Now, That’s a Deal!

For all the decades of self flagellation the Germans have gone (and are still) going through, the Japanese seem to have recovered nicely. I’ve always wondered how that could be. They live with sanitized versions of their history; relegating abominations like the Rape of Nanking, the Mengele-ization of Bataan Death March survivors and forced Korean ‘war brides’ to the dusty bin of ‘who, me?’ in their collective national pysche. If you were ever near Peace Park in Hiroshima on a certain anniversiary (and gaijins are solemnly warned to stay away during that period), you would hear no mention of Japan’s part in the war. Only the horrible devastion reigned on them by the United States. It’s quite a contrast to Pearl Harbor, site of the sneak (yes, i did say sneak) attack that started the whole brouhaha. The Japanese empire has a hefty part to play in the display, with nary a derogatory word. Quite a contrast. There seems to be a nationwide selective memory episode in Japan that endures in their consciousness, aided and abetted by their government. Now, part and parcel of a disfunctional family is the enabler. As far as ‘enablers’ go, the U.S. Government has done pretty well for the Japanese. As part of that deal with the Devil, we ~ American taxpayers, most far removed from those dark days ~ get to foot the bill.

Decades After Abuses by the Japanese, Guam Hopes the U.S. Will Make Amends
MERIZO, Guam, Aug. 11 – In July 1944, American warships were bobbing on the Pacific horizon when a squad of Japanese soldiers swept through this old Spanish fishing port. Jogging down sandy alleys and bursting into stucco homes, they rounded up 30 villagers, all known for their ties to the United States.
“They didn’t want any leaders to be around when the military landed,” Ignacio Cruz said as he recalled the roundup he watched as a 17-year-old. “Then, they machine-gunned them, they grenaded them, and if they found them surviving, they bayoneted them.”…
…Often overshadowed by the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan’s occupation of this American island started Dec. 10 and continued until American soldiers returned to Guam on July 21, 1944, a date celebrated as Liberation Day.
With 83 Congressional sponsors supporting the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, a House bill introduced in April, momentum for compensation is building.
A 1951 treaty between the United States and Japan absolved Japan of future individual American war claims, which means American taxpayers would be asked to pay for abuses committed by Japanese soldiers on American nationals on American territory.
The bill was introduced by Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo, a Democrat, who is Guam’s nonvoting representative in Congress.
Compensation for the Guamanians would be roughly comparable to the compensation paid to Japanese-Americans who were interned in the United States during the war.
Under that program, each claimant was paid $20,000. Over the program’s 10-year span, 82,250 Japanese-Americans were paid a total of $1.65 billion.

I’m confused how we’re responsible for redressing the wrongs visited upon a people by the Japanese Imperial Army. Okay, not confused. Pissed. But the Guamanians are far better off than the Bataan survivors. They had government lawyers at their hospital beds with releases for them to sign, exonerating the Japanese Army, the Japanese govenment and had to promise never to seek compensation. Sign or lose all your GI benefits. Like I said, pissed.
UPDATE: Japan sorta says ‘sorry’. The rest of Asia’s not buying it. (So how do we get to?)
MORE STUFF: We’re linking to Outside the Beltway. Good reads over there today.

22 Responses to “Now, That’s a Deal!”

  1. Ken Summers says:


  2. WTF?


  3. Dave J says:

    “A 1951 treaty between the United States and Japan absolved Japan of future individual American war claims, which means American taxpayers would be asked to pay for abuses committed by Japanese soldiers on American nationals on American territory.”
    This is, in fact, rather typical of peace treaties. The idea is that because the loser has paid war reparations to the victor, that resolves any need for future individual compensation because claims brought by individuals will be paid by the victorious party out of the reparations already received, NOT out of its own general revenue. Whether this is what’s actually going on in this particular case is far from clear.

  4. Ken Summers says:

    Um, problem, Dave. There were no reparations to come out of WWII, so no pot to pay people out of. The only country to pay out money of any sort after the war was the US.

  5. Ken Summers says:

    Further, I’m not sure that Guamanians would be considered American Nationals. Guam was a dependency but I don’t know that native Guamanians had citizenship at that time (I think they do now).
    In any case, there is a huge difference between paying reparations to interned citizens of Japanese ancestry and paying reparations to victims of the Japanese.
    And one wonders when the Japanese will pay actual money (as opposed to nice words) to the Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Burmese, Indonesians, Solomon Islanders…

  6. The Real JeffS says:

    How about the Mariannas? They were a U.S. protectorate for a long time, and are still a dependency. And they were occupied by the Japanese as well.
    And let’s not forget a couple tribes in the Aleutians who were interned by the Japanese.
    “WTF?” is right.

  7. WunderKraut says:

    If the Pres. signs this, I will give up blogging forever…well just long enough to have my blood pressure taken.
    Japan really did get off easy. The war crimes trial was just a show compared to the Nazi trials. Then we let many of them go.
    This selective memory needs to be addressed. But I think that the only real way for the Japanese people to remember what they did will be when North Korea and China try to wipe the Pacific Ocean with them. After all, you KNOW how much Koreans and Chinese love Japan!

  8. And one wonders when the Japanese will pay actual money (as opposed to nice words)
    I think they might be happy if Japan went so far as to fully admit it started the whole thing. Acknowledging (and, God forbid, an apology) what they did has been impossible for the Japanese. But they’re allowed to slide and have been, since the day after the surrender. Where as we’ve all been beating up the Germans since Patton went into Berlin.

  9. Mr. Bingley says:

    Really amazing. Why not have us pay reparations to the Incas for what the Spanish did?

  10. Ken Summers says:

    Jeez Bingley, don’t give ’em any more ideas!

  11. Since it now seems you don’t have to actually have commit the atrocity to to be fiscally responsible for it, why start in the middle? Didn’t Pharoah drive the Jews out of Egypt? The Romans hack and burn our sheepskin clad Celtic ancestors?
    Oh what the hell. Give everybody in the world ~ except the Irish ~ $20,000 and be done with it.

  12. Mr. Bingley says:

    Give everybody in the world ~ except the Irish ~ $20,000 and be done with it.
    Heck, we’re just happy with no more DUI

  13. Timmer says:

    Hell, just make all Guinness products free for life, we’ll be fine.

  14. Mr. Bingley says:

    That’d work for me, Sarge!

  15. (Sounds equitable. I’d have to sample a significant selection of the goods before I agreed to anything, though. I do have standards.)

  16. Nightfly says:

    You know, granted that Japan should be honest about its role in WW2 – but do we really need to hear it from the ChiComs, of all people?
    “Only with an honest attitude toward history can a nation win reconciliation and then integrate into the global community,” the China Daily newspaper said.
    So what happened at Tianamen, again?

  17. Oh Diptera, I don’t agree with that at all. At all. Who cares that’s it’s the Chinese? Is there anyone or anyplace else to hear? Who else has the forum to be able to call them to account? China by it’s very size gets attention that all the Guams, Koreas and Marchers combined can’t. And don’t forget there’s alot of Taiwanese who have something to say, but have no way to. (You wanna jump in here, John?)
    For all the breast beating moans and groans about the atomic bombs, that pretty much sums up the whole of Japanese ‘victimization’. (Ignoring the obvious addendum of the ‘you brought that sh$t on yourself’ truism.) I mean every single year, Hiroshima gets airtime, maybe with a little lip service like ‘Truman did it to save lives’ thrown in. But basically, its one long sob story about the horrors of radiation and American thuggishness. The true victims of the Japanese march through the Pacific never have a forum. No one has their corpses pictures on the walls, or shows videos of executions over and over, or stills of the shattered humans emerging from the bio-chemical experiments in Japanese concentration camps. We all know about the Holocaust, we all know the story of the Nazis and Fascists and Russian Communists, and we’ve all seen those pictures. What ingrained images have we from the Pacific? The Iwo Jima flag raising…and Hiroshima. That’s not only pathetic, that’s collusion.

  18. Mr. Bingley says:

    Sis, I think you misunderstand him. I believe Messr. Fly de la Noir was making the point that it is sad/ironic/pathetic that it is the Chinese Commies of all people who are complaining about Japan and getting favorable press for it. The same Chinese who took and Great Leap Forward and and cushioned the fall with several million bodies.

  19. Mr. Bingley says:

    er, “a” great leap forward, not “and”.
    Doofus I be.

  20. John says:

    Taiwan is a sticky one from this point of view, Sis – many Taiwanese prefered Japanese rule to GMD rule (Google 2/28 for a good reason why). But the Taiwanese who were conscripted into the IJA did not get veteran’s benefits. I know of one family who finally, in the 1990s, got survivor’s benefits for a son lost while serving in the IJA.
    But China, Communist or not, has an even better reason to complain about Japanese behavior: it took until last freaking month for Japan to agree to clean up the chemical weapons stockpiles they left behind.

  21. (Sniff. Schmaybe. But damn! I only said I didn’t agree…)

  22. Nightfly says:

    I dig, Ms. Sister – it’s just the way I’m thinking about it is, China gets as much from the image of American nucular thugishness as does Japan. It’s not only hypocritical (they only want to see Japan lose face in the world), it’s self-serving.

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