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  #761  
Old 07-19-2012, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
If Princess Aiko becomes a commoner when she marries, and Prince Hisahito doesn't father at least one male child--without females being allowed to serve as Tenno--things will look very grim indeed for the future of the Chrysanthemum Throne.
And even worse, before Prince Hisahito can even try to father a son, he has to find himself a wife - and the girl who marries him will know in advance that if she does not have a boy, that will be the end of the monarchy and she will get the blame for it... A very attractive prospect indeed...

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited today the village of Sakae (Nagano) that was destroyed by an earthquake that struck the area a day after the great earthquake of 11 March 2011. More than 100 people still live there in temporary housing. The imperial couple reportedly planned the visit already last December but could not through with it because of the emperor´s health problems.
Article in Spanish
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I still have the impression that the emperor does all in his power to remind the public that, more than a year after the disaster, there are still people living in temporary housing. However, so far it does not seem that he is as successful as could be wished. I could not find any pictures of the event nor any articles in English covering it. Of course, it is possible that there still will be such articles. If so, I will post them.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #762  
Old 07-21-2012, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
And even worse, before Prince Hisahito can even try to father a son, he has to find himself a wife - and the girl who marries him will know in advance that if she does not have a boy, that will be the end of the monarchy and she will get the blame for it... A very attractive prospect indeed...

Don't forget the way technology is progressing very rapidly in this field.

Soon people will be able to order whatever they like in the way of children: a boy with a penchant for science, a red-haired girl, a set of twins!
Designer babies, here we come!


(Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is necessarily a positive thing, just that it will be happening with much greater frequency in the future).
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  #763  
Old 07-21-2012, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
And even worse, before Prince Hisahito can even try to father a son, he has to find himself a wife - and the girl who marries him will know in advance that if she does not have a boy, that will be the end of the monarchy and she will get the blame for it... A very attractive prospect indeed...
Also assuming he is even able to father a child which is not a guarantee.
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  #764  
Old 07-21-2012, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
Also assuming he is even able to father a child which is not a guarantee.
That is very true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
Don't forget the way technology is progressing very rapidly in this field.

Soon people will be able to order whatever they like in the way of children: a boy with a penchant for science, a red-haired girl, a set of twins!
Designer babies, here we come!


(Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is necessarily a positive thing, just that it will be happening with much greater frequency in the future).
Indeed, huge medical progress has taken place in this field - actually, I, for one, believe that, but for this fact, Japan would have had a reigning empress in the 21st century: Empress Mako.

It is to be supposed that there will be even more progress concerning "reproductive technology". But even if there should be I doubt that this will mean that, in the future, literally EVERY couple will be enabled to have a child of their own. Wikipedia quotes a French study in which it is said that 40% of patients succeeded in having a child during the IVF treatment at the center. Even if the success rate should raise to 60 or 70%, considering the number of childless couples in the imperial family, I would not bet that Hisahito and his future wife could be absolutely sure of being among these 60 or 70%. Besides, I have no idea how many parents with one IVF child decide to have another (and another and another...). But I doubt that there are many of them. The procedure is said to be extremely stressful in particular for the woman and Wikipedia says:
Quote:
While psychological stress experienced during a cycle might not influence an IVF outcome, it is possible that the experience of IVF can result in stress that leads to depression.
(That reminds me of someone, somehow, incidentally...)

Modern medicine can accomplish a lot but they have to have something to work with. For example, they may be able to save lives that would have been past hope fifty years ago. But they cannot revive the dead, and I doubt that they will ever be able to do that. Regarding the imperial family, I think there is reason to doubt that the "material" they´d have to work with gives anything that would come close to a guarantee of success.
The more I think about the whole matter, the more I would really, really like to get the opinion of a genetics specialist on the situation with the Japanese imperial family.

According to Wikipedia, the human Y chromosome is particularly exposed to high mutation rates (a risk of mutation 4.8 times greater than the rest of the genome), on the other hand there is a reduced possibility for selection as the Y chromosome does not recombine during meiosis. In other words, the Y chromosome is exposed to a far higher risk of degeneration than the rest of the genome. I suppose that usually an Y chromosome “beyond repair” would, at some point, simply not get to be passed down to the next generation, either because its “holder”, due to his defective Y chromosome, would prove unable to have any offspring at all or else, have merely female offspring. Maybe this obsession with the male line has, through the help of lots of concubines, so far kept the natural genetic selection from taking its course with the imperial family, thereby preserving a completely degenerated Y chromosome that under different, "normal" circumstances would have been weeded out of the gene pool a long time ago already.

It strikes me as remarkable that already for quite some time before Hirohito´s father, the Taisho emperor, there was but one son in every generation who survived infancy (and inherited the throne) - in spite of the efforts of all those concubines... It seems to me that even by then there were more princesses born than princes. Of course, there could be a whole lot of reasons for why this was so (at the time many children died early, boys as well as girls), but imo it would be very interesting to investigate this whole matter more closely. It would also be very interesting to take a look at the number of miscarriages in past generations and to know their gender. (Michiko as well as Masako suffered miscarriages.) Of course, it would be very difficult to find out details about imperial miscarriages from Western sources because except in spectacular cases like with Masako they will hardly ever get much public attention if they are at all made public in the first place.

What I am trying to say is that I think it is absolutely possible that male offspring of the imperial family may have less chances to (1) be conceived in the first place, then (2) to be born healthily and last (3) to survive childhood, due to a defect of the Y chromosome involved. Besides, I think it is also possible that the general sperm quality of male IF members may be rather low, due to the same defect. The first would explain why imperial offspring is usually female, the second why some members do not have any offspring at all. Of course, as they all share the same Y chromosome, one would have to explain why in some cases this results in infertility, in other cases just in an inability to father male children. (Regarding Hisahito, I for one am convinced that the sperm got some "friendly medical support", so it is possible that under “natural circumstances” Akishino might never have been able to father a son, either.)

It is possible, of course, that Hisahito will have one or more male children, with or without the help of modern medicine. But, imo, there is really no guarantee for that, not at all.

Government makes plans to honor Emperor Akihito’s cremation request
Quote:
The Japanese government is making progress on its plans to simplify the funeral ceremony for Emperor Akihito after his request in April to be cremated. [...]

A final decision on the matter will be made by the Imperial Household Agency by next spring, followed by research from government organizations on ways to reduce the funeral costs, in line with the emperor’s wishes. When Emperor Showa passed away in 1989, there were two separate ceremonies held, one based on Shinto rituals and another seen more as government sponsored. This was because of Article 20 of the Constitution, which requires a separation of religion and politics. [...]

By trying to reduce the overall size of the funeral ceremony, as well as holding the two rituals in close proximity at the Imperial Palace grounds, the government, as well as Emperor Akihito himself, hopes to eliminate some of the excessive costs.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #765  
Old 07-22-2012, 12:57 PM
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Pictures of the visit of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to the village of Sakae (Nagano) that was destroyed by an earthquake that struck the area a day after the great earthquake of 11 March 2011.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #766  
Old 08-15-2012, 08:19 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended an annual memorial service to honour the dead on the 67th anniversary of Japan's surrender from World War II at Budokan Hall in Tokyo on August 15, 2012.

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Daylife Gallery

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended an annual memorial service to honour the dead on the 67th anniversary of Japan's surrender from World War II at Budokan Hall in Tokyo on August 15, 2012.
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Daylife Gallery

Japanese Emperor must apologize for colonial rule: S. Korean president
Quote:
South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said Tuesday that Emperor Akihito must apologize for Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula if he wants to visit South Korea. "I have said (the Emperor) may come here if he is willing to apologize from his heart to those who died fighting for independence," Lee said in a meeting with teachers in North Chungcheong Province, according to the presidential office. He made the remarks the day before South Korea's Liberation Day, which marks independence from Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule.

Lee invited the Emperor to visit South Korea in April 2008 while he was on an official visit to Japan and met with the Emperor and his wife, Empress Michiko, at the Imperial Palace. [...]
On Monday, Lee accused the Japanese government of ignoring South Korean grievances over the colonial period, telling South Korean legislative leaders that his visit Friday to the disputed isles, known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan, was intended to pressure Tokyo into action. [...]

In a related development, South Korea demanded Tuesday that two Cabinet ministers drop plans to visit Yasukuni Shrine on Wednesday, the anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II. [...] Yasukuni Shrine, dedicated to Japan's war dead, has enshrined several war criminals. As a result, visits by government leaders trigger sharp protests in Asian countries.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, in keeping a policy since the Democratic Party of Japan came to power, has said he will not visit the shrine and has asked members of his Cabinet to stay away.
However, on August 15 two Japanese cabinet ministers, Jin Matsubara, head of the National Public Safety Commission and Yuichiro Hata, the transport minister, and dozens of national lawmakers visited Yasukuni Shrine on the anniversary of Tokyo's World War II surrender. The pilgrimages to Yasukuni were the first on the sensitive anniversary by any government minister since the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan came to power in 2009. (Source)

Japan arrests Chinese on disputed isle as friction rises

Imperial Couple, judo medalist enjoy Tokyo shrine festival
Quote:
A procession of 55 portable shrines paraded through Tokyo's streets during Tomioka Hachiman Shrine's summer festival in Koto Ward on Aug. 12, as Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko looked on and a London Olympics silver medalist joined the festivities. [...]
The Imperial Couple watched the parade from specially built stands in front of the shrine and waved to the carriers and the crowd at around 3 p.m.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #767  
Old 08-27-2012, 08:10 AM
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Some nice new pics of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko taking a stroll in a vegetable field at Ohyuga, initially cultivated by returnees from former Manchuria, during their short summer retreat on August 23, 2012 in Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** gettyimages gallery **
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  #768  
Old 08-28-2012, 03:02 PM
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When Emperor Akihito ascended the Chrysanthemum throne in 1989, it soon became clear that he had two main goals: first, he wanted to make the Japanese monarchy a symbol of peace and democracy, and second, he sought to promote reconciliation and friendship with Japan’s Asian neighbors and to make amends to them by speaking openly of the suffering inflicted by Japanese troops before and during World War II.

Wang Min, a Chinese professor, who teaches at Hosei University in Japan, had in 2007 a conversation with the emperor and empress. Among other things, Wang described to them how she had managed to overcome bad feelings she had entertained towards the Japanese people after she had had the misfortune of meeting several especially unpleasant individuals belonging to the nation. She told the emperor how she had soothed her mind by thinking of the poem “Not Losing to the Rain” of the Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa: “This poem helped me to appreciate that whether Japanese or Chinese, we are all the same – simple people who love peace and enjoy life.” Professor Wang went on by describing how deeply Emperor Akihito seemed to have been impressed by this line: “The Emperor repeated the phrase over and over: “Yes, we are the same.”"

In December 2001, Emperor Akihito spoke in detail about his own Korean roots. He said he had read in an eighth-century official history document that the mother of Emperor Kammu (736-806) was a descendant of Muryeong, the 25th king of Baekje, one of three ancient kingdoms on the peninsula. Not surprisingly, the speech was front-page news in Korea. The huge majority of Japanese newspapers, in the meantime, completely ignored it, for fear of reactions from Japanese ultranationalists. For example, Yuko Tojo, a staunch ultranationalist and granddaughter of Japan’s wartime leader Hideki Tojo who was convicted after the war as class A war criminal, obviously holds grudges against Akihito because he dared to mention his Korean roots. Tojo reproachfully remarked that Akihito´s father Hirohito „would never have said such a thing. He knew the limits of what to say.“

In short, Akihito´s life has not been rendered easier by his desire to promote peace. Still, it seemed so far that his work and trouble were paying off in so far as he has gained himself a national and international reputation of being a peace-loving man with democratic values.
But lately it seems as if his life´s work might be in serious danger. I have written a blog about this issue: Emperor Akihito’s Life’s Work in Serious Danger

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceflower View Post
Some nice new pics of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko taking a stroll in a vegetable field at Ohyuga, initially cultivated by returnees from former Manchuria, during their short summer retreat on August 23, 2012 in Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan.
** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** gettyimages gallery **
More of the same event:
A pic of the emperor and empress at the station
More pictures

Videos:


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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #769  
Old 08-28-2012, 04:27 PM
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How is the Emperor's health these days?

He seems to be going merrily about his business.
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  #770  
Old 08-28-2012, 04:40 PM
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Fortunately and unexpectedly, the emperor seems to be rather well. I understand him to have been on a holiday trip already in July (at Nasu Imperial Villa, Tochigi Prefecture, along with the empress, source), and his health has obviously profited from it. During summer time, he always keeps sort of a lower profile (meaning that he does not have like around 8 engagements a week ). But I do not have the impression that he had to cancel anything once it had been planned.
His fighting spirit is indeed admirable.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #771  
Old 08-28-2012, 05:15 PM
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That's good to hear.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:06 AM
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During her stay in Karuizawa, the empress took the opportunity to play a movement of Mendelssohn´s piano trio in D minor, along with two professional musicians.





Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko also played tennis during their holiday trip , and the emperor reportedly does no longer feel any effects from his cardiac surgery.
The empress is very fond of music and is a skilled piano player. She also plays the harp. In this video there are also pictured several events in the past when she gave a concert or gave her daughter Sayako piano lessons.
Pictures





Emperor and empress during their visit to GB, touring Kyoto Japanese Garden, in Holland Park West London, Thursday May 17, 2012.



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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #773  
Old 09-21-2012, 11:34 AM
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Japanese Emperor Says He Wishes to Visit Korea, Can Apologize If Needed
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The Japanese Emperor has reportedly expressed his wish to visit Korea and said he could apologize to the Korean people for his country's atrocities during its colonial rule of Korea, if necessary. [...] This is the first time that the Japanese Emperor has expressed his wish to visit Korea after President Lee Myung-bak called on him last month to apologize for Japan's wartime atrocities first if he wishes to ever visit Korea.
Japanese Emperor 'Wants to Visit Korea'
Quote:
According to weekly Women Themselves on Thursday, Akihito told Koji Tsuruoka, the director-general for global issues at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, on Sept. 4 he and his wife "wish to visit Korea some day. I hope Japan and Korea will continue to maintain friendly relations in the future." [...] The emperor made the remark during a regular brief by the ministry on diplomatic issues between Japan and Korea and China.

In the past Akihito has said he is willing to apologize if it benefits the friendship between the two countries, the weekly said.
Emperor Akihito wishes to visit South Korea, will apologize if necessary
Quote:
Upon his return from the islands, Korean President Lee demanded that the Japanese Emperor apologize for past wartime acts, such as the Japanese Imperial Army’s use of “comfort women,” or sexual slaves, before he could visit South Korea. Emperor Akihito had no plans to make such a visit at the time, and only ever had arrangements to do so in 1986, while he was still crown prince. Even that trip had to be cancelled because his wife was sick at the time.
Japan’s emperor hopes to visit Korea, willing to apologize: report
Quote:
During a Sept. 4 issue briefing with Koji Tsuruoka, the deputy vice-minister for foreign policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Akihito said he and Empress Michiko hope to visit South Korea “some day,” the Japanese women’s magazine published Wednesday reported. The magazine also quoted the 79-year-old emperor as saying that he hopes that “Japan and Korea maintain good relations in the coming days.”
Akihito had pushed to visit Korea in 1986 when he was Crown Prince, but dropped the plan due to the then Crown Princess’ health problems. [...] Citing a Japanese lawmaker, the magazine also said Akihito had said he “wouldn’t hesitate to make an apology during his visit to Korea if that’s needed for friendly relations between the two nations.”

Despite being strictly constrained by his constitutional position, he issued several wide-ranging statements of remorse to Asian countries in the 1990s, for their suffering under Japanese occupation.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #774  
Old 09-21-2012, 12:28 PM
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I'm afraid I'm not a fan of the modern phenomenon of making people apologize for the wrongs of others. To me it's just pointless gesture politics that doesn't really change anything.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:55 PM
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Well, the Koreans feel differently, and it is their feelings that matter most here, insofar as they make in fact a big difference in the everyday life of both Koreans and Japanese. There are on both sides people who, for various reasons, want the conflict to persist. And there are others who want peace and cooperation. The emperor´s words will serve to disappoint the first, and will give hope to the latter.

Besides, it is obviously a bit misleading that all this seems to be but about the past. Actually, it is more about the present. I think the comment a Korean made on the Japan Daily Press website sums it up very well:
Quote:
Many Korean believe that the emperor is genuinely good natured and believe that he means it when he says. If Japanese politicians were like him, no Korean would even remember the bad past. The emperor might be only person who can bring back friendship between Korea and Japan...
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #776  
Old 09-21-2012, 01:03 PM
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I understand both sides of the argument. I live in Northern Ireland which is a deeply divided society. I well remember Tony Blair apologising to the Irish people for the British government's lack of action during the Irish potato famine in which millions died, despite the fact that it happened 150 years ago. There were lots of calls for apologies and Blair gave them one. Has it changed anything? Has the fairly rabid anti-British prejudice abated in the Republic of Ireland, or among the nationalist community in Northern Ireland? In my experience, no.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:38 PM
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I have to disagree with you, EIIR: apologies do make a difference, a lot of it. Not all, of course, but most of them do.

My country has a long-standing issue with one of our neighbours over an event that happened nearly 100 years ago, and all we ask for is an apology, an admission of wrong-doing, admission that hundreds of thousands innocents were murdered. True, we understand that the current Government or people of that country are not directly responsible, but that doesn't make much of a difference if they are in constant denial.

An apology is a balm that will sooth the pain and help get over the darkest page in any nation's history.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by EIIR View Post
I understand both sides of the argument. I live in Northern Ireland which is a deeply divided society. I well remember Tony Blair apologising to the Irish people for the British government's lack of action during the Irish potato famine in which millions died, despite the fact that it happened 150 years ago. There were lots of calls for apologies and Blair gave them one. Has it changed anything? Has the fairly rabid anti-British prejudice abated in the Republic of Ireland, or among the nationalist community in Northern Ireland? In my experience, no.
But I think the fact that it has not changed anything in Ireland would not necessarily mean that it would or could not work in Korea either. After all, apologies play a very important role in the Asian culture, more so, I would say, than in Europe.

Of course, the point is always (probably in all countries...) of what happens after the apology. A lot of people have said that they are weary of Korea asking for apologies because there have already been so many apologies. Actually, the emperor himself expressed his regret about the past in the nineties (although he did not formally apologize). But:
Quote:
When Japanese emperor apologized, we (Korean) thought that everything would be O.K. from now on and we could build something together. But then, a few months later, some high ranked Japanese politicians visit Yasukuni shrine and say something stupid, which effectively undone Emperor's sincere apology.
It’s time for Japan and South Korea to move on from their history

In my opinion, the issue in this case is not really so much about who apologizes to whom for what but which opinions are socially accepted in Japan today and which not. Just for example, during the ongoing expert hearings about the possible amendment of the Imperial Household Law, the government invited, among others, Yoshiko Sakurai to give her opinion. Ms. Yoshiko Sakurai is a well-known journalist who maintains that the Nanjing massacre has never taken place and that the so-called “comfort women” were “not taken by force”. She was one of those persons (among them several Diet members) who in 2007 put their signature to a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post, in which it was argued that the use of comfort women was "anything but the truth".

It would not happen in Germany (for example) that any person who claims that the Holocaust never took place would be heard by the government as an expert on whatever issue. Much less that members of parliament would ever publicly declare the killing of millions of Jews to be "anything but the truth". It simply would not happen. (Thank God.) In Japan it is happening. Revisionist opinions are maybe not shared by the majority in Japan but they are neither stigmatized. To the contrary, people who belong to the cultural and political elite are free to hold and openly promote them.

War is, admittedly, always a cruel thing. Awful acts are committed on all sides. But, just for example, as horrible as the Allied bombing campaign over Japan was, there has never been any doubt that it took place. What would the Japanese say if the US suddenly claimed that the two atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were but a collective hallucination of the Japanese and had never really existed?

This is the reason why Koreans hesitate to have trust in the formal apologies of Japanese politicians. And it is within this context that the words of a person like the emperor - who has proven over many years that he genuinely wants peace and respects the feelings of Japan´s Asian neighbours - may be able to make a notable difference in the relations between the two countries. Hopefully...

Edit: I had not seen your post, Artemisia, when I posted mine. Very well said indeed.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
  #779  
Old 09-21-2012, 06:07 PM
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I agree with Artemisia and ChiaraC about the importance of a formal apology. On a different note, it is great to see Their Imperial Majesties enjoying their favourite pastimes.
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  #780  
Old 09-24-2012, 01:12 PM
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Here is an editorial of the "Korea Herald" that explains why Emperor Akihito´s statement may turn out to be very beneficial for both Japan and Korea:

Akihito’s visit?

Quote:
Japanese Emperor Akihito’s reported willingness to visit South Korea and apologize for Japan’s colonial rule if needed, though far from being realized in the strained bilateral relationship, could be meaningful in helping more sensible voices in both countries prevail over inconsiderate moves to score domestic political points. It might be the case that the 78-year-old has a deeper understanding of the fray between the neighbors and a far-sighted view of their inevitable partnership.[...]

Tokyo’s Foreign Ministry has declined to confirm the report, leaving observers more convinced that Akihito actually made the remarks, which might have taken aback Japan’s diplomatic policymakers and politicians. [...] Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other Japanese politicians have competitively raised voices for getting tougher on Seoul in what is seen as an overreaction aimed at solidifying their stance ahead of the general elections this fall.

Lee’s visit to Dokdo also appears at least partially motivated to boost his lame-duck status in the final months of his presidency that ends in February. The move might be justified as an act to demonstrate South Korea’s territorial sovereignty over the islets. But his ensuing remarks downplaying Japan’s global influence and bringing the emperor into the fray can hardly be seen as carrying strategic wisdom and diplomatic sensibility.

[...] it could be more likely that the Japanese emperor expressed his heartfelt wish to contribute to building friendly relations between the neighboring nations. Akihito had pushed to visit Seoul in 1986 when he was crown prince but canceled the plan due to the then crown princess’ health problems. In 2001, he said he felt kinship with Koreans, referring to a historical record that the grandmother of his eighth-century imperial ancestor, Kanmu, was from a Korean kingdom. He also paid tribute to a memorial for victimized Korean laborers during his 2005 visit to the Pacific island of Saipan, the site of a fierce battle between Japanese and U.S. troops during World War II. [...]

In realistic terms, it can hardly be expected that the emperor’s visit is discussed between the two governments anytime soon especially so long as Lee and Noda stay in office.

Still, it might remain a strategic option for the next administration in Seoul to include the emperor’s role in a cordial and respectful way in resetting the relationship with Tokyo.
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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