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One of the great puzzles of the Second World War is how Germany managed to escape all responsibility for the war it started, while Japan still can't get out from under its burden of guilt. Check out the Netflix mini-series, The Man in the High Castle. It features an America split between occupying powers: the Japanese Pacific States west of the Rockies; the Greater Nazi Reich to the east — not German, mind you, but Nazi. The villain is addressed as Obergruppenführer, and he makes occasional reference to Herr Hitler back in Berlin, but his own nationality is ambiguous. He might even be an American, like most of his fellow bad guys. There's no such ambiguity for the Japanese.
Meanwhile, in today's Berlin , Angela Merkel is a Lady Liberty for the 21st century, welcoming the huddled refugees to Germany, there to breathe free and collect welfare benefits. But in today's Tokyo, politicians tie themselves in knots with yet another for Japan's wartime atrocities, mild as they were compared to Germany's. "The Japanese government bears a heartfelt responsibility" for forcing women to become sex slaves in its military brothels, thus "severely injuring the honor and dignity of many women," explains the Japanese foreign minister in December. Japan will endow a South Korean foundation with $8.3 million. Is that the problem? $8.3 million would have provided about $415 for each sex slave —, $34,874 for each of Korean survivor who overcame her shame and identified herself one of those who'd been tricked or forced into slavery — and $181,193 for the few who are still alive. In the nature of things, most or all of them were teenagers when they served as "comfort women" for Japanese soldiers and sailors. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
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Posted January 2016. Websites ©1997-2016 Daniel Ford. All rights reserved.