I read through the Aug. 16 front-page article “Two Cabinet Ministers visit Yasukuni,” expecting to be dismayed and angered in equal measure. There was one ray of hope and, all the more surprisingly, it came from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda himself.
His words of remorse and unbelievably explicit acknowledgment of Japan’s wrongdoings in World War II possibly rank as the best official apology from Japan we have heard thus far.
Am I reading too much into this? If not, then Prime Minister Noda has gone up massively in my estimation, especially when he made such a statement on a day when such words could go against the tide of the small but vocal groups.
At this time of strained relations with its neighbors, Japan, which is often accused of committing wrongs in the past, needs to understand more than ever the value of taking responsibility and admitting its mistakes as the first step to healing old wounds.
Although I feel my words will fall on sand-filled ears, I can only hope that other ministers follow Noda’s lead.
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.
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