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Why Are Japan’s Apologies Forgotten?
译者:清流     发布时间:2014-06-13     超过 0 位网友阅读



Why Are Japan’s Apologies Forgotten?

Japan has in fact apologized repeatedly for its wartime past. So why haven’t they resonated? By Robert Dujarric

事实上,日本对他的战争历史反复道过谦。可为什么没有引起共鸣呢? -- 来自罗伯特?杜贾里克

Tomiichi Murayama singing "We Shall Overcome"


The “history” debate that constantly attends Japan postulates that the country has never apologized for past aggression within the region. In fact, Japan has provided Asian countries with assistance that was a form of compensation. The Asian Women’s Fund lacked clarity, but Tokyo offered payments to victims of sexual slavery. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama declared in 1995 that Japan’s “colonial rule and aggression (…) caused tremendous damage and suffering,” expressing his “remorse and (…) heartfelt apology.”


Earlier, in 1993, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono spoke of “the involvement of the military authorities” in the “comfort women” issue and added that “Japan would like (…) to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those (…) who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable (…) wounds.” Several prime ministers wrote to surviving sex slaves noting that “with an involvement of the Japanese military (…) [it] was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women. (…) our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past.”


This is far more apologizing and contrition than the world average.


So why has Japan gained so little recognition for these actions? One reason, noted previously, is that its Axis partner, Germany, has performed better on the atonement front. But this is not the only factor.


Another one is international politics. Strategic imperatives dictated that Israel, Western Europe and, after the Cold War, Central European states better their ties with the Federal Republic of Germany. In Asia, however, Japan’s position has deteriorated. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), not wasting much time on the past, wanted Tokyo’s money, which it got in vast amounts. Today, Beijing no longer needs the cash. Japan’s ally, the U.S., has replaced the Soviets as the enemy. Moreover, the CCP now fosters Japanophobia to bolster its chauvinistic credentials.

另一个因素是国际政治。战略决定了以色列、西欧以及冷战结束后的中欧国家需要与德意志联邦共和国建立更紧密的关系。然而在亚洲,日本的立场已经恶化。在1970年代和1980年代,中国共产党(CCP) 需要东京的大量投资 ,并不想浪费太多的时间在过去。而今天,北京不再需要金钱。日本的盟友美国,已经取代苏联成为敌人。此外,中国共产党现在促进憎恶日本的情绪来提高它的沙文主义地位。

South Korea was a poor autocracy when it normalized relations with Japan in 1965. It received Japanese economic assistance as part of the treaty, but Seoul indemnified Japan against claims related to the colonial era. Since democratization in the late 1980s, many Korean leaders have worked hard to better relations with Japan. However, there are also electoral incentives to play the “anti-Japan card.” Being labeled “soft on Japan” is a curse. This is particularly true for President Park Geun-hye, whose father, the late general-president, began his rise as a lieutenant in the Army of Japanese Manchukuo (a patriotic choice, but one that carries an image problem today).

韩国在1965年与日本关系正常化时, 是一个贫穷的独裁政府。韩国接受日本经济援助作为条约的一部分,但是韩国保护日本免受于有关殖民时期的指责 。自从1980年代末 民主化 以来,很多韩国领导人努力维持与日本的良好关系。不过,选举人也会打”反日牌“。被贴上”对日疲软“是一种诅咒。朴槿惠总统尤其如此,他的父亲是已故的大总统,通过成为日本满洲国的陆军中尉开始他的崛起 (一个爱国的选择,但到今天还背负着形象问题)。

Economic success has freed South Korea from foreign assistance. Its judiciary is also now independent. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1965 treaty with Japan violated the constitutional right of Koreans to seek redress against Japan. Japanese diplomacy has failed to adapt to this new era in Korean politics.

经济上的成功让韩国摆脱了外国援助。司法机构现在也独立。最近,最高法院裁定,1965年 与日本签订的条约违反了 韩国人的 宪法权利,并对日本寻求赔偿。日本外交未能适应新时代的对韩政治。

Finally, several Japanese leaders have eviscerated past apologies. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dispatches offerings to the Yasukuni Shrine, whose message is aggressively antagonistic to the Kono and Murayama views. Pilgrims at Yasukuni since Abe returned to power have included Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Senior Vice Foreign Minister Nobuo Kishi, brother to the prime minister.

最后,一些日本领导人已经耗空了过去的道歉。首相安倍晋三屡次参拜靖国神社,代表着对 河野和村山 观点的积极反对。自安倍回到权利巅峰后,前往靖国神社的朝圣者包括了副首相麻生太郎(Taro Aso)和总理的弟弟高级副外长岸信雄等人。

On November 4, 2012, a number of Japanese public figures ran an ad in a U.S. newspaper. It denied that the military coerced comfort women, going against the letter and spirit of Japanese official policy. Among the “assentors” listed are Shinzo Abe, who was about to return as premier, and other politicians. The text provides links to “The Nanking Hoax” and similar articles. Abe now officially accepts the Kono and Murayama statements, but his unconcealed love of Yasukuni, the behavior of those he has appointed to high office, and his indirect affiliation with “deniers” ensures that most foreigners and Japanese think he leads a cabinet of “revisionists.

2012年11月4日,许多日本公众人物在一家美国报纸上登广告。它否认军队强迫慰安妇, 声称慰安妇行为与日本官方政策的文件和精神不符 。这些“赞同者”中有正要回归日本首相一职的安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe),以及其他政治家。文中提供了“南京骗局”和类似文章的链接。安倍现在正式接受河野和村山的声明,但他也公开表示对靖国神社的敬爱,那些他已经任命的高官的行为,和他间接对“否认者”的认同归属,导致大多数外国人和日本人认为他所领导的内阁是“修正主义者“。

Koreans also noted reports that Japanese diplomats complained to a New Jersey town about a memorial to the “comfort women.” (The Japanese side was unwilling to discuss the matter, so the facts remain unclear.) This occurred under the DPJ administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, showing that the LDP is not the only source of hostility to the Murayama-Kono statements.

韩国人的一则报告指出,日本外交官向新泽西小镇抱怨“慰安妇纪念碑。”(日方不愿意讨论这个问题,所以事实尚不清楚)。这些事情发生在民主党首相野田佳彦政府, 这表明并非只有自民党才敌视河野和村山声明。

Additionally, Japan claims ownership of the Korean-controlled Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo in Korean, Takeshima in Japanese). This elicits anger in Korea. The posting of Japanese government videos on Japan’s right to Takeshima helps convince South Koreans that Japan is its foe.

此外,战后日本声称拥有韩国控制Liancourt岩石( 韩国称独岛, 日本称竹岛)的行为在韩国引起愤怒。日本政府发布了对竹岛宣称主权的视频,这一行为让韩国确信,日本是它的敌人。

Another recent episode, which is minor but illustrative, concerns Ahn Jung-guen, the Korean assassin of the Japanese Resident General in Korea in 1909. Referring to plans to erect an Ahn statue in China, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called him a “criminal.” One of my alma maters, Yale University, boasts a sculpture of Nathan Hale, a colonial subject and activist who, like Ahn, was hanged by the authorities of the day. But one would not imagine Her Britannic Majesty’s government taking offense. Former colonies routinely honor those who fought the occupiers, often in barbaric ways.


Interestingly, in 1964, Prime Minister Eisaku Sato (Abe’s grand-uncle) awarded the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun to the American General Curtis LeMay, whose B-29s incinerated Japanese cities during the war. Koreans might be surprised to learn that Ahn, who like the American aviator considered he was waging a just war on Japan, is a “criminal” but that LeMay belongs to a select group of foreigners granted prestigious decorations (he was thanked for his work with the Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces, but it is unlikely premier Sato was unaware of that LeMay’s men killed around 100,000 civilians in Tokyo alone).

有趣的是,1964年,首相佐藤荣作(安倍的叔祖)授予美国柯蒂斯勒梅将军旭日大绶章,而勒梅将军二战期间驾驶 B-29s战机炸毁过日本城市。韩国人会惊奇地发现, 虽然安重根和那位飞行员十分相似,二人都被认为是参加了一场正义之战,但唯有安重根被称作“罪犯” , 而勒梅则和许多有名的外国人列在一起,饱享荣光 (因为同空中自卫队工作,勒梅受到日本的感谢,但首相佐藤不太可能不知道勒梅的部队在东京杀死了大约100,000平民)。

The Ahn statue in China rightly worries Tokyo, which it sees as a sign of a Sino-Korean bloc against Japan. But the more Japan fails to see how Koreans view the past, the more Koreans will dislike Japan.

树立安重根雕像表明中国对东京的担忧,这是中韩联盟反对日本的标志。但日本越轻视韩国人对过去的看法, 憎恶日本的韩国人就越多 。

Reaping dividends from the Kono and Murayama Statements, apologies, and compensation, was always going to be hard. Japan’s current cabinet, and some of its predecessors, have done everything they can to minimize the payout.


November 29, 2013 at 06:56
The western culture ( whether biblical or enlightenment) is based on right & wrong, or good & evil. The eastern culture is more amorphous; in other word, more about win & lose. Whether it is CCP or as RisingSun alluded to ‘Japan lost the war’, the E.Asian tussle of now is purely realpolitik; in other word, all that justification by other CCP and Japan regarding Senkaku is grandstanding on both sides. In the end, it is who come out on top that matters. As RisingSun also alluded to: Japan will go it alone if it has to. Right now, Japan is relying on the US to buttress against China’s enlarging influence and footprint (an organic growth of its 1.2B people more than anything else) which, short of China/US war, is a good bet by many. Should one day, say in 10 to 20 yrs, the US decides to back off due to variety of reasons, then Japan will be facing its E.Asian neighbors, amicably should all the bad bloods has been resolved, or alone if not.

It is disheartening that 40yrs of Japanese and 20 yrs of SK democracies/modernity has not absolved the enmity between the two.

西方文化(不管是圣经还是启蒙运动)是基于对或错,善或恶。东方文化则更加无定形;换句话说,更多的是关于输与赢。不管是中国共产党还是 RisingSun(指下面一人ID) 都提到了“日本战败”, 东亚现在的纷争纯粹是实力政治;换言之,中国共产党和日本关于尖阁列岛的所有辩解都是哗众取宠的。最终,出类拔萃的那个才能决定事情的结果。

RisingSun 同样提到:如有必要日本将孤独前行。目前,日本依赖美国来抵抗中国逐渐扩大的影响力和前进的脚步(12亿人民的有机增长比任何其他因素都重要)。 只要不发生中美战争,许多人认为日本靠美国来遏制中国是个不错的选择 。可能在未来10到20年之间,美国因为各种各样的原因决定后退, 日本将面对他的东亚邻居,要么正视历史后友好相处,要么孤立无援。

令人沮丧的是, 日本和韩国在分别进行40年和20年的民主和现代化后,仍然无法消除彼此之间的敌意。

Robert Dujarric
November 29, 2013 at 14:23
1. I think right/wrong is also part of “eastern culture” (however one defines “eastern”).
2. South Korea is now a partially Christian nation. Several of its presidents have been devout Christians. Its one of the top provider of Christian missionaries, and any visit to Seoul reveals an amazing number of churches.
3. It would be helpful if those who post comments used their real names.


November 27, 2013 at 12:13
Japan’s apologies are forgotten because Japan frequently acts unfriendly towards China and S Korea. These unfriendly Japanese behavior reminds China and S Korea of Japan’s past wrong doings in those countries, negating Japanese apologies.


December 7, 2013 at 14:02
LOLLOLLOL!! You know it? When and how?
Things goes completely opposite. Now Koreans are aggressor. Their hate education made non-adequate image of own history. You don’t know koreans are guilty as same as japanese on 2nd world war issue. But they act like persection mania. Talking about comfort women issue, things really would call mal-treatment would be from Korean war(north vs south). Comfort women for UN soldiers especially for US. Ignorance covers world! People wants to believe only things they wants LOLLOL!!



TV Monitor
November 27, 2013 at 01:48
One factual corrections. The ongoing repartition dispute between Korea and Japan is for individuals, not for the state; we are talking about people’s wages that were supposedly put into Japanese bank accounts but was never able to withdraw. These people are making rightful claims to their wages in the bank accounts plus interests.


November 27, 2013 at 00:15
Japan’s “apologies” are not accepted because they were mere rhetoric. Fact of the matter is, the direct perpetrators of Japan’s crimes continued to hold high positions in government after the war, and their descendants run Japan today. The Americans gave them a huge break and let them retain their power after the surrender, for the U.S. needed strong, loyal allies to contain communism. The Americans are still playing apologists for Japan’s genocide today by writing articles such as this one.

日本的“道歉”并不会被人们接受,因为 充满了花言巧语。事实上, 日本侵略行为的直接肇事者在战后的政府中继续保持高位,时至今日,掌控日本政府的依然是他们的后代。美国人给了他们一个巨大的踹息机会,让他们 在投降后还保持他们的权力,因为美国需要坚强、忠诚的盟友遏制共产主义。美国人仍然为日本的种族灭绝行为玩辩护游戏,比如写出像这样的文章。

November 26, 2013 at 17:57
Kono/Murayama statements will likely be rewritten during the Abe administration. China and South Korea don’t like our numerous apologies, reparations, indemnities, and compensations, and that’s too bad but Japan will move on. Mr. Robert Dujarric is making so many mistakes on his writing but I cannot point them out with the current format of comments section.

河野和村山 的声明在安倍政府可能被改写。中国和韩国不喜欢我们无数道歉,赔款,赔偿和补偿,这太糟糕了,但日本将会继续前行。罗伯特?杜贾里克先生的文章中犯了这么多错误, 但当前评论部分的格式让我不能指出来 。

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