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Poll Shows Lack of Consensus on WWII

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 Posted: 08:58 PM JST

A Mainichi survey over the weekend showed a lack of consensus on WWII. Some 43 percent of respondents consider Japan's wars against the Allies and China in the middle of the 20th century a mistake. However, 26 percent of respondents said they were unable to provide an opinion on Japan's role in World War II. Some 29 percent felt the wars were unavoidable.

Even 60 years after the end of WWII, 75 percent of the respondents feel that there has not been sufficient discussion about responsibility for Japan's wartime actions. This discussion was virtually impossible for many years after the war, because people who were considered responsible by many war veterans, like Emperor Showa (Hirohito) and many politicians and bureaucrats, were allowed to stay on. The Cold War also forced Japan to shift its focus away from the discussion about responsibility.

Recently, this discussion has begun, fired up by Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine, the textbook controversy and anti-Japanese demonstrations in Korea and Japan.

Keywords: national_news

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2 comments so far post your own

1 | At 03:49pm on Aug 18 2005, Kuri wrote:
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.
2 | At 04:45pm on Aug 18 2005, Kjeld wrote:
Also read Joichi Ito's article about his way of (not) dealing with Japan's war past. Ito is an internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist and was born in 1966.
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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.
Stone Bridge Press

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