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Japan / America Reconciliation Day

Celebrated jointly in Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor on October 8th.
  (+1, -5)
(+1, -5)
  [vote for,

The date is roughly between December 7th and August 9th.

So we can remember those lost at Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor. Yes, it was terrible that lives were lost in both places, but let's keep it in perspective.

The Japanese started it for one thing, and before we get too sad about Pearl Harbor all over again, let's remember that we evened up the score many times over and they're a great ally and wonderful country now.

So pay homage to those lost in both places but keep in perspective these two inseparably linked events.

Hmm. I'm not even sure what I think about this one.

doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

Japan PM Shinzo Abe makes landmark visit to Pearl Harbor http://www.bbc.co.u...world-asia-38438714
The two leaders prayed for the dead but, as expected, Mr Abe did not issue an apology for the attack." [8th of 7, Dec 27 2016]

Operation Meetinghouse https://en.wikipedi...ki/Bombing_of_Tokyo
Tokyo fire raids [8th of 7, Dec 28 2016]

//They are also thoroughly demilitarized// http://www.globalfi...sp?country_id=japan
HA [Voice, Dec 31 2016]


       So, you want to keep those two events in perspective by commemorating them with a special day? I'm not sure I follow.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       Yea, me neither   

       And come to think of it I'm not sure how much this would foment warm fuzzy feelings between the two countries anyway.
doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

       If it helps, I could add a bone.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       Fair enough.
doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

       Nah, only if it would help. I'll reserve judgement until one or the other of us figures out what this idea is about.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       Ok. Let me know if you do.
doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

       Well, if it helps, the sentence //Yes, it was terrible that lives were lost in both places, but let's keep it in perspective.// would seem to suggest some kind of bi-national theme park or carnival.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       You're assuming I thought this one out.   

       Sometimes I just like the soothing "click click click" of my fingers typing away. Like raindrops on a roof, or mice wearing tiny ice skates walking around on porcelain.   

       It's relaxing. The raindrops thing. The mice deal is kind of disturbing.
doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

       Yeah, I know from where you are coming. However, with a bit of work, we could back-reason this and turn it into an idea. Of course, when I say "we", I mean that in the sense of "you".
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       Naa. (Throws sheet over the patient's (idea's) head) Call it nurse. Time of death? (Pulls down mask and snaps off rubber gloves while shaking head. The EKG lets out a steady single droning "beeeeeep" in the background.)   

       You hate to lose one but you can't let it get to you.
doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

       // we evened up the score many times over //   


       Not enough.   

       Nowhere near enough.   

       Bataan death march. Burmah death railway. Dolittle flyers. Manchukwo. Korea. Pearl Harbour. Malaya. Manilla.   

       // and they're a great ally and wonderful country now. //   

       No, they're not.   

       They've never apologized. They've never admitted guilt.   

       They've never paid compensation to Allied POWs.   

       They still deny any liability to Korean "Comfort Women".   

       Unit 731 used biological warfare against Chinese civilians.   

       They were, are, and always be irredeemably evil, vicious little bastards with a thin veneer of something meant to look like civilization sprayed over the top, like gold leaf on a cat turd.   

       We celebrate both Hiroshima and Nagasaki day every year, but not in what might be called a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness - more a spirit about 40 proof, with glee, gloating and bigotry.
8th of 7, Dec 27 2016

       Well, most Japanese don't know about those things, so you can't really blame them for not apologising.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       Oh, yes, their history books ... nicely sanitized.   

       "The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage." ... oh yeah, tell it like it is, Hirohito.   

       "Our air force has been blown out of the sky, most of our navy has been sunk, we have no fuel, no food, the military high command are insane, our capital city is a heap of ashes, all the chickens are coming home to roost, and now two major cities have been vapourized, and the Russians are attacking us".   

       "Not necessarily to Japan's advantage ..." By inference, "Things are going badly" probably means "In the next hour or so, the entire island group is going to be subducted, but that's OK because the sun just went out and anyway in two days the moon's going to smash into the Earth ..."
8th of 7, Dec 27 2016


       8 makes some solid points there.   

       Maybe a better idea would be to call it "Hiroshima, Bataan death march, Burma railway, Dolittle flyers, Manchukwo, Korea, Pearl Harbor, Malaya, Manilla day".   

       We could drop the "reconciliation" premise at that point.
doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

       It would be a very transient day, as not enough kiddiwinks being born and no real immigration from outside.   

       The current population is about 127,000,000 and (wikipedia demographics) "...Japan with a population of 42,000,000 in 2110"...and almost all of them would be senior citizens..
not_morrison_rm, Dec 27 2016

       //Maybe a better idea would be to call it ...//   

       I'm not really seeing that on banners and balloons, somehow. It's the word "death" that causes problems - it sort of dampens the party mood.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       Very interesting study in biology and evolution going on in Japan right now.   

       Will they just disappear due to lack of reproducing? Will they be overrun by a hornier group of humans?   

       Stay tuned.
doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

       They're actually going to start breeding for smallness soon. In a couple of hundred years they'll basically be Hobbitses, better adapted to an overcrowded world.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016


       Was his visit pre-arranged, or did he just turn up at dawn in a B5N at masthead height ... ?   

       // Will they just disappear due to lack of reproducing? Will they be overrun by a hornier group of humans? //   

       Who cares, as long as they're cleansed from the planet.   

       // Stay tuned. //   

       Who to, Tokyo Rose ... ?
8th of 7, Dec 27 2016

       Naa, we need all the civilized allies we can muster. Let bygones be bygones. We've taught them how to behave.   

       Although it looks like the Germans may be needing a little touch-up refresher course.
doctorremulac3, Dec 27 2016

       // Naa, we need all the civilized allies we can muster. //   

       Not the japs, then.   

       // Let bygones be bygones. We've taught them how to behave. //   

       Maybe it's time for a reminder. About 2 Megatons worth.   

       // Although it looks like the Germans may be needing a little touch-up refresher course. //   

       Just give 'em Greece and Belgium to play with. Belgium isn't capable of governing itself, and Greece will keep the bean-counters occupied, plus it will be somewhere to go for their holidays to keep them out of Spain.   

       They just need to recruit a few ex-Stasi and VoPos to deal with the illegal immigration problem.
8th of 7, Dec 27 2016

       How about an international tragedy day? Memorial or May Day or whatever.   

       Xenophobic rants of entire countries are not becoming of halfbakers. Unless its about Wales.
RayfordSteele, Dec 27 2016

       //better adapted to an overcrowded world//   

       But that's the point, their country is becoming the opposite of overcrowded. India now, would be suitable for diminutive Hobbitses.
AusCan531, Dec 28 2016

       //Maybe it's time for a reminder. About 2 Megatons worth.   

       <the room darkens>   

       Exhibit A, one very large nuclear power industry, with a surplus of uranium and plutonium.   

       <clicks for next slide>   

       Exhibit B, one very advanced space program, capable of landing on Asteroid 25143 Itokawa, pinch a few bit of it and bring them back...   

       <lights turned on>   

       and putting A and B together...
not_morrison_rm, Dec 28 2016

       Sounds like a cue for a preemptive strike, then.
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016

       Well, if the alarm clock doesn't go off, then a postemptive strike might be the best bet.
not_morrison_rm, Dec 28 2016

       Petulant children. Boo hoo the Japanese haven't said sorry yet. Meanwhile your asshole country is just getting around to apologizing for its role in slavery.   

       If you're going to be a racist, own it. Don't couch it in nonsense about apologies.
the porpoise, Dec 28 2016

       I think it's not just about the apology. It's more to do with the fact that Japan denies much of its past, and certainly omits most of it from the school curriculum.   

       Compare and contrast with Germany, where the insanity of WWII is pretty thoroughly taught, and just about everyone over the age of 15 is very well aware of what the Nazis did. That awareness is one of the factors that will, with luck, prevent a similar madness in the future.   

       With regard to slavery, the US has at least fully acknowledged that it happened and was wrong, and that guilt has gone at least a little way toward discouraging racism, even though there is still a long way to go.   

       In Germany, after WWII the nation turned away from - and came to revile - the Nazi party that was responsible for the atrocities. Therefore there is no political difficulty in acknowledging the horrors. In Japan, it seems that there was no such huge change after WWII, so it is not in the government's interest to acknowledge what took place.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 28 2016

       Yes, Japan denies much of it. They are also thoroughly demilitarized and have been a decent global citizen for decades. They have also offered/provided reparations to China.   

       Meanwhile, we westerners are so sorry about all the harm we've caused. Yes, we're so sorry about taking the continent of North America (but we won't give it back; ok maybe just a few marginal bits). And that whole slavery thing? Our bad! So sorry about that (but no reparations). Etc.   

       Japan is a good example for us, in the sense that if you're not ready to back it up with action, don't say sorry. Indeed, that may not be their rationale, but apologies alone only go so far.
the porpoise, Dec 28 2016

       // And that whole slavery thing? Our bad! So sorry about that (but no reparations). Etc //   

       Perhaps. Perhaps also 620,000 Union dead in the Civil War might be considered some small measure of expiation ?
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016

       //Perhaps. Perhaps also 620,000 Union dead in the Civil War might be considered some small measure of expiation ?   

       What a strange thing to say...
the porpoise, Dec 28 2016

       I think the point [8th] was making is that many Americans (of all colours) fought and died in a war that was, at least in part, concerned with the abolition of slavery.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 28 2016

       Indeed. Having finally recognized that slavery was wrong, a great deal of blood and treasure was poured out to stop it continuing.   

       Yes, it was a very complex situation. The South wanted to keep slavery. The North wanted to abolish it. The Union had to win to preserve the United States; all the Confederacy had to do is not lose- not the same as winning (although in any war, the, victor' is the side that loses less badly).
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016

       //Meanwhile your asshole country is just getting around to apologizing for its role in slavery.//   

       What country are you from asshole? Sorry, what I meant to say is, what asshole country are you from?
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2016

       Sp. "AVGAS"   

       <Waves index fingers at class>   

       Furthermore ...   

       The US has never tried to pretend that slavery did not exist, nor that it was wrong and had to be ended. Children in the US are taught in school about the causes and consequences of the Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement. Likewise, in some countries it is an offence to try to deny the Nazis murdered millions of people in the Holocaust.   

       The Japanese were a signatory to the 1864 Geneva Convention. By and large, the Germans, Italians and Allies (with the notable exception of the USSR, q.v.) abided by the Convention. The Japanese did not.   

       Appalling acts of cruelty were perpetrated by ALL armed forces. Prisoners were shot out of hand, there were innumerable acts of brutality and inhumanity.   

       The big difference was that (Apart from the SS) these actions were not institutionalised. They may have been condoned by higher authories; there are documented cases of "no prisoners" orders being passed down. But these were not legal orders; those carrying them out did so at their discretion, and could have been tried and punished (though in almost all cases they were not).   

       The japs institutionalised cruelty to POWs, civilian detainees, and conquered native peoples. And they still persist in pretending it didn't happen. There's an actual word for it, "Mokusatsu" - to deny or ignore disagreeable facts, literally to "kill with silence".   

       For a culture to whom "honour" was allegedly important, their behaviour was not noticeably honourable...
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016

       // Yes, Japan denies much of it. They are also thoroughly demilitarized//   

       I tend to assume that people on the HB possess not just a minimal IQ (like enough to type up a URL and perhaps bookmark it), and perhaps the most rudimentary knowledge of history, even if they spend a lot of their time underwater.   

       You mean demilitarized at the barrel of two atomic bomb explosions and McArthur dictating their constitution?   

       [dr] not sure I see the point of the idea -- I think the ceremony we just had with Obama and Abe (and Obama's previous attendance at the atomic bombing site) are plenty sufficient.
theircompetitor, Dec 28 2016

       Yea, like I said, not crazy about this idea, but the general thought was when they're over there having a ceremony honoring the dead at Hiroshima, we've got the twin ceremony happening at the very same moment at Pearl Harbor.   

       Just in case anybody forgets that we didn't just wake up one day and say "Hey, let's go drop atomic bombs on somebody!"   

       But my heart isn't really in this one. I judge a culture by what the living people in that culture are doing currently, not what their dead ancestors did. And I like the idea of the US. Taiwan, South Korea and Japan being on the same page in that area of the world.   

       China is still ostensibly a communist country founded on the Communist Manifesto that dictates world conquest. I'd rather keep an eye on them with good democratic allies from the region than spending time browbeating them for their screwups. I'm pretty sure they've already put Pearl Harbor in the "Well, that was a really bad idea." category.   

       And this whole apologizing for stuff, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, Slavery, Attila the Hun or whatever, seems kind of silly. Just don't do it again and let's move on.   

       And there's no apology needed for Hiroshima and Nagasaki anyway. Best thing that could have happened for both the US and the people of Japan. The net saving of lives of the nuke option vs the invasion of the homeland option makes their use the most humanitarian thing we could have done.
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2016

       // when they're over there having a ceremony honoring the dead at Hiroshima, we've got the twin ceremony happening at the very same moment at Pearl Harbor. //   

       They're not the same.   

       Pearl Harbour was an attack without a declaration of war. There is nothing wrong with surprise attack as a tactical mechanism, indeed it is an essential in warfare. The US was continuing to negotiate in good faith.   

       Harry Truman specifically warned the japs to expect "a rain of ruin from the air" and urged them to surrender in the "little time" that remained.   

       If the Allies had dropped 25,000 tonnes of conventional ordnance in single air raids*, each raid destroying a city and killing 100,000 people, would that have been worse or better than the atomic bombs ?   

       // the ceremony we just had with Obama and Abe (and Obama's previous attendance at the atomic bombing site) are plenty sufficient. //   

       We disagree.   

       Various world leaders over the decades have acknowledged the misdeeds of their predecessors.   

       Max Hastings, in his excellent book "Nemesis", makes the point that the japs could have prevented the atomic bombings (which caused fewer deaths than the Tokyo fire raid in March) by surrendering.   

       Why should the US risk the life of even one more Allied combatant, when they had the technical means to end the war rapidly ? Would it have been more humane to let the civil population starve because of the blockade, or take huge casualties mounting amphibious assaults on the home islands ?   

       Consider the following: Due to different weather, the Battle of the Bulge is stopped dead in the first 24 hours by Allied air power. The attack is called off, and the Wehrmacht falls back onto fixed defences. The Allies regroup, but when they push forward again in mid-February after a period of very bad weather, the defences are stronger because the enemy haven't squandered resource on a failed offensive. The Germans fight a competent delaying action in the ETO, meaning that the Rhine crossing doesn't occur until mid May, and even then progress is slow. The slogging continues through June.   

       On July 17, the Trinity test places a workable weapon in the hands of Allied leaders.   

       Given an intransigent enemy, would it have been reasonable for the Allies to drop atomic bombs on Berlin and Hamburg, in August 1945 ?   

       Hitler wasn't going to quit. The Germans had to be literally ground into the dirt, mostly by the Russians, at an appalling cost.   

       The japs weren't going to quit either. What were the practical alternatives ?   

       *25,000 tonnes would require about 3000 heavy bombers. In Europe, Bomber Command had already made 1000 bomber raids against Munich and other targets. By combining air groups from the European and Pacific theatres, this number of serviceable aircraft and crews could have been assembed. By July 1945, Japanese air defence was almost nonexistent so losses, even in daylight, would have been small.
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016


       Sorry to do a cut and paste but:   

       "A study performed by physicist William Shockley for the staff of Secretary of War Henry Stimson estimated that the invasion of Japan would cost 1.7-4 million American casualties, including 400,000-800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese deaths."   

       So why would we apologize for dropping the nukes to stave off this horrible invasion? I think they lost 200,000 people in the combined attacks. Better than five to ten million.
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2016

       I'm reluctant to get into some alternate history fantasy bollocks but in response to the seemingly rhetorical question //What were the practical alternatives ?// I am fairly sure that atomic bombs are location agnostic in terms of effectiveness as a means of generating a ginormous fireball
calum, Dec 28 2016

       "The Operation Meetinghouse air raid of 9–10 March 1945, which annihilated 16 sq.miles and left over 1 million homeless, was later estimated to be the single most destructive bombing raid in human history."   


       "The US Strategic Bombing Survey later estimated that nearly 88,000 people died in this one raid, 41,000 were injured, and over a million residents lost their homes."
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016

       If you mean, [calum], that the Americans could have A-bombed an unpopulated area as a demonstration, to convince the Japanese to surrender, I've heard that argument too.   

       On the other hand, the second city was bombed three days after the first, so clearly the first bombing didn't convince the Japanese, even though it was directed against a populous city.   

       (Completely irrelevant aside: I was once at a dinner where a Japanese-American guy protested that calling the World Trade Centre "ground zero" was disrespectful to the Japanese who died at the "original" "ground zeroes" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What he failed to realize was that "ground zero" was actually the test-site for the first bomb, and applying it to Hiroshima and Nagasaki was, in itself, a huge insult - akin to calling car-crash victims "test dummies".)
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 28 2016

       // clearly the first bombing didn't convince the Japanese, //   

       That was largely because the destruction of Hiroshima was so total, of administration and communications in particular, that it took several days for accurate detailed information to reach Tokyo.   

       All that was known initially was that there had been a devastating air attack and that contact with the city had been lost. It wasn't until investigators journeyed to the city by ground transport, inspected the damage, and returned to make their report, that the true extent of the damage was understood - even then, not fully - and major relief efforts started to be organized at a national level.   

       The location at which a nuclear device is initiated is always referred to as "Point Zero", and the power is stated in terms of "Point Zero Yield". Ground Zero is the datum point on the planet's surface directly below Point Zero.
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016

       I believe so. He worked in warfare operations planning.   

       Yup, just looked it up. That's him.
doctorremulac3, Dec 28 2016

       No, that was William Shatner.
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016

       //Unless its about Wales//   

       Actually, not even then.
pertinax, Dec 29 2016

       Anyway, what's not to like about a country where they list the blood group online of whatever celebrity you happen to be cyber-stalking at the time?
not_morrison_rm, Dec 29 2016

       The date range falls right in the middle of the football (soccer) season. So this idea is probably illegal under FIFA rules.
DrBob, Dec 29 2016

       //Shockley was a despicable person//   

       How so?
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2016

       he sold poison milk to school children
calum, Dec 29 2016

       That's a vile untruth. He GAVE poisoined milk and candy to children.   

       He also fed poisoned nuts to squirrels. So he wasn't entirely bad ...
8th of 7, Dec 29 2016

       //he sold poison milk to school children//   

       You mean at an inflated price or something?   

       I don't think price gouging should qualify you as despicable. A man's gotta make a living.
doctorremulac3, Dec 29 2016

       //They are also thoroughly demilitarized// link   

       "Japan..Tanks: 678".   

       Yep, but Japan is an island nation*. Tanks are not known for good performance on the open seas, even with mainsail set and the crew** rowing like buggery. Not to mention the weevils in the biscuits, who do their best with the very little oars   

       *Well, 6,852 islands, but you get the idea.   

       ** Just crossed my mind, are American navy tanks "dry"? The Royal Navy tanks personnel get a tot of rum once in a while.
not_morrison_rm, Dec 31 2016

       Well, that works out at slightly less than 1/10 tank per island.   

       What are they going to do if they're invaded ? Throw some track links , a hatch cover and an inlet manifold at the bad guys?
8th of 7, Dec 31 2016

       But no...by engineered tsuan.. tsuni... bloody big waves the parts are reassembled en route on big rafts to finish off the Russo-Japanese War..   

       Wat you doing awake at dis time of [insert local time]?
not_morrison_rm, Dec 31 2016


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