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If children can learn to apologize, why can't Abe?

2015-03-19 15:10 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is preparing to deliver a war statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, said Wednesday that he will take advise from a special panel that he has handpicked on the contents of his globally-watched statement.

But while members from his own ruling Liberal Democratic Party, namely Yuichiro Koga, on Wednesday urged Abe to follow in the footsteps of Japan's 81st prime minister Tomiichi Murayama, who, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end, offered what has become an internationally-accepted benchmark for Japan's apology for its wartime atrocities, and have implored the Japanese leader to heed the fact that Japan has"not yet fully verified its past,"Abe is still mulling his options.

This is worrying simply because when it comes to historical certainty; incontrovertible facts proven by the greatest minds in the world and accepted by the international-community after rigorous, unerring and scrupulous inquiry,"options" regarding how to interpret such events do not exist to any right-minded individual, let alone the leader of a nation.

Abe said Wednesday, with regards to this year's war statement, that he wants Japan's history to be judged from a global perspective and not have the focus solely put on Japan during a specific time period and was questioning whether there were"other choices"that could be considered and if his"experts"could examine" how various situations developed over time."

The point the prime minister seems to be deliberately ignoring is that the wartime statement is not concerned with any other point in history except for the duration during WWII when Japan utterly brutalized its neighbors.

The rest of the world knows the details of this, the wheres, the whens and the whos, but it appears that Abe is intent on refuting this and revising Japan's official view to fit its delicate sensibilities and fragility when it comes to standing up, apologizing and saying you were wrong.

Even children are taught by their parents that admitting you are wrong and apologizing sincerely is character building. Children learn that there is far more strength in saying"sorry" than feigning innocence and hiding behind lies.

They learn to own up to their mistakes and in doing so also learn that this is progress; a way of moving forward beyond mistakes and leaving them in the past having faced them squarely. Equally, children who have been wronged are taught that following an honest apology, it is the right thing to do to forgive and forget.

For Abe and his revisionist clique of likeminded ministers, lawmakers and bureaucrats, it's high time the severity of the situation is realized and all childish gamesmanship ceased, for the future good of the nation, stability in the region and reputation as a developed and self-described principled country.

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