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Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, crusader for War Reconciliation?

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posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 12:14 PM
Recently, Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan and a member of Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), has been in the news after giving a government sanctioned apology for the brutal colonization of the Korean Peninsula which lasted 35 years. In another strange turn, he took the occasion of Japan's official surrender from WWII, when other politicians have honored the war dead by visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine where many believe war criminals are honored by distancing himself and his cabinet from the practice and apologizing.

Japan PM shuns shrine, apologizes at WWII ceremony

It is the first time since the end of World War II that the entire Japanese Cabinet has avoided visiting Yasukuni on Aug. 15, the day Japan surrendered in the war.

"We caused great damage and suffering to many nations during the war, especially to the people of Asia," Kan told a crowd of about 6,000 at an annual memorial service for the war dead at Budokan hall in Tokyo.

"We feel a deep regret, and we offer our sincere feelings of condolence to those who suffered and their families," he said. "We renew our promise to never wage war, and we promise to do our utmost to achieve eternal world peace and to never repeat again the mistake of war."

The emperor's son used the occasion as well to reinforce what the Prime Minister has been saying to offer condolences of this own. The wounds will never heal fully and entire families were decimated in barbarity and callousness by the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces, but steps like this one are positive moves forward from those dark years of the war. I applaud the actions of this politician because it is going against the norm. Japan is as regimented as they were during the war years and many are reserved regarding controversial issues like the war. What is taking place in Japan at the moment is rare and worthy of acknowledgment.

I just hope he is not derailed from these positive moves with a trumped scandal by elements who oppose these gestures like his predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama. Hatoyama was ensnared in a political corruption scandal, and probably related to his plans to dismantle US military holdings on the island of Okinawa. Thus, severely straining the US/Japanese military alliance. So, these latest moves are not going to go unnoticed by conservative elements in Japanese politics. Positive developments out of Japan and some good news for a change.

[edit on 15-8-2010 by Jakes51]


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