The “war criminals” at Yasukuni are Class A war criminals, i.e. war criminals in the sense that George Bush is a war criminal - for being part of the top leadership of a country that started a war many people opposed. Class C war criminals were the type that carried out massacres - things like the Rape of Nanking. These aren’t honored at Yasukuni. I can’t blame Koizumi for visiting the shrine. Japanese leaders engaged in a war of territorial expansion. But they weren’t responsible for the misconduct of Japanese troops. Unlike the Nazis, they did not order the systematic extermination of the people they considered the lesser races.
Japan did nothing that hadn’t been done by other Asian powers. The difference is that they did it in the 20th century. Over the millenia, there have been many rapes of Nanking. The most recent Chinese incident was during the Taiping Rebellion in the 19th century. The only Japanese one occurred in the 20th century.
As to German war museums, they do exist. Germany has a military record to be proud of, although the ends to which its capabilities were put are, in my view, regrettable. It would be surprising if Germany did not have any museums covering WWII, where the German military covered itself in glory even in defeat - it absorbed 80% of the American war effort, 90% of the British war effort and 100% of the Soviet war effort, and held out for 6 long years. Two months after the 100% of the American war effort was switched to the Pacific theater, following Germany’s surrender, Okinawa fell. Another month later, Japan surrendered.
Hojuin: At the risk of getting sidetracked: if leaders are not responsible for the behaviour of their troops then who the fV#k is ?
This is in my view a sevrely distorted way of looking at the goings on of WW2 era Japan but that was not the point of this post so I’ll leave it at that.
By that logic, Nixon was responsible for the My Lai massacre. Fact is that when a soldier commits an atrocity, he alone is responsible for it, unless his superior ordered him to carry it out. Truman was responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed tens of thousands. Churchill was responsible for the fire-bombings of Hamburg and Dresden, which killed hundreds of thousands. Tojo was not responsible for the Rape of Nanking.
with the German ideal of the herrenvolk. In fact, each country thinks of itself as the embodiment of the herrenvolk. I think Koreans should be a little more tempered in their appreciation of the Germans. Jews, Gypsies and Slavs were to Germany what Koreans and other East Asians were to Japan - inferior races. If the Japanese had acted like the Germans in their conquered territories, there would be no Koreans left alive today - after an occupation of 50 years. There is a reason that the Germans are so apologetic - they wanted the lands conquered from the “inferior races” populated with Germans, not natives who were to be assimilated into German culture. In the German mind, inferior races had no right to exist, and the best thing to do was to put them out of their misery, by either massacring them outright or working them to death on starvation rations in slave labor camps. Ironically, if Japan had acted like Germany in Korea, what is now the Korean peninsula would either be a Japanese province or a Chinese province thoroughly void of Korean speakers