Japan paid its Pacific War debt

I read recently in my hometown newspaper that Korean and Chinese officials were upset over Japanese officials visiting the shrine to Japan’s war dead.

I know about the Pacific War; my father fought in it. He was a member of an underwater demolition team; they’re called SEALs now.

Atrocities committed by the Japanese military are well documented and can not be defended. However, the Japanese people paid the price. Japan’s skies were filled with American bombers that dropped the most horrible weapons known to man: firebombs and atomic bombs.

The cities were destroyed and Japan was occupied. My dad fought for his country against young men who fought for theirs. The price was paid.

The Japanese owe no debt. They should go to their shrines and honor their war dead, as we honor our war dead here.

james jones
corpus christi, texas

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.

  • David L

    Japan did not pay nearly enough and it never really learned the lesson. Imagine Angla Merkel worshipped Adolf Hitler. How would Israel react? How would American react? It is unfathomable. But that is what Shinzo Abe and the Japanese Government are doing by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine and worship criminals like Hideki Tojo.

    • Charlie Sommers

      There are 2,466,532 souls enshrined at Yasukuni. Why do you insist on saying that Abe and other government officials only visit to worship the war criminals? They could easily have ancestors who fought nobly among that vast number of soldiers.

      • PaperInTheWind

        Then why didn’t they just remove the war criminals from Yasukuni? Simple, because they are worshiping them and particularly them. The history of war is sadly noted for its heroes rather than unnamed soldiers. It’s Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon, Mao who are remembered. On the other hands, it’s also these people who are prosecuted whereas “the vast number of soldiers” who committed crimes aren’t on the criminal list.

        That is fine by me because I never believed in winner’s justice. If the Japanese people believe that such actions are worth the wrath of its neighbours, then it’s their choice. But don’t pretend to be surprised when the inevitable reactions come.

      • Charlie Sommers

        . “Then why didn’t they just remove the war criminals from Yasukuni?”

        Simple! Because Yasukuni enshrines “all” the Japanese soldiers who died for their country. I also don’t think “Worshiping” is the correct word to use. Wouldn’t “honoring” be a more appropriate choice?

  • Jae Hwan Jung

    How in the world war debt has some connection with Japan being attacked by the atomic bomb? Does atomic bomb attack pays off Japan’s war debt? Man, ppl in Texas… mostly ultra conservatives cannot think clearly

    • PaperInTheWind

      Because he didn’t know there were other countries involved in the WWII. The debt he meant was for the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the challenge to the American empire, the US repaid Japanese with two atomic bombs and occupied Japan, nothing else mattered.