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January 22, 2007

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mahathir_fan

I am a Malaysian Chinese and my first impression of Japanese people happened when I was 10 when I visited Japan. It was very nice! I had fond memories of these friendly Japanese young women who like to pinch my cheek. Of course I didn't know at that time what the Japanese did during WWII.

Through history lessons later in life, I learnt of what happened. My father was also a survivor. During WWII, because the Chinese in Malaya had been sending money and assitance to help China fight their war against Japan, the Japanese treated Chinese people in Malaya badly upon their arrival. So my father hid in the jungles of Malaya for 3 years and 8 months.

If I were alive at that time in Malaya, I think I would have collobarated with the Japanese to defeat the British Empire. It would have been a strategic partnership despite what they did in China. Without Imperial Japan, the struggle for independence of Malaya would have been too difficult.

I have been told that the Japanese do not learn WWII history "properly". I don't think they should skip over history where they were the bad guys. For example, camp 731 or nanjing massacre should be taught.


There were of course instances of Japanese soldiers raping. In Malaya it happened but it was not as widespread. According to an autobiography of a Malaysian nationalist who collobarated with the Japanese, he lodged this complain to a high ranking Japanese official and he put a stop to it immedietly. It turned out that some of the higher ranking Japanese commanders may not be aware of what their subordinates were doing.

However, I also find the mainstream treatment of WWII against Japanese to be very biased. For instance, Americans like to think of the beginning of WWII: "It was a calm Sunday morning when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour unprovoked" - meaning we were attacked first. Yet, the part about how Americans went to capture Queen Liluokalani, imprisoned and humiliated her, and subsequently colonized the island of Hawaii is often omitted. Hawaii did not become a state until 1959 which means that at the time of the Japanese attack on December 7 1941, the Americans were sitting on colonized land, repeat COLONIZED land.

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