It's interesting to note that a "real possibility" that Japan might engage in war with U.S. only began to surface around September.

    In summer of 1940, Japan Military moved into northern French Indochina. And though the U.S. had no interest there, U.S. imposed an embargo on steel and scrap metal. After Hitler invaded Russia in summer 1941, Japan moved into southern Indochina. Then, FDR ordered all Japanese assets frozen. But FDR did not want to cut off oil. FDR knew that an embargo meant war, but a State Department drew up the sanctions in such a way as to block any Japanese purchases of U.S. oil. By the time FDR found out, he could not back down.

    Japan was now split between a War Party and a Peace Party, with the latter in power. At the time, PM Konoye called in Ambassador of U.S. and offered to meet FDR anywhere in the Pacific. PM Konoye was willing to give up Indochina and China, except a buffer region in the north to protect Japan from Russia, in return for the U.S. brokering a peace with China and opening up the oil pipeline. Emperor Hirohito knew of his initiative and was ready to give the order for Japan's retreat.

    U.S. spurned the offer. PM Konoye fell from power and was replaced by Tojo. Still, war was not inevitable. U.S. diplomats prepared to offer Japan a modest concession. If Japan withdrew from southern Indochina, the U.S. would partially lift the oil embargo. But Chiang Kai-shek became "hysterical," and his U.S. adviser, Lattimore, intervened to abort the proposal. Facing a choice between death of the empire or fighting for its life, Japan decided to seize the oil fields of the Indies.

  • 1

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    tyvtgo1US -- the reason is that it is all about money and being jealous of Japan. These countries feel that they can pull out more money from Japan so they keep at it. Remember to always follow the money and then you will get closer to the truth.

    Lets assume Japan was a poor country. More poor at least than Korea and China --which are not that poor anymore. Do you think they would be asking for an apology? NO WAY. There is no money in it for them.

    The truth is usually bitter but I love it.

  • 1

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    smithinjapan --Happy New Year to you too.

    It is amazing that Abe denies the Nanjing massacre. I tried to put myself in Abe's mind and see if it was possible to imagine that it did not exist, but there are pictures available including one showing a girl who is dead and naked with open legs and some kind of stick protruding from her private parts. Disgusting stuff occurred and it makes sense why the Japanese had to destroy all their records.

    But still--China does not really care about the apology for this. They just want the money. We all know how greedy the Chinese are and also how smart they can be to get their money.

  • 1

    southsakai

    This will never end. This should have been resolved decades ago! For reference look at Germany.

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    Ironically the last straw that broke the back of the camel was "Détente".

    With depression and large military spending the democratic government voted to cut military spending in which the military(supported by the various military industry) refused using the Emperor as a shield stating that the commander and chief is the Emperor and will only follow his orders as written within the IJ constitution. The Emperor already declaring that he shall reign but not rule following the British tradition told the government to remedy the situation on their own placed the government into chaos.

    That is how IJ ended up becoming a militant state.

  • 1

    simonsaysjapan

    Thanks a million to smithinjapan for typing such well written and accurate argument. One of the most distressing things about the comments here is the utter veil of illusion that the Japanese commentators are writing under. There is no feeling that they have built their opinions from well-sourced reading and broadmindedness, but more that they have filtered what they chose to accept based on their extreme nationalism. Then, along come the occassional Western sycophants with their 'little bit of knowledge is dangerous' opinions backing up the vicious murder of 20 million Asians by Japanese imperial forces. I got an M.A. In this and wrote dissertation papers on the problem. In the end, I left Japan after 15 years there as I was so disheartened by the country's direction and the increasing narrow-mindedness of a generally racist and increasingly intolerant populace. With China and South Korea gaining all the world's attention in Asia, it amazes me that Japan has not put these issues to bed and grasped a massive opportunity to develop internationally and economically by making friends with their neighbours. The slide continues and, considering how brainwashed by their complicit media they are anyway, giving the Japanese public a chance to vote for a fascist is nothing but a recipe for disaster.

  • 1

    Tim_Fox

    Apologies for need to be explicit and vaguely general the way that the Japanese apologies have been worded. Making an apology and simply moving on are clearly not enough as well. The memory to learn from historical mistakes must be meaningfully preserved in war monuments within Japan and abroad for people to reflect on Japanese wartime atrocities. Japan clearly has monuments and museums for its own wartime suffering (kamukaze fighters, and nuclear bomb memorials etc.). Textbooks need to be revised, so that Japan owns up to it's past. Part of being champion of peace and human rights, which Japan claims to be, is showing to it's own people the historical lessons it learned from the past and will not repeat. Germany did all this and today leads Europe not just economically - but some might argue they have a significant - if not preeminent political role as well. Japan led economically - but never politically. And, probably a great reason for economic problems today in Japan stem from political ones.

  • 1

    Kabukilover

    Abe is an idiot. I don't mean his denial of Japan's Asian holocaust. I mean he is shooting himself and the LDP in the foot. If Abe kills the Muyrayama apology, there will be a renaissance of historical documentation and publicity about Japan's war crimes and the accusation that Japan has not changed at all after all. It will inspire hatred of Japan that will reach an all time high. Just what Japan does not need especially right now.

    Abe has some vague right-wing agenda that has noting to do with the needed national recovery. All his is offering is nationalism--something presumably that will make the Japanese feel good while their lives are getting worse.

  • 1

    Broad Minded

    Wow I got -8 points on my recent submission for the apology. This was actually done as a test to see what the reaction would be to some crazy comments. I do not believe in any of that stuff I wrote since a nuclear Japan is not what we want and will make the whole apology situation much worse.

  • 1

    HokoOnchi

    Although it is said by at least a few historians that WW2 was inevitable ... the fact of the matter remains that, inevitable or not, the leadership in Japan consciously decided to go to war. It was a deliberate decision to send out military forces to attack and achieve/secure political and economic targets/goals.

    Japan chose to commit acts of military aggression. Article 2 of the Constitution, therefore, is the result.

    As far as Yasukuni is concerned. Japan's national leaders very pointedly should only make private (unofficial and unannounced) visits to it. If in fact they feel that it is their moral duty to pay homage to the war dead, such a duty is only a personal one and not one that calls for government office. After all, the top ranking leaders amongst the war dead are the reason why Article 2 of the Constitution exists at all.

  • 1

    y3chome

    well to be fair the apology was never accepted anyway........

  • 0

    billyshears

    Japanese companies with big business interests in China must be quaking in their boots.

    He outlined his intention to restate Japan’s position

    "Japan's" position? Abe might be said to reflect Japan's right wing position, but does this reflect the underlying feelings of many Japanese? This maybe part of the problem. Affected countries might feel like each apology up to now reflects only a particular administration`s position and not the true stance of the majority of Japanese people. Obviously, China and Korea have not been convinced for some reason.

  • 0

    hatsoff

    Farmboy - good link. Those apologies are pretty unequivocal. Is Abe going to try and replace the emperor's apologies too? Don't think so, of course. Why not just make a forward-looking statement without referencing or retracting any of the previous statements?

    I'm all for Japan standing firm in the face of China, but this is not progress.

  • 0

    kurisupisu

    The problem is that every once in a while some political doofus will commit some faux pas. For example, the Korean women seduced our soldiers or the POWs on the work gangs didn't like Japanese food or discipline and that led to their deaths. Revise Japanese education and the problem is solved....

  • 0

    choiwaruoyaji

    It will be very interesting to see the wording in the new statement.

    Can't help but think that he is playing with fire.

  • 0

    CherokeeMut

    I believe this to be a situation of competitive one-upsmanship. I read the news article regarding China's use of decommissioned destroyers (and others) that were to be retrofitted and recommissioned as surveillance vessels. One that encroached on Japanese territorial waters was named "Nanking" for obvious reasons. We will see more and more of these politically motivated jives in the future.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    I shudder to think what this could be in 2012

    2013 even

  • 0

    lwsydney

    Hell, how hard is it to say "I'm sorry, I was wrong," and move on? Sometimes I just don't get adults...

  • 0

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    Well lets not get ahead of ourselves and start condemning Abe yet. Let's wait to see what the new statement says and what the so called experts have to say. History has never been perfectly written so this makes history an easy thing to distort to one's own interests. I feel that Abe is getting to far-right for my tastes, but I will give him one shot at this and see what they come up with.

  • 0

    gonemad

    Not so long ago we saw a party with a landslide victory in the elections where the prime minister had nothing better to do than working himself to ground with minor matters instead of focussing on the things for which he got elected. Does Abe want to follow in Hatoyama's footsteps?

  • 0

    Serrano

    "foward-looking statement"

    I sincerely apologize for not having invited KARA to perform on Monday night's Kohaku Uta Gassen.

    I hereby promise to invite KARA on this year's Kohaku Uta Gassen.

  • 0

    billyshears

    Speaking a day after the new cabinet was named, the official, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who serves as the government’s top spokesman, refused to say clearly whether the new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, an outspoken nationalist, would uphold the 1993 apology.

    Mr. Suga said at a news conference that it would be “desirable for experts and historians to study” the so-called Kono Statement, which acknowledged the Imperial Army’s involvement in forcing thousands of captured Asian and Dutch women to provide sex for Japanese soldiers. Most historians say the women were coerced and were not prostitutes, as Mr. Abe and other nationalists have claimed in the past.

    Mr. Suga also said, however, that the Abe government would uphold a broader apology, issued in 1995 to observe the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, to all victims of Japan’s colonialism and aggression.

    Mr. Abe, who also served as prime minister in 2006 and 2007, has never been shy about his right-wing agenda, which includes calls for textbooks with a more patriotic tone. But after watching his popularity plummet in his last term as mainstream Japanese bridled at his hawkish stands, some analysts have suggested that he might be more restrained this time.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/world/asia/japan-might-revise-apology-on-wartime-sex-slaves.html?_r=0

  • 0

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    Japan should just make the strongest apology possible and get over this thing so they can take care of their economy. People who can not apologize just have a big ego. Even if it is not true they should still apologize to make others happy. If people only want words then give it to them. So much time has been wasted over this.

  • 0

    serendipitous

    if all of this is about apologizing.

  • 0

    DavidGrace

    It crosses my mind that Abe's reason for stirring up this issue is to protect the nuclear industry.

    For over fifty years the fraud of "Atoms for Peace" claimed that nuclear power plants could not be used to make weapons. Now that the industry is on the run, due to Fukushima and other examples of neglect, the real purpose of the nuclear plants becomes exposed.

    Perhaps the Prime Minister wants to develop a weapons program, and he needs an enemy to justify the tactic.

    What makes it worse is the fact that the powers behind such a tactic are not Chinese or Japanese, but corrupt weapons merchants. Protecting profoundly serious polluters with a malicious foreign policy tactic is something fitting an opera.

    Let's keep this strategy a cautionary tale or a myth, rather than a reality.

  • 0

    HokoOnchi

    icepick314Jan. 02, 2013 - 08:45AM JST

    can you count how many times Germany had to apologize for THEIR WW II involvement and the holocaust?

    ONE

    do you know why?

    because they don't "sugarcoat" or "replace" or any other non-sense...

    if Japan, Korea, and not to mention China just come out clean, then this non-sense wouldn't have to go on this long...

    it was war...it was ugly and EVERYONE did some atrocious things...

    get over yourself and just say what you did and don't hide behind some empty apology!

    Exactly. Well said.

    None of these countries have truths in their histories that they can be proud of. They need to come clean to themselves for their own serious sins against themselves rather than point to others as being the bad guys.

  • 0

    SamuraiBlue

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    There were various tariffs and banned goods that couldn't be imported/exported directly to Japan due to protectionism by the European states which started to pop up right after the great depression. This is one of the reason why Japan headed towards militarist nation.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    About the only apology I could see Japan revising would be the one about the "sex slaves". Based on actual investigations, there was only one instance of sex slavery and it was a foreign health worker who was the victim. The "comfort women" were recruited from brothels and were paid for their services, so all this talk about apologizing for sex slavery is a bit meaningless.

    http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/39_S4.pdf

    The rest of the accusations about Japan can't be denied and if Abe thinks about revising apologies for those actions, he's going to have a very difficult time of it.

  • 0

    HokoOnchi

    China, Japan and Korea each have shameful moments perpetrated by their nationals upon either themselves or on others.

    Each country should be focusing more upon those things and a lot less if any time at all on what one or the other country's nationals did to the other's.

    For sheer numbers, for example, Chinese nationals are responsible for most of the horrible deaths of fellow Chinese nationals. Between 20 and 40 million people died of famine (a horrible way to die) in China from 1958-1962. One would think that there are lessons to be learned from that experience that people in China would want to gain.

    Japan's actions during WW2 regardless of motivation to start the war, should be acknowledged, regretted and sugar coating or revisionistic re-writes of what happened need to be done away with.

    Korea's experiences during the Korean War, during the regimes immediately after that War and, also, those in Korea who collaborated with Japan during WW2 need to be acknowledged and admitted to in Korea. Japanese nationals alone aren't the blame for everything that happened in Korea.

    All three countries' governments and peoples need to stop pointing fingers at the others and just deal with what they themselves did to themselves and to others and then move on.

    Others have said that it is all about the money and perhaps this is the point of it. But the way in which the governments of those countries continue to use revised histories to promote political agendas is dishonest and unethical.

  • 0

    sfjp330

    HokoOnchi Jan. 05, 2013 - 04:22AM JST All three countries' governments and peoples need to stop pointing fingers at the others and just deal with what they themselves did to themselves and to others and then move on.

    Even PM Abe knows this, yet he still visited the Yasukuni shrine, and when you have over 60 J-goverment officials visiting and praying for 14 class A war criminals, it does not help to improve relationship with China and Korea. In fact, all of these J-goverment reps has the knowledge that what they are doing is angering other countries. Is it really to the benefit of Japan that they are pushing Japan farther and farther away from others and continue to look at themselves as victims? That Japanese culture treats all dead as innocent does not mean everyone else should follow that same mindset. That this affects other nations suggests that the Japanese ought to take into consideration their actions on others, too. This is not simply a domestic matter.

  • 0

    glidingneedles

    Regrettably, little of this has to do with "justice" per say. We are not talking about the opinions and thinkings of ordinary citizens here but nation-states and politicians with an agenda. Winners write history and Japan will apologize, whether it wants to or not, to other Asian countries once it finds it in its economic, military and political benefit to do so. So the best thing that Chinese and Koreans can do is put themselves in a position to "softly demand" an apology and if things continue in their current trajectory, an apology may not be too far away. In fact, as a S. Korean national, I can attest to the fact that this antagonism and grudge against Japan can sometimes be a driving force for success, be it economic growth or soccer games. I've noticed the same thing in China as well. Actually I could care less about the issue (I don't want to pretend that I'm the primary victim here and most Japanese I've met were well educated and willing to admit the past when the topic did come up) but am infuriated that some people, Abe in this instance, are able to gain personal benefit by manipulating other people for the wrong reasons.

  • 0

    Achernar

    It will be interesting (if more than a little scary) to see the reaction in Asia if Abe proceeds with his disgraceful plan. There is always something richly ironic about how much damage these so-called "patriots" do to their countries.

    In a country with a declining population, vast debts, no natural resources, a chronically dysfunctional political system and a culture that profoundly discourages any who would question established "authority", about the only thing Japan has going for it structurally is its proximity to dynamic Asian economies.

    Give Abe a year and it looks as though he will negate that advantage and place Japan on the path of irreversible relative decline.

  • 0

    toguro

    Abe couldn't wait to stir that hornets nest, could he. smh

  • 0

    Ah_so

    A wise move...for Japan to be judged solely on the basis of a liberal agenda, for the past, is just silly. Every nation makes decisions in war that are regrettable in peace. It is two completely different realities. Part of the problem is that generally accepted "history" was re written or written originally concerning the era 1940 to 1945 based on the standard American view of the world. It did not accept or deal with the reality of Japan, facing a world dominated by the British Empire, the fading French, Dutch and Portugese Empires and the unstated but very real American Empire ....all of whom has their own views of the role of resource producing and product buying "colonies" ...ie most of Asia at that time. Japan has a vision of a free and united Asia that would be an equal of the western block, but they faced a strong wall in the form of aggressive American obstruction .....products were made cheaper and better in Japan already at that time and it was a major percieved threat to the US and to the UK. So the war was caused by such commercial conflicts as much as anything else.

    CrisGerSan: Wow. I never read stuff written by Germans or their supporters about Hitler's aims for a "free and united Europe" or other apologist nonsense. It just shows how established the right is in Japan is and how it refuses to admit its past.

    Japan earned a well-deserved reputation for brutality and savagery in the colonies that it "liberated" in WW2. That is why when Japanese go to these countries, they are best-advised to keep quiet and Japan's aims for a "free and united Asia". The people of Asia do not despise Japan because of indoctrination by the "liberal agenda", but because of its brutality and subsequent refusal by the Japanese people to feel guilt or remorse (as opposed to a casual apology).

  • 0

    ReikiZen

    My wife and I have butted heads on this for some time until she saw a documentary on it and has since changed her tune. Pictures speak a thousand words and you can't deny what is staring you straight in the face. Her response was somewhat interesting as well. How could we Japanese do such things. This is not what we were taught nor is does it reflect the Japanese way. This is shameful, I cannot accept this. To her credit though she suffered from some depression afterwords and has cried many times and has since come to terms with reality. This tells me that the Japanese people aren't what the problem is. My wife clearly had shown remorse and was disgusted with her government. I told her to not hate her country but the people in power who try to exploit that for their own personal gain. Any government which tries burying it's history as a means of controlling it's population does not deserve to rule. Governments and I mean any government, ours included note this. We the people are what governs not you! Power is something only God commands! Might be good to remember that.

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Abe and all of the racist fools in the Japanese right wing, are idiots! They want Korea to FORGET what the Imperial Japanese Army did to them?? Then what?? Ask CHINA to just forget what Japan did to them too?? Sorry folks, aint gonna happen!

  • 0

    plaidpajamas

    If he is so interested in being "forward-looking", then why is he wasting time rephrasing such an old statement. There are so many other, more current and important issues he could be handling. I'm already disappointed with him...

  • 0

    TrevorPeace2

    An apology doesn't need to hurt forever, whose ever side you're one. Get over it, as the song says.

  • -1

    Upgrayedd

    The really sad part of all this is that Japanese school textbooks give a far more accurate picture of WWII history than both South Korea's and certainly Communist China's.

  • -1

    Chamkun

    I hope all government get involved this Abe effect agree to set up the international historians team with out China, Japan, N&S Korea but the 3rd countries pure historical curiosity international team to seek the facts with out any politics. Whatever out come would be, Japan should take care of it with utmost sincerity. I am Japanese and I believe we did our best we can last 67 years to build the order and peace but if that is not enough, we must review the real history for each other now. It is not healthy that some politicians are using history as their weapon to take political advantage. I like studying history because we can learn from our mistake in past then try to not do it again. But at this stage, because of the history, we could make the same mistake again.

    I thought we reset the situation at San Francisco peace treaty in 1951 after the Tokyo court. Or few other occasions such as a basic Japan Korea treaty in 1965 which stated and signed by the father of a new Korean woman president. which said Japan and Korea completely perfectly solved any issues related before 1945 forever, so Japan abandoned $5,300,000,000 asset to Korean government and $800,000,000 cash to the people's compensation when the collage graduate in Japan's salary was $65 average ($1=360 Yen then) The Korean Government did not used this cash to the people then, so many Koreans seems do not know what Japan apologized and paid. I was a student then. I thought we can just seek something positive for future with , Korea after this treaty.

    This is the one of the examples from many historical issues why so many Japaneses are supporting Abe. And the reason why I would like to see the international historians team to find out the real history before each countries politicians get involved to make it worse.The sex slave issue was not any issue after 1945 till 80s. Suddenly after Seiji Yoshida wrote a book 1977 as supposed to be non fiction as his experience, then Asahi News paper picked up that sensationally in 80s this sex slave issue based on Yoshida's book. Then it came out in Korea. Between 1992 and 1995, a left wing lawyer Etsuro Totsuka had 18 trips to USA, Europe, China, Korea and did lobbying activity in UN then finally the official human right documents were released by UN in 1996.

    But in 1996 May 29th Yoshida him self made a confession that that was not true story. He could not sell his book unless it provoked the society. Mean while at Seoul University professor Ann Byunjuku said his research that he found no forceful abduction by JPN Gov or a very angry female Korean Journalist for this story visited a few villages Yoshida mentioned in his book, She got a 100% different story, also some of the women who claimed to JPN gov, were arrested as fraud in 90s, but Kouno and Murayama showed their sympathy to Korean people then. So till 2005, the situation got quite.

    Then, 2007, an American politician Mike Honda used as a fact from UN documents in 1996 to promulgate resolution 121 which is a resolution demanding JPN gov apologize to Korea. That passed on July 30 as suspension of rule with out vote but an oral confirmation to a few representatives.

    Now, Korean civilian groups in NJ, NY, MI and more... try to erect the monument for the sex slave issue. It has been already erected in NJ and NY based resolution 121. It is affecting other issues such as Takeshima.

    This as an example how Japan is being seen by our Asian brothers. And it is not necessary as exact my point of view but this is one of the examples of Japanese point of view. So even it seems so impossible to establish the historian all stars but that seems the only way to solve the issue. I am sure Japan is willing to apologize if any real inconvenient truth came out from the 3rd party historians but I understand our government can not accept something japan might not have done as if it were being told. That why the best way we thought was done in 1965 during the basic treaty. But that contract and condition were obviously ignored, we must study the each case. So based on the out come, Japan can apologize but japan can not apologize something is not the part of history that mean we hand down more hot potato to the next generation as we received. Everything now reactivated all hot issues came from before I was born.

    I am sick of it these days for this historical issues. In long term point of view Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, we all get negative effect for our future.

    That is why I have a problem with the Jiang Zemin Administration which enacted the "patriotism educational implementation guideline" in 1994, and promoted the thorough anti-Japanese education from 1995 Directions were taken out with the meeting in which the diplomatic. authorities, such as an ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary who resides "that a history issue is emphasized from beginning to end, and saying it moreover while continuing telling Japan the Taiwan and other problems thoroughly must be continued forever", and at foreign countries, were gathered in August, 1998. Anti-Japan sentiment increases by Jiang Zemin's anti-Japanese policy in China,since then.

  • -1

    SamuraiBlue

    Most nations does not really like to admit the truth.

    If you look at a map printed in the 30's there are no Indonesia, Malyasia, India and any other nations in the SE Asia, Middle East, and/or Africa. There were only Dutch, French, British, French Belgium colonies. The Shanghai bund was controlled by various European nations Hong Kong was placed into lease to Great Britian through the Opium war against the Qing dynasty. Both the Dutch and the French tried to retake their former colonies after the war and were driven out by people who had learned modern warfare through exchange program by the IJA. Taiwan already placed recognition towards a former IJA colonel that acted as a military advisor during the independence war against PRC. Indonesia has a memorial of un-named Japanese soldier that faught with them.

    Yes there were alot of blood shed but that war was needed to turn over the status quo but each and every nation that participated wants to place the blame on the losing side while washing their own hands on what they were doing within their own colonies.

    I do not remember any memorial built by the European to apologies to their former colonies?

    History is a flow not an isolated point within time that can be cut out.

  • -1

    NeoJamal

    What could Japan say instead of apologizing?

    But the killing of millions of Asians saved even more number of lives.

    Yeah we've heard this excuse before.

  • -1

    nigelboy

    You know full well japan started it willingly... what was the expression the commander used at the time? "I'm afraid we've woken a sleeping tiger"? But he did it anyway

    From the movie, I presume. Sigh

    The experts within their own government at that time assessed the strength of Japan and U.S. with a ratio of 1 to 20. With odds so stacked against them, the term "willing" is a stretech IMO. In some cases, nations have no choice to go war for self preservation. I think you need to do a little bit more research on the negotiations both within Japanese government and the U.S.-Japan correspondences to actually grasp and understand the decision (both parties) why she(Japan) entered the Pacific War.

    A good start would be here.

    http://www.tante2.com/nhk-gozen-kaigi3.htm

    As the title suggests, this summarizes what had transpired diplomatically as well as within Japan's top officials. It's interesting to note that a "real possibility" that Japan might engage in war with U.S. only began to surface around September.

  • -1

    JapanGal

    Good luck Abe

  • -1

    hidingout

    Even if it is not true they should still apologize to make others happy. If people only want words then give it to them. So much time has been wasted over this.

    So this time can we believe that the apologies "will make others happy"? Can we finally stop "wasting time" over this issue? I think if the Japanese believed for a second that the answer to those questions was "yes", that they would issue another properly worded apology. Sadly we all know the issue would only go into dormant phase until the next time the communist chinese found reason to dust it off again and renew all claims with vigor. I fully expect my grandchildren will be hearing about this topic in fifty years time. No more apologies and no more compensation.

    .

  • -1

    hidingout

    Thanks for the chuckle simon ....

    For the sake of the future of the region wouldn't it be best if any country that has received dozens of apologies and billions of dollars from a former opponent in battle could finally show a little grace, a little class, accept the apology and move on to more important issues?

  • -1

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    War is war and it is always ugly in one way or another. All these countries should forgive each other and move on to higher ground. Even if 20 million people were killed by Japan as simonsaysjapan has said it is bad of course, but it is far in the past and something that all countries should forgive. Apologies will not do much as we have seen but forgiveness will do much more. All these countries as I have said only care about money and trying to bring the bigger country down. It is the same in business--if you get big then everyone tries to pull you down. Same thing is going on here. Japan is now one of the most perfect countries in the world so it is best for everyone else to learn from Japan.

  • -1

    cramp

    well to be fair the apology was never accepted anyway........

    not in the least sincere and insulting actually if you count the innumerous recants via their deliberate jingoism

    i'm glad they didn't accept the apology

  • -1

    humanrights

    Can you withdraw an Apology?? Only in Japan I guess. We were sorry but not anymore because we changed our minds??

  • -2

    oikawa

    Fine, apology rejected; apology rescinded.

    Yeah cos apologies for mass rape and murder are just political statements and part of the game. I wonder why they weren't accepted..

  • -2

    tyvtgo1US

    I see not one good reason for Abe to not due anthing with the apology.... Since. China and South Korea seems that any apology is not good enouhg. Why has the rest of the world moved on and are close friends with Japan, even as these others also fought in the war?? Then take for instance Germany, what is the difference? Do we still hear this constant bull S about Germanyand its past? Maybe it is just the level of social developement lacking in these countries that is the problem.. haha Of course the dictators of China use it for their very opwn existance and forced control over their people. Instant hate against Japan earns them points!

  • -2

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    SamuraiBlue

    That is the most important piece of info I have read in a while. It explains how Japan became a militarist nation. Same kind of thing is going on with Iran and North Korea now. Burma was treated like this but now they are getting out of their militarist shell slowly.

    So if we look at history like this it all starts to make sense. The depression was the initial cause for this disruption in the world and eventually it had some influence on Japan to become the way it was.

    In that sense, then maybe Europe and USA should make apologies to Japan!!!

    Actually about this apology thing I spoke with my Japanese wife and she said that apologies will be useless. All these countries like China and Korea only want money. She said how naive I can be. So what would happen if Japan apologized again would end up resulting in those countries asking for more money.

    Now that makes the most sense. Since as we all know that every country in the world is greedy once they get their apology their expectations for money will be the next thing to ask for.

    On another point about apologies which is highly important it should be remembered that Japan is not asking the USA for an apology for the atomic bombings. I have mentioned this before and do not want to hear again that Japan was responsible for being bombed and all that nonsense. Point is that Japan does not look for apologies for itself. Japan looks at the current economy and how to go forward --though I may say that Japan is still having problems with technological developments since what they are good at is improving upon what has been developed instead of developing ideas from scratch. The proof of this is the number of patents that Japan produces as compared to the USA.

    All of this just proves my earlier point that history is complicated and there are many ways to see it. People should not get locked into thinking one way or the other but be open to fresh ideas.

  • -2

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    hidingout --yes I can understand your feelings. This whole thing is the most stupid waste of time, electricity and resources. Interesting that you mentioned compensation after the word apologies and that was my point. It is only about compensation. The apologies will lead to the compensation. But that still does not make it fair not to issue an apology if it is warranted. But apologize for something 50+ years ago? Give me a break. I was not even born back then.

  • -3

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    That is right. What Germany did to the Jews is a totally different equation. The closest Japan got to that were those "medical" camps that operated on live patients to test out torture.

  • -3

    gokai_wo_maneku

    It doesn't matter.

    Asians have never accepted the apologies anyway. They are always "insincere". We should give it up. (No I'm not a rightist, just a Marxist). (Well, it is true that Mao and Chou accepted the apologies, but that does not seem to matter...)

  • -4

    GW

    To those that think Japan has apologised & is sincere................................

    I give you abe! Nuff said!

  • -4

    OssanAmerica

    FarmboyJan. 02, 2013 - 08:21AM JST Here's the list of apologies. Look under the 1990s for the statement in question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listofwarapologystatementsissuedby_Japan What I don't understand is what is so different about the statement of Prime Minister Murayama. At least in English, it >doesn't seem so different than the others. Even Koizumi issued an apology, and he certainly wasn't Socialist. Of >course, none of the apologies were good enough to suit the neighbors, but that's a different issue. Why just replace >P.M. Murayama's?

    Very good point, Which also proves that until "what" the new statement is going to say there isn't much anyone can say about it. Although all the "anything Abe says is right-wing" crowd have already decided what he';s going to say. People are already writing it for him . LOL

  • -4

    SamuraiBlue

    Smithy

    Going over the top in self righteousness I believe.

    The Nazi had a systematic organization of genocide of the jews, Japan never had any such plan. There were no gas chambers nor extermination camps. IJ did not divide ethnic Chinese shoving them into getos either.

    On the otherhand the European nations placed an embargo on Japan because Japan did not accept the United League of Nations one sided decision not to admiting Machuko which is hypocrisy at it's best not admiting the very action the European nation did within SE Asia.

    • Moderator

      Back on topic please.

  • -4

    serendipitous

    China has bigger apologies to make.....

  • -4

    Upgrayedd

    Mr. Suga said at a news conference that it would be “desirable for experts and historians to study” the so-called Kono Statement, which acknowledged the Imperial Army’s involvement in forcing thousands of captured Asian and Dutch women to provide sex for Japanese soldiers. Most historians say the women were coerced and were not prostitutes, as Mr. Abe and other nationalists have claimed in the past.

    New York Times

    You can always count on the NYT to offer up sloppy reporting about Japan. The Kono statement did not admit that the Japanese Army forced thousands of Asians and Dutch into sexual slavery. And IFAIK only one Dutch women was forced into this kind of slavery. Not thousands.

  • -4

    NeoJamal

    Apologizing the Communist Chinese is like apologizing to Stalin for WWII.

  • -4

    Upgrayedd

    Do you have an actual quote from PM Abe where he denies the existence of the Nanking massacre?

  • -5

    proxy

    On the surface it sounds crazy but both China and South Korea have been very disingenuous and have been using Japan as a scapegoat. They have had plenty of time to accept Japan's apology and move forward Fine, apology rejected; apology rescinded.

  • -5

    SamuraiBlue

    Smithy

    The European nation that colonized SE Asia never made a formal apology to those colonies. That is the difference. Japan made formal apologies to all nation that Japane invaded and paid compensation to all and also provided ODA to each and every nation affected. Can you say the same for all the suzerain states?

    Don't think so.

  • -5

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    Well, this won't be popular internationally. However, I do agree with Chimukan's position. Japan has done a lot to accomodate C&K on this issue, and they are being greedy.

    And don't bring out the German example. Japan is not Germany, true. But China and Korea aren't Europe or the Jews either, and that's the more important part of the equation.

  • -5

    nigelboy

    Joseph Garrett Baxter

    Thanks. It appears that you are basically solidifying the fact that inevitability of war in the Pacific was just a matter of time and that the coined "unprovoked" or "suprise" term is really does not apply to Japan's attack on the Pacific at all.

    I aslo want to add that Japan also didn't want a Pacific War for they were negotiating very hard with the U.S. for an workable diplmatic compromise and that "provocation" sometimes isn't limited to "who fired the first shot" for it sometimes boils down to a simply exhausted negotiations.

    "Even contemporary historians could think that 'as for the present war, the Principality of Monaco, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, would have taken up arms against the United States on receipt of such a note (Hull note) as the State Department sent the Japanese Government on the eve of Pearl Harbor.'"

    Anyways, Japan was going to attack Australia anyways because of the key importance of grabbing Darwin which would allow the takeover of Timor. There is much more to the story and clearly had nothing to do with Australia's declaration of war which came just after Japan attacked the USA.

    OK. Does that mean if Japan did not declare war on U.S., they would of then declared war on Australia?

  • -6

    hidingout

    @ proxy

    On the surface it sounds crazy but both China and South Korea have been very disingenuous and have been using Japan as a scapegoat. They have had plenty of time to accept Japan's apology and move forward Fine, apology rejected; apology rescinded.

    That's my take as well. All the apology deniers have only themselves to blame for this turn of events. Love the posters on here who have argued long and hard that Japan has "never" apologized, now frantic with worry that a statement they never accepted in the first place is now going to be discarded.

  • -6

    SamuraiBlue

    Looks as if someone is believing the white washed history books.

  • -7

    timtak

    I am almost entirely in agreement with CrisGerSan except while "Japan has a vision of a free and united Asia that would be an equal of the western block" they also had (and alas have imho) a sort of 'we are not Asians but Ex-Asians or Western-Asians', which in the past resulted in some regrettable things, and even now perhaps results in a sense of superiority towards, or lack of empathy towards, countries that should be friends.

    Can't one move forward while remembering the bad things too? Perhaps not. There is also a culture of time and the past, and in Japan it may well be essential to "let it flow with the water."

  • -7

    Upgrayedd

    All the other countries that Japan invaded have long ago accepted Japanese apologies and have positive relations with Japan.

    Lets be honest. There is nothing Japan can do to make up to China and the Koreas. China isn't going to accept anything short of Japanese groveling and respect of Chinese power as it existed in ancient tributary relations that existed before the 17th century.

    Korea, both of them but mostly the South, is never going to be satisfied until they dominate Japan in economic, cultural, and sporting spheres.

    This is all compounded by the fact that the Koreas and Communist China all teach their students a massively distorted view of WWII history...

  • -9

    hidingout

    @Upgrayedd

    Lets be honest. There is nothing Japan can do to make up to China and the Koreas. China isn't going to accept anything short of Japanese groveling and respect of Chinese power as it existed in ancient tributary relations that existed before the 17th century.

    Well stated. The communist chinese have had decades to come to terms with the thrashing they got from Japan. Its too bad that they let their pride get in the way of accepting dozens of perfectly good apologies. Now they are going to get nothing. No doubt the communists and their leftie apologists on this site will wail and moan but it will be to no avail. I applaud Mr. Abe for showing these fools that there is a limit to Japanese patience.

  • -9

    Broad Minded

    Abe should kill the former apologies and all of them completely. These apologies have not been recognized and the hatred from Korea keeps on coming as well as from China. Japan has given all they could give and in return Korea white washes all their textbooks and even promotes children to draw pictures in the classroom of Japanese being killed.

    The apologies will never be accepted by Korea as this is the only thing keeping Korea united and gives them motivation to try and succeed. The Korean government does not want to loose its control over the people which has taken 60 years to make.

    People have said it is Japan's fault that Korea has become like this. No, nobody asked Korea to stay in the past and brood over their wounds. All of the numbers of how many were killed has been exaggerated by Korea and China. Even the Nanjing Massacre was toyed with by the Chinese when they inflated the numbers of how many people lived in the city. During that time the KMT ordered that this city should be turned to ash and all people killed who remained there. The Chinese wanted to make it seem worse than it was.

    Since the governments want the situation to seem worse than it was all of the facts are manipulated so that they can get more support from the people. The Koreans and Chinese are being fed a bunch of lies just like North Korea is doing to its people. Japan is also being fed lies and hiding to a certain extent --many of the war time documents on the Nanjing Massacre were destroyed by IJ. We know that Japan did hideous things -- but that was a long long time ago and they have apologized and given enough money. Japan is not asking for apologies from the atomic bombings. Why? Because Japanese are smart to realize that they need to move the economy ahead--well if the relations were better with Korea and China the economy would grow better also--yes I know both sides of views. But what to do when you are dealing with countries that lie to their own citizens and create false propaganda.

    As such, Japan is fed up with this nonsense and must move on and that is why Abe has come into power. Korea and China are responsible for putting this right-winger into that position. It actually makes Korea happy since now they have many more years of pushing the anti-Japanese rhetoric and can now say that they were right about Japan's intentions and so forth.

  • -10

    CrisGerSan

    A wise move...for Japan to be judged solely on the basis of a liberal agenda, for the past, is just silly. Every nation makes decisions in war that are regrettable in peace. It is two completely different realities. Part of the problem is that generally accepted "history" was re written or written originally concerning the era 1940 to 1945 based on the standard American view of the world. It did not accept or deal with the reality of Japan, facing a world dominated by the British Empire, the fading French, Dutch and Portugese Empires and the unstated but very real American Empire ....all of whom has their own views of the role of resource producing and product buying "colonies" ...ie most of Asia at that time. Japan has a vision of a free and united Asia that would be an equal of the western block, but they faced a strong wall in the form of aggressive American obstruction .....products were made cheaper and better in Japan already at that time and it was a major percieved threat to the US and to the UK. So the war was caused by such commercial conflicts as much as anything else.

    Sadly the tole on human morals, ethics and lives was severe and the blame rests equally on all sides, no country was or is exempt. But Japan has been made a scape goat by the other major powers and has borne unfair blame ever since. It is time for equality again, and for us to live in the present not the past. I agree with and support Prime Minster Abe completely in this. Time to move on into a new future.

  • -10

    nigelboy

    Get a GRIP! Japan was one of the most vicious, efficient killing machines in the history of mankind, while Japan didnt target a specific group, Japan killed anybody in their way, do please explain how that is "better" than the Nazi.....................we are waiting.

    None of it is "better", IMO. But some people here are explaining you the difference between systematic genocide of people based on religion versus civilian lives lost during battle. When Japan does it, it's called "massacre". When Allieds do it, it's "collateral damage".

    "[o]f course, in Japan we were all aware of the bombings and the burnings of Tokyo and Yokohama and other big cities. It was horrible that we went there for the purpose of vindicating the laws of war, and yet saw every day how the Allies had violated them dreadfully". -Justice Roling, IMTFE

  • -11

    nigelboy

    Bad move, Abe. Don't even bother with the "apology" (i.e. extortion)business. If countries like China and Korea can't move past the events 67 years ago, that's their problem.

  • -22

    Nippon Nation

    Good on Abe!

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