Sugarlump: I believe that taobo33's post sheds light on a valid concern in the Eastern world. Call it a "cultural blind spot" or whatever you like,
the fact remains that there are some indications that Japan isn't all that sorry about the Second Sino-Japanese war or any of their other campaigns
Although in more recent years the Japanese have had to give more sincere apologies, statements like this are still memorable:
08/24/1982. Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki
"I am painfully aware of Japan's responsibility for inflicting serious damages (on Asian nations) during the past war." "We need to recognize that
there are criticisms that condemn [Japan's occupation] as invasion"
What the heck? He doesn't even firmly say that Japan was the aggressor! That has changed, in recent years, but its still hard to forget that 40 years
after the fact they wouldn't even admit they were wrong, and even now they speak about it in very soft terms.
According to Wikipedia (couldn't confirm) The Yasukuni Shrine's website says, "Japan’s dream of building a Great East Asia was necessitated by
history and it was sought after by the countries of Asia."
The link doesn't seem to work
You take that, then add it to the fact that Japan maintains territorial disputes with Russia, China, Taiwan, and South Korea. By 1990 they were 3rd in
the world in total defense expenditures- right behind the USA and USSR. They went to Cambodia, then to Iraq, and to the casual observer it seems like
maybe they like it. I say that because they are still debating Article 9 of their constitution (pacifism) while increasing their military
Even former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's book, The Next War
(written in 1995) suggests that the Japanese may commit aggression
again in the future, particularly into the Philippines.
I'm not saying that there is an immenent danger of Japan attacking anybody. I'm saying that it makes perfect sense for neighbors to be concerned
about the way Japan views militarism. The big picture seems to be that Japanese militarism has been on the upswing for the last 15 years or so, and
that if I lived in a territory disputed between Japan and somebody else, or in the Philippines, I would be anxious about any indication that Japans
future generations are failing to be educated against militancy. Japanese textbooks don't preclude the idea that Japan has expansionist rights. I can
see how neighbors would find that disconcerting, given Japan's history, demeanor, and need for outside resources.
What would people think if German textbooks said that the Holocaust was "an accident" and claimed that "inappropriate killing" took place in the
occupied nations without stipulating that it was an invasion or that it was wrong?