Plunge Pontificates

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

How Japan Should Apologize

Okay, I was going to leave it to Japan and all, but what the hey, I'll give it a go. It isn't like I haven't thought about it.

First, for it to be a meaningful apology, it must be specific. This means Japan needs to spend some time finding fact from fiction. Finding out just what it did to others during the time frame mentioned before. Use outside, scholarly work, done by some less inclined to be partisan. Once you find out just what you did, you can compose your apology.

Make it LONG. Address each country, each issue. Actually use the word "Apology." Not knowing Japanese, I don't know what the strongest word to use is, but whatever it is, use. Use it repeatedly.

Once the thing is written, vote on it. Do whatever you have to do, but at least get 90% or so of Diet members to vote on the damn thing and vote to use it! Spend whatever it costs to do a media campaign to get the populace behind you on it. Make it something the entire nation can endorse.

Next, set up a proper time to give it. The end of the war anniversary is always a good choice. When giving the apology, have the entire Diet there, have it read by the Prime Minister and have the Emporer present to endorse it as well. Have it published in multiple languages and make damn sure it is a good translation, especially for English, Korean and Chinese.

Finally, time to show you mean it with actions. Set up a government sponsored fund to compensate people DIRECTLY affected by your past actions. Comfort women, forced laborers, former abused POWs. There aren't that many left alive so it shouldn't be too hard of a burden. Make it generous, but make sure it only goes to those directly affected.

Your next actions should be to make sure the people of your country know the crimes of the past. Legislate mandated teaching in the high schools of the atrocities committed by the former leaders of Japan. Make it specific. Show the gruesome pictures. Tell the horror stories. Don't hold anything back. Then, after that unit is done, teach a unit on what Japan has done since then to help its neighbors and the rest of the world. Again, don't leave anything out. You teach the students to abhor the atrocities of the past and celebrate the Japan that came out of the horror to help the world.

Finally, you make it illegal for any government official to visit the Yasukuni Shrine.

That's about it.

Now, when do I get to be Prime Minister of Japan so I can make this happen?