Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sorting Through Shinzo Abe's Dog Whistles

August 15, 2015 is the 70 year anniversary of the end of World War II. With it, a fresh round of tension builds in East Asia over Japan's recognition of its past. Every year around this time, the Japanese Prime Minister would issue a statement, China and Korea would react in anger, each side would engage in a war of words, only to repeat the next year. This tends to bewilder the observers outside of East Asia. To the people who only occasionally pay attention to East Asia, Japan's annual statements sure look like an apology, and Korea/China appear petty for questioning the sincerity of the apologies.

This outlook comes partially from the fact that the occasional observer lacks the historical context of the rhetoric being used in the apology. As George Orwell eloquently noted, it is common in politics to use coded language to disguise the true meaning of a statement that is deeply offensive. In the U.S., these code words are known as "dog whistle"--ordinary people cannot hear them, but those who are familiar with the context react to those words.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Shinzo Abe, Japan's right-wing prime minister, is a master of dog whistles. His statement yesterday, commemorating the 70 year anniversary of the end of World War II, was rife with coded language. For those who are not familiar with those codes, TK will reproduce the entire statement below, and point out exactly where the dog whistles are.

Before we jump in, it would be helpful to know how the Japanese right wing, including Prime Minister Abe, recalls the history of Japan in the first half of 20th century. Below is the summarized version:
In the late 19th century, Western nations began the trend of imperialism, in which they invaded and subjugated the rest of the world based on the idea of white race's superiority. To defend itself against these forces, Japan modernized quickly and formed the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, made up of neighboring Asian nations in the spirit of racial solidarity. Other empires attempt to suppress the rise of the Japanese empire by choking Japan off of the vital natural resources that it required. Japan tried to break the deadlock by attacking Pearl Harbor, which led to World War II. In the end, Japan was defeated.
Note how in this alternative telling of history, Japan is not the aggressor but a victim. Japan did not colonize its neighbors and murdered their resisting people; it organized them into a larger unit to fight against the onslaught of Europeans and Americans. World War II did not begin with Imperial Japan's cowardly attack on Pearl Harbor, but with other empires trying to put down the ascendant Japan. Japan did nothing wrong, other than to lose the war.

This vile revisionist history is what the Japanese right wing, including Shinzo Abe, firmly believes in. And the view of history is obviously displayed in Abe's statement yesterday, if one only knew where to look.

Full analysis of Shinzo Abe's statement,after the jump.

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Shinzo Abe's full statement, which is available here, is reproduced in full below. Important passages are highlighted in blue, followed by TK's discussion in bold.

Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Friday, August 14, 2015

On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, we must calmly reflect upon the road to war, the path we have taken since it ended, and the era of the 20th century. We must learn from the lessons of history the wisdom for our future.

More than one hundred years ago, vast colonies possessed mainly by the Western powers stretched out across the world. With their overwhelming supremacy in technology, waves of colonial rule surged toward Asia in the 19th century. There is no doubt that the resultant sense of crisis drove Japan forward to achieve modernization. Japan built a constitutional government earlier than any other nation in Asia. The country preserved its independence throughout. The Japan-Russia War gave encouragement to many people under colonial rule from Asia to Africa.

[TK:  Here we have our first dog whistle, the Russo-Japanese War. The Japanese right wing considers the Russo-Japanese War, which occurred in 1905, as the decisive moment at which Japan repelled the Western powers (i.e. Russia) colonizing Asia. This conveniently excuses Japan from the fact that it was engaged in its own colonization of Korea, which became Japan's protectorate in 1905. Instead, Japan's victory supposedly "gave encouragement" to Asians and Africans.]

After World War I, which embroiled the world, the movement for self-determination gained momentum and put brakes on colonization that had been underway. It was a horrible war that claimed as many as ten million lives. With a strong desire for peace stirred in them, people founded the League of Nations and brought forth the General Treaty for Renunciation of War. There emerged in the international community a new tide of outlawing war itself.

[TK:  World War I ended in 1918. Note that Abe's overview of history skips from 1905 to 1918--during which Japan colonized Korea completely. Japan made Korea its protectorate in 1905, and fully annexed Korea in 1910. In the process, Japan killed tens of thousands of Koreans who resisted the colonization. Whatever "brakes" on colonization that appeared after WWI did not apply to Japan.]

At the beginning, Japan, too, kept steps with other nations. However, with the Great Depression setting in and the Western countries launching economic blocs by involving colonial economies, Japan's economy suffered a major blow. In such circumstances, Japan's sense of isolation deepened and it attempted to overcome its diplomatic and economic deadlock through the use of force. Its domestic political system could not serve as a brake to stop such attempts. In this way, Japan lost sight of the overall trends in the world.

[TK:  Here is the clearest statement of how Abe and Japan's right wing sees the development of World War II. Western colonial powers backed Imperial Japan into a corner, which forced Japan's hand toward fighting a war.]

With the Manchurian Incident, followed by the withdrawal from the League of Nations, Japan gradually transformed itself into a challenger to the new international order that the international community sought to establish after tremendous sacrifices. Japan took the wrong course and advanced along the road to war.

And, seventy years ago, Japan was defeated.

[TK:  This is the maximum apologia that the Japanese right wing government is willing to concede. That is: Japan was not wrong to invade Korea and China, but it was wrong to war against the Western powers in World War II. Of course, the rank-and-file Japanese right often reject even this much.]

On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad. I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences.

More than three million of our compatriots lost their lives during the war: on the battlefields worrying about the future of their homeland and wishing for the happiness of their families; in remote foreign countries after the war, in extreme cold or heat, suffering from starvation and disease. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the air raids on Tokyo and other cities, and the ground battles in Okinawa, among others, took a heavy toll among ordinary citizens without mercy.

[TK:  At this point of the speech, Abe finishes recounting the history (as he sees it) and moves toward an apology. Notice how the apologia begins with the Japanese casualty. The favorite move by the Japanese right is to emphasize, first and foremost, how Japan suffered in World War II--the war of their own making. In this context, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are their favorite talking points. Although the atomic bombings may come with some level of legitimate grievances, the reference to Okinawa is completely ridiculous since it was the Japanese military that used the Okinawan civilians as conscripted soldiers and human shields.]

Also in countries that fought against Japan, countless lives were lost among young people with promising futures. In China, Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands and elsewhere that became the battlefields, numerous innocent citizens suffered and fell victim to battles as well as hardships such as severe deprivation of food. We must never forget that there were women behind the battlefields whose honour and dignity were severely injured.

[TK:  That line is in reference to Comfort Women, i.e. Imperial Japan's use of rape camps staffed with conscripted women, most of whom were Koreans and Chinese. There is no discussion about who these women were, how their "honor and dignity" were injured, and who caused those injuries--just the vague idea that a lot of people (including the Japanese! Don't forget!) suffered.]

Upon the innocent people did our country inflict immeasurable damage and suffering. History is harsh. What is done cannot be undone. Each and every one of them had his or her life, dream, and beloved family. When I squarely contemplate this obvious fact, even now, I find myself speechless and my heart is rent with the utmost grief.

The peace we enjoy today exists only upon such precious sacrifices. And therein lies the origin of postwar Japan.

We must never again repeat the devastation of war.

Incident, aggression, war -- we shall never again resort to any form of the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes. We shall abandon colonial rule forever and respect the right of self-determination of all peoples throughout the world.

[TK:  The highlighted portion is the only reference to Japan's colonization, instead of its war path. This is in line with Japan's right wing beliefs: at most, Japan was wrong to go to war, but not wrong to colonize. In addition, the highlighted sentence is a non sequitur because Abe steadfastly refused to talk about Japan's colonization of Korea so far in this statement. Japan is pledging to abandon colonial rule, but never said it colonized anyone.]

With deep repentance for the war, Japan made that pledge. Upon it, we have created a free and democratic country, abided by the rule of law, and consistently upheld that pledge never to wage a war again. While taking silent pride in the path we have walked as a peace-loving nation for as long as seventy years, we remain determined never to deviate from this steadfast course.

Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war. In order to manifest such feelings through concrete actions, we have engraved in our hearts the histories of suffering of the people in Asia as our neighbours: those in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines, and Taiwan, the Republic of Korea and China, among others; and we have consistently devoted ourselves to the peace and prosperity of the region since the end of the war.

Such position articulated by the previous cabinets will remain unshakable into the future.

[TK:  Notice Abe only notes that Japan previously apologized; nowhere in the statement does he add his apology. "We apologized before" is the maximum that Japan's right wing is willing to say. This paragraph is also the first and only place in the statement that refers to Korea by name, although Korea arguably suffered the most under Japan's colonization.]

However, no matter what kind of efforts we may make, the sorrows of those who lost their family members and the painful memories of those who underwent immense sufferings by the destruction of war will never be healed.

Thus, we must take to heart the following.

The fact that more than six million Japanese repatriates managed to come home safely after the war from various parts of the Asia-Pacific and became the driving force behind Japan’s postwar reconstruction; the fact that nearly three thousand Japanese children left behind in China were able to grow up there and set foot on the soil of their homeland again; and the fact that former POWs of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia and other nations have visited Japan for many years to continue praying for the souls of the war dead on both sides.

How much emotional struggle must have existed and what great efforts must have been necessary for the Chinese people who underwent all the sufferings of the war and for the former POWs who experienced unbearable sufferings caused by the Japanese military in order for them to be so tolerant nevertheless?

That is what we must turn our thoughts to reflect upon.

Thanks to such manifestation of tolerance, Japan was able to return to the international community in the postwar era. Taking this opportunity of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, Japan would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all the nations and all the people who made every effort for reconciliation.

[TK:  Following up "We apologized before" with "Look at all these countries that forgave us already." It is also notable that millions of Japanese colonizers were allowed to leave Korea safely at the end of World War II, but Abe cannot be bothered to mention it. This is leading to the coup d'grace of this statement.]

In Japan, the postwar generations now exceed eighty per cent of its population. We must not let our children, grandchildren, and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologize. Still, even so, we Japanese, across generations, must squarely face the history of the past. We have the responsibility to inherit the past, in all humbleness, and pass it on to the future.

[TK:  This is the heart of the statement--that Japan apologized enough. It is quickly followed up with the necessity to "squarely face the history of the past." But of course, the "history" is the one that Abe already outlined in the beginning of the speech, in which Japan was liberating its neighbors to fight the Western powers, and began World War II only after being backed into a corner.]

Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations were able to survive in a devastated land in sheer poverty after the war. The future they brought about is the one our current generation inherited and the one we will hand down to the next generation. Together with the tireless efforts of our predecessors, this has only been possible through the goodwill and assistance extended to us that transcended hatred by a truly large number of countries, such as the United States, Australia, and European nations, which Japan had fiercely fought against as enemies.

[TK:  Just in case you forgot, Shinzo Abe wants you to know that the Japanese really suffered from World War II. There would be no further reference to those who suffered at the hands of the Japanese.]

We must pass this down from generation to generation into the future. We have the great responsibility to take the lessons of history deeply into our hearts, to carve out a better future, and to make all possible efforts for the peace and prosperity of Asia and the world.

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when Japan attempted to break its deadlock with force. Upon this reflection, Japan will continue to firmly uphold the principle that any disputes must be settled peacefully and diplomatically based on the respect for the rule of law and not through the use of force, and to reach out to other countries in the world to do the same. As the only country to have ever suffered the devastation of atomic bombings during war, Japan will fulfil its responsibility in the international community, aiming at the non-proliferation and ultimate abolition of nuclear weapons.

[TK:  One more dog whistle to emphasize that, at most, Japan was wrong to war, not to colonize. And another attempt at atomic guilt.]

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when the dignity and honour of many women were severely injured during wars in the 20th century. Upon this reflection, Japan wishes to be a country always at the side of such women’s injured hearts. Japan will lead the world in making the 21st century an era in which women’s human rights are not infringed upon.

[TK:  Abe's second reference at Comfort Women is positively offensive. It wasn't the Imperial Japanese army that injured women; it was the "wars in the 20th century."]

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when forming economic blocs made the seeds of conflict thrive. Upon this reflection, Japan will continue to develop a free, fair and open international economic system that will not be influenced by the arbitrary intentions of any nation. We will strengthen assistance for developing countries, and lead the world toward further prosperity. Prosperity is the very foundation for peace. Japan will make even greater efforts to fight against poverty, which also serves as a hotbed of violence, and to provide opportunities for medical services, education, and self-reliance to all the people in the world.

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when Japan ended up becoming a challenger to the international order. Upon this reflection, Japan will firmly uphold basic values such as freedom, democracy, and human rights as unyielding values and, by working hand in hand with countries that share such values, hoist the flag of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” and contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world more than ever before.

Heading toward the 80th, the 90th and the centennial anniversary of the end of the war, we are determined to create such a Japan together with the Japanese people.

August 14, 2015
Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

*                            *                             *

To the uninitiated, Abe's statement reads like an apology; to the people of Japan, China and Korea, the familiar dog whistles are everywhere in Shinzo Abe's statement. It reads quite clearly: that Japan's brutal colonization was an act of self-defense; the Western powers forced Japan's hand into going to war, and; Japan is sorry for going to war, but hey, war is a terrible thing generally for everyone involved, and by the way, the Japanese suffered more than everyone.

If that has not been a clear enough indication of Shinzo Abe's intention, perhaps this will help: shortly after his speech, Abe sent a ritual gift to the Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines Japan's World War II war criminals.

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  1. Good reading: the elision of colonialism is interesting, and fundamentally disturbing, I agree.

    In another context, I might give him credit for
    I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences.
    but it's buried in the self-regard of the wartime experience. I think it's also worth noting that Abe's statement does a good job of minimizing the Chinese experience of the 20th century: Chinese anti-colonial activism was as frequently against Japanese intrusions as anyone else; the "Manchurian Incident... set Japan on the path to war" rather than being a major act of war itself, and the beginning of what some Japanese and Chinese historians call "the fifteen years war."

    Also worth noting that Japan's return to international relations after WWII wasn't an act of ethical forgiveness as much as it was a rhetorical necessity of Cold War strategy.

  2. We can thank in part that other imperial orangutan for Japan's narcissism and self-pity. If not for its protection and kid glove treatment following WWII, Japan wouldn't be so tone-deaf, and Korea would probably not have been divided as well.

    As much as Japan is guilty for Korea's suffering, the US should hang as well for its part and complicity.

    1. OK, I get that Japan's behavior is awful but blaming the US strikes me as silly. And that's not just because if it wasn't for "that other imperial orangutan" Japan would likely as not never as been defeated or because Atomic bombs and fire bombings can only be called kid gloves by the most harsh of standards. As far as I can see it is a serious delusion to believe you can force a country to genuinely repent if you are harsh enough or reeducate them correctly. I'm pretty sure that's wrong. In fact if you look at history the exact opposite is often the case. Look at the end of WW1. The allies forced Germany to publicly accept its war guilt and imposed an incredibly harsh peace and that ended disastrously. I don't think any action by America could have somehow forced the Japanese to come to terms unless they themselves chose to. (and I utterly fail to see how America could have stopped the division of Korea except maybe by an all out war in China)

    2. Samuel,

      Still see the US through rose-colored glasses? What you think you know about the conflict is wrong. America's reputation for warmongering and treachery is well-deserved as you should know if you've been alive the past 2 decades.

      Following WWII, Japan was protected and Korea was sliced in two as the Cold War emerged. But contrary to popular history, the guys who apportioned Korea weren't a clique of hungry super powers who cut up Korea like parts of a pig at a feast. There was no pushing and tugging to make a deal between the US, the Soviets and China. There was just one butcher and his name is Washington. Mr. DC sashimied Korea at the navel with a view to Japan because Japan was the prize and Korea was dispensable and it jutted out from the Soviet's rear drawing a line on the map that delineated the borders of America's enemies.

      The US should go down in infamy in the annals of Korean history right along with its Japanese pals for this and reasons before and after. But instead, most SKoreans, deluded with the Stockholm milk of American largess, celebrate the end of WWII as the beginning of liberation though it was just the start of another form of occupation as well as the birth of calamity for the Korean people who saw their nation divided for the first time in a thousand years.

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    4. I agree that the US shelling of Japan's harbors to force Japan into a trade "agreement" was one of the fuels for Japanese nationalism. Not letting Japan off the hook, but it seems to me that the US is indeed complicit when looking at events in their historical context. Anyway, thank you Korean, for the well thought out article.

  3. That is really detailed, TK. I can't believe you analyzed Abe's speech just to find all the dog whistles.

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  5. I reached similar conclusions (
    0) very cunningly crafted work: he says the opposite of what he wants you to believe he said
    1) Abe never apologizes, and he even erases previous apologies
    2) He never acknowledges any crime from Japan. For this revisionist, Japan never did anything wrong beyond being part of a war, like all other nations. War crimes, colonization, aggressions, sexual slavery never happened: Abe wants to erase these facts from all memories, from all records.

  6. Well, Abe is right in one sense. The world powers were all gung ho on colonization and Japan didn't want to be left out on the action. Even the US dabbled in a colony or two (Philippines & Cuba being two notables). Later when the US embargoed oil shipments to Japan and put a damper on their expansion efforts, Japan had no choice but to attack the US...that or give up on South East Asia and China conquest. Japan chose the former. Poor decision making on their part.

    Although we'll never see a Japanese apology ala Germany's Willy Brandt, Japan has been a model post war 'pacifist' nation. It sends copious amounts of humanitarian aid to countries (many of them they previously attempted to conquer), and given the world Hello Kitty. They can't be all that bad. And a majority of the Japanese public isn't buying into Shinzo Abe's proposed 'collective' self defense strategy to the consternation of its closest ally the US.

    As an Asian, am I upset that Abe didn't apologize wholeheartedly? Not so much. The war ended 70 years ago. The Japanese people responsible are all dead, and deservedly so. The history has been written and documented. The Japanese know what they did during the war. They're just too embarrassed to talk about it in polite conversation.

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  8. Thank you for the detailed analysis!

    It is disappointing that the victims of the war will never get a heartfelt apology. The prevailing Japanese historiography of Japan as a "victim of circumstances" will unfortunately prevail for many years. I know there have been historians challenging this, but right-wing revisionists still seem to regin supreme. Unfortunately, the last surviving victims of the war will likely have passed on by the time this actually occurs.

    That Japan's focal point of WWII commemoration consists of remembrance services for Hiroshima and Nagasaki clearly shows that the country (or its politicians at the very least) still see Japan as a victim of WWII, instead of an agressor. The atomic bombs were certainly horrific and it is a tragedy that innocent civilians had to die for their country's aggressive actions in forming an Asian empire. I am glad that these two places are now centres that commemorate peace, and it was particularly heartening to see a survivor publicly warn Abe against amending Japan's pacifist constitution.:

    China and Korea, and the rest of Asia has moved on from this dark period in recent history. Yet they still deserve a proper apology, even if it comes a century too late.

  9. I'm confused. I always knew the official start of the ww2 was in 1937 when Germany invaded Poland, not in 1941 when Pearl Harbour was attacked by Japan.
    Although it is true Japan started its colonialism before the European event and was already in war with China...

    Anyway, for Japan being the victim and the horrors it commited - Imperial Japan even enslaved its own people during the war and conducted cruel experiments, again, on its own Japanese population. I'm guessing, however, that there must have been some Koreans ans Chinese amongst the poor Japanese people who had to serve as guinea pigs in those laboratories.

    And while some major Japanese artists already publicly criticised their own government for not apologising to their neighbours (Myazaki and Southern All Stars as an example, the controversial Wind Rises opens yet another topic), Japan has even got to apologise to its own people to start with!

  10. Good analysis.

    I think, rather than pressuring Abe for an insincere apology, I would rather see a detailed account of what actually happened during that era. This kind of dance-around-the-details approach can also be seen with a lot of school history textbooks in Japan. They choose very carefully what to say, and of course, the inconvenient truths are omitted. The nation is often painted as a victim, not the aggressor…

    Yes, I think Abe is right that younger generations of Japanese kids should not have to apologize to other nations for crimes committed before they were born. However, the kids should know what their past countrymen did to other nations, people, and even to each other in recent history. Whitewashing the history is what allows this trash to continue.

  11. Yet another Asian here. A sincere apology would be nice, but in truth, I am resigned to the fact that there probably will never be one, especially not from Abe. I am committed to holding the line, because I still see many who want to softpedal what happened and who would like simply to sweep everything under the rug, because the facts are incongruent with their worldview/they are pro-Japanese/they just don't care. And so I suppose it does fall on people like me to push back, regardless of whether we appear petty in others' eyes or not, because those who are silent will quickly find their side of the narrative erased from the pages of history.

    But other than remembering, there may not be much else. Derek is right. I have zero interest in an insincere apology, and at this point, I don't think we're going to get a sincere one. Definitely not from some politician, in any case.

  12. Your article reminds me of this cartoon i saw wherein a guy is reading a book titled "how to read between the lines" and in the book it was all empty pages. You're seeing what you want to see. Abe gave an official apology, he didn't grovel and cry Korean style, he did it Japanese style. Here is a full list of Japanese apologies, and boy is it long!

    The problem is the author was educated in a Korean primary school. I saw firsthand what they teach Korean children about Japan when i was teaching their in elementary school, they demonize them to the point where a constant hatred is instilled in Koreans towards the Japanese. Atleast let them wait until highschool when they have a functioning brain before teaching this hate to prop up Korean nationalism. Japan has been a model nation since WW2 and they apologized dozens upon dozens of times & paid billions upon billions in reparations to Korea which helped Korea recover from the Korean war. Koreans will never be happy because Korean nationalism is CENTERED on hatred towards Japan. They apologized. Over and over. Time to move on.

    PS I'm Italian Canadian, lived in Japan 3 years and then Korea 5 years. Loved both countries, but this ridiculous nationalism that i only saw on the Korean side irked me to no end. Delete the comment if you want. But i'm just speaking my opinion.

    1. and by the way the Taiwanese were also occupied by the Japanese & yes they had comfort women there too. You just don't find this anti japanese sentiment there because their nationalism is based on hatred of mainland China. We become products of what we are taught.

    2. I can see that your heart is in the right place but it's quite apparent that you lack a lot of knowledge on this topic.

      For starters, here's a great write-up about why there is little anti-Japanese sentiment in Taiwan compared to Korea:

    3. The fact remains that Korea is in truth every bit as hypernationalist as the most extreme caricatures of Japan. Korea doesn't want reconciliation with Japan, because Korean nationalism needs Japan as the big bad to rail against and define itself

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  15. I find it hilarious, as an American, that anyone thinks Korea is interested in reconciliation with Japan. The truth is that the hypernationalism ascribed to Japan by its enemies is common to all three East Asian nations, and in fact Japan is probably the least bad of them, certainly no worse.

    There is no apology that Abe or Japan could make that would satisfy Korean nationalists, it just isn't a thing that's going to happen. That's how nationalism works, it collects grudges like Pokemon and nurses them jealously. That's how it worked in the 1870s with French revanchists and it's how it's working today. The Japan-Korea relationship is 90% the fault of Korea

    1. i would love to know why every japanese person i meet here in japan is quick to point the finger at western nations for racism and inequality and at the same time defend like a true patriot and deny that any war crimes were committed by japan.
      ”japan is a victim of the war.”
      i mean, i can introduce you to these people. i also have recordings and chat logs.

    2. icantfindanamex86, you are basically saying fault is on Jewish people for bad relationship between German and Jewish people if German had not apologize. I am korean, living in US for 20 years. Of course I am sided with Korea. But as Korean, I know full story of what had happened, what Japan had done to Korea. Just as similar to what germans did to Jewish, they had done Human experience, torture, sex-slave, killing, etc. All koreans want? is simple. Sincere aplogy!!! Admit like Germans did what they had done during world ward II. That simple, instead of acting like aplogizing but really just defending themselves!!! Japan has been doing fake aplogy repeatedly since they were forced to be in this position.
      I am sorry if I don't make sense... Too pissed after watching News.

  16. Honeystly, You should research more about what has happened in the history. Imagine German did not apologize for their action to Jewish people and to whole world, is the fault on Jewish people for bad relationship between German and Jewish?

  17. Why is anti-Japanese sentiment remaining from the World War II era almost non-existent in countries like Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia, unlike in China and South Korea?

    The question is misleading. Anti-Japan sentiment in China and South Korea is rooted in events dating all the way back to the start of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, not just from the World War II era. It's really very personal for many people in those two countries, for Japan effectively overturned a centuries-old hierarchy in NE Asia which had seen China on top and Korea occupying an honored place at the table as the most loyal of vassal states in the Sinocentric world order. Japan had always been aloof and apart from this order, and therefore seen as being ranked lower in the scheme of things. Was this a mistaken view on the part of Chinese and Korean elites? Absolutely, their disdainful view of Japan proved to be totally off the mark in the 19th century.

    But what made everything much worse, I suppose, is how Japan became the apple of the ignorant Western observer's eye in an era of dog-eat-dog Social Darwinism, as bigots like Theodore Roosevelt and others egged on the Japanese to treat Chinese and Koreans in the exact same way that Europeans and white Americans treated people in Southeast Asia. Too many Japanese at the time lapped up this pseudo-scientific garbage being fed to them by racial theorists from the West. The entire national histories and cultures of China and Korea were suddenly and retroactively classified as abject failures since immemorial relative to Japan. This was a gross exaggeration of the distance separating Japan from China and Korea, but many people still buy into such nonsense even today. Southeast Asians never had to contend with these types of issues relative to another Asian people. They were deemed failures relative to Europeans only.


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