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Articles on Japan after 2016
Obama in Hiroshima
Articles on Japan published before 2016

  • (may 2016) Obama in Hiroshima.

    US president Barack Obama is the first US president to visit Hiroshima, the city that was bombed to hell by the first atomic bomb, but he completely failed to address the real problem.
    Japan has never admitted the atrocities that it committed during World War II against the Chinese (millions were raped, tortured and killed), the Koreans, the Filipinos, the Vietnamese, etc etc. Japan is hated throughout East Asia. Today's Japanese appear to be very peaceful people, but the other East Asian countries (especially China) cannot trust them as long as they don't say loud and clear that what their country did in World War II was evil. Japan is disliked throughout Asia not because of what Japanese did in the past but because of what Japan's government is doing today: pretending that nothing happened. Worse: Japanese politicians routinely visit the Yasukuni shrine where the Japanese "heroes" of World War II are buried. Those "heroes" raped thousads of women in the streets of Nanjing, experimented biological and chemical weapons on Chinese cities, vivisected Chinese prisoners at the infamous Unit 731, enslaved women from Korea to Indonesia (some of them required to have sex with 10 or 12 different soldiers every day). No wonder that the rest of East Asia still dislikes and distrusts Japan: how would you feel towards someone who worshipped the man who raped, tortured, vivisected and killed your father or mother? (Incidentally, the first ones to pay a price for Japan's nationalistic politics are today's Japanese people, who did not commit those atrocities but are viewed unfavorably by fellow Asians because of their government's refusal to recognize those atrocities).
    Shame on president Obama for paying tribute to the killers and not to the victims. How many US presidents have traveled to Nanjing to mourn the 350,000 Chinese civilians massacred by the Japanese invaders in 1937-38? How many US presidents have traveled to Harbin to mourn the victims of general Shiro Ishii's Unit 731? The ignorance of US citizens is proverbial worldwide. There was no need to prove it one more time.
    During World War II the average Japanese citizen knew enough of the atrocities that were being committed by its army abroad to judge for himself or herself; and almost all Japanese citizen judged that it was ok. Japanese schools routinely explained how the other Asian people were inferior races. Japanese scholars published books explaining that the brains of the Chinese didn't work like human brains. The people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo (that suffered worse casualties from conventional bombing than Hiroshima and Nagasaki did from nuclear bombing) were fully aware of the racist and genocidal policy carried out by their government in Asia. The victims of the nuclear bombs were not innocent at all. They were guilty, very guilty. It is fiction that they were ordinary people minding their business. They fully supported the policy of conquer, humiliation and extermination of other nations. The Japanese invasion of China killed 16 million civilians and 3 million soldiers. All the other countries combined lost 20 million during World War II. In fact, Japan lost very few civilians during World War II: 350,000. Until the USA finally dropped those two nuclear bombs, the Japanese civilians lived a relatively comfortable life while their children and brothers was looting and massacring all over East Asia, coming back every now and then to boast about their accomplishments. A famous opinion poll conducted in 1944 in the USA found that 13% of the public was in favor of the extermination of all Japanese; but a similar poll conducted in China or the Philippines or Indonesia in the same year would have found almost 100% consensus.
    In 1945 the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not march in the streets demanding the resignation of the government, and did not even demand the end of the war. On the contrary, they contributed to keep the war going, even if they knew of the atrocities committed by their sons and brothers. Far from being innocent, the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were accomplices in one of the most horrific crimes ever committed by human beings on other human beings. The children killed by those two bombs were being raised to be the next great warriors, i.e. the next great rapists, inquisitors and serial killers.
    It is disturbing that today's Japan is still refusing to apologize as a nation to the rest of the world and to take full responsibility for the terrible actions of that generation. The neighbors are justified in wondering whether today's Japanese are indeed very peaceful people or just pretend to be. Do they share the racist and genocidal ideology of that generation? We never got a final answer from their government.
    Shame on Japan. Shame on president Obama for not speaking out at Hiroshima.

    See my Timeline of World War II.

    (Scroll down to see some replies to angry readers)

    Reply to a reader who didn't like this article:

    I haven't read anywhere an explanation of the symbolism of this visit, so i don't know if Obama went there to apologize, to take a selfie or to eat sushi. What i do know (and at least 2 billion people of East Asia know) is that Japan has never apologized for invading half of Asia and treating it like a shooting target and a biological laboratory. On the day of its defeat, Germany's leaders always remind their own people that something horrible was done by Germany, and Germany's leaders don't pay their respects to Hitler. Japan's leaders, instead, refuse to apologize to the countries that were invaded, and every year pay tribute to their war criminals. Obama is free to visit Hiroshima but he should have given a speech demanding that Japan takes responsibility for starting WWII, for invading countries like China that had absolutely not provoked Japan, for systematically killing, raping and torturing human beings, and for refusing to end the war even when it was clearly lost (without those nuclear bombs a lot more civilians would have been killed all over Asia, including Japan itself). Obama should have threatened sanctions against Japan if Japan refuses to do so. Also, Japan's school textbooks should be rewritten to tell Japan's children what Japan really did in the 1930s and 1940s. Germany has taken full responsibility for the actions of Hitler's Germany and, hopefully, and German children are taught that Hitler's Germany did horrific things, and so nobody blames today's Germans for what those Germans did. But this is not true of Japan. Until Japan takes full responsibility for what it did (including a recognition that the atomic bombs were well-deserved consequences of its people's actions), the president of the USA has the moral obligation, at the least, to tell Japan loud and clear that this is not acceptable behavior. Last but not least, the president of the USA should travel to Nanjing, that suffered more than any other city in Asia. It is insulting to think that the dead of Hiroshima compare with the dead of Nanjing. 100,000 people killed in Hiroshima? Nanjing lost at least 350,000 people. The people of Hiroshima were responsible for the war, whereas the people of Nanjing were not responsible for any war of any kind. Obama: go to Nanjing and pay tribute to those 350,000 victims, then demand that Japan's prime minister goes to Nanjing and apologizes. My guess is that Obama's visit had nothing to do with the atomic bomb itself, it was simply a way to offend China at a time of US-China tensions. Silly US forein policy coupled with US ignorance of history. Years ago a Chinese friend told me "The USA should drop an atomic bomb on Japan every year until they apologize to the countries that they invaded". I am sure she was exaggerating, but you get the point. Reply to a Japanese reader who says she always apologizes to her non-Japanese friends: We don't want your "I am sorry". You are not the one who committed those atrocities. You weren't even born. We want your government to do it, or at least to recognize that those atrocities were committed. You are repeating history: during World War II the Japanese people didn't do anything to force their government to stop the war; now the Japanese people don't do anything to force their government to apologize. It is pointless that individual Japanese people apologize for crimes that they didn't even commit because they weren't even born. Japanese people miss the point: the "crime" that you are committing today is not the killing but that you tolerate how your government refuses to admit the atrocities of World War II. Just like today's Turkish people are not guilty of the Armenian genocide, but they are guilty that they tolerate (and sometimes support) that their government still denies it.

    Another Japanese reader wrote: "To me, the biggest mistake Japanese government did after WW2 was that they purposely failed to teach new generations about what we did to Asian countries during WW2. Though our txt books were reviewed & supervised by the US government, I think Japanese government could've changed the course of our future if they told us more 'dirty' history of what we did in Asia."

    Also a few emails accuse me of hating the Japanese:

    You have the typical Muslim-style reaction: if i criticize anything about the Islamic world, it must mean that i hate all Muslims. I admire how Japan rebuilt itself and became a model of discipline and tidiness, i admire Japanese technology and science, and Japanese literature and cinema, and many other things; but that doens't mean that we should forgive Japan's refusal to acknowledge the Japanese atrocities in WWII. Believe it or not, you can criticize Italy and i will not say that you hate all Italians. And there are many many many things to criticize in Italy! Don't get me started on that one...
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