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Why Japanese Wartime Apologies Fail

Sunday, August 14, 2005 Posted: 10:36 PM JST

With Japan and its neighbors still at odds over history, German freelance journalist Gebhard Hielscher says Tokyo should take bold measures to clarify that it has atoned for its wartime aggression.

The former Far East correspondent for the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung proposes that Japan follow Germany's lead and come up with legislation that offers compensation to individuals that suffered under its wartime policies, even if only a token sum. Hielscher says Japan must also conduct joint historical research with its neighbors, as Germany did, so that all sides can at least learn to accept one another's different perceptions. Karasaki Taro interviewed Hielscher about Japanese war apologies.

Charles Burress of the San Fransisco Chronicle however argues it is useless to compare Japan with Germany.

Keywords: war_apologies

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2 comments so far post your own

1 | At 03:58pm on Aug 18 2005, Kuri wrote:
I linked to a post further up but this seems more appropriate. You might be interested in this piece about Japan's relationship with its wartime past. It concludes that there is a problem with a lack of proper knowledge of the past but that it is a complex issue.

Blog post on Buyo
2 | At 04:34pm on Aug 18 2005, Kjeld wrote:
Thanks for the great link, Kuri!
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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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