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View Diary: Japan’s Strange Isolation, and How It Hurts Us and Japan (24 comments)

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  •  The problem with Japan (7+ / 0-)

    real or imaginary (more than likely, somewhere in between), is that the Japanese, unlike the Germans, haven't really own up to all of its misdeeds during WWII (or they give the perception, thereof). This, plus the various territorial disputes that they are embroiled in, has left a bitter taste in their neighbors' mouth.

    The latest row is about Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's (whom, to many of his neighbors, is viewed as a history revisionist) cabinet ministers who went to a shrine honoring war dead; however, many of these men were convicted of war crimes. The Abe administration says that these individuals went there as 'private citizens' not as representatives of the government. Japan's neighbors didn't see it that way. Abe's administration has been back-pedaling on this issue ever since.

    IMHO, it's the perception that the Japanese seem unwilling to own what they did to their neighbors during WWII is the biggest barrier between them and their neighbors.

    •  How one educated Korean sees it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      In another part of the series he discusses how Japan's postwar reactions have been taken by their victims.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Fri May 10, 2013 at 12:33:33 AM PDT

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    •  Many would disagree (3+ / 0-)

      In fact, some Japanese are beginning to think the world (or at least their neighbors) are treating them unfairly because, in their minds, Japan has come clean and apologized.

      They will point out that PM So-and-so made a speech and said "We're sorry", so why the problem.

      What they don't quite grasp is how shallow this appears, and I agree that Japan has failed to take the truth and reconciliation of this history to heart to the degree that Germany has and continues to do, quite remarkably in my opinion. Many/most nations could learn from the German example.

      "However ......."

      However, I do think that the current frictions are an opportunity to address the underlying problems that have enabled this political disfunction, namely, the parent-child relationship between the US and Japan that has shielded Japan from this reckoning while also stunting it's political growth.

      Now there are cracks in the wall that are hard to cover over, and if the Japanese yearning to be a "Normal" nation are strong enough, a reconciliation must be done to establish the prestige and trust to do so.

      I would not expect it to get done in the near future as Rightist sentiments are in accent under the Abe administration, which only fans the embers we would like to extinguish, but sometimes a leader like Abe can work as a positive irritant that ultimately promotes change.

      We East Asians need to move on. But first we need to begin the process of washing laundry. We all have some.

      {Not a sigline. You are hallucinating.}

      by koNko on Fri May 10, 2013 at 01:36:09 AM PDT

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    •  Yeah it is kind of strange how Japan has island (0+ / 0-)

      disputes with all three of its neighbors.

      by Inoljt on Sat May 11, 2013 at 10:15:16 AM PDT

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