Category Archives: Japan

Anti Japanese Riots In China

Thousands of people in China were in the streets of their cities marching and yelling about their hatred toward Japan. The spark for these demonstrations was seizure by Japanese patrol boats of a Chinese fishing ship that was in waters claimed by Japan. A war of the seas is now raging between China and Japan over which nation will control waters around tiny islands found off the coast of both nations. Ah, why are they arguing? As always, the reason has to do with money-or should we say, OIL! Who will control the oil is all too often the rationale for war and violence.

However, there are other reasons for Chinese anger toward Japan. Their country was invaded by Japan in the 1930s and held for nearly ten years. During that time period, the Japanese killed millions of Chinese people and thousands of women were raped or forced to work as prostitutes serving the needs of Japanese soldiers. Unlike Germany, which has acknowledged its brutal behavior during WWII, Japan refuses to assume any responsibility for what its troops did during the war. In fact, its school textbooks present a portrait of Japan as the “victim” during the war. Japan might send its educators to Germany in order to learn how to confront evil.

Great Fishing War In Asia

A Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japanese patrol boats which led to its captain being detained for several days before being released. In a normal situation, this would resolve the situation without creating a turmoil and anger. But, the issue is not a fishing boat so much as fishing to see which nation will gain control over areas that might contain oil deposits. The Chinese government complaimed about Japan’s refusal to create, “appropriate conditions and atmosphere” to resolve the dispute. Japan’s foreign minister reponded with comments concerning China’s “hysterical” behavior which only resulted in China claiming Japan was being provocative.

OK, children, enough of the games about language and fishing boats. Let everyone get back to the real issue– which nation will control possible oil deposits in the region between Japan and China. Has anyone considered a joint oil development project? Now, that would be one hysterical and provocative action!

How Did World War II Really End?

Most discussions concerning the end of WWII focus on the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945. Few modern people realize that on August 9, 1945, as agreed upon at the Yalta Conference in February, 1945, the Russian army launched operation August Storm which blasted into Japanese troops holding Manchuria and Korea. A new book by historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, argues “the Soviet entry into the war played a much greater role than the atomic bombs in inducing Japan to surrender because it dashed any hope that Japan could terminate the war through Moscow’s mediation.” The Emperor and the peace party within Japan realized if their country did not surrender to the US, Russia might land in their country and take possession of northern areas. It was a decision based on the concept of which was the lesser of two evils-the US or Russian forces pouring through Manchuria and Korea?

It is time to lay to rest how the atomic bomb was not necessary. In the words of Secretary of War Henry Stimson who hated the idea of using atomic bombs, they were the “least abhorrent choice of a dreadful array of options facing American leaders.” In the end, dreadful as it may sound, the bombs saved the lives of over a million Japanese people. These are not easy words to write, but they represent reality.

Surprise! Japan Finally Apologizes To South Koreans!

Surprise! The Japanese nation has finally got around to apologizing to other Asian nations for the pain, brutality and death it caused for half a century. Japan seized the country of Korea in 1910 and on the 100th anniversary of this land grab, a Japanese prime minister expressed remorse. PM Naoto Kan told the people of Korea: “for the enormous damage and suffering caused by this colonization, I would like to express once again our deep remorse and apologize.” Now, it would be nice if Japan apologized to the people of China for killing five million and to the women of China for the “rape of Nanking”during which time an estimated 75,000 Chinese women were raped. How about an apology to the people of the Philippines for murdering about 10,000 Filipino soldiers during the infamous Bataan Death March? Of course, five thousand American soldiers were also murdered during this march. We could add how apologies are due to Indonesians, people in Burma and those in Thailand.

Japan will not cleanse its soul until the Education minister finally insists its history books should present a more objective and truthful account of World War II. At present, Japan is portrayed as a “victim,” rather than as an aggressor. It might help Japanese youth to understand why the atomic bomb was used against its homeland.

US Apology For Atomic Bomb On Hiroshima?

Every August about this time there are demands for an apology from the American government for dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. An objective analysis of the situation in August, 1945 makes clear the only way Japan would have surrendered was through use of an atomic bomb or some analogous form of destruction. The Japanese army was determined not to surrender and meet American and British soldiers on the beaches of their nation. President Truman sent messages through several diplomatic sources urging Japan to surrender, but his efforts were rejected. Why the bomb is certainly a valid question?

1. The battle of Okinawa had resulted in American casualties of over 25,000 men in taking the island. In addition to over 75,000 dead Japanese soldiers, thousands of civilians were forced into death by their own army. The Japanese launched their Kamikaze suicide bombers at the American fleet and over 5,000 men were killed or wounded.
2. General Anami, head of the Japanese army, had gathered 5,000 Kamikaze pilots who were ready to kill themselves in order to protect their homeland. Their attack would have cost the lives of thousands of American and British soldiers.
3. General Anami had armed over two million Japanese civilians who were ready to make suicide attacks on Allied forces and the result would have been a massacre.
4. Russia had yet to enter the war which meant hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers would have been sent from the army in Manchuria to the mainland to assist in meeting an invasion.
5. After the first atomic bomb was dropped, transcripts of the Japanese Cabinet reveal that General Anami argued the war must go on. After the second was dropped, he argued the war must go on. Naval leaders wanted to surrender, but the Japanese army was determined to have millions die.
6. The Emperor made his famous tape recording announcing the surrender of Japan and Army officers attempted to kill the messenger who carried the tape to a radio station.

In other words, it was the atomic bomb which finally got Emperor Hirohito to take action.

The bottom line is Japan initiated a war, killed over 5,000,000 people in China, murdered thousands of American soldiers who surrendered, raped thousands in China and elsewhere, and refused to accept an offer to surrender until forced by the atomic bombs. No apology is due from any American leader. The apologies should come from the Japanese army and the family of dead Emperor Hirohito. The atomic bomb killed thousands of innocent people and saved the lives of millions of innocent people.

Should Furriners Vote In Japan Local Elections?

Japan has the reputation of being a nation in which those born in other areas of the world experience difficulty in securing citizenship. Of the over 120,000,000 Japanese less than 1 percent are not considered to be citizens of Japan. The government introduced legislation which would enable non-citizens some voting rights in local elections. Of the 912,000 who are not Japanese citizens, over 420,000 are those of Korean heritage who were brought to Japan and worked in the country. Thousands from this group decided to remain in Japan and, although their children are born in Japan, they have never been regarded as true Japanese. The desire to give them voting power in local elections was deemed an honest effort to give those who have lived in Japan for decades to have some minor voice in local elections.

Naturally, it has led to a storm of protest from “true believers” who regard only pure blooded Japanese as fit to decide what happens in their nation. Of course, forcing people to live in your country and then denying them fundamental rights might be considered as denying basic rights to those who deserve them.

Japanese Have Annual Dolphin Murders!

The people of Japan have been peaceful since the end of World War II, and attempted to avoid being involved in killing, except, of course, when it comes to certain inhabitants of the oceans who are fair game to be slaughtered. Despite world wide attempts restricting the killing of certain creatures of the sea, the Japanese people believe limits violate their rights. Hayden Panettiere, star of “Heroes” and her boxing boyfriend, Vladmir Klitscko, visited the fishing village of Taiji which annually rounds up about 2,000 dolphins and kills them on their beaches. The TV star made clear her goal was to assist the village people discover ways they could obtain money without this mass slaughter of the dolphins. The Japanese government authorizes killing about 19,000 dolphins each year.

Village leaders refused to talk with the foreigners and it was a glum time for visitors who tried interfering in dolphin killing. The major response to Hayden’s visit was from right wing nationalists who question why Americans “kill cows” and how come President Obama has not apologized for the atomic bombs in Hiroshima in 1945.

Unfortunately, dolphins do not enjoy a long memory as to some Japanese people, but the dolphins do know when they are being killed.

Tom Hanks And Politics Of Right Wing Racism

In the fantasy world of right wing pundits like Bill O’Reilly, the war in the Pacific during WWII had nothing to do with racism, it was simply Western nations engaged in a food fight with the Japanese empire. He was furious at comments made by Tom Hanks who stated the presence of racist factors in the Pacific conflict which resembled racism in modern times as exemplified by the war in Iraq. Hanks stated what anyone alive in the 1940s felt by saying: “Back in WWII, we viewed the Japanese as yellow slant-eyed dogs that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different.” He then got into trouble with right wing media ranters by adding, “does this sound familiar with what is going on today?

It is clear that Bill O’Reilly knows as much about the war in the Pacific as he does about the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. The words spoken by Tom Hanks were on the lips and in the hearts of all Americans during the war. The only correction one might make to his statement is we never said, “Japanese,” we said, “Japs.”

The ultimate ignorant comment of Bill O’Reilly was, “why does Hanks want to inject racism into two wars, Japan and the war on terror where racism certainly doesn’t exist.” Really, Reilly, then explain why 5,000 Muslims in America were arrested after 9/11? Racism was the reason 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to camps even though most were American citizens. Can the O’Reilly factor provide examples in which American citizens were imprisoned–some German aliens were sent to camps.

Another storm in a teacup by conservative idiots.

Koreans In Japan Face Educational Issues

A hundred years ago Japanese troops took control of Korea and that country was ruled as a colony with many of its inhabitants coming to Japan in order to work. The legacy of colonialism lives on with thousands of Koreans in Japan who regard themselves as second class citizens and even have their own schools. The Japanese government is planning a tuition-subsidy program but wants to bar schools which cater to children of Koreans who have strong ties with North Korea from being eligible for the subsidies. There are twelve high schools operated in close cooperation with a pro-North Korean organization known as the General Association of Korean residents in Japan. Japan is still furious at North Korea which abducted their citizens many years ago and has refused to reveal what happened to them.

The Japanese government fears the curriculum of these schools propogates communist ideas and thus children are not receiving an objective education. There is the possibility of new regulations which would require any such schools to have a curriculum that is “nearly consistent with the educational guidelines of Japan.”

For an outsider, it is unclear why any sensible people would regard North Korea as a model for anything other than oppression of its people.

Can Foreigners Ever Be Japanese?

A recent exchange between two members of the Japanese Diet revealed deep seated feelings by those born in Japan toward anyone born abroad who attempts to claim the right to express opinions about Japan. Takeo Hiranuma, former Trade Minister, became upset at a remark made by Renho, a woman of Taiwan/Japanese heritage who has Japanese citizenship and graduated from a Japanese university. “I hate to say this, but she’s not originally at heart (motomoto) a Japanese.” She had questioned the need for vast sums in computer development to make Japan number one in the world which upset Hiranuma. “This is most impudent (fukinshin) for a politician to say.” Of course, he denied there was any racial prejudice to his remarks that challenged her right to express an opinion. In 2006, Hiranuma wrote a book claiming allowing human rights to prevail in Japan would “exterminate (horobosu) Japan.” He also expressed the view Japan should never have a female ruler because she might “marry a blue-eyed foreigner.”

There is a movement in Japan to allow suffrage in local elections to Permanent Residents. Of course, many of these people came from nations conquered by the Japanese and then sent to Japan to work. They remained in Japan after World War II, but are denied the right to Japanese citizenship even though some of their relatives actually fought in the Japanese armed forces. The reality of Japan is to marginalize foreigners and make it very difficult for them to become citizens.

As Japan’s population declines there may come a day when even blue-eyed foreigners will be welcome in Japan.