Tuesday, 4 August 2015

World War 2 - Toshio Tamogami - A Proud Japan

A few months ago I was at odds with revisionist thinking in Russia, about their performance, especially in the early years, during world war two.  Today I come back to these pages in utter disbelief at the news that there even is a revisionist movement in Japan; the Japanese people, their culture is to me always one of extreme politeness, of acceptance and unwavering resolution, this is why when McArthur became governor he paid note to the Emperor, though the superior power, this is why Hirohito remained as emperor and his prodigy today hold the Chrysanthemum throne.

But that was at the acceptance that War Crimes had been committed, and I'm not talking about the unclear timing between declaration of war and the Pearl harbour strike, and I'm not talking about the military operations such as Midway where the tide turned, or Singapore which was Britain's biggest defeat, or our British losses such as HMS Repulse & HMS Prince of Wales in the Indian Ocean.

What I'm talking about is that this news article intimates that there were no parts of the true history of World War 2 for Japan to be proud of, the strike planning on Pearl Harbour, the engineering of their fleet, the progression of Naval aviation and the military inventiveness and tenacity of the Japanese soldier meeting western forces and defeating them through the war.  They are all things to be proud of as a nation fighting a war, and should be understood, the Japanese Fleet was Amazingly powerful, a feat of amazing engineering which should be celebrated, and in places you will find celebration of that proud history.

But that proud history should always be remember in context, and the atrocities remembered, Korea, China, the Philippines all suffered under Japanese Imperial rule, as well as World War Two Marshall law.  Japan needed to wage a war, needed the raw material to do so, which lead to their invading all those countries, it's not neat, it's not polite, in some ways it's highly un-Japanese, but it happened.

That article about comfort girls, it's true to listen to, again go back to 1970 the Thames Television series there were Japanese soldiers interviewed, who said that the Japanese girls would collect 1000 stitches for their loved one, and give that 1000 stitches in a belly band, but he would rather her have given him her body for the night.  That was his attitude for Japanese girls, so for Korean or Chinese it would have been utility, blind, brutal, and Warlike, which was the situation.

Now I say it should be remembered, but should modern 20 to 30 year old generation be apologising?... No, it was their Grandparents at least who were involved, it should have been, and was their Grandparents who apologised, the apologies should be over, to brow beat new generations for the fault of old is something we have come to terms with in Europe, how else does Germany hold it's head high at the EU table.

But people like Toshio Tamogami have the wrong end of the stick denying what happened, they should know it happened, accept it and go on about their business, they didn't do it, Granddad did, and that two or three generation difference can never make the same mistake again, that's the best way they could ever apologise to the world, by never repeating the same dreadful mistakes, but the only way to avoid them is to know about them, and in knowing about them the rest of the community needs to realise they can not demand anything more than respect that it did happen, and should never happen again.

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