Friday, May 29, 2009


Japan's Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki, after receiving two invitations to attend the last convention of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, has agreed to come to the last day of the event to read the apology he wrote to the ADBC's last Commander Lester Tenney.

This is a historic event. 

The Ambassador's apology, however, is merely a rewording of the 1995 Murayama war apology by replacing "the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations" with "those who have undergone tragic experiences in the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island in the Philippines." It is simply a linguistic legerdemain by MOFA.

More significant is the official, formal apology given by the Japanese Government twice in February in an answer to DPJ Upper House Member Yukihisa Fujita. Here, the Government gave an apology to all POWs:  "to the people of former Allied nations and other nations including former POWs " of Japan. 

This was a Cabinet Decision. And it was only the second time a Cabinet Decision has been used as a war apology and the first time for a specific group. It is also more inclusive than merely those who became POWs from fighting on Bataan and Corregidor.

Will the Ambassador have the courage and character to read the second more important apology to the surviving POWs of the ADBC and their families?

We will see.

 But no matter what he says, on Saturday, May 30th, history will be made.

1 comment:

  1. This apology is long over due. I am happy for Lester and glad Japan is finally changing. Let's hope this is the beginning of a new approach Japan takes to international policy.


If I am unamused, your comment will not be posted.