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Old 08-14-2015, 06:34 AM   #1
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Japan: A cruel and Dishonorable nation...?

What do you think about the way the Japanese acted in WW2?

Better or worse than the Nazis? The atrocious treatment of allied Pow's?

Japan PM Shinzo Abe expresses 'profound grief' for WW2 - BBC News

My opinion: The honourable code of the samurai; My ass!
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:05 AM   #2
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At the time, probably so, but as with all conflicts and all nations, it was another time and place and it's behind us.


We (the U.S.) are not without our own warts if you will, at various times in our history, be they war or civil liberties. We simply justify our acts in the name of "God", "democracy", "freedom" and "liberation."


We claim certain acts done in war, are "necessary to save the lives of countless others." How many times have we heard that same "ends justifies the means" statement?


I don't agree with the way Japan or the Nazi's treated allied troops, any more than I agree with some of the things we've done over the decades at war, but we can't continue to dwell on it. Why continue to beat the proverbial dead horse? We/they can't change what happened, and you can't "undo" atrocities. There's no reason to keep apologizing over and over again. All that can come of that is continued hatred, anger and resentment. We have enough of all three as it is.


Instead, God help us, maybe we can all learn (not that we ever do!), and maybe, just maybe, we can eventually figure out a way to co-exist. We don't necessarily have to agree, but at least stop killing each other over ideological, theological and philosophical beliefs!


Japan seems to be dealing with on a different level, the same "reparations" BS that the U.S. is dealing with now over civil rights violations committed during the slavery era. Why continue to apologize to someone that has no dog in the hunt, for something you had no control over?


As for the Samurai statement, I'm not really sure what you mean?
There was definitely a "code of honor" among the Samurai, there's no denying that.
Maybe a little more clarification?


BTW- Check out the fighter pilots video in the link you posted. A mouthful of wisdom from someone who was there.

OD
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:20 AM   #3
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Obviously, I wasn't there, but ... from everything I've read the Japanese were every bit as bad, if not worse, than the Nazis. This isn't generally understood in America, I think because of ethnic and pop cultural issues. For the same reasons we don't appreciate what went on at the Eastern Front of the European theater. That was warfare and racial genocide on a scale far beyond what occurred in Western Europe. We're not Asians, we don't relate to them. Our war movies and the knowledge of the general population are about D-Day and the march through Europe to Berlin. In the Pacific war, most people know Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima and nothing in between. Most have no clue about the rest of the war in Asia that started in the 30's.

We're basically Western Europeans in this country and that's the war with which we most closely associate.

I find these subjects fascinating and terrifying because I believe that human nature has not changed one bit since Adam & Eve. And that we are just one truly catastrophic event away from returning to barbarity.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:29 AM   #4
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... we are just one truly catastrophic event away from returning to barbarity.
I don't think I've every seen it that we'll stated!
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:36 AM   #5
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At the time, probably so, but as with all conflicts and all nations, it was another time and place and it's behind us.


We (the U.S.) are not without our own warts if you will, at various times in our history, be they war or civil liberties. We simply justify our acts in the name of "God", "democracy", "freedom" and "liberation."


We claim certain acts done in war, are "necessary to save the lives of countless others." How many times have we heard that same "ends justifies the means" statement?


I don't agree with the way Japan or the Nazi's treated allied troops, any more than I agree with some of the things we've done over the decades at war, but we can't continue to dwell on it. Why continue to beat the proverbial dead horse? We/they can't change what happened, and you can't "undo" atrocities. There's no reason to keep apologizing over and over again. All that can come of that is continued hatred, anger and resentment. We have enough of all three as it is.


Instead, God help us, maybe we can all learn (not that we ever do!), and maybe, just maybe, we can eventually figure out a way to co-exist. We don't necessarily have to agree, but at least stop killing each other over ideological, theological and philosophical beliefs!


Japan seems to be dealing with on a different level, the same "reparations" BS that the U.S. is dealing with now over civil rights violations committed during the slavery era. Why continue to apologize to someone that has no dog in the hunt, for something you had no control over?


As for the Samurai statement, I'm not really sure what you mean?
There was definitely a "code of honor" among the Samurai, there's no denying that.
Maybe a little more clarification?


BTW- Check out the fighter pilots video in the link you posted. A mouthful of wisdom from someone who was there.

OD
The way of the warrior, the honour of the samurai was meant to be paramount .
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuri#Philosophy

In an account of Japan sent to Father Ignatius Loyola at Rome, drawn from the statements of Anger (Han-Siro's western name), Xavier describes the importance of honor to the Japanese (Letter preserved at College of Coimbra.):

In the first place, the nation with which we have had to do here surpasses in goodness any of the nations lately discovered. I really think that among barbarous nations there can be none that has more natural goodness than the Japanese. They are of a kindly disposition, not at all given to cheating, wonderfully desirous of honour and rank. Honour with them is placed above everything else. There are a great many poor among them, but poverty is not a disgrace to any one. There is one thing among them of which I hardly know whether it is practised anywhere among Christians. The nobles, however poor they may be, receive the same honour from the rest as if they were rich.[8]

Doctrine
Samurai warriors described themselves as followers of "The Way of the Warrior" or Bushido. Bushidō is defined by the Japanese dictionary Shogakukan Kokugo Daijiten as "a unique philosophy (ronri) that spread through the warrior class from the Muromachi (chusei) period. From the earliest times, the Samurai felt that the path of the warrior was one of honor, emphasizing duty to one's master, and loyalty unto death".[9]

Hum ho, the reality was a bit different. Maybe more like the Nazi SS?
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:41 AM   #6
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Obviously, I wasn't there, but ... from everything I've read the Japanese were every bit as bad, if not worse, than the Nazis. This isn't generally understood in America, I think because of ethnic and pop cultural issues. For the same reasons we don't appreciate what went on at the Eastern Front of the European theater. That was warfare and racial genocide on a scale far beyond what occurred in Western Europe. We're not Asians, we don't relate to them. Our war movies and the knowledge of the general population are about D-Day and the march through Europe to Berlin. In the Pacific war, most people know Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima and nothing in between. Most have no clue about the rest of the war in Asia that started in the 30's.

We're basically Western Europeans in this country and that's the war with which we most closely associate.

I find these subjects fascinating and terrifying because I believe that human nature has not changed one bit since Adam & Eve. And that we are just one truly catastrophic event away from returning to barbarity.
Yes I think you're right, the japs seemed to massacred hundreds of thousands of Chinese and Vietnamese in indo- china during the war.

But my contention is that civilized nations do not murder combatants: the good treasrment of POWs is the central tenant of the Geneva convention.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:45 AM   #7
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I don't think I've every seen it that we'll stated!
But...

Its important to ask who started it?

How can they be stopped, and that the defendants surely hold the high moral ground.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:47 AM   #8
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It has never ceased to amaze me about the barbarianism humans are capable of, specially, in the stresses of war.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:48 AM   #9
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I find these subjects fascinating and terrifying because I believe that human nature has not changed one bit since Adam & Eve. And that we are just one truly catastrophic event away from returning to barbarity.

Not disagreeing with but to expand a bit I don't believe a catastrophic event is even necessary. Iraq naturally progressed into barbarism with the vacuum of any real leadership.

Serial killers neighbors are fascinating people to read interviews of. Funny how every single one of them always say "we knew all along he had to be a murderer..." Oh wait, no they don't. Every interview reinforces the idea that mass murderers seem like normal everyday people. In total shock and disbelief they always say "he seemed like such a normal guy, we trusted him to watch our kids".

Mob mentality thinkers and feudal living fools is who we really are.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:28 AM   #10
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Australia may have friendly relations with Japan these days, but has never forgotten that on May 14, 1943 at 0415, the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur, painted white with red crosses and lit, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, with the loss of 268 of 332 onboard. The submarine commander was later convicted of a war crime atrocity for firing on survivors in lifeboats from another torpedo victim.
Very bad things also happened to captured Nun Nurses on Sandakan. And there was the forced building of the Burma Railway, in which POWs suffered dreadfully, from which came stories of the MD. Capt. "Weary" Dunlop, who tirelessly tended the sick and dying.(The "Weary" nickname is an Aussie play on words, combining "Dunlop", a tyre brand, and "Weary", exhausted or "tired" by his efforts. He resumed medical practice in Sydney post war, for many years.
Somehow, relationships need to be forged and maintained between countries despite atrocities like these, but they are not forgotten. Compartmentalized perhaps,but not forgotten.
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:22 AM   #11
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Seems like the apology only stirs the pot. With most anybody who had anything to do with the war being dead and forgotten, what's the point of stirring up false emotions.

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Old 08-17-2015, 08:07 AM   #12
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It should be noted that Japan did not sign on to the 1929 Geneva Convention, I would imagine that they did not feel the "rules of war" applied to them. Gen. Sherman's actions in regards to non-combatants pre- dates the Geneva Convention accords of 1929. Every war has atrocities.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:38 AM   #13
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Australia may have friendly relations with Japan these days, but has never forgotten that on May 14, 1943 at 0415, the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur, painted white with red crosses and lit, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, with the loss of 268 of 332 onboard. The submarine commander was later convicted of a war crime atrocity for firing on survivors in lifeboats from another torpedo victim.
Very bad things also happened to captured Nun Nurses on Sandakan. And there was the forced building of the Burma Railway, in which POWs suffered dreadfully, from which came stories of the MD. Capt. "Weary" Dunlop, who tirelessly tended the sick and dying.(The "Weary" nickname is an Aussie play on words, combining "Dunlop", a tyre brand, and "Weary", exhausted or "tired" by his efforts. He resumed medical practice in Sydney post war, for many years.
Somehow, relationships need to be forged and maintained between countries despite atrocities like these, but they are not forgotten. Compartmentalized perhaps,but not forgotten.
I agree with your sentiments.

Even the Nazis treated allied POWs well, they were fed and looked after. What puzzles me is how the Japanese officer class did not seem to recognise allied officers as their equal adversiaries . their honour system and their code of bravery only applied to the Japanese apparently.

I saw a documentary of a jap mini-sub mission to sink shipping in Sydney harbour. Two of the sub's got snagged on the harbour nets; so the jap crews committed suicide!

What is the Japanese moral compass...?????
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:00 AM   #14
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I agree with your sentiments.

Even the Nazis treated allied POWs well, they were fed and looked after. What puzzles me is how the Japanese officer class did not seem to recognise allied officers as their equal adversiaries . their honour system and their code of bravery only applied to the Japanese apparently.

I saw a documentary of a jap mini-sub mission to sink shipping in Sydney harbour. Two of the sub's got snagged on the harbour nets; so the jap crews committed suicide!

What is the Japanese moral compass...?????
My understanding is that the Japanese considered surrender or capture dishonorable. Against the Bushido Code. So, if you were a prisoner you were considered shamed and had no rights. That's the same reason why they would fight to the death or commit suicide rather than be captured.

They are not of a Western culture and have different values than us.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:42 PM   #15
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My understanding is that the Japanese considered surrender or capture dishonorable. Against the Bushido Code. So, if you were a prisoner you were considered shamed and had no rights. That's the same reason why they would fight to the death or commit suicide rather than be captured.

They are not of a Western culture and have different values than us.
I suppose when you consider that the Japanese people worshipped the Emperor as a living God : this is in 1945! As already mentioned there was no remorse expressed over their war crimes, only regret at losing the war as Prime minister Abe said last week.

In fact there was a remembrance ceremony at the Shinto temple where convicted war criminals were prominently on display, as the Chinese embassy pointed out.

In Germany it is illegal to display Nazi memorabilia or openly promote its policies, why then do the Japanese show no remorse and openly condone the honouring of those war criminals?
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:09 PM   #16
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Last night watched the movie "Little Boy" time to leave this behind us.

My childhood was ruined by the experiences of my parents (dutch) during the Second World War in Indonesia.

Plot

The story centers on a 7-year-old boy, Pepper Flynt Busbee (Jakob Salvati), who is devastated when his father enlists in the army during World War II. The title is a reference to Little Boy, the code name for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima as well as a reference to Pepper's height. Pepper has an extremely close relationship with his loving father. It begins from the very moment he is born when his father cradles him in his arms and mentions how small he is. When Pepper is examined by a doctor the physician is asked if the child is a midget. However, the doctor says that the term is offensive and suggests that he is just a "little boy." However, when World War II begins, Pepper's older brother is declared ineligible for military service because of flat feet and his father joins in his place. [3] Not long after his father leaves for war, Pepper hears the Bible verse, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move" (Mt. 17:20), he becomes determined to get enough faith to bring his father home. Nevertheless, as his friend and mentor Father Oliver tells him, faith is useless to anyone who harbors hatred. The film highlights the tremendous hatred against Japanese-Americans that was rampant in America at this time. Father Oliver tells Pepper to befriend a Japanese man named Hashimoto. At first, the racism Pepper has internalized from society makes him hesitant to follow this advice, but as he gets to know Hashimoto, he begins to value their friendship and learns from Hashimoto to stand up to those who bully him about his height. The plot then takes a turn when Pepper's father is reported missing in action. Pepper's mother (Emily Watson) struggles to keep her family together in the face of these overwhelming hardships.
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:30 PM   #17
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Rusty,
I don't know if you can make a distinction of which atrocity is worse. Fact is that Japan, Germany, Russia and others committed untold amounts of brutal acts. Why there is a need for the Japanese to still apologize I do not understand. No other nation has to do it that I know of.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:03 PM   #18
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Rusty,
I don't know if you can make a distinction of which atrocity is worse. Fact is that Japan, Germany, Russia and others committed untold amounts of brutal acts. Why there is a need for the Japanese to still apologize I do not understand. No other nation has to do it that I know of.
I am trying to understand the contradictions in Japanese culture; on the one hand they advocate honour, bravery and unselfish service to their nation, and in the field of war they starved and worked to death ( murdered) POWs on a huge scale.

How did they reconcile these two disparate moral views?

A feudal system of the highest moral behavior in Japan, and a criminal genocidal policy that killed defenseless captured soldiers.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:56 PM   #19
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I am trying to understand the contradictions in Japanese culture; on the one hand they advocate honour, bravery and unselfish service to their nation, and in the field of war they starved and worked to death ( murdered) POWs on a huge scale.

How did they reconcile these two disparate moral views?

A feudal system of the highest moral behavior in Japan, and a criminal genocidal policy that killed defenseless captured soldiers.
It's a mistake to judge the actions of the past with todays standards. The Japanese didn't view us as their equal in WWII; they didn't sign the Geneva convention; their actions were perfectly logical to them. The USA viewed black people as property and native Americans as animals. We did some pretty horrible things to both of those groups. The difference is we won, so we wrote the history books for the most part.

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Old 08-17-2015, 05:22 PM   #20
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Unfortunately, as many have noted, such atrocities during war are all too common and have been probably since the beginning of time. As one whose father served in the Pacific, and who has known at least three survivors of the Bataan Death March, I a naturally appalled. Ask any Korean or Chinese of our age (and many younger) of their opinion of the Japanese and be ready for an earful. The Rape of Nanking is but one example. Kidnapped Korean women serving as "comfort women" for Japanese officers yet another. Yet, also as a Jew, it is hard for me to get past a nation, and an ideology, calling for the extermination of an entire people. Even today we see it with the Sunni/Shia split in the Middle East. Each would happily exterminate the other and many seem hell bent of doing it. The saddest part (and the most perplexing) to me, and it always has been since I first learned of the Holocaust, is how otherwise "normal" people, once the hatred moves from a personal to a national level, become willing participants in such atrocities. It does not say much for us when people, pretty much en masse do not stand up and say "This is wrong, it must stop."
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