Courage to Talk for the Next Era

The reason why Japan (Japanese) hesitate to apologize to victim countries for Japanese War Crime committed at the World War Second.

Posted in About Japan by Courage to Talk for the Next Generation on January 16, 2010

“I love East Asia”

~Seeking the True History~

 This is updating from New York City.

 This is Kou.

 Today, I want to explain the one of the reason why Japanese people hesitate to apologize for Japanese War Crime at the World War Second. This is my personal opinion but it would be useful for you to understand Japan somehow and probably, this is what the other East Asian people have been wanted to know and wondering for a long. 

 After the World War Second, more than 10 Japanese prime ministers apologized to the other Asian Counties for the Japanese War Crime and paid huge war reparation to the other Asian Countries including tech support for infrastructures. For example, the 66.9% of foreign aid provided China paid by Japan and it is the biggest amount of aid provided to China. However this is not what the people of victim counties truly expected. I totally understand it. What they have been expecting from Japanese is neither politician apologize nor huge amount of aid but the word “I’m sorry” come from the bottom of Japanese heart.

 Probably you don’t know, majority of Japanese people acknowledge the Japanese World Crime and feel so sorry about it and it is the one of the causation of that Japanese young people came to hate Japanese history and Japan itself. You may wonder that if it’s so, why is it hard to apologize for them? In my opinion, it is because of Japanese complicated feeling about the World War Second and it makes it much harder for Japanese people to apologize. It could be divided  into several elements.

 First, feel so guilty about the war crime committed by Japanese soldiers and acknowledge how it was cruel and know the Japanese invasion deserve to be blame. Second, proud of the fact that Japan was the only country all over the world that fought against the western powers equality. Third, thank and respect the soldiers who fought and died to protect Japan and their family and feel sad about that they were forced to go out to fight and died for loose war. Forth, feel Japan was the one of the victim of the western powers too as well as the other Asian countries were. etc. Those elements are mixed and making one Japanese feeling complexly and as I mentioned it makes it difficult for Japanese to apologize. 

 Japanese people can not say it easily as the other Asian people think that the war was just wrong because it means the same thing to condemn and betray the soldiers who fought for country and their death given for Japan. Maybe you can imagine the Japanese confusion about the fact that people who should be respected and be thanked in Japan,on the other hand, committed a crime and be hated in the other Asian counties and also you can guess the Japanese feeling when they know that it has been criticizing over and over by the other Asian people that Japanese soldiers who were forced to fight for country and family called murder, evils and heartless people. It is so sad. Isn’t it? I’m really glad if you understand this complicated feeling and put my opinion into your mind as one of the reason of the question ” Why Japanese hesitate to apologize”.

 I think just putting a sentence before requesting apologizing from Japanese, “I know the soldiers fought for their family and there were any choices left for them except joining the war”, it would make huge difference and  make it much easier for Japanese people to apologize. (I think not only requesting, it is important to make easy condition for somebody to do it.) My mother told me that if the other Asian people said not only “Japan is bad” but also “it was sadness for both counties”, I can apologize to them about the Japanese crimes willingly.

 I think it is important to keep seeking apologizes from Japanese government and people not to any war would happen in our future again. However I think it is also important to put your eyes not only Japan but also your country such as the Chinese human abuses at Tibet, the massacres happened during the Tiananmen Incident and Korean war crime including massacres and rapes during the Vietnam war to understand that every people can be changed easily at war time or at confusing time. As a kind person who be loved by everybody can kill others at a battle field, we would be changed if we were forced to fight. I think before studying and thinking about war and conflict, we have to remind it on our mind. War can change everything.

*This is my personal opinion.  As there are tons of people in Japan, there are tons of ideas in Japan about the war such as “it was a self-defense war”, “I hate Japan”, “Chinese and Korean government train people to hate Japan” and etc (I’ll study about the other reasons of today’s topic and upload on this website someday). However I’m glad this article would help you to understand Japanese people somehow and to know one of the aspect of Japan. 

Thank you

Kou

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