Ishiwara's past comments

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    Debating about the word "aggression" is pointless. Of course it was aggression by Japan. The question is how to characterize and frame that aggression.

    I think there are several aspects that complicate how to characterize Japan's war:

    First is that this was a war of BOTH Japanese imperialism and expansionism AND what many Japanese saw as the liberation of Asia from Western imperialism (and communism). And you can't just write the second part off. Most people in China and South-East Asia did not wanted Japan as a leader of Asia, but these countries also forget that many people did join as Japanese allies in this war: 500,000 Koreans, as many Taiwanese, 1,000,000 Chinese, the Burmese National Army, Indonesian nationalists, and so on.

    Second is the alliance with Germany. In Western eyes, this makes Japan similar to a Nazi country. It was not. There was no Nazi party, there was no racial genocide. (But there were numerous warcrimes)

    Third, Japan, like Germany, did also suffer from war crimes. Yes, Japan started it, but that does not exonerate it. 75,000 Japanes pow's died at the hands of the Soviets (and no, Japan did not attack the Soviet Union). Around 10,000 Japanese pow's died after the war in South-East Asia at the hands of the British. And then there are 250,000 civilians killed in Manchuria in the wake of the Soviet invasion. And then there are the 1000,000 civilians killed in the Tokyo firebombing, even before Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    This all complicates things.

    Here is an idea: Japanese politicians should stick to its past apologies, and leave the complexities for the historians to debate.

    Posted in: Abe's advisers split over how to describe Japan's WWII actions

  • 10

    Ishiwara

    Pressed on whether this included Japan, she said: “I’ve just said that China has already issued invites to all relevant countries’ leaders and international organisations. Do you think that Japan has a connection to World War Two and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, or not?”

    Why not just say, "Yes, of course we have invited Japan. We hope this will be an opportunity for reconciliation, remembering the past, and move forward together."?

    Posted in: China confirms, in roundabout way, Japan invite for war memorial

  • -1

    Ishiwara

    Imagine a North Korean watching this movie. It will just confirm that America is an evil country because the CIA is out to assassinate the leader of their country. The comedy surrounding Kim will just look like American propaganda. The half-naked and sex-scenes confirm that America is a country of decadent immorality.

    Imagine a North Korean movie about a Korean commando sent to the U.S. to kill president Obama. (I'll let you fill in the details yourself.)

    You have to be very stupid to believe dropping this DVD will actually achieve anything.

    Posted in: North Korea warns against airdropping DVDs of 'The Interview'

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    I am starting to suspect the whole debate about English in Japan is missing its point.

    When it comes to English, there are three types of Japanese: 1. People who actually need it and use it for work; professionals, doctors, scientists etc; usually speak it pretty well. Small group. 2. Large group of people who can speak more than they admit, have maybe stayed abroad for some time, but have so few opportunities their English gets very rusty, to put it mildly. 3. Vast majority of Japanese people who learn it in school as if they were studying Latin. Never use it because they only meet Japanese people, only do business with Japanese people.

    I don't think this is that different from other countries with a language very different from English. (Thai people in the cities speak better English because they actually use it.)

    I don't see any reason why anyone should expect that all Japanese people, including group 3, will become good at English. It is simply not necessary. And it is also not possible.

    Posted in: 'Englishisation' - Is it working?

  • 4

    Ishiwara

    For all of you who are shocked at the fact that a Buddhist monk, who is supposed to stick to monastic rules, is doing this:

    The vast majority of Buddhist monks (or better: priests) in Japan inherit the job from their father. Most temples are essentially family businesses. The priests do have to undergo some training, but don't imagine long periods of meditation in caves and practicing martial arts under waterfalls. They do have to learn how to read sutras for funerals and so on. It can be pretty lucrative, because all Japanese families are registered with a particular temple, which means they will ask the funerals to be done at that temple.

    And monastic rules have been thrown out since centuries by most Buddhist sects in Japan. Most Buddhist priests are thus pretty much salarymen in a family business.

    None of the above explains why this monk should film up a girl's skirt of course.

    Posted in: Buddhist monk arrested for filming up girl's skirt on escalator

  • 2

    Ishiwara

    FYI

    I've read through a bunch of online comments by Japanese people about this. This seems to be the most common:

    • She might be Japanese, but she is certainly not "representative" of Japanese

    • She is Japanese and has all the right of trying, but there is a problem with the board electing her as "representative" of Japanese: it signals that "normal Japanese" beauty is not good enough

    • She is not pretty

    Posted in: 'Haafu' to represent Japan at Miss Universe 2015

  • -2

    Ishiwara

    1. More flexibility

    And NOT more junk- and fastfood.

    Posted in: Five things expats wish Japan had

  • 1

    Ishiwara

    China's rise could have been a great contribution to world culture. Too bad.

    Posted in: China state media stepping-up anti-Western rhetoric

  • 2

    Ishiwara

    From the official website of MOFA:

    Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women

    The Year of 2001

    Dear Madam,

    On the occasion that the Asian Women's Fund, in cooperation with the Government and the people of Japan, offers atonement from the Japanese people to the former wartime comfort women, I wish to express my feelings as well.

    The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women.

    As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

    We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future.

    I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations.

    Furthermore, Japan also should take an active part in dealing with violence and other forms of injustice to the honor and dignity of women.

    Finally, I pray from the bottom of my heart that each of you will find peace for the rest of your lives.

    Respectfully yours,

    Junichiro Koizumi Prime Minister of Japan

    Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women"

    August 4, 1993

    The Government of Japan has been conducting a study on the issue of wartime "comfort women" since December 1991. I wish to announce the findings as a result of that study.

    As a result of the study which indicates that comfort stations were operated in extensive areas for long periods, it is apparent that there existed a great number of comfort women. Comfort stations were operated in response to the request of the military authorities of the day. The then Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations and the transfer of comfort women. The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military. The Government study has revealed that in many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing, coercion, etc., and that, at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments. They lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere.

    As to the origin of those comfort women who were transferred to the war areas, excluding those from Japan, those from the Korean Peninsula accounted for a large part. The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese rule in those days, and their recruitment, transfer, control, etc., were conducted generally against their will, through coaxing, coercion, etc.

    Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

    It is incumbent upon us, the Government of Japan, to continue to consider seriously, while listening to the views of learned circles, how best we can express this sentiment.

    We shall face squarely the historical facts as described above instead of evading them, and take them to heart as lessons of history. We hereby reiterate our firm determination never to repeat the same mistake by forever engraving such issues in our memories through the study and teaching of history.

    As actions have been brought to court in Japan and interests have been shown in this issue outside Japan, the Government of Japan shall continue to pay full attention to this matter, including private researched related thereto.

    Posted in: Japan shrugs off S Korean calls for 'sex slave' apology

  • 2

    Ishiwara

    Good. A name like that is just a giant red flag. Besides, as a private bank, they are under no obligation and can refuse customers if they want, just like a bar or a coffeeshop can.

    Posted in: Credit union turns down application for account with 'Islam' in name

  • 2

    Ishiwara

    It takes two for reconciliation.

    Posted in: S Korean president urges Japan to apologise to 'comfort women'

  • 5

    Ishiwara

    Isn't that clear by now? Let's see.......an official, unequivocal apology to the sex slaves from the Japanese government (they could save time by apologising to the ones from other Asian countries while they're at it) The kind of apology that can't be denied or revoked. Compensation would be nice as well (for the sex slaves. The previous treaties on forced labour that Japan signed were not covered by the 1965 treaty - and thus claims for compensation are still valid. Oh, and teaching of historical facts that are accepted by pretty much the rest of the world would be a big bonus. So in that light, keep it up South Korea

    Maybe that is what they want, but it would be very naive to think that anti-Japanese protests and anti-Japanese propaganda would stop even if the Japanese government would do all these things.

    Posted in: Anti-Japan rally

  • 1

    Ishiwara

    And current politicians have denied. It ends up canceling out the apologies, particularly when the current sitting PM feels that way.

    Maybe it cancels it out, maybe not. I tend to agree with you, but that is an interpretation.

    On top of this, there has never been an official apology ratified by the cabinet. Until that happens, it cannot be considered to be a proper apology.

    The Kono statement and Koizumi's apologies were stated as prime ministers and are official apologies. Apologies are not "ratified" by parliament. As we speak, the Kono statement is still the official position of the government, and is on the official MOFA's official website (although that might change this year).

    Posted in: S Korean president urges Japan to apologise to 'comfort women'

  • -3

    Ishiwara

    @ Strangerland

    As I said, I don't like Abe's position, but previous Japanese governments have apologized. Better read the whole post before commenting.

    Posted in: S Korean president urges Japan to apologise to 'comfort women'

  • 4

    Ishiwara

    I dislike Abe's position on this issue, but the Japanese government has apologized several times; so if Korea refuses to accept it, it will be harder for any Japanese politician to convince the Japanese public they need to bow their heads again.

    1. When Korea and Japan normalized relations, Japan paid a large sum of money, and it was the Korean government who insisted they will pass it on to victims.
    2. The Kono statement of 1993 (as the article mentions).
    3. Japan has offered compensation through the Asian Women's Fund.
    4. Prime Minister Koizumi has written a letter of apology directly to former comfort women:

    Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women

    The Year of 2001

    Dear Madam,

    On the occasion that the Asian Women's Fund, in cooperation with the Government and the people of Japan, offers atonement from the Japanese people to the former wartime comfort women, I wish to express my feelings as well.

    The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women.

    As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

    We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future.

    I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations.

    Furthermore, Japan also should take an active part in dealing with violence and other forms of injustice to the honor and dignity of women.

    Finally, I pray from the bottom of my heart that each of you will find peace for the rest of your lives.

    Respectfully yours,

    Junichiro Koizumi Prime Minister of Japan

    Posted in: S Korean president urges Japan to apologise to 'comfort women'

  • 1

    Ishiwara

    Interesting. Especially when considering that the modern Japanese monarchy was very much modeled on the British example. This started in the Meiji period, and then Hirohito stayed for a long period in Britain in the 1920's when he was crown prince, and abolished polygamy.

    Posted in: Prince William strikes a friendly contrast to crown prince

  • 2

    Ishiwara

    Great, we know his name. Can somebody please kill this a-hole now?

    Posted in: IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named by media

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    And she just stated that she is willing to meet with the North Korean dwarf without preconditions? But not with Abe, elected leader of Japan, an ally and a democracy?

    Ridiculous.

    Posted in: S Korea's Park says she is not opposed to talks with Abe

  • 12

    Ishiwara

    China's reckless behavior TODAY has nothing to do with "what China sees as Japan’s failure to atone for its occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two" or some other BS the Chinese come up with.

    Newspapers should stop mentioning this in cases like these, since it just gives Chinese propaganda a veneer of respectability.

    Posted in: China bristles at Japanese defense minister's remarks

  • 1

    Ishiwara

    In this age of the adulation of youth it is not surprising that many old folk feel pressured to pretend they are young. In the US you see a lot of older men and women dressed in exactly the same clothes as their teenage kids. Cringeworthy.

    Still, this guy who berated the kid is an a-hole.

    Posted in: Schoolboy publicly berated by elderly man for offering him seat on train

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