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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Does Asia Still Hate Japan Post WWII?

I haven't been in Japan in 22 years now... having lost out on Noboko, to be frank, I've just not wanted to go back again... I mean... I do, but I don't.

But I do have great memories of the country.

This photo is NOT one of them. This is a photo I took from outside of a military base in Malaysia.

If you glance at the graphic on the sign... it's intent is quite clear. Trespassers will be shot.

Anyhow, with this week being the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima... and Nagasaki's coming up soon enough... it seems that some countries - China - still aren't all that impressed with Japan, and are looking to celebrate Japan's upcoming 70th anniversary surrendering to end WWII.

I found - granted, we are talking about 22 years ago - that when I visited other countries in Asia and talked with the locals off the beaten tourist trap areas, I found that everyone hated the Japanese... still having long memories of Japan's brutality during and before the war.

That would be Singapore, Saipan, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, (South) Korea... all places I visited while I was stationed in Japan as part of the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme between 1990-1993.

One could assume that as of 2015... when most participants would be in their late 80s and up... that there would be a lessening of the hate... but even 22 years ago, the people who told me they hated Japan were the same age as me - in their 20s... meaning they are now in their 40s and 50s... probably maintaining their same hatred.

China is proof of that in 2015.

They haven't forgotten or forgiven.

I would like to hear from YOU readers who have traveled abroad, whether or not you found that the rest of Asia still had a hate-on for Japan for its role during (and before) WWII.

I'm going to produce a few of my own photos showing war scenes in various countries... and maybe Japan, too, over the next few days.

I'm on vacation for the next week, in case anyone is looking for me at work.

Andrew Joseph

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