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Thursday, April 21, 2005



okay i should really be eating breakfast and doing some work. but i wanted to comment about this.

i agree that Japan should apologize. in the past, the japanese government has done so. and if the PM wants to keep visiting yasukuni, then at minimum they need to lean on the shrine (which is private) to disinter the class a war criminals.

but that's not enough. apologizing is not enough. what would be enough would be for japan to recognize that it was not just the 'militarists' like tojo that made the war and atrocities possible. it was the hierarchal, unquestioning nature of japanese society. and that, is still not something that japan as a whole has faced up to, probably because the crushing push to conform is still very much alive.

germany faced up to their crimes as best anyone can, i think. not perfect, but still there are limits. and they didn't hang all the nazis either. every time you see the space shuttle on tv, remember that it was nazi scientists who provided the basis for the american space program. in many cases, they were the same scientists who knowingly used slave labor to build their rockets in germany.

but i doubt that will happen.


what i meant was, i doubt japanese society is going to self-scrutinize.


The Japanese government has never apologized. Korzumi did as a "citizen" did so when he visted China. It's not institutional. The Imperial family have never uttered a word about it. And they just turned down the appeal for the comfort womeen be compensated in their courts.

But where is the equviliant to the nuremburg trails for the Japanese criminals?

The Japanese society probably won't self scruntinize as they don't even know the truth.


"But where is the equivalent to the Nuremburg Trials for the Japanese Criminals?"

They took place after Nuremburg, and were called the Toyko Trialx. Procedurally, very much like Nuremburg.




Yan, I agree with all that you said.

I think the Chinese would have done much better in the long term in terms of respect from the international community if they'd demonstrated or march in peace.

Them violent protests sure have the attention of the media and the spotlight on the past, but they're not looked favorably by the people who really mattered in this situation, the Jap govt. Plus, it levelled up chinese' infamous reputation of being uncouth country bumpkins. Sorry, I'm seeing this from the PR point of view.

Then again, can you really fault them for behaving this way?


I agree with your point about the violence but I don't agree with your point about "the people who really matter" being the Japanese government.

They don't respect us, our country or history otherwise they would not continue to "beautify" history. They would respect the people who died and not continue to pay respect to war criminals.

Even if we marched in peace they would not respect us. We are not here to gain "respect" from people who do not have any for us. I think we should shame them even more or put them under pressure from the international community. I truly believe no one should ever bow or try and gain respect from people who don't have any for you in the first place.



the timing of these anti-japanese protests are rather odd. i suspect the PRC is trying to distract the chinese populace away from the taiwan-issue and a cooling economy by pointing at japan.

if i'm right, then i expect the controversy over taiwanese independence will be revisited by Jiang Zemin right when the bad loans at CCB and CBC come to light.


hello, my name's david & i just came across this site. congratulations to glutter for the blog nomination.

"They took place after Nuremburg, and were called the Toyko Trialx. Procedurally, very much like Nuremburg."

actually, the tokyo trials differed significantly from nuremberg- there weren't accusations of genocide made against japan as there were against germany. consequently, the degree & scope of the verdicts handed down differed. this has caused some resentment:


great discussion, by the way


Hi David,

I find the discussion quite interesting, too. Above I was speaking to process, not charges brought, and not identity. Just similarity in terms of procedure.

Clearly the Tokyo Trials were not as effective at adjudicating the guilty.



This is very interesting, as somehow this topic has blown up over on my flickr group as well.

And I mean blown up. Tempers have flared (mine included) and I think in some ways it shows how contencious this issue really is between the Chinese people and the Japanese people.

And I think it does show what a wide gap there is between the cultures, and how strongly people feel about this situation. Through reading the comments I can deeply see that we are very at odds, and what Chinese people expect and how the Japanese people view it as of now is one that no resolution can even be possible. Sad in so many ways, but also very honest and true.




wow, interesting little debate going on over at Flickr. One of the greatest dangers is that the new generation of Japanese are very poorly informed about what happened in the past, and textbooks tend to paint a much too rosy picture of their actions.

Fast forward to today, the Japanese people are only seeing a rising ecnomic/military powerhouse in China, and with the threat and the images of the violent protests, the effect on the Japanese public as well as the mis-informed Chinese public is pointing to more tension and animosity between the old foes.

On a side note, it's scary with the wealth of information technology today how ignorant so many people are on issues. I'm starting to agree with those who say the internet tends to reinforce ingorance because people can choose the "facts" and information that they agree with and tune out the rest.


I shouldn't generalize ;)...the internet has obviously done much more to contributing to the truth than it has against...I guess what I mean is prejudices are more easily enforced


Yes, seems like some folks are better able to pick and choose the facts that reinforce their argument; whereas, broader access to information is certainly a good thing, and to a more objective mind can lead closer to truth.

Good point.


I think Koizuimi apologized today, by the way. Check up on that.


Hi, I hope you don't mind if I, a Japanese woman, state my POV here.

First of all, Japanese government and the Emperors have apologized officially many times--well, at least 17 times according to the Times;
I wonder if you've been just ignorant or been put under some sort of information control.

In addition to that, Japan has provided about US$30 billion ODA fund for China as a part of compensation although the Chinese government does not let its citizens "face up to the truth."
What more do you need? What do you mean by "institutional"? Do the PM and the Emperor have to go on their knees and beg for your forgiveness?

Secondly, it's not fair to describe Yasukuni as a Nazi-shrine, though I personally think that the war criminals should be removed from the list (yes, the shrine only has the lists of the names of the people who died in the past wars) because they did not die fighting in the war but were sentenced to death in the court and duly executed after the war.
Every country should have the right to pay homage to the people who sacrificed their lives for their country. Probably in your mind all the Japanese soldiers are crazy, evil rapists/murderers, but they were not. They were actually loved in many areas of South-East Asia.
We both lost our families to the war. It's the war itself to blame, not the already dead soldiers. Why can't we just leave it at that?

Thirdly, don't go assuming that we are ignorant of our own past without actually reading any of our textbooks. I, for one, learned pretty much about Nanking massacre and all the atrocites the Japanese army did during WWII in history classes and felt really awful and ashamed about it. And I always have respected China for its history and culture, but I am not so sure anymore.

You said "Even if we marched in peace they would not respect us. We are not here to gain "respect" from people who do not have any for us. I think we should shame them even more or put them under pressure from the international community. I truly believe no one should ever bow or try and gain respect from people who don't have any for you in the first place."
So you can go on vandlizing like this because we don't respect you? Don't these pictures "scare" you?

Hatred breeds itself. We both have to breathe deep and calm down here.
Please do not justify violence in any way if you want to run a blog about freedom of speech.

BTW, Japanese kids have made an interesting Flash animation in an attempt to communicate with the Chinese people and clarify the Japanese standpoint;
The English is bad and so is the music, but hey.
They are in the process of translating it into Chinese.
Ironically, the vast majority of the Chinese people have no access to the net, and the ones who have it won't be able to see this neither, due to their heavily censored version of the internet.

(Doesn't TypePad have the option to hide the posters' e-mail addresses from the generated HTML? If they do, why don't you use them? Don't feed the spammers!)



Sorry I don't quite have time to read your whole post and answer at this time.

I only got the part where you asked "don't these pictures scare you?"

Let me give you a link


Don't these pictures scare you?

Sorry. But let's get some perspective here.


And I am going to say something here that is not PC. Is not what people who have read this blog for a long time would expect to hear from me.

In the last two days, listenning to the "Japanese" side and all their explainations on flickr and on this blog has only increased my personal anti-Japanese sentiments against the Japanese people.

Until now. I only had it for the government and their refusal to apologise.

Hate doesn't feed hate. Ignorance and refusal to admit responsibility. Excuses and a lot of patriotic bullshit feeds hate. It feeds mine anyway.

As I said over and over again. I have never heard a German person defend the Nazi regime the way the Japanese defend theirs.

I am getting to the point that I feel like I might want to throw a brick at something too because as far as I can see, "they" just don't get it.



And of sorry, as a Chinese woman this is MY Point of View.


"Every country should have the right to pay homage to the people who sacrificed their lives for their country. Probably in your mind all the Japanese soldiers are crazy, evil rapists/murderers, but they were not. They were actually loved in many areas of South-East Asia."


No, in my mind not all Japanese soilders are crazy, evil rapists and murderers, but in my mind. YOU'RE crazy for feeling you should have the right to pay homage to the people who sacrificed their lives to invade my country, destroy my culture, and committed war crimes that were never persecuted and expect to come of like a reasonable human being.

Because you don't. You sound like a neo nazi. Beccause in Europe the only people who feel they should have the right to "pay homage" to Nazi soliders are them. In France, Germany, and Italy it is outlawed to buy and sell, use or promote Nazi symbols and parephenlia (sp) because you know why? People in Europe understand what happened at a time was a crime against humanity. Because they understand that those people cannot be respected, and because they understand the were wrong.

I do not want to engage you in any more conversation. I do not want you writing on this blog. I do not want you ever appearing here again. I am digusted, disturbed, and very very angry right now.

You can make all the excuses you want somewhere else.

It's not welcome here.

Just like a German person would never ever be welcome here to say that Nazi solders were loved by people in Poland as well.

I never ever knew how this is how Japanese people saw things. I actually thought for the most part people in Japan were not like the hardliners in their government. I think I am wrong.


Just a quick point, Yan. Not meant to in any way to be caustic.

I think when the Japanese woman above referred to being scared by the pictures of Chinese protesters vandalizing Japanese places of business, holding up x-ed out photos of Koizumi and the like, and you responded with pictures of Nanking, I think it confuses the issue a wee bit. The protests are something that happened over the last three weeks or so. Nanking happened over 60 years ago by people who are most probably dead.


I know this is a sensitive issue to you, so if you feel like I'm treading on sacred space, tell me to shut my mouth (or stop typing, or whatever ...) and I will.


tom- thanks for clariying your point re: the tokyo trials. there were also technical procedural differences as well, ie: the selection of judges. that said, your point about the ineffectiveness of their adjudication is a good one, something (ironically) that both the japanese and chinese sides point to today as a continuing source of rancour. either way, the trials have been accepted as international law by legal experts of various nationalities, including japanese. it's important to note that japan was found guilty in this international court of committing class a war crimes.

chie- the issue of an apology has not been settled. by 'institutional' i take yan to mean that it should carry the official endorsement of the diet (japanese parliament) and be conveyed in writing, which is a fundamental customary norm for any official communication between two or more sovereign nations. japan knows this: that's why they followed this procedure when issuing their written apology to the south koreans:


the figure of "17 times", or 18 now with koizumi, may be true, but none of them carry any official gov't authorization, from an international legal standpoint.

as for any monetary compensation, as the second largest economy in the world and the richest by far in the region, japan carries certain obligations to provide aid to china and other developing countries. nothing about compensation has ever been explicitly addressed or resolved between the two countries. 'tacit' agreements are not valid unless both (or more) parties signal their acceptance.

chie, the japanese gov't is looking pathetically childish. i hope you & others will consider your gov't's position and apply pressure to offer a written apology and work together with korean and chinese academics to agree upon an acceptable version of history as france and germany have so successfully done. but, if japan does this, it may call the chinese gov'ts bluff. does the chinese gov't really want this issue resolved?


Deep Breathe.

I have read what K, Tom, David, and Yoamum (sp) wrote. Chie can write what she wants. Only because all of them are being reasonable and that's a more positive approach.

But she is the only person ever I have ever heard that feels that people in South East Asia loved the people who invaded. I don't know if she has read one too many romantic mills and boons type romance novels about war heros who fall for a native girl during the second world war or what. It's a bit akin to how those novels also have scenes where women really enjoyed being raped and really actually wanted that to happen.



yan, there's always going to be a contingent that believes the romantic history.

something in their lives will change them towards bitter truth.

but koizumi did apologize. jst not in the way we wanted.


Glutterbug, My name is Yoshi and I am Japanese. You should apologize for Chie by calling her Nazi. The reasons Japanese pays homage to the Shinto Shrine which honors war deads are to pray for deads rest in peace and pray for no more war so that their sacrifice means something worthwhile to them. Many of war deads sacrificed their lives for their country whether they liked or not. Many of war deads were educated in the midst of growing nationalism and were forced to fight. Great many were buried well before the WWII. We all knew and discussed zillion times that Japanese did horrible crimes in Asia. Chie knew about that, too. Speaking of invading China and destroying her culture, when Japanese pays homage, they purely think of their ancestors, not the victims of their ancestor’s crime. I guess the same thing to Chinese, too. Do you think son/daughter whose father was a soldier died in Tibet invasion also prays for innocent Tibetans when he/she prays their father? Of course, there are plenty of Japanese citizens including myself oppose for their leaders to go to the Yasukuni Shrine due to the fact they do not want to hurt the feeling of other Asian countries.

It was not appropriate for you to reject her to send you a response. I read your second comment to allow her to make a comment. But I still want to say to your rejection to Chie. Do you own this Glutter? Is there any freedom of speech? She was trying to tell her own perspective because she seemed to care of China-Japan relationship. If there is no communication beyond as you brushed her off, China and Japan will never understand each other. I am not saying to treat a foreigner as a guest, but pays at least respect when someone like her makes a non-cursing comment. If you want to hear whatever please you that will be fine with me, too. You have a freedom of speech. I just want this site as clear of hatred so that this respected site can keep the quality of voices. If Japanese blog does need a history education, why not volunteer to educate them by posting a comment. The constructive discussions have to happen somewhere sometime.

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