Prime Minister Tony Abbott was at it again this week.
In his address to the parliamentary sitting attended by visiting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Mr Abbott came out with this corker, “We admired the skill and the sense of honour that they brought to their task although we disagreed with what they did. Perhaps we grasped, even then, that with a change of heart the fiercest of opponents could be the best of friends,” Mr Abbott said.
It brought condemnation from various circles around the world.
China’s official news agency slammed Prime Minister Tony Abbott for praising Japan’s World War II military prowess in his welcome to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “He probably wasn’t aware that the Japanese troops possessed other ‘skills’, skills to loot, to rape, to torture and to kill. All these had been committed under the name of honour almost 70 years ago,” Xinhua said in a commentary on its website.
The head of the RSL said that many Australian diggers would disagree with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s praise for Japan’s World War II military prowess. RSL president Rear Admiral Ken Doolan says there are Australian soldiers who fought in World War II who have the view that some Japanese in some instances did not behave with honour. He’s right.
My grandfather could not speak the words that explained what he saw in Changi and Sandakan. His life was forever affected by what he, his family, and his comrades endured in WW2. There was no honour in much of what happened at the hand of the Japanese at that time. Horrific war crimes were perpetrated on Australians by Japanese military officers.
“Australian soldiers who fought in World War II who have the view that some Japanese in some instances did not behave with honour.”
Japan has become a friend in the world community and I have been there three times to meet really nice people in a beautiful country. However, history is history, and politicians can’t make shit up on the go to suit their own purposes. It would be good if our PM did not display such ignorance and make such foolish statements as he did on this one. It’s demeaning to our veterans, it’s dishonourable to the past, and it just proves that this man, at the very least, is not fit to represent us on the world stage.
SBS Video and story here
An Australian student’s report