Too often, it seems there are situations or coincidences that take me back to those years so long ago – years of war, prison, terror and sickness – permanently engraved in my memory.
Why, I ask myself, do I feel so uncomfortable with this continual barrage of past happenings, more hidden than known to folks in this century?
I wonder if I should, at this time in my life, be able to forgive and forget?
I am free now after all; and time is the infamous healer of all wounds.
Truth is, we can and will never forget. There are too many of us who continue to suffer the shame of it all. We remain bitter and angry, for Japan has yet to admit the atrocities and cruelty as they murdered and butchered and starved.
South Korea and several American members of government have continued to provide Japanese premier Shinzo Abe with undeniable proof of these unspeakable events. Abe is the first premier who spoke to Congress – he did it to be part of the remembrance celebration to the end of the seventy-year-old war in Asia. But instead of admitting to the darkness of Japan’s actions in WWII, Abe simply voiced “regret”.
Is regret an admission of guilt? Not really.
Approximately 200,000 girls and women were forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers. Abe explained this by stating “Armed conflicts have always caused the most hardship to women. Our actions have caused a lot of suffering among the peoples of the Atlantic countries. In this age we have to stand firm for a world in which women finally are freed from damage and violation of human rights”.
And that was the end of it!
His profound statement left his critics with hopeless raging fury.
Can we ever feel differently?
Will we ever heal? Or forgive? Or forget?