Here is a Japanese who would apologize to Korea

Who is this Japanese person? Oh, some nobody named Akihito — the emperor of Japan.

Dong-A Ilbo reported that, according to a Japanese weekly magazine, the emperor expressed his desire to visit Korea to Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. The emperor also said, reportedly, that he “would not hesitate to issue an apology in Korea for the sake of friendship between Japan and Korea.”

The emperor apparently is quite fond of Korea. In 2001, he said he felt a close relationship with Korea because the mother of the Japanese emperor in the 8th century is known as a princess of Baekje, one of Korea’s ancient kingdoms. In his visit to Saipan in 2005, the emperor paid his respects to the Korean Peace Memorial, constructed in memory of the Koreans were injured and killed in Saipan as forced laborers of the Imperial Japan during World War II.

  • cm

    He’s being lambasted in Japan. It would do no good for him to apologize now when his people are not behind him on this. It would be best for him to just remain silent. What LMB demanded of him was silly.

  • jk6411

    He’s being lambasted in Japan.

    By whom? The vociferous right-wing minority?

    I think he should apologize.
    He should do it, before it’s too late.
    (Before the victims of Japan’s war crimes perish. Before the Japanese right-wingers’ ideology becomes de facto mainstream ideology.)
    He must set the facts straight, before it’s too late.

    He should do it. I would give him mad respect if he did.
    (So would many other Koreans.)

  • jk6411

    Before the victims all perish.

  • cm

    And while you’re at it, why not ask him to acknowledge Dokdo is Korea’s? I’m sure that will solve all the problems.

  • Wedge

    In related news, here are some Chinese students violating the terms of their visa protesting at the Japanese embassy:

    I guess big brother China is immune from any Korean action.

  • jk6411

    cm @#4,

    No, it won’t solve all the problems.
    But since he is such a highly regarded figure in Japan, his apology would be a big step in the right direction.

    He may not be able to sway the diehard right-wing extremists, but hopefully he will have an influence on the sane majority.

  • chanceencounter

    It would be impressive for the emperor to come to Korea and offer a sincere apology while here. As jk6411 stated, many Koreans would respect such a gesture, or at least one would hope so.

    In an attempt to bring around others who still felt that an apology on Korean soil by the emperor of Japan in atonement for the country’s past wrongdoings were insufficient, the idea could be floated to summon Ellen DeGeneres as an Ambassador of Peace to do a “Straight Outta 갱남” episode featuring Psy teaching Emperor Akihito how to do the horsey dance.

  • ZenKimchi

    “In 2001, he said he felt a close relationship with Korea because the mother of the Japanese emperor in the 8th century is known as a princess of Baekje.”

    The same way I feel a close relationship with Norway because a 9th century ancestor of mine was impregnated by a pillaging Viking.

  • slim

    Why don’t we just declare the allegedly forthcoming apology insincere right now and spare a lot of handwringing, goalpost moving and self-righteous editorials?

  • Veritas

    I’d be more inclined to believe all of this if it wasn’t an article from “Jyosei Jishin”, a gossip magazine that has a reputation for publishing Imperial family related gossip. I’m surprised Dong-A Ilbo thought this was even newsworthy – it’s kind of like picking up an article such as “Elivis is alive!” from some tabloid.

    He’s being lambasted? I certainly don’t see any of that happening.
    Rather, the article is being largely ignored and for good reason. As stated above, it’s not a particularly reliable source of information.

  • Q

    Germans might feel the same way. In 1945 in Germany, there was a saying “better to have Russians on your belly than an American over your head!” (Source: LINK) NPR reported:

    about 200,000 children were conceived by native German women raped by Russian soldiers.

    But isn’t there distiction between legitimate marriage and rape at war?

  • Q

    Veritas, you said you are “American” and now I think you are “Japanese” American.

  • cm

    What’s the true meaning of the apology? Is the apology about apologizing for the sake of Korea and Japan get closer, as the Emperor says he must? Or is the apology about being sorry for something you did wrong (in this case, what Japan did in WWII)? Many if not most Japanese says they have done nothing wrong, instead helped Korea, and resent the fact that they’re told to apologize all the time. Leave them alone. They feel they have nothing to apologize for, why force individual Japanese to apologize when they clearly don’t speak for their entire nation? You cannot force someone to feel sorry for something which they clearly do not think that they did wrong, and at the same time, satisfied with their parroted apology for the sake of friendship and good feeling. It’s a losing game not worthy to pursue.

  • cm

    Contrition comes within. It can never be externally forced. Forced contrition will never be accepted as sincere.

  • Yeongung

    Even if it’s made to increase friendship, I think a strong worded apology would still be a good thing, especially if it specifies the atrocities committed by the Japanese during the war. It would be hard to ignore the facts if the emperor admitted to them. I agree, though, that a sincere apology is best of all.

    Anyway, I looked at a few English language Japanese news sites to see if I could find any mention of Emperor Akihito wanting to apologize and/or him being lambasted for it. While I didn’t find anything about it, I did find the comment section. Apparently, the Korean government is owned by the PRC, and we only make trouble about Dokdo after the Chinese make trouble about their disputed islands.

    Oh, internet comments, you make me laugh so!

  • Q

    Japan got pardoned by Allied Powers. That’s why Japanese feel they did not do wrong at the war and colonial period, whilst they believe they were victims of atomic bomb.

    If Japan had been occupied the way Germany was taken over — lots of rapes and many days of bombing and street combats — Japanese might have more guilty sensation over the war they initiated.

  • jk641

    Contrition comes within. It can never be externally forced. Forced contrition will never be accepted as sincere.

    In order to feel contrition, the people must first know what their country did.
    I hope that at the very least, an apology by the emperor would cause the Japanese people to take a harder, closer look at their history (instead of just glossing over the unpleasant bits like they do in Japanese school textbooks).

    The people must first be properly educated. Contrition will hopefully follow.

  • cm

    #15, I still fail to see how the Emperor’s apology for the sake of friendship, and without the backing of his nation will resolve this issue once and for all. Soon after his apology, there will be another round of demand for yet another set of apologies. It will never end. The only “sincere” apology is the one where Japan decides, as a nation that they need to apologize when none is asked. Koreans twisting Japan’s arms to force them to say “I’m sorry”, is not really an apology. It’s best for Korea to just accept that Japan will never change, walk away from Japan, and take the high road.

  • Veritas

    “the Korean government is owned by the PRC, and we only make trouble about Dokdo after the Chinese make trouble about their disputed islands”

    Oh the conspiracy theorists… they seem to be everywhere.

  • gbnhj

    I agree, though, that a sincere apology is best of all.

    Best of all? The only alternative to a sincere apology is something either partially or fully lacking in sincerity. And, as touched on above, Koreans have heard many apologies, yet remain dissatisfied because of the belief that these apologies lack real sincerity.

  • Q

    The repeated lip service apologies contradict to Japanese beatifying colonialism and war, denial of atrocities and history, and permitting rightwing nazis activities that saturate the Japanese politics.

  • Q

    I find here some similarity of media treatment on the zainich empero:

  • SeoulFinn

    Even if Emperor Akihito came to Korea, fell on his knees and literally begged for forgiveness in front of the surviving halmonis, it would still not be enough for some people. Unfortunately.

  • Q

    More unfortunate thing would be Japanese politics contradictory to the Japanese empero’s possible apology.

  • enomoseki

    If he would, then do it already. Talk is cheap. Let’s see if he has balls to actually go to the peninsula and officially apologize, like what the Queen Elizabeth did in Ireland.

  • Wedge

    Gotta agree with Slim and SoulFinn (long time no see, by the way) on this. Apologies are for fools at this point.

  • Q

    일빠들 집단 자위중…

  • yuna

    Would like to see Wedge, Slim and SeoulFinn go protest outside the Chinese embassy about it for once.

    Nobody in Europe gives a flying fuck about China and Japan squabbling like 6 year olds over a bunch of islands either, and Chinese acting like bullies. Wen Jiao Bao getting the royal treatment in Brussels for the China-EU summit. I’m tired of Japanophiles accusing Korea being “soft” on China.
    U.S. might pretend to care but only because it also has some vested interest in the region.

  • yuna

    That goes for the “left” of Korea. When Robert K. in his other post wrote “interestingly” both Chosun and Hani were anti-Chinese, I wanted to raise an eyebrow, but didn’t in that post because there was some inane sqwaking started off by somebody else.
    Both North Korea, AND South Korea left are very weary and anti-Chinese at heart and will not trust them. It forms a part of the discrimination that the Chinse students feel when they come to Korea. It’s on a totally different level to the grievance they feel towards Japan.

    Seriously you only have to look at the map of the region and look at the tiny part that looks like a pimple sticking out from China that remained “Korea” to understand how Korea doesn’t and didn’t like China, and STFU.

  • slim

    @28. Strip out the parts of this comment that 1) are totally irrelevant to this thread and then take away those that 2) don’t make sense on any terms, and we’re left with nothing at all. Care to try again, Yuna?

  • Yeongung

    #18, You are right. There have been a ton of apologies in the past. It is time for a “sincere” one. But I don’t think Japan will ever offer up a sincere apology without it being asked for because we will never stop demanding one. In that regard, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

    Another problem we have is that Slim and Seoulfinn are absolutely right, even if they are just slinging sarcasm around. No matter how sincere the apology is, it will never be universally accepted. So what, then, will be acceptable to us, the average people, as a sincere apology? This isn’t a rhetorical question. I want to know what everyone thinks the Japanese have to do.

    Finally, I only agree with part of your last statement, cm. We do need to accept the Japanese as they are. We do need to take that high road and stop demanding they apologize. Then maybe we’ll get the apology we deserve. But I don’t want us to part ways completely. I like parts of Japanese culture too much.

  • Q

    To sin is a human business, to justify sin is a devilish business – Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy


  • Bendrix


    Do you really consider the past apologies to be sincere? Have you read them? They sound like statements of regret issued by corporations after one of their products has been recalled. They are vague, indirect, and cold. If the people of several countries are not satisfied with past Japanese apologies, who are you to say they are being unreasonable? Why haven’t the Japanese been able to convince others they are sorry? The onus is on them to make it right.

  • yuna

    Yeongung, the Japanese should do what they feel they should do.
    It’s a love-hate relationship between these two that depends on many factors. Of course, it would help if the judgment of the people from both countries were less clouded by actions and media invoked by current political motives.

    What rarely help, are the opinions of the 3rd party members.

  • yuna

    Why haven’t the Japanese been able to convince others they are sorry?

    Could it be because they are not? Because they are genuinely not aware? Because they get taught different stuff from the rest of Asia, or not at all? For example if they find out about comfort women it would be to the tune of “there were prositutes from Korea who were sold to the Japanese for their Great East Asia war effort?” and that Korea was colonized for its own good etc.?

    And also, it’s not their fault – 頭を下げること is a national pass time. To do it well and convincingly to actually mean it is hard.

  • Stereo

    So much for yellow journalism of Korea.
    I read the article in Josei-jishin.
    It was like as follows.
    His and Her Majesties are pretty much displeased by the rude comments that Korean president made. A foreign ministry official said that His Majesty said to him that he wishes that things were sorted out so that he would be able to visit South Korea in future. An unidentified parliament member said to the reporter that he heard that his Majesty said that if apologizing were to promote the friendship between the two countries, he would not object to so doing.

    Korean press just keeps providing misinformation and disputes.

  • bumfromkorea

    I don’t think the Emperor’s apology would do any good either. The focal point of the controversy stirred in Korea isn’t the emperor. It’s the fact that a visible portion of the Japanese society is hellbent on glorifying the country’s imperial past, and that the rest of the country are horrifyingly passive about such expressions.

    It’s one thing to respect freedom of speech. But being politically and socially ostracized for publicly holding a fucked up belief while in public office is a whole other thing. It’s not about the Japanese people with fucked belief about their imperial past; it’s the fact that those people are readily and willingly *elected* to be the mayor of Toyko, mayor of Osaka, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and at multiple points, Prime fucking ministers.

    Such facts indicates that thinking that Comfort Women are opportunistic whores and Empire of Japan was trying to help other Asians in WWII are not politically or socially toxic. If a town in the middle of the Deep South has a 10-term mayor and a 12-term sheriff who openly flies the Confederate flags while calling his black constituents ‘no good n****rs’, I am not in the wrong when I think that most of the people in that town are fucking racists.

  • TheKorean2

    bumfromKorea, you got the first part right. As a Korean, I don’t really care if the emperor of japan (His father was a criminal) apologizes or not. Japan will still not acknowledge the horrible crimes they did to Korea and others. Korea is divided because of the occupation and we are still pissed at Japan. What Korea needs to vengeance.

  • TheKorean2

    You guys do know that thousands of Koreans were killed in the atomic blast of two Japanese cities right?

  • jk641

    bum @#36,

    It’s the fact that a visible portion of the Japanese society is hellbent on glorifying the country’s imperial past, and that the rest of the country are horrifyingly passive about such expressions.

    Yes, this is very true.
    This is why the emperor must speak the truth and apologize.

    He must set an example for the whole nation.

    Otherwise, the only voices that the Japanese people hear will be those of imperial Japanese flag-waving right-wing Japanese crazies, and over time the whole nation will become brainwashed.

    For the same reason, Koreans must not stop asking Japan to apologize. Never.
    Until the Japanese govt makes it a crime for Japanese to deny their country’s past war crimes, and codifies it into law.

  • Q


    I lost my sympathy to the Japanese victims who died in Hiroshima when I read how the f*cking racists cleaned up the scene:

    The Japanese government sent only Korean workers into the ruins of Nagasaki to restore the damage caused by the atom bomb, leaving them exposed to dangerous radiation.

    [Source: LINK]

  • CactusMcHarris


    And that’s what makes you a thoughtless, racist prick most of the time when you comment on Japanese matters – you are mentally unable to see the Japanese victims in a sympathetic light. I’m talking the hundreds of thousands of civilians in the city, not the military.

    And consider your source – they must have missed the Japanese army units sent to the scene to help, but considering the source, I suppose it’s just doing their job correctly to not report all of the facts.

  • bumfromkorea

    If he is a thoughtless, racist prick (and I agree), I wonder why you and the others continue to engage him while stating the blatantly obvious (that he is a racist prick who can’t distinguish from the Empire of Japan, its citizens, and citizens of modern day Japan). For what purpose does everyone argue with him every time like he’s even making a modicum of sense? In case someone reading this blog go “Oh, this Q guy has a point. I think I’m gonna hate Japan now.”?

  • Q

    Would this US military pilot owe sympathy and apology to Japanese?

  • TheKorean2

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki was needed to end the war quickly, it was only way to get Japanese to surrender altogether. Don’t forget thousands of Koreans died too. The emperor should have been blamed since he didn’t do jacksh*t about it. MacArthur should have abolish the monarchy system but he didn’t because of his ignorance.

  • mickster

    The Josei Jishin magazine has an established record of writing stories about the imperial household and getting complaints from the Imperial Household Agency for its inaccuracy. That is probably why the story did not get much attention in Japan; I myself would not have come to know about it unless I came to MH.
    That is not to say I assume the content is totally false. This time around, there seems to have been no reaction from the agency. Well, the story is not bad for the emperor or the empress — most past stories were — the agency might find it difficult to deny it.

    I did some search on the web. I don’t see Akihito being lambasted, but I see a lot of netizens lambasting Josei Jishin for the story.

  • mickster

    I think it was enough for the three to be able to agree in their wishes that no more wars would be staged and that nuclear weapons would never be used again.
    The pilot certainly does not owe any apology because Japan brought the U.S. attacks on to itself and he just carried out his mission. I felt the a-bomb victims were out of line and awkward when they started asking the pilot for an apology. He didn’t make the decision. (Truman does not owe any apology either.)

    I agree that a completely different Japan would have emerged had the occupation forces dismembered Japan more thoroughly. But I doubt that MacArthur made his decisions out of ignorance. U.S. decicions were more calculated in the line of how to constrain it militarily but at the same time to make the most use of it against its upcoming fight against communism and secure a strong U.S. foothold in the region. Unfotunately, I think little consideration went into the decisions how Japan’s political nature would affect her relations with China and Korea.

  • mickster

    Sorry my last sentence was a little messed up; I hope it can be understood.

  • CactusMcHarris


    Tryin’ to hold back The Ugly and the Ignorant, but I didn’t realize it was a full-time job without benefits.

  • mickster

    jk6411 and jk641 are two separate people, right?
    Or did jk6411 change his name?

  • jk641


    It’s the same person. :)
    Just decided to shorten my name.

  • Q

    Count among the Ugly and the Ignorant racists your grandfather who carpet-bombed over the heads of German civilians.

  • mickster

    Thanks for the clarification :)
    I got the impression, which I now know was wrong, that after “1” got clipped, you suddenly got harsher toward Japan. I’ll keep your opinion in mind.

  • Jakgani

    I think the USA were worse – when they saturated Vietnam, Japan and most of Korea with Napalm.

    “Napalm is the most terrible pain you can imagine,” said Kim Phúc, a napalm bombing survivor known from a famous Vietnam War photograph. “Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius (212°F). Napalm generates temperatures of 800 (1,500°F) to 1,200 degrees Celsius (2,200°F).

  • Jakgani

    Japanese Village was the nickname for a range of residential houses constructed in 1943 by the U.S. army in the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, roughly a 100 kilometres (62 mi) southwest of Salt Lake City.

    Dugway was a high-security testing facility for chemical and biological weapons. The purpose of the replicas of Japanese homes, which were repeatedly rebuilt after being intentionally burned down, was to perfect the use of incendiary bombing tactics, the fire bombing of Japanese cities during World War II.

    The principal architect for Japanese village was Antonin Raymond who had spent many years building in Japan. Boris Laiming, who had studied fires in Japan, writing a report on the 1923 Tokyo fire, also contributed.

    The most successful bomb to come out of the May–September 1943 tests against the mock-up Japanese homes was the napalm-filled M-69 Incendiary cluster bomb. Contenders had been the M-47 (containing coconut-oil, rubber, and gasoline) and the M-50 (a blend of magnesium and powdered aluminum and iron oxide).

    Also tested was the “Bat bomb” a lightweight “bat incendiary” that was attached to live bats.

    For the tests B-17 and B-24 bombers were used operating at normal bombing altitude, and the effects on the villages were meticulously recorded.

  • jk641

    mickster @#52,

    I don’t hate Japan.
    But sometimes, I get really upset at some Japanese/Japanophiles.
    I just get upset, that’s all.
    I’m not crazy. :)

  • jk641

    Q @#51,

    Don’t bash the Allied Forces.
    They did what they had to do to end the war as quickly as possible.

    If they hadn’t defeated Germany when they did, Germans probably would have mass-produced jet fighters and developed the atom bomb.

    If the Allies hadn’t won, we’d be still speaking Japanese.
    (That’d drive you up the wall, wouldn’t it?)

  • Veritas

    Well, I’d have to agree – it wouldn’t be in the agency’s best interest to “deny” the article as being inaccurate, and besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if the emperor was feeling apologetic about Japan’s past deeds.

    On a somewhat related note, I’m sure Josei Jishin is being lambasted but I’m also pretty sure that the particular edition sold well. As a tabloid magazine, I’m sure they accomplished their goal (i.e. there is no such thing as “bad publicity”).

  • YangachiBastardo

    When i read the title of the article i thought it was Sora Aoi