Letter: Japanese soldier

February 4, 2014 

I read with interest the story of the Japanese soldier who had refused to believe that World War II was over. He had lived a dedicated life — always upholding his traditions. My father was a prisoner of the Japanese for 45 months in both China and Japan during the war. He barely survived the ordeal.

One might think that he considered the Japanese as his enemy. In my many conversations about that time with him, however, I found that he had great respect for most of them, though there were exceptions. But any soldiers and civilians were very civil and even kindly toward the Americans and others in the camps.

Under mostly brutal conditions, acts of decency stood out, and my father remembered them even more than the cruel ones. I’m sure that Dad would think that this soldier was a credit to his service and his people. Even the Filipinos found it in their hearts to forgive and pardon him.

“Bad apples” exist in every group — especially in times of war — and we need to understand that no demographic is all bad.


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