April 23, 2005

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Who apologizes? Japan, of course

So, we'll have a Koizumi-Hu meeting today. It follows yesterday apologies issued by Japanese Prime Minister at Asian-African summit. Again. Still waiting China's first. It's another chapter in the book of free/unfree societies, brilliantly described by Andrés (BTW, this is - until now - the post of the year in expat community).
Koizumi's one is an act of great responsibility in a very tense moment: Japan has its faults but it wasn't Japan who started and ignited this crisis.
But I'm not sure it will be enough. Nationalist feelings are a very powerful political tool for the regime: for a lot of reasons Beijing needs a time-out now, but the dangerous game could begin again as soon as possible. So, it's unlikely that the Chinese will get the right message: Koizumi's apologies are an opportunity, not a gesture of contrition or the admission that they were right to throw stones at japanese embassy.
P.S. Washington Post seems to agree.

posted by Enzo on 04.23.05 at 05:03 PM in the


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Koizumi does right
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I love the way you use all these links to other blogs to write a summary of whatever issue is at hand.

Pretty sharp!

As for this topic, I think we all know how China will react. As I stated on my blog, they will find some reason for Koizumi's apology to fall short of satisfying the Chinese people's "feelings".

That's okay though, it will show the rest of the world (those who don't already know) just how "little" China is.

posted by: Gordon on 04.23.05 at 08:22 PM [permalink]

The whole issue is not about "free speech vs not free speech", not about "free society vs not a free society". This is about what Japan had done in WW2 and never apologise sincerely, and now they are approving a book that denies the history.

It doesn't matter if the book is used by only 1 school or 0.3% of schools. The fact is that this book should not be approved as it becomes a fictional book only. The apology yesterday is rubbish unless: they STOP altering the history, STOP denying history, STOP worshipping the war criminals, STOP conquering the disputed islands and START compensating/helping each individual victims, as what the Germans did.

Not only China is angry, but Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong also. Just view my blog.

posted by: chinanjapan on 04.24.05 at 01:44 AM [permalink]

"This is about what Japan had done in WW2 and never apologise sincerely"

I love that weasel-word "sincerely": even if Koizumi were to get on his knees and beat his chest in repentance, I'm sure you'd still say he wasn't being "sincere" - anything to hold on to an excuse to hate.

posted by: Abiola Lapite on 04.24.05 at 04:10 AM [permalink]

in the same day japanese pm "apologized" for its wartime past, a few hundred japanese lawmakers went to worship the war criminals in the shrine.

just remind you a few other facts:

japanese refused to apoligize and make compensation to former sex slaves in recent years.

japanese government refused to tell the locations of its chemical weapons left in china during wwii, and dozens of chinese were killed by those chemical weapons in recent years.

what if germans go to worship a a memorial with Hitler and other nazi soilders as "war dead for german nation"? what if germans refuse to compensate auschwitz jews? and what if germans refuse to cooperate with russia and let nazi german bombs kill russians today?

don't let your it-is-a-SOB-but-it-is-our-SOB mentality blind your eyes.

posted by: bingfeng on 04.24.05 at 12:06 PM [permalink]

As the Japanese has many levels of apologies, so how sincere is that if the level of the Japanese Government's apology is even lower than what Japanese companies apologise publicly to their customers?

Also, even if they keep saying "we apologise...", but STILL altering the history, STILL denying history, STILL worshipping the war criminals, STILL conquering the disputed islands and HAVE NOT compensating/helping each individual victims, as what the Germans did. Then, how can we see the sincerity in that??

If they do not turn their words into actions, then "even if Koizumi were to get on his knees and beat his chest in repentance", their apologies are still FAKE APOLOGIES.

One needs to read the following articles to know what the victim countries really feel,

From the anti-Chinese Communist Taiwan,
"Japan made an apology back in 1995 but since then what has the Japanese government done over the past decade?" the legislator asked.

"What they have done is not in line with their verbal apology," she said, referring to Tokyo's refusal to compensate surviving Taiwanese "comfort women" who were among an estimated 200,000 Asian women forced to into sex slavery for the Japanese troops during World War II.

"some Taiwan scholars say Koizumi's apology is not sincere because like his predecessors, he used words like "feeling remorse and apology" instead of saying directly that Japan wants to apologize for its war crimes."

Japan's apology fails to placate many in Taiwan

From one of the most independent and trusted newspaper in Hong Kong, Ming Pao Newspaper's Editorials (This newspaper always condemn the Chinese Government on 1989 June-4th Massacre, and the way they handle Hong Kong politics),

"In sharp contrast to Japan's attitude is Germany's. Germany, which committed war crimes against people in Europe and other parts of the world during World War II, has for years regarded it of overriding importance to ponder on history. While Japan's neighbours saw waves of protests against its attempts to revise history textbooks and gloss over the fact that it started wars of aggression, German Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder said in Berlin after meeting South Korean President Roh Moo—hyun that every country must find its own way to deal with the glories and shames in its history."

"The whole reason why Sino—Japanese disputes have escalated and Sino—Japanese relations have sharply worsened is that the Japanese authorities have taken provocative approaches to dealing with disputes over history and real interests. It is right and proper for Chinese people to have roared with anger at Japan. It is right and proper for Beijing to have given Tokyo strongly—worded retorts with a view to safeguarding China's interests and the nation's dignity."

"Chinese people do not want to see Sino—Japanese relations deteriorate, nor do Japan's interests lie in their deterioration. Chinese people's demand is sensible and reasonable — that Japan should draw lessons from history, learn from Germany, frankly admit to its mistake of waging wars of aggression and do what may evidence its resolution to mend its way. To break the deadlock, Japan ought to do so."

Japan should learn from Germany

A poll has found over 94% of respondents are firmly against the distortion of the facts of Japan's war of aggression against China in its history textbooks. Though disputes have arisen between Hong Kong and the mainland, whenever the nation is in difficulty, Hong Kongers will evince their patriotism. Before or after the handover, never have Hong Kongers failed to do so.

Hong Kong people's ardent patriotism

posted by: chinanjapan on 04.24.05 at 12:39 PM [permalink]

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