Theodore's World: Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March

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June 15, 2009

Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March

Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March

SAN ANTONIO - Japan's ambassador to the United States apologized Saturday on behalf of his country for the 65-mile forced walk of U.S. troops and allies during World War II that left some 11,000 prisoners of war dead.

"As former prime ministers of Japan have repeatedly stated: The Japanese people should bear in mind that we must look into the past and to learn from the lessons of history," Ichiro Fujisaki said at the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

He said his country was extending a heartfelt apology for "having caused tremendous damage and suffering to many people, including prisoners of war, those who have undergone tragic experiences."

Although Fujisaki received a standing ovation from about half of the 400 to 500 attendees, others said the apology was overdue and didn't seem sincere.

Former POW Hershel C. Boushey told the ambassador that he did not accept "your apology," and that the atrocities and mistreatment many suffered was severe.

In 1942, Japanese captors marched about 78,000 prisoners of war - 12,000 Americans and 66,000 Filipinos - for six days on the Philippine island of Luzon to a prisoner-of-war camp in what became known as the Bataan Death March. Many prisoners were denied food, water or medical care, and some were stabbed or beheaded.

As many as 11,000 prisoners died, according to the U.S. Air Force.

Survivor Tony Montoya, of Woodland, Calif., also questioned Fujisaki's sincerity.

"This young man knows very little of the atrocities," Montoya said. "They probably rehearsed him on it."

Abie Abraham, of Renfrew, Pa., said it was time to move on.

"I was never one of those guys that worried about whether we got an apology or not," said Abraham, a 95-year-old vet.

"The way I look at it is - Japan is now our ally," Abraham said. "Why should we get an apology from them?"

Retired Tech Sgt. Joe Alexander, of San Antonio, said he was satisfied because "we finally got the apology that we wanted."

About 73 surviving Bataan Death March veterans of the Army and former Army Air Corps members attended the convention Saturday, which served as the march survivors' final reunion.

Wild Thing's comment.......

One of my Uncles was a Bataan survivor, he has since passed away. But I knew him well enough to know he would not accept Japan's apology, no way.

I wonder why they actually did this, they are always consumed with saving face and it is not like them to apologize for anything. The Japanese have not ever really SINCERELY apologized for anything they EVER did in WW2. Like the atrocities committed in Nanking, China and other places in Asia.

They are like a criminal that is more sorry for getting caught than the real act committed. They think that the suffering of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki wash away all their sins, when in fact they are just really sorry for losing.

I honestly think this has a lot more to do with more recent (or future) events that have little to do with Bataan.


......Thank you SSGT Steve

SSgt Steve
1st MarDiv, H Co., 2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment
2/5 Marines, Motto: "Retreat, Hell"
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at June 15, 2009 04:47 AM


The apology is about 54 years late. I agree with Tony Montoya. The ambassador probably knows little of WWII.

Posted by: TomR at June 15, 2009 10:41 AM

In a world where Red China will be increasingly belligerent and the muslim savages are running amok, I think the Statute Of Limitations on Japan has expired. It is time to move on. The conciliatory gesture should be appreciated.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at June 15, 2009 11:31 AM

Why hasn't the Prime Minister of Japan apologized. He leaves this important message to a flunkie ? An Ambassador ?

You know what this will prompt. It will get obama to apologize for the A-bombs dropped on Japan to end the War. When are the Japs going to apologize to China, Korea and Burma. These are long overdue.

At this late date I don't see any value in this at all. How about an apology for the 11 Marine Raiders who were executed, or the ones who were summarily executed on Wake Island.

No I think the Prime Minister and a member of Heroheto's family need to apologize.

Thats why these apologizes are useless.

Posted by: Mark at June 15, 2009 04:06 PM

"You know what this will prompt. It will get obama to apologize for the A-bombs dropped on Japan to end the War."

If (when?) that happens, President Zero should be condemned. And given what a dupe he is, he probably will.

But for now, let's just take the conciliatory statement and go with it.

With Red China now having a "blue water" navy, the USA-Japan alliance will probably grow more important. Already, for an ostensibly "pacifist" nation, the JSDF have a pretty sizeable military.

With Iran rearing its ugly head, and Japan showing far more support for our efforts in Iraq than putative "allies" like France, there are bigger problems now.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at June 15, 2009 04:15 PM

Ok I'll bite. What does an apology do afthe fact that these bastards killed 11,000 of our troops who were prisoners, General wainwright took it up the ass and had no choice but to surrender, they were pow's. What does an apology mean at this point.

Gee, we are really sorry we beat the shit out of you but that was War, so now we've had second thoughts about it, and offer an apology by a second rate head of state. Who by the way the Ambassador of Japan delivered the 14 page document, 6 hours late, inidcating the Japs were about to attack Pearl Harbor. How appropriate the same position is used to convey an apology. I would say at best about 70 years too late. Because the people it mattered to have been dead for almost that long. If they really felt that bad, take the short sword and be done with it.

But knowing the coward Obama is he will accept it. Forget the past and you are doomed to repeat it. Even the Germans treated POW's a hell of a lot better than the Japs did.

And for their part, the Japanese owe the Chinese and the Koreans an apology too. Which has never forthcoming.

The War ended 64 years ago, WE WON they didn't and THAT should be the end of it.

Posted by: Mark at June 15, 2009 10:03 PM

Some journalist were visiting a Japanese school. During a chat with one class of youngsters, they asked about the war between Japan and the U.S. One student asked "The United States and Japan were in a war ?
"Yes the journalist replied, to which the student asked "Who won?" So much for history!!!

WTF is it with this apology bullshit? Just what concessions do the Japs want from the United States this time? At least show some self respect you groveling motherfuckers!!!

$$$ Billions spent rebuilding and protecting Japan, Europe and Korea plus Americans fighting every fucking proxie war the Chinese or the Russians can stir up, to protect a bunch of bloodsucking leaches forever. It's enough to raise my blood pressure a bit.
Just purse your lips and bend over to kiss someone's ass. Fuck You Obama and that Camel you rode in on!!!

I'm sorry absolves all the inhumane and brutal treatment dealt out by Communists, Fascists, Islamists and the Shinto's who butchered U.S and Allied captives on Bataan and on every continent around the world. Meanwhile America's political hypocrites turn a blind eye towards historical atrocities against it's countrymen and the human race itself, these self serving fucks have military guards rotting in prisons for far less infractions to appease a bunch of fucking head lopping ragheads. I agree 100% Mark, why now?

Posted by: Jack at June 16, 2009 12:10 AM