Another sign of lingering Japanese war guilt

Following yesterday’s finding that a plurality of respondents indicated that Japan still needs to apologize for its actions during the war, I have found, thanks to a tip from a trusted correspondent, a survey conducted by Fuji TV’sHodo 2001″ program in April that suggests that the Japanese people are far from defiant when it comes to making amends for Japan’s wartime crimes.

If readers go to the Hodo 2001 site’s public opinion survey archive and scroll down to the poll from 8 April, they will find an opinion poll that shows that the Japanese people are not exactly rallying behind The Facts brigade (and let’s not forget the honorary representative from the English-language blogosphere).

The third question in the survey asked, “Regarding the comfort women issue, do you think that Japan has apologized sufficiently?” 43.8% answered no, 37.2% answered yes. (Beyond that, a majority answered “no” to the question asking whether Prime Minister Abe should pray at Yasukuni.)

At the same time, the survey found that 59% of respondents “cannot understand” the repeated criticism by Chinese and South Korean leaders of the various statements made by Japanese politicians about history problems, which goes to show, I think, that historical reconciliation begins at home; there is a limit to what efforts to improve acceptance of past crimes emanating from outside Japan can achieve, which is not to say that others should abstain from good-faith criticism of the revisionists, relativists, and deniers, but it must be done with the knowledge that ultimately the Japanese people have to do the job themselves.

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