Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Fall of Saigon Remembered

40 years ago today saw the fall of Saigon and the end to the War in Vietnam. Over 200,000 ARVN,  50,000 American, countless Viet Cong & PAVN soldiers, and countless civilians died in the conflict that ended on this date in 1975.

Abe Apologizes for American War Deaths

Japan's Prime Minister spoke before a joint session of Congress. In his speech, he brought up the big elephant in the room by offering his eternal condolences for American War Dead. “On behalf of Japan and the Japanese people, I offer with profound respect my eternal condolences to the souls of all American people that were lost during World War II,” he said to rousing applause from U.S. lawmakers. Abe went one step further acknowledging that Japan's actions against it's Asian neighbors caused great suffering. While most applauded this historic acknowledgement of Japan's wartime misdeeds, lawmakers like Democrat Mike Honda who invited a former Korean Sex Slave felt he did not go far enough. Of course no speech from a Japanese PM will ever satisfy critics in China and Korea. But as Abe said, what is done can not be undone. For this reason Abe's government is trying to spare no effort to help its neighbors where it can. Moving back to the war, in the gallery sat a former LT General Snowden who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. He sat next to the grandson of the Islands garrison commander Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi. The two men stood together and shook hands symbolizing just how far we have come since those dark days of WWII. We at American Mishima believe there is still much that Japan must own up to for the war but at the same time appreciate these heartfelt apologies and continued efforts to right the wrongs of the past. All things takes time and we believe Japan will get there. But don't take our word for it. Watch the speech here:

April Apologies

In case you noticed, we did not have any posts this month due to our internet issues. We are back online again. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Heisei Emperor Honors War Dead

Seen here from earlier this month, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko laid wreaths to both Japanese and American war dead on the island of Peleliu. This one small island in the Pacific was the scene of horrific battles in which over 10,000 Japanese Soldiers and some 1500 Americans were killed. Considering how many deaths on Peleliu were done in the Showa Emperor's name, it is fitting that the current Heisei Emperor pay his respects to those lost so long ago. We at American Mishima appreciate and respect this humble gesture and hope that our two great nations which today are close allies and friends never go to war against each other ever again.