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Friday, August 14, 2015

Some dangerous sentiments from #Japanese #PM #ShinzoAbe today regarding Japan and WWII

Some dangerous sentiments from #Japanese #PM #ShinzoAbe today. He's basically saying Japan should no longer feel bad for atrocities it committed in #WWII.

Why is this dangerous?  Well, have a look at the specific words Abe said first in a cutting from the above screenshotted AP article from today:
Abe noted that more than 80 percent of the country's population was born after the war, and echoed growing though not universal sentiment in Japan that the country has apologized enough. 
"We must not let our children, grandchildren and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologize," he said.

He's just given America permission to stop taking responsibility for dropping the bomb on them--something many Americans have never felt the need to apologize for. Hell, the US still apologizes for slavery. That ended 100+ years ago.

Humans should never lose sympathy for other humans, regardless of who caused the pain and suffering.

I'm a progressive white male--should I still feel bad for the sexism, racism and cultural oppression of my relatives and fellow white males just because I do my best to avoid being sexist and racist?  Of course.  Because even though I'm not related to slave owners (that I know of), I still need to acknowledge that the damage they did still exists in this world.  The cultural memories of slavery and racism from the time slavery was still legal are still with us.  Obviously, sexism still exists too.

Likewise, the damage Japan did to mainland Asian countries still exists in mainland Asian cultures.  You can't walk away from that or point to any past apologies and say "that's enough" any more than America can walk away from dropping the atom bombs on Japan.  After all, Japan still lives with that scar on their psyche despite 80 percent of Japan's populace being born after WWII.  They're still making GODZILLA movies, aren't they?

Ignoring past war atrocities, ignoring the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ignoring slavery, ignoring two wars fought by America in the Middle East for, pretty much, no reason, ignoring war crimes of any generation, whether they were committed last century or this, is the same thing is letting them continue.

All of us must take responsibility for the sins of our fathers, even if we aren't directly responsible.  We all need to work together to make this world a better place and ignoring the damage caused by those who came before us is to willfully allow that damage to continue.

It's so ironic that Abe is giving this speech now, just days after the first nuclear reactor in Japan was turned back on after Fukushima and about a week after the anniversary of the US dropping the bombs on Japan.  It seems like Abe-san is having some problems recognizing irony.

For the record, I am a huge fan of Japan.  I've studied the language off and on for years, love anime, Japanese movies and TV shows, and am generally in love with most things from the land of the rising sun.  So, I don't like to criticize anything about Japan.  However, sometimes every culture needs a reminder of its own flaws.

America sure does... >_<

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