May 05, 2015

Abe's Apology: For Americans, Not for Asians

By David Eunpyoung Jee

In the heart of Washington D.C., trees along Massachusetts Avenue, where Embassy of Japan is located, were decorated with three flags: the District of Columbia, the United States, and Japan. Anyone could literally see that Washington was prepared to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Numerous standing ovations during his speech before the U.S. Congressdemonstrated how close the United States and Japan are each other.

In addition to the celebration of friendship between the United States and Japan, another remarkable point of Abe’s visit came when he officially conveyed his “eternal condolences to the souls of all American people that were lost during World War II.” In contrast, during a speech in Harvard University, Abe chose not to acknowledge Japanese involvement in the sexual slavery of Asian women during the Pacific War. Why is Japan so two-faced? What makes Japan apologize to Americans but remains reluctant to admit its past wrongdoings despite constant demands from Asian countries? In a word — national interest.

Read the full article in The Diplomat.

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