Sunday, August 07, 2005

Japan and World War II

Tycho found this story on Something Awful. The author, Zack Parsons, contrasts the Allied treatment of German atrocities with the American post-war treatment of Japan. Although the Japanese engaged in terrible actions in the occupied countries and performed medical and biowarfare experiments on unwilling, human subjects, they were never forced to face these facts. The article includes details of the activities of Unit 731, the best known of these medical groups.

There's a resurgence today of Japanese nationalism that considers Japan a "victim" of WW II and Hiroshima/Nagasaki symbolic of that victimization. In Parsons' view this denial is possible because of the coverup, in which the US was complicit, of many of the evils that flourished in Imperial Japan.

He has a good point. Although similar groups exist in contemporary Germany, the Holocaust record is hard to deny. It's also appalling that the perpetrators in Japan were allowed to escape any punishment for their crimes.

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