All apologies

February 15, 2008


As apologies are in vogue this week, why don’t we get one from the Japanese for their treatment of Australian POW in WW2?

Like any self respecting pervert I love Japan. I have been there four times and dig, dig, dig its post war culture, cinema, night life and literature, especially Yukio Mishima, who I love – Banzai! I also dig its pre war Emperor worship, Samuari spirit, Zen Buddhism, architecture, theatre and many other traditional elements of Japan.

But I will say this – the Japanese treatment of Australian POW is a disgrace. Kokoda, The Burmese Railway over the River Kwai (which I visited in early 2007), The Banka Island nurses…it’s a long list. And if Sorry is all in vogue at present. I think Her Majesty’s Government of Australia is owed one here.

I was spurred onto this opinion today by watching a documentary on SBS about the nurses who were taken POW during WW2 in Indonesia and the Banka Island Massacre. Vivian Bullwinkle, who survived a mass shooting in the sea of 22 nurses, lived to tell the tale of woe and as she said in the doco, ” If anyone thinks the Japansese weren’t barbarians, I’m here to tell them the truth”.

While her opinions are shaped by deeply unpleasant experiences in extreme circumstances, one can’t help notice the lack of respect, outright torture and abuse shown to Aussies and other Allies in the Pacific Theatre of War by Imperial Japan.

I know we want the Japanese tourists, investments, imports/exports, etc… but perhaps a little Sumimasen or Moushiwake arimasen, might not be bad for the events that disgraced the Emperor’s name, origato.

For the story of Vivian Bullwinkle and the Banka Island Massacre:

Article 1

Article 2

Diggers who wanted any apology last year- Diggers Article

Anyone know what happened here? Did the Japanese PM say anything?

See also the Bruce Beresford’s film Paradise Road, which tells about how the Australian nurses were treated like shit.

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