HEADLINES

Japan’s ‘sorry’ seems to be hardest word to remember

Robert Dujarric, August 14, 2015. BBC News Asia

Shinzo Abe Possibly facing yet another Japanese apology Shinzo Abe Possibly facing yet another Japanese apology.

On Friday, Japanese leader Shinzo Abe will make a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Much attention will be on the words he uses, but if the term “sorry” is uttered, it will not be for the first time, reports Robert Dujarric.

Japanese leaders have apologised countless times for the exactions of Imperial Japan.

Besides statements by former Prime Ministers Maruyama and Koizumi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono, as well as expressions of regrets from the emperor, Japan has paid formal and informal reparations to numerous victims of Japanese aggression.

Yet, the perceived wisdom in many quarters is that Japan has not shown any contrition for the deeds of its empire. These criticisms are always followed by: “Germany, however, has faced its Nazi past honestly, unlike Japan.”

There are several reasons for this state of affairs.

Anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea has manifested itself in recent protests

Anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea has manifested itself in recent protests.

Firstly, many Japanese apologies have looked like “one step forward, one step backward“.

Senior politicians, including prime ministers, visit the Yasukuni Shrine, where Class A war criminals are sanctified. Some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (including Prime Minister Abe when he was in the opposition) claim that there was no sexual slavery or consort with individuals who refer to the “so-called Nanjing Massacre”.

Thus, official Japan lacks “message discipline,” a critical skill in the internet age, where even second-rate politicians can get heard worldwide at the speed of light.

Secondly, by world standards, Japan has done a lot of apologising. It is obviously way ahead of the Chinese Communist Party, whose policies sent tens of millions of Chinese to their deaths, and of Vladimir Putin, who calls the demise of the equally genocidal Soviet Union a tragedy.

But, even compared to Western Europe, when it comes to colonial killings – or the American republics and Australia regarding slavery and the destruction of native societies – Japan is probably above average in the realm of apologies. But Imperial Japan will always be compared to Nazi Germany, its Axis ally. And, by German standards, Japanese atonement is clearly wanting, whether it be in the scope of statements regarding the past, the behaviour of the political establishment, textbooks, museums, and financial compensation.

Whether he likes it or not, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being judged by Willy Brant’s standards, not by Xi Jinping’s.

Robert Dujarric is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan

To read the rest of this article by Robert Dujarric click on the link below.

BBC News: Viewpoint: Japan’s ‘sorry’ seems to be the hardest word to remember.

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • And now - a country with more than 10,000 people killed in the ensuing violence, over 10,000 more died of starvation under the blockade of humanitarian aid and supplies - the Middle East’s poorest nation, Yemen is reduced to the brink of famine.
  • Journalist Deniz Yücel, along with four others, have been jailed pending trial on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation and inciting the public to violence.
  • Many children in the street killed from a Saudi-led airstrike on a Yemen refugee camp.
  • Fatik Abdullah al-Rodaini, a Yemeni Journalist and humanitarian worker
  • The remnants of a US drone strike on August 29, 2012 in Khashamir, Yemen. The strike killed three alleged members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a policeman, and a cleric who preached against the armed group.
  • People searched for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by an airstrike in Sana, Yemen, on June 12. (Photo: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters) alistairreignblog.com
  • Mona Relief Delivering Lifesaving Food, clothing, blankets and medicine to villages dying under the siege of Saudi War on Yemen. (Photo: Mona Relief) alistairreignblog.com
  • The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) will receive $20 million – under the Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) – to establish and operate the Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies. January 13, 2006. (Photo: Adam Scotti). AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Souhayla, a 16-year-old girl who escaped the Islamic State after three years of captivity, at her uncle’s home in Shariya Camp, Iraq. Credit Alex Potter for The New York Times
  • afghan_clinic_bombed
  • Refugee-girl-cries-as-her-Central-American-shanty-town-is-destroyed-0714-by-Spencer-Platt
  • The teenager, Nihad Barakat Shamo Alawsi, was taken to Syria and then to the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq, she told an event in London on Wednesday. "They raped us, they killed our men, they took our babies away from us," Alawsi, now 17, said at the event organised by the UK-based AMAR Foundation, a charity that provides education and healthcare in the Middle East.

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Take Our Poll: Come on in and decide for yourself! Who worked the puffy white shirt best?
  • What Donald Would Do!
  • Victoria's 'Homeless' Drug Addicts
  • Britney Spears Looking Hot in black leather in Toxic music video. who was sexiest? Britney in Toxic or Taylor Swift in Bad Blood
  • Donald Trump kissing his daughter
  • Where's Steve - Satire Cartoon
  • What if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States?
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • Nicki 'Minnie' Minaj
  • Donald Trump and I Lama Crazy. alistairreignblog.com
  • Sesame Street - Grouch Apprentice with Donald Grump
  • Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled files stolen from Iran,

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.