Germany urges Japan to deal honestly with WWII past

Picture expired. A Shinto priest (R) leads Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) as he visits the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo on December 26, 2013, in a move Beijing condemned as "absolutely unacceptable" AFP

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  • -38

    sfjp330

    Was there any apology by Merkel or the German goverment for German Chansellor Kohl visting visiting Bitberg in 1985? Reagan and Kohl lay a wreath there in remembance of 49 SS and over 2000 German soldiers. Jewish organization said Reagan and Kohl's decision to visit Bitburg was "deeply offensive." Jewish organizations could not believe that they "would visit a German military cemetery and refuse to visit Dachau or any other concentration camp." Reagan made matters worse by appearing to equate dead German soldiers with the victims of the Holocaust. "They were victims," he said of the soldiers buried at Bitburg, "just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps." How can you compare?

  • 36

    JTDanMan

    There is no country more in the position to criticize Japan for its bs whitewash of Imperial Japan predations.

    Hear! Hear! for Merkel!

  • -41

    homleand

    Some things everyone should keep in mind:

    1. Japan has apologised numerous times for the events of WW2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listofwarapologystatementsissuedby_Japan

    2. Financial compensation for WW2 was settled in the 1965 treaty. The matter has been officially settled for 48 years now.

    3. The words or actions of any individual, from a member of the public to the Prime Minister of a nation, neither nullify nor undermine the legal standing of international treaties nor official government apologies in any way, shape or form.

    4. Angela Merkel is not a noted expert or historian concerning the events of the war in the Pacific, nor with regards to post war diplomacy in Northeast Asia.

    5. All politics is local. Which of Merkel's advisers suggested she make this statement? To what end does it benefit her political motivations?

  • 12

    JTDanMan

    Homeland

    Your link

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

    leads to nowhere.

    Japan has never officially apologized for Imperial Japan's atrocities.

  • -9

    homleand

    JTDanMan

    The underscores in the link seem to get stripped out when posting. Here's a link: bit.ly/JIhwEo

    And you're not correct. Read the apologies. Japan has apologised over and over and over again.

  • 29

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Well, I think actions speak as loudly as words in this comparison of Japan and Germany. Germany has atoned on economic, social and political ways with its former enemies and educates its population on the Holocaust and Germans role in it. Japan whitewashes the past and has intensely hated Chinese and Korean peoples and country since the end of WWII. Angla Merkel is 100% correct and I am very glad she said what she did.

  • -52

    toshiko

    Germany stated ..... “But in general, all nations must honestly live up to their role in the horrible events of the 20th century. Only on the basis of this honest accounting is it possible to build a future with former foes. This is a conviction Germany takes to heart and which in my opinion applies to all states. ..........

    What was the most horrible events of 20th century> Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japanese people live with the memory. Yasukuni was not built in 20th century, So, Germany must be talking about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ” Is this German comment is preparation to conqueor Asia because it failed to conqueor Europe?

  • 24

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Maybe a more accurate statement would be that Japan has never been forgiven for what it did in WWII. Nobody accepts the apology the way it is given. Maybe it is culture maybe not. But I have never felt that Japan or most Japanese are sorry for what occurred in WWII. And maybe the USA did drop the A-bomb but didn't they make Japan their biggest ally and give Japan preferential economic assitance and trade etc.
    Actions speak louder than words in cases like this and Japan's apology does not seem true to the world

  • 14

    cl400

    It's sad hearing people here badmouth Chinese people (all the time) based on prejudice feelings. People seem so brainwashed here and scared to form an opinion of their own. Educate about war so we never repeat it.

  • 9

    horrified

    The apologies need to keep coming. The problem is that the current leadership is trying to whitewash previous atrocities. So other nations get nervous to watch history repeating itself. This is like a precursor to WWII.

  • 14

    CraigHicks

    @sfjp330 ... Jewish organizations could not believe that they "would visit a German military cemetery and refuse to visit Dachau or any other concentration camp." ...

    Kohl suggested visiting a concentration camp in the same visit, but Reagan initially declined. Later, as controversy about the visit increased in the run up, Reagan accepted the proposal and together they visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp later on the same day after visiting Bitburg.

    Reagan not Kohl made the comment ''I think that there is nothing wrong with visiting that cemetery where those young men are victims of Nazism also, even though they were fighting in the German uniform, drafted into service to carry out the hateful wishes of the Nazis. They were victims, just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps.'' http://www.nytimes.com/1985/04/19/us/reagan-likens-nazi-war-dead-to-concentration-camp-victims.html

    @JTDanMan ... Japan has never officially apologized for Imperial Japan's atrocities. ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

  • 21

    Asianhometown

    I hope Japan will listen and stop trying to revise history and admit to all the wrongs committed by the imperial Japanese government. Japanese politicians claim they have apologized but continue to deny or justify the use of sex slaves, deny Nanking massacre, and so on. If Japanese truly has repentant then fully admit to all the crimmial acts committed by the imperial army and stop trying to revise history books and etc.

    Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terrible but cannot compared to the number of innocent men, women and children the Japanese army have killed and raped (over 20 million during the war).

  • 0

    CrazyJoe

    Abe beat the drums of war.

  • 8

    Andreas Zachcial

    The US is mostly to blame for the japanese failure to deal with its past. They prevented that the emperor was charged for his role in the war. The US also prevented an japanese attempt to establish its own court after the war to deal with those responsible for the war. The general mood in Japan after the war was total different from what it is now. Especially in culture (movies, literature) there was a strong left mood in this country. Large public rallies in front of the palace with more than 50000 people who wanted the Tenno be held accountable for his role. All those attempt were stopped by the US.

  • 3

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Right Andreas, but that was the US swallowing it's pride etc. Maybe it is the fault of the US misunderstanding Japan's culture? But USA swallowed its pride and let Hirohito live because it was the only smart way forward. The date that would live in infamy never lived at all. I fault USA in some respect but certainly not 100%.

  • 1

    Andreas Zachcial

    Was it really the only way? For the common japanese it was easy not to see his own guilt after the US said the Tenno was innocent. (They did not say it, but by not charging him in court, they send the message) If the Tenno was not to blame how could the japanese people be responsible as they just following orders from the Tenno?

  • -2

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Yes, of course it was the only way Andreas. Japan was a negotiated surrender in my opinion. Lot's of Americans learned to hate Hirohito and then soon thereafter to not hate Hirohito. It was necessary for peace. But I think this is completely lost on the Japanese as they don't wish to swallow any pride at all currently(but culture may be more to blame concerning pride and apologies etc.)

  • 21

    Athletes

    Unlike Japan, Germany is the role model of Europe. It has strong and stable economy. It is helping the recovery of debt ridden and highly unemployed EU nations. It is friendly and tolerate with neighbors. Unlike Japan, It has never white washed history and openly admitted their forefathers Sins and unspoken crimes.

    Countless flip-flopping apologies are counter productive and more inflammable.

    Instead of Abe saying, comfort women were volunteers, most of the imperial soldiers including his grandpa were rapists is more open, accountable and sincere. Even US admitted about cruelty, injustice and slaughtering of native Americans.

    Honesty is more precious thing on that earth.

  • 16

    Mizuame

    Homeland

    Japan has apologised over and over and over again.

    The issue is not past apologies (such as the most complete apology that was made made by a socialist PM suddenly installed just before Augugt 1995 with inexplicable LDP support). THE ISSUE IS JAPAN'S ONGOING NATIONAL POSITION. Anyone who pretends otherwise of obfuscating.

  • -8

    Kimokekahuna Hawaii

    At some point the loser of a conflict says enough is enough... how many times can you say you are sorry... how many people have to throw themselves on their sword to please those.. many of whom had nothing to do with the war... how many wars do you want to go back? Funny how arrogant people get who can throw spears from afar knowing that they will not get any thrown back at them.... how humble, broken, destroyed does a loser of a war have to be? Why do you never hear other countries get upset about what many feel is the war crime of Hiroshima? Where is the global call for peace on August 6-9.

  • 1

    Mizuame

    Corrected version:

    Homeland

    Japan has apologised over and over and over again.

    The issue is not past apologies (such as the most complete apology that was made made by a socialist PM suddenly installed just before August 2005 with inexplicable LDP support). THE ISSUE IS JAPAN'S ONGOING NATIONAL POSITION. Anyone who pretends otherwise of obfuscating.

    Jan. 01, 2014 - 09:00AM JST

  • 8

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Saying sorry if done right is done just once. As we say in America for people that don't truly apologize "Sorry Doesn't Count". It isn't that Japan is a "loser of a war", it is that Japan believes it was a victim of that war.

  • 20

    nostromo

    some things everyone should keep in mind:

    Japan has apologised numerous times for the events of WW2:

    Yes they have however repeated statements by people in positions of authority over the years cast some doubt on the sincerity of the apologies.

    As anyone who is familiar with Japanese culture knows, there many cases where Japanese 'apologise' within social and business situations in Japan. These apologies are often not sincere and are simply a way of acknowledging an issue and then moving on thus avoiding 'conflict' within the particular group. Unfortunately this doesn't wash in western cultures where a little more sincerity is often expected and required.

  • 0

    SecularBeast

    There is no mention of the Germans having any discussions about this issue with Japanese authorities, and no mention of the numerous apologies issued by previous Japanese governments or the vast amounts of reparations and ODA Japan has paid to nations in the region (including China) under the control of Imperial Japan 70+ years ago.

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

    Seibert's comments are vague general statements that could be directed at many nations: E.G. in China and Korea there is no 'honest accounting' of the fact that significant proportions of their populations willingly co-operated with Imperial Japan (or even the industrial scale political cleansings carried out by their governments in the post-war period).

    The situation before 1945 in East Asia was significantly more complex than the 'blame Japan for everything' crowd portray, as many peoples in Asia (including Koreans and Chinese) attempted to model themselves upon Japan at that time due to its success in combating Western colonial domination in the region. The events of that period were rooted in colonialist and racist ideologies inherited from Europe which many in Japan, China and Korea at that time accepted as 'modern' thinking (and which they mimicked) - brutal ideologies which have been rejected since 1945 by most nations including Japan.

  • -4

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Tru Dat, Nostromo! It is a major case of cultural misunderstanding + maybe a little pride... I mean, the Americans don't understand why Hirohito had to live but they did accept it by swallowing their pride and accepting that Hirohito lived until 1989 ( Ah So ). McArthur accepted it face to face... The Japanese have not done enough to integrate with other countries in Asia at all. It is bad.

  • 0

    ex-japan-visitor

    Toshiko,

    America was not wrong to drop 2 A-bombs on Japan. The Japanese government attacked Hawaii and would have continued to kill more Americans if they hadnt defeated your country in WW2. The only reason Japan stopped killing most of Asia and parts of the U.S. was because your country was over-powered by the success of the A-bombs. It was the dropping of the A-bombs that caused Japan to surrender. Japan brought their hardships and losses upon themselves.

    If America's self-defense against Japan during WW2 was immoral, then what gives Japan the right to defend any of its territory or interests in today's period? Japan should just bow down to China within the current conflicts between the two countrys, I suppose, because according to you, self-defense is immoral. Right?

  • 20

    tonttu2012

    No use arguing whether Japan has apologized or not. The difference between the two former "war-criminal" states is evident: neighbors don't trust Japan in East Asia, whereas Germany is relied upon in the EU, Japan should seriously consider where and how things went wrong in its post-WWII history. One thing is absolutely clear: "reviving" the country in its pre-WWII regime is not a solution. We cannot afford to allow Abe to make history repeat itself.

  • 3

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Well, I don't want to fight a stupid prideful war in Asia any time soon. So you guys just suck it up and swallow your stupid pride against the Chinese and Koreans and just try a little harder. And the same goes for Chinese and Koreans against Japanese.

  • -7

    Saketown

    Chancellor Merkel needs to understand that the Japanese have dealt with their War History.

    If Ms. Merkel would like to pay a vist to Hiroshima and Nagasaki every August 6th and 9th, then she will hear so many Japanese talk about how horrible War really is and how their country must never take unilateral steps including preemptive Warfare ever again.

    To no avail, Communist China and South Korea have taken pieces of Japan's War history and wave it around like a bloody towel.

    Japan has repeatedly apologized to Communist China and South Korea regarding their War Crimes from WWII and they have also payed Millions to people that were victims of Imperial Japan's Sino Campaign.

    Yasukuni Shrine is not about "Glorification" as Communist China and South Korea state over and over again...until their blue in the face.

    Yasukuni Shrine is about "Reflection" not "Glorification".

    The 2 Million plus souls that rest at Yasukuni Shirine echo through Space and Time and tell us: "Please don't forget us, please watch our country, and please try to never go to War again."

    That was the purpose of Shinzo Abe's visit to Yasukuni Shrine. Not to "Glorify" Japan's War History, but to codify his mind and soul by promising the spirits at Yasukuni that he will do everything in his power to avert war - And i respect him for that.

    If people do not know Shinto, Bushido, and The Japanese Culture, then people should educate themselves and then make a sound judgment upon Yasukuni Jinja.

  • -5

    jj1067

    Hypocrites.

  • 2

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Saketown, that is pretty terrible. Why not just admit that Japan has not made an adequate apology? It is shameful that you would put the world in a state of war because Japan can't say "Sorry".

  • -5

    JaneM

    Well, I think actions speak as loudly as words in this comparison of Japan and Germany. Germany has atoned on economic, social and political ways with its former enemies and educates its population on the Holocaust and Germans role in it. Japan whitewashes the past and has intensely hated Chinese and Korean peoples and country since the end of WWII. Angla Merkel is 100% correct and I am very glad she said what she did.

    1. Japan, too, has atoned in economic, social and political ways. Peace agreements, compensations, financial help apologies... You name it, it is there. The problem is that the economic help of billions of dollars is always very conveniently forgotten by both SK and China; the apologies made are always dismissed as insincere; and, despite the accusations of Japan being a racist country, hundreds of thousands of Chinese and Koreans prefer to live in Japan and not in their respective countries.

    2. Japan does not intensely hate any other nations. If you try to see past your prejudice, you will realize that most of the Japanese want to live in peace with their neighbors & the rest of the world and, just like every other nation, are always looking for ways to improve and enjoy their everyday life.

    3. As for whitewashing history, history is thought in schools and though the period and Japan's role are not covered in detail, the information is out there for everybody to read it. Internet, historical books, articles, research...The people I have talked with are aware of the terrible role Japan played in the WWII but are unwilling to talk about it with strangers. Does this make them uneducated? But, again, just like everywhere else, there are those who do not care to study, let alone read additional information. I try not to generalize and say that all the Japanese are unaware of their country's past.

  • -1

    jj1067

    Eventually you all have to face the facts instead of being driven by communist propaganda.

  • -4

    homleand

    nostromo

    Yes they have however repeated statements by people in positions of authority over the years cast some doubt on the sincerity of the apologies.

    No they don't. The apologies are official, legal statements. Comments not carrying the official backing of the government, whether made by a man on the street, the Prime Minister, the Emperor or Amaterasu herself, have no legal standing whatsoever. Any "doubt" cast on the sincerity is purely subjective, and only exists in the mind of the interpreter; it is therefore a trace of one's own internalised ideology.

    The legal apologies are numerous and stand unsullied by any statements by anyone. Japan has dealt with this issue, and it is time for others to stop using it as a political tool.

  • -3

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Jane. Can you say "Sorry"? just say it here and now. Just try. Only your pride stops you...

  • 19

    Mizuame

    Saketown

    Yasukuni Shrine is about "Reflection" not "Glorification".

    You're dissembling. Why does the Yasukuni museum repeatedly present the message that Japan was kindly liberating Asia? Why do they have an oil painting trying to depict that Japan started the independence movement in india? (Indians won't go along with this nonsense. nor will Chinese, Koreans, Singaporeans or Filipinos and others.) For example, if Japan was kindly liberating Asia, why did it cold bloodedly execute the Philippines Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos? Make no mistake, Yasukuni seeks to glorify its warriors and executees. How can you say the Burma railway locomotive in Yasukuni signifies "reflection?" It's more like an attemp to isult the intelligence of Asian neighbors, they know it and perhapsSaketawon and his compatriates know it.

  • 4

    mavik

    Wouldn't it be a simple fix to the whole issue just to move the 14 "convicted war criminals" to another site so the Shrine would be cleansed of their affiliation and allow the other thousands of war dead to be remembered by their relatives? The stigma of the 14 shouldn't overshadow the thousands who were also their victims and others who had no relationship to WWII. Then the Chinese should be asked to apologize for the 20 million or so they killed during one of their purges and I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't some skeleton in the Korean National Closet that shouldn't be apologized for.

  • -7

    Akkio

    I agree with JaneM

    And what would be a "sincere apology"? Tell them, and I'm sure the Japanese government would be willing to do it. However, compare it to a real-life situation. Let's say you (Japan) made a mistake in the past and people (China and Korea) keep shoving it in your face. You apologize and it isn't accepted. And then they keep shoving it in your face and asking for an apology which they don't accept. And then one day you see the person harassing you make a mistake as well. You don't care and they'll keep harassing you. If anything, that would be annoying as hell.

    So I think any apologies Japan makes from now don't need to be at all sincere if countries don't want to accept it in the first place.

    That being said, the Chinese government are full of small people who most likely don't give a rat's ass about WWII and can't even treat their own people right and they're wasting their time quarrelling with Japan's government on a topic from WWII about the treatment of China back then? They are in absolutely NO position to make remarks. (Korea in this case probably has a right to complain but there are no merits in complaining whatsoever besides some sense of satisfaction maybe???) C'mon! Even Japanese citizens know what's wrong but at least they aren't being brainwashed/fooled by propaganda (Unlike a CERTAIN populace (China although it isn't all that bad this time around)) China's govt. should do something useful and they have one of two options:

    1. Set their government straight and move on to bigger issues.

    2. Kill every corrupt politician in their government and move on to bigger issues.

    But that's probably not gonna happen because China's govt. is fill with corrupt idiots...

  • -4

    homleand

    Mizuame

    Do you mean the Yushukan museum? It's not the "Yasukuni museum." Let's get the facts straight, then let's stay on focus and address the issue at hand, which is officially made legal government apologies, not the displays in a PRIVATE museum.

  • -7

    YuriOtani

    The perps of WWII the Pacific are almost all dead. My parents who were children during the war are both dead. I like so many other Japanese did nothing wrong. While it is important to remember so it never gets repeated, I am not going to apologize for the sins of Imperil Japan. I understand the horrible things done by Imperial Japan and think it is important to see patterns that could cause a repeat. The Japan of today is a very different place than Imperial Japan. The Class A, B, C criminals were hanged and their remains dumped into Tokyo bay. The people of Japan want to be judged on our merit not that of our ancestors.

  • -1

    freeWill

    Merkel's best and most honest comment in ages.

  • 2

    Mizuame

    Homeland

    Let's get the facts straight, then let's stay on focus and address the issue at hand, which is officially made legal government apologies, not the displays in a PRIVATE museum.

    The Ysukuni museum within the sacred Yasukuni grounds. It's perceptions that are important. You seem to be saying the shrine can be peaceful but the museum on shrine grounds with its half truths and concoctions is OK? The museum is a central feature of the official Yasukuni Jingu website. There are many photos. Enough said.

  • 1

    jj1067

    There is no use being serious about it. They want to hate Japan.

  • -5

    hkitagawa

    I wonder if they remove all the A classs criminals the visit to the shine will persist.

  • -4

    hidingout

    It is shameful that you would put the world in a state of war because Japan can't say "Sorry".

    No, what is shameful is that you would make fifteen posts in this thread all stating the same lie as if it were the truth. I suppose its also shameful that the moderators on this site are disgustingly bias against Japan.

  • -8

    oldman_13

    Are you kidding me?

    I am SICK and TIRED of other people and nations lecturing Japan to deal more "honestly" with its past.

    And the whitewashing and revisionism of Japan's history in regards to apologies and reparations continues.

    How much more 'honest' can you get with the dozens and dozens of apologies Japanese government has given to the victims of its past war aggression?

    The repeated apologies given to China, South Korea, etc. The hosting of and apologies to former POW's including Lester Tunney. The Asian Women's fun to compensate comfort women. The 1965 normalization treaty with South Korea in which the Japanese government offered to individually compensate victims of its past colonialism (which the SK government refused). So on and so forth.

    The fact is, a Japanese official can grovel on his knees for forgiveness, and it will never be 'enough' for the anti Japan crowd.

    And a German official, of all people, lecturing to Japan about dealing honestly with its past? A government that has willfully turned a blind eye and downplayed the scores of murders committed by neo nazis the past decade? A country where neo nazis openly march to honor dead WW2 nazi officers?

  • 6

    nostromo

    homeland

    No they don't. The apologies are official, legal statements. Comments not carrying the official backing of the government, whether made by a man on the street, the Prime Minister, the Emperor or Amaterasu herself, have no legal standing whatsoever. Any "doubt" cast on the sincerity is purely subjective, and only exists in the mind of the interpreter; it is therefore a trace of one's own internalised ideology.

    So why do so many people in positions of authority in Japan make these personal statements that cast doubt on the sincerity of the 'legal' statements???.... As anyone knows, what people are required to say in a legal context doesn't always reflect what they truly believe.....

  • 0

    jj1067

    I think Yasukuni Shrine should take more responsibility to explain what they are. As it is a religious institute, Japanese government cannot explain what it is. Government cannot stand for one a specific religious institute in a free country like Japan.

  • 5

    NavyCDR

    If Japan allows theirs textbooks to reflect reality in the thirty years leading up to and through WW2, then their apologies, such as they are, might be more believable.

    One can love the Japanese people and Japanese culture, as I do, and still reject the revisionism and lies, about what Japan did in those decades, told by countless Japanese governments and ultra-nationalist Japanese.

    Angela Merkel has it right, and Germany has been a model for recognizing and publicly admitting, inside it's nation as well as outside before the world, the evils which the Nazi government committed.

    Japan should grow up, and be like modern Germany.

  • -4

    tinawatanabe

    Who made this interview to the German spokesman is important too. Telephone interview? And the reporter must have been disappointed to hear the spokesman say "he doesn't want to comment on Japan's domestic politics"

  • -6

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Well, Japan's apologies are clearly inadequate. Japan is playing with fire...

  • 3

    jj1067

    tinawatanabe, actually that's bold. Germans said it was "Japan's domestic politics". Germans are smart.

  • -2

    kaimycahl

    This article is about Germany asking Japan to deal with its honesty well Japan apologized numerous times its 2014 and still we can't agree and we never will. Just blame it on the US that seems to be the way out for most posters here. The US blah blah blah get over it an apology was made and dont use the US as the scape goat

  • 3

    Nathaw

    Angela Merkel is one of the most successful German PM and unique female politician. Although I am not a German, I admired her about almost everything. She has strong analytical thinking, straight forwardness and clear vision. Without her, EU is just a history now.

    She has saved not only EU but also many law abiding private citizens. She is the one who has courage to confront Uncle Obama about hacking other people mobile phones and Web access.

    I will honored if she will allow me to call her as Mutti(Mummy) as German. She is the best and best and best of German Chancellor.

  • 1

    jj1067

    That is a natural result that US is going to be blamed too. This is China and Korea using history issue to gain political high stand. This is not a moral issue but a political issue covered by moral taste. They will blame anyone to gain political advantage. Anyone still remember China is a communist country and propaganda is a major weapon of communist countries?

  • 1

    Mizuame

    YuriOtani

    The people of Japan want to be judged on our merit not that of our ancestors.

    Hearts and souls want continued true contrition, genuine contrition. That is what the future with China, Korea, Singapore and the Philippines needs to be based on. The past has not been dealt with as thorougly as in Germany, and Japan does even worse on the continuing contrition aspect, heading in the direction of denial. This is the heart of the matter.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    No they don't. The apologies are official, legal statements. Comments not carrying the official backing of the government, whether made by a man on the street, the Prime Minister, the Emperor or Amaterasu herself, have no legal standing whatsoever. Any "doubt" cast on the sincerity is purely subjective, and only exists in the mind of the interpreter; it is therefore a trace of one's own internalised ideology.

    This is wrong for a few reasons: 1) Government officials have repeatedly undermined these apologies. These are official representatives of Japan, elected by the Japanese, to represent their country you are foolish if you think these statements/gaffes do not undermine the official apologies 2) An apology needs to be recognized as such by both parties in order to be a proper apology. If I punch someone in the face, then say 'oh my bad', then the other side has the right to reject the apology for being insincere. The apologizes does not get to decide their apology is enough. Or rather, they don't get to decide if they have any intention of continuing some form of non-antagonistic relationships with the person they are apologizing too 3) 1/5 of the world, give or take, doesn't take Japan's apologies sincerely. If it was one or two whiners, then there may be a case to be made for your above quote, but when we are talking about 20%+ of humanity, that's a pretty big judgement.

  • -3

    hidingout

    Well, Japan's apologies are clearly inadequate. Japan is playing with fire...

    What "fire" is that exactly? Are we going to have to hear some more "condemnation" from the commies? Are we going to have to listen to some bleeding heart liberals and haters of religious freedom trying to tell the Japanese how to run their own country? Are we going to have to listen to more mealy mouthed protestations from former allies who are so worried about being politically correct that they have ruined their own societies in the years since WW2. Wow, don't burn me with those flames please!!

    Or is somebody actually going to have the balls to pick up a stone and do something about it? This I doubt, given that the impetus behind the whining we see from the commies is their history of having their ass handed to them in battle after battle by a country 1/50 their size. Since it seems unlikely that they want another besting, I seriously doubt any "fire" is coming, sorry to disappoint you.

  • -6

    25psot

    Germany has no any current disputes with it's neighbors but Japan has some issues with all it's neighbors and that's why chancellor Merkel do not wish to comment on Japanese domestic politics and recent Abbe's visit to war shrine. Merkle also advice not to forget the past and that is what Abbe did by visiting war shrine.

  • 1

    jj1067

    tinawatanabe, yes that's what you said. Germans said it was "Japan's domestic politics" is bold (I mean important) because China and Korea says it is not. If it is Japan's domestic politics, other countries including China and Korea or even US doesn't have a say because it is interference in the domestic affairs(内政干渉).

  • 2

    It"S ME

    Guys and Gals.

    Happy new year and may it be a prosperous one too? Kinda sad to wake IP on 1st Jan. 2014 and see posters acting as if they could start WWIII right here.

    How about a bit self reflection and making a resolution to get along and make this a happier place.

  • -2

    tinawatanabe

    The biggest difference bet. Germany and Japan is their neighbors.

  • 2

    jj1067

    So, in short, Germans are saying that China and Korea should shut up, in an extremely polite and smart way. I love them.

  • 4

    tideofiron

    I think the real issue is not so much that Japan hasn't really apologized. The Japanese government certainly has apologized for the war time past. However, you can't say that those feelings of remorse and attempts to understand what has happened have filtered down to the average Japanese person. Contrast this to Germany, where the average German is taught for many hours about the holocaust and in great detail, where trips are taken to various sites to help them see and understand what Germans -not only the Nazi regime but real life average German people, not much different than you and me - did to other human beings. I don't think you see that level of "coming to grips with history" in the Japanese curriculum. I think you won't see real forgiveness until you see that same level of remorse felt by a nation as a whole rather than as a duty left for the Japanese government.

  • 4

    Asianhometown

    Hidingout. This is not the 1900s when Japan had the military advantage. China and Koreans are well armed so if you think Japan can win in a armed conflict you better come back to reality and stop living a dream world. No one wins in a war. Both sides will lose.

    Abe and the Japanese right wing politicians are the trouble makers in north asia.

  • -1

    wipeout

    @JTDanMan

    There is no country more in the position to criticize Japan for its bs whitewash of Imperial Japan predations. Hear! Hear! for Merkel!

    It sounds to me more as if Merkel is carefully avoiding singling out Japan. If all nations face up to the horrible events of the 20th century, which is what she is actually quoted (via translation) as saying, it covers two world wars, the entire period of decolonization - chiefly by Britain and France - the Vietnam war, the Soviet Union from Lenin through Stalin to Gorbachev, Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and China. And that's a very incomplete list.

    To interpret her words as applying to specifically to Japan and World War 2 is a deliberate distortion.

  • -3

    tinawatanabe

    jj1067 Thank you. Yes, I agree with you. Unless Germany makes official statement to Japan, we should ignore.

  • 3

    oikawa

    I was in Korea a few years ago and met a Japanese guy and a German guy at the hostel, and the Japanese guy said exactly this to the German guy. "You apologised for your war terrorism. Japan doesn't. I respect you!" Or something like that. Hell of a way to make an introduction.

    Perhaps the man on the street agrees with Merkel.

  • -1

    jj1067

    tideofiron, I agree that Japanese government needs to do something about education. After the war until recently, Japan's teachers union had been controlled by Japanese Communists and Socialists. As the result, students learned all the bad things and no good things about Japan for many decades. Later on in reaction to that people started to resist and began to tend to think only good things about Japan and belittle bad things. But history needs to be learned based on facts, not good or bad, but what exactly happened and why in what context. Contrary to some say, Abe is not an "extreme right wing" but he is surely trying to define a normal position of education after the leftist teachers union's rule.

  • 0

    Mitsuo Matsuyama

    As if China and Korea were innocents. Everyone made mistakes in the past. The difference is that Japan is living in the present and ROK and PRC are still living in the past. PRC killed thousands of people in their own nation as well as many Vietnamise ladies and soldiers, Tibetans, etc... ROK killed and raped vietnamise ladies as well. Both of these nations made such blatant mistake way after the end of the WWII. So, if there are a country that need to deal with the past, those countries are ROK and PRC and not Japan who already apologized for such mistakes in the past. ROK and PRC should and must apologized to Japan and other Asian nations for making such blatant mistakes.

  • -2

    banz10

    This hypothetical analogy has been mentioned before, but it's worth repeating. Imagine there was a church in Germany that principally honours the memories of souls sacrificed in war. This place of religion also reveres infamous Nazi criminals like Hitler, Goring, Himmler and Goebbels and glorifies the superiority of Nazi Germany. Now imagine the reaction if Merkel worshipped there.

    I can accept that there will be ignorant, conservative Japanese who will never get why Yasukuni is so controversial. But I don't understand the foreign apologists here who gullibly beat the same pathetic drum.

  • 6

    wtfjapan

    @toshiku What was the most horrible events of 20th century> Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japanese people live with the memory. Japanese have only a single minded view of WW2, only of the Pacific war. when the truth is the European side of the war was much more brutal. Germany lost around 9 million people and Russia lost almost 20million fighting the Germans. add to that the 6 million Jews that Hitler slaughtered. All of WW2 was shocking but for the Japanese to claim they were the main victims of it is totally false.

  • -1

    Simon Foston

    The Japan of today is a very different place than Imperial Japan.

    Not for much longer if Mr. Abe and his fascist friends have anything to do with it. They don't like the Japan of today very much.

  • -2

    fw360

    Abe is smart.

    Now even Germany and Russia officially joined the chorus of condemnation of his shrine visit. Japan is on the other side of the table against most of its important international relationships. With this one single act, Abe painted Japan into a corner. Just image Japan’s position in international gatherings, e.g. the Six-sided Korean Peace Talk… five against one isolated Japan. US will have more problems in helping Japan to do its bids. Japan can kiss goodbye on entering the UN Security Council as a permanent member. Japan is moving down the path of right-wing extreme nationalists… it is moving closer to become the pariah of the world.

    If the Japan economic recovery hiccups, Abe’s cabinet will be down the toilet… maybe dragging Japan with them.

    Abe is smart… and his supports too.

  • -1

    jj1067

    @wtfjapan, I'd like to add to that. Among major countries during WW2 most had to fight terrible "Battle of Homeland(本土決戦)". Soviet Union, China, Germany, France, Italy, they all fought on the ground of their homeland. Only US, UK and Japan avoided that. Many Japanese are surprised when pointed it out. I think many Japanese taking victim's position is to be more accurately explained like "Japanese people were victim of B29, Japanese military controlled government and poor Japanese military strategy" as the result of commie teachers union education in Japan. Education made people's mind too simplified.

  • -5

    hidingout

    This is not the 1900s when Japan had the military advantage. China and Koreans are well armed so if you think Japan can win in a armed conflict you better come back to reality and stop living a dream world.

    We'll see. I'll stack up the Japanese navy and air-force against the commies any day. And lmao if you think the ROK is going to fight with you. Their m/o is talk big and then scurry away when trouble starts. They didn't even have the guts to strike back at DPRK when those commie lapdogs unilaterally bombed Yeonpyeong island, so don't expect them to have your back in any wars you may foolishly start with Japan.

    No one wins in a war. Both sides will lose.

    I wasn't the one making veiled threats about "fire" raining down on Japan. I don't want a war. I do think its inevitable though, and I'd rather have a hawk like Abe than a wimp like Hatoyama at the helm when the commies finally sack up and make their big move. May as well get it over with.

    Abe and the Japanese right wing politicians are the trouble makers in north asia.

    Yes. The man went to his church to reflect solemnly on his first year in power. What a trouble maker. Imagine any other country in the world telling someone how to observe their religion. The very same socialists calling Abe a fascist on this page today would go mental if someone in say Wisconsin was prevented from worshiping at his/her local branch of the Church of Satan. That's the problem with socialists. They have no consistency of policy on anything.

    Everyone paying attention sees the commies for what they are. A dangerous cancer on the Earth.

  • -8

    tinawatanabe

    China threat is imminent. Japan has no time listening demanding of more apology. Japan should build up military and prepare for the worst.

  • 0

    hampton

    The problem Japan has is that its apologies seem hollow when the elected PM is the grandson of Kishi, a member of Japan's wartime cabinet and a man charged with war crimes. His deputy PM is Taro Aso of Aso mining, a company that made its fortunes using slavery in WWII. It's other leading politicians are men like Ishihara and Hashimoto. These men try to deny coerced comfort women, Nanjing massacre etc., then the PM visits Yasukuni, which is not a simple war memorial, but is a politically-charged nationalist site. The priests of Yasukuni deemed in 1978 to add war criminals to the kami, since which time the Emperor himself has refused to visit the place.

    Abe knows how politically-charged Yasukuni is. Anyone who has ever been there knows what it is. There is no point comparing Yasukuni to Arlington, not to anyone who has seen the place. It is also pointless for Japan and the Japanese to talk about their official apologies if the leaders are trying to whitewash Japan's past and the population are taught they were victims of the Pacific War they started. It is impossible to move on and it is impossible to take the moral high ground in this situation. Merkel understands this, as does Mr. Abe and his crew. China, Japan and South Korea all have their own reasons to keep old wounds open. It's not the people, it's the politicians.

  • 3

    FizzBit

    @Wipeout

    You hit the nail on the head. The only one so far to interprete what Merkel was talking about.

    Precisely one of the reasons why Germany is calling on Japan to apologize.

    Smith

    Please show me where in this, or another news quote, where Merkel is "calling" on to Japan to apologize.

  • -2

    toshiko

    This article is Japan to be honest of past. So, I am going to write some honest story during WW II. ]] When WW II was over, we were so glad that we did not have to use ketchup to pretend we participated in Ichioku Gyokusui. Well, Gen. MacArthur prevented to have mass suicide. Oh, majority of Japanese were not interested in Ichioku Gyokusui or Hondo Kessen, anyway. When Military Govt ordered drafting of older men without criminal record, our city men declared they were criminals because they stole wife;s money. There is no enough cell that they received house arrest until war was over. Don;t think everybody loved WW II History books and square scholors books do not tell those stories because they like to view Japanese people all agreed war. About comfort women, Japan had joshi teishin-tai. We had to help classmates on school works so that they pass middle school entrance test. Children who did not pass were drafted to joshi (gfirls) teishin tai. (comfort girls). Two pikadons rescued us we used to tlalk in girls middle school. Don't think everybody revered Emperor. We used to talk anyone who has to use obenjo (apanese toilet) are not God. Beside that, Watashi /watakushi, Emperor's words is Chin. We had to explain older people Emperor was telling about defeated war, not his private part. Girls and boys go to separate schools that girls tend to become bratty gossip girls. Boys were scared of wars, then. I quit now, A Happy new Yearsw Day ! My place in USA is New Years Eve.

  • -4

    mshrktn

    What is "honest"? Comparing Korean, Chinese and Japanese history book in each school, JPN is the most clear and based on the facts. Of course, there is no Nanking but there are comfort women.

  • -4

    Kobuta Chan

    I guess, German Government will sign very important trade agreement with China soon.

  • -1

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Most people don't care about history. They just want to make it through the day. In August, a Japanese newspaper talking about the end of the war showed a survey amoung young Americans 25 and under, and while almost 80% knew that atom bombs had actually been used, nearly 70% thought they had been used on Korea (confusing Korean war). I wonder about young people of the rest of the world. How many have heard of the Holocaust.

  • -1

    homleand

    Mizuame

    It's perceptions that are important.

    No, it's FACTS that are important. Yasukuni and Yushukan are both PRIVATE institutions. Their take on history has no bearing whatsoever on the legal validity of the official apologies made by the Japanese government.

  • -4

    Asianhometown

    Hidingout. China has an estimated 3,000 nuclear warheads do you think your navy or air force can prevent one nuclear war head from hitting a major city in Japan. Get real! Rather than stirring up nationalist and racial hatred toward the Koreans and the Chinese why not try to make peace. Why not aim your nationalist and racial hatred toward Russia who stole your islands up north. Oh wait, is it because Abe and the right wingers are afraid of Russia. The only reason why Abe and the right wingers are sticking their fingers in the Chinese and the Koreans is because the right wingers think they are superior. They will not try to irritate Russia since they know Russia will not hesitate to fire the first shot.

  • -2

    homleand

    nostromo

    As anyone knows, what people are required to say in a legal context doesn't always reflect what they truly believe

    How does that affect the legal standing of official government statements and treaties signed by sovereign governments?

  • 0

    letsberealistic

    Once the economy has recovered Abe should step down before he turns Japan down the wrong path. Improved relations between Japan and her Asian brothers and sisters looks impossible with Abe and his reformist leanings at the helm.

  • -2

    tinawatanabe

    You shouldn't underestimate the anger in J public. Less J people go to Korea, more companies leaving Korea, less investment. What do you want to achieve by demanding apology you can not get any more?

  • 2

    StormR

    Japan Has apologised many times officially and unofficially, but it wouldn't matter what Japan said or did some people do not want to accept anything other than destruction of japan to settle the score.

    You cannot deny japan has apologised.

    But I think if PM wants to pay respects to war dead then move the war criminals from Yasukuni and pay respects, I doubt very much any one going to Yasukuni is paying respects to the war criminlas but lets remove any doubt to be sure.

  • 2

    Open Minded

    There is a big cultural difference between Europe and Asia. In Europe apologizing is the start of a mutual acceptance and unlimited in time process of pacification, in Asia - and particularly in Japan - apologizing is perceive as the end of the discussion because apologizing is linked with losing face.

    Of course, Germany was lucky that the other nations wanted to move forward after WWII. On that respect, putting Germany on the knees - what was not done in Japan by keeping the emperor in place - created a fertile ground to rebuild Europe. Then visionary leaders created the EU to get rid of these rivalries for good. Even though EU has its up and down, war is and will not be in the agenda for a long time while this was a recurring thing before.

  • -4

    Mike45

    "Only on the basis of this honest accounting......"

    Sorry, this is Western logic. No need to apply that in Japan. Its the crux of the issue.

  • -4

    KeKeMan

    I think what the countries that suffered Japanese occupation, invasion and atrocities want an 'honest apology', not just an 'apologies' that the Japanese claim they have done several times. If you can kill someone's daughter and get by after 'apologizing', then think again, that 'apology' is not going to satisfy victim. Japan should be grateful that China, South Korea and other Asian nations have not attacked it yet..

  • 1

    Mike45

    I think we can gain from the posting of many of the Japanese here that there is still allot of hate towards the Koreans and Chinese and nationalism at play between all the countries. They bring to the conversation what they were taught. Asia is not known for being a progressive region of the world, so accountablity or other "mature" characteristics are words not applicable to this region. I think thats the main issue that people misunderstand when trying to force apologies from Japan.

  • -1

    tmarie

    God I love her. If only all world leaders were as straight forward and honest as her.

    The perps of WWII the Pacific are almost all dead. My parents who were children during the war are both dead. I like so many other Japanese did nothing wrong.

    And? It doesn't mean that everyone should forget their history. For a country that bleats on and on about the importance of culture and family honor, you sure do want to quickly forget things that stain all the "glory" of what many think Japan and the Japanese spirit is about. Want to forget this? Great. Let's forget the time Japan was closed off, let's forget all the things that people bleat on about being traditionally Japanese... How about Japan stop parading Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorials every year? Would you be in favour of that?? You can't have it both ways.

    As someone from a country who destroyed the first nations, I don't think we have done enough to make up what "we" did - and my family wasn't even in the country at the time, they were still in France, England and Scotland. Doesn't make me think my government should do nothing and claim it did nothing wrong in this day and age.

  • 1

    Seiharinokaze

    It was actually impossible to pursue the responsibility of the war in exact terms. If you try to do it, many middle class military officers and mass media of the time as well as the emperor would have to be brought to the court. The class A convicts in a way took all the responsibility to acquit the emperor and the nation. In an unspoken inhibited sense they were also loyal to the emperor. Hence the excuse though it may sound lame that Yasukuni is an "internal" matter or that there is no absolute good or evil and so on. Unlike Japanese, Ludendorff or anybody else didn't seem to want to save German emperor Wilhelm II.

  • 3

    Karen M. Henton

    Germany has done way more than Japan in atonement for it's deeds in WW II. At the layman's level, I have friends from all over the world who have been on various tours throughout Germany, both private and group tours, who have remarked on the many ways both the government agencies and individuals have demonstrated the will to condemn the aggression and suppress attempts to revive it or whitewash it. I think a good part of the blame rests with the decision makers in the American government at the time; they allowed a considerable amount of what the Japanese officials they put in place have managed to get away with today.

  • -1

    Mike45

    "I think a good part of the blame rests with the decision makers in the American government at the time; they allowed a considerable amount of what the Japanese officials they put in place have managed to get away with today."

    This dilenma has been discussed briefly in many books I have come across, known as the "reverse course" As I wasnt alive during those immediate post war years, I dont know what really took place. Was real democracy about to take hold in Japan? Or were the socialist/communist about to hijack the system for their own agenda, thus a right wing neo facist government was the better alternative? Its an interesting topic, but I havent seen much in depth disscussion about it, only a few paragraphs about the reverse course.

  • -1

    nostromo

    homeland

    How does that affect the legal standing of official government statements and treaties signed by sovereign governments?

    It doesn't affect them at all - they are obviously bound by whatever they agreed and acknowledged at that 'official' level. That doesn't mean however that they as individuals necessarily agree and that is where many Japanese officials have made individual comments over the years that cast doubt on the official line. If they really believed the official line, why do they continually express sentiments to the contrary? It doesn't make sense....

  • 2

    Magnet

    I admire and respect Germany for how it has accepted responsibility for the Nazi Party's actions in WWII, and am glad that they have urged Abe to do the same. I believe most Japanese have accepted the truth in what happened in WWII, but certain arrogant ultra-nationalist members of the Diet, including Abe, can't see past their own stubborn pride, and are hellbent on returning Japan to a very dangerous path of warmongering. It's amazing how quickly decent prime ministers have been ousted (Kan) only to be replaced with long term idiots (Abe).

  • 0

    NeoJamal

    Japan must accept that it was their aggression that allowed former Asian colonies to become independent developing holes they are today. How can anyone deny Japan's role in severing the grips of European colonial institutions was what allowed the people of these countries to suffer at the hands of homegrown regimes that popped up in its place ad got them nowhere.

    Then again, a very atoneful Japan of the likes of Germany would put it at odds with US relations. Among many arrangements with the US, I highly doubt the US-Japanese security alliance would have survived the demise of the Cold War, as an 'educated' Japan would never support half of US foreign policies on the Middle-East, which reminds me: the German government did not support the War against Iraq, Japan's did.

  • 2

    Tohka

    I wonder how many of the rabidly anti-Japanese were actually around during WW2? Lots of moralising and lecturing about "history" and mention of what "qualifies" as an apology - this is all a joke to see.

    I lost four relatives in the war to the IJA - and what even sickens me more than Abe going to Yasukuni is the fact that people are using their deaths (they are 4 deaths amongst so many others) as a way to promote racial hatred against the Japanese AS A WHOLE. How dare you. No, really. Use their deaths to potentially urge more murder and harm all in the name of "patriotism" or some nonexistent intangible "goal", "make them apologise properly", let alone revenge.

    You say that you want "understanding", yet understanding and reconciliation are a two way street. You claim that Abe is bad and tries to downplay history, which is fair enough and I too could even tend to look at that way. But Abe is one man, yet some of you want to use him as an excuse to visit ill upon all Japanese. Also, as a Chinese, I found the whitewashing of Japan's contributions to the Chinese economy by the CCP for propaganda reasons as really repulsive. I've seen some CCP mongrels that claim that "it serves Japan right, did they want a reward?"... yet in actual Chinese custom, if someone helps you, you THANK them. NOT victimise them further. Even more sickening was that they claim that Japan had no hand in helping China to its current status, and that the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were "instrumental" in this prosperity rather than any perceived aid from Japan.

    36 Million DEAD. And dismissed with a "hen hao! hen hao!" while these sick dogs fan the flames against another race. I'm sure the phrase "whitewashing history" comes to mind. Yes, downplaying.

    I grew up being taught that hating all Japanese was a good thing. Well, it isn't. Have a look at this link: http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1139759,00.html

    Ever since 6/4/1989, the CCP have always used this topic as a way to deflect criticism from themselves. Morbidly speaking, to promote racial hatred against Japan is a good thing for the PRC. It's very self-conscious of its image and being "the best anti-Japanese" was part of their credentials and their legitimacy to rule.

    Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Japanesesentimentin_China (please note there are underscores in that link in between most of the words.) shows that people who ACTUALLY suffered through the war were LESS likely to rabidly hate Japanese than that of today's generation, which is another really repulsive trend to see.

    So yes, you have all your 20 something mainland Chinese from PRC torching businesses, done things like these : http://japandailypress.com/chinas-protests-have-officially-gone-too-far-chinese-man-beaten-for-driving-toyota-1712329/

    , all for the sake of your beloved "aiguo".

    Despite this, this is not to say that Japan needs to improve in certain areas that I need not even mention, as you all know about it. My message to you all is that don't be quick to leap to certain sides, as all three sides here (Japan, PRC, and the ROK) should not even BE indulging in something like this. They all have enough issues of the PRESENT, and should be really diverting their energies to resolve these PRESENT issues today.
    It seems to be easier to just pass the buck, doesn't it.

    Is there more that Japan could do to put this topic to rest? Most definitely. Yet, I would also like to remind you that as citizens of (mostly) democracies around the world today, that the concept of the "sins of the father" is a concept that is rejected by the democratic society and any respectable country who adheres to the idea of rule of law.

    **AsianhometownJan. 01, 2014 - 01:32PM JST

    Hidingout. China has an estimated 3,000 nuclear warheads do you think your navy or air force can prevent one nuclear war head from hitting a major city in Japan. Get real! Rather than stirring up nationalist and racial hatred toward the Koreans and the Chinese why not try to make peace. Why not aim your nationalist and racial hatred toward Russia who stole your islands up north. Oh wait, is it because Abe and the right wingers are afraid of Russia. The only reason why Abe and the right wingers are sticking their fingers in the Chinese and the Koreans is because the right wingers think they are superior. They will not try to irritate Russia since they know Russia will not hesitate to fire the first shot.**

    It shames me to call myself Chinese when I see posters on sites such as this going all out and suggesting the mere thought of using a nuclear weapon on another country's majorly populated cities to make a political point. If you are so keen to spill blood then pick up your weapon. Yet, I can bet that you would die an ignominious death without having the chance to satisfy your homicidal urges, and yet die alone, and for no good reason, and then end up forgotten for all eternity.

    You also have all the arrogance that I see in today's generation of PRC Chinese, being selective on history is also what you seem to be good at and while yes, Japan can do more to improve the situation in the region, so can everyone else. Anything less is mere subservience and slavery, this is what seems to be acceptable to a "person" like you.

    Anyway, that's enough from me. Akemashite omedetou, minna-san. All the best for the coming year.

  • 2

    NeoJamal

    apan must accept that it was their aggression that allowed former Asian colonies to become independent developing holes they are today. How can anyone deny Japan's role in severing the grips of European colonial institutions was what allowed the people of these countries to suffer at the hands of homegrown regimes that popped up in its place ad got them nowhere.

    Then again, a very atoneful Japan of the likes of Germany would put it at odds with US relations. Among many arrangements with the US, I highly doubt the US-Japanese security alliance would have survived the demise of the Cold War, as an 'educated' Japan would never support half of US foreign policies on the Middle-East, which reminds me: the German government did not support the War against Iraq, Japan's did. The consequence of such Japanese political mindset that's hellbent on atoning for WWII would only drive the Americans away, bye bye US military protection, Japan's on its own against the North Koreans and the Chinese while clutching on to whatever force that remains with Article 9 of the Constitution. AND HERE is where you anti-Japanese trolls would jump in by stating something along the lines of, "If the Japanese are really sorry about WWII, they don't need to fear about [totalitarian dictatorship] China and [Krazy Kim] North Korea because they will have nothing to fear about the resurgence of Japanese militarism." so rich..

  • 1

    funny car

    The rightists in Japanese government are so concerned about national pride. But the the kind of pride they focus on is the "worn on your sleeve", wrapped-in-the-flag type of hollow pride. Somebody needs to tell them that real, genuine and solid pride can only come from taking the good with the bad. Failure to understand that is part of why even their whitewashing of history for decades has not turned out a population of prideful Japanese.

    They need to stop wringing their hands about that stupid war and focus on Japan's modern accomplishments, especially the economic ones. But, alas, its small-minded primitive people who need histories of war and violence to take pride in because there is little else their tiny brains can understand. And for some reason those types tend to congregate on the right.

    And its not only the government that needs to fix this problem. The people need to be more active and less "shouganai". If there was a memorial honoring Hitler as "war dead" and the German chancellor payed respects there, there would be riots by ordinary Germans. Yet the Japanese PM goes to a shrine honoring tried, convicted and hung by the neck war criminals to pay his respects, and you can hear the crickets chirp across Japan? Of course Japan's neighbors are outraged! All of Japan's half-arsed apologies just got turned into full-arsed apologies.

    Japan can apologize until blue in the face. Japan can swear it will never repeat the past. Japan can maintain a war renouncing constitution. But if most Japanese have no idea what was wrong with the past and will sit idly by while their government does anything short of denounce that past, then all the apologies, promises and words on paper really don't mean anything. Japan's neighbors have good reason to be angry ans wary. Until Japan follows in the steps of Germany on this matter, this will never end.

  • -5

    oldickeastman

    There were idealists behind the East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere and the Emperor and the newspapers and schools showed the Japanese people only that. China and Japan both shed blood to fight Anglo-American Imperialism. What racism to say that when Mao kills Chinese it is OK but when Japanese fight to protect Manchuria and Formosa and Korea from Imperialism that they are evil. Who can say for certain that given all that has happened since Hiroshima and Nagasaki and V-J Day that the world is really better off with Stalin and Churchill and Truman beating Hitler and Tojo? And if you can't say it, is it because of reliable knowledge of the facts or out of fear of the consequences? The greatest sin it to bear grudges over many generations -- fighting our fathers' wars with our fathers' prejudices.

    Merkel speaks for Merkel and her party and maybe most of those who voted for her -- but it was not Germany that insisted upon unconditional surrender, it was not Germany that started bombing cities (it was Churchill). Did you know that Poland was also a militaristic state and that they were putting German's in concentration camps in 1938?

    I see Japan being intimidated by China, Germany, Britain to continually bear chains of guilt.

    As long as people say "Never forget." so long will their be new wars and atrocities."

    How much do you say Japan owes you? How much is a ticket of confessed guilt worth? Lawyers who make a living suing for damages based on confessed guilt of something done in war.

    Germany needs a peace treaty so it can stop being an occupied country. Japan must never go down the route of exploitation that Germany has. Germany was firebombed and people, the women were raped by the allies, and solidiers were allowed to starve and die from the elements. I submit that the Japanese have the greatest culture and are the most peaceful people. I say that they are victims of organized crime worse than their own abuses during the East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. Can you stand to hear it?

  • 2

    funny car

    I see Japan being intimidated by China, Germany, Britain to continually bear chains of guilt.

    No reasonable person wants to Japan to feel guilty over history most Japanese today were not even alive to witness, let alone to have affected.

    Ceasing to honor Tojo and his war criminal friends and just being aware of the criminal past and recognize it as such would be plenty.

    But of course someone who thinks Manchuria was freed by the Japanese is never going to understand that.

  • 0

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Japan's number of tourists exceeded 10 million for the first time this year. 60% of the tourists came from China, S. Korea, and Taiwan. That is 6 million. So lots of people from China, S. Korea, and Taiwan don't care at all about any of this. My experience in China and Taiwan shows this too. Nobody cares about the islands or Yasukuni. They want me to tall them about cosplay and teach them AKB48's new song (I don't know anything about either of these). I've never been to S. Korea.

  • -5

    homleand

    nostromo

    It doesn't affect them at all - they are obviously bound by whatever they agreed and acknowledged at that 'official' level.

    You can stop right there. That's all that matters. There's no need to put official in quotes, because it is official, signed and delivered by the elected government of a sovereign nation. The opinion of private individuals, no matter what capacity they serve in or have been elected to, has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not the official apologies of the Japanese government are valid or not. There are people in every country who disagree with official government opinions or treaties their country has signed. This has no effect on the legal status of those statements or agreements. People can express their opinions in a free society. Sometimes those opinions can be ugly.

    Japan has apologized officially, and on numerous occasions. Anyone questioning the sincerity of these apologies is only doing so in a cynical attempt to gain political points.

    When the Diet passes a resolution negating every single last one of these official apologies and treaties settling the war, and asks for a return of every cent of ODA sent to other nations after the war, then I will concede you this argument.

    Until then.

  • 3

    mike23thurgood

    Oh dear, please note this comment, which appears more than once: "Japan has apologised over and over and over again".

    No doubt, but it's grotesquely hypocritical when you have a memorial which includes Japanese personalities who were found guilty of war crimes. In contrast, the Germans don't indulge in any such hypocritical insensitivity.

    You Japanese shouldn't so so, either. Remove those individuals' names from your war memorials.

  • 3

    Mizuame

    Homleand

    No, it's FACTS that are important. Yasukuni and Yushukan are both PRIVATE institutions. Their take on history has no bearing whatsoever on the legal validity of the official apologies made by the Japanese government.

    But he signed the book "Abe Shintaro, Naikaku Sori Daijin".

  • -1

    NeonFraction

    An apology is not made, not just by words, but by actions. Japan's leaders' current actions do not show apology nor respect for those who died to live in a peaceful world.

  • -7

    homleand

    NeonFraction

    Japan's leaders' current actions do not show apology nor respect for those who died to live in a peaceful world.

    That's an interesting claim. Could you please provide specific evidence of this - beyond subjective opinion, of course.

  • 0

    funny car

    That is 6 million. So lots of people from China, S. Korea, and Taiwan don't care at all about any of this.

    gokaiwomaneku, I do not know how you think you know a person's view of history and politics from their choice of travel destinations. How many came here to revisit their place of forced labor? How many to pray at mass grave sites hidden and denied until fairly recently? Do people really express their distaste for a nation's politics by refusing to visit there?

    I am doing quite a bit more than just visit here. I live and work here. And I would like to see Abe clapped in irons for statements and actions that endanger the security of this country. I would like to see Yasukuni burned to the ground just to watch the priests make up a reason on the spot why the kami comprised of Tojo and the over 1000 war criminals is still intact.

  • 1

    wipeout

    @Fizzbit

    @Wipeout You hit the nail on the head. The only one so far to interpret what Merkel was talking about.

    It doesn't really require any act of interpretation: the question was concerned with Yasukuni and Japan, but the answer clearly avoids being pinned to that alone, or to the time frame of Japanese atrocities, broadening it to all nations with a past to live down, and to the whole century. It is a perfectly reasonable statement (and we should all consider it desirable) that all countries should face their history honestly. Obviously, Japan was meant to be included in that answer, but just as obviously, was not mean to be the sole focus of it.

    Those who try to read more into it are being dishonest.

    One thing many of us including myself appear to have missed is that they are not Merkel's words, but those of her spokesman. Not surprisingly, the answer is cautiously worded.

  • -4

    hyunekal

    Many reviewers here are totally biased, Japan did apologized and compensated many Asian Nations. Well Germany too hasn't apologized for all of their war crimes, so it's better for Angela Merkel to avoid interfering . Also, Japan did apologize for its past war aggression and colonization to Asian nations. Still it has to do more, but many think that it didn't apologize. Japan paid US$200 million for Burma (former nation of Myanmar) with the treaty on November 5 1951. To The Philippines, Japan paid US$550 million along with the compensation agreement on May 9 1956. To Indonesia, Japan paid US$223 million along with the compensation agreement on January 20 1958. To Vietnam, Japan paid US$38 million along with the compensation agreement on May 13 1959. At the Treaty on relations between Japan and S.Korea in 1965, Japan paid $500 million, and also provided $300 million loans. Also, Japan has transferred all of its overseas assets in China, Korea and Taiwan as compensations which now have a value of $328 billion (2013). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TreatyofSanFrancisco#CompensationtoAlliedciviliansandPOWs) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TreatyonBasicRelationsbetweenJapanandtheRepublicofKorea) More over, Japan did apologize to Asian nations. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ListofwarapologystatementsissuedbyJapan) For the issue of comfort women Japan did paid compensations to South Korea, Taiwan, The Philippines, Indonesia and The Netherlands while China refused (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AsianWomen'sFund) Japan has signed the Joint Communiqué of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China, where Japan has apologized to China for its colonial rule. China has renounced right for war reparations from Japan. Read about (Joint Communiqué of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China) on:- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JointCommuniquéoftheGovernmentofJapanandtheGovernmentofthePeople%27sRepublicofChina) Japan has also signed peace treaty with China Read on:- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TreatyofPeaceandFriendshipbetweenJapanandthePeople'sRepublicofChina) Finally, Japan did assisted China and South Korea economically, but there is a huge anti-Japanese sentiment in both nations supported by their politicians and the China's communist party. Visiting the Yasukuni shrine, amending the constitution and increasing the defense budget are all a Japanese internal matter, nor China, South Korea and The USA has the right to condemn Japan.

  • 0

    kuuku

    let face it, the US had already gave a friendly advise against the public worship, now Germany is at least, now giving some indirect and friendly advise as well, but Abe in the other news section is now preparing for removing or editing article 9..i am wondering how many more countries should help japan with friendly advises,,but maybe they will never be considered,,and if they are editing article 9, do they really think their soldiers will be needed in international missions with this kind of thinking and behaviour? well, it is an interesting news though to start off 2014 with. akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.

  • 2

    hatsoff

    “But in general, all nations must honestly live up to their role in the horrible events of the 20th century.

    And yet Merkel never mentions the atrocities China has visited upon its own people since the END of World War Two. And it was she who meekly apologised to China for meeting the Dalai Lama.

  • 3

    tyvtgo1US

    And what are the trade relations between Germany and China today??? hahahaha Yes exactly!

  • 2

    Qamar

    For any country to be forgiven and move forward, there needs to be 2 things:

    • a nation which has realized his own mistakes, and wants to move forward. A nation that is ready to apologize honestly and atone, not just financially, but by helping the countries which were affected. People who want to revise history don't really help with this...

    • neighbours/ countries which were affected that are ready to forgive this country, ready to ask their people to forget and forgive. Countries that stop brainwashing people against the 'big, bad enemy'.

    Because human beings are stubborn, take too much time to learn, and even more time to forgive and forget. Once a stereotyped image emerges, good luck trying to shoot that down!

    In my country, during WWII, Italy and Germany were our enemies...Germany much more the 'big, bad enemy' than Italy. Still, the moment the war was over, my country folk stopped hating on the prisoners of war, and actually welcomed them and gave them a chance to prove themselves that they were not enemy. These prisoners of war helped rebuilding villages...some got married or had children and well many years later, we don't even know or care if one's grandparents are British or Germans, or Italian. But see..it takes 2 to tango!

  • 3

    darknuts

    the statement wasn't even directed at Japan. the title is misleading.

  • 1

    MASSWIPE

    From reading this and other websites over the years, I've come to realize that a lot of people either really love or really hate the Germany-Japan comparison regarding World War II attitudes, because invariably Germany comes out looking better for several reasons. I guess how much you like or dislike Japan will determine your feeling about these Germany-Japan comparisons.

    But I think people ought to realize the contemporary source of these Germany-Japan comparisons. The man who made this comparison a publicly known topic, so far as I know, is Ian Buruma, the Dutch writer based in America. He published the book "The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan" in 1994, and I think that's the book which really got younger people talking about this matter. It's from quoting this book, I'd say, that most people know the anecdote of W. German Chancellor Brandt kneeling before the Warsaw Ghetto in 1970 and stuff like that.

    And you know what? Buruma can hardly be called a Japan basher. He loves the country, has been married twice to Japanese females, and has written rather unfavorably about China and South Korea. And yet he felt compelled to write the book that cast Japan in an unfavorable light vis-a-vis Germany regarding war memories. This is something that should be considered before passing judgement on the validity of these Germany-Japan comparisons.

  • 1

    funny car

    And yet Merkel never mentions the atrocities China has visited upon its own people since the END of World War Two.

    hatsoff, yes her spokesman did, as he was speaking generally. He mentioned neither Japan nor China by name, but:

    “But in general, all nations must honestly live up to their role in the horrible events of the 20th century. Only on the basis of this honest accounting is it possible to build a future with former foes. "

    Foes can be internal as well as external. We hear about internal "foes" of China all the time, such as Liu Xiaobo.

  • -2

    tinawatanabe

    Tohka Thank you for the post, but Japan put what topic to rest? Japan of course put history to rest. Japan has been visiting the shrine for centuries. It's a custom, culture, tradition which seems to be misunderstood.

  • 1

    wipeout

    @masswipe:

    And yet he [Buruma] felt compelled to write the book that cast Japan in an unfavorable light vis-a-vis Germany regarding war memories.

    Well there have been three Germanys since the end of the war. Crudely described: West Germany, East Germany, and unified Germany. Buruma is an admirable writer, and nobody's fool, so he's astute enough to recognize that fact, as touched on in this extract from a review of the book.

    "His quest takes Mr. Buruma to the site of the Warsaw ghetto, to Nanjing in China, to the tiny island of Okunojima, where the Japanese manufactured toxic gas, to the Wannsee Villa in Berlin, where the "final solution" was initiated, to eastern Germany, where he describes "the peculiar state of innocence" created by more than 40 years of propaganda that depicted all East Germans as heroic resisters against Nazism, and only the West Germans as perpetrators."

    For this reason, you won't find many (if any) sincere apologies offered by East German leaders from the late 1940s to the demise of the DDR in 1990. Merkel grew up in East Germany, so will know to a high degree the extent to which that state failed to confront the Nazi past, and the level to which it educated children about Nazi history.

  • -5

    nostromo

    homeland

    When the Diet passes a resolution negating every single last one of these official apologies and treaties settling the war, and asks for a return of every cent of ODA sent to other nations after the war, then I will concede you this argument.

    When the Diet does ask for the return of the ODA money, they should ensure they have the profits Japanese companies have taken from these countries returned as well. Japan's ODA assistance is well known for the strings attached ensuring contracts are given to major Japanese companies...

  • 7

    hatsoff

    I guess how much you like or dislike Japan will determine your feeling about these Germany-Japan comparisons.

    Not really. Nazi Germany was in the middle of eradicating a whole section of the human race simply because they were Jewish, not to mention homosexuals and the disabled. Japan, whilst undoubtedly cold-blooded in its treatment of its enemies, wasn't. Its motivation was land and resources. That's a fact, which is a pretty strong reason for not making a direct comparison of its wartime deeds with Nazi Germany. Saying this is not a justification of what Japan did in the war. It's fair enough for people to argue that Japan hasn't made a sincere apology, but direct comparisons with Nazi Germany don't really stand up to scrutiny, no matter how much someone may hate Japan.

    Bluntly, it boils down to: sorry for trying to exterminate a whole 'species' (as they saw it) of the human race, and sorry for the land grab and the cold-blooded treatment of those countries' inhabitants after invasion. The magnitude of these agendas really can't be compared.

  • 1

    presto345

    In 1985 German president von Weizsaecker made a famous speech. Some quotes: "All of us, whether guilty or not, young or old, must accept the past. We are all affected by its consequences and liable for it."

    "There is no such thing as guilt or innocence of an entire nation. Guilt is, like innocence, not collective but personal. There is discovered, or concealed, individual guilt. There is guilt which people acknowledge or deny. Everyone who directly experienced that era should today quietly ask himself about his involvement then."

    This speech was made almost 30 years ago. Not many people who experienced the Pacific War years are alive today. It may be true most Japanese people were thinking they were fighting and suffering for Japan in supporting the military regime, while in fact, as Weizsaecker also stated about his fellow men, they were supporting a criminal regime.

    The translation of the full speech can be found here: http://www.mediaculture-online.de/fileadmin/bibliothek/weizsaeckerspeechmay85/weizsaeckerspeechmay85.html

    I wonder if the or a Japanese PM would have the courage (and ability) to give a similar speech and even if one did whether it would earn respect from those Asian nations that blame Japan for lack of sincerity in living up to its past.

    A simple and sincere apology may have been made repeatedly, but a speech in the Diet, going down in history like the German President's speech, that would make a real impact.

  • -3

    Matthias Pfeifer

    It is always difficult to compare a nations history to others. You cannot compare the Holocaust to Japanese atrocities in Asia. You cannot compare Hiroshima/Nagasaki to what happened in Nanjing.

    Fact is: 20 Million Chinese died because of the Japanese invasion. Another fact is that the relations between Japan and China/Korea are as bad as it can get. What the present government is doing or saying, reflects on their attitude towards history. It does not matter if a Japanese prime minister had apologized in the past, as long as this apology is not the permanent basis of diplomatic relations. Germany managed to maintain relations to former enemies that make a war unthinkable. Japan obviously failed in this respect, and war between Japan and China is still a possibility. The onus is on Japan, the historical perpetrator, to change that.

  • -6

    Mike45

    "A simple and sincere apology may have been made repeatedly, but a speech in the Diet, going down in history like the German President's speech, that would make a real impact."

    Very much agreed, but it would anger to many constituents and special interest groups. Better yet, the Emperor could do it in parliment, but "its not his job" His job is more as a dear leader role, not international affairs, except to travel. Its easier to wave off these issues as gaijin interference or "they dont understand us" than to take the courage and do it. Lets just rearm and get it on.

  • 0

    MASSWIPE

    "That's a fact, which is a pretty strong reason for not making a direct comparison of its wartime deeds with Nazi Germany."

    hatsoff: Well, it sounds like you're unhappy that Buruma ever got that book of his published 20 years ago. I've read arguments like yours before, i.e. that Japan's war from 1931-45 was a far more conventional (though not justified) conflict of territorial conquest a la America's wars against indigenous peoples, Mexico, and Spain in the 19th century (which weren't justified, either, but which were successful). But then why did Buruma, who it should be pointed out is sympathetic to Japan, write a book like The Wages of Guilt that compared Germany to Japan rather than some other country to Japan? He obviously saw reason for such a comparison, and based on the notoriety that his book achieved, so did a lot of other people.

  • 0

    gokai_wo_maneku

    For Germany, it is not just about Jews and the Holocaust. It is also about the centuries of Imperialism, along with the other counties of Europe. Can you blame Japanese leaders of the 1850s and 1860s for being afraid that Japan was next to be conquered by Imperialists. Unfortunately, we imitated Great Britian and became a monster like them, instead of just trying to help Chinese free themselves. Has Germany and Europeans apologized for 400 years of Imperialism?

  • 1

    wipeout

    @Matthias Pfeifer

    Another fact is that the relations between Japan and China/Korea are as bad as it can get.

    No, that's an opinion. Mine is that they could easily be far worse.

    Germany managed to maintain relations to former enemies that make a war unthinkable.

    Hardly. It was a member of NATO and on the front line during the Cold War. A war with the Soviet Union was far from unthinkable until at least the point where Gorbachev appeared on the scene.

    Japan obviously failed in this respect, and war between Japan and China is still a possibility.

    War between China and just about any of its neighbours is a possibility.

  • 0

    hatsoff

    But then why did Buruma, who it should be pointed out is sympathetic to Japan, write a book like The Wages of Guilt that compared Germany to Japan rather than some other country to Japan? He obviously saw reason for such a comparison

    Masswipe - I think it's erroneous to conclude that just because he is sympathetic to Japan yet compares Japan with Germany that he must then be the final word on the matter. For the record, I have no problem at all with him having written and published his book.

  • -2

    tinawatanabe

    Matthias I know China has been increasing the death toll gradually but not to 20 Million, last time I heard China said was 500,000. Stil too big. Nanking population was not that big at that time. You mixed up the 20 Million with the numer of Mao did? Don't assume whatever China says are correct, Japan wrong.

  • -3

    Mike45

    @tinawatanbe

    Its interesting, because I get the same reaction from every japanese I talk with when it comes to Nanking. The same exact answer..."the population was not that big at the time" Where do you and the others get that information from?

  • 0

    kringis

    Some people just don't get it.

    Japan, like Germany for the holocaust, Britain for its imperial expansion, America for its treatment of slaves, and so on, must NEVER stop apologising for what they have done. The acts carried out by these nations are nothing short of horrendous, and as long as there are humans on this planet the apologies must NEVER stop.

  • -5

    tinawatanabe

    Sorry, I entered a wrong number , the toll china saying is 300,000. Please check.

  • -2

    Mike45

    please read the Nazi Rabin who was stationed there, his account of events. He tells a different story. Should I disqualify it and listen to a Japanese scholar? True, chinese have been in overdrive to hype the propaganda, but I dont think it was such a small time event as Ishihara says it was. My gut tells me it was a horrible attrocity, similar to what occured in Singapore. Transparency and accountablity is what Japan needs, not whitewashing.

  • 0

    JTDanMan

    Homeland and Hicks

    I wrote: Japan has never officially apologized WWII. Your links demonstrate the truth in my statement. Nowhere in any comments has Japan officially apologized. Most, if not nearly all, are "expressions of remorse" and "deep reflections" on "past mistakes" or even "past troubles."

    One apology actually was offered by a sitting Prime Minister Murayama, back in '94. Since you do not seem to not know or understand, he used the precise word in Japanese for apology ( 詫び), calling Japan's war "aggression, and addressing the sex slaves. Unfortunately, he was not speaking in an official capacity, and upon return to Japan, the Diet refused to ratify his apology, rendering it moot. A sad end to both Japan's attempt to come to terms with its awful past.

    Japan has NEVER officially apologized. It continues to refuse to do so; it continues to whitewash its history, lie to its children about it; deny the terrible truth, and honor War Criminals at Yasukuni.

  • 2

    Jimizo

    @gokai Exactly. I've spent quite a bit of time in China and the overwhelming response I get from my friends and acquaintances there is that the leaders of both countries are putting people's lives and livelihoods at risk. The CCP is a disgrace and Abe and his cronies are dangerous. The people of these countries deserve better.

  • 1

    anbinh

    Countless apologies and financial compensations are not honest ? Nahhh , I don't buy this. Germany may just to score some points to get some more business from China. That makes sense.

  • -5

    Mike45

    @ tina

    your overreactive response is the typical annoying all or nothing Japanese answer I often get. I have read Iris book on the subject and have made my own objective conclusions. The numbers are irrelevant. If you would like to discuss how such beastiality and disgusting things possibly occurred, what drove men to commit such acts (hate, desparation, etc) and the effects on those who suffered, then Im game, otherwise I can get the same canned answer from any other Japanese who watched a documentary by the all knowing oyaji commentator. Apologies, but long ago I stopped listening to him.

    @ Jimzo,

    I get the same reaction from Chinese. Most dislike the CCP and are uninterested in hypernationalism.

  • -1

    tinawatanabe

    Mike It is you blaming and hurting Japan. At that time China was in civil war and confusion. Don't just blame Japan only. Did you read Tohka post above?

  • 4

    detlef langer

    As a German, I feel - once again, unfortunately - I've to be ashamed of my government. Germany has no business telling Japan - or any other country, for that matter - how it should deal with it's past. And that's NOT because of WWII or the holocaust or whatever - it's just because it's bad behavior. So spokesman Seibert should have refused commenting on the issue even in general, i.e., he should have left it at his first sentence, "I do not wish to comment on questions related to Japanese domestic politics".

  • 3

    toshiko

    @detlef: Remind you that Japanese and Japan have great admirati.on and respct on German, I think your Govet is trying to rescue Japan's current dilemma. some countries have to give friendly advice, I beli.eve. German has never complained about Japan like China and S Korea does about every week, So is USA. However, USA's action might backfire because USA has occupied forces in Japan. Whatever any countries do, there are people who criticize top politicians like here. You will get used to,

  • 1

    Selchuk Driss

    As said before, I'm sure the Germans are not only talking about Japan. Don't forget the other countries in Asia with blood on their hands. Japan has at least formally apologized for many crimes. Communist China has never apologized for anything. China hasn't even admitted the Tiananmen massacre, the violent colonization of Tibet and the continuing existence of death camps. The only East Asian nations who don't have to apologize are maybe South Korea and Taiwan. They are the only ones who are allowed to point fingers!

  • -3

    maglev101

    @toshiko - German has never complained about Japan like China and S Korea does about every week...

    That's because Germany doesn't have any reasons to complain. Don't recall any Japanese war crimes/atrocities committed on German soil and/or on German civilians.

  • -8

    justicetz

    Shameless JP is still blar blar. All world is watching. What a shame!**

  • 3

    detlef langer

    @toshiko: While I feel truly humbled by the admiration and respect Japanese (even personal acquaintances) have for Germany, I've to concede that maglev101 is right about Germany not complaining about Japan.

    Nevertheless, there are certain remote similarities between Japan's and Germany's situation: Although Germany has apologized time and again and keeps apologizing at every opportunity, it never seems sufficient: There's always someone who thinks Germany hasn't apologized enough.

  • -4

    Prizgar

    Historically, Japan has always possessed a raging hatred towards China. Their self-inflected rage, towards China, has consumed their psyche. As if the only mission or reason for their existence, is to conquer and enslave the Chinese. Many believe their Imperial butchery is derived from their insecurity of being an archipelago of small islands. It’s that same insecurity that made them take on the U.S.A. by bombing Pearl Harbor.

    China is a wise and old civilization. In the 19th Century, England, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Japan, and the USA, took advantage of China’s isolationist slumber, viciously invaded and turned the populace into opium addicts. For 100 years, China … on the ropes, humiliated. Now, in the teen years of the 21st Century, and thanks to Deng “The Beijing Maestro” Xiaoping, they have mastered science. China is strong again, and reclaiming what is rightfully theirs. China has ruled the China Sea for over 5,000 years. In the teen years of the 21st century they are making a move to reclaim what is theirs … the China Sea. Get over it.

  • 3

    detlef langer

    @toshiko: By the way, I'm not generally against my country giving friendly advice to other countries with which it maintains friendly relations, as e.g., Japan. But in my opinion, it should give this advice only if asked to do so and, even more important, not publicly, like, during a press conference.

  • 0

    gelendestrasse

    There's plenty of blame to go around in SE Asia for the current situation. But Abe didn't help matters any. Being stubborn doesn't help diplomacy. Maybe Merkel was right to give some advice, but in private might have been better. No better way to stop a conversation in Japan than start out with somebody loosing face.

  • -1

    Mitch Cohen

    This is an interesting development.

    Japan's post-war stance has been long compared with Germany (and unfavourably so), which irks supporters of Japan saying the two are not comparable, and that Japan has done more than enough to atone for its past.

    But now with a spokesperson for the German Chancellor directly coming out to condemn Japan's attitude, Germany has in effect compared itself to Japan.

    Japan is rather sensitive to how it is viewed by the world (except their immediate neighbours of course), and it will be interesting to see whether this latest setback for Abe's scheme has any impact.

  • 0

    toshiko

    Japan is a neighbor of Korea and China, Sure it has territorial disoute but not as bad as between Russia and Japan, Hopefully, these countries will be friendly again, After all we all look alike. We don;t have blond hair or white face or dark brown skin. Germany is trying to make these Asian countries to get friendly again, I think. Some one has to talk to stubborn Japanese politician. I;d bet China and S Korea will appreciate Germany;s advice to Japan. Maybe melting tension now?

  • -1

    kurisupisu

    Is it the case that Japanese politicians,when faced with difficult international decisions will want to make the case for military conflict ?

    It seems to be the case at present doesn't it?

  • 2

    suhiro3333

    How many times do Japan have to apologize for World War 2? My opinion they pay a horrible price to to have the war ended; 2 atomic bombs dropped on them...can YOU just imagined being VAPORIZED off the face of this earth and only a shadow is left of you; horrible. i just wish there would be NO wars or armed conflict on this planet...be very nice if we could sit down and ironed out are differences...easy said then done. 2014 peace on earth, just wishing and hoping.

  • 0

    funny car

    Not really. Nazi Germany was in the middle of eradicating a whole section of the human race simply because they were Jewish, not to mention homosexuals and the disabled. Japan, whilst undoubtedly cold-blooded in its treatment of its enemies, wasn't. Its motivation was land and resources.

    hatsoff, no. WWII in Europe was absolutely not launched for the sake of exterminating the Jews and others. Both Germany and Japan launched their wars and annexations for the purpose of resources and power and land. Both Germany and Japan terrorized and murdered millions of innocent people which they had made to be scapegoats. The only difference between them was that the murder of the Jews etc. by the Nazis was more systematic and organized than Japan's murder of Chinese civilians and others. Do not even think that the majority of the German population or even a majority of Nazis knew that Jews etc were being systematically exterminated. It was a secret and even our own Allied intelligence did not know anything clearly until after the war. It is said that Hitler himself did not know, and it was his very powerful underlings who set up the extermination camps (as opposed to the work camps). So no, WWII in Europe was absolutely not motivated by the desire to exterminate the Jews. That is not why ordinary Germans fought and its not why the Nazis launched the war at all.

  • -1

    Strangerland

    How many times do Japan have to apologize for World War 2?

    Only once, if they back it up with actions that show remorse. Of course, that hasn't happened yet, or we wouldn't be seeing these current problems.

    My opinion they pay a horrible price to to have the war ended; 2 atomic bombs dropped on them..

    Then they probably shouldn't have started the war. They have no right to complain about how it ended.

  • -2

    Asian2013

    When will the Japanese leader visit the war Memorials in Asia and Australia to show some contrite, whether real or staged. They can't even do this but visit Yasukuni many times a year! The people in this forum who support the claim that Japan is apologetic, should bow at these memorials and apologize on Japan's behalf as the leaders will never do it!

  • 3

    toshiko

    @Asian2013: Do you really believe bowing will satisfy victim country people?. Asian people know bowing by Japanese are just hello or Konnichi-wa. I believe people who wrote Japan apologized know Japan and some Japan Inc paid compensation money to Korean Govt which spent differently but did not give any to victims. That is not secret. Instead of suggesting bowing, let victim govt do their own demand. I believe Korea should be compensated a lot more by Japan but I will never suggest Japan to bow even 1,000 times. Sumitomo had to compensate to Sumitomo operation in Korea but its stuffs did not bow in Korean Court that did not give verdict and penalty of bowing.

  • -1

    funny car

    If my grandfather murdered your grandfather, should I apologize to you? Of course not!

    I wish everyone would stop talking about apologies. Its not the issue.

    The issue is more like me obfuscating the hypothetical fact that my grandfather murdered your grandfather, making up ridiculous excuses to justify that murder that go so far as to make your grandfather appear to be at fault, and having not only family, but my entire community including the mayor go pay respects to my murdering grandfather. And all the while all I can say to you about it is that its "regrettable" your grandfather died.

    Yeah. You would be extremely P.O.ed. We all know it. You know it. Even you Yasukuni apologists know it. You just have some trees blocking your view of the forest, trees like national pride, a penchant for war, and a hate of China.

  • -1

    hidingout

    I am doing quite a bit more than just visit here. I live and work here. And I would like to see Abe clapped in irons for statements and actions that endanger the security of this country. I would like to see Yasukuni burned to the ground just to watch the priests make up a reason on the spot why the kami comprised of Tojo and the over 1000 war criminals is still intact.

    I live and work here as well. I would like to see people who hold the above positions deported. Immediately.

  • -6

    tinawatanabe

    Mitch Cohen Japan is not sensitive how it is viewed by the world. China is always increasing the death toll from hundreds to thousands to 10 thousands to 100 housands until recently. When Japan gave circustances evidence China says the number is not important. They don't even explain where the bones are, anything. Just ever increasing numbers.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    Who cares whether it was 100,000 or 300,000 or even 500,000. Let's say it's at the bottom end of that scale. It was still an atrocity regardless. Arguing over numbers makes it look like smaller numbers excuses the actions by some degree. It doesn't.

  • -1

    funny car

    I live and work here as well. I would like to see people who hold the above positions deported. Immediately.

    Its always nice to note how people who support warmongering also go out of their way to support the freedoms of thought and expression.

    /sarcasm

    Now I expect some confused retorts trying to make it seem like I was the one attacking freedom of thought for speaking against ACTIONS that are liable to drag us into a war and give us another totalitarian government in this country.

  • -5

    tinawatanabe

    Strangerland But their original number was a few hundred. And China did not say anything when war ended. If the number is not important why keep increasing? Nanjing was not that big, it was 1930s. How could it be bigger than Tokyo now.

  • -2

    hidingout

    Its always nice to note how people who support warmongering also go out of their way to support the freedoms of thought and expression.

    Not sure why you quote my post and then go on about "warmongering". I don't encourage anyone to go to war. Bad things happen in wars - even modern day wars where the armies are mostly fighting with one hand tied behind their backs to avoid charges of "warmongering" from the likes of you.

    As for freedom of thought ... I always support that - provided there's some actual "thought" involved. As everyone knows, the drivel that is published by the various official organs of the CCP (and quoted and praised by their lackeys and lapdogs on sites like this one), in no way involves any "thought". Its just knee jerk propaganda. They're welcome to it if that's what they like, as are you of course.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    Strangerland But their original number was a few hundred. And China did not say anything when war ended. If the number is not important why keep increasing? Nanjing was not that big, it was 1930s. How could it be bigger than Tokyo now.

    You obviously missed the entire point of my post. The numbers don't matter, but the denial of them does.

  • 0

    hatsoff

    I thought it seemed a bit strange for Germany to make even a generalised comment such as this, but maybe now it's starting to make more sense. Get this: In London, the Chinese Ambassador has condemned Abe in strong terms and

    appealed to Britain to side with China against Japan in the escalating row between Beijing and Tokyo, invoking Britain’s role fighting against Japan in the war. (Daily Telegraph)

    I'm speculating that China's new strategy is to get its ambassadors to make local condemnations and urge those countries to make public comments. I wonder if the Chinese Ambassador to Germany made a similar comment and appeal, resulting in Germany making this statement. It wouldn't be the first time for Merkel to roll over for China. I doubt whether the UK will roll over so readily.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/10546477/Japan-risks-threat-to-global-peace-by-rekindling-militaristic-spirit-of-Second-World-War-senior-Chinese-official-warns.html

  • 3

    TomDC

    We who debate here are all just pawns in their game. The politicians on all sides are playing with fire for their own gain. Going along with them risks repeating the mistakes of the past. Recognize that we all have the capacity to do horrible things -- or at least look the other way -- and our only defense is to actively seek good will and reconciliation. And also be courageous enough to turn out the politicians who are inflaming passions. Not easy on all fronts as the LDP and CCP know what buttons to push. They know how to frame the debate. They know that greed -- the prospect of economic growth and wealth -- will buy off principled resistance and corrupt morals.

  • 2

    80393

    @tinawatanabe

    Japan is not sensitive how it is viewed by the world.

    i disagree. anyone who has been in japan a minute has been asked what they think of everything japanese. there are even tv shows about foreigners opinions on all things japanese (as long as those opinions are positive).

  • 0

    hatsoff

    I think it would be in Japan's own interests to interact more on the world stage in order to be better understood. Abe has visited several Asian countries already, which is a good start, but he needs to visit further afield in 2014. Since Japan and the EU are in ongoing discussions over a Free Trade Agreement, a trip to Europe would be good if he could schedule it. And I hope the Japanese Ambassadors are communicating well with the senior personnel of their assigned countries.

  • -2

    melonbarmonster

    Japan needs to own up to their crimes and let Asia move on. When you point to your past apologies all the while claiming what you apologized for never happened and then having a PM who campaigned in repealing the apologies, you are going to piss off your victimized nations. Egregious whitewashing and denials are dime a dozen. You would have to be demented to not realize why this is still a hotbed issue for Japan.

  • 0

    jsa-aerial

    And also be courageous enough to turn out the politicians who are inflaming passions. Not easy on all fronts as the LDP and CCP know what buttons to push. They know how to frame the debate.

    Well, that could work in Japan, but the only way for the people of China to toss out the CCP is by armed revolution. Sadly, they have no other recourse...

  • 2

    Bellpeppers

    Germany's neighbors may not have forgotten but they don't whine which is a good thing. Japan's two neighbors, China and S. Korea, on the other hand enjoy whining. And the hatred is so deep that no matter what Japan did, does or will do, nothing will erase those hateful feelings. China and S. Korea will continue to whine until the cows come home. It's apparent that the Japanese want to remain victims of the nuclear bombs from the US while Chinese and S. Koreans want to remain victims of Japan's wrong doings from WWII. I don't feel warm and fuzzy about how Japanese feel like they are victims but I'm more annoyed that China is bullying the surrounding nations currently while whining about Japan not acknowledging its erroneous ways. It's the usual hypocrisy.

  • -1

    sfjp330

    @Bellpeppers,

    You've completely missed the true horrors Germany brought on the rest of the world. The mass murder of tens of millions, and the rape, pillage and total destruction of entire countries in ways so evil that they can not be comprehended. The compete sacking of entire continents so that Germany's elite could live in style. And the lack of consequences for the tens of thousands of German killers who escaped punshment after the war. The real truth is that they were the most efficient killing and robbing machine the world has ever seen and they were immensely proud of what they were doing. They had to be defeated, and millions of people around the world suffered and struggled to rid this world of the most evil nation ever known. The blood of millions of my murdered Jewish ancestors and the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans require that this never be forgotten.

  • -5

    Bear27840

    Germany does not even teach their own children concerning how theie grandparents slaughtered the Jewish people, how some of them collected the tattoes from the people sent to the prison camps, tested drugs on children. I could go on and on for there is one fact I dp know, I hawd a forigen exchange student living with us and I asked her about it and she replied QUOTE: 'it is all a lie made up my the Jews'.

  • 5

    WilliB

    Misleading headline. "Germany" did not "urge Japan" to do anything. Merkel made a general comment, phrased diplomatically, which is quite common sense. If anyone construes that as her "urging" Japan to do anything, that is their interpretation.

  • -2

    avigator

    The problem is that Abe san cannot read the air, or "kuki yomenai". So he cannot get it. And if there is no heart, then nothing will happen either.

  • -1

    JoeBigs

    WilliBJan. 03, 2014 - 09:39AM JST Misleading headline. "Germany" did not "urge Japan" to do anything. Merkel made a general comment, phrased diplomatically, which is quite common sense. If anyone construes that as her "urging" Japan to do anything, that is their interpretation.

    Well said! Merkel's spokesman was commenting on Germany and not on Japan. But the folks here lap-up any chance to twist comments to fan their cause.

    Each nation that is pointing a finger at Japan forget that three fingers are pointing right back at them.

    How many atrocities did Communist China commit during WW2.

    During WWII the Communist used terror like tactics to win their war. It is estimated that they killed between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 of their own people. But of course not one person ever came to justice for these war crimes.

    To the victors go the spoils and the history.

    BTW how many acts against humanity has Japan committed after 1945. Now ask yourselves, can you say the same thing for North Korea, South Korea or China?

  • -7

    tinawatanabe

    No Japanese believe China's claim with ever increasing number. When you blame someone you have to show evidence, not just oral statement.

  • -1

    fireinice

    Enshrining and worshiping the WW-ll Class A War Criminals making Japanese "The most shameless nation of the world"...

  • 0

    Octagon

    Each nation that is pointing a finger at Japan forget that three fingers are pointing right back at them.

    In Japanese propaganda, the invasion of China became a "holy war" (聖戦 seisen?), the first step of the Hakkō ichiu (八紘一宇?, eight corners of the world under one roof). In 1940, Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe launched the Taisei Yokusankai. When both sides formally declared war in December 1941, the name was replaced by "Greater East Asia War"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SecondSino-JapaneseWar

    During WWII the Communist used terror like tactics to win their war. It is estimated that they killed between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 of their own people. But of course not one person ever came to justice for these war crimes

    During WWII, Communist were poorly equipped. They desperately needed more man power for waging their gurellia warfare. Why did they need to waste such a large volume of people they were waging two wars with Imperial army of Japan and nationalist army of China? Even they could not afford to provide every rifle for individual soliders. They may have used WMD supplied by Saddam Hussein back then. It is very logical.

    The more J politicians want to white wash the history, the more they will get critism from their former Ally called as Deutschland.

  • -4

    tinawatanabe

    What part of what history, how, when, who did japan whitewash?

  • -5

    Eudaimonia

    It's sad that the Germans are taken seriously nowadays as the country that supposedly understood its wrongdoings and apologised etc etc. Though it must be said that Germany hasn't payed the loans that it forcebly took nor reperations to countries like Greece. Also, and even more importantly: People are obviously blind to the reality of the Germanisation of Europe by instrumentalising the EU (!), and the causing of extreme suffering to Southern Europe. The "p.i.i.g.s." propaganda is very strong, but it's inevitable that History will judge Germany again as the aggressor in a economic imperialism kind of way this time again.

  • 2

    tmarie

    I wonder how many of the rabidly anti-Japanese were actually around during WW2?

    Yes, because not agreeing with everything Japan does makes one anti-Japanese.

  • -2

    Olegek

    Eudaimonia It's sad that the Germans are taken seriously nowadays as the country that supposedly understood its wrongdoings and apologised etc etc

    No not at all

    After WW II Slavic lands like Russia Ukraine Belorussia Poland were in Warsaw Pact

    So it was very simple decision - recognise Holocost (conserning Jews) and totally forget German crimes against Slavs

    'bout 30 millions of Slavs were murdered as "subhumans" or Untermenschen

    But it was totally forget by German historians

    So today young Germans simply don't understand why Russian dislike Germany

    Only on the basis of this honest accounting is it possible to build a future with former foes. This is a conviction Germany takes to heart and which in my opinion applies to all states.

    So what about "subhumans" ??

    detlef langer Nevertheless, there are certain remote similarities between Japan's and Germany's situation: Although Germany has apologized time and again and keeps apologizing at every opportunity, it never seems sufficient: There's always someone who thinks Germany hasn't apologized enough.

    Hm may be I miss something 'bout East Europe ??

    In Belarussia every third civilian was killed by Nazi during the 3 WW

    Anybody know about this fact in modern Germany?

    Anybody feels regret ?

  • -2

    Daemon Ryuou

    I'm not justifying the actions of Japan during WWII, but how is it that deeply apologizing numerously, putting war crimes on trial, and trying to make up for their mistakes is nullified by not making this a major subject in public education? In America, I think I maybe studied WWII for a week in school, most of what I know from it stems from documentaries, films, and books I read out of my own curiosity.

    Japanese culture has always been deeply tied with honor; the greatest reference of which being the bushido code. Informing students about the mistakes that were made is one thing, but expecting their children to carry the responsibility and dwell intensely on the dishonorable political mistakes their great great grandparents made is rather rash and demoralizing.

    Furthermore, Japan didn't wake up one day and say, "Let's kill the Jews!" In fact, they could care less. What truly happened was that they were at war with China several years prior to WWII and was getting pushed back, so they allied with Germany to get the upperhand with engineering. The only mistake that was made was just choosing the wrong people to ally with.

  • 0

    detlef langer

    @Olegek:

    Anybody know about this fact in modern Germany?

    Anybody feels regret ?

    Well, I'd say it's a case in point for what you quoted of my comment in your post.

  • -4

    tinawatanabe

    tmarie you have to tell what japan did not agree to? Yes, japan does not agree to the number China says. What else?

  • 0

    Ciara Akachan Peterson

    Not sure why people here feel need to compare Germanys apology to Japans apology, what Germany done was far greater than the atrocities done by Japan. China and the republic of Korea don't want to accept Japans apology because it somehow suits them, this fued has existed before the world wars. I do think Abe was wrong to visit the shrine himself, he should have just sent someone low profile in his place. Him going to Yasukuni was unecessary, especially as he know it will add fuel to the conflict. Regarding apologies by Japan, I do feel they need to show they acknowledge what they done through education and stop high profile people going to Yasukuni shrine, so not to offend.(although it is their religious right if they wanted to)

  • 1

    Defkosh

    @sfjp330 its easy to judge other countries. just take your time and google about the crimes us soldiers commited in wars like Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. also do deeper research what the CIA has done in Central and South America, before judging other countries. every nation has a dark history

  • 0

    Daemon Ryuou

    @Defkosh I couldn't have said it better myself. It pisses me off sincerely when people attempt to demonize any country based on the mistakes of a few. Especially when it's hypocritical.

    As a country that has abused it's military strength to enforce it's political views on other countries, betrayed it's allies, barbarically dehumanized it's war prisoners, broke into the houses of civilians and sometimes even raped them, dropped the only 2 nuclear missiles ever used in war in one of the most heavily civilian populated location on earth within just 3 days of each other killing 200,000 civilians, tests drones to people in other countries, and has the audacity to start a war over an individual group's attack and instigate prejudice within it's citizens towards that country; all the while feigning innocence, the US is by far one of the most dishonorable countries there is.

    All countries, or rather, people from all countries have made mistakes. Pointing fingers solves absolutely nothing.

  • 1

    FernandoUchiyama

    I think Japan is honest. The difference is that Germany does not have China or South Korea as neighbours.

  • 2

    honey

    Tinawatenabe You are a true Samurai.You are so hell bent on going to war,despite any consequences to your country.",Don't miss the forest for the trees" Diplomacy is best.

  • 2

    WilliB

    The endless comparisons between Japan and Germany in this thread are misguided. The two situations can not be compared directly. "Germany" was taken over by a fascist dictatorship which brought with it its own flag, even its own language. The claim the Nazis are "Germany" is like claiming Stalin and his goons were "Russia". Which of course nobody does. Japan was had the same imperial system then and now, so it is much more difficult to completely disassociate from that. But in general, Japan has done that.

    I don´t know why people see Merkels comment directed at Japan -- does it not apply much more to China and North Korea, which still are under the same communist dictatorships which have caused so much horror?

    Merkels comment itself was of a general nature and I dont see how one can disagree with it. Yes, countries should deal with their past honestly, and most at least try to do that to a degree. Some of Japans neighbours are not among those.

  • -1

    Mitch Cohen

    I think Japan is honest. The difference is that Germany does not have China or South Korea as neighbours.

    @FernandoUchiyama - There are more differences between Germany and Japan than who their neighbours are.

    I suggest you take a few minutes to read this article. It is a good analysis of the differences between Germany and Japan and why Japan still faces criticism about their post-war stance.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2013/06/09/books/unlike-germany-japans-right-still-wrong-on-wartime-history/#.Usc1YPvlOcw

  • -1

    nigelboy

    I suggest you take a few minutes to read this article. It is a good analysis of the differences between Germany and Japan and why Japan still faces criticism about their post-war stance

    Thank you. Your article quotes Prof. Berger who, in an interview with TIME just last year was asked the following question.

    So it’s all Japan’s fault?

    "No, the Koreans and the Chinese bear a large share of the blame. With the Koreans, there has been an unwillingness to help the Japanese find ways of reconciling when the Japanese have tried to do so. This was most apparent with the Asian Women’s Fund, which the Korean government did not support and in fact subverted by establishing a separate, rival support system for the former comfort women. This has been made worse by the tendency of Korean politicians to score cheap points by very publicly taking out their frustrations with Japan — as when President Lee Myung-bak went to Dokdo/Takeshima recently.

    There is good reason to question whether the Chinese really want or care about reconciliation.  When Jiang Zemin went to Tokyo in 1998, he hectored the Japanese about the past in ways that prevented the Japanese from offering the kind of written apology that they gave South Korea President Kim Dae-jung that same year.

    Chinese leaders have preferred taking a hard line on Japan. This has been especially so when there are divisions in the Chinese leadership, and on a deeper level may have something to do with the Chinese leadership being deeply worried about their legitimacy. While Korean leaders are frequently unpopular, there is strong support for the Korean political system and pride in its democratic institutions, but Chinese leaders need to strike a nationalistic tone in part because there is greater internal skepticism about one-party rule."

    <http://nation.time.com/2012/12/11/why-japan-is-still-not-sorry-enough/ >

  • -3

    tmarie

    I think Japan is honest. The difference is that Germany does not have China or South Korea as neighbours.

    If you knew anything about German history you would see that they've had many issues with their neighbours. The difference is that Japan hasn't ever tried to make up with its neighbours. Germany has.

  • 6

    GalapagosnoGairaishu

    Posters in here should Google the iconic photo of Kohl and Mitterand grasping one another's hand at Verdun and ask themselves of the heads of two Asian countries could ever make such a poignant and meaningful gesture. I think the world's leaders could all use a lesson in humility.

  • 2

    sf2k

    saying sorry and atoning is one thing, saying sorry and showing no sign of change is quite another. Japan isn't seen in Germany's eyes as making a sincere effort and that means something, and can only lead to bad news for Japan's future

  • 0

    myemail9

    When are people going to stop reliving the past? This is over 3 generations old and people still want reparations in one way or another. Get over it and start living a new and better life.

  • -1

    It"S ME

    Germans and British are still looked down upon/disliked in many European nations.

    I was told and seen how different Germans and Austrians were treated, often germans were only liked because of their deutchmarks.

  • -2

    Strangerland

    what Germany done was far greater than the atrocities done by Japan.

    This just shows an ignorance of Japanese atrocities during the war. The Japanese army dissected people alive and without anesthesia. And more things like that that don't need to be described here, but can be seen if one were to research what they are speaking of before speaking.

    It pisses me off sincerely when people attempt to demonize any country based on the mistakes of a few. Especially when it's hypocritical.

    A) When the few are official representatives of the people, elected by the people, then it's fair to take their statements as a reflection of the people. B) Hypocrisy doesn't mean that the hypocrite is wrong with their statements, it just means that they also should answer for their wrongs. The hypocrisy doesn't mean that the statements they make are wrong.

  • -2

    It"S ME

    Strangerland.

    Vivisection, human experiments, etc were also practised by the Germans. Common knowledge to anyone who studied 20th century history in detail.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    Your point being?

  • -2

    globallc

    Abe and his party are the ones to ensure Asians not to forget or forgive. How silly can that be?

    First, by breaking the decade long agreement with China to leave the islands alone and nationalized the islands, then declared there is no dispute.

    Second, by visiting the shrine knowing it would provoke hard feeling in many countries that suffered from Japan's past atrocities, while using the reactions to stir up Japan nationalism and militarism.

    Third, In addition to his eye-rolling shrine visit, Abe claimed ignorance earlier last year on another incident - the famous Abe's 731 military jet photo to remind Asians of Japan famous Unit 731. Unit 731 based in Manchuria was a biological and chemical warfare unit that killed tens of thousands of people mainly Chinese in the most horrific of circumstances. They made Dr. Josef Mengele look tame. If anyone thinks this may be an unfortunate mistake by Abe, it should be noted that Abe's grandfather was part of the government in Manchuria at the time and was charged as a war criminal.

    Who has been the provoker?

    Also, when Japan wants to resolve the island disputes with Korea and Russia, well, good luck. You reap what you sow.

  • -2

    drakedogma

    How Hard is it to just say "Sorry China, Our bad, we cool?" I mean come on.

  • -1

    wipeout

    @Joebigs

    During WWII the Communist used terror like tactics to win their war. It is estimated that they killed between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 of their own people. But of course not one person ever came to justice for these war crimes.

    The Nationalists also had a well-deserved reputation for brutality. Undoubtedly one of Chiang Kai Shek's worst acts was breaching dykes on the Yellow River without evacuating the people living nearby, with massive loss of life. A conservative estimate suggests 400,000 to 500,000.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938YellowRiver_flood

    This puts some of his other massacres in the shade. He of course is honoured with one of the largest memorials to any 20th century dictator.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/ChiangKai-shekMemorial_Hall.jpg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CKSMemorialHallTaipeiInside.jpg

  • -3

    JoeBigs

    wipeoutJan. 04, 2014 - 07:27PM JST @Joebigs During WWII the Communist used terror like tactics to win their war. It is estimated that they killed between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 of their own people. But of course not one person ever came to justice for these war crimes. The Nationalists also had a well-deserved reputation for brutality. Undoubtedly one of Chiang Kai Shek's worst acts was breaching dykes on the Yellow River without evacuating the people living nearby, with massive loss of life. A conservative estimate suggests 400,000 to 500,000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938YellowRiverflood This puts some of his other massacres in the shade. He of course is honoured with one of the largest memorials to any 20th century dictator. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/ChiangKai-shekMemorialHall.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CKSMemorialHallTaipeiInside.jpg

    So in other words, everyone has committed war crimes only a few have been convicted of them..........

    Thank you for reaffirming the odious, history is re-written by the victors..

    Everyone kills, murders, rapes, slaughters and decimates, but only those that don't know see......

  • 2

    Olegek

    tmarie If you knew anything about German history you would see that they've had many issues with their neighbours. The difference is that Japan hasn't ever tried to make up with its neighbours. Germany has.

    With its western neighbours.

    But there it was hm - "gently" occupation in comparision with East Europe...

    So the situation between Russia and Germany - looks very similar to situation between China and Japan (if we talk about understanding of WW II)

    As a result Russian and Germans have 2 VERY different point of view on this war (like Chinese and Japanese )

    And I think it's too late to look for compromise - 68 years have passed since that war

  • -4

    JoeBigs

    globallcJan. 04, 2014 - 02:55PM JST Abe and his party are the ones to ensure Asians not to forget or forgive. How silly can that be? First, by breaking the decade long agreement with China to leave the islands alone and nationalized the islands, then declared there is no dispute.

    To counter your first claim, there was no agreement, there was an agreement to talk about it someday.

    BTW Abe and the LDP didn't buy the islands and nationalize them, that was the DPJ.

    globallcJan. 04, 2014 - 02:55PM JST Second, by visiting the shrine knowing it would provoke hard feeling in many countries that suffered from Japan's past atrocities, while using the reactions to stir up Japan nationalism and militarism.

    By sneezing Abe would provoke hard feeling with Japan's neighbors. It doesn't take much to get the propaganda machine rolling, you are proof of that.

    globallcJan. 04, 2014 - 02:55PM JST Third, In addition to his eye-rolling shrine visit, Abe claimed ignorance

    And most Chinese visit Mao's tomb same Mao who killed over 2 million Chinese from 1927-1946 and during his rule killed off over 50 million more. Who cries for those?

    globallcJan. 04, 2014 - 02:55PM JST Who has been the provoker?

    China and it's Korean tributary states.

    globallcJan. 04, 2014 - 02:55PM JST Also, when Japan wants to resolve the island disputes with Korea and Russia, well, good luck. You reap what you sow.

    There is one easy way to settle the issue, but China doesn't want to go that route ICJ.

  • -2

    toshiko

    Japan does not brag or tell off but it already reviewed WW II time Japan and concentrated on Japan Inc to work to be on USA industrial area. Now, it is not that era. So, it is working to be with other countries in the world. Germany may succeeded to think and analyze about WW II time yet. Japan will be on 21st century peaceful relationship with other countries right now. Some countries can bikker and advice Japan to look at 1940;s yet.

  • 3

    heynong

    What part of what history, how, when, who did japan whitewash?

    Back in 1995, Japanese PM Tomochi Murayama made the turning point of Japan honesty and acknowledgement about the truth of WWII. However, Abe has made remarks that downplay Japan's invasive activities during World War II, making Japan's statement in 1995 invalid.

    The following links are reference for Japan's white washing history for right wing political agenda.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/01/05/national/abe-to-leave-murayama-war-apology-declaration-alone-eye-future-oriented-statement-suga-says/#.UsiHkNIW0kI

    http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/05/31/japanese-prime-minister-abes-u-turn-on-the-murayama-statement/

    http://www.lit.osaka-cu.ac.jp/user/tsuchiya/gyoseki/presentation/TRT5.html

    http://japanfocus.org/-mark-selden/3173

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21226068

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/9774285/Japans-nationalist-prime-minister-wants-to-revise-war-apology.html

    http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu/maus/files/Ethics-ch-16.pdf

    http://japandailypress.com/kono-pm-abe-wrong-to-challenge-japans-1993-comfort-women-apology-0131474/

  • -2

    nigelboy

    Back in 1995, Japanese PM Tomochi Murayama made the turning point of Japan honesty and acknowledgement about the truth of WWII. However, Abe has made remarks that downplay Japan's invasive activities during World War II, making Japan's statement in 1995 invalid.

    How does issuing a new statement make Murayama's statement "invalid"?

    The continual problem with anti Japan crowd is that they seek apologies from every newly elected PM and when Abe considers doing this, they falsely assume that it negates the previous. Then why on gods earth do they ask for it from the beginning?

  • 2

    solohoh@yahoo.com

    Germany is 4500 miles from China, that's a safe distance from which to give advice.

  • 0

    globallc

    JoeBigs, tried hard to defend the undefendable? Simple-minded?

    If only things where that simple. Quote from Bloomberg:

    "Visitors say they have every right to honor the 2.5 million other Japanese war dead celebrated at Yasukuni; they compare the shrine to the U.S. war cemetery at Arlington.

    This is dangerous nonsense. Yasukuni is ground zero for an unrepentant view of Japan’s wartime aggression. During World War II, the shrine served as the “command headquarters” of State Shinto, a religion that deified the emperor and mobilized Japanese subjects to fight a holy war at his behest. The private foundation that runs Yasukuni only added the 14 most controversial “souls” -- surreptitiously -- in 1978.

    The shrine’s political mission is on blatant display at the adjacent Yushukan museum, run by the same foundation. There, the Class A war criminals are portrayed as martyrs. Japan’s war in China is supposed to have suppressed banditry and terrorism, while its invasion of the rest of Asia is represented as a war of liberation from Western colonialism. Missing from the extensive exhibits are any mentions of the Rape of Nanjing, the awful experiments conducted by Unit 731 on prisoners of war, or the suffering endured by tens of thousands of “comfort women.”

    The museum presents a selective and sly reinterpretation of Japan’s shared history with Asia -- one that is antithetical to reconciliation, convinces few Japanese, and offends neighboring nations that endured the brunt of Japan’s imperial aggression.

    Politicians who insist that they are only paying tribute to those who died for their country when they visit Yasukuni are not telling the truth. If that’s all they wanted to do, they could walk five minutes down the road to Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery, which is, like Arlington, Japan’s officially designated war cemetery."

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-12/abe-should-end-the-war-over-yasukuni-shrine.html

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    nigelboy: "The continual problem with anti Japan crowd..."

    Always a good way to destroy your argument before making it.

    "...is that they seek apologies from every newly elected PM and when Abe considers doing this, they falsely assume that it negates the previous."

    Abe has considered nothing but RESCINDING the apology in his attempt to make Japan "proud of its history", and you know it. THAT is the problem. HE is the one trying to change Murayama's statement, not the 'anti-Japan' crowd you like to dream up to deflect the facts. So I guess by your definition, Abe wanting to negate Murayama's apology means he is anti-Japanese, right?

    Just admit it, nigelboy, Japan has never lived up to what it did, nor properly apologized or compensated the victims, and now is white-washing history worse than China has, and the apologists are licking it up. Germany is right, and you need to admit that first, then admit to the past instead of submitting to the fiction people like Abe are trying to feed you.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    The continual problem with anti Japan crowd is that they seek apologies from every newly elected PM

    No they don't. No one ever asked Abe for a new apology. They just criticized him when he crapped on the old apologies by praying for war dead at a shrine that whitewashes history, and treats Japan as the victim of a war that it started.

    and when Abe considers doing this, they falsely assume that it negates the previous.

    It's not false. When the elected representative of a country, who was voted for by the people of the country, does something to show that he is not insincere about the apology, the people who were victims of that country rightly are angry that the representative of the people, and therefore the people, do not feel as if they did anything wrong.

  • 2

    WilliB

    China would have a stronger position to complain about Yasukuni if it faced up to its own history. When is the last time a Chinese politician apologized about the invasion and brutalization of Tibet?

    Once Chinese leaders address that issue, they might be in a position to comment about others not facing their history.

    But as it is, the continuing noise from China is pretty hypocritical.

  • 1

    Jerrysisland

    21.century economics and 19.century politics Welcome to the Brave New World ( East Asian style )

  • -1

    blackrock

    grow up people. Those who live in the past have no future.

  • 1

    Ishiwara

    Politicians who insist that they are only paying tribute to those who died for their country when they visit Yasukuni are not telling the truth. If that’s all they wanted to do, they could walk five minutes down the road to Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery, which is, like Arlington, Japan’s officially designated war cemetery."

    Chidorigafuchi is a special cemetery for the unknown soldier, whereas Yasukuni is for all who died for the country since 1868. There is no simple solution to this problem.

  • 1

    cloa513

    List of apologies. Wikipedia obviously strongly influenced by Japan-haters.

    http://ameblo.jp/fuuko-protector/entry-11580847075.html

    Japan should set up a truth and reconciliation commission- there is absolutely no way the Chinese and Koreans would cooperate and admit their compensation was redirected from victims. China is absolutely opposed to truth.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    Japan should set up a truth and reconciliation commission- there is absolutely no way the Chinese and Koreans would cooperate

    There's no way Japan would either - they are trying to whitewash history themselves.

    China is absolutely opposed to truth.

    And so is Japan when it comes to their actions during the war. They would rather paint themselves as the victim for having been bombed in Hiroshima, conveniently ignoring that they started the war that came to that end.

  • -7

    nigelboy

    Abe has considered nothing but RESCINDING the apology in his attempt to make Japan "proud of its history", and you know it. THAT is the problem. HE is the one trying to change Murayama's statement, not the 'anti-Japan' crowd you like to dream up to deflect the facts. So I guess by your definition, Abe wanting to negate Murayama's apology means he is anti-Japanese, right?

    Smith,

    Read my comments. You can't "change" Murayama's statement for it's Murayama's statement. Koizumi also made a cabinet statement as well in 2005 but does that nullify Murayama's? No. You cannot "rescind" a prior cabinet statement (danwa).

    Just admit it, nigelboy, Japan has never lived up to what it did, nor properly apologized or compensated the victims, and now is white-washing history worse than China has, and the apologists are licking it up. Germany is right, and you need to admit that first, then admit to the past instead of submitting to the fiction people like Abe are trying to feed you.

    You have proven time and time again that you haven't read a single Japanese history book so why on god's earth are you still commenting on it? And what makes you so sure that Germany has owned up it's past? There are still war related compensation that Germany has not honored as recently as Greece as well as certain Polish groups seeking reparations as well. On top of that, there are Germans who are seeking compensation on properties lost in areas where Germany invaded. The reason behind the latter is simple. Germany lacks bilateral treaties which addresses such issue unlike Japan.

  • -4

    JoeBigs

    globallcJan. 05, 2014 - 12:02PM JST JoeBigs, tried hard to defend the undefendable? Simple-minded? If only things where that simple. Quote from Bloomberg:

    First off the article was on Bloomberg's opinion page and it was written by Jeffrey Kingston. It wasn't written by someone acting like a journalist, it was written by someone who had an opinion. Big difference.

    Next, Yasukuni is nothing like Arlington National cemetery, there are no bodies in Yasukuni there are at Arlington. The shrine is the same as the Vietnam memorial wall. Big difference.

    By making it seem that there are bodies there Mr Kingston and now yourself make it seem even worse than it is, but isn't that the point. Propaganda is a great thing and that is all your argument is, propaganda and spin.

    globallcJan. 05, 2014 - 12:02PM JST This is dangerous nonsense. Yasukuni is ground zero for an unrepentant view of Japan’s wartime aggression.

    Try using your own words rather than using someone else's to make your point, which you have none. You are saying the same TPM bunk that the Communist use and both don't hold water.

    Now, why not ask the Communist to stop praying to the number one (1) mass-murderer of the 20th century? Yes, globallc I am talking about Mao, the man was responsible for the death's of nearly 4 Million Chinese during WW2 and over 50 Million after WW2.The man was worse than Hitler and Stalin put together, but he is worshiped like a god.

    He should have been brought to the Hague in chains to answer for those crimes, but sadly he didn't because the CPC won their civil war. They write the history and claim that Mao just made a few mistakes.

    54 Million people are just a few mistakes!

    He who wins the wars writes the histories.

    Now, how many atrocities has Japan committed since 1946?

    How many has China and the Korea's committed?

    I know you will not answer the question, because you fear to answer it. But all those people who died and suffered in the last 67 years deserve to be remembered, but you and the other pro Communist here don't want to remember them..

    Fear is a hard thing to face, but once you face it you will no longer have fear.

  • 1

    maohoohe

    During the last years of the war, the SS gave up it's height requirements (and most other requirements, including that of being an NSDAP member); thus, it drafted any able body that wasn't grabbed by the army, air force, and navy. So, saying that a soldier buried as an SS-man was a Nazi, just because he was in the SS and buried at Bitburg, is bullpucky. I am a former US Army officer. I have also been to Israel. It's an impressive country, and it's people have a lot to be proud of. But Jews in general can't get over bitching about Nazis, despite the fact that many Russian prisoners also died in German concentration camps; many gypsies died in those camps; many masonic lodge members died in camps (it was an organization the Nazis didn't like); and many Jews also died under Stalin's authority in the Ukraine--but no one bitches about any of that, etc. It's simply that Hitler singled out Jews in particular. And it's really not so much Israelis that like to whine, but American Jews: they are the biggest complainers (the one's who aren't secretly collecting German WWII militaria as a hobby, that is) . I myself am a genetically flawed person (I have type 1 diabetes: this means I would most likely have been euthanized as "genetically undesirable" had I lived in the Reich. But that was then, this is now. I don't lose any sleep over it. The modern Germans, in my opinion, have atoned. Today's Germans will not let it happen again and have nothing really to do with what their grandfathers did in the 1930's and '40's. Get OVER it and move on.

  • 0

    praack

    interesting thoughts by all, but perhaps some are a bit off on the preferential treatment of Japan post war.

    While Germany was being integrated back into Europe, Japan was in the process of having lives torn apart as extended families were banned and nuclear families became Law.

    Medicines were not available- so many died of respiratory and other diseases into the late 50's. there was an active censorship board in place post war - where US troops could not be seen in film and where life usually was not shown to be the way it really was- hard.

    even the differences in treatment in the states during the war displayed the pro-european stance- while Japanese/Americans spent their time in Internment camps, German and italian americans were able to walk freely.

    but what is bothering me the most regarding this conversation is that the youth has no connection to those times- the War and the constitution that was imposed by the USA has made Japan a completly different place. So perhaps it is time to stop the whining regarding the past.

    It is not the fault of the youth today, it is not even the fault of my generation - it belonged to my parents and they are gone.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    the War and the constitution that was imposed by the USA has made Japan a completly different place. So perhaps it is time to stop the whining regarding the past.

    Only the setting has changed, the people are still the same.

  • -1

    LB315

    According to that wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

    Japan "apologized" to China in what ... 1972??? The war ended in 1945, so that's 27 years after the war that they apologized??? Is that sincere????

  • 0

    JoeBigs

    LB315Jan. 07, 2014 - 01:15PM JST According to that wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listofwarapologystatementsissuedby_Japan Japan "apologized" to China in what ... 1972??? The war ended in 1945, so that's 27 years after the war that they apologized??? Is that sincere????

    Just an odd question, was the Peoples Republic of China a nation at the end of the war?

    If you look into the history of the Japan PRC relationship after the war you will find that there was none. Japan, like most other nations recognized Taipei as the rightful leadership of China from the late 40 until relations were normalized in the 70's..

    During the 60's when the PRC and the USSR broke off relations the PRC had to seek new friends so they turned to Japan and other nations.

    Then bingo came the 70's and the PRC and Japan truly normalized relations, so that is why Japan took so long to apologize to a nation (the PRC) which wasn't even a nation during the war.

    Hope that helps you swim through the river of Propaganda you have been fed.

  • -4

    Masaki Miyamoto

    It is an easy answer. Communist China and South Korea were founded after WWII. Murayama and Kono committed the big mistake of "carrying out the apology without necessity."

  • -1

    Olegek

    aussie-musashi. I also think that because MacArthur absolved the emperor of war crimes in 1945, it has prevented many Japanese from feeling responsibility for what happened.

    Sorry WHO was MacArthur ? God Almighty ?

    His opinion can be important for Americans but not for Chinese .

  • -3

    commanteer

    Pretty obvious here that Germany is making nice with China, for purely economic advantages. Sad to say, but many countries will lean this way. Money talks, integrity walks.

  • 0

    pagoda28

    "Germany takes pride in what it sees as its own earnest effort to atone for its militaristic past and the murder of six million European Jews in the Holocaust, although critics say it still has more to do."**

    Critics from China and Korea? What else German will have to do? I think it's same as what Japanese are fed up with.

  • -2

    It"S ME

    Germany can still do a lot more many Issues still unresolved, ditto for Austria and Switzerland.

    Wonder why always only 6 mill Jews are mentioned but no mention of the millions non-jews that died in the camps. Nor the millions of Jews killed by Turkey, Russia, etc.

  • -4

    slowguy2

    "What was the most horrible events of 20th century> Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japanese people live with the memory."

    CORRECTION: The nukings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have been the most horrible events of the 20th century IF those nukes had fallen on an innocent nation that had done nothing to deserve them -- but when you're only reaping what you sowed, obviously such is not the case. As for the Japanese living with the memory -- well, of course they should. As a lasting reminder never to do anything to invite the world's wrath again.

  • 0

    Dennis Duine

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

  • 0

    slowguy2

    "What else German will have to do? I think it's same as what Japanese are fed up with".

    Fed up? Compared with the Germans, the Japanese collectively have not done even nearly enough to say they are fed up with anything. The Germans have worked hard to make certain no one forgets the horrors of the concentration camps -- forever. By contrast, Mr. Abe glorified the horrors of Unit 731 and mocked the memory of the living hell visited upon its victims with a smiling photo-op aboard a plane emblazoned with that number. Obviously he is working hard to make certain future Japanese generations remember that den of horrors with pride and patriotism. Do Germans try to beautify their history this way? Any chancellors smile for photos by the furnaces at Auschwitz?

  • -1

    Tamarama

    All these calls for Japan to continue to apologise for War Crimes, or the bleating about the atrocities the IJA committed in WW2 are tired arguments that seem to completely overlook what happened to Japan in the wake of the war.

    Japan was nuclear bombed twice, defeated, occupied, it's Army disbanded and banished, it's government dissolved with a couple of Prime Ministers and ministers charged and in some cases executed. Trials and tribunals of War Criminals were held all over Asia, including 12 by the Dutch, Eleven by the British, Ten (or13, depending on your source) by China (including the communists), Nine by Australia, Five by the US, One by the French, One by the Filipinos and more later by the Soviet Union. 5700 were tried for Class B or C crimes, 920 executed and most of the rest either on life sentences or lengthy prison terms. 28 military and political leaders were charged with class A crimes.

    The country was in complete ruins, it's economy, infrastructure and society. People starved, ate weeds, died. That is fact.

    The country then had it's constitution re-written, it's social and corporate structure preserving the traditional power of the old elites dissolved, the Emperor tradition neutered, and it paid a lot of money and issued apologies, which it has continued to do, albeit poorly at times, in the ensuing years.

    Japan paid the price for it's aggression and wartime activity long ago. It has apologised and paid up. Leave the past in the past - that also applies to Abe and his mates and their inflammatory visits to Yasukuni. Let sleeping dogs lie.

    People who want to continually punish Japan for the war have an agenda. China participated in the terms of surrender of Japan, the occupation, the trials and received reparations of huge proportions subsequently. They have been apologised to. They require no more.

    It's done.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    All these calls for Japan to continue to apologise for War Crimes, or the bleating about the atrocities the IJA committed in WW2 are tired arguments that seem to completely overlook what happened to Japan in the wake of the war.

    This is a strawman. People aren't calling on Japan to continue apologizing, they are calling on Japan to stop doing things that nullify those apologies.

    Japan was nuclear bombed twice, defeated, occupied, it's Army disbanded and banished, it's government dissolved with a couple of Prime Ministers and ministers charged and in some cases executed. Trials and tribunals of War Criminals were held all over Asia, including 12 by the Dutch, Eleven by the British, Ten (or13, depending on your source) by China (including the communists), Nine by Australia, Five by the US, One by the French, One by the Filipinos and more later by the Soviet Union. 5700 were tried for Class B or C crimes, 920 executed and most of the rest either on life sentences or lengthy prison terms. 28 military and political leaders were charged with class A crimes.

    Yes, because they started a war. If you start a war, then you have no place to complain about how someone else stops it. Japan is not the victim here, they were the aggressor, and they deserved what they got.

    And I say this as someone who loves Japan, and will likely spend the rest of my life here because I love it so much (I am financially stable enough that I could live most anywhere in the world if I chose). But I sure wish they'd clean up their act, for their people, and for the region.

  • 0

    Tamarama

    Strangerland

    This is a strawman. People aren't calling on Japan to continue apologizing, they are calling on Japan to stop doing things that nullify those apologies.

    Oh, come on Strangerland, here is SmithinJapan's comment:

    Just admit it, nigelboy, Japan has never lived up to what it did, nor properly apologized or compensated the victims

    which is an oft repeated mantra here on JT, as you well know.

    Yes, because they started a war. If you start a war, then you have no place to complain about how someone else stops it. Japan is not the victim here, they were the aggressor, and they deserved what they got.

    I didn't suggest they didn't start the war, and I didn't suggest they didn't deserve what came as a result. I am saying they have paid their dues over it. The world put them on trial and exacted justice from the people responsible for the war and atrocities committed, completely literally and figuratively dismantled the country and then rebuilt it in a completely new and American way. They apologised and paid a mountain of money as compensation.

    People like Ishihara and Hashimoto speak for themselves, they aren't official representatives of Japan. Comments they might make do not overturn official Japanese Government positions on things like the war. The two shouldn't be confused.

  • -1

    Tamarama

    aussie-musashi

    It's naive to think that Japan, or any country will be without Right Wing Conservative Nationalists. I don't like the fact that they get into power anywhere, Japan included, and I don't support their views. I think Ishihara is an absolute fool of the highest order and I don't like Abe's revisionist tendencies and stupidity in visiting Yasukuni as PM. I agree with your earlier comments that Hirohito was also a War Criminal. But Japan, as a country, has apologised many times in many different ways through many of it's Prime Ministers. Mr Abe has not, and can not, change that.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    People like Ishihara and Hashimoto speak for themselves, they aren't official representatives of Japan.

    Yes they are. They are elected representatives of the people. They have been chosen by the people to speak for them. They are official representatives of Japan, and they do speak for the people. If they were private citizens it would be different - they'd just be truck-less right-wingers. But they are not private citizens, and their opinions are representative of those who voted for them. That's how democracy works.

    I didn't suggest they didn't start the war, and I didn't suggest they didn't deserve what came as a result. I am saying they have paid their dues over it.

    Yes, they have paid their dues, but other than the comfort women, no one is demanding money. The issue is that while Japan may have put out some yen, they continue to not show remorse for their actions, and to portray themselves as the victim. Those who do not remember the past are determined to repeat it. As long as the Japanese whitewash history and portray themselves as the victims, they are not remembering their history. Recent events show that they are on a path to repeat it again as well - the secrecy law, Abe (THE elected representative of the people) praying for war criminals souls, and wanting to revise the pacifist constitution to allow Japan to become a warring state again. These all point at Japan making the same mistakes again. Last time that happened, it was a world war. Anyone from a country who fought against them in that war should be plenty nervous about the Japanese doing it again, since they don't appear to have learned anything from the last time they did it.

  • 0

    Tamarama

    Yes they are. They are elected representatives of the people. They have been chosen by the people to speak for them. They are official representatives of Japan, and they do speak for the people.

    No, they are elected to represent a very small proportion of Japanese people. Ishihara represents just one of the 17 districts of Tokyo, and is but 1 of 480 representatives in the House of Representatives. His voice and views are just one of many, and whilst he offers a certain Right Wing flavour, certainly does not represent the official view of Japan, or that of the incumbent Party.

    That is how Democracy works.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    Yes, it works that the people elect representatives to speak for them - aka elected representatives. If you want to say that they don't speak for all Japanese people, you'd be correct. But if you say they don't speak and/or represent the Japanese, you're wrong, because that's exactly what they have been chosen by the Japanese to do.

  • -2

    nigelboy

    Yes, it works that the people elect representatives to speak for them - aka elected representatives. If you want to say that they don't speak for all Japanese people, you'd be correct. But if you say they don't speak and/or represent the Japanese, you're wrong, because that's exactly what they have been chosen by the Japanese to do.

    In other words, Japan has WIDE range of opinions. Democracy at work. The problem with your analysis is that you will not allow any opinion that is against your belief to represent any part of the elected representatives. Hence, you are deduced to singling out a few of those representatives to make your case.

    You state that Japan has put money to help these people but show no remorse. How does that work? How does such past aid or assistance get passed by the elected representatives if they had no sense of remorse? How does the surviving comfort women able to hold symposium throughout Japan without the support of certain Japanese citizens? How does the elected representative establish a fund and an organization that is strictly dedicated to help the surviving comfort women without remorse?

    The detractors game is simple. They always ignore the positives while exaggerate the negative.

  • 0

    Tamarama

    But if you say they don't speak and/or represent the Japanese, you're wrong, because that's exactly what they have been chosen by the Japanese to do.

    I restate my point, and semantics are important here - he has been elected to represent SOME Japanese (1/480th proportionally). To say he represents all Japanese, or 'the' Japanese is simply fallacious and inaccurate. He does not.

    His party, as a greater unit of Representation, only represent 11% of the voting Japanese public, which in 2012 was 59% of the total population.

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