If China or South Korea were asked not to visit a place or do something it had been used to doing for years, I am sure the answer would be “this is our country and you have no right to interfere, so just stay away.” And they would be right.
Even though, at Yasukuni Shrine, the souls of Class-A war criminals are enshrined, it is Japanese territory, and when someone goes there — a citizen or a politician — it is to honor the dead people in general, not the named criminals.
Horrible things happen in war and people suffer because of it, but you cannot keep asking a country to apologize every year for what a previous generation did.
I am from Europe and my family suffered a great deal because of war with Germany, but I don’t see myself asking the German government to apologize to me every year for what it did to my family. I will not forget, but life has to go on. Time eases pain, and we should work together to make life better for our children so that they will not experience what we went through.
If you keep asking for apologies, it means that you want to keep anger and sorrow in your heart, that you don’t want to let go and have a better life. That is such a shame.
It is time that China and South Korea turn the page and, together with Japan, try to make a better life for their peoples. Too many ugly things are happening in the world today.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.