8 comments on “To those that compare the Empire of Japan with Nazi Germany….

  1. Thank you for taking your time to write this reply, and some of the other articles which you’ve explained how my country is as opposed to how most foreign media have been describing us over the years. I spent 4 years of my childhood in a public elementary school in NY, where I was taught my people were all evil during WW2. As a child I had no reason to doubt the words of my teachers there whom I respected. I felt ashamed of being Jpnse, and I envied the ordinary American kids who were able to be proud of their country and ancestors. Every year around Pearl Harbor Day, the teachers told us how Imperial Jpn started the war with a dirty surprise attack. That made me feel ashamed the most. After returning to Jpn due to my father’s business, I still hated being Jpnse and wanted so much to go back to NY. You are totally correct in saying that Jpnse history books do not depict Imperial Jpn as good. Through all the history classes I took in Jpn, I was able to find nothing which made me change my feelings about being Jpnse. After graduating college and working for some years to save money to do so, I went to the UK to study at a masters course there. It happened to be the time of the 60th After war anniversary, and there were war veterans parading in the streets being cheered by all the British folks and I thought it was nice. But seeing that made me feel, ‘Why do we not treat our soldiers in this way? Jpnse soldiers must’ve gone to war in hopes of protecting their families and country just like them. Even if the war was a mistake, shouldn’t their thoughts and sacrifices be honored as well?’. As the British like debate shows, there were many of them that year on Nazis, Neo-Nazis, which wasn’t much of a debate but merely people saying how horrible they were, and that Britain had fought bravely against them for justice. I had a German friend at the time who said she was having a hard time dealing with so many people asking her where she stands concerning Neo-Nazi’s every time they found out she was German. It kind of reminded me of how I’d be bullied by some kids at school in NY after the teachers gave their Pearl Harbor Day talk (went on only for about a week, nothing serious). Then I saw a debate show on something like ‘Whether Jpn should be allowed to participate in the international business community after what they’ve done during the war’…It was terrible. They invited war veterans who claimed Jpnse are all evil saying what our soldiers did in Nanjing proves it, as if they were there to see whatever happened, but obviously were not. All the panelists took the side of the veterans and went on adding all the ‘bad’ Imperial Jpn was assumed to have done. Only one Afro-British historian said ‘Whatever the Jpnse did in the past, should not be a reason for us to ban them from Intl society. There is probably no country or race which has ever done any wrong to another. If we keep holding grudges like that, Africa for instance would have to cut all communications with most of the world as they’ve treated their people as slaves…’, which was the only logical comment in the program, but was heavily bashed by the audience. The host of the show ended it making a joke like ‘Thank god we managed to do this without any Kamikaze warriors crashing into us!’ with a big laugh. I was raged. I was surprised I felt that way because I never thought of myself as patriotic. After I returned to Jpn again, I joined a history group founded by a former Tokyo Univ professor. One of the books the group members wrote, gave a thorough explanation on why the Pearl Harbor Attack ended up being a surprise attack, although the Jpnse government did not intend for it to be like that. There are documents and testimonies to back it up so it’s plausible, but I don’t mind if non-Jpnse people deny it. The important thing was I was relieved from some of my personal demons considering my identity. I re-studied modern Jpnse history in the group, did some research on my own, eventually wrote some articles for it’s official site and bulletins. This was long before China and Korea started promoting the ‘Nanjing Massacre’ and ‘comfort women=sex slave’ issues. Our group based our conclusions basically on first degree historical documents and we really couldn’t find any concrete evidence which supported the accusations. But we didn’t really mind if Chinese and Korean people thought differently. History is only views of countless people at present on the past. They will always differ. We only wanted to change how Jpnse considered how Imperial Jpn was. I cannot and will never say that Imperial Jpn did nothing wrong during the war. War is chaos, and in chaos there are always opportunists and some who lose control of their morality. But that’s the same with all wars and all armies, and while there are some soldiers like that, I believe most of them willingly put their lives at stake to protect the ones who they cared for and were only trying to do what to them was the right thing. Sorry for the long post, but I’d like to add some info which shows that not all Asian countries see Imperial Jpn in the way China and Korea does. Even the Jpnse media tends to ignore there facts:

    1. http://www.jiyuushikan.org/img/tokushu/asia/asia3.gif
    In 1981, 7 former members of the Jpnse Imperial army who were in the special duty organization called the ‘Minami Organization (South Organization)’ were awarded the Aung San Thuriya medal from the government of Myanmar. The Aung San Thuriya is the highest recognition for valour and gallantry “in the face of the enemy” which is usually awarded to members of the Myanmar Armed Force. The 7 Jpnse former Imperial Army men were awarded this for playing an outstanding role in helping out Burma to win independence. The woman in the middle is Setsuko Suzuki accepting the medal in the place of her husband Colonel Keiji Suzuki who had passed away earlier.

    2. http://www.jiyuushikan.org/img/tokushu/asia/asia1.gif
    A statue of Imperial Jpnse armymen alongside soldiers of the Indian Independent Volunteer Army (INA) in Chandra Bose Park, Old Delhi, India.

    3. http://www.jiyuushikan.org/img/tokushu/asia/asia2.gif
    An Independence Memorial Day poster in Manila, Philippines. The Jpnse Imperial Army is considered to have helped the Philippines become a free country. As you can see a Jpnse Imperial army soldier is illustrated in the poster holding the ‘rising sun flag’.
    Quotes:

    4. Raja Dato Nong Chik, leader of the Malaysian independence movement and former member of the Malaysian House of Representatives
    “Japanese soldiers drove out the forces of Western Europe, which had colonized the nations of Asia for many years. They surprised us, because we didn’t think we could possibly beat the white men, and they inspired us with confidence. They awakened us from our long slumber, and convinced us to make the nation of our ancestors our own nation once again. We cheered the Japanese soldiers as they marched through the Malay Peninsula. When we saw the defeated British troops fleeing, we felt an excitement we had never experienced before.”

    5. Burma Independence Volunteer Army
    “The Japanese who were the Asian vanguard, did not fight for only their own socio-economic progress or educational development. They fought for the people in India, Burma, China, Philippines, Sumatra, etc., who were politically and economically chained and surpressed.”

    6.Radhabinod Pal, Indian jurist appointed to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East’s trials
    “Europe and the US must have aimed to engrave that Japan had caused an war of invasion in history, in order to appeal the justification of their own invasions in Asia. I cannot disregard Jpnse young generations having put twisted guilt upon their shoulders and be driven into servile and decadence”

    7. Kukrit Pramoj, 13th Prime Minister of Thailand
    “Because of Jpn fellow Asian countries became independent. During the war, as a mother, Jpn has damaged her womb, but her children are growing up very well. The reason Southeast Asian countries can talk with the US and Britain equally today, is because of our mother called Jpn risked herself for the sake of human justice”

    I’m sure not all people in these countries liked our boys being there, and some most likely caused trouble here and there. But the ones which were notified were taken seriously by the Jpnse Military Police, Imperial Jpnse soldiers were arrested by them, taken to trial, and were eventually punished (mostly by death). Nobody except children who were educated that way in those days actually believed Emperor Hirohito was ‘God’ (I’ve listened to how people considered him from many elderly folks), but nevertheless he was a holy figure they felt close to, and as loyalty to him was very much valued back then, so esp the Imperial Army which identified themselves to be proud soldiers of Hirohito would never allow their own to get away with doing wrong to anyone, as it would have been considered as dishonoring the Emperor.

    I visit Yasukukni at least once an year to pay my respects all the souls there, which includes ‘war criminals’ as after seeing those hours of footages of the Tokyo Trials, I do not believe it was fair. But moreover, because Jpnse in general do not judge or blame the deceased. They lived their lives in ways we can never totally understand or know how it was for them, so we prefer not to accusing them of doing wrong according to the morals we have now which surely must’ve been different in their times. They did what they felt they had to do, and if their choices were acknowledged as ‘crimes’ by other countries, that’s one way of seeing it, so I don’t have a problem with that. But I think all Jpnse have a right to acknowledge them in their own ways individually. Last of all, about Yushukan…yes, it may seem totally militarist, but exhibiting war planes, cannons etc. is also based on Jpnse traditional belief that all things (artificial included) have souls. What Jpnse feel when we see them (even if they’re replicas) is gratitude that they too helped protecting our parents and grandparents. It’s totally the same as when we place food on the memorial statue of the army horse, dog and pigeon. Yasukuni is a place for us to show our appreciation, and to reconsider living our lives in a way that all the souls of people and things there can be proud of. Thank you for reading.

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  2. You really lost me and any credibility with this statement above:

    “Imperial Japan did invade other Asian countries—but not all. Thailand was not invaded. Technically you could argue that the “asian countries” didn’t even exist; as they had already been invaded by Western powers. French Indochina (Vietnam, etc), Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), British India (Pakistan, etc), even China had lost territory through conflicts with Western nations.”

    I don’t think I need to explain why to anybody who understands history and culture in general.

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    • Jason — appreciate your feedback. My comment was the devil’s advocate approach to the “other Asian countries” had already been invaded.

      For example — looking at an Imperial Map from 1914, you have:
      – Britain conquered Afghanistan, India (including Pakistan & Bangladesh), Burma, Ceylon, Maldives, Malayan States, Singapore, Hong Kong
      – France conquered “French Indo-China” (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia)
      – Netherlands/Dutch conquered the “Dutch East Indies” (Indonesia, Brunei)
      – Portugal conquered Goa (port in India) and Macao (port in China)
      – United States conquered Philippines (stealing it from Spain)
      – Japan conquered Formosa (Taiwan) and Korea

      …The Independent Asian States were Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Siam (Thailand), Tibet, and Japan.

      Japan invaded and conquered Manchuria and took part of China. In addition, they captured the Western-controlled territory of the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Burma. They also made it all the way into India–but didn’t progress very far due to the surrender of Japanese forces at the end of the war.
      Siam/Thailand was a special case, there was minimal fighting before Thailand drew a military alliance with Japan, and subsequently declared war on the Allies.

      Japan did go to war. Japan, like WWI and WWII Germany and Napoleonic France, attempted to expand their influence in their region.

      My comment was meant to accentuate the fact that there were very few independent states in the Asia-Pacific theater at the start of the war; everything else had already been “taken”.

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    • Credibility? Which governments exactly did Japan declare war on when they launched military operations in Malaya, Singapore, Burma, Indonesia, and Hong Kong? Was it those nations? No. There was no government of any of those nations at that time, they were UK or Dutch possessions. Same for the Phillipines as they were a US possession. Thailand had a mutual defense treaty signed by PM Phibul and Thailand declared war on the US and UK on the side of the Japanese (consequently Thailand was the last nation to cease hostilities signing the peace agreement only in 1946. So what legal context are you suggesting here? What lack of credibility in the blogs statements are you calling into question? Obviously it is NOT the fact that NO SE Asian nation was technically invaded by Japan.

      If you wish to delve further, legal declarations of independence to Burma, Indonesia, and Malaya as well as the Wang Cheng Wei branch of the KMT in China was granted in 1943-1944. The first independence these nations had in some cases for over 100 years from Western powers. Again, what are you referring to when you say the blog lost its credibility with these statements?

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  3. There is NO comparing the two. I would like to post the Statement Made by ELI COHEN, Former Israeli Ambassador to Japan on March 24, 2014…:

    ~”The Holocaust was a catastrophe without parallel anywhere in the world. It was perpetrated by Nazi Germany and only Nazi Germany. The use of the word “Holocaust” in connection with any other nation is preposterous. Even more preposterous are attempts to equate military prostitutes with the Holocaust. Japan has never committed any act even remotely resembling the Holocaust.

    I urge the Japanese people to awaken to the fact that today, with the advent of a new Cold War structure, many nations are using the Holocaust as a propaganda tool…. Use any and every weapon at your disposal, especially the Internet, to broadcast the truth to the world and fight back against these attacks, which are clearly information warfare.”~

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  4. Actually japanese were taught to hate chinese racially. Chinese would be systematically targetted if chinese were the minority in asia like the jews in europe. Imperial Japan had conducted several genocides, killing spree and masacres. The only reason it didn’t kill all chinese is because they needed china to be their slave workers to further expand their facist ambitions.

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