Honourable torture

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

About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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