do not resent – be reconciled instead

15 aug. marks the marks the 60th anniversary of the end of world war II. on that day, koizumi, japan’s prime minister apologised for his country’s role in the war. he issued 2 written statement (approved by the cabinet) on the apology, of which he repeated an unambiguous expression of “deep remorse and heartfelt apology”for japan’s “colonisation and aggression” during the war. however, it was reported that his apology get lost in translation when the translated text omitted all reference to colonialism, aggression or even apology.

meanwhile, george macdonald fraser, author of the flashman books, now 80 but then a lance-corporal in the border regiment fighting his way through burma, said:
“it’s not for the japanese prime minister to apologise; it’s for the people who did it to apologise, and most are dead. you cannot apologise on behalf of someone else.”

i tend to agree with george macdonald… as he mentioned in this article, where another burma veteran, john nunnely also said:
“i believe in reconciliation. you cannot keep hating for ever.”

yes, how true. that’s why i wonder why people like to demand for an apology from japan. i wonder why people can’t forgive and forget. it’s just like the case of our ex communist, chin peng. so many people do not want him to return to our country because they cannot forgive him. but what had happened was in the past. can’t they forgive and reconciled? wouldn’t forgiveness and reconciliation makes them feel better deep inside.

i know some people would say to me something like that “you are not in my situation, lucia. you don’t know how it is to have lost someone so dear to you. you don’t know how it is to learn of someone dear to you being tortured so terribly to death.”

yes, i am not in your situation. yes, i may not understand your feelings, being not personally experiencing it, but i do emphatise with you, and i feel that all this hatred is not going to do you any good. what happened, happened. happened long time ago. why keep all the vengence in you? why the need for resentment towards thiso old (and mostly gone) generation of the japs who were not involved directly in the crimes atrocities committed long ago.

FYI, my parents were around during the japanese occupation and my father did experienced some beatings from the japs (but not captured as prisoners and tortured). i harbour no resentment. in fact, my father harbour no resentment. he was pleased and proud to tell stories of his days during world war II and how the japs treated him, his family and friends.

i wonder about this deep resentment all the more when just a few days ago, i was shocked that one of my colleague, a young lady in her early 20s, said that her father doesn’t allows her to listen to japanese songs or watch any japanese shows because of her father’s resentment at the japs for their ‘evil doing’s’ during the war.

i find this rather sad…. or even ridiculous. the man may be angry at what the japs did to him (or his loved ones) in the past but what is so wrong with his daughter listening to japanese songs? if his daughter starts adoring those japs that were fighting in the world war, then i understand his resentment but this?

i don’t know. maybe i am not in a position to judge them. maybe it is true i’m not in their situation so i don’t understand. i wish though that one day, somehow, people who hold resentment towards the japs (of what happened during the war… oh and those who resent chin peng) will have peace in the heart… because i know with resentment, there’s no peace.

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