A plaque celebrating an a cruel and evil enemy of the past?
What is it about this generation of Australians that think it is a wonderful idea to erect a plaque, to the Japanese—a shrine, for something that happened 70 years ago. Has any country done similar for Australian soldiers killed when invading that country?
Ask any Australian held as prisoner of war by the Japanese about humanity. Ask about beheadings. Ask how it felt to be forced to dig your own grave before being shot through the head then toppling into the hole to the thigh-slapping mirth of the executioner. Ask about Changi and how Australian prisoners were staved to death, walking skeletons, tortured, and brutally bashed making death a welcomed release.
Ask how our nurses were marched into the sea and machine gunned in the back to float away on the afternoon tide—dinner for the sharks. Sister Vivian Bullwinkle the only survivor.
Ask how Japan has rewritten their history books expunging all trace of their evil barbarity. And then ask the later generations of Japanese if they know about such WWII atrocities committed by their soldiers. They won’t believe you if you told them.
War is not a pretty thing and a plaque won’t make it so. Ask someone who fought the Japanese but do it quickly because there are very few remaining to object to a plaque celebrating those who came with murder in their hearts and minds.
Some things are best forgotten for the the horrible grief they visit upon those who lived it. It should not become the plaything for opportunist bureaucrats to pose before the cameras. Lest we Forget!
Darwin plaque unveiled to mark Japanese war dead
A plaque has been laid overlooking a popular Darwin beach to remember 80 Japanese submarine crew members who died during World War II.
The bodies of the crew of the I-124 submarine remain where the vessel was sunk by the allies.
It is largely unknown how many Japanese died during the attacks in northern Australia, but two descendants of one of the crewmen travelled from Japan for a special ceremony which aimed to bridge some of the divide between once bitter enemies.
On Friday evening the plaque was laid at the cliffs overlooking Casuarina Beach, near the water where the submarine is concealed.
One of the men who died was Petty Officer Second Class Ryohei Ootak.
His grandson, Takashi Otaki, and great-nephew, Shichiro Chiba, travelled to Darwin for the first time to see the place where their ancestor rests.
“I am deeply moved that Australia has chosen to honour the enemy loss as well as their own,” he said.
Both men said they grew up knowing of their relative’s war efforts, but seeing the site where his body rests will be very significant.
The I-124 is one of four mine-laying submarines sent to north Australian waters on secret missions to intercept allied vessels during World War II.
“I would like to go the site and I hope the plaque will be the bridge between both countries and I am very appreciative,” Mr Chiba said.
In what would be the submarine’s final mission, the crew were trying to torpedo an oiler when it was hit by another vessel which had come in to defend the craft.
The submarine sank, killing all crew.
Controversy has plagued the I-124 over the past 70 years.
Strange stories and theories surround the wreck, including that valuable mercury was on board.
There were also rumours that Japanese codebooks were recovered from the wreck, helping to win the Pacific war, although that claim was later disproven by historian Dr Tom Lewis.