Confronting the past: Koizumi apologizes for Japan’s war crimes
Unlike Germany, Japan has never quite accepted responsibility for the darker side of its history. But it took a huge step forward yesterday when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi apologized for the atrocities committed by Japanese forces during World War II. His remarks came on the 60th anniversary of the war’s end in the Pacific.
It is not necessarily for us to tell the Japanese how to confront their own past. But they are our good friends in the international community, a bulwark of democracy and capitalism in the Far East, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask that, like Germany, it come to terms with a period of its history marred by military aggression and genocide.