I have just accessed your web-site and I have scanned through all the comments expressed by various writers but also your own comments.
It appears that after 57 years following the Second World War, Japan has still not come to grips with their past history, where admission of guilt is still a sore point with Japanese historians, probably having to do with the inevitable LOSS OF FACE, viewed from a modern prospective of truth and acceptance.
Somehow we realize that history has been repeating itself and still repeating itself on the subject of occupation by foreign forces on the friendly soils of the world.
Attrocities and dominations have always been on the fore-front of occupying forces.
When we look at history, we can point to a few nations, which by their quest for territorial expansion, having committed many cruel acts, which memories empire builders would rather put underneath the table, including Japan.
We look at some of the empire builders such as the Romans, the Spaniards, the Dutch, the British, the Germans and - the Japanese.
In all the history of Japan, she never was occupied by any foreign force, for the exception of the American forces after 1945;
but they were not there as empire builders, rather bringing Japan into a modern and democratic(?)world.
Thus Japan never experienced the cruelties by occupying forces and because of this did not know what cruelty really was, not as much as to admit to it.
Is it not rather strange that now, 57 years after the Second World War, Japan is still hiding behind the closed walls of TRUTH.
In spite of all your financial assistances to Asian nations, which you left behind in ruins, physically,morally and emotionally, you think, that you have done your duty to these nations.
Is the idea of 'money talks' the Japanese way of eradicating feelings of guilt?
I have many friends, who experienced the Japanese occupation, which lasted 35 years, and still as of today, carry a profound hatred for all the cruel acts that Japan inflicted upon the Koreans.
You are taking an attitude that occupying Korea was a friendly act.
And then you expound on the willingness of Koreans to volunteer(?) in the Japanese army and the welcoming of the Japanese troops by the Koreans - hog-wash!
Have you ever heard the word "sympathizer"?
We also had these type of people in the Netherlands and other parts of Western Europe at the outbreak of World War II. They were Quislings, also known by other names.
These were the people, who during the Great Depression looked up to the Germans, German ideas and ideals.
These people formed a small minority of the population, but they were the ones volunteering in the German army and welcoming the Germans when they goose-stepped with their hobnailed boots on Dutch soil.
A different, but similar situation had been developing on the Korean Peninsula, which started right at the top of their leadership, the Royal Family, where the queen, who was murdered by the Japanese troops by the way, put her allegiance with the Chinese, as she definitely hated Japanese - look at history - while the (weak) king pledged his support behind the Japanese.
So the king's followers welcomed the Japanese troops and volunteered in the Japanese army.
Don't think for a minute, that the majority of the Koreans welcomed the Japanese!
You mentioned that the Japanese did not rule with an iron fist.
The stories I have been made aware of, proved to be the total opposite.
Burning of Christian churches with the congregation being locked inside the church by Japanese troops;
the removal of 12 year old girls and older forced to work in Japanese sex camps;
the people, who were murdered outright without a trial - were they all volunteers?
And to top it off the Japanese forbade the teaching of the Korean language in schools and students were forced to learn Japanese.
It is about time that Japan starts to admit their guilt to all the nations on which they inflicted all those atrocities and starting to rewrite the history books as the first step towards consolation.
Germany did this to a certain extent and Japan should start to do this and to compensate the survivors who suffered so much at the hands of the Japanese.
Then, and onbly then can Japan be truly welcomed in the rank of nations.
Do you know Kim Wan Sop(ą®×)?
He insisted that "Japan contributed to Korean development" in this spring, and he was persecuted and emigrated to Australia.
It became clear that there was not freedom of speech in the Republic of Korea.
It became also clear that Korean history recognition is distorted by ristriction of freedom of speech.
Japan also experienced the cruelties by occupying forces. At the end of WWU, Soviet invaded Manchuria. Perhaps their cruelty was worst in the world. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers were arrested to Siberia and dead.
The magnification in the recruitment of the volunteer which preceded the draft system, became 7.7 times in 1938, 20 times in 1939, and 62 times in 1942.
This is because Kim Shaku Gen, commander of a Korean led Japanese soldiers in China, and made a great contribution.
Hong Shi Yok(^vćĀ) was promoted to a lieutenant general.
The Japanese armed forces were did not discriminate Koreans.
Therefore I think that, there ware many person who thought that "I want to lead Japanese soldiers like Kim Shaku Gen and want to make a great contribution?"
Queen Min was a substantial man of power, and was most responsible of ruin of Korea.
She sold the post, so the public official who bought the post exploited the people in order to collect capital.
Misfortune of the people ware equal with the current North Korean Kim Jong Il government.
About misery of a Koreans of those days, please read traveler's diary of Isabella bird (Mrs. Bishop) a tourist of those days.
This story (Burning of Christian churches with the congregation being locked inside the church by Japanese troops;) was for the purpose of self-protection.
This area was the area where independence exercise was the most intense. Two policeman ware killed, about 1000 mobs thronged and set fire to elementary school.
Therefore many Japanese were forced throw away their house and take refuge.
About 10 soldiers gathered about 30 Koreans in the church for investigation, and began examination.
Then one person began to act violently and other people participated with him. So the soldiers who ware less than the number of people, escaped outside a church, locked the door and set fire.
The commander was punished as too extreme.
I can't understand what you say "the removal of 12 year old girls and older forced to work in Japanese sex camps; the people, who were murdered outright without a trial - were they all volunteers?"
So-called comfort women were prostitutes. They worked as business. Their income was surprisingly much. In this connection, the annual salary of army general was 6600 yen.
Japan had not prohibited education of Korean.
But a class of Korean in an elementary school disappeared in 1941.
The spread of the Hangul Alphabet was results of education by Japan.
It is common sense in the world that it is very important to educate language of suzerain in a colony.
They can enter an upper school by it, and a road to brass hat opens out, too.
Japan rescued the Korean people from a miserable state and built the basics of today's Korean development.
There is no reason to apologize.