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).
- One culture, one civilization, one language, and one ethnic group.
- 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.
- Max Fisher, "Why Do Japanese Prime Ministers Keep Resigning" (3 June 2011), The Atlantic.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Northeast Asians, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, strike me as quite nationalistic, and nationalism up here is still tied up in right-Hegelian, 19th century notions of blood and soil. In China, the Han race is the focus of the government's new-found, post-communist nationalism. In Korea, it is only the racial unity of minjeok that has helped keep Korea independent all these centuries. In Japan, the Yamato race is so important that even ethnic Koreans living there for generations can't get citizenship and there's no immigration despite a contracting population.
- Robert E. Kelly, "Asian Multiculturalism: 5 Masters Theses to be Written" (24 May 2010), Asian Security Blog: International Relations of Asia.
- An open split with Japan is perilous, because Japan is still the anchor state of the American alliance architecture in Asia.
- Robert E. Kelly, "South Korea's Dislike For Japan" (4 December 2013), Asian Security Blog: International Relations of Asia.
- Korea's grievances with Japan are very legitimate. Japan sexually enslaved Korean women into war-time brothels. It attempted to erase Korea as a cultural entity by coercing the use of Japanese, even to the point of re-naming people. There are still Koreans alive who went through this. Japan has not really come clean about the empire and the war, a point made not just by Korea, but in China and the U.S. as well. But Koreans do not stop there; they go over-the-top with things like the 'Sea of Japan' re-naming campaign with no obvious point other than to provoke Japan, unfounded claims that Japan wants to invade Korea again, equating bad Japanese behavior in Korea with the far-worse Holocaust, or that Liancourt is worth going to war over, even though a Korean use of force against Japan would almost certainly eventuate a U.S. departure from South Korea and dramatically reduce Korean security.
- Robert E. Kelly, "Japanophobia" (29 March 2014), Asian Security Blog: International Relations of Asia.
- We started the war, and it was a blatant imperial effort to dominate the region. There, I said it! Yes, I know you and the whole world know that already, but my right-wing coalition back home doesn't (actually, they do; they just don't want to admit it). I could roll out old-time excuses that we were just doing what the Brits and French were doing in Africa, or that we were liberating Asians from the whites, or that the Americans forced the war on us. But our Nazi-like brutality in China and cultural eliminationism in Korea are still inexplicable by any of those excuses. Maybe the best I can come up with is that we were blocking the spread of Marxism in the region, but then we also did more than Stalin or Ho or anyone else to help Asian communism by crippling Chiang Kai-Shek against Mao. *Sigh* OK. I've really got nothing left. It's our fault, and we really should alter our history instruction and at least put up a few museums on the carnage we left behind. But at least we fought the war really foolishly; our general staff actually thought we could simultaneously fight China, the British Empire, and the US and win...'
- Robert E. Kelly, "What Asia's leaders should (but won't) say about the 70th anniversary of the Pacific War" (8 April 2015), The Interpreter.
- North Korea does not villainize Japan the way South Korea does.
- Robert E. Kelly, "More on South Korean 'Anti-Japanism' and the Intra-Korean Legitimacy Contest" (3 July 2015), Asian Security Blog.
- 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.
- 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"
- 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%.
- It ought to go without saying that there's nothing inherently Western about women refusing to cover their heads when they go out in public. Japanese women don't cover their heads.
- 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
- "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)
- 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.