Today, Prime Minister Abe apologized to the American POW’s in Bataan, Corregidor and other parts of Asia during World War II. What about the Filipino soldiers who made up 7/8 of the main line of resistance in Bataan? What about other Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Indonesians, Vietnamese, etc.) who bore the brunt of World War II in the Pacific? Are their lives not as valuable as their American brothers in war? What about the thousands of women forced into sexual enslavement? What about the thousands of civilians who were systematically exterminated by the Imperial Japanese Army? If Germany was able to acknowledge and atone for its systematic extermination of Jews during WWII through education, then Japan has the moral obligation to do the same to its victims in Asia.
Prime Minister Abe missed a golden opportunity to set the record straight and acknowledge his country’s dark deeds during World War II. It is only through acknowledgement of one’s sins can atonement begin. It is only through education can we ensure that these heinous deeds against humanity will never happen again. aching.
Cecilia I. Gaerlan
Bataan Legacy Historical Society