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Old 01-10-2008, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
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When I was a little kid, I would watch movies where, for the slightest infraction, the Japanese character would commit Hari Kari. After seeing so many Hari Kari, I was led to believe that the Japanese were the most perfect society since obviously anyone who did anything wrong would have certainly killed themselves. The survivors had to be only those that did not screw up.

I have been researching the atrocities committed by the Japanese against the Chinese (an others) during the war. Human experimentation ... vivisection.. nice. They made plague bombs out of ceramics carrying rice infested with plague carrying fleas... nice .. and dropped them on Chinese villages. The center of these activities were up in Harbin at a place called Unit 731. At the end of the war, the Japanese destroyed it.


The Russians had trials and a few were put away. The US gave them a pass. There is a British woman near where I live who says her American relative died from Japanese experimentation.

The Chinese are looking for an acknowledgment of these atrocities. Japanese Historians are trying to erase it from their history. Survivors are dying off.

Does anyone have any stories? thoughts?

Last edited by Bob The Builder; 01-10-2008 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:54 AM
 
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Default Saving Face

Historically, the Japanese have a cultural obsession with saving face (as a society - not necessarily individuals!).
Some Japanese leaders and citizens would probably rather committ Hari Kari then to face up to the atrocities.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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The Japanese have been reluctant to admit to these kinds of things since it involves a major loss of face - note the stink a few years back (and ongoing really) regarding compensation for the Korean (and other nationalities really) "comfort women".

But the fact is, they happened.

This Japanese reluctance to accept responsibility for their acts has resulted in continued hard feeling directed towards Japan from several SE Asian countries - long after the issues should have been put to bed.

Ken
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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I always thought my father exaggerated claims of Japanese atrocities, he was in the Phillipines.
I had the experience to visit the D Day museum in New Orleans....what an eye opener for sure, the japanese were brutal!! If you are a World War II history buff the museum in New Orleans is fantastic!! and worth a visit..be prepared to spend the good part if not entire day there.

My Uncle was kia in WWII on the USS Juneau, I've asked my dad if after he passes I may donate my uncles artifacts after i make copies to the museum...last letter home, navy telegrams. purple heart etc and he has agreed as they belong there.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
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I understand from THEIR perspective why the Japanese would want to keep those atrocities a secret, but why does the West seem to give them a free pass?
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:20 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
I always thought my father exaggerated claims of Japanese atrocities, he was in the Phillipines.
I had the experience to visit the D Day museum in New Orleans....what an eye opener for sure, the japanese were brutal!!
Yeah, while the Germans get most of the attention regarding their attrocities and war crimes it must be remembered that the Japanese were equally bad - though in a different way. It seems to me that the Germans were more focused in their brutality - zeroing in more on specific groups such as the Jews, Gypsies etc (who REALLY suffered) as their primary targets - while the Japanese were just plain brutal to everyone (including their own soldiers).

While I wouldn't have wanted to be under the rule of either, if I was not one of the specific "target groups" (ie Jews etc) I would much rather have been conquered by the Germans than the Japanese. Japanese brutality was much more universal and random in nature so ANYONE was a potential victim at any time.

As I've mentioned in previous posts - brutality is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes - they always put very little value on human life.

Ken
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:21 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Originally Posted by Bob The Builder View Post
I understand from THEIR perspective why the Japanese would want to keep those atrocities a secret, but why does the West seem to give them a free pass?
Great question.

Ken
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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Originally Posted by LordBalfor View Post
Yeah, while the Germans get most of the attention regarding their attrocities and war crimes it must be remembered that the Japanese were equally bad - though in a different way. It seems to me that the Germans were more focused in their brutality - zeroing in more on specific groups such as the Jews, Gypsies etc (who REALLY suffered) as their primary targets - while the Japanese were just plain brutal to everyone (including their own soldiers).

While I wouldn't have wanted to be under the rule of either, if I was not one of the specific "target groups" (ie Jews etc) I would much rather have been conquered by the Germans than the Japanese. Japanese brutality was much more universal and random in nature so ANYONE was a potential victim at any time.



As I've mentioned in previous posts - brutality is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes - they always put very little value on human life.

Ken
yes, I know a few Romani gypsies and their elders have some stories
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
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I understand that the head of Unit 731 (Ostensibly a research facility) became the head of Japan's largest Pharma company.

Sony bought Paramount way before the atrocities came to light. Did this help keep a lid on the media? Ever see a movie about the Japanese being anywhere close to the Nazis?
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bob The Builder View Post
I understand from THEIR perspective why the Japanese would want to keep those atrocities a secret, but why does the West seem to give them a free pass?
The West has already dropped nukes on Japan and later decimated their military.
But it is non-Western to legislate how the Japanese feel about their war crimes.
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