(CLICK ABOVE FOR ENLARGEMENT – – Photo taken by yours truly when my wife and I visited Tokyo in 1916 to see her relatives)
by Norio Hayakawa – – July 14, 2019:
Some say that there are two things Japan should do immediately, if it wants to remain a great nation.
Japan is a peaceful, prosperous, beautiful and ultra-modern country, one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world today. It is blessed with rich, ancient cultural traditions that blend harmoniously with the modern.
Japan is also becoming the most popular travel destination among millions of people around the world. The Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020.
I am proud of having been born and raised in Japan.
But is Japan truly a great nation? Some people may question this.
But I believe that it can be, if it accomplishes one of the following:
CUTTING TO THE CHASE:
1) Japan should unconditionally sign the long-overdue Peace Treaty with Russia, i.e., without expecting the return of any of the 4 “Northern Islands” (the southern Kuril Islands) taken by Russia towards the close of WW2. Signing the Peace Treaty unconditionally will economically benefit both Japan and Russia. It will play a major role in the complete development of Russia’s Far East region and Siberia. Millions of jobs will be created, benefiting both the Russians and the Japanese. I believe this is a must situation.
2) Second, Japan as a nation should officially and publicly apologize and give at least $20,000 individually to each of the surviving Korean victims who were forced to work in Japan during WW2, including the Korean “comfort women” who were abused and victimized by the Japanese military. Ideally, the apology should officially come not only from Prime Minister Abe but also from the present symbolic head, Emperor Naruhito, who just recently acceded to the throne. Ideally, this apology should take the form of a televised press conference both in Japan and South Korea. Ridiculous as this may sound, this may be the only way to end this lingering problem, for the last time, once and for all. But I doubt that it will ever happen. And it shouldn’t have to happen!!
(With the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea, agreement between Japan and Korea concerning the settlement of problems in regard to property and claims and economic cooperation was signed. Japan provided South Korea with $300 million grant in economic aid and $200 million in loans together with $300 million in loans for private trust, a total of $800 million as “economic cooperation”.
The official policy of Japanese governments has been that, in regard to war-time property issues and individual claims for compensation, such issues were settled completely and finally by this agreement.
In 2015 Japan also gave an additional $10 million to a South Korean organization for the purpose of dispersing $10,000 each to the known, surviving victims who were categorized as “comfort women” – – this was done by the organization that was set up by Korea and Japan, not by Japan directly to the individual victims.)
There are endless things Japan could do in order to completely correct the wrong it committed during WW2 and even before. But it is endless and impossible to satisfy everyone who were victimized by the horror of war.
Even though Japan had already apologized for what it had done in WW2 and has made numerous Post-war reparations to Asian nations ( as well as other nations) that were brutally victimized by its imperialistic militarism of the past, such apologies in the past did not seem to have been genuinely felt by the victimized nations.
The heinous crimes committed by Japan will never be forgotten by those nations.
(The sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Bataan march, massacre of the Chinese people in Nanking, China, annexation of the Korean Peninsula and subsequent oppression of the Korean people, annexation of Taiwan, etc. etc. – – the list is endless)
Money will never resolve what Japan did. Japan is still hated by those nations. I don‘t blame them. It will take more than several hundred years or even more before those nations would eventually forgive Japan’s past atrocities.
Some say that it’s about time that Japan learned from the United States which admitted in 1988 that it unjustly had incarcerated Japanese-Americans in internment camps during WW2. I am proud to be a naturalized citizen of the United States, a nation that is not afraid to correct the wrong, a nation that believes in doing the right thing, in righting the wrong to the best of its abilities.
The United States gave each of the Japanese-American internees a sum of $20,000 in 1988. Of course money alone was never enough. But what was so important was the United States’ symbolic gesture of admittance of its error. Action spoke louder than words. I truly commend the United States on this matter.
Some say “Why can’t Japan do the same for the surviving Korean victims of War crimes commited by Japan? $20,000 will never suffice, but it will be a tremendous symbolic action for Japan and may become a step towards eventual lessening of hatred by those Asian nations, as well as other nations or people who still have hatred or animosity towards Japan.” Prime Minister Abe will never let it happen. And, as I stated earlier, it shouldn’t have to happen!!
By the way, the greatest crisis Japan is facing now is the growing labor shortage.
By 2030 or perhaps even earlier, 60% to 65% of the population of Japan will be 65 years or older. In order to alleviate this dire situation, Japan will have no choice other than to hire foreign workers, the vast majority of which would come from other Asian nations.
Today’s younger generation of Japan does not seem to be interested that much in procreation. Japan must therefore show more tolerance and acceptance of those from these Asian nations that it needs. That’s the only way Japan can even become a true leader of Asia.
Japan is a great nation, some say. But if it is, it will even be greater if Japan can change its “island” mentality. I am a firm supporter of immigration reform in Japan. (I am not talking about indiscriminate mass immigration. I am talking about selective but compassionate immigration policies).
I also believe that eventually Japan should abolish the Imperial household.
Ordinary citizens’ hard earned tax dollars (i.e. the yen) should not go into many of the so-called imperial household’s sometimes lavish and unnecessary expenditures.
PLEASE ALSO CLICK AND READ THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE:
HOW JAPAN’S FAILURE TO ATONE FOR PAST SINS THREATENS THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
(ABOVE – – Anti-Japanese demonstrations in South Korea, August 10, 2019)
Norio Hayakawa’s CIVILIAN INTELLIGENCE NEWS SERVICE
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