Forgive and forget

JAPAN has bowed in remorse, yet again. Marking 60 years of the country’s surrender in the World War II — on August 15, 1945 — Prime Minister Koizumi has apologised to neighbouring countries for Japan’s role during the WWII.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 17 Aug 2005, 10:03 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:33 PM

This is not the first time a Japanese leader has tried to reach out to neighbouring nations with an unconditional apology. Prime Minister Murayama offered a similar apology at a ceremony marking 50th anniversary of WWII ten years ago. The current PM, Koizumi, himself went to great lengths to make amends for Japan’s imperial past at a summit in Indonesia in April, soon after violent protests in China against Japan.

It’s clear that the nation of rising sun is clearly repentant over its actions during a period when the entire world was bitterly divided. Moreover, Japan wasn’t the only nation to run over neighbours and persecute their people. Germany and many other nations resorted to similar actions at a massive scale. This is no defence of Japan or justification of its wartime atrocities. The idea is to underscore the futility of being handcuffed to history forever. The past should help us avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Now that Japan has expressed remorse over its actions so many times, its neighbours too should forgive and forget. A hopeless preoccupation with the past isn’t going to help anyone. Time to move on.

More news from