Ishiwara's past comments

  • 1


    Yes (although this is probably not going to happen).

    It is true that Japan "got of lightly" (if we put aside the death toll for 2 nuclear bombs and a year of conventional bombing), But, for reminders: Japan did not invade the Soviet Union in WW2, it had a non-aggression pact until 1945, when the SU declared war on Japan and invaded Japanese territory.

    The U.S. occupied Okinawa, returning it only in 1972 (mainland Japanese had to show a passport when they went there). Russia should also return the Kuriles.

    Posted in: Should Russia return the four disputed islands off Hokkaido to Japan?

  • 5


    Murakami Haruki:

    I got home from work and cooked spaghetti for myself. Outside the window I saw the roof of the neighbour's house. A light was burning. In the background, the TV blurred some news about this year's nobel prize winners. I did the dishes.

    Posted in: Nobel Literature prize again eludes Japan's hope, Haruki Murakami

  • -1


    I never quite understood how McDonalds became so popular in Japan, considering this country's outstanding food culture. Or in any other country with good food for that matter. It is surprisingly popular in France.

    Posted in: McDonald's Japan hit by another food scandal

  • 5


    Newsflash: the Japanese Emperor has already apologized. As did the government. Many times.

    As others are saying: Japan should ignore the trolls.

    Posted in: Japan protests China news agency's call for emperor apology

  • 4


    I can't believe they are seriously debating whether or not to install AC.

    Let me rephrase this: I still can't believe they actually decided to host the Olympics at the end of July. In Tokyo.

    Posted in: Japan to cut cost for Olympic stadium by third, say lawmakers

  • 1


    I thought the problem with just 'removing' the war criminals from the shrine was that they said it was like adding 14 cups of water to a tank of water. You cannot just say "I want to take those 14 cups back out" because as soon as they are added they are mixed irreversibly into the rest of the water.

    Correct. That is one thing that the shrine priests say. Although, given that this religious stuff is pretty much made up recently, I think if they'd really wanted to remove the 14 war criminals, they could come up with some kind of creative solution.

    Posted in: Japan WWII leaders’ descendants reach out for reconciliation

  • 5


    Removing the 14 Class-A war criminals from Yasukuni would be great. But there are problems with this:

    Unfortunately, the priests of the shrine refuse to do this. And the state cannot force them, since officially Yasukuni is an independent religious institution, and the state cannot violate the separation of religion and state. (Yes, the PM visiting the shrine can also count as a violation of the same law, and there have been court cases about this). I don't think it will go down well with the majority of the Japanese people. Even those who believe Japan did all the wrong, many people believe that the executed and the dead have paid their dues and should be "appeased." (In Japan, souls who died a violent death wreak havoc in this world if they are not taken care of). Non-Japanese might find this ridiculous, but there it is. Even if they would remove them, would China and Korea be OK with the Japanese PM visiting Yasukuni? What about the other 1,000 or so Class-B war criminals?

    Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to this problem.

    Posted in: Japan WWII leaders’ descendants reach out for reconciliation

  • 1


    @Serrano @CGB Spender

    Thank you for sharing this. I hope you will find some peace in the memories of your loved ones this obon.

    Posted in: Five things you need to know about Obon

  • -3


    8:15 the time that most Hiroshima residents finished breakfast and went out to work and other activities.

    8:15 the time of the blast.

    No, this was not a coincidence.

    Posted in: By The Numbers: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima

  • 0


    Appeal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aerial Bombardment of Civilian Populations, September 1, 1939

    The President of the United States to the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and His Britannic Majesty, September 1, 1939

    The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.

    If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic conflagration with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives. I am therefore addressing this urgent appeal to every government which may be engaged in hostilities publicly to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents. I request an immediate reply.


    Posted in: Japan marks 70th anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bombing

  • 3


    It is, and was at the time, illegal to kill civilians in order to break military resistance.

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki are no exceptions to this rule.

    Posted in: U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japan in 1945: How AP reported it

  • 2


    This is a weird debate. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the ONLY cases where we seriously debate the killing of civilians in order to break military resistance.

    If you support the argument that Hiroshima was effective, and therefore broke Japanese military resistance, and therefore moral, then you have to accept the argument that the 1940 German bombing of Rotterdam (10,000 killed), and which broke the Dutch will to resist, was also moral. And so on for practically every similar case.

    And the argument that this "was a different era" is bogus. The German bombing of Guernica in 1937 and the Japanese bombing of Chongqing in 1938 was widely denounced as barbaric, including by the U.S. government, and FDR, who openly called on all countries to pledge not to bomb civilians.

    Posted in: Do you think the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justifiable?

  • -7


    Japan doesn't have investigative reporting.

    Of course Japan has investigative reporting. To give two prominent examples: Honda Katsuichi, who did some of the first research into the Nanjing Massacre, and Suzuki Tomohiko, who wrote on the confluence of the Yakuza and the energy industry.

    Posted in: What do you think are some of the main differences between the way Japanese and Western media report the news?

  • 0


    Cool story, thanks JT.

    a bank account has been opened under Taira no Masakado’s name in the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

    I am surprised it is easier for a ghost to open a bank account than for a foreigner.

    Posted in: Japan is full of ghosts: Visiting the grave of Taira no Masakado’s head

  • 6


    Ridiculous that Park hasn't agreed to meet Abe yet.

    Some of Korea's historical grievances and criticism of Abe are legitimate, but if Park is more willing to meet the leaders of North Korea and China than the elected leader of Korea's only democratic neighbor, a country that has been a force for peace and stability for the past 70 years, Korea has some priorities wrong.

    Posted in: Abe, Park call for a new era, free of burden of history

  • 11


    I sometimes wonder what went through the minds of the people who sent these young kids out to die? I can't imagine sending someone else to a pointless death for a lost cause.

    On the other hand, things probably looked very different at the time. The U.S. treated Japan extremely generous after 1945, but how would you know that as a Japanese officer at war? The U.S. was bombing all Japanese cities and quite literally killing their wives and children. Maybe then you start to think that making the U.S. pay a too heavy price for the battle of Okinawa and show fanaticism through Kamikaze tactics will make the U.S. loose heart. And thus a price worth paying. The horrible logic of war.

    Posted in: Kamikaze survivors debunk stereotype in stories of sacrifice

  • -2


    I am not in favor of pushing this on universities. With that out of the way, I think it is important to put things in perspective a bit.

    In China, all university students have to take Marxist-Leninist and Maoist propaganda courses, and the contents of what is taught in Chinese university classes is under government surveillance and control.

    ALL students have to undergo military training. In the words of one official: "The goal isn't to make the students battle-ready, but to instill in them a sense of patriotism, collectivism and national defense." This practice was expanded after the Tien-an-men debacle.

    So, before making favorable comparisons with China, please keep these facts in mind. Japan is (still) pretty far away from that.

    Posted in: Universities asked to raise flag, sing national anthem at ceremonies

  • -5


    Everybody's comments on education in Japwnese classrooms are interesting, but let me say it again: the rankings have nothing to do with education! It is all calculated on the basis of the number of publications and other measurable factors that ALL have to do with research, not what happens in the classroom.

    Posted in: China beats Japan in Asian university rankings

  • 1


    Rather than going after mythical slipping standards these educators are better off thinking how to make more young Japanese take gap years, study/live abroad, get real company internships and be ready to plan careers that might involve changing companies every 3-4 years.

    You know as well as everybody else this does not describe what Japanese companies expect. And nobody in Japan with a full-time job changes companies every 3-4 years.

    Posted in: China beats Japan in Asian university rankings

  • 0


    Once a male is over 40 it is really too late to find a partner HERE if you want to have a family. The women are too old from a physiological perspective. Save your self the time, effort and emotional stress and find a nice women half your age from the Phillipines or Thailand for example.

    Everybody disliked this comment, and I see why. But sad (and bordering on the immoral) as this may be on many levels, this is probably the most realistic advice for these guys. In reality many Japanese men on the countryside are already doing this.

    Posted in: Heartache for Japan's 40-year-old virgins


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