Japan, also known as Nippon, is an island country in eastern Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
- Japan inflicted tremendous damage and suffering on people in many countries, especially in Asia.
- Our actions brought suffering to the peoples in Asian countries. We must not avert our eyes from that.
- There was a period when our nation brought to bear great sufferings upon the people of the Korean Peninsula. The deep sorrow that I feel over this will never be forgotten.
- Akihito, as quoted in "Court banquet speech welcoming South Korea President Kim Dae Jung" (8 October 1996).
- I don’t see any adults here in Japan. The fact that you see salarymen reading manga and pornography on the trains and being unafraid, unashamed or anything, is something you wouldn’t have seen 30 years ago, with people who grew up under a different system of government. They would have been far too embarrassed to open a book of cartoons or dirty pictures on a train. But that’s what we have now in Japan. We are a country of children.
- One culture, one civilization, one language, and one ethnic group.
- The Japanese have a wonderful power of self-control. They don't lose their temper or quarrel with you, but if their honour is violated they may kill you. They can be bitter enemies.... The Japanese also have a high sense of chivalry.... But these things perhaps belong to the past. It is a great pity that people who have carried such ideals into practice are losing them through contact with European civilization. That is a great harm that European vulgarizing has done to Japan. Now you find most people mercantile in their outlook and they will do anything for the sake of money.....
- Won't you stretch imagination for a moment and come with me. Let us hasten to a nation lying over the western sea. Hide behind the cherry blossoms; here's a sight that will please your eyes. There's a lady with a baby of Japan, singing lullabies. Hear her as she sighs.
- The Japanese can only fulfill it by the sword.
- Friedrich von Bernhardi, Germany and the next War (1911), Chapter XIII
- Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
- Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan (3 May 1947)
- For Japan, World War II is not resolved history. It is, incredibly, a recurring controversy. Several times in recent decades, Japan's leaders have expressed remorse and apologized for the nation's rampage through Asia in the 1930s and '40s. But to the governments and the surviving civilian victims in South Korea and elsewhere, the words and actions have always come up short. Japan has issued mea culpas, yes. But also from Japan: Revisionist textbooks in schools, a Tokyo shrine that memorializes convicted war criminals, an opaque stance by prime ministers on atonement for the war that shifts between "heartfelt apology" and "eternal, sincere condolences." The unshakable impression is of a nation struggling to accept full responsibility for the past cruelty of its military... Through the years, though Japan has expressed official regret for its wartime behavior, powerful right-wing forces at home have clung to the idea that Japan was not the villain. Japan has never matched the depth of contrition for WWII expressed by Germany. It's hard to avoid comparing Abe's private phone call with the symbolism of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1970, who unexpectedly fell to his knees in genuflection while visiting the memorial to the Warsaw ghetto. Japan, a valued friend and ally of America, has made a significant act of contrition toward South Korea. The countries want to move ahead. If they can, they will see an economic and security benefit. The defense of Asia against North Korea, and the rise of China, will require far more cooperation from these partners. Ultimately it's up to South Korea to decide that the past is now the past. But Japan should continue to reflect publicly on the atrocities it committed, including the sex enslavement of women. It is a dark history.
- The Chicago Tribune, "A watershed apology by Japan for a heinous wartime crime" (30 December 2015), The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, Illinois.
- This is over. No way back for Japan, who in my view are lucky to make this final.
- The right of locomotion; the right of migration; the right which belongs to no particular race, but belongs alike to all and to all alike. It is the right you assert by staying here, and your fathers asserted by coming here. It is this great right that I assert for the Chinese and the Japanese, and for all other varieties of men equally with yourselves, now and forever.
- I was against it on two counts. First, the Japanese were ready to surrender, and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.
- Dwight David Eisenhower, On his stated opposition to the use of the atomic bomb against the Japanese at the end of World War II, as quoted in Newsweek (11 November 1963)
- So why is Japan different? Why do its top officials – and this trend extends across senior government posts – resign office, seemingly at the drop of a hat? The theories are endless, most of them relying on oft-repeated but simplistic stereotypes about the supposed centrality of honor, saving face, and respect in Japanese culture... Japan's problems are too vast, and its strengths too great, to be ruled by something as capricious and frivolous as the whims of the majority.
- Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They are workers non-stop. They sleep beside their machines. That's why they're successful in life. I went to Seoul, South Korea, I went to Taipei, Taiwan. I went to Tokyo, Japan. That's why these people are so hard workers. I'm telling you, the Oriental people, they're slowly taking over.
- Japan must import all of its major minerals, from oil to aluminum. Without those imports-particularly oil-Japan stops being an industrial power in a matter of months.
- George Friedman, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (2009), p. 67, Doubleday
- Japan humbly accepts that for a period in the not too distant past, it caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations, through its colonial rule and aggression, and expresses its deep remorse and heartfelt apology for this.
- Yasuo Fukuda, as quoted in "Comments by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Yasuo Fukuda on the history textbooks to be used in junior high schools from 2002" (3 April 2001), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
- I know Japan; I lived there for ten years. I know the Japanese intimately. The Japanese will not crack. They will not crack morally or psychologically or economically, even when eventual defeat stares them in the face. They will pull in their belts another notch, reduce their rations from a bowl to a half bowl of rice, and fight to the bitter end. Only by utter physical destruction or utter exhaustion of their men and materials can they be defeated.
- In the U.S., if you are a singer, you're usually a singer for life. In Japan, you branch out... Japan needs more child care places that are government funded. Big companies need to have day care centers. I used to take my kids on location. Sometimes my boss held my baby while I worked.
- You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?
- Adolf Hitler, as quoted in Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs, by Albert Speer, p. 115
- Starting in the 1890s, Imperial Japan fought a series of limited wars to entrench itself in continental Asia. It annexed Korea and went to extravagant lengths to eradicate Korean nationhood. Bad blood continues to poison Korean attitudes toward Japan to this day despite the island state’s radical transformation. Indeed, to all appearances, Japan—not North Korea—stokes the most passion in South Korea today. That’s tough for outsiders like yours to truly fathom. Japan has been a good international citizen for seventy years now, ever since U.S. forces ousted its militarist rulers in favor of a liberal republic displaying a strong pacifist streak. And for all the talk of Japanese rearmament, Tokyo spends a mere 1 percent of GDP on the armed forces. You can’t buy that much bang for so few bucks—certainly not enough to send forth conquering hordes across the Tsushima Strait... America is a close ally of South Korea. It’s a close ally of Japan. But seldom if ever do the two allies work together independently of the United States. That makes the U.S. Pacific Command the hub in a hub-and-spoke arrangement within the U.S. alliance system. This is starkly suboptimal. Alliances thrive on mutual goals and strategy, and underperform when allies see one another—not external threats—as the problem. Adding a spoke connecting Seoul with Tokyo would do a world of good—but it would demand that they transcend the longstanding era of bad feelings... Japan's record of mayhem stretches all the way back to the sixteenth century while spanning the military and, after 1868, imperial regimes... The last seventy years represents the calm before the next storm. Liberal rule today, militarist rule tomorrow?
- James Holmes, "Why Korea Still Fears Japan" (28 August 2015), The National Interest.
- I have lived, and continue to live, in the belief that God is always with me. I know this from experience. In August of 1973, while exiled in Japan, I was kidnapped from my hotel room in Tokyo by intelligence agents of the then military government of South Korea. The news of the incident startled the world. The agents took me to their boat at anchor along the seashore. They tied me up, blinded me, and stuffed my mouth. Just when they were about to throw me overboard, Jesus Christ appeared before me with such clarity. I clung to him and begged him to save me. At that very moment, an airplane came down from the sky to rescue me from the moment of death.
- In a society that employs a strong sense of ethnic and cultural unity, ethnic prejudice and discrimination typically prevent minority members from participating in main stream society. Both Japan and Korea are good examples of such a rigid society. Traditionally, the Korean government has been imposing various legal measures to prevent foreigners immigrating into Korea. However, Japanese minorities have been living in Korea, though small in number, for almost half a century. Most Japanese living in Korea today are elderly women with their Korean husbands, many of them now widowed.
- Eung-Ryul Kim, "The Life Instability of Intermarried Japanese Women in Korea" (1999), Korea University and University of Southern California, The Center for Multiethnic and Transnational Studies.
- While Koreans show no apparent disapproval or hatred to foreigners in general, they have negative attitudes toward Japanese. Because of harsh memories of Japanese occupation period, a strong anti-Japanese sentiment has been prevailing throughout Korean society, especially stronger in the post-World War II era.
- Eung-Ryul Kim, "The Life Instability of Intermarried Japanese Women in Korea" (1999), Korea University and University of Southern California, The Center for Multiethnic and Transnational Studies.
- During the war, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. On behalf of the people of Japan, I hereby renew my feelings of profound remorse as I express my sincere mourning to the victims
- Junichiro Koizumi, as quoted in "Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the 58th Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead" (15 August 2003).
- In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. Sincerely facing these facts of history, I once again express my feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology, and also express the feelings of mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, in the war. I am determined not to allow the lessons of that horrible war to erode, and to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world without ever again waging a war.
- Junichiro Koizumi, as quoted in "Statement by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, On the 60th Anniversary of the End of the War" (15 August 2005).
- As to the origin of those comfort women who were transferred to the war areas, excluding those from Japan, those from the Korean Peninsula accounted for a large part. The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese rule in those days, and their recruitment, transfer, control, et cetera, were conducted generally against their will, through coaxing, coercion, et cetera. Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.
- South Korea spends the equivalent of 1.7 percent of its GDP on caring for the old, just one step above the stingiest OECD member; Mexico. Neighboring Japan, on the other hand, is generous to its seniors, doling out an amount corresponding to 8.9 percent of its GDP on the archipelago’s vast grey-haired population.
- Se-woong Koo, "No Country For Old People" (24 September 2014), Korea Exposé.
- North Koreans feel more anger toward Japan. The Korean War lasted for three years, but Korea was annexed by Japan for 35 years, which is a lot longer than the Korean War. More evidence and historical archives about the ruthless Japanese imperialism exist than those about Korean War. Hence, despite the fact that North Korea works so hard to make its people hate America, young North Koreans feel more anger and resentment towards Japan and what they did to Koreans during the annexation and World War II. In this sense, the North Korean historical education system has been successful.
- Je Son Lee, "What do North Koreans think of their neighbors?" (10 June 2015), by J.S. Lee, NK News.
- We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, Commodore Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress, by lifting the veil of isolation to the friendship, trade, and commerce of the world. But alas the knowledge thereby gained of western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought were denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of principles to see that the Japanese people are liberated from this condition of slavery. It is my purpose to implement this commitment just as rapidly as the armed forces are demobilized and other essential steps taken to neutralize the war potential. The energy of the Japanese race, if properly directed, will enable expansion vertically rather than horizontally. If the talents of the race are turned into constructive channels, the county can lift itself from its present deplorable state into a position of dignity. To the Pacific basin has come the vista of a new emancipated world. Today, freedom is on the offensive, democracy is on the march. Today, in Asia as well as in Europe, unshackled peoples are tasting the full sweetness of liberty, the relief from fear.
- A nation of deities with the Emperor at its center.
- Ensure Japan's security and defend the kokutai.
- During a certain period in the not too distant past, Japan, following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war, only to ensnare the Japanese people in a fateful crisis, and, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology. Allow me also to express my feelings of profound mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, of that history.
- The basic stupidity of modern Japan is that we’ve learned absolutely nothing from our contact with other Asian peoples.
- Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase'
- Japan must eliminate self-righteous nationalism, promote international coordination as a responsible member of the international community and, thereby, advance the principles of peace and democracy. At the same time, as the only country to have experienced the devastation of atomic bombing, Japan, with a view to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, must actively strive to further global disarmament in areas such as the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. It is my conviction that in this way alone can Japan atone for its past and lay to rest the spirits of those who perished. It is said that one can rely on good faith. And so, at this time of remembrance, I declare to the people of Japan and abroad my intention to make good faith the foundation of our government policy, and this is my vow.
- Today is a chance for Americans, especially our young people, to say thank you for all the things we love from Japan. Like karate and karaoke. Manga and anime. And, of course, emojis.
- In Asia, the memories of Imperial Japan are still fresh.
- Every Japanese soldier was prepared for death, but as an intelligence officer I was ordered to conduct guerrilla warfare and not to die. I became an officer and I received an order. If I could not carry it out, I would feel shame. I am very competitive.
- Hiroo Onoda, quoted on BBC News, "Japan WW2 soldier who refused to surrender Hiroo Onoda dies", January 17, 2014.
- Hana-ogi: It is very difficult for Japanese women to speak in public. I have never done so, but, perhaps, now it is the time.
- Sayonara (1952). written by Paul Osborn.
- As well as Japanese animation, technology has a huge influence on Japanese society, and also Japanese novels. I think it's because before, people tended to think that ideology or religion were the things that actually changed people, but it's been proven that that's not the case. I think nowadays, technology has been proven to be the thing that's actually changing people. So in that sense, it's become a theme in Japanese culture.
- Far from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated Fascism. We defeated Communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II. We were willing to do it, glad to do it. We went to Korea. We went to Vietnam. All in the interest of preserving the rights of people. And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, 'Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us'? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No. The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead, and that is the kind of nation we are.
- It is a serious and extremely difficult problem that some groups in Japan deny atrocities by the wartime government when the outside world accepts these atrocities as historical fact. This atrocity denial is simply wrong, and its effects are destructive. Admitting to official atrocities in the past should not prevent the building of Japanese national pride today. No one of working age or younger in Japan today is personally responsible for Pacific War crimes. They are part of the new, postwar Japan, characterized by economic and technological prowess and admirable international citizenship. These accomplishments are not canceled out by events from the middle of the last century. As many commentators have pointed out, atrocity-denial is not in Japan’s self-interest because it restricts Japan's opportunities for cooperation with its neighbors and generally damages the otherwise favorable Japan 'brand' internationally... Japan and South Korea are both democracies that fear Chinese domination, yet the animosity between the two societies restricts what should be natural strategic partnering... Despite harboring atrocity-deniers, Japan is certainly no more likely to start a war of aggression than any other country of comparable size and economic capacity in the international community, and probably less so because of lingering anti-militarism stemming from Japan’s disastrous experience in the Pacific War.
- The government is putting as much money into the economy through this package, and through additional spending, as the increased sales tax will put out.
- This has happened before and in some cases the islands disappeared. If it becomes a full-fledged island, we would be happy to have more territory.
- It is a common concern of the international community that China tries to change the situation and increase tensions in the South China Sea by carrying out extensive and rapid land reclamation, building its base in the region and utilizing it for military purposes. We have deep concerns over such actions and want to re-emphasize that Japan cannot accept (them)
- Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference, Japan's chief government spokesman on China deploying missiles in an island in the South China Sea, quoted on Edition.CNN (February 18, 2016), "China said to deploy missiles on South China Sea island"
- B.H. Chamberlain, in his Things Japanese (London, 1898), says: "All education was for centuries in Buddhist hands; Buddhism introduced art, introduced medicine, moulded the folklore of the country, created its dramatic poetry, deeply influenced politics and every sphere of social and intellectual activity. In a word, Buddhism was the teacher under whose instruction the nation grew up." A.S. Geden, while quoting the above passage, further adds that "In a larger sense of these terms, Japan owes more educationally to Buddhist influence and instruction than perhaps any other nation, with the possible exception of the Burmese". When Europe forced its way into Japan, it found that most Japanese, men as well as women, could read and write. They were educated by Buddhist monks in their "temple-huts", known as tera-koya. Attendance at these schools was entirely voluntary. "There were also schools open for girls, which were, it may be assumed, always under the direction of the nuns".
- B.H. Chamberlain, quoted in Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections. Ch. 6.
- In Japan, strong girls are very popular. The tradition of my country has in the Tarazuka, the Japanese theater in which only women take part, the maximum level of feminine emancipation. These actress cover all roles of the plays, even the male ones. I was inspired by them to create Haruka. It wasn't easy to make children understand how there could be true love between two women. Haruka is a tomboy, she talks and dresses like a boy, and therefore it's natural she falls in love with Michiru.
- The senshi are very sexy, and boys like it. In Japan, moreover, boys are quite weak and they search for a strong partner. They want to be dominated, and the senshi are ready to do it.
- We have never forgotten that Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries during the last war. Many lost their precious lives and many were wounded. The war has left an incurable scar on many people, including former prisoners of war. Facing these facts of history in a spirit of humility, I reaffirm today our feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology.
- Business travellers visiting Japan are usually easily forgiven for whatever they do, including dressing down for Cool Biz. When in doubt, they can always say sumimasen (or 'excuse me') at the beginning of the meeting, should they find themselves underdressed for the occasion.
- A year ago this time, the third quarter figure for 2012... we were talking about negative growth of more than 3%.
- Japan has a lot of engineers who work at desks. When it comes to implementation, though, they lose confidence and haven't got the courage of their convictions when other people criticize them. Engineers like that can't build cars. Success in this industry demands engineers who have the courage and the decisiveness to implement ideas.
- Kiichiro Toyoda in the 1940s cited in: Satoshi Hino (2005). Inside the Mind of Toyota: Management Principles for Enduring Growth. p. 93
- International hub for the production and trafficking of child pornography.
- 2013 U.S. Department of State’s human-rights report, as quoted by numerous sources.
- "August 6, 1945: Hiroshima. August 9, 1945: Nagasaki." I wrote the words on the classroom whiteboard in large letters. Then I crossed out both dates and places with a big red X. "Not true," I declared. "The atomic bombings never happened. A total fabrication." My university students were dumbstruck. We stared at each other in silence for a long moment. All right, I conceded, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed by American warplanes 60 years ago. But only conventional bombs were used and only a few hundred people were killed. Another uncomfortable silence. Then I admitted it was a ruse. The students seemed to collectively exhale in relief. The tragic reality, of course, is that hundreds of thousands of Japanese died as the result of the two atomic bombings. The brief classroom exercise helped students imagine how citizens of Asian countries victimized by Japanese colonialism, invasion and atrocities during World War II feel when the Nanjing Massacre is labeled a fabrication, military sex slaves are portrayed as willing prostitutes, and forced laborers are claimed to have voluntarily toiled for Japan's former empire. It also gave students additional insight into why Chinese and Koreans, in particular, continue to react so indignantly to revisionist Japanese history textbooks and prime ministerial visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where convicted war criminals are among the Japanese war dead worshipped.
- William Underwood, "War Responsibility in a Japanese College Classroom", The Asia-Pacific Journal (28 September 2005)
- China is building, inventing, struggling and marching forward, confidently, surrounded by friends, but independently. Japan is tied up and restrained. It cannot move. It doesn’t even know how to move, how to resist, anymore. And that is why Japan hates China!
- Homeless people are everywhere.... Entire rural villages are being depopulated, in fact turning into ghost towns. There is rust, bad planning and an acute lack of anything public, all over the country... Japan is in decay. For many years, it was possible, with half-closed eyes, to ignore it, as the country was due to inertia hanging on to the top spot of the richest nations on Earth. But not anymore: the deterioration is now just too visible. The decay is not as drastic as one can observe in some parts of France, the United States, or the UK. But decay it is. The optimistic, heady days of nation-building are over. The Automobile industry and other corporations are literally cannibalizing the country, dictating its lifestyle. In smaller cities, motorists do not yield on pedestrian crossings anymore. Cars are prioritized by urban planners, and some urban planners are paid, bribery by the car industry. Many areas can now only be reached by cars. There are hardly any public exercise machines, and almost no new parks. Japan, which prides itself on producing some of the most refined food, is now fully overwhelmed by several chains of convenience stores, which are full of unhealthy foodstuff.
- After WWII, Japan had to accept occupation. The Constitution was written by the US. Defeated but determined to rebuild and join the ranks of the richest countries on earth, Japan began collaborating with the West, first supporting the brutal invasion to Korea (the so-called “Korean War”). It totally gave up on its independence, fully surrendering its foreign policy, which gradually became indistinct from that of the United States in particular, and the West in general.
The mass media has been, since the end of the war to now, controlled and censored by the regime in Tokyo. Major Japanese newspapers, as well as the Japanese national broadcaster NHK, would never dare to broadcast or publish any important international news, unless at least one major US or British mainstream media outlet had set the tone and example of how the story should be covered by the mass media in the ‘client’ states. In this respect, the Japanese media is not different from its counterparts in countries such as Indonesia or Kenya. Japan is also definitely not a ‘democracy’, if ‘democracy’ simply means the rule of the people. Traditionally, Japanese people used to live mainly in order to serve the nation, which was perhaps not such a bad concept. It used to work, at least for the majority. However, now, they are expected to sacrifice their lives solely for the profits of corporations.
- Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it is not enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House. I wonder if our politicians, among whom armchair arguments about war are being glibly bandied about in the name of state politics, have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.