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Japan has atoned for transgressions

March 11, 2007

Re "The shame Japan can't dodge," Opinion, March 6

Let me set the record straight.

In 1993, the government of Japan acknowledged the involvement of former Japanese military authorities in the "comfort women" issue and expressed apologies and remorse to those who endured immeasurable pain and incurable wounds.

In 1995, the Asian Women's Fund, which extended payments to women as a form of atonement and implemented medical and welfare projects, was established with the cooperation of the government and the Japanese people.

Since then, payments have been accompanied by letters from prime ministers saying: "We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future. I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that there has been no change in the position of the government of Japan.

KAZUO KODAMA

Consul General of Japan

in Los Angeles

*

Re "Paging the emperor," editorial, March 7

Should the president of the United States apologize to the Japanese for the atomic bombs dropped on civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a fire raid on downtown Tokyo that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians? Don't you think these are crimes against the human race? Of course they are. The president should apologize a thousand times, but the Japanese never bring up such issues against Americans. Why? Because such action will not be beneficial to either country, and besides, it happened more than 60 years ago.

IKE VAN GANG

Lake Oswego, Ore.

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