Who Should Apologize?
by Angus Lorenzen
On August 6, 2010, U.S. Ambassador John Roos attended the ceremony commemorating the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This is the first time since Japan’s surrender in 1945 that the U.S. has had an official presence at the memorial, and many Japanese interpret this as an apology for dropping the bombs. There is further talk that President Obama will also visit the memorial at some future date, thus casting the Japanese people as victims of World War II.
Where is the outrage in America? Our media passed over the event with little comment, except for a few outlets suggesting that the apology was overdue, as always occurs on this date. But why do we as a nation have to apologize? The act saved an estimated million Allied casualties and perhaps millions of Japanese lives, including civilians being trained for total resistance, including suicide attacks against our troops.
How soon we forget history. Our Euro-centric culture leads us to believe that the start of World War II occurred at the Polish border in 1939. But many historians believe that the worldwide conflagration started two years earlier when the Japanese created the Marco Polo Bridge incident they used as an excuse to invade China. The Japanese had already been in an undeclared war with the weak Chinese government for more than 40 years, invading Korea in 1894, taking Formosa in 1895, Manchuria in 1931, and part of China north of the great Wall in 1932. Then in 1933 they imposed troops into China near Peking to “maintain order”. The incident at the Marco Polo Bridge in 1937 was simply a cover to give them a legal excuse to declare war on the Chinese government, and they soon controlled all of the large industrial cities and ports. Their invasion was brutal with bombings and executions of civilians and the infamous slaughter in the Chinese capital of Nanking.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was primarily to prevent the U.S. from thwarting their plans to take over all of Southeast Asia, and they soon controlled an enormous landmass that included China, Malaya, Burma, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and New Guinea, which provided a rich source of natural materials. They also controlled a large number of Pacific Islands to provide an outlying barrier to protect their home islands.
When the Japanese cast themselves as “victims” and demand an apology for the bombings, they are ignoring their history of aggression and militancy. Before demanding an apology from the U.S, they must look inward at their own nations actions, which directly resulted in an estimate of between 25 and 50 million deaths in Asia. They should think first of apologizing for the Rape of Nanking, the Manila Massacre, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the biological experiments and attacks on China, the brutal conditions under which Allied military and civilians were held, the slave labor camps, the comfort women, and many other atrocities that they committed.
We must not allow any official of the U.S. to act in a way that would imply that we are apologizing to Japan for our actions to end a war that they started. All thinking Americans must arise with outrage at any indication that our government officials are weakening on this issue. I say to those who were prisoners of the Japanese, they took our liberty, our health, and our lives, so let us not now let them also take our dignity.
Printed from the History Publishing Company website, visit http://historypublishingco.com .