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LOS ANGELES — Perhaps in an ideal world, people all across Asia would simply ignore the sad Japanese leader who slides embarrassingly and inelegantly into seemingly pointless denial over the “comfort women” issue of World War II. Perhaps in another world, the sight would prompt genuine concern about the leader’s mental health, rather than abject contempt for his soul.

It would arguably be better for the equanimity of all concerned if they could simply accept that, in the largely aging sector of Japanese society, there remain older Japanese whose stubbornness over wartime atrocities will follow them to the grave — and accept that the more youthful Japanese simply and understandably refuse to accept finger-pointing from Asian leaders for something they manifestly did not do.

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