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Sat Aug 15, 2015, 12:40 PM

 

70 years ago Japan quit fighting a war of aggression

In which many atrocities were committed (Nanking, non-Japanese east Asian's used as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers, Bataan death march, etc.) in the name of Japanese nationalism. The current PM of Japan spoke on this topic, and said that Japan has apologized enough, and future generations shouldn't have to keep repeating the same apology. For what its worth, I agree with him. Japanese youth of today had nothing to do with WW2... it happened, and we should be over it 70 years later.

We should also take a moment to thank everyone who helped bring that terrible part of world history to an end

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply 70 years ago Japan quit fighting a war of aggression (Original post)
GummyBearz Aug 2015 OP
LittleBlue Aug 2015 #1
Xipe Totec Aug 2015 #2
GummyBearz Aug 2015 #3
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #4
GummyBearz Aug 2015 #5
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #8
GummyBearz Aug 2015 #9
WinkyDink Aug 2015 #6
Codeine Aug 2015 #7
GummyBearz Aug 2015 #10
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #11
GummyBearz Aug 2015 #12
Shandris Aug 2015 #13
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #14
Shandris Aug 2015 #16
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #17
Shandris Aug 2015 #18
aint_no_life_nowhere Aug 2015 #15
smirkymonkey Aug 2015 #20
Marr Aug 2015 #29
kiva Aug 2015 #19
davidpdx Aug 2015 #22
kiva Aug 2015 #25
davidpdx Aug 2015 #28
Snobblevitch Aug 2015 #21
davidpdx Aug 2015 #24
DemocratSinceBirth Aug 2015 #23
Warpy Aug 2015 #26
Shandris Aug 2015 #27

Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 12:45 PM

1. Yeah I don't see the point in the continuous apologies

 

Most of the people who had anything to do with those atrocities are dead. Their children and grandchildren are now apologizing.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 01:20 PM

2. I don't know where this is going. Civil War analogy, perhaps? nt

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 01:23 PM

3. That was not my intention, but in hindsight I see how that analogy is there

 

nt

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 01:28 PM

4. Subtle.

history to an end

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 01:46 PM

5. Eh...

 

History is still being written after

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Response to GummyBearz (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 02:06 PM

8. The dropping of two atomic weapons on Japan is a contentious issue around here.

I'm surprised no one else took issue with the flippant use of emoticon.

Personally I categorize it as a Necessary Evil, that in the long run, saved millions of Japanese lives, but I won't pretend the decision was made with no ulterior motives, such as awing/cowing the soviets, or simply dehumanizing a test run of a new class of super-weapon.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 02:35 PM

9. I agree with you 100%

 

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 01:58 PM

6. Given that there exist people now who did then, I do not think the world is "over it" or should be.

 

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 02:02 PM

7. Keep apologizing?

 

Shit, they barely acknowledge that they did anything wrong in the first place. Read up on the level of denial in Japan regarding the things that happened in China, for example

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Response to Codeine (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 02:38 PM

10. I'm with you

 

I wanted the OP to be a contrast to the "never forget Hiroshima (but who cares about what happened in Nanking)" OPs we saw a couple weeks ago.

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Response to GummyBearz (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 02:48 PM

11. I was about 35 before I even discovered that Japan killed over a million civilians in India.

Country by country, the devastation was so great, most of it escapes American history books.

A million civilians. More than that actually, number could be closer to three million. I knew what happened to China, 10+ million civilians slaughtered in horrible ways, but what kind of world is it, where 1-3 million escape notice entirely?

It's hard to keep large numbers that represent dead people in focus.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:03 PM

12. Thanks for the information

 

I will do some research on this, as I am unaware of it myself. Another few million added to the list, far eclipsing the damage done by a

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Response to GummyBearz (Reply #12)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:09 PM

13. When one thinks one can judge the value of lives...

 

...then that individual has gone beyond being purely human and not in a good way. Life, and lives, are not a quantifiable metric or aggregate measuring tool.

I find many of the things said here in regards to the Japanese and Asian countries to be outright offensive, and the fact that it is so casually done makes me very suspicious of the ghoulish nature of how some refer to the end of WWII and how it should be 'remembered'.

I say this not as a direct attack, insult, or insinuation; instead, it is being offered in the spirit of alternative perspective on the meta nature of 'history remembrance'.

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Response to Shandris (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:24 PM

14. I disagree.

What was said that was offensive, exactly?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #14)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:37 PM

16. It doesn't matter how hard one tries sometimes, a word or two...

 

...will always slip unwanted context in. In this case, it wasn't until your question that I realized I used the word 'here', and that that could be construed as 'in this thread' when I meant on DU as a whole. The most offensive thing here (meaning 'in this thread' this time) is the suggestion that because someone denies the existence of something, the entire nation must be continuously reminded of it as if it's some kind of necessary, consequential punishment. It's foolish and, more importantly, it's hegemonic. We all claim to want to be against hegemony, but we love the hell out of it when it comes to telling someone else that they're an evil group (and don't get me started on 'group' as a concept anyway... ).

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Response to Shandris (Reply #16)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 04:07 PM

17. When I used it, I considered DU as a whole.

So I think we're speaking the same language.

I don't view the dropping of those bombs as a punishment, or a deserved comeuppance. Nothing like that. I read Hiroshima by John Hersey when I was a child (probably way too young) and I was struck by two things; the nigh-indescribable horror of the bombs, and the determination of the Japanese civilians to fight to the last. By capturing the sentiments and the things the survivors saw, he captures some of that 'to the last' element that we saw in Midway and Okinawa, Saipan, etc.

There was a man who lived next door to one of the survivors, and his neighborhood safety committee needed to construct fire breaks. They asked him to tear down his house, and he was complying, ripping it down board by board. His own home. (The survivor was watching him through her home's window, and essentially saw him as the bomb exploded, killing the man.)

The most interesting and shocking takeaway from the book, for me, was not the bombs themselves, but the Japanese people's reaction. They reacted more profoundly to hearing their Emperor's voice over the radio announcing the surrender, than they did to the wholesale annihilation of two previously undamaged cities. Even the Tokyo raid, which killed more people than either atomic bomb, just made them mad.

It was a horrible thing, and it was ALSO done for other reasons, like testing a new toy, revenge, to scare the soviets, you name it. Our motives were unclean. But ultimately, it also saved Japanese lives. Different lives. The people of those cities might have all lived.
Others would have died, and in greater numbers, however.

So, I view it less as hegemonic revenge, and more as 'right thing for the wrong reasons', and 'least bad alternative' in an existential fight.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #17)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 04:18 PM

18. I think to clarify my overall position on it...

 

...I agree that it was a horrible thing (and I really don't think any right-thinking person could disagree with that!) that, as you mention, wasn't necessarily used for good reasons but did do accidental good overall. Not enough good that I can call it a 'good thing' of course, but I think that overall some good was achieved. I can say without a doubt that I would not have wanted to be anywhere in the chain of command in making that decision one way or the other.

But that decision, and the overwhelming majority of the people who were raised under it's belief system, are long since gone now. Imperial Japan is a memory and nothing more. Sure, there will be people who want to come back but that isn't a reason for the whole nation to pay contrition. It's not even the same nation anymore in practice. It's as silly as asking the Ethiopians to apologize because Kush attacked Egypt. I'll bet I could find a handful of people who'd love to see the Zulu, the Kush, the Nubians, the Egyptians, the Persians, or any other major imperial force from antiquity (Gods know we think we're Rome!), but that's not a reason to force an apology every year for every atrocity.

Competition is a sucker's game for the most part; I can't see a world of peace forming when we're constantly demanding someone else apologize for some war thing or another. Maybe it's time to stop teaching all the major wars and wrongs of history and start teaching the rights (but that is an off-the-cuff thought and isn't one I've explored a ton quite yet, so if it has glaring holes, do be kind. )

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Response to Codeine (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:35 PM

15. Particularly disgusting was the behavior of the Japanese medical community

Doctors were organized to conduct chemical and biological warfare experiments on Chinese civilians in camps. Also, POWs including captured Americans were experimented on, including vivisections and disembloweling without anesthesia to study their reactions. it was beyond cruel and barbaric. I believe it's a fact that the Japanese government never apologized or even acknowledged the existence of these death camps in Manchuria and the experiments conducted on POWs by licensed, organized physicians.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 04:34 PM

20. +1000

Yeah, like Nanking.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 11:12 PM

29. I agree. /nt

 

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 04:34 PM

19. It's not just about not repeating apologies -

which were inadequate in the first place - it's also about revisionist history:

Seventy years after the end of World War Two, the voices of revisionism in Japan are growing stronger and moving into the mainstream, particularly on the issue of comfort women, who were women forced to be sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during the war.

-snip-

Mr Tamogami is well-educated, knowledgeable and, when I meet him, exquisitely polite. The former chief of staff of Japan's air force believes in a version of Japanese history that is deeply at odds with much of the rest of the world. But it is increasingly popular among young Japanese, tired of being told they must keep apologising to China and Korea.

Last year Mr Tamogami ran for governor of Tokyo. He came fourth, with 600,000 votes. Most strikingly, among young voters aged 20 to 30 he got nearly a quarter of the votes cast.

"As a defeated nation we only teach the history forced on us by the victors," he says. "To be an independent nation again we must move away from the history imposed on us. We should take back our true history that we can be proud of."


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33754932

My biggest concern is that this new version of the past is so popular with young people in Japan.

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Response to kiva (Reply #19)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:39 PM

22. The revisionist history really pisses off Koreans

Especially when it comes to the issue of the comfort women. Japan has altered their texts to start to whitewash some of these actions and all it does is rile up anti-Japanese sentiment here.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #22)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:45 PM

25. Ditto for the Chinese.

It's natural to hope that younger generations would be less likely to swallow this koolaid, and maybe with time they'll learn.

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Response to kiva (Reply #25)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 11:04 PM

28. I don't think the younger generation in Korea buys into quite a much

I did see a reenactment at Seodaemun Prison with children playing the parts of the Korean patriots that were held during the occupation of Japan on TV yesterday.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:13 PM

21. I agree.

I also agree that the U.S. does not need to apologize for dropping nuclear weapons to end the war.

If every August the U.S. is reminded about how terrible it was to use nuclear weapons on Japan. Then every August Japan should be reminded of what they did to China, Korea, India, the U.S., the Philippines, and dozens of other countries.

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Response to Snobblevitch (Reply #21)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:42 PM

24. I think there are two separate issues

1) The dropping of the bomb

2) The belief that we should never again use a nuclear weapon for war

I agree with you on #1. On #2, I do think it is appropriate on the anniversary for nations to pledge not to use a nuclear weapon for war.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:41 PM

23. We are allies now...

eom

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:49 PM

26. While the young have nothing to apologize about,

their elders need to teach them about sociopaths who seize power and start wars in an attempt to rule the world. They need to be taught how to recognize them early.

We all do.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #26)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:55 PM

27. We can't be taught that though, and neither can they.

 

After all, what proper method are we going to teach? We haven't stopped electing them (psychopaths and warmongers) ourselves.

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