Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bataan Death March not so bad

After all, there are bad people and bad events in every society, so despite the fact that:

The Bataan Death March took place in 1942, when Japanese forces made about 75,000 POWs, the bulk of them Filipinos and around 12,000 Americans, travel inland on foot to prison camps. An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 prisoners died during the march.

Japanese actions weren't anything out of the ordinary. One could not blame Japan for anything especially bad because:

While [Professor Lester] Tenney tells the story of Japanese soldiers decapitating weakened POWs, he also points out there was discrimination against blacks and Jews in U.S. society, suggesting there is no national border in terms of the dark side of humanity. (From the Japan Times online, article by Takami Hanzawa.)

You have to wonder how intentional murder, torture, war crimes and atrocities compare to discrimination in the US at that time. By the way, was there discrimination against minorities in Japan then (or now)? I also wonder why the author included this in the article which is about an American man who survived the death march and who is at 87 still speaking about it.

Actually, I don't wonder why, it is standard practice in Japan. Sure, Japan may have accidentally killed a few Chinese in Nanjing, may have taken advantage of women who wanted to be taken advantage of (we didn't force them to be sex slaves though, they were comfort women), but we were trying to save the world from western imperialism by establishing Japanese imperialism. A few bad things may have happened, but everybody else did bad things too. Therefore, we can "understand" (excuse) Japan's actions. And we must never forget, Japan was the main victim of the war due to Allied aggression.

Quotes in italics from Hanzawa's article here.

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