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"75 years later, 1 million Japanese war dead still missing" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2020 2:40 p.m. PST

"Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, more than 1 million Japanese war dead are scattered throughout Asia, where the legacy of Japanese aggression still hampers recovery efforts.

The missing Japanese make up about half of the 2.4 million soldiers who died overseas during Japan's military rampage across Asia in the early 20th century.

They are on remote islands in the South Pacific. They are in northern China and Mongolia. They are in Russia…"
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Legion 402 Sep 2020 2:59 p.m. PST

They certainly left a lot of dead and at times dying behind in every place they operated. Many non-combat deaths as well.

They didn't seem real concerned about it at the time …

Legionarius02 Sep 2020 3:47 p.m. PST

The Pacific Ocean is wide and deep. The jungle devours all traces of human life very quickly. The Japanese soldiers and sailors were told that unless they returned victorious they should not return at all. Once they fall, the cherry blossoms can never return to the tree…

R Leonard02 Sep 2020 5:16 p.m. PST

That's just too damned bad. Start a war & engage in all those things which draw the approbation of most of the world and now someone wants to cry about missing soldiers? What about all those whom those same soldiers made disappear?

Blutarski02 Sep 2020 5:44 p.m. PST

Blame the politicians, not the poor grunts.

Strictly my opinion, of course.


gunnerphil03 Sep 2020 6:37 a.m. PST

Blutarski, yes politicians may have started the war. But the various acts of torure,rape, and so on were carried out by individuals. So in this case the soldiers are to blame.

Blutarski03 Sep 2020 10:47 a.m. PST

Hi gunnerphil,
I understand where you are coming from, but those same politicians who start the wars also usually control the military, its officer corps, its training programs and ultimately its conduct. However one looks at things, it is almost always IMO the leadership that sets the tone and the standards.

Many of the fathers of those WW2 Japanese soldiers had fought in the RJW, where the conduct of the Imperial Japanese Army toward its Russian prisoners had been exemplary even by Western standards. Read the McCully Report on the Japanese treatment of Russian Tsushima survivors as an interesting example: some of the Russian POWs actually chose to remain in Japan after their release.

Not by any means trying to start a big debate; just offering an observation.



Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2020 10:51 a.m. PST



Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2020 10:55 a.m. PST

Politicians start it, but something goes wrong in young men when under orders to commit atrocities. Shown so many times by what always seem to be US West Coast University Depts of Psychology. Told to give electric shocks, they go beyond what was already a criminal instruction.

I think the society you came from and the value it put on human life had something to do with it. Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Soviet Russia, North Vietnam…..anything went as long as you were terrorising the "enemy", whether civilian or armed.

But even the liberal democracies, of any nation, had their Pinkvilles/My Lai, which still baffle me.

"He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame"….the later line is about you and me

R Leonard03 Sep 2020 11:44 a.m. PST

Except in wartime Japan the 'politicians' were mostly active duty generals and admirals . . . they were running the show.

Blutarski03 Sep 2020 12:21 p.m. PST

"Except in wartime Japan the 'politicians' were mostly active duty generals and admirals . . . they were running the show."

Absolutely true words, RL. And, as such, they were the leadership that consciously "set the tone and the standards".


Personal logo Wolfshanza Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2020 9:38 p.m. PST

Crocs got some of them.

Starfury Rider06 Sep 2020 10:42 a.m. PST

Well if you're going to turn flesh and blood human beings into weapons components you're going to have to expect a few retrieval failures.

And if you want an example of the way that Imperial Japan treated its prisoners, try Appendix A of Victory and Occupation. This is just the story of the USMC experience of incarceration by the IJA, but transfers well enough to the service personnel of the other combatant nations, and also the civilians unlucky enough to go through the gates with them.

The decision to behead unarmed prisoners was evidently devolved down to local level – no political intervention required.


Steve Wilcox06 Sep 2020 11:05 a.m. PST

try Appendix A of Victory and Occupation


Blutarski06 Sep 2020 4:54 p.m. PST

Just for the record, I do not justify such conduct; I only seek to explain how it could come about.


Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2020 2:48 a.m. PST

Some eaten…

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