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Rising Sun*
05-07-2008, 07:50 AM
Interesting paper on Japanese war crimes but with much wider consideration of the inconsistent and hypcritical attitudes of other nations towards Japanese war crimes compared with those of other nations.

Worth a read if you're seriously interested in the moral, political, nationalistic and racial dimensions of these issues.

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~rijs/pdfs/mccormack.pdf

Panzerknacker
05-07-2008, 12:39 PM
I think the problem is not how the crimes are condidered overseas...but how the japs still worship their dead criminals !!

That is why when I hear about "the japanese fought according to the bushido code..." and all that stupid sentences is really vomitive to me, many people dont recall how those monkeys executed prisoners just for the fun.

Rising Sun*
05-08-2008, 05:11 AM
I think the problem is not how the crimes are condidered overseas...but how the japs still worship their dead criminals !!

I think it might be hard to distinguish between the usual reverence for war dead which all Japanese, like people in all other nations, are entitled to have and worshipping their dead criminals, which I think is confined to a smaller nationalist group which, unfortunately, also happens to be prominent in government and business and has been since the war.


That is why when I hear about "the japanese fought according to the bushido code..." and all that stupid sentences is really vomitive to me, many people dont recall how those monkeys executed prisoners just for the fun.

Most executions of prisoners were probably for training purposes to get their troops used to killing, particularly with the bayonet; for racist reasons, especially with the Chinese but also with hated Westerners who had often humiliated Japan in the preceding eight years or so; and because of their bastardised Bushido code which held soldiers who surrendered in contempt.

That doesn't alter the barbarity of the Japanese in WWII, unlike during their war with Russia around 1905, but if we can understand the reasons we can also learn how to avoid it happening again.

Chevan
05-08-2008, 07:19 AM
Does the Japane revisionism wonder you RS?
What is sense to guit the Japs for refusing of their crimes , if even in the Europe some of peoples look at NAzy more positively them right after the war..
I think the any state has the tend deny or decrease its own crimes toward other nations.
So the Japane is not an exclusion.
You simply can't bring up your young generation if the EVERYBBODY around just repeat - how your ancestors were bas..rd.And guilt you in all Possible Crimes.
This is not honest.
Executed american POWs by the Japanes (http://aeronautics.ru/archive/wwii/baltic_nazis/latvia/images/wwii_photo_0121.jpg)
I heared the poor people have been executed right after the US Firebombing raids in Japane

Rising Sun*
05-08-2008, 08:46 AM
Does the Japane revisionism wonder you RS?
What is sense to guit the Japs for refusing of their crimes , if even in the Europe some of peoples look at NAzy more positively them right after the war..
I think the any state has the tend deny or decrease its own crimes toward other nations.
So the Japane is not an exclusion.
You simply can't bring up your young generation if the EVERYBBODY around just repeat - how your ancestors were bas..rd.And guilt you in all Possible Crimes.
This is not honest.
Executed american POWs by the Japanes (http://aeronautics.ru/archive/wwii/baltic_nazis/latvia/images/wwii_photo_0121.jpg)
I heared the poor people have been executed right after the US Firebombing raids in Japane

That's why I posted the link to the article in #1, because it all depends on where people stand. And we're all victims of our own national histories, which are all inclined to leave out our bad bits while including the enemy's bad bits.

Fact is, the Western Allies against Japan could be pretty barbarous at the personal level, although not on the institutionalised scale of the Japanese on the Burma Railway and Bataan and Singapore and so on.

Still, there are accounts of, for example, Australian troops in New Guinea murdering Japanese POW's after action. I don't mean the precautionary execution of wounded or apparently dead Japanese to stop them detonating grendades and so on immediately after action, but taking prisoners away and bayoneting or shooting them. Same with the Americans in various places. Don't know about the British in Burma.

Other forms of barbarism occurred, like American soldiers running a jeep with Japanese skulls wired over the headlights and collecting various Japanese body parts and prising gold from the teeth of dead and even dying Japanese (from memory, see William Manchester's Goodbye Darkness and Eugene Sledge's With the Old Breed for some examples).

I can't get your link to load, but I suspect it refers to the Fukuoka executions of American POW's.

It's interesting to compare the American bombings which led to them with earlier American attitudes to bombing civilians. Where the world was horrified by the fairly small death toll at Guernica and Rotterdam and Coventry before and early in the war, by the end of the war death from the air on previously unimaginable scales had become commonplace and acceptable, which had to influence later generations such as in our attitudes to what is acceptable.


One Man’s Justice


By Mark Ealey and Yoshimura Akira

Mark Ealey translates and Introduces Yoshimura Akira’s novel probing the moral equation underlying the Pacific War in a novel that explores American firebombing of Japanese cities and the Japanese revenge killing of U.S. POWs.

Throughout history, acts of hypocrisy have come easily to the world’s Great Powers. In 1938, in reaction to Japan’s “barbarous” bombing of Chinese civilians, the United States placed a “moral embargo” on the supply of planes and aviation equipment to Japan. One year later, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the following appeal:

The President of the United States to the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and His Britannic Majesty, September 1, 1939

The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.

If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic conflagration with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives. I am therefore addressing this urgent appeal to every government which may be engaged in hostilities publicly to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents. I request an immediate reply.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

For a number of years thereafter, the United States did indeed refrain from targeting civilian populations in its bombing campaigns against the Axis powers. Less than seven years later, however, at a time when Roosevelt was still president, American strategic bombing was taking a toll on German and particularly Japanese civilians in numbers previously unknown in the history of warfare. With the firebombing of Japanese cities in the spring and summer of 1945, and culminating in the dropping of the atomic bombs, the hypocrisy of the “moral embargo” was exposed as clearly as in the fiction of “The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” espoused by the American foe, Japan. By the summer of 1945, bombing civilians had become so routine that three days after the destruction of Hiroshima tens of thousands more people were incinerated in Nagasaki, and the last mass bombing raid on the already shattered city of Tokyo occurred just hours before Japan’s surrender on August 15. In seven short years, the American interpretation of the bombing of civilian targets had conveniently changed from branding it as an act of “inhuman barbarism” to making it the centerpiece of the American way of war and a strategic imperative that would dominate all future wars.

We know from horrific images and records of atrocities at Nanking that Japanese inhumanity towards the Chinese people was often delivered with the bayonet and the sword. By contrast, the American fliers in their B-29 Superfortresses were comfortably distanced from their victims, sowing death from thousands of feet up in the sky. In the fire-bombing of 64 Japanese cities in the spring and summer of 1945, each mission comprised hundreds of B-29s loaded with clusters of napalm-filled incendiaries to set houses alight and anti-personnel fragmentation bombs designed to deter those who rushed to fight the fires.

International readers have been treated to ample description of Japanese war atrocities in histories, novels and films, but rarely have they encountered the depiction of U.S. military acts such as the terror bombing of civilians or other illegal acts. Yoshimura offers precisely this perspective.

After Japan’s surrender, the commander of the U.S. 20th Air Force, General Curtis LeMay, was quoted as saying: “Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side.” As LeMay suggests, the concept of criminality in war was firmly embedded in the equation of victory and defeat, or as the Japanese saying goes: kateba kangun, makereba zokugun (“The acts of the victorious army are justified, but those of the defeated are condemned.”)

Of course, none of the victors faced charges in the Tokyo War Crime Trials. However, in the final days of the war, acts of vengeance were committed against captured bomber crews. A total of 16 captured American pilots and crew members were brutally killed in Fukuoka in August 1945, some by vivisection in a new phase of the murderous experiments carried out earlier in China in biowarfare Unit 731. http://www.japanfocus.org/products/details/1884

alephh
05-09-2008, 09:42 AM
We're all victims of our own national histories, which are all inclined to leave out our bad bits while including the enemy's bad bits.

That's wise, should be the slogan of all history forums. :-)

I strongly feel that anyone should (if they can) read what """enemy""" writes about your country/history. Can be a real eye-opener.


_

Rising Sun*
05-09-2008, 10:12 AM
I strongly feel that anyone should (if they can) read what """enemy""" writes about your country/history. Can be a real eye-opener.

Definitely.

I despise what the Japanese did in some of their more barbaric moments 1941-45, but the fact remains that they were bloody good soldiers and their commanders were bloody good tacticians and that the war might have been avoided if the West had been less exploitative of, contemptuous and hostile towards, and less demanding of Japan. And if Japan's leaders had been less contemptuous of and hostile to the Western nations, along with various other attitudes peculiar to Japan.

But we'll never understand those causes of the war if those of us in the nations which Japan attacked persist in trying to understand the war and its causes from the simplistic view that the Japanese were a bunch of primitive bastards who started the war with a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and we were defending ourselves against barbaric aggressors.

Western arrogance and contempt towards Japan and the Japanese forced them, in their view and in an understandble view, into a corner where they had to come out fighting.

If we can free ourselves of selfish nationalistic and victim views and try to understand the other side's thinking and conduct we have a reasonable chance of avoiding future conflict. That chance improves dramatically if both sides can free themselve of selfish views and try to understand the other side.

Cojimar 1945
05-11-2008, 01:54 AM
Honoring the dead from the war in Germany and Japan seems like a dicey issue because even soldiers who did not personally commit atrocities against civilians were still fighting for an unjust cause and their deaths were in vain and accomplished nothing.

Rising Sun*
05-11-2008, 08:02 AM
Honoring the dead from the war in Germany and Japan seems like a dicey issue because even soldiers who did not personally commit atrocities against civilians were still fighting for an unjust cause and their deaths were in vain and accomplished nothing.

The same could be said of Western soldiers dying and being wounded and serving in Iraq, on one point of view.

Does that disentitle them from being honoured by their nations for their service and sacrifice?

The philosopher Bertrand Russell took the view on Nazis that no good can come from service in a bad cause, which supports your position.

If it's that simple and clear, then if the plotters who tried to assassinate Hitler to save Germany had succeeded they would not have been deserving of any respect because they were serving in an army engaged in a bad cause.

More clearly, Oskar Schindler would not be deserving of any honour because he was also part of the Nazi apparatus.

I don't think these things are simple or clear.

Mick Grinter
05-11-2008, 07:21 PM
There are a lot of things we would like to keep in the closet.
What we must remember is We are not responsible for the crimes of our fathers.

Chevan
05-12-2008, 02:35 AM
If we can free ourselves of selfish nationalistic and victim views and try to understand the other side's thinking and conduct we have a reasonable chance of avoiding future conflict. That chance improves dramatically if both sides can free themselve of selfish views and try to understand the other side.

Unfortinatelly mate the entire history course proves the otherwise.
Hardly we have learned the lesson of World War 1 enough good.
Besides the mankind and its leaders are enough stoopid to provoke the other bloody wars in future.
BTW an excellent your previous post.
Are you not abusing of the good will toward Japanes:)?

Nickdfresh
05-12-2008, 07:16 AM
I would say that in most respects WWII was even worse than WWI. While atrocities against POWs and civilians took place in the First World War, the total war against civilians and seeming callous indifference to human life, starting with the Nazis and seeping down to everyone else during WWII, is simply mind boggling...

Although, the Japanese were brutalizing the Chinese population by 1931...

Rising Sun*
05-13-2008, 08:29 AM
I would say that in most respects WWII was even worse than WWI. While atrocities against POWs and civilians took place in the First World War, the total war against civilians and seeming callous indifference to human life, starting with the Nazis and seeping down to everyone else during WWII, is simply mind boggling...

Although, the Japanese were brutalizing the Chinese population by 1931...

What changed things, so that we went from modest massacres to attempts at genocide?

The means were there long before it started, e.g. the Japanese could have done it against the Russians about 35 years before they got stuck into everyone else. The North probably could have done it to the South after the Civil War nearly a century before if it had put its mind to it instead of just carpetbagging the South, as distinct from the often appalling conditions of POW's on both sides in that first of modern wars.

Fascism, in its various European and Japanese forms, seems to be the tipping point to me.

That seems to coincide with the rise of other factors for competition on economic, geographic and population scales, such as Japan lacking natural resources and drowning in an expanding population it couldn't support on its own land and America expanding industrially beyond the dreams of most nations while colonial nations like Britain and France rested on their colonial laurels.

Did nations and humans just expand local massacres in the competition for local resources to a larger scale, because we had the industrial need and capacity to do so?

gumalangi
05-13-2008, 09:45 AM
their deaths were in vain and accomplished nothing.

their oath and loyalty to whatever they fought,.. for what matter most,.. at least to them

HAWKEYE
05-13-2008, 09:45 AM
This has been one of the best discussions I've read in these forums. Very clear minded and informative.

Cojimar 1945
05-13-2008, 08:55 PM
I don't think the war in Iraq rises to the level of what the Japanese were doing.

If the Japanese who died fighting in the war should be honored why should the war criminals be treated any differently given the acceptance of such brutality by the leadership? The Japanese military leaders seem to have felt the most barbaric crimes were perfectly acceptable so murdering civilians would have just been doing ones patriotic duty. Rape of Nanking-style behavior occurred on such a vast scale that you cannot claim that such behavior was out of the ordinary or not considered acceptable.

herman2
10-09-2008, 02:10 PM
The United States calls a halt to war crime prosecutions

With the Cold War intensifying, the government of President Harry S. Truman felt that Japan needed to be moulded into an American ally and a bulwark against the spread of communism. Truman believed that these aims would be difficult to achieve if the Japanese people were alienated by continuing prosecutions of their war criminals. For this reason, the United States called a halt to further war crimes prosecutions when twenty-five "Class A" war criminals had been sentenced to death or imprisonment at the end of 1948. The decision to halt the prosecutions was entirely based on political expediency. It had nothing to do with issues of legality, morality, or humanity.

Immediately after the death sentences had been carried out on seven "Class A" war criminals in December 1948, General MacArthur released a large number of the remaining "Class A" suspects from detention. When the gates of Sugamo Prison were opened, some of Japan's worst war criminals were released. Many of these suspected war criminals were able to move smoothly into politics, the bureaucracy, and big business. At the same time, MacArthur began to wind down the "Class B" and "Class C" trials.

From the time that the Americans decided to halt the war crimes prosecutions, Australian prosecutions of Japanese war criminals were obstructed by lack of cooperation from the US military.

In 1952, President Truman's Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, authored a peace treaty with Japan. This treaty waived the rights to compensation of every prisoner of the Japanese during WW II. Truman granted complete amnesty to every Japanese war criminal who was not then serving a term of imprisonment. Unlike Germany where intensive de-Nazification procedures were employed to prevent former Nazis entering parliament and the bureaucracy, the United States allowed Japanese war criminals to enter parliament and find employment in the government bureaucracy. A striking exmple of this difference of approach between Japan and Germany is the case of convicted war criminal Nobusuke Kishi who was able to rise to the office of Prime Minister of Japan in 1957.

It has been estimated by the US Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations that at least several thousand Japanese escaped prosecution as a result of the premature termination of war crime prosecutions by the United States in 1949.

So it can be fairly argued that, on grounds of political expediency, the American government facilitated the continuing refusal by Japan to acknowledge its war guilt and war crimes by protecting Emperor Hirohito from prosecution as a war criminal and by turning a blind eye to atrocities committed by thousands of Japanese war criminals
http://www.users.bigpond.com/battleforAustralia/JapWarCrimes/USWarCrime_Coverup.html

aly j
10-10-2008, 01:00 AM
Is chopping of pows heads when there still alive is classed as Bad War Crimes. Personaly,i rather get shot or hanged.

http://www.historyonthenet.com/WW2/pow_camps_japan.htm

ptimms
10-10-2008, 01:25 PM
Please, please, just try and contribute something useful. How can chopping some poor f***ers head off with a sword not be a crime ???!!! Or did you see a History Channel programme that said it was OK.

That's not to mention the abuse of the English language that you call typing.


AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

aly j
10-10-2008, 09:54 PM
Please, please, just try and contribute something useful. How can chopping some poor f***ers head off with a sword not be a crime ???!!! Or did you see a History Channel programme that said it was OK.

That's not to mention the abuse of the English language that you call typing.


AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wast sure, i was to scared to say it was a crime, just in case you guys abuse me.
What do i have to do, i put proof up here,i still get picked on, i proofed on my typing, i still get picked on. And may i point out that you can actually look the history channel up on the net and it proofs its the same has the net information.
PS- Is this a He-Man Women Hating Hater Site.
YOURE like a pack of wolves picking on the weak. Truce

tankgeezer
10-11-2008, 02:37 AM
Okay all of you,no ganging up now.This is not a chat room where you can rant, and tantrum against each other. this is a reasonable, and intelligent site. there are expectations of behavior that are spelled out in the rules. Even if you are not very old, all are expected to comport themselves in an adult, and thoughtful manner.
This is no place for childish behavior, so please do not engage in it. Not everyone is a native English speaker, and despite what some believe, English is a very difficult language to use if its not your native tongue. To be clear, this is not directed towards anyone in particular, but lately the timber of the posts, and thread topics on this site are trending toward the juvenile. Should things continue in this vein, Admin. will most likely begin issuing cautions to those in need of them.. This is just a friendly heads up, so relax. (but mind what I say so I dont have to go :twisted: on anybody)

Hunter
10-12-2008, 01:29 AM
The jap war crimes were horriable, have you read about Changi? The stravation and disease. Just ask a POW who survived jap concertration camps.

Walther
10-12-2008, 02:33 PM
From what I've heard in the Philippines (my Missus comes from there), the behaviour of Japanese troops depened much on the individual unit commanders. Some let their troops rape, steal and murder, while others kept them under tight control, and also managed to keep the dreaded Kempetai secret police out of their area of command, and actually went on friendly terms with the local population (e.g. marriages between Japanese soldiers and Filipino women).

One thing though is that Japanese soldiers were from recruitment on abused and brutalised, e.g. beatings and other corporal punishment was very common in the Japanese army.
Also, the Japanese military leadership had a doctrine of letting the troops live of the land, with minimum supplies, in a way which was common in Europe until the end of the Napoleonic wars, to simplify their logistics. Thus Japanese soldiers in the field were forced to steal food to survive.

Jan

aly j
10-12-2008, 10:45 PM
The jap war crimes were horriable, have you read about Changi? The stravation and disease. Just ask a POW who survived jap concertration camps.

Very bad. One in three died cause bye staravation and disease and other causes.

http://www.historyonthenet.com/WW2/pow_camps.japan.htm

Chevan
10-13-2008, 06:48 AM
Very bad. One in three died cause bye staravation and disease and other causes.


Only one third died?
What a kind human Japs, in the Eastern front about 60% of soviet POWs died in Nazis labor/concentrtion camps.

Rising Sun*
10-13-2008, 07:25 AM
Only one third died?
What a kind human Japs, in the Eastern front about 60% of soviet POWs died in Nazis labor/concentrtion camps.

To the extent that anyone can work it out, it was about the same or even worse death rate (60%) for Asian slave labourers used by the Japanese on the Burma Railway and elsewhere, but they don't count in most Western histories which are focused only on the Westerners' experience. Which pretty much reflects a lot of the attitude of Westerners to Asians at the time, without which we might not have had the war in the first place.

The Asian labourers died in large part because they were just huge groups of individuals who lacked the cohesion, organisation and discipline of the POWs, so that they didn't have organised food, support and health systems, such as they were, to support them under Japanese rule.

aly j
10-13-2008, 12:23 PM
Only one third died?
What a kind human Japs, in the Eastern front about 60% of soviet POWs died in Nazis labor/concentrtion camps.

Did you know that the japs chop off pows heads when there still alive.
have you ever heard what happend to aussie pows in japans camps before?:shock:
Truce

Chevan
10-14-2008, 06:00 AM
The Asian labourers died in large part because they were just huge groups of individuals who lacked the cohesion, organisation and discipline of the POWs, so that they didn't have organised food, support and health systems, such as they were, to support them under Japanese rule.

DO you mean the Allied POWs did have the anything kinda organisation, support and medical service in Japanese camps?

Chevan
10-14-2008, 06:35 AM
Did you know that the japs chop off pows heads when there still alive.

like the nazic killed the "partisans" in the East?Look what they did in Yugioslavia.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showpost.php?p=130630&postcount=37
It was a common their tactic here.SO hardly Japs can exceeded Nazis.


have you ever heard what happend to aussie pows in japans camps before?:shock:
Truce
Yes.
And did you hear about Gas Chambers of Aushwitz that have been initially tested with Soviet POWS?

Rising Sun*
10-14-2008, 07:10 AM
DO you mean the Allied POWs did have the anything kinda organisation, support and medical service in Japanese camps?

They were still soldiers, sailors and airmen subject to military discipline and, more importantly compared with the Asian civilians, used to working as an organised group rather than disorganised individuals.

The health aspects go well beyond medical services but get down to field hygiene, leadership and obedience to orders.

Australian POWs in some places on the Burma Railway survived better than British POWs because of the simple measures that Australians were banned from drinking water which had not been boiled first to kill disease and because they were required to dip their mess kits into boiling water to kill disease before being served such food as there was, which was also cooked to kill disease.

The medical services did the best they could with the very limited resources available, such as using sharpened teaspoons to scrape out infected tropical ulcers and using adapted non-medical tools to amputate limbs without anaesthetic, although the Japanese had Red Cross supplies which they could have made available and some of which they stored till the end of the war.

There were some legendary doctors from various Allied nations on the Burma Railway (and in less awful but still poor circumstances in camps such as Changi) who worked tirelessly with few instruments and almost no supplies in disease ridden conditions. They were in constant battles with the Japanese (often Koreans) to try to prevent very sick men being forced to work under terrible conditions. The doctors on many occasions suffered beatings, imprisonment, and the risk of execution by the Japanese in trying to protect their men.

While the POWs existed under appalling conditions with appalling medical services, they were vastly better off than the Asian labourers who had no organised leadership or any of the other benefits of military organisation and medical personnel.

Probably the most important factor in survival was having mates. They could look after each other in various ways, sometimes quite small but critical to survival such as feeding men too ill to move and otherwise tending to them until they recovered enough to work again.

The Asian labourers generally lacked all these advantages as they were individuals brought randomly together without any group organisation to ensure that everybody got fed and often without mates to support them, not to mention lacking medical services.

The relative number of deaths shows the difference.


In all, about 13,000 Australians worked on the railway, among some 60,000 POW and about 200,000 conscripted native labourers from various Asia countries. Some 2646 Aussie POW died among the 13,000 POW deaths in total, and at least 80,000 Asian labourers. The lower rate of deaths amongst POWs can be attributed to the presence of about 150 doctors, many British, 43 Australian, with some Dutch and one or two Americans, and the many medical orderlies, mostly volunteers, who worked on the railway, spread from Thailand to Burma, and who treated the injured and sick, and gradually developed systems for minimising infectious disease. http://www.pows-of-japan.net/articles/37.htm

aly j
10-14-2008, 08:04 AM
like the nazic killed the "partisans" in the East?Look what they did in Yugioslavia.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showpost.php?p=130630&postcount=37
It was a common their tactic here.SO hardly Japs can exceeded Nazis.

Yes.
And did you hear about Gas Chambers of Aushwitz that have been initially tested with Soviet POWS?

Hi Chevan
This thread is about japan and not germany, the point is, every one nose about the nazis and the jewish people and not much is said about japan.
Did you hear what happened to aussies pows in japan pow camps, aussies pows could of passed as jewish holurcast victims.

Rising Sun*
10-14-2008, 08:32 AM
aussies pows could of passed as jewish holurcast victims.

No, they couldn't.

The motivations, processes and effects of the Nazi treament of Jews in the Holocaust had no similarity with Japan's treatment of Australian or any other POWs in WWII. Which can readily be demonstrated by the absence at the end of the war of about six million Jews who were alive when it started, and the growth by about one per cent of Australia's population over the same period from the seven and a half million at the start of the war.

Please, please, PLEASE, PUHLEASE stop posting drivel. Better still, just stop posting!

aly j
10-14-2008, 08:37 AM
No, they couldn't.

The motivations, processes and effects of the Nazi treament of Jews in the Holocaust had no similarity with Japan's treatment of Australian or any other POWs in WWII. Which can readily be demonstrated by the absence at the end of the war of about six million Jews who were alive when it started, and the growth by about one per cent of Australia's population over the same period from the seven and a half million at the start of the war.

Please, please, PLEASE, PUHLEASE stop posting drivel. Better still, just stop posting!

Yes youre right about six million jews compared with the aussie but still they were skilitons when ww2 finshed. And im allowed to post if i want to. I can go and get proof to proof it.Any way can you please please please stop posting 3 pages full at one time.

Rising Sun*
10-14-2008, 08:58 AM
And im allowed to post if i want to.

So it seems, which is dragging the board down to an unprecedented level of published ignorance for a serious military history site, and it's all your own work.


I can go and get proof to proof it.

You can go and stick your head up a dead bear's bum for all I care, but it won't alter the fact that you're posting crap.


Any way can you please please please stop posting 3 pages full at one time.

know. im aloud 2 post if eye wont 2 expesully wen I no 3 pages uv knowing stuff wot u doant. An eye can proof it if u wont from mi tyme lyfe photto buk of whorl wore II witch proofs efferyting eye say wif picshures an efferyting about efferyting wot ever hapend in da wore

herman2
10-14-2008, 09:05 AM
LOL..That last post was hilarious RS..!

aly j
10-14-2008, 09:08 AM
So it seems, which is dragging the board down to an unprecedented level of published ignorance for a serious military history site, and it's all your own work.



You can go and stick your head up a dead bear's bum for all I care, but it won't alter the fact that you're posting crap.



know. im aloud 2 post if eye wont 2 expesully wen I no 3 pages uv knowing stuff wot u doant. An eye can proof it if u wont from mi tyme lyfe photto buk of whorl wore II witch proofs efferyting eye say wif picshures an efferyting about efferyting wot ever hapend in da wore
Oh shit, I forgot im talking to RS- I better roll out the red carpet.
You actually sound like a normal man typing how you did, i like it better than youre old way.

Rising Sun*
10-14-2008, 09:12 AM
I better roll out the red carpet.

It isn't customary on military history sites to advertise that you have your period.

Then again, nothing you've done is customary on a military history site, or useful.

aly j
10-14-2008, 09:28 AM
It isn't customary on military history sites to advertise that you have your period.

Then again, nothing you've done is customary on a military history site, or useful.

RS, How would you know about periods. You need to know women first but what women would volinteer to go with you.hehehe.
Oh i forgot you must of look it up on the internet, the only way of you knowing about women.

Rising Sun*
10-14-2008, 09:35 AM
Oh i forgot you must of look it up on the internet, the only way of you knowing about women.

That would make two of us, kitty cat.

aly j
10-14-2008, 09:42 AM
That would make two of us, kitty cat.

I dont need to look women up on the internet, i can just look at myself.

herman2
10-14-2008, 09:46 AM
Meow!~~...lol

aly j
10-14-2008, 09:51 AM
Meow!~~...lol

Hi Herman, Was that post for me or for RS im not sure.

herman2
10-14-2008, 09:55 AM
For RS, cause he is calling you Kitty Kat....

aly j
10-14-2008, 09:59 AM
For RS, cause he is calling you Kitty Kat....

I cant complain about being called Kitty Kat. Its better than being called troll or dum.

namvet
10-14-2008, 11:12 PM
the Japs did commit genocide. just like the Nazi's. I posted this somewhere on here. UNIT 731 (UNIT 731)

Rising Sun*
10-15-2008, 04:06 AM
the Japs did commit genocide. just like the Nazi's. I posted this somewhere on here. UNIT 731 (UNIT 731)

Terrible though they were, the Japanese actions at Harbin weren't genocide, which refers to the extermination of a racial, national, ethnic, or religious group. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10007043

namvet
10-15-2008, 08:58 AM
Terrible though they were, the Japanese actions at Harbin weren't genocide, which refers to the extermination of a racial, national, ethnic, or religious group. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10007043

well the difference is the Nazi's we're mainly after the Jews. the Japs didn't care about race. they murdered em all.

windrider
10-15-2008, 05:09 PM
Terrible though they were, the Japanese actions at Harbin weren't genocide, which refers to the extermination of a racial, national, ethnic, or religious group. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10007043

Holy cow !
judging from that video, Dr. Mengele and the nazis were nice guys compared to the japanese...:shock::shock::shock::shock:

aly j
10-15-2008, 11:26 PM
Hey everyone.
Put it this way.
Both had bad war crimes but express it in there own way.

Germany- Starvation and Gassing.

Japan- Starvation and Decapintating pows heads off when still alive.
If you dont agree, theres no need to be rude towards me. Cheers

Chevan
10-16-2008, 12:38 AM
well the difference is the Nazi's we're mainly after the Jews. the Japs didn't care about race. they murdered em all.
You obviously don't know much about Nazis terror in the East.
They also pretty didn't care about race when they mass killed the peoples for instance in Poland or Ukraine.

Nickdfresh
10-16-2008, 07:49 AM
The Nazi-Germans and their allies probably murdered more people than anyone. However --with live vivisections of Chinese by "Unit 731," and the fact that China (under Japanese occupation) suffered the highest per-capita death rate in WWII-- I think the Imperial Japanese get some style points...

And the Japanese did indeed care about race! Everyone elses' was subhuman according to them!

Chevan
10-16-2008, 09:01 AM
The Nazi-Germans and their allies probably murdered more people than anyone. However --with live vivisections of Chinese by "Unit 731," and the fact that China (under Japanese occupation) suffered the highest per-capita death rate in WWII-- I think the Imperial Japanese get some style points...

And how about vivisection of prisoners in Concentration camps?
The groups of soviet POWs, jews was rounded up for medical experiments.
The one of such "experiments" that i've read, was when group of polish girls( probably jews) have been specialy infected with Gas gangrene.The other "experiment" was to learn how many people can survive without FOOD or ( other case) WATER.
So i seriously doubt that Japs might excel Nazis in "medical experiments"


And the Japanese did indeed care about race! Everyone elses' was subhuman according to them!
Oh
It was so familiar for Nazis - everyone else was subhuman.Even the peoples who colloborated with them.They thought everyone non-germans was second-sort peoples.Even their ally kinda Romanians, who alwyas were feeding worse than the GErmans soldiers.

Rising Sun*
10-16-2008, 09:01 AM
the fact that China (under Japanese occupation) suffered the highest per-capita death rate in WWII!

Was that just deaths during the period, or deaths caused by the Japanese?

Given the Chinese population, a per capita death rate probably would have dwarfed anyone else's in absolute numbers as well.

Do you have any comparisons?

Rising Sun*
10-16-2008, 09:05 AM
Oh
It was so familiar for Nazis - everyone else was subhuman.Even the peoples who colloborated with them.They thought everyone non-germans was second-sort peoples.Even their ally kinda Romanians, who alwyas were feeding worse than the GErmans soldiers.

True, but the Nazis used inferior others who allied with them in the same way that the Japanese used inferior Koreans (admittedly under different conditions as Korea was a Japanese colony as distinct from a recently occupied country) and others from occupied countries.

Ubermensch of any national or ethnic origin never had any trouble using untermensch to achieve their aims.

Rising Sun*
10-16-2008, 09:11 AM
Hey everyone.
Put it this way.
Both had bad war crimes but express it in there own way.

Germany- Starvation and Gassing.

Japan- Starvation and Decapintating pows heads off when still alive.
If you dont agree, theres no need to be rude towards me. Cheers

The Holocaust was a crime against humanity which started before and continued during the separate event of WWII.

War crimes were different and, in general, related to military activities and the treatment of military personnel during and after action.

P.S. Do you think it would have been possible to starve POWS when they weren't alive and that there would have been much point to decapitating POWs when they weren't alive?

aly j
10-16-2008, 10:25 AM
The Holocaust was a crime against humanity which started before and continued during the separate event of WWII.

War crimes were different and, in general, related to military activities and the treatment of military personnel during and after action.

P.S. Do you think it would have been possible to starve POWS when they weren't alive and that there would have been much point to decapitating POWs when they weren't alive?
I see youre point RS ^.
But they the pows some were alive when these war crimes where committed.

Chevan
10-16-2008, 01:01 PM
The Holocaust was a crime against humanity which started before and continued during the separate event of WWII.

War crimes were different and, in general, related to military activities and the treatment of military personnel during and after action.



Mate there were no border between jewish Holocaus and mass murdering of civils, pows and other "low races" on the East indeed.
The figure of killed civils ONLY in the former USSR were about 10 mln ( pluss about 2 mln of victims of holocaust).
Did you hear that among prisoners of Aushwitz there were a essential part of soviet pows.They were treated to death also.
Besides some actions of SS and police on the occuped territories of East were DISGUSTING( kinda mass burning the civils alive in barracks) Those peoples were FAR not ONLY jews but mostly simple peasants.

bruser
10-27-2008, 02:38 AM
There are many ANZAC pows who don't ask much,just an apology from the japs,but the little yellow bastards still refuse. Looking at japan today it makes you wonder who won the bloody war.The japs did everything in the name of there bloody emperor who should have been tried and hung.

Major Walter Schmidt
10-27-2008, 06:46 AM
All this is interesting...
In Japan, this rascist aspect of the Great Pacific War is almost never discussed.
Mostly, they focus on the Military taking over the democratic Government and spewing propaganda around as well as the "Heroes fighting for a lost/flawed cause" theme.

Major Walter Schmidt
10-27-2008, 06:49 AM
There are many ANZAC pows who don't ask much,just an apology from the japs,but the little yellow bastards still refuse. Looking at japan today it makes you wonder who won the bloody war.The japs did everything in the name of there bloody emperor who should have been tried and hung.

1. The Japnese Emperor was intentionaly left alive by the GHQ so that the Japanese citizens wont start something like a Gurella movement.
2. Most Japanese soldiers fought, like most other combatants from most any war, for their family and country.

Now, cut the crap, OK?

flamethrowerguy
10-27-2008, 08:06 AM
There are many ANZAC pows who don't ask much,just an apology from the japs,but the little yellow bastards still refuse. Looking at japan today it makes you wonder who won the bloody war.The japs did everything in the name of there bloody emperor who should have been tried and hung.

"Yellow bastards", that's a full-mouthed statement for a first post!

Rising Sun*
10-27-2008, 08:13 AM
1. The Japnese Emperor was intentionaly left alive by the GHQ so that the Japanese citizens wont start something like a Gurella movement.
2. Most Japanese soldiers fought, like most other combatants from most any war, for their family and country.

Now, cut the crap, OK?

The Emperor survived because of MacArthur and his understanding of the importance of preserving him because of his significance to the Japanese to allow a manageable Occupation, despite the fact that the Emperor was fully involved in Japan's war of aggression and only decided to surrender when the survival of the Imperial line was threatened. Bruser is correct that the little bastard should have been tried and hung, as Hitler would have been if he'd been captured alive.

Many Japanese and their colonial Korean and Formosan soldiers behaved like primitive, brutal, murdering, sadistic, and cannibalistic beasts who gloried in bloodshed, torture, and murder just for the sake of it. Whether it is explained through some corrupted Bushido code or something else is immaterial to the inhumanity of their actions.

If it was done for their families and country, then neither their families nor country were worth the much more benevolent treatment they got under Mac and from the Allies generally.

There was no fighting or soldierly conduct involved in the endless massacres of civilians and prisoners of war, not to mention working them to death, carried out by Japanese soldiers in victory in 1941-42 and in occupation in later years and in retreat at the end of the war. Such as their depredations in Manila in 1941-42 when it had been declared an open city but was still attacked and in 1945 when they massacred thousands of Filipinos while retreating from the Americans.

Sandakan did not involve soldiers fighting for their families and country in 1945 when Japan knew it was beaten. There was nothing even remotely like it, or like many other Japanese outrages such as the massacres of Chinese after the Singapore surrender, by any Allied troops in the theatre. Six men surviving by escaping from the nearly 2,400 during the Sandakan outrage by Japan in the dying days of the war when it was trying to obliterate the living human evidence of its outrages was not soldiers fighting for their families and country, but just the actions of men whose contempt for human life renedered their own lives worthless, yet the Allies did not exterminate them out of hand in the same way as they might have in full justice.


At the time of the Japanese surrender on 15 August 1945, only six prisoners had survived the horrors of the Sandakan prisoner of war camp and the Sandakan Death Marches. They had escaped into the jungle either during the death marches or at Ranau. 2,390 prisoners from the Sandakan camp had been murdered by the Japanese in cold blood or by starvation, sickness, and overwork. http://www.users.bigpond.com/battleforAustralia/JapWarCrimes/TenWarCrimes/Sandakan_Death_March.html

I am well aware from wide reading, including the diaries of Japanese dead in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere, that many Japanese soldiers were no different to their enemies in wishing to survive the war and return to their families, but the fact remains that Japanese soldiers were in many instances the willing instruments of an inhuman militarism and the national culture behind it which gloried in brutality and inhumanity, both towards its own soldiers and much more towards its enemies when they were defenceless.

If there is any crap to be cut, it should have been the crap the Japanese inflicted on the rest of the world 1941-45, or 1931-45 if you had the misfortune to be Chinese.

Chevan
10-27-2008, 11:49 AM
If there is any crap to be cut, it should have been the crap the Japanese inflicted on the rest of the world 1941-45, or 1931-45 if you had the misfortune to be Chinese.
well said.
from other had - is there the collective guilt of nation?
Or is it just the crimes of separate peoples?
i don't think that the Japane nation in general can be blamed ( as well as German one) in the EXCLUSIVE EVIL only becouse they've losed a total war with us.
As well as Chineses who genocided each other during their inner civil war that , accidentally, was happend at the same time ,hardly migh cry they are much better then japaneses.
This is Asia.

Rising Sun*
10-27-2008, 12:17 PM
from other had - is there the collective guilt of nation?
Or is it just the crimes of separate peoples?
i don't think that the Japane nation in general can be blamed ( as well as German one) in the EXCLUSIVE EVIL only becouse they've losed a total war with us.

The citizens of a nation cannot be collectively guilty for the acts of the nation, but the citizens who supported those actions can be.

So that, for example, people who were enthusiastic Nazis in 1933 / 37 / 41 and who by 1945 when things weren't going their way forgot they had ever been Nazis were, in my view, still liable to be brought to account after the war for the evil they supported.

And I really don't care if, like Sergeant Schultz in Hogan's Heroes, they knew nothing, because it was their job to know. Rather like Republicans in America whose votes supported the rendition program and other abuses of human rights in the current era.

Conversely, there were many Germans and many people in other Axis nations who either did not support or opposed the actions of their governments and who should not be held liable for those actions. Not that it mattered when the indiscriminate bombs were falling on Dresden or Tokyo, or afterwards when almost everyone claimed to be in the good camp. Mussolini's body wasn't hung for public condemnation in the twenties, for the simple reason that he had a lot of support then when he was on a roll. It's only failed leaders and regimes that have no supporters after the event.

Nickdfresh
10-27-2008, 10:23 PM
There are many ANZAC pows who don't ask much,just an apology from the japs,but the little yellow bastards still refuse. Looking at japan today it makes you wonder who won the bloody war.The japs did everything in the name of there bloody emperor who should have been tried and hung.

Please try to refrain from such epithets such as "little yellow bastards."

The War is long over...

bruser
11-03-2008, 04:56 AM
Just telling the truth YANK.I am now on a good well run british site,Goodbye.

Rising Sun*
11-03-2008, 06:26 AM
Just telling the truth YANK.I am now on a good well run british site,Goodbye.

New Zealand was bloody glad to be chockers with Yank soldiers in WWII (as indeed were many New Zealand women glad be chockers with Yanks in WWII), when American, Australian, and Dutch forces were about all that stood between Kiwiland and Japanese conquest of The Land of the Long White Cloud.

In particular, elements of the magnificent 1st Division, USMC, which fought in the crucial land battles on Guadalcanal to stem Japan's eastern advance towards New Zealand were stationed in New Zealand before emabarking for Guadalcanal. And New Zealand was grateful to have them there at the time, and lucky that they helped defeat the Japanese on Guadalcanal.

As for the British, they did sweet FA in the defence of New Zealand while your soldiers fought long and hard in the Mediterranean for Britain and provided a lot of aircrew for Britain's war in Europe. Meanwhile, America provided the bulk of the forces and fought most of the major actions that allowed New Zealand to survive the Japanese onslaught. I hope the British site you're so happy on now is run better than the British managed the defence of Malaya and Burma, and New Zealand.

The whole of the world outside America recognises that some Yanks can be a right royal pain in the arse, particularly under their current administration, but those of us in countries like Australia, New Zealand, France and elsewhere who owe our freedom from Axis victory in WWII in part to America's human sacrifices, industrial efforts, and spirit in WWII would be churlish to use YANK as an epithet on a WWII history site as you have done, at least without explaining it.

So, exactly what did America do that was wrong in saving New Zealand from Japanese invasion, apart from giving you the freedom to be hostile to Yanks instead of being a slave, or corpse, under Nippon?


P.S. For members outside the refined environs of Australia and New Zealand, "chockers", or "choc a block" = full up.

Nickdfresh
11-03-2008, 09:36 PM
Just telling the truth YANK.I am now on a good well run british site,Goodbye.

Don't let the door hit your arse' on the way out!

Major Walter Schmidt
11-03-2008, 09:41 PM
Just telling the truth YANK.I am now on a good well run british site,Goodbye.

Im Japanese, and I realy do not appreciate such racial remarks as "Yellow basytards".
Thank you.

Krad42
11-04-2008, 03:43 PM
The citizens of a nation cannot be collectively guilty for the acts of the nation, but the citizens who supported those actions can be.

So that, for example, people who were enthusiastic Nazis in 1933 / 37 / 41 and who by 1945 when things weren't going their way forgot they had ever been Nazis were, in my view, still liable to be brought to account after the war for the evil they supported.

And I really don't care if, like Sergeant Schultz in Hogan's Heroes, they knew nothing, because it was their job to know. Rather like Republicans in America whose votes supported the rendition program and other abuses of human rights in the current era.

Conversely, there were many Germans and many people in other Axis nations who either did not support or opposed the actions of their governments and who should not be held liable for those actions. Not that it mattered when the indiscriminate bombs were falling on Dresden or Tokyo, or afterwards when almost everyone claimed to be in the good camp. Mussolini's body wasn't hung for public condemnation in the twenties, for the simple reason that he had a lot of support then when he was on a roll. It's only failed leaders and regimes that have no supporters after the event.

Maybe...However, it always amazes me when someone sings the song of "it was their job to know" or "they should be held accountable because they supported the regime". There are many things that our own government does that we don't know about and that is the way it has always been and always will be. If that is the case in a democracy, I can't imagine how efficient hiding things must have been in a dictatorial government. When I was in Army Intelligence, there were a lot of things that we did in order to do our duty and nobody had a clue. I'm sure that the same is true today as well. The fact is that most people simply go about the mundane job of surviving day to day. We have jobs and families, and those things have priority. The average American doesn't have a clue about many things and my guess is that there were plenty of Germans that didn't have a clue either.
As to accountability, I doubt that people who voted for Bush and that were against the war in Iraq would consider themselves accountable for many things that have been done in Iraq and Guantanamo. They couldn't have foreseen certain events back on that November day. While most Germans may have been excited about the prospect of a strong Germany, I doubt that the average German would have foreseen the grand scope of things and how far would it all go.
The concept of collective guilt, whether is of the entire nation or of those that originally may have supported the Nazis is a form of oppression...a way to keep them in line. Therefore, it is a concept that I reject wholeheartedly. To me, the real guilty ones are only the ones that gave the orders, the ones that executed them...not the average Joe who proudly hung a swastika flag from his window without direct knowledge of what was happening.
As for the Japanese, they surely committed enough atrocities, but certainly haven't paid the same price as the Germans. Then again, the victims of the Japanese really don't have much of a voice. My guess would be that, if there is anybody that wishes to have an apology from Japan, they will be waiting until hell freezes over.

SS Ouche-Vittes
11-04-2008, 09:59 PM
the emperor was not for the war at all, he's not to be blamed completely. he was pressured by his military leaders like Tojo.

Rising Sun*
11-05-2008, 06:47 AM
Maybe...However, it always amazes me when someone sings the song of "it was their job to know" or "they should be held accountable because they supported the regime". There are many things that our own government does that we don't know about and that is the way it has always been and always will be. If that is the case in a democracy, I can't imagine how efficient hiding things must have been in a dictatorial government.

Rather than matters kept secret by governments, I had in mind things which were known or which common sense says would have had to be known by the people concerned which they later claim, rather unconvincingly when called to moral or legal account, not to have known about.

A current example is the rendition program which I mentioned. Another is the Bush Administration's re-writing of domestic and international law to permit torture. These are well publicised issues which seem to be supported by some people because, presumably, it suits their 'the end justifies the means' opinions and because, like the Nazis and Japanese in WWII, they regard the people subjected to that treatment as lesser human beings who do not deserve the same rights because they are seen as threats to the people engaging in the bad conduct. If bin Laden somehow managed to conquer America, he'd be struggling to find anyone who knew anything about such things, just as happened in Germany and Japan.


When I was in Army Intelligence, there were a lot of things that we did in order to do our duty and nobody had a clue. I'm sure that the same is true today as well. The fact is that most people simply go about the mundane job of surviving day to day. We have jobs and families, and those things have priority. The average American doesn't have a clue about many things and my guess is that there were plenty of Germans that didn't have a clue either.

I'm not taking the position that civilians should be held accountable for things they didn't and couldn't have known about.


As to accountability, I doubt that people who voted for Bush and that were against the war in Iraq would consider themselves accountable for many things that have been done in Iraq and Guantanamo. They couldn't have foreseen certain events back on that November day.

I agree.

But if they defend or support things such as Abu Ghraib, the rendition program, and torture after they became known, then I think they are, at the very least, morally accountable.


While most Germans may have been excited about the prospect of a strong Germany, I doubt that the average German would have foreseen the grand scope of things and how far would it all go.

Probably.

After all, the Nazis never got more than about a third of the German vote. And their evil nature probably didn't become apparent to most Germans until well after they gained power.


The concept of collective guilt, whether is of the entire nation or of those that originally may have supported the Nazis is a form of oppression...a way to keep them in line.

I view it as a form of justice, by bringing people to account for their actions.


To me, the real guilty ones are only the ones that gave the orders, the ones that executed them...not the average Joe who proudly hung a swastika flag from his window without direct knowledge of what was happening.

I don't think it's that simple.

Take a Korean conscripted into service by Japan. He's from a colony which has been ruthlessly oppressed and exploited by Japan and at the bottom of a brutal system where he regularly gets knocked about physically by Japanese, who also regularly knock their own people about and most of whom have contempt for and power over Koreans. He's put in charge of a work gang on the Burma railway and knows he'll be knocked about if his gang doesn't perform, so he knocks his gang about, both to make them perform and in transferring brutality down the line. He's in a better position than a trusty in a Nazi concentration camp who ensures his own survival by doing what he has to do to survive, even if it means knocking other prisoners about and selecting them for punishment or death. But they're both trying to survive in an awful system they were forced into.

Conversely, the average German Joe who proudly hangs out a Nazi flag does it as a completely voluntary action. And, by the time the war starts, he'd have to be blind, deaf and living in a hole in the ground since 1923 not to know what the Nazis stood for after, for example, Kristallnacht; the anti-Jewish citizenship and economic laws; rabid anti-Jewish propaganda. His post-war claims of "I knew nothing" at least have the support of Albert Speer claiming the same thing, despite being the overlord of, among other things, the Reich's slave labour industry about which he later (when facing trial for his actions) claimed to know nothing. Claims which, unfortunately for poor old Albert who successfully presented himself to the world as "the good Nazi" in a magnificent piece of post-war personal propaganda, have been thoroughly disproved by documents recording various meetings he attended

Similarly, Japanese claims of ignorance are equally unconvincing. One has only to look at the rabid anti-Chinese propaganda leading up and during the invasion of China in the thirties and to events such as the huge publicity given to, and public interest in and support for, a competition by two Japanese officers in China to be the first to behead 100 Chinese. Yet there has been a whole post-war industry at government level in Japan devoted to denying any misconduct in China or elsewhere after the war began.


Then again, the victims of the Japanese really don't have much of a voice.

I think they do, such as the Korean comfort women who got US Congressional support.

The problem is that their voice is rarely heard at Japanese government levels.


My guess would be that, if there is anybody that wishes to have an apology from Japan, they will be waiting until hell freezes over.

Japan has 'apologised' formally a number of times, but the problem is that the 'apologies' were couched in language which to Western ears lacked a complete apology and were evasive, rather like Hirohito's broadcast to the Japanese announcing the surrender because "the war, not necessarily having gone to Japan's advantage" (or words close to that). The other problem is that whatever 'apologies' were offered, there was contrary activity going on in Japan such as its education system busily presenting a sanitised view of Japan's war which undermined the sincerity of the 'apology'. There is a good treatment of the apology issue here http://www.asiaquarterly.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=115&Itemid=40

Rising Sun*
11-05-2008, 07:31 AM
the emperor was not for the war at all, he's not to be blamed completely. he was pressured by his military leaders like Tojo.

He may, on one view, have been reluctant to go to war but, once Japan had gone to war and was winning, he was very happy with it and heavily invovled in it. Then a few years later he realised when Japan was on the ropes, with the prospect of another American atom bomb landing a bit closer to his home as the Soviets rampaged across Manchuria and into the Kurile Islands, that losing the war threatened the survival of the Imperial line.

The view you present is the one put forward by those who wish to minimise his involvement in Japan's actions.

However, if you go back to the primary historical documents, notably the records of Imperial Conference before and during the war, you will find that the Emperor was fully aware of the implications of the proposed actions and that he took a keen interest in considering aspects affecting the prospects of Japanese success in its war of aggression. On one view, he carefully positioned himself so that he was not responsible for anything, apart from the minor action of approving every major action at Imperial Conference. On another view, he was in it up to his ears. Either way, he definitely was not an opponent of Japan's war from start to finish, but rather the opposite.

It was certainly the case that Hirohito was in the awkward position of being in many respects a revered figurehead rather than an imperial ruler with complete power, and that like some of his predecessors he was at remote risk of being deposed or killed by those under him if he frustrated their ambitions. But the fact remains that he chose to take an active role in the path to war and in prosecuting the war when he could equally well have survived by being the poor captive little puppet of the military which he has been presented as since the war by those committed to preserving the Imperial line, which after all was his dominant purpose in agreeing to others' proposals for war and ultimately in him overriding some of his military people to surrender before the Imperial line was wiped out.

Here is a useful summary of some of the issues affecting his conduct. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=168161&sectioncode=22

Krad42
11-05-2008, 10:34 AM
Nothing about WW2 was that simple or black and white. It is easy for us to look back and say that the average German knew what the Nazis stood for and should have known better. We're looking at it with the eyes of two to three generations later. Krystallnacht was actually condemned by many Germans and there was somewhat of a backlash because of it. There is also a big difference between thinking that maybe Jews have something to do with the country's problems and they should leave, and "let's round them up and kill them all!" And, even if the average German would have known, what was he/she supposed to do about it? In this country, we're free to ridicule and speak ill of our leaders and their decisions anytime that we want without fearing that we're going to end up in some prison. That was not the case for the Germans. The Germans were in dire straits when Hitler came along. They believed his message of hope and many may have been racist, just as many are in America and many other countries. But, there is a line, as fine as it might be, between not liking a group of people and killing everyone that belongs to that group. I refuse to believe that every German that believed in Hitler's promises had murderous intentions or was completely aware that murder was in the horizon. Blaming millions of people for the actions of a percentage is not only unfair, but it is the same mentality that has been used for genocide! Let's just blame everybody and make them pay! I refuse to have that mentality and I will always speak up against it because when we spread that kind of thinking, we're only a few steps away of being like the ones we condemn.

As for the Japanese, their "apologies" have been empty. In spite of the actions of certain groups to bring attention to the victims of the Japanese, the fact is that if you ask the average American about the Holocaust, everyone knows about it. If you speak about Japanese crimes, most of them will look at you with a blank stare. That isn't a coincidence. In my line of work, I encounter many, many Japanese people. For the most part, they're very nice people, some of whom I have in high regard. But, they won't speak of the war much and they certainly do not acknowledge the crimes perpetrated by the Japanese during the war. As a matter of fact, there seems to be more of a regret that they lost the war than anything else. And I agree that the Emperor was just as guilty. Unlike the average German, he was in a position to stand for something. Instead, he took an active role.

ww11freak34
11-15-2008, 01:05 AM
the japanese sliced pows head of with katanas they were evil

Rising Sun*
11-15-2008, 03:43 AM
the japanese sliced pows head of with katanas they were evil

While a form of 'evil' was institutionalised in Japanese military training and conduct, and in those parts of Japanese society which cheered the militarists on, the Japanese didn't have a monopoly on 'evil' conduct in WWII.

Among the many recorded instances of 'evil' Allied conduct towards Japanese are instances of Australians bayoneting Japanese POWs to death (can't recall sources); Americans prising gold out of the teeth of dead and even just wounded but conscious Japanese (probably in William Manchester, Goodbye Darkness and or Sledge, following); Americans driving jeeps with Japanese skulls wired over the headlights (Eugene Sledge, With the Old Breed), as well as the routine execution of wounded Japanese on the battlefield, albeit to minimise the risk of suicidal attacks and detonations.

Rather than categorising the Japanese as evil, and by implication categorising the Allies as good, a biblical observation might be more accurate by ascribing responsibility to those who do evil things rather than to a whole racial or national group.

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Mark 7:21

Chevan
11-15-2008, 02:47 PM
Nothing about WW2 was that simple or black and white. It is easy for us to look back and say that the average German knew what the Nazis stood for and should have known better. We're looking at it with the eyes of two to three generations later. Krystallnacht was actually condemned by many Germans and there was somewhat of a backlash because of it. There is also a big difference between thinking that maybe Jews have something to do with the country's problems and they should leave, and "let's round them up and kill them all!" And, even if the average German would have known, what was he/she supposed to do about it? In this country, we're free to ridicule and speak ill of our leaders and their decisions anytime that we want without fearing that we're going to end up in some prison. That was not the case for the Germans. The Germans were in dire straits when Hitler came along. They believed his message of hope and many may have been racist, just as many are in America and many other countries. But, there is a line, as fine as it might be, between not liking a group of people and killing everyone that belongs to that group. I refuse to believe that every German that believed in Hitler's promises had murderous intentions or was completely aware that murder was in the horizon. Blaming millions of people for the actions of a percentage is not only unfair, but it is the same mentality that has been used for genocide! Let's just blame everybody and make them pay! I refuse to have that mentality and I will always speak up against it because when we spread that kind of thinking, we're only a few steps away of being like the ones we condemn.

As for the Japanese, their "apologies" have been empty. In spite of the actions of certain groups to bring attention to the victims of the Japanese, the fact is that if you ask the average American about the Holocaust, everyone knows about it. If you speak about Japanese crimes, most of them will look at you with a blank stare. That isn't a coincidence. In my line of work, I encounter many, many Japanese people. For the most part, they're very nice people, some of whom I have in high regard. But, they won't speak of the war much and they certainly do not acknowledge the crimes perpetrated by the Japanese during the war. As a matter of fact, there seems to be more of a regret that they lost the war than anything else. And I agree that the Emperor was just as guilty. Unlike the average German, he was in a position to stand for something. Instead, he took an active role.
VEry reasonable post IMO.
As for Japane denial position - but do we condemn our own relation and crimes to them.
Hardly.
I think there are a sort of double-standards.We've wrote a tonns of papers about their cruel treating of pows, inhuman medical experiments and ets, but how about own nuclear experiment over their population in 1945?Is it a crime?
Of course no , we will say, we "saved a millions" of their lives, bombing them to hell and making them to surrender.
And if somebody argue, we get the poin- the japans themself have killed a millions of Chineses, so is it so bad to kill couple of handreds of thousands of them additionally?
But if to get their point - was the mass murdering of civils in Tokio and Hiroshima so necessary for our victory?
if i was a Japan i would never agree with it.And elementary japane national proud wouldn't let me to admit such anti-japane morale that probably had an rasist-based origin.
I think that Japans feel themself as a victims, ( not a victims of Commintern:)) but a victims of our dual Victory-morale.

Krad42
11-17-2008, 04:53 PM
VEry reasonable post IMO.
As for Japane denial position - but do we condemn our own relation and crimes to them.
Hardly.
I think there are a sort of double-standards.We've wrote a tonns of papers about their cruel treating of pows, inhuman medical experiments and ets, but how about own nuclear experiment over their population in 1945?Is it a crime?
Of course no , we will say, we "saved a millions" of their lives, bombing them to hell and making them to surrender.
And if somebody argue, we get the poin- the japans themself have killed a millions of Chineses, so is it so bad to kill couple of handreds of thousands of them additionally?
But if to get their point - was the mass murdering of civils in Tokio and Hiroshima so necessary for our victory?
if i was a Japan i would never agree with it.And elementary japane national proud wouldn't let me to admit such anti-japane morale that probably had an rasist-based origin.
I think that Japans feel themself as a victims, ( not a victims of Commintern:)) but a victims of our dual Victory-morale.

Thanks, Chevan! Since you bring up the bombings over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, I must clarify my position on those. I know that there is another thread about this, so I won't go deep into it except to reply to your post.

The argument of whether it is okay for us to kill a couple of hundred thousand of them since they also killed so many doesn't "fly" with me. It has always been my position that, if the Allies uphold such a self-righteous position of "we're fighting evil", then we should hold ourselves to higher values. In my view, some of the things that were done to the German people after their surrender were war crimes. Also, in my view, the bombings over Germany in late 1944 and in 1945, and the atomic bombings over Japan are war crimes. I know that my position is not very popular around here. However, the argument that we saved so many by dropping the atomic bombs has never seemed very credible to me. Not only did we kill so many right away, but the suffering that we caused and the decades of additional effects due to those blasts are so great!!! How many actual military personnel did we kill? The great majority were civilians. People argue that those cities were major industrial centers and that there was a lot there that the enemy could use against the Allies. It is kind of hard to tell since everything was destroyed and little "evidence" was left. None of it can really be proved, except for what the propaganda tells us.

So, I agree with you in that we usually don't condemn our own crimes. On the contrary, we tend to always justify them and hold our enemies to a different measuring standard as we hold ouselves!

Krad42

Chevan
11-18-2008, 12:48 AM
Thanks, Chevan! Since you bring up the bombings over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, I must clarify my position on those. I know that there is another thread about this, so I won't go deep into it except to reply to your post.

The argument of whether it is okay for us to kill a couple of hundred thousand of them since they also killed so many doesn't "fly" with me. It has always been my position that, if the Allies uphold such a self-righteous position of "we're fighting evil", then we should hold ourselves to higher values. In my view, some of the things that were done to the German people after their surrender were war crimes. Also, in my view, the bombings over Germany in late 1944 and in 1945, and the atomic bombings over Japan are war crimes. I know that my position is not very popular around here. However, the argument that we saved so many by dropping the atomic bombs has never seemed very credible to me. Not only did we kill so many right away, but the suffering that we caused and the decades of additional effects due to those blasts are so great!!! How many actual military personnel did we kill? The great majority were civilians. People argue that those cities were major industrial centers and that there was a lot there that the enemy could use against the Allies. It is kind of hard to tell since everything was destroyed and little "evidence" was left. None of it can really be proved, except for what the propaganda tells us.

So, I agree with you in that we usually don't condemn our own crimes. On the contrary, we tend to always justify them and hold our enemies to a different measuring standard as we hold ouselves!

Krad42

Well , yes, although your position is uncommon around here, i think you are very honest.
That make me feel a personal respect to you.
Actualy we tend to justify our own deeds in war, especialy it might be so proper applied to Eastern front.

Rising Sun*
11-18-2008, 01:53 AM
Also, in my view, the bombings over Germany in late 1944 and in 1945, and the atomic bombings over Japan are war crimes.

What distinguishes them from other similar events that weren't war crimes?

For example, what makes bombing German cities in late 1944 - 45 war crimes if the previous bombings weren't?

Major Walter Schmidt
11-18-2008, 02:10 AM
Nothing about WW2 was that simple or black and white. It is easy for us to look back and say that the average German knew what the Nazis stood for and should have known better. We're looking at it with the eyes of two to three generations later. Krystallnacht was actually condemned by many Germans and there was somewhat of a backlash because of it. There is also a big difference between thinking that maybe Jews have something to do with the country's problems and they should leave, and "let's round them up and kill them all!" And, even if the average German would have known, what was he/she supposed to do about it? In this country, we're free to ridicule and speak ill of our leaders and their decisions anytime that we want without fearing that we're going to end up in some prison. That was not the case for the Germans. The Germans were in dire straits when Hitler came along. They believed his message of hope and many may have been racist, just as many are in America and many other countries. But, there is a line, as fine as it might be, between not liking a group of people and killing everyone that belongs to that group. I refuse to believe that every German that believed in Hitler's promises had murderous intentions or was completely aware that murder was in the horizon. Blaming millions of people for the actions of a percentage is not only unfair, but it is the same mentality that has been used for genocide! Let's just blame everybody and make them pay! I refuse to have that mentality and I will always speak up against it because when we spread that kind of thinking, we're only a few steps away of being like the ones we condemn.

As for the Japanese, their "apologies" have been empty. In spite of the actions of certain groups to bring attention to the victims of the Japanese, the fact is that if you ask the average American about the Holocaust, everyone knows about it. If you speak about Japanese crimes, most of them will look at you with a blank stare. That isn't a coincidence. In my line of work, I encounter many, many Japanese people. For the most part, they're very nice people, some of whom I have in high regard. But, they won't speak of the war much and they certainly do not acknowledge the crimes perpetrated by the Japanese during the war. As a matter of fact, there seems to be more of a regret that they lost the war than anything else. And I agree that the Emperor was just as guilty. Unlike the average German, he was in a position to stand for something. Instead, he took an active role.

I would have to disagree on that. Though he played a minor role, most of the policies were shaped by the Tojo cabinet, which was pretty much, the Army.
For example, the Manshuria incident was mostly coordinated by Officers but not exactly approved by the Emperor, started the Sino-Japanese War.

Major Walter Schmidt
11-18-2008, 02:10 AM
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Rising Sun*
11-18-2008, 06:55 AM
Please correct me if I am wrong.

No disrespect to you, but I think you're wrong in swallowing the widely promulgated and widely accepted line that Hirohito was a minor player, a mere captive puppet of the military.

It is a misconception to see the Emperor as a captive of the army. The navy also had a minister in Cabinet, who pushed the IJN view. The IJA and IJN were separate fiefdoms under the Emperor and ran their own affairs, often more in competition than co-operation with each other. Usually these competing views were thrashed out at the Liaison Conference between the IJA and IJN, which was the level below Imperial Conference where the Emperor presided, and presented to the Emperor for decision or discussion, as in this example http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-P-Strategy/Strategy-B.html

Imperial Conference was, on one view, the Emperor as just a rubber stamp for decisions made at Liaison Conferences between the army and navy or, on another view, where he approved such decisions after a lot of behind the scenes work by him and or his advisers.. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=BWqEkwH1KRMC&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=wetzler+hirohito+imperial+conference&source=bl&ots=VlDn_KSkPH&sig=Fu5SQL5ZFoKMPH1C-1dhMVPZ6E0&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

I think that on all the evidence of Imperial Conferences and other documents and recollections which survived the war the best which can be said in Hirohito’s favour is that he might have been reluctant to start the war, but he was right up the front of the bandwagon and playing furiously after Japan’s stunning early victories. As he was, at the other end of the war, equally enthusiastic in jumping off the bandwagon and surrendering, primarily to ensure the survival of the Imperial line rather than the nation he had allowed to be destroyed around him for the past couple of years, when he knew Japan was beaten.

In fairness to the Emperor he was in a potentially, but never actually, awkward position where he knew that some of his predecessors had been assassinated or held captive by earlier ‘militarists’ over many centuries and that he might have been unable to control the army if the generals used it against him. In reality, the militarists’ re-creation and elevation during the 1920s and 1930s of the Emperor from just the constitutional head under the 1890 Meiji Constitution to the spiritual fount of Japanese life and the imperial being to which all servicemen dedicated their lives made it impossible for the militarists to assassinate, depose or control him, so it is fanciful to argue that he was at real risk of being killed or toppled. I think he had to know that himself.

The Emperor’s successful intervention in the 26 February 1936 attempted armed coup d’etat by ultranationalist army elements demonstrated that he had control over the IJA and IJN, as illustrated by army troops abandoning the positions they had seized in Tokyo after being presented with copies of the Emperor’s order to the IJA and IJN to suppress the rebellion. His success over ultranationalists on that occasion is hardly consistent with him being a captive of the Tojo nationalist clique a few years later, regardless of the extra power which the militarists might have gained in the interim.

Hirohito’s true war conduct was conveniently reconstructed and minimized by the Allies – primarily MacArthur – after the war for purposes related to making the occupation of Japan manageable and, later, America’s anti-communist stance and wars where Japan became a crucial base and bulwark against both Chinese and Russian communist expansion into Asia and the Pacific. It was contrary to American interests to hold the Emperor responsible for Japan’s WWII conduct as that war faded into the past and when any attempt to do so could only alienate large sections of the Japanese populace to America’s contemporary and future disadvantage in a bigger confrontation with the communist powers of much greater importance to America, and more generally to the Western powers which were more or less aligned with America’s anti-communist stance.

Herbert Bix http://www.binghamton.edu/history/faculty/bix.htm has long studied Hirohito and he rejects the ‘Hirohito as puppet’ view.


The Emperor, Modern Japan and the U.S.-Japan Relationship: an Interview with Herbert Bix

The foremost Western authority on the life and times of Emperor Hirohito -- known posthumously as the Emperor Showa -- talked to The Japan Times about the role of Japan's former "living god" and his place in history in comparison with other powerful twentieth century leaders including Hitler, Mussolini, Roosevelt and George W. Bush.

In 2000, historian Herbert P. Bix shattered the image of Emperor Hirohito as a mere figurehead who was detached from Japan's imperialist warmongering in the first half of the 20th century.

Bix argued in Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, which won him the Pulitzer Prize, that the emperor was intimately involved in the decision-making behind his military's ruthless campaigns. Hence Bix contends, the Emperor bore heavy moral, legal and political responsibility.

Bix explains why Japan will be unable to realize its full democratic potential without re-evaluating Emperor Showa. Bix also explores what lessons today's world leaders can learn from a study of this enigmatic figure.

At the postwar Tokyo war crimes tribunal, the Allies indicted 28 Japanese war leaders for "crimes against peace," "violations against the laws and customs of war" and "crimes against humanity," including the Nanjing atrocities in 1937-38 and the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Seven were hanged.

Bix maintains that Emperor Showa was shielded from trial by Allied commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his staff, who feared communists and wanted to harness the Emperor's domestic popularity to hasten Japan's recovery, and so suppressed damning evidence of his war involvement.

In this interview, Bix ranges widely from wartime Japan and the U.S. at war to Washington's contemporary policies in Iraq.


How did you come to write "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan?"

I wanted to write a history of modern Japan. I was interested in the Emperor and I wanted to situate the Emperor and the imperial institution in the entire modernization process.

I wanted to show the development of the Emperor's personality, his ways of thinking and his involvement in public life.
Did you set out to determine whether he was a dictator who should be held accountable for Japan's role in World War II?

I knew from the very outset that he wasn't a dictator, and that dictatorship was not in the Japanese historical experience. The Emperor was a participant in a pluralistic decision-making system. Yet no one had questioned his responsibility for the war in light of the central position he played in political and military affairs.

1. Crown Prince Hirohito on July 20, 1923

The Emperor died in January 1989, just when the Cold War order was collapsing and the new era of instability was setting in. That's when some important material started to become available. I got a copy of Kinoshita Michio's diary of the wartime imperial entourage published by Bungei Shunju in 1990. I was also sent a copy of the Showa Emperor's monologue that he dictated for the Occupation authorities early in 1946 that Bungei Shunju published at the end of 1990.

When I read those, I said, Aha! Here is a human being like the rest of us, and . . . with this new material I could return to the study of the institution, having previously written about the emperor system very schematically and abstractly -- as most people did.

This new evidence made me want to revise outdated and erroneous views. Japanese people -- and the world -- had been told only about the Emperor's innocence in starting the Pacific War and his heroism in ending it. It now became possible to look seriously into the question of Hirohito's war responsibility.

In other words, I started off in search of the real Hirohito because I had doubts about the official view. And . . . I found that none of the claims about him could stand careful scrutiny. continued .....

Rising Sun*
11-18-2008, 06:57 AM
How would you contrast Hirohito's responsibility with that of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini? In other words, did Hirohito bear responsibility for the onset of fascism in the same way as those European dictators?

I argue that he bore moral, legal and political responsibility of the highest degree for the war -- and that responsibility extended also to war atrocities.


3. Emperor Hirohito at a military parade in May 1937

Hirohito stood at the center of a system of power that disciplined the Japanese people to be loyal subjects of the imperial state.
What distinguished him from a Hitler or a Mussolini, or for that matter, a Churchill or a Roosevelt or any other Western leader, is that he stood at the head of a state and was considered to be a living deity. What other modern state at that time was headed by a living deity?

Hirohito received an education in idealized Confucian norms and in Bushido. He was taught above all to be a benevolent monarch and he wanted to live up to those ideals. As a result, he was not only very active behind the scenes, but also sharper than most historians and political observers recognized.

Hirohito was Imperial Japan's hereditary head of state; he was the supreme commander of Japanese forces. He was also a religious leader and the nation's chief pedagogue. Because he lived in a world of high politics, naturally he engaged in politics. made choices. His choices had consequences.

Here is a man who bore enormous responsibility for the consequences of his actions in each of his many roles. Yet, he never assumed responsibility for what happened to the Japanese and Asian peoples whose lives were destroyed or harmed by his rule.

Hirohito often gave orders without issuing commands. This isn't unique to Japan. It is the "voiceless order" technique that high officials in countries around the world routinely employ. It's acting by not acting -- we see this in American history as well.
I gave the examples of the Nanjing Massacre, which I believe Hirohito had to know about. And I talked about his roles in helping to undermine political parties and the rule of Cabinet government, and in delaying surrender. In every period, he plays a role in politics and military decision-making -- but he came to military decision-making gradually.

For example, regarding the delayed surrender. At the end, in 1945, the army and the navy and the Supreme War Leadership Council and the Cabinet, all had reasons to bring the lost war to an end short of Japan's further destruction and unconditional capitulation to the Anglo-Americans. But only the Emperor had the sovereign power to resolve the issue, and he was more concerned about preserving an empowered monarchy -- with himself on the throne -- than he was about saving the lives of his people.

At the end, during June and into July, when the American terror bombing of Japanese civilian targets reached its peak, Hirohito showed no determination to bring the war to an end. This needs to be assessed against the dominant American and Japanese view that credits him with making the heroic decision to end the war.

He never took responsibility for the war that was carried out in his name. Japanese people, the young men of whom 2.6 million would die, went to war believing that they were defending their country, showing their loyalty to him. The war was a tragedy both for Asian people who Japan conquered and for the Japanese people, both military and civilians

In the end, with Japan in ruins, following the firebombing of Japanese cities, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Soviet entry into the war in Manchuria, Japan negotiated surrender terms that preserved Hirohito on the throne.

Through all this, the emperor never acknowledged loyalty to his subjects, still less to other war victims. The only responsibility he acknowledged was to his ancestors.

In the book, you portray a coterie of officials raising Hirohito to be the hands-on, authoritarian leader that his own father, Emperor Taisho, never was. Should Hirohito's upbringing, in which he appears to have been the product of intense indoctrination, not absolve him to some degree from responsibility for the militarist departure from the "Taisho democracy" movement and for Japan's wartime atrocities?

I never said that he was groomed to be an authoritarian leader. I wrote that he was socialized to be a benevolent monarch.
"Authoritarianism" was assumed in the Japanese political context. Emperor Meiji was his model, not his father, and he was the product of an intense socialization and indoctrination process. I don't think this absolves him, to any serious degree, from responsibility for the destruction of Taisho democracy.

Why not? Surely, many liberal thinkers today would argue that someone who grows up in an authoritarian environment, and later becomes authoritarian himself, cannot be held entirely to blame, due to the experience of their upbringing.

Yes, there were extenuating circumstances, but that didn't absolve him from political, or moral, or legal responsibility. Particularly in the case of his sanctioning wars of aggression.

I imagine that many Japanese nationalists reading your book would say, "What right have you to tell us we shouldn't have done this, when we were living in an era of violent, global Western imperialism? This was the only way for the Emperor to defend his nation."

This was an age of imperialism, but Japan like other nations had options. Japan could have pursued different foreign policy choices in late Meiji [1868-1912], in Taisho [1912-26] and in early Showa [1926-89] -- a different foreign policy vis-a-vis Korea, China and the Western countries. But Japan's leaders in each period chose not to do so.

In Meiji and most of Taisho, the so-called realist decision-makers of Imperial Japan acted prudently. The problem was that at the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the '30s they lost their bearings and made one error after another. But there were always options. Japan always had options; it didn't have to become a rogue state that brought disaster not only to Asian countries but to the Japanese people as well. continued .....

Rising Sun*
11-18-2008, 06:59 AM
Do you see any similarities between the way Hirohito and his key advisers went about their business and the conduct of today's world leaders?

Today Japan confronts a world shaped by a new militarism that has arisen in the United States, a new face of empire, a government in Washington that has not hesitated to launch and justify wars of aggression.

The United States after 9/11 launched a war against Afghanistan and then a few years later, ignoring the Security Council, the Bush administration launched an illegal war against Iraq.

You might say that the Americans' preventive war against Iraq was in many ways far worse, than Japan's attack on an American military base, in an American colony, in December 1941.

Stop and think about it: Pearl Harbor was an act of aggression directed against a naval base in the Pacific that belonged to the most powerful nation in the world, an act that initiated the Pacific War. By contrast, the Iraq war was launched by the world's only hyperpower against a defenseless country that has already resulted in more than 100,000 civilian Iraqi deaths. In this respect a better comparison might be with Japan's Manchurian Incident of 1931 in which the military used a pretext to seize Manchuria and create Manchukuo, leading Japan on the road to war that would take more than ten million Chinese deaths over fifteen years.

Oil, military bases, and revenge were important factors in the decision of the Bush administration to go to war in Iraq. That war had nothing to do with either Bush administration claims linking the war to 9/11 or to Iraqi possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction. In both Manchuria and Iraq, the reasons for going to war were fabricated.

Do you think Hirohito should have been tried and punished, and if so, how?

I never said he should. What I did say was that the Japanese people should have been allowed to freely discuss his role, and he should have been allowed to abdicate. Indeed, he should have been encouraged to abdicate, and the Japanese people should have been encouraged to freely debate the Emperor's role and the role of the Imperial institution. But Gen. MacArthur and the Truman administration shielded the Emperor. Not only was he protected from prosecution, but he was never even called to testify at the Tokyo Trials, and the documents concerning his war responsibility were placed off limits.

I think the joint efforts of Americans and Japanese to preserve the Imperial institution, each for different reasons in what I call a de-facto partnership, had disastrous consequences whose impact continues to be felt in Japanese politics and in the U.S.-Japan relationship.

Do you believe a segment of the Japanese conservative leadership wants to wage war again?

Well, they want to be able to wage war without restriction. They call it being a "normal" state. Of course this is highly regressive, because Japan remains a leader precisely because it has the non-nuclear principles and it's not a major exporter of arms to other countries.

But many conservatives are dissatisfied with Japan's long subordination to the United States. Japan has a sort of satellite, or client, relationship with Washington. A person like the governor of Tokyo, Ishihara Shintaro, attracts that wing of the party that is quite dissatisfied, and he transfers his frustration to China. I think this only adds to complications in East Asia.

You see the conservatives using every opportunity to exploit fear -- fear of North Korea, fear that Japan might be invaded. Japan has a pretty strong military that is perfectly capable of defending itself. It's inconceivable that any foreign country would invade Japan.

But we're seeing politics here. We're seeing an effort on the part of the conservatives, the LDP, to revise the Constitution, particularly to eliminate Article 9 that restricts Japanese capacity to fight overseas wars.

What significance do you see in Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro's long-held insistence on visiting Yasukuni Shrine?

That question really goes back to how we define the era in which we're living, because, not only is the Asia-Pacific War "history," but the Occupation is history, and the postwar period is history. The Cold War is over. The political situation is one of searching for a new threat so as to impose discipline and reorder things.

In this new environment, the Japanese people remain divided on the meaning of the war and postwar experiences. Memories of the Asia-Pacific War have evolved: a younger generation with no experience of war has come on the scene, and a minority of influential elites -- overrepresented, of course, in the LDP -- have asserted publicly an affirmative view of the war.

I think the actions of the prime minister and likeminded conservatives in his Cabinet in visiting Yasukuni Shrine and seeking to eliminate Article 9 of the Constitution have to be set against this lack of national consensus as well as against the new international configuration of powers offers to change Japan.

It's demonstrably untrue that the Japanese people have never changed their views of the last, lost war. But Koizumi's actions allow many Chinese and Korean people, and other peoples in Asia, to have that false view.

Germany seems to have fared better than Japan in grappling with its wartime past. What must Japan do to put World War II behind it once and for all, and normalize relations with Asian neighbors?

German elites found it in their national interest to gain the trust of their European neighbors, and to quickly reintegrate into western Europe. Over the last quarter century, they've done rather well in grappling with their legacy of their war criminality and overcoming the past.

But the circumstances for Japan were entirely different.

During the early years of the Occupation, Japanese intellectuals went much further than their German counterparts in grappling with issues of war responsibility. This has not been sufficiently appreciated.

At the same time, however, there is no unified "Japan" that hews to erroneous views of the past. Divisions remain deep. Every generation of Japanese has revisited World War II, and will continue to do so.

This is a revised and abbreviated version of an interview by Eric Prideaux that appeared in The Japan Times: August 9, 2005. Eric Prideaux is a staff writer for The Japan Times. This article appeared in Japan Focus on August 26, 2005. http://www.japanfocus.org/products/details/1871

Major Walter Schmidt
11-18-2008, 09:35 AM
The Emperor’s successful intervention in the 26 February 1936 attempted armed coup d’etat by ultranationalist army elements demonstrated that he had control over the IJA and IJN, as illustrated by army troops abandoning the positions they had seized in Tokyo after being presented with copies of the Emperor’s order to the IJA and IJN to suppress the rebellion. His success over ultranationalists on that occasion is hardly consistent with him being a captive of the Tojo nationalist clique a few years later, regardless of the extra power which the militarists might have gained in the interim.


Actually that one was only in the name of the Emperor... the 2/26 incident was not supported or co-ordinated by the Emperor.

Rising Sun*
11-18-2008, 02:11 PM
Actually that one was only in the name of the Emperor... the 2/26 incident was not supported or co-ordinated by the Emperor.

Yes, but my point was that although elements of the army rebelled the Emperor's authority was still sufficient to persuade them to abandon their rebellion, which demonstrates that he was not a mere figurehead and had real power over the army if he chose to exercise it.

Rising Sun*
11-25-2008, 07:25 AM
Here is an example, from a book I am currently reading, of the Emperor's active involvement in pursuing Japan's war aims at the decisive moment following Japan's defeat at the Battle of Midway.


On 8 June in Tokyo, the chief of the Navy General Staff, Admiral Nagano, appeared before Emperor Hirohito to explain events at Midway. Hirohito's chief aide, the Marquis Koichi Kido, lord keeper of the privy seal, was present: 'I had supposed that the news of the terrible damage would have caused him untold anxieties, but his countenance did not show the least bit of change. He said that the setback was severe and regrettable, yet nothwithstanding that, he told Nagano to make certain that the morale of the navy did not deteriorate and the the future policy of the navy did not become inactive and passive.'. Bob Wurth, 1942:Australia's Greatest Peril, Macmillan, Sydney, 2008 (1st ed.), pp. 258-9

Those were the actions and comments of a man directing events, not a prisoner of them.

Rising Sun*
11-25-2008, 08:30 PM
Go ahead, die JAP, ...

While vigorous discussion is welcome, and while it is accepted that there are still strong feelings about things which happened in the war, pointless and inflammatory comments such as your quoted one are not acceptable. Please refrain from such comments in future.

Rising Sun*
12-04-2008, 05:10 AM
I think I've referred to this paper elsewhere on the forum some time ago, but it's worth reproducing in this thread to balance the notion that only Japanese lacked humanity towards their enemy and that only they committed war crimes. The paper is at http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/ajrp2.nsf/research-print/68D938D4A9B54EE7CA256BE40006F329?OpenDocument


Australia–Japan Research Project at the Australian War Memorial

Seminar paper

"Yet they're human just as we are"; Australian attitudes towards the Japanese in the South-West Pacific, 1942-1945, by Dr Mark Johnston

[Note: More detailed explanations and evidence for the contentions in this talk can be found in my books, Fighting the enemy (CUP 2000) and At the front line (CUP 1996).]

In December 1942, an Australian private – a veteran of recent fighting at Sanananda and of the Libyan and Greek campaigns – wrote some thoughts about the enemies he had faced. “My regard for Tony [the Italian] was always impersonal and for Fritz … tinged with admiration, but none of us know anything but vindictive hatred for the Jap.”[1]
Australian soldiers felt an animosity towards the Japanese that they generally didn’t have towards their European enemies.

In action the hostility expressed itself in Australians’ greater enthusiasm for killing Japanese. “If an Italian or German were running away, one might let him go,” wrote Jo Gullett, “but never a Japanese.”[2] Whereas in the Middle East, Australian commanders had struggled to awaken fully a “killing instinct” in their men, the Japanese brought out that instinct.
Thus the following extract from a diarist’s account of action against Japanese in 1943, is scarcely imaginable against the Germans or Italians:

Japs are running out of the jungle everywhere and we start some very good shooting. Got on to one with the Bren gun trying to crawl away in the grass...Saw one with his pack on his back walking up the track and soon everyone was stuck into him. He soon hit terra firma. Later in the day we saw his body and pushed it over the cliff into the sea.[3]

An official wartime publication described how, at Wau, fifty Japanese were “hunted down and exterminated.”[4] The concepts of “hunting” and “exterminating” capture the mood of the time, which was not one of trying to bring an essentially like-minded foe to accept defeat by the rules of war, but one of seeking to annihilate an alien enemy.
The killing of unarmed, sleeping, sick or wounded Japanese was common. Although official pressure was put on troops to take prisoners, the Australian front-line soldiers – like their American counterparts – had little desire to do so.

Japanese dead were not considered in the same light as German or Italian dead. Frank Legg, who had been a member of the 2/48th Battalion at Alamein and become a war correspondent in the Pacific, noted while first reporting 9th Division fighting against the Japanese that, whereas the common practice had been to bury each other’s dead in North Africa, here there was a “strange callousness”.[5] For example, a Japanese who lay dead on a track on the Huon Peninsula had a bullet hole between his eyes and a note pinned to him which read: “Don’t bury this bastard, it’s the best shot you’ll ever see.”[6]

I want now to examine briefly the sources of this contempt and hatred. Most obvious was that the Japanese were a far more pressing threat to Australia itself than were the European enemies.

In January 1942, a signaller in the Middle East wrote to his fiancée of his concern about the “yellow horde”. He wrote, “my thoughts are full of smashing them, before they reach what they desire.”[7]

Tied to this awareness of the threat the war now posed to their homeland was a hatred for those who menaced it. Early in 1943, General Blamey tried to stir up hatred of the Japanese in veterans of the recent campaign by emphasising that the Australians were fighting to prevent both the deaths of their families and the end of civilisation.[8] The Japanese forces which advanced along the Kokoda Trail were described by the historian and second in command of the 2/14th Battalion as “cocksure hordes” seeking “to glut their lust and savagery in the blood of a conquered white nation”.[9]

Australians had perceived a Japanese threat to their white outpost since at least the beginning of the century. As talk of threats to “civilization” and to a “white nation” suggest, Australian soldiers’ hatred of their Japanese foe was racist. If fear of invasion was one source of hatred, racial animosity was a second.

The Australians who fought in the Second World War had grown up in an era when assertions of racial superiority were far more acceptable than today. In 1941, Prime Minister Curtin had justified Australia’s entry into the war against Japan in terms of the nation’s commitment to maintaining the “principle of a White Australia”[10].

Australians considered the Japanese racially inferior. The commander of the 7th Brigade at Milne Bay reported after the battle that destroying the enemy was “a most effective way of demonstrating the superiority of the white race.”[11]

White superiority had been challenged by the outcome of other campaigns earlier in the year. The racism of Australians who had scoffed at the Japanese in 1941 had to be refined in the light of defeats in Malaya, Singapore, Java, Timor, Ambon, and New Britain. These Japanese successes added a hysterical edge to the racial hatred against them. An image of the Japanese as a “superman” or “super soldier” grew up. This conception was fairly persistent, but not the majority view after 1942. The feeble physical condition of many Japanese encountered in campaigns after 1942 heightened racial contempt for them.

Rising Sun*
12-04-2008, 05:12 AM
continued

A far more common image than that of superman was that of a creature less than a man. “Jo” Gullett concludes from his experience in the 2/6th Battalion: “[The Japanese] were like clever animals with certain human characteristics, but by no means the full range, and that is how we thought of them – as animals.”[12] Australian soldiers, like Americans, often compared Japanese to animals, especially rats or vermin. Senior officers encouraged this attitude. General Blamey told troops at Port Moresby in 1942 that the Japanese was “a subhuman beast”; at the beginning of the following year he informed soldiers that the Japanese was “a curious race – a cross between the human being and the ape.”[13]

This idea helped Australians to account for Japanese success in the early campaigns, for it explained Japanese adaptability to primitive conditions. It also excused murderous treatment of them. A normally very humane veteran of the desert, Private John Butler, wrote of his first brush with the Japanese: “Out foraging this morning I came across the head of a good Jap – for he was dead – like a damned baboon he was; this is not murder killing such repulsive looking animals.”[14]

Some of the language used by Australians is disturbingly reminiscent of Nazi race propaganda. In most respects, Nazism was repugnant to Butler and his comrades. However, the same racist disdain appears in American writings of the time, and there is no doubt that on this issue many otherwise compassionate western soldiers maintained attitudes towards the Japanese which today seem insupportable. As I’ve said, this was a racist age: the Japanese themselves harboured racist attitudes towards whites.

Moreover, we mustn’t exaggerate the importance of racism in wartime Australian hatred for the Japanese. When in Australia the government launched an intense hate campaign in March–April 1942, the Sydney Morning Herald argued that Australians needed no stimulus to fight the Japanese aggressor, and certainly not “a torrent of cheap abuse and futile efforts in emulation of ... Goebbels”. The propaganda campaign was opposed by 54 per cent of Australians surveyed in a Gallup Poll on the issue.[15]

Moreover, the peculiar circumstances in which Australian front-line soldiers served gave them reasons to temper their racism, or at least to suppress it occasionally. Realism was important. While Australian training staff did not want their soldiers to feel inferior to the Japanese – a real danger in the early years – they did want them to be level-headed about his strengths. Propagandist notions are dangerous when formulating tactics. On the battlefield, being realistic about the enemy’s capacities was a matter of life and death.

The life-and-death realities that Australian soldiers faced in their confrontation with the Japanese may have softened racism towards them in action. However, these realities also largely determined the character and intensity of their hatred for the Japanese. Among soldiers, the racist language of the pre-war era was a convenient means of expressing feelings that owed their existence to the unique circumstances of the front line. For it seems to me that the intensity of Australian soldiers’ hatred of the Japanese derived from the reality of the fighting more than the prejudices of civilian life.

I believe that observation and experience heightened the hatred that Australian front-line soldiers felt for the Japanese. Racist prejudgements, and even the threat to Australia, did not goad Australian soldiers in the same way as personal experiences or personal expectations based on reports from other front-line soldiers. Many Australians who campaigned against the Japanese considered their opponent evil, detestable, underhanded and frightening in his methods.

At the jungle training school at Canungra, recruits were told that the Japanese was “a cunning little rat”, who was “full of little ruses and tricks.”[16] Australians were unwilling to take Japanese prisoners largely because of distrust born of bad experiences, with Japanese offering surrender and then acting as human bombs by detonating concealed explosive. The thousands of Australian soldiers who passed through Canungra were advised to shoot any Japanese surrendering with their hands closed. Frank Rolleston recalls that an apparently defenceless Japanese carrying a white cloth at Milne Bay was shot down on the grounds that “we were not prepared to take the slightest risk with an enemy that had proved to be the limit in deception and treachery.”[17] The fact that Australian wounded, and the stretcher bearers who carried them, could expect no immunity from enemy fire was a major source of criticism, as was Japanese bombing of medical facilities. Thus a medical officer wrote about a tent “ward” attacked by enemy aircraft in Papua: “When the smoke cleared the twelve [patients] were still in the tents, but each one was dead – killed by the deliberate sub-human fury of Tojo's men.”[18]

Japanese callousness and brutality towards helpless men caused fierce animosity in Australians. While unchivalrous and callous behaviour was encountered against the Germans, the Japanese lifted brutality to a higher level. Brutal acts were committed more often by Japanese than by any other enemy. I’m sure you are all aware of Japanese massacres of Australian prisoners in Malaya, Singapore, Timor, New Britain, Ambon.

It’s hard to know how much Australians in New Guinea knew of the atrocities against their compatriots in the early 1942 campaigns, but my impression is that it wasn’t much and that such information did not inform their hatred as much as it might have. Stories about New Britain became widely distributed, and well-informed Australians knew of Japanese excesses against the Chinese. However, the Australian wartime government, like the British and American, was unwilling to publicise material about atrocities for fear of worsening the conditions of prisoners.
Australians in New Guinea had the pressing relevance of the issue of brutality brought home to them by the many Japanese atrocities at Milne Bay. Unlike the men engaged in the early 1942 campaigns, most Australians who fought there were able to pass on their stories of Japanese atrocities. I'll give one example of the impact of these atrocities.

At the sight of men who had been bayoneted to a slow death at Milne Bay, a Tobruk veteran who had been sceptical of stories of Japanese atrocities said his “hatred rose to boiling point and I cursed those cruel, yellow cowardly curs of hell”.[19]

The atrocities continued throughout the war. In March 1945, for example, a signalman on Bougainville reported that Australian provosts caught in a jeep by Japanese had been tied to their vehicle, then set alight. During the Aitape-Wewak campaign, the corpse of a member of the 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion was found “badly mutilated, disembowelled, the left leg was missing from the hip, as well as portions of the right leg, and the hips had all flesh removed.”[20] This was an atrocity of a type that horrified Australians and occurred also in the Papuan campaign: namely cannibalism.

Of course such sights created intense hostility to the perpetrators. For example, a lieutenant of the 2/1st Battalion recalls that during their advance on the Kokoda Trail, the sight of a dead young Australian soldier with one of his thighs stripped of flesh “incensed all our party and feeling against the enemy was explosive”.[21] An officer whose battalion had suffered such casualties in the Aitape-Wewak area in 1945 argued:

The frequent evidence of Japanese atrocities had a remarkable effect on the troops. It developed a feeling of disgust that caused men to enter battle with a greater determination to eliminate the enemy.[22]

An astute regimental historian says that not propaganda stories, but the physical evidence of Japanese atrocities was crucial in making Australians hate the Japanese in a way they had not hated Italians and Germans. This is a crucial point in understanding Australian attitudes towards the Japanese.

The “feeling of disgust” about atrocities also explains much of the unusually murderous behaviour of Australians. As early as the Milne Bay battle, Brigadier Field wrote in his diary, “[t]he yellow devils show no mercy and have since had none from us.”[23]

The lack of prisoners taken by Australians owed much to resentment of atrocities. Cam Bennett, of the 2/5th Battalion, argues that Japanese attitudes to their captives “divorced them from any consideration whatever” whenever his Australian comrades had a chance to kill them.

The circumstances of jungle warfare also militated against the taking of Japanese prisoners. The fact that in the Kokoda campaign both sides took virtually no prisoners partly reflects the problems of getting POWs back over extraordinarily difficult terrain. Because enemies were hidden and ambush was a constant possibility in the jungle, there were few opportunities for the niceties of asking for surrender: one had to shoot first and ask questions later. This logic of jungle warfare was conducive to hatred of the enemy, who like oneself, could not afford to treat one chivalrously as a potential prisoner.

The mud, the decomposing vegetation, the pouring rain, the humidity and the eerie sounds of the jungle also contributed to the hatred of the enemy with whom this place was identified. It was a place where soldiers fought in small groups, in isolation. The frightening enemy, with his apparent enthusiasm for death, and the menacing environment in which he was encountered made for a personal hatred for the Japanese that was peculiar to the soldiers who faced him.

Rising Sun*
12-04-2008, 05:13 AM
continued

I want to turn now to a discussion of how Australian soldiers evaluated Japanese as fighters. Australians were often impressed by certain martial abilities of Japanese soldiers. They respected their field craft, their ability to ambush, and their resilience and tenacity. As an Australian at Sanananda put it, “[h]e is a tough nut to crack, this so often despised little yellow chap.”[24]

Australians frequently wrote with grudging admiration of the defensive positions created by their enemy. The 22nd Battalion history for example says of ground near Finschhafen:

It was obvious that this was Jap country. Along both sides of the track were many weapon pits cleverly sited and expertly dug. They were exactly circular, as if marked out by compass with the sides plumb vertical. And they were finished to perfection with clever camouflage to an extent that they were quite unnoticeable until one had come abreast of them.[25]

Notes used in training Australians for jungle warfare conceded the “remarkable” ability of Japanese to dig or burrow into the side of hills.

I’ve mentioned the idea of the Japanese super soldier, which was quite prevalent in the months after Japan’s entry into the war. Defeat of the Japanese at Milne Bay and on the Kokoda Trail damaged this image, but the super soldier conception was a resilient one. Even in 1945, the Canungra Training Syllabus laid down that on Day 2, recruits should be told that the concept of the Japanese “super soldier” was a myth.[26]

Like all armies, the Japanese had units of varying strength, experience and ability, but the differences in quality between its soldiers were perhaps more striking than those in any other army faced by the Australians. Particularly apparent was the difference in quality between the Japanese faced by Australians in 1942, on the one hand, and those faced afterwards.

Many Australians who served in the campaigns from 1943 on wrote disparagingly of the Japanese. For example, Private Keys of the 2/15th Battalion wrote proudly to his sister in October 1943:

When we came up here we were told how bad the conditions were – what a wonderful fighter the Jap is. Well, Min, the conditions here are 100 per cent better than in the desert. ... [The Japanese] has had everything in his favour, such as high ground, etc. … every time we've met him we have belted him … he has run.[27]

By the last year of the war, Japanese forces were generally being defeated with greater ease than in earlier campaigns. In circumstances where casualty rates were running at more than ten-to-one against the Japanese, a sense of contempt had much to feed on.

In March 1945, a lieutenant of the 2/3rd Battalion pointed out that the soldiers they were facing this time were not in the same class as the men they had faced in the Owen Stanleys: and for good reason, as this enemy was out of communication with Tokyo and had little or no food.[28]

Aspects of the Japanese performance that were criticised in New Guinea included: their poor marksmanship; poor weapons; their tendency to be incautious, especially by chattering or laughing loudly near the front; their naivety in attack; their tactical inflexibility; and their tendency towards needless self-sacrifice.

For even the do-or-die courage of Japanese soldiers did not necessarily raise the military prowess of Japanese in Australian eyes. The Japanese willingness to die appeared bizarre to many Australians. Let me give you one example. A Japanese prisoner near Aitape “wept with frustration and humiliation” when his Australian captors would not shoot him, even though he bared his chest to them hopefully. Instead the Australians said, “[w]ake up to yourself you stupid bastard, you don’t know when you’re well off!”[29] To the Australians, only a “stupid bastard” would want death, and to be alive was to be “well off”. The Japanese attitude was incomprehensible. Their bravery in action often seemed like fanaticism or madness rather than traditional military heroism.

Naturally, many veterans of the Middle East compared the Japanese with their European enemies. “As a fighter the Jap might be a little better than the Italian,” a 9th Division infantryman conceded in October 1943, “but he can’t compare with the Jerry.”[30] On the other hand, an Australian who had been with the 6th Division in Greece said after fighting at Kokoda and Sanananda that, “I think Nip a better fighter than Fritz”, and this may have been a common attitude among 6th and 7th Division veterans of the Middle East who fought the Japanese in 1942.[31] At Canungra, recruits were told that “the Jap is NOT like the German whom we have become accustomed to fighting. He is NOT as good a soldier.”[32]

Most 9th Division veterans, who generally faced stiffer opposition from the Germans at Tobruk and Alamein than from the Japanese in their later campaigns, would have agreed with this judgement. Correspondent Allan Dawes reported that after the amphibious landings at Finschhafen, he heard many Western Desert veterans say:

If they’d been Germans, they’d never have let us on that beach – never. … No Jap would ever have got this place, if we had been where they were, and they had been the invaders.[33]

That conclusion is significant, for of course, at the top of the Australians’ hierarchy of armies was their own.

Contemptuous poses were readily adopted from 1943–1945. Australian victory was certain, and the odds were greatly against the Japanese, who were suffering from life-threatening shortages of food and other supplies. A superior attitude had been more difficult to maintain through most of 1942, with all its military disasters. Yet in this period, too, many Australians had clung to a belief that, man for man, they were better soldiers than the enemy. Even as they lay down their arms in Singapore, they felt that they were yielding to “a force which they counted as less than their equals”.[34]

When Australians discussed their defeats at Japanese hands in 1942, they complained about numerical inferiority and lack of air support. Their defeats were explained by factors external to their soldiering ability. Paradoxically, Australian victories later in the war tended to be explained by their own soldiering abilities, while external factors such as their numerical preponderance, aerial superiority and the lack of supplies available to the Japanese tended to be forgotten.

Even when Australians felt contempt for the Japanese, in battle he was treated with great caution. There was a terrible grimness about the campaigns against him in New Guinea. The fear of falling, dead or alive into Japanese hands ensured this.

I want to finish by discussing the issue raised by the quotation I used in the title of this talk. In March 1945 an artilleryman in action on New Britain wrote in a letter home:

[W]hen you stop to think war is a pretty rotten business, here we are throwing shells at the Japs … hoping they blow them to bits and although we call them little yellow [expletive] yet they’re human just as we are.[35]

It was unusual for Australians to write in such a detached manner about the Japanese. However, detachment and even sympathy were occasionally evident. Dower’s suggestion that Allied soldiers had images of Japanese as superhuman, subhuman and inhuman, but not as humans like themselves is not entirely accurate. Sometimes Australians showed empathy with the enemy: saying they knew what it was like to have dysentery as the Japanese did; imagining his discomfort under Australian gunfire; picturing his reaction as an amphibious invading force came towards him; or saying in the Aitape-Wewak region that living there for three years as the Japanese had done would be “pure hell”.

While Japanese who survived to become prisoners never aroused Australian sympathy like those captured in the Middle East, sometimes they did touch emotions other than anger or contempt: the appearance of starved men could draw forth comments like “poor devils”, and even gestures such as the provision of food, water or covering.

Moreover, the murderous treatment meted out to Japanese prisoners was not morally acceptable to all. Here’s an example: Captain J.J. May was responsible for the loading of wounded men on air transports from the Wau airfield during the heavy fighting there in January 1943. He was approached one day to make room for six Japanese prisoners who would soon arrive, bound together, and who were to be taken to Port Moresby for questioning. The Japanese did not come at the expected time, but eventually:

A soldier appeared with his rifle slung over his shoulder and looking at the ground told me that they would not be coming. I blew off what the bloody hell do you mean you ask us to make room for you and now you don’t want it. One could sense something was wrong and it very shamefacedly came out, they had been killed, a soldier had opened up on them with a Tommy gun and shot the lot. The boys and I were pretty aghast at this and we said they had been tied up; the poor messenger was also rather stricken and tried to explain how it happened. A soldier that opened up had his mate killed alongside him during the night. It somehow cast a dark shadow over us including the poor B who had to tell us.[36]

Rising Sun*
12-04-2008, 05:14 AM
continued

So, some conceived of Japanese as fellow men, and believed that killing them was at times immoral.

Those who did the killing also had their emotions tested. An Australian who had just killed a walking Japanese skeleton at Sanananda described him as a “rather poor specimen of humanity”.[37] Even such grudging admissions did acknowledge the humanity of this enemy, and soldiers who killed Japanese tended to think more than usual about this point. Thus an Australian who had ambushed and killed two Japanese soldiers elsewhere at Sanananda reflected that “it was pure murder”.[38] Captain May reported a conversation with a wounded sergeant who had been on patrol near Wau when confronted by a Japanese officer wielding a sword. In a tone that made clear his regret, the sergeant told May, “I think he must have been an M.O. or something and I had to shoot the poor bastard”.[39]

Occasionally, when Australians examined corpses, they saw evidence of the civilian side of their enemy. Fearnside writes of an incident in New Guinea in 1945 where his platoon ambushed and killed a lone, emaciated Japanese soldier. He says that although they were immune to compunction about such homicidal acts, searching the body brought a haunting emotional impact. They found two objects: one was a rudimentary map of Australia. The other was a faded photograph of a beautiful Japanese girl: such images brought home the fact that the enemy too had a civilian, peaceful background.[40]

However, such fellow feeling could vanish under the pressure of events. Thus one day in January 1945, a 6th Division infantryman wrote in his diary about how his unit had fed prisoners and protected them from angry natives. The day after, and immediately after an ambush of his unit, he wrote, “[w]hat little pity one had for the animal cravens we had here as prisoners yesterday has now vanished”.[41] In jungle warfare, there was not much scope for compassion.

In preparing this talk, one particular story has often come back to me. It concerns an Australian NCO, Steve Sullivan, who took some men to look around the battlefield of Slater’s Knoll, Bougainville, during the fighting there in March 1945. They found a wounded Japanese and several of the men suggested to Sullivan that they kill him. Sullivan objected. “I knew all about the Japs and their treatment of prisoners,” he recalls, “but to my mind that is not good enough reason to kill a man in cold blood. We are not Japs.”[42] He couldn’t do what he identified as a Japanese thing to do: that is, kill a defenceless human being. Yet it was also an Australian thing to do against Japanese in this war. The fact that we were not Japs prevented Sullivan from killing the man; for other Australians, this difference was precisely what justified killing them: they’re not like us in their behaviour and their appearance, so we can kill them. Ironically, in their brutal treatment of each other, Australians and Japanese had something in common.

As this anecdote suggests, it’s difficult to generalise about Australian soldiers’ attitudes. However, one cannot help but make grim conclusions as to their feelings about their Japanese counterpart. Their evaluations of his martial prowess varied, but they usually feared him and almost invariably hated him. They were passionate in their willingness to kill him.

Notes

This paper was delivered an international symposium for the Remembering the war in New Guinea project held on 19-21 October 2000 at the Australian National University, Canberra.
1. Pte R. Robertson, 2/2 Bn, Letter 15/12/42.
2. Gullett, Not as a Duty Only, p. 127.
3. Cpl J. Craig, 2/13 Bn, Diary 28/12/43.
4. Battle of Wau, p. 50.
5. Legg, War Correspondent, p. 54.
6. Wells, "B" Company Second Seventeenth Infantry, p. 159.
7. Sig T. Neeman, 17 Bde Sigs, Letter 16/1/42.
8. G. Johnston, Toughest Fighting in the World, p. 228.
9. Russell, Second Fourteenth Battalion, p. 123.
10. "Japanese Threat", Oxford Companion to Australian Military History, p. 323.
11. In report: "Operations Milne Bay 24 Aug-8 Sep 42, Lessons from Operations", p. 11.
12. Not as a Duty Only, p. 127.
13. Johnston, Toughest Fighting in the World, p. 207. Dower, War without Mercy, pp. 53, 71.
14. Diary 20/9/43.
15. Charlton, War Against Japan 1941-1942, p. 34. McKernan, All In, p. 141. "Japanese Threat", Oxford Companion, p. 324.
16. AWM 3DRL 6599, "Aus. Trg. Centre Jungle Warfare Canungra Training Syllabus Precis & Instructions", Serial No. 29.
17. Not a Conquering Hero, p. 83.
18. Robinson, Record of Service, p. 99.
19. O'Brien, "A Rat of Tobruk", p. 21.
20. Australian Archives (Vic): MP742/1, File No. 336/1/285.
21. Givney, First at War, p. 288.
22. Long, Final Campaigns, p. 342.
23. Brig J. Field, 7 Bde, Diary 31/12/43.
24. Tpr B. Love, 2/7 Cav Regt, Diary 12/1/43.
25. Macfarlan, Etched in Green, p. 123.
26. AWM: Canungra Training Instructions, Serial No. 62.
27. 4/10/43.
28. Lt B.H. MacDougal, 2/3 Bn, Letter 20/3/45.
29. Bentley, The Second Eighth, p. 186.
30. Pte Keys, Letter 4/10/43.
31. Robertson, Letter 15/12/42.
32. AWM: Canungra Training Instructions, Serial No. 19. The lecture continued: "but is, as has often been described, 'a cunning little rat'."
33. Dawes, "Soldier Superb", p. 44. My emphasis.
34. Walker, Middle East and Far East, p. 520.
35. Gnr.G. Chapman, 2/14 Fd Regt, Letter 10/3/45.
36. Diary 30/1/43.
37. Love, Diary 14/1/43.
38. Quoted in ibid, 31/12/42.
39. Diary 4/2/43. M.O.- Medical Officer.
40. Half to Remember, p. 195.
41. Pte Wallin, 2/5 Bn, Diary 20/1/45.
42. Shaw, Brother Digger, p.136

Rising Sun*
12-05-2008, 10:20 AM
thre were japaenese war crimes in my country (indonesia)
they forced people to plant a rice field
they made turned people into a salve (romsuha). Romusha were sent to burma and thailand.
they offerd a girl to study in japan but that just propaganda when the girl was airborne
they were taken to japenese camp to work in there as sexual slave (jugun-ianfu).when the japs are tired they can have fun (you know make bom bom) with the girls.


the japs called themselves as Light of Asia, Defender of Asia, And Leader of Asia (3A movement).
they trained our former TNI (military unit, recognize by government), in the PETA (pembela tanah air), national guard
they trained our young man to help them to win soouth east asia war
there were a fujinkai (women's armed brigade)

later the japs promised us a freedom. The japs PM Koiso made an orginization to prepare our freedom which called dokurtitsu junbi cosakai, BPUPKI (Badan Persiapan Kemrdekaan Indonesia). Our Former Presiden Soekarno and Vice presiden Hatta was one of them.

When the allied dropped thir nukes in the Japan soil. There was a vacum of power in Indonesia.
we use that time to proclamate our independence in August 17th 1945. The Japenese Marshall Maeda allowed the nationalist to prepare the text of proclamation in my country.

Lot of the japs gave their firearms to our nationalist fighter after we decraled our independence. it helped us to defend our soils form the allied forces (the dutch and British).

It is good to have these views.

Most of us in the West have little knowledge of the experiences of non-Westerners under Japan as our focus is usually upon Japanese treatment of our prisoners of war rather than what Japan did in its occupied territories. So that, for example, there is much written about the Allied prisoners on the Burma Railway whose casualties were, by number and rate, probably much less than that of Asian labourers but, significantly, nobody has exact figures for the Asian labourers.

There is a great deal of Western popular writing on German occupation of European territories but virtually nothing on Japanese occupation of Asian and Pacific territories. I think this reflects an unconscious - or more probably conscious - racism that fails to accord to Asian and Pacific peoples the standing that Westerners accord to themselves.

Ardee
12-05-2008, 03:09 PM
Hi guys,

Going off on a very-related tangent; hope nobody minds: Anybody here read enough Japanese to test if a site that came up in the Photo Section ( http://www.ww2incolor.com/japan/fde.html ) is revisionist or objective?

If you read my recent post at the above link, you'll understand what my thoughts on the subject are. But I was also working with a Google translation, which we all know is oh-sooo-reliable. :rolleyes: If you want to go directly to the site in question, the link is:

http://www5f.biglobe.ne.jp/~kokumin-shinbun/H11/1101/110101nankin.html

Rising Sun*
12-06-2008, 06:01 AM
so in one side the japs was bad
but in the end they helped us in our independence

but i don't think same thing happned in German occupied territories
they didn't promise anything about freedom
they just made collaboration force
like croat ustashi, bosnian handschar, or chetniks may be

The difference was probably that European nations weren't colonies, where the Asian nations Japan occupied were colonies of European nations.

Japan disrupted European rule in Asian colonies and also showed that Asians could stand against and militarily defeat Europeans. After that it was hard and, ultimately, impossible for European nations to reassert control of their former colonies in the face of strong nationalist movements as in, for example, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam.

The biggest, and probably only, gift Japan gave to the world in WWII was creating the circumstances which eventually rid Asia of European colonialism, as a by-product of trying to make European colonies Japanese colonies, which in turn flowed on to other European colonies outside Asia.

While Japanese occupation was often initially brutal in the extreme and rarely benevolent as it continued, when matters settled down under Japanese administration there were significant attempts made by Japan to give effect, in form if not in substance, to promises of independence (within the Japanese conception of that under its Japan-centred Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and upon terms of independence dictated by Japan for Japan's sole benefit), such as granting "independence" to the Philippines.

herman2
12-24-2008, 12:20 PM
yes, japan did commited war:confused: crime in ww2, anyhow, pls do not forget russian also did something bad to japanese soldier who hv surrendered in siberia area. horrible percentage of them were dead due to hunger,hard work....

Really!!...My god!..Them dam Ruskkies!...hang em all I tell Ya. I never knew that. Thanks!

Rising Sun*
12-24-2008, 09:53 PM
By the end of World War II there were from 510,000 to 600,000Japanese POWs in the Soviet Union and Mongolia interned to work in labor camps. Of them, about 10% died, mostly during winter of 1945-1946.[1] [2][3] [4]

The majority of about 3.5 million of Japanese armed forces outside Japan was disarmed by the United States repatriated in 1946. Western Allies had taken 35,000 Japanese prisoners between December 1941 and August 15, 1945, i.e., before the Japanese capitulation [5]The Soviet Union held the Japanese POW much longer and used them as labor force.Many Japanese died while they were detained in the POW camp. The number of death varies from 60,000 to 370,000. American historitian William F.Nimmo estimated the number to be 340,000. Most commonly accepted number is 60,000-70,000 death out of toal 500,000-600,000 POWS in the camp.

What is the source for that?

To what extent were these POWs kept for labour as war reparations to the USSR?

Rising Sun*
12-25-2008, 12:56 AM
it has nothing to do with "war reparation", it is that russian killed japanese prisoners illegaly and cruelly.

Well, if as with the German POWs, they were held after the war as part of reparations to the USSR, then it has everything to do with war reparations as otherwise they would probably have been repatriated much earlier and the death toll would have been much lower.

The figures are also of dubious value without knowing the death rates initially from wounds and disease and later from the circumstances of their treatment by the Soviets.

Rising Sun*
12-25-2008, 01:47 AM
i hope japanese can be treated equally considering devil russian can be regarded as angel.

I don't know what point you're trying to make with that comment, but on a scale of brutality, inhumanity and general bastardry the Soviets don't come near the Japanese for the way each of them treated POWs. That is demonstrated by the fact that, even if your 10% death figure for Japanese POWs in Soviet hands is correct, it's still only about a third of the death rate of Allied POWs in Japanese hands.

Uyraell
04-09-2009, 04:21 AM
I don't know what point you're trying to make with that comment, but on a scale of brutality, inhumanity and general bastardry the Soviets don't come near the Japanese for the way each of them treated POWs. That is demonstrated by the fact that, even if your 10% death figure for Japanese POWs in Soviet hands is correct, it's still only about a third of the death rate of Allied POWs in Japanese hands.

While I have elsewhere defended the original Japanese martial virtues (as opposed to the later perversion of those same virtues) , I am by no means blind to the heinous crimes various elements within the Japanese army comitted. Shizuo Ookha in his book "Fires on the plain" details some of them, including those by Japanese on fellow Japanese. Similarly, Romero in "Last man off Bataan" relates similar heinous atrocities.

In short, RS*, my friend, I have to agree with you here: while there were Japanese POWS that undoubtedly did suffer at Russian hands, I find it invidious to compare those few examples to the vast Pacific War examples known and to which you allude.

Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

Chevan
04-09-2009, 07:46 AM
Really!!...My god!..Them dam Ruskkies!...hang em all I tell Ya. I never knew that. Thanks!
:)
Really you didn't know it , poor child?

Chevan
04-09-2009, 08:13 AM
I don't know what point you're trying to make with that comment, but on a scale of brutality, inhumanity and general bastardry the Soviets don't come near the Japanese for the way each of them treated POWs. That is demonstrated by the fact that, even if your 10% death figure for Japanese POWs in Soviet hands is correct, it's still only about a third of the death rate of Allied POWs in Japanese hands.
Mate 10% of death rate TOTAL for 5 years is about 2-2,5% per year:)
It's not like i wish to tell it was Rest camp for them , but though..
Even the GErman pows suffered in GULAG more harsh treating within 1944-53.
I don't compare, say, the treating of Soviet pows in GErmany or Finland( 10 and 12% absolute Death-rate respectively ONLY for 1941-42 winter).
BTW that's where he got the supposed figures.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_prisoners_of_war_in_the_Soviet_Union
But still the treating of Japan pows in USSR has nothing common with ethnic-race terror in Axis camps.


"Siberian Internment" (the Japanese term) was a unique and paradoxical phenomenon. Many of them have nostalgic and sentimental recollection of this period of their life. In their memoirs and recollections they drew a distinction between the attitude of the Soviet state machine and ordinary Russian people. Unlike Germans, Japanese were not associated in the perception of Russians with Nazi atrocities in the Russian land, although initially the attitude of Russians was hostile, under the influence of Soviet propaganda. What is more, romantic relations between Japanese internees and Russian women were not uncommon. For example, in the city of Kansk, Krasnoyarsk Krai about 50 Japanese married locals and stayed. Japanese noticed the overall poverty of the Russian population. They also met Soviet political prisoners in the GULAG prison camps abundant in Siberia at the time, and acquired a good understanding of the Soviet system. All of them recall the ideological indoctrination during the compulsory daily "studies of democracy", however only a very small number of them embraced communism
Not a bad i think for former asian Master-race:)

Rising Sun*
04-09-2009, 08:31 AM
Mate 10% of death rate TOTAL for 5 years is about 2-2,5% per year:)


If we convert the average total of roughly (it varied between places and national forces) 25%+ Allied POW deaths in Japanese captivity to an annual rate over about 3.5 years of war (which wrongly assumes that all prisoners were captured early in 1942) it comes down to a bit over 7% a year.

Then again, if we annualise the about 1% of German prisoners who died in Allied hands and vice versa over a little over 5 years of war (with the same wrong assumption about everyone being captured at the start of the war) it comes out at 0.2%. So the Japanese on an annual basis managed to be about 35 times worse than the Germans and Allies. They look better on gross figures of only 25 times worse for their whole war.

On the other hand, we both know that the Soviet prisoners in German captivity had far worse death rates than even Allied prisoners in Japanese hands. :(