Japanese Prime Minister not apologizing for war crimes

This video about the Philippines is called WW2 Japanese War Crimes in Manila.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Abe rejects calls to apologise for crimes in WWII

Saturday 15th August 2015

PRIME MINISTER Shinzo Abe refused to apologise yesterday for Japanese crimes during the second world war, while acknowledging that they took place.

In a widely anticipated television statement marking the 70th anniversary of his country’s surrender, he said instead that Japan’s previously repeated “heartfelt apologies” would suffice.

“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,” Mr Abe said.

“I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences.”

But, he added, future generations of Japanese should not feel remorse over their country’s brutal history.

“We must not let our children, grandchildren and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologise,” he said.

The prime minister made only a vague reference to the “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military, saying: “We must never forget that there were women behind the battlefields whose honour and dignity were severely injured.”

He also claimed that Japan would remain a peaceful nation, despite his plans for remilitarisation.

Mr Abe’s comments were scrutinised in China and Korea, both of which bore the brunt of Japan’s brutal imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said: “Abe trod a fine line with linguistic tricks, attempting to please his right-wing base on the one hand and avoid further damage in Japan’s ties with its neighbours on the other.”

Last Friday’s speech by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to mark 70 years since Japan’s surrender in World War II was a carefully contrived exercise. It sought to maintain a veneer of pacifism and contrition for the past crimes of Japanese militarism even as his government expands the country’s armed forces and ends constitutional constraints on Japanese participation in new US-led wars of aggression: here.

In November 1936 Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and Italy as a careful prelude – by the signatories – to fascist aggression on a global scale, writes JENNY CLEGG: here.

17 thoughts on “Japanese Prime Minister not apologizing for war crimes

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  2. Making of Dark Heritage in Contemporary Japan

    Date & time
    14 September 2015, 16.00 – 17.00 hrs
    Drinks afterwards

    IIAS Conference room, Rapenburg 59, Leiden

    The lecture

    This presentation examines the surge of war memories attached to places in Japan from the 1990s onwards, in order to study the process and the nature of recent war memories and to identify agents of such remembering in civil society. Although the centrality of place in making and remaking both individual and collective memories has been pointed out before in general terms, there are few studies that delve into the multi-layered connections between experiencing places and remembering war memories in postwar Japan. Dr HAN will first discuss a grassroots concern manifested in the development of the “archaeology of war-related sites,” in relation to the establishment of the Japanese Network to Protect War-Related Sites. Such developments will be examined within the politics of “cultural property” and “World Heritage,” both in domestic and international arenas. She will then introduce local movements in Matsushiro and Okayama. Matsushiro hosts gigantic underground shelters and tunnels to relocate the Imperial General Headquarters, while Okayama has the underground plants of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Company. In doing so, she argues that the conservation movement is challenging the homogenizing national war memory by attaching ethnically diversified vernacular memories to the underground sites.

    The speaker

    Dr. HAN, Jung-Sun is Associate Professor at the Division of International Studies, Korea University. Majoring in modern and contemporary Japanese history and culture, Han has worked on interwar and wartime Japanese political thoughts and on the Japan-Korea relations on the basis of the visual culture of modern Japan. Her books include An Imperial Path to Modernity: Yoshino Sakuzo and a New Liberal Order in East Asia, 1905-1937 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012) and Drawing an Empire: Japanese Cartoon Journalism and Colonization of Korea (co-authored, Seoul: Ilchogak, 2006). Drawing an Empire has won the best academic book prize in Korea and has been translated into Japanese (Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 2010). Currently, Han studies contemporary Japanese civic activities on conserving war-related sites as ‘dark heritage.’ By probing into the dynamics of place and memory in post-1945 Japan, Han is researching the grassroots movements to protect and conserve war-related sites and how civil activities have rendered different meanings to postwar Japan by incorporating vernacular war memories.


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