Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I must admit that my knowledge of Japan is limited to Kurosawa movies, anime cartoons, two Japanese people I have known first-hand (my volleyball team coach and friend when I was in "classes prépa" -who by the way went to X like you, Jérôme- and my neighbour in London), a few westerners I know who have worked in or been to Japan, and my younger brother who is an amateur of all things Japanese (studied Japanese language and history, several martial arts ...). Basically little.

But what little I know, and stop me if I'm wrong, makes me believe that the question with the "do you feel it odd" bit about war criminals has more chances of being answered "no" in Japan than anywhere else, because contesting or questioning something that just IS, doesn't seem to be the Japanese national psyche. ie. "indignation" is not the first word I would attach to it (the national pysche). At the extreme opposite of France basically, in which people seem to feel indignation for every little thing in life, making it a national sport.

I mean to say by this that I don't believe that the 63% "no" answer to that question actually means that people are revisionists or in favour of war criminals. They just don't have a predisposition towards indignation. Ask them "do you find it odd that war criminals are cast out and that their crimes are enshrined for decades", and they will answer "no" too.

Am I far off the mark?

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 05:47:18 AM EST

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