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Thread: Japanese war crimes so bad?

  1. #1
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    Default Japanese war crimes so bad?

    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
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 05-07-2008 at 06:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    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.

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    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
    I heared the poor people have been executed right after the US Firebombing raids in Japane

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    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
    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

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    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.


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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by alephh View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    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.

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945 View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    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.

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    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?

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    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...

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    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?

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945 View Post
    their deaths were in vain and accomplished nothing.
    their oath and loyalty to whatever they fought,.. for what matter most,.. at least to them
    Last edited by gumalangi; 05-13-2008 at 02:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Japanese war crimes so bad?

    This has been one of the best discussions I've read in these forums. Very clear minded and informative.

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