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Thread: Liberation.

  1. #61
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    As for the culpability of German people, I see no reason why modern Germans should feel any guilt over what their parents/grandparents did. It's all very well to have armchair hatred of everything Nazi today, but don't forget that youngsters approaching military service age, and civilians too in 1930s Germany had been brainwashed and indoctrinated from their very early days, so had very little choice in the matter.
    A man who very nearly became my father-in-law was a member of the SS during WW2. His parents, friends, and school teacher all encouraged him to join the Hitler Youth, and membership gave the whole family benefits.
    Joining the SS later was a huge honour, and bestowed the family with the best theatre tickets, restaurant seats, and dispelled the need to queue for foodstuffs etc. It also elevated the entire family above mainstream suspicion, since they would all have been rigorously vetted for the application.
    I wonder how many forum members (especially those, who like me, have had military service) if they had been growing up in Nazi Germany, would have had the moral strength to say "No, I'm not going to do that!", and I also wonder how many actually did. I suspect that given the same circumstances, we would have been eager to join the military recruitment queues...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al View Post
    It's all very well to have armchair hatred of everything Nazi today...
    Yes it is!

    But otherwise I absolutely agree; it is far too easy to say that it could never happen here / happen again.

    The danger I think is that by having (and I use the words very advisedly) a ‘respect’ for the military capabilities of Nazi Germany or an ‘appreciation’ of the engineering of Nazi weapons it is all too easy to become ‘comfortable’ with the Nazi regime itself. There is also a danger of compartmentalising the responsibility for the worst atrocities onto ‘the Nazis’, ‘the SS’ or ‘the Gestapo’; while there is some logic in this it very much depends on the experience of the war between (say) Britain and Nazi Germany.
    WA$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al View Post
    I wonder how many forum members (especially those, who like me, have had military service) if they had been growing up in Nazi Germany, would have had the moral strength to say "No, I'm not going to do that!", and I also wonder how many actually did. I suspect that given the same circumstances, we would have been eager to join the military recruitment queues...
    I spent a few years working for German companies and the fathers of two of my good friends were in the party and one in the SS. My friends despised their history but understood why they joined. During all my time in Germany and working with Germans, many of whom becasme good friends, the discussions about the past were just that. The past. They felt no responsibility for what happened and looked to the future and the end of the Cold War and perhaps even a reunited Germany. They were proud of the democratic West Germany which had picked itself up and rebuilt itself in the post-war years. And many of them had a terrific sense of humour.
    Charlie

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    Oppama

    Reparation ? I'm so glad you mentioned that. When Andy re-opened this subject, which, incidentally, because of the bitter memories of my generation particularly, is a subject that evokes the strongest of opinions very often expressed in the most pungent form.

    After being employed as a labourer first class, by the exponents of the afore mentioned Co-Prosperity Sphere, having, thru' no choice of his, foregone the usual paid overtime, holidays with pay and all the other workers benefits derived from his exertions while building the Death Railway thru' Thailand, my friends father arrive back in this country as a gibbering wreck.

    As a fairly elderly gent he eventually received some conscience money in the shape of £10,000 or its equivalent in yen. Who paid it, I know not

    Question: Was he paid this amount because of some imaginary grievance he held or, were there in your opinion solid but gruesome events that gave rise to the payment of what amounted to some derisory compensation?

    In an earlier comment, I gave a list of Nazi concentration camps that became a byword for bestial cruelty. Here specially for you, is a list of comparable Jap venues renowned as centers of excellence for unmitigated sadism:

    Bataan
    Corregidor
    Philippines
    Mantanani Island
    Dinawan Island
    The Death Railway
    Comfort Women
    Rape of Nanking
    Pingfang


    And most infamously of all' Unit 731

    I have never been to Japan - I have no desire to go. I do not speak Japanese - I have no desire to learn. I do tho' know my history of WW2. The list above is a mere fraction of all those places that were the recipient of Japanese culture and militarism. If there is any justice beyond this mortal plane it will be reserved in perpetuity for those vile beasts who visited their capacity for unimaginable cruelty upon their hapless and enfeebled victims.

    Unit 731

    "We removed some of the organs and amputated legs and arms. Two of the victims were youn women, 18 or 19 years old. I hesitate to say it, but we opened up their wombs to show the younger soldiers. They knew little about women - it was sex education."

    Akiro Makino
    March 2007

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    John/Oppama et al.

    I firstly didn't expect the thread to go the way it has.
    I've expressed my views twice now on the Nazis (once more than I rather expected) and I won't be taking the thing any further.

    As to the Japanese. As a young man growing up in East Anglia there were plenty examples around me of men who had suffered terrible things in the Far East.
    As my own Father once said-and his war had by our standards been no free holiday:-" My war was like a paid holiday compared with what they went through."
    And it's easy to get angry.
    However, it didn't stop me rushing out to buy Japanese motorcycles, cameras, cars, TV's etc.
    In fact, I'm a life-long devotee to the products of Soichiro Honda--and he helped make aeroplane propellers during the war.
    I did hear that he once whacked an indolent design engineer with a camshaft--and maybe that says more about the Japanese psyche than much else.
    If though I was asked to name my engineering hero, it would be he. Sometimes (like today) when I've had my hands deep inside the workings of a Honda engine, I wonder and marvel at the workings of the minds of those who designed them. There was after all a very good reason why the British bike industry died a death.

    I did know people once who wouldn't have a japanese product in the house.
    It was never I though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Green View Post
    Reparation? I'm so glad you mentioned that.

    After being employed as a labourer..... .....building the Death Railway thru' Thailand, my friends father arrive back in this country as a gibbering wreck.

    As a fairly elderly gent he eventually received some conscience money in the shape of £10,000 or its equivalent in yen. Who paid it, I know not

    Question: Was he paid this amount because of some imaginary grievance he held or, were there in your opinion solid but gruesome events that gave rise to the payment of what amounted to some derisory compensation?
    That's not the reparation that I was talking about.

    I'm sure you know that the £10,000 came from the British Government as an 'ex-gratia' payment for those who qualified for it. So presumably he hadn't been a recipient of compensation via JARS after the 1951 SFPT.

    Yes, it was a paltry sum wasn't it? Especially so after all those years. However, once you start trying to put a monetary value on these things it can all get a bit difficult, can't it? How much is 'enough' for each individual's situation?

    So the ex-gratia payment didn't come from Japan and wasn't anything to do with the post-war reparations I mentioned. It was between the British Government and the qualifying FEPOWS and civilians. An angle to this that hasn't been discussed much.....

    Quote Originally Posted by John Green
    Here specially for you, is a list.....
    I don't know how many times I would have to repeat it before you took it on board, but I am not denying ANYTHING and I am not an "apologist" either. Either you believe it or you don't.



    Here's another request to explain your "vermin" comment from your post #37. Please clarify, or - better - withdraw it. If it is what I think it is then it really has no place in a civilised discussion, no place on this forum and - honestly - no place in a sane man's head.

  7. #67
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    Vermin? That's exactly what the Nazis called Jews in their propaganda posters...
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups!

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    WA$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oppama View Post
    Sorry to hear about your Dad, and I hope he makes a swift and full recovery.

    However, we went through all this before didn't we? You only seem to have remembered me as some kind of apologist with views diametrically-opposed to your own. And, as I tried to point out before, it's not as simple as that....

    You repeat this ( translated? ) quote that many of those imprisoned were subsequently released "without stain...", when in fact almost all the released were released on parole. How can somebody be released on parole and - at the same time - be "without stain on their character"? Doesn't quite add up does it? Look into it a little more closely and you see that things are not quite as clear as they are painted. Do you know why they were paroled?

    So many of the things that were done in post-war Japan were done because they were seen as the best way to start clearing up a huge mess, because they were seen as being expedient at the time, because they were economically, politically and strategically useful to one prosecuting side or another. Isolating certain situations ( as you did with Yasukuni before ) and trying to tackle them out of context is not really going to get anywhere. There's no end to it.

    But what's perhaps more disturbing is the occasional glimpse on this forum, and from some of the people involved in this thread, of the kind of thinking that leads to the very same things happening all over again. If people are actually willing to believe that there's such a thing as 'Untermensch' ( some of the Japanese imperialists called them 'Chankoro' - look it up ) then they are tilling the soil for the seeds of another bout of genocide to be sown. I've seen long-term forum members with many hundreds of posts to their name call the Japanese "filth", and one within the last week write about "slitty eyed people" without a word of admonishment from other members, until a moderator deleted the whole post ( thank you ).

    So the seeds are out there alright. Truth be told, they are living in all of us...
    Firstly, let me apologise for quoting the whole of Oppama's post but after a hard few days at the hospital and a really hard day coming up tomorrow, it's the only way I'm going to be able to produce anything like a coherent response.

    Oppama, I do fully realise that things are not as simple as you think I think they are and I have you to thank, at least in part, for the simple fact that I have come to this realisation. I've read the best part of 100 books on this subject, from both sides, and I've read the judgement of the IMTFE and the papers from the three Webb inquiries. So at least credit me with trying to come to some level of understanding.

    I haven't the time to find the source of my 'without stain....' comment but I am positive it is something I have read and, yes, I guess it has to be a translation from the Japanese language.

    I know why the Emperor and the Imperial family were exonerated and I know why some of those convicted of war crimes were paroled. I also understand why, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, some of those accused never even faced a trial. And yes, I lay much of the blame for this at the door of Macarthur and America's desire to reintegrate Japan into a society which was an ally of the West.

    I do not have the ability to look in depth at 'both sides' as you have, I do not have the facility but I do try. Whilst bitterness and hatred may well be negative and even destructive emotions, I can understand why such bitterness exists. It is still, just, within living memory. Personally I can never forget the atrocities committed in the name of the Empire of Japan, neither can I forgive those responsible, at the time, for those atrocities. More specifically I can never forgive those who made one of the kindest and gentlest of men recoil in horror when he was approached by a well dressed, respectful and polite Japanese car salesman at the Motor Show and this was fifty years after my Uncle had spent nine months trekking through the jungles of Burma.

    I'm too tired to write more tonight and I'm sorry that my comments have, in part, derailed this thread. For me, it's taken a detour down an interesting avenue and again I'd like to thank Oppama for making me re-examine my views and for encouraging me to develop a deeper understanding of this subject.

    To John, I understand the reasons for your hatred of the Japanese of that period and to an extent I share that. But the Japanese of today are a very different people.

    I'll try, Oppama (what is your name?), when I have the time, to find the sources for the comments I have made, I know I got them from somewhere but for mow I'm sure you understand that Dad has to be my priority. Speaking of Dad, he has shown some slight improvement but it is very early days, he is very old and he is not yet out out of the woods.

    Kind regards,

    kev35
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    Re 67

    Oppama

    Your last paragraph. Ask the opinion of any former captive of the Japanese during WW2 especially those who survived the tender ministrations of the Japanese medical teams working in Unit 731.

    Many who are tuned to this subject, would like to read your views, justifications, excuses etc. on the matter of Unit 731.

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    Kev 35

    Your last but one paragraph. Can a "leopard change its spots?" I think that most would agree not.

    Please pass to your father my wishes and hope for a full recovery.

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    John

    I have often wondered about that because in my relatively limited experience but over many years I have known quite a few "leopards" who have without question "changed their spots". I don't think I go along with the adage.
    Charlie

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    Charlie,

    I can't imagine that it is possible. Put it another way. Can a leopard become a lamb? The answer to that has to be no. The intrinsic nature of a leopard is to be a leopard and to do what leopard's do. Similarly a lamb.

    If, somehow, a leopard could become a lamb then it ceases to be a leopard. Difficult for me to think that one thru'. Part of its reason to be is to eat lamb ! Chalk/Cheese.

    Shades of Nietzche.

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    John

    In reality you are right, which is why I believe the adage to be misconceived.
    Charlie

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    John.

    Oppama doesn't need me to defend him and it's plainly obvious that as he has said our views are more or less diametrically opposed. however, you appear to be labouring under a misapprehension regarding his views. I clearly understand that Oppama in no way denies the atrocities committed in the name of the Empire of Japan and he certainly does not excuse them. I think he is concerned more with our perception of the way things unfolded during the period of 1931 to 1945 and even later. He expresses concern about what he refers to as context.

    To an extent, I agree with him. If we can absolve modern Germany of the crimes of the Nazi era, why then do we find it so hard to do the same with Japan? And that's where we need to find the understanding. The Japanese people of today are not Japs any more than Germans are not Nazi's, Huns or Boche. We cannot visit the sins of the Father upon the children. If we were to do so then certain periods of our history would come back to remind us of shameful periods in our past.

    I want nothing more than to understand why and how the Japan and Japanese of the late 19th Century became the Japanese of the early and middle 20th Century. It's a struggle.

    Regards,

    kev35
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Green View Post
    "Can a leopard change its spots?" I think that most would agree not.
    But who or what are you asking to ‘change its spots’; those individually responsible for carrying out an atrocity, those who ordered them to do so, those that were not born when the atrocities were carried out, ‘the Japanese’ back then or ‘the Japanese’ now?

    Soon, so very soon, there will be nobody alive who actually lived through World War Two; there will be nobody left to remember first-hand, nobody to blame, nobody to apologise and so (in truth) nothing to apologise for.

    I absolutely am not an ‘apologist’ for any atrocity but time must be allowed to heal these wounds, however deep they are, or how can we ever expect peace on the Earth? What has always impressed me is the ability of some of those that actually suffered some of these atrocities first-hand to reconcile, or even forgive, those that perpetrated the atrocity on them or their comrades, friends or family. If they can do this what right have I not to follow their example?

    And if we are not to forgive, do we have some apologising of our own to do? What nation has Britain, or the British Empire, not fought? America, Russia, China, India, France, Holland, Spain, Ireland (Scotland and Wales), practically every country in Africa and the Middle East and has the British Empire never ‘meddled’ with Japan (pre-World War Two) against the wishes of its people? Although I like to think that Britain has a better record than many other nations I’m sure there are many things that we would not be proud of by today’s standards.

    Has Britain ‘changed its spots’ since it acted as a colonial power and empire builder; or do we not need to?

    (Edit: As usual, as I was taking ages to draft my post, Kev35 has posted something far more eloquent, in far fewer words! )
    Last edited by Creaking Door; 31st January 2013 at 13:13.
    WA$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creaking Door View Post
    What has always impressed me is the ability of some of those that actually suffered some of these atrocities first-hand to reconcile, or even forgive, those that perpetrated the atrocity on them or their comrades, friends or family. If they can do this what right have I not to follow their example?
    I agree with much of what you say as evidenced by my own posts but this comment, in particular, and I don't think anyone else has reminded us of this fact.
    Charlie

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Green View Post
    Your last paragraph. Ask the opinion of any former captive of the Japanese during WW2 especially those who survived the tender ministrations of the Japanese medical teams working in Unit 731.
    My uncle was one of them, and - even when I discussed the matter with him - never used that word. And certainly never in reference to modern Japan and the Japanese. But if he had, we could possibly have overlooked and excused it.

    But I'm not asking them. I'm asking you, because you wrote it on this thread and on this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Green
    Many who are tuned to this subject, would like to read your views, justifications, excuses etc. on the matter of Unit 731.
    Justifications and excuses? What in God's name are you on about?

    If anyone still doubts my convictions ( thanks for your words, Kev ) then here they are again on the matter of Unit 731 as requested; I think the whole thing was totally insane. How could any sane person think otherwise?

    Perhaps somebody who thinks that a whole nation or race of people can be "vermin"?

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    No race can be written off as vermin its just some seem to have more than others.No I do not mean the Jews in WW11
    So which Country in the world is the most peace loving and tolerant today and mind their own business and getting on with improving the lot of its citizens?
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    Any of the Scandinavian nations, Canada, New Zealand for starters.....?
    Charlie

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    Re 76

    Kev 35

    Believe me, I'm not at all under any misapprehension. I have very thoroughly re-read Oppama's comments: 27, 34, 40, 53, 57,67, 79. Why am I left with a clear impression that he is on one side of this debate and I am on another?

    I note that he does not deal with my specific points about recorded instances of Japanese atrocities including 731.

    Whether or not one agrees with the separation of the modern German or Jap from the events in question one is left with the following:

    It is my sincere belief - nothing to do with religion - that these two nations, due to the unparalled, unrestricted savagery of their national behaviour
    during WW2, now trail an invisible cloud of guilt and shame across the firmament of their nation's progress thru' not only the past, but also the present and the future.

    Such was the degree of their almost unimaginable barbarism, that invisible tainted cloud is with these two countries for all time. That is not to write - echoing your point that others have made also - that the passage of time won't gradually diminish the impact of these horrors - it will, that is why our schools teach the story of the Nazi Holocaust and why they must continue so to do. Quite why they fail to mention the Japanese Holocaust is something I can't explain.


    Re 77
    Creaking Door

    I'm not asking for anyone or anything to 'change its spots'. Please re-read the comment. It was made in response to a statement by Kev 35.

    Yes, we must offer forgiveness. If we don't offer it we can't expect it. What we must not do at any time is to forget. And that is one of the purposes of this debate. It brings to the fore that which either natural forebearance or indolence gradually consigns to the past.

    Britain's role in 'not very nice events?' Of course. We have much in our huistory which makes me hang my head in shame. Amritsar and our treatment of Boer War civilians comes to mind, none of which involved me personally. It is as an Englishman that more than one hundred years after these events I feel guilt and shame. It isn't something I want to discuss. I cannot believe that my civilised England was involved in these calamities.

    And yet, it was as nothing compared with what we are writing about. Reprehensible yes, but a pinprick.


    Re 79
    Oppama

    So, 'Totally insane' ? That satisfactorily explains the murderous medical experimentation of Unit 731 - does it? I think 'totally inadequate' is my riposte.

    Believe me, they weren't insane at Unit 731. They weren't even slightly mad. They were engage in medical experimentation under the guise of scientific research on prisoners they referred to as 'logs'. All experiments were carried out without anaesthetic so they could more accurately record the victims re-action.

    Anyway I do not want to go on about it - it makes me feel sick. Please do not trouble yourself with a reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Green View Post
    I'm not asking for anyone or anything to 'change its spots'. Please re-read the comment...
    Then I’ve misunderstood you; I thought you were suggesting that any nation that had been responsible for an atrocity should always be viewed as a nation that was accountable for an atrocity.

    The only problem with not forgetting is that it is too easy to confuse with not forgiving. But we must not forget.

    I do not really know why but I’ve never had the same view of the atrocities committed by Japan (or other nations) as of the Holocaust. It isn’t because of any personal or religious reasons. Maybe it is that culturally Britain was much closer to Germany than to Japan or maybe it was because Britain was (or had been) empire building in the Far East when it came into conflict with the Empire of Japan. I don’t know really, maybe it is because I know less about it (but I also have less interest).
    WA$.

  23. #83
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    We all know wars start over territory, minerals, oil, water, etc, and these commodities will dwindle in different parts of the world at different times in the coming decades.
    The human population is exploding exponentially, and just isn't sustainable. For example, there are more people alive in India today than there was in the entire world around 1850. A world population of 7 billion is already three times the sustainable level.
    I suspect ethnic cleansing won't go away, rather the opposite. Forget aircraft, missiles, atomic weapons - you can bet your boots that genetics will become the weapon of the future.
    The superpower scientists will design weapons which only target the foe they are fighting, leaving their own side unaffected. No buildings or infrastructure damage, just millions of dead enemy cadavers to dispose of.
    Find a disease that mainly affects certain races, like sickle cell anaemia as a crude example, modify it, introduce it, and then simply walk into their empty territory and begin using their mineral deposits, space, etc.
    Do you really think nations like the US, China and Russia (or whatever large nations exist in the future) will be beyond using ethnic cleansing on a huge scale once the chips are really down?
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups!

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    I'd like to throw my two pence into the pot.

    I don't think we can hold present day Germany and Japan for the atrocities of their past. A whole generation has grown up after and started the next generation since then.
    This new generation have nothing to do with what their grand parents did.
    Both countries have become major contributors to the world in technology, education, commerce, etc.

    While I will never willingly step foot in Japan out of personal ground due to their continued merciless slaughter of whales and dolphins (the latter being utterly needless and completely barbaric), I do not hold them accountable for the atrocities visiting upon the victims in the 40s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Green View Post
    Believe me, I'm not at all under any misapprehension. I have very thoroughly re-read Oppama's comments: 27, 34, 40, 53, 57,67, 79. Why am I left with a clear impression that he is on one side of this debate and I am on another?
    You appear to be both sides of the debate at various times in the thread, and sometimes even in the same post. You have convinced yourself that I'm some sort of revisionist and apologist, and I'm on the side of the particular "Japs" ( as you insist - quite archly - in calling them ) who committed atrocities. I'm not. It's in your head....

    Quote Originally Posted by John Green
    I note that he does not deal with my specific points about recorded instances of Japanese atrocities including 731.
    Exactly how am I not 'dealing' with them? They are a matter of record, and cannot be denied. I abhor them. What do you expect me to do, play 'Atrocity Top Trumps' with you?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Green
    So, 'Totally insane' ? That satisfactorily explains the murderous medical experimentation of Unit 731 - does it? I think 'totally inadequate' is my riposte.
    Frankly, any words a man can write will not be adequate. I don't know where you want to go with all of this, but I rather suspect that it'll be a case of me going to Tenerife and you going to Elevenarife.

    Your "vermin" and "can a leopard change its spots?" comments would appear to be suggesting that the propensity for the commission of such crimes against humanity is directly linked to race, or more specifically a certain nationality. You infer that the Japanese ( your "Japs" ) have it in their DNA to do such things. Any well rounded human being - let alone an anthropologist - would tell you that such potential is in any Homo Sapiens, as has been proved time and time again - and probably will continue to be proved over and over again. And as I've said before on this thread, if you are ready to believe that one nationality, one race, one creed or whatever are "untermenschen" or "vermin" ( or "Sino Chankoro" as the Imperialist Japanese were taught to think of the Chinese ) then you are tilling the soil for the seeding of the next crop of atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Green
    Please do not trouble yourself with a reply.
    Too late. I'm going to ask you once again to clarify and/or withdraw your "vermin that live in the Far East" comment. You've had some of your previous xenophobic and racist posts on this forum removed by Moderators in the past, and I think that one is something they should look at also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmused55 View Post
    While I will never willingly step foot in Japan out of personal ground due to their continued merciless slaughter of whales and dolphins (the latter being utterly needless and completely barbaric), I do not hold them accountable for the atrocities visiting upon the victims in the 40s.
    Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding the whales and dolphins issue, it's not something that stops me from going to Japan. Talking to ordinary Japanese people, you will very often find them to be against it. If you come across somebody who isn't, you can help - even if it just a little bit - by registering your disapproval. Open minds take notice.

    I'm wondering whether you would refuse to go Norway, Iceland, Greenland, South Korea, Russia, Canada and the United States - amongst others - for the same reason?

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    That concerns me far less than countries guilty of human rights violations. But if we baulked at visiting or having dealings with nations whose human and/or animal practices we disagreed with there would certainly be huge saving in air miles!
    Charlie

    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

  28. #88
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmused55 View Post

    While I will never willingly step foot in Japan out of personal ground due to their continued merciless slaughter of whales and dolphins (the latter being utterly needless and completely barbaric), I do not hold them accountable for the atrocities visiting upon the victims in the 40s.

    Life is too short. Life must go on.
    Agree entirely!
    I have kleptomania,But when it gets bad
    I take something for it.

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