Friday, August 14, 2015

70 Years Ago Today, Japan Surrendered, But Controversy Remains

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Emperor Hirohito's announcement to the Japanese people that the nation would be surrendering to the Allied forces. The United States accepted this surrender, although formally, peace became official on September 2, 1945, the day known as V-J Day (Victory in Japan).

To that end, Japanese Prime Minister gave a speech before the country and, indeed, the rest of the world to mark the occasion.

However, this speech was not very well received by everyone, mostly because of what it left out (according to critics).

Here is some of what Prime Minister Abe said:

"On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad. I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences."

"any attempt to change the status quo by force should not be tolerated. I believe conveying our lessons learned from our history 70 years ago would be useful not only to Japan but also for the rest of the world."

Reactions were generally negative by other Asian nations

South Korean President Park Geun-hye suggested that Abe's statement fell short of expectations, and left a lot to be desired. He was hoping for what would have amounted to a more sincere and forthright apology.

Nor was he alone in this thinking.

"Japan should have made an explicit statement on the nature of the war of militarism and aggression and its responsibility on the wars, made (a) sincere apology to the people of victim countries, and made a clean break with the past of militarist aggression, rather than being evasive on this major issue of principle," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.

With Japan essentially emphasizing a new militarism in recent years under Prime Minister Abe, coupled with China's strengthening military and what is perceived by many to be increasing aggression within Asia, it seems like the situation in Asia has not been as fragile and potentially explosive since that day, 70 years ago, when World War II ended.

Here is the link to the article:

No new WWII apology from Japanese leader Abe; China critical Associated Press By KEN MORITSUGU and MARI YAMAGUCHI, August 14, 2015:

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