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Thread: Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March

  1. #1
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    Default Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March

    June 01, 2009
    SAN ANTONIO - Japan's ambassador to the United States apologized Saturday on behalf of his country for the 65-mile forced walk of U.S. troops and allies during World War II that left some 11,000 prisoners of war dead.

    "As former prime ministers of Japan have repeatedly stated: The Japanese people should bear in mind that we must look into the past and to learn from the lessons of history," Ichiro Fujisaki said at the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

    He said his country was extending a heartfelt apology for "having caused tremendous damage and suffering to many people, including prisoners of war, those who have undergone tragic experiences."

    Although Fujisaki received a standing ovation from about half of the 400 to 500 attendees, others said the apology was overdue and didn't seem sincere.

    Former POW Hershel C. Boushey told the ambassador that he did not accept "your apology," and that the atrocities and mistreatment many suffered was severe.

    In 1942, Japanese captors marched about 78,000 prisoners of war - 12,000 Americans and 66,000 Filipinos - for six days on the Philippine island of Luzon to a prisoner-of-war camp in what became known as the Bataan Death March. Many prisoners were denied food, water or medical care, and some were stabbed or beheaded.

    As many as 11,000 prisoners died, according to the U.S. Air Force.

    Survivor Tony Montoya, of Woodland, Calif., also questioned Fujisaki's sincerity.

    "This young man knows very little of the atrocities," Montoya said. "They probably rehearsed him on it."

    Abie Abraham, of Renfrew, Pa., said it was time to move on.

    "I was never one of those guys that worried about whether we got an apology or not," said Abraham, a 95-year-old vet.

    "The way I look at it is - Japan is now our ally," Abraham said. "Why should we get an apology from them?"

    Retired Tech Sgt. Joe Alexander, of San Antonio, said he was satisfied because "we finally got the apology that we wanted."

    About 73 surviving Bataan Death March veterans of the Army and former Army Air Corps members attended the convention Saturday, which served as the march survivors' final reunion.
    source

    wonder why so long????


    "There are no great men, there are only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet."- ADM William F. Halsey

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March

    The Death March was not planned as a Death March. Documents have shown they were overwhelmed with the number of prisoners. Yes the guards were terrible. Yes they did atrocities. Yes they were punished (in fact the general commanding the army was hung after the war.)

    And like for Josey Wales, the war is over.

    But let this be a lesson to you. We utterly defeated the Japanese. We utterly defeated the Germans. We utterly defeated the Italians. And all three are peaceful allies. But we failed to defeat the North Koreans. We failed to defeat the North Vietnamese. Each time we had a peace agreement. An armistice. We did not utterly defeat them. And look at the countries now. They are our enemies still.

    If you are going to have a war, WIN.

    Deaf

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March

    Agreed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    But let this be a lesson to you. We utterly defeated the Japanese. We utterly defeated the Germans. We utterly defeated the Italians. And all three are peaceful allies. But we failed to defeat the North Koreans. We failed to defeat the North Vietnamese. Each time we had a peace agreement. An armistice. We did not utterly defeat them. And look at the countries now. They are our enemies still.

    If you are going to have a war, WIN.

    Deaf

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    The Death March was not planned as a Death March. Documents have shown they were overwhelmed with the number of prisoners.
    True in large part regarding the March, but it should be remembered that Colonel Tsujii was busily runnning around telling more senior commanders that they had been ordered by higher command (which they hadn't as it was just Tsujii making it up) to kill prisoners. One commander refused to do so unless the order was confirmed in writing, but others complied.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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