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A plaque for a cruel and evil enemy of the past?

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!


Source: ABC

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.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • NTSOG 18/02/2017, 6:49 am

    You forgot about the institutionalised cannibalism, especially of Indian POWs. Some sections of the Jap military liked to eat human flesh and were not discouraged from doing so by their superiors.

  • Rubyred 18/02/2017, 7:43 am

    Anyone who doubts the ferocity and brutality of the Japanese soldiers need only read “Knights of the Bushido”. i.e. running vehicles over pregnant Korean women –
    impaling babies on bayonets.

    • Geoff Unicomb 18/02/2017, 1:38 pm

      The same author, Lord Russell of Liverpool, wrote ‘The Scourge of the Swastika’. Both books show the extreme barbarity that some races/nationalities can inflict, on others.

  • Bill 18/02/2017, 8:17 am

    Hmmmm.. I think the cannibalism was more often a case of ‘needs must’ rather than ritual, NOSOG. In New Guinea, ‘long pig’ was consumed because the Japanese soldiers were starving – and they were in that sorry state because of a combination of a very effective campaign by American submarines and Allied Air Forces cutting off their supply lines AND in the early months of Kokoda campaign, and just as important, but often overlooked, the Australian Army’s dogged resistance, that slowed them down to the point where they ran out of food and were unable to make use of captured Australian food stocks (as they had in Malaya and the Phillipines). My father was very bitter about the Japanese to the day he died because he had seen clear evidence of cannibalism by the Japanese on the bodies of men he knew.

  • Bill 18/02/2017, 8:34 am

    They just can’t help themselves… On the ABC’s ‘Saturday AM’ just a few minutes ago, some ‘historian’ telling the audience that the Japanese attacks on Darwin on 19 Feb 1942 “were the first time mainland Australia came under attack by an invading force since 17788”. And of course, that comment went unchallenged by the ABC anchor.

    • Spinbuster 18/02/2017, 9:16 am

      Don’t despair, I have it on good authority that Misinformers will be doing a full show on just how grateful the aborigines are for the British saving then from almost certain annihilation from the Japaneses had not the Europeans arrived first.
      It is true the brits were not angels, but I think the Japs would have given new meaning to the phrase ethnic cleansing if were them that turned up looking for more land in 1788.

  • Lorraine 18/02/2017, 8:37 am

    I believe the World is now a better place, the Japanese were cowed and they have learnt. My Grandmother died in 1968 she would not buy anything made in Japan as imported after the war. These brutal stories I know well, as they were discussed by family members having fought in the War and some never came home. There must be part forgiveness , but that it did not happen is a stretch to far.

  • Pensioner Pete 18/02/2017, 10:02 am

    I wouldn’t be the least surprised if this plaque met an early and timely end by person/s unknown.

    • Biking Voter 18/02/2017, 10:27 am

      Funny, I was thinking the same thing, a place for the bored teenagers of Darwin to vent their anger and frustrations.
      After all, if you don’t own it or understand it then you must destroy it.

  • geoffrey 18/02/2017, 12:23 pm

    My wife’s aunty’s husband was a commando with special forces during ww2 fighting Japanese his comment about the japs cannot be printed here. He had a lifelong hatred of what happened during the war and it did not die out till he was in old age.

    • Bill 18/02/2017, 1:07 pm

      Geoffrey, I had a neighbour in Melbourne who had been heavily involved in the fighting on the Kokoda Track and then at Buna, (which many not be aware, was even more horrible and intense than the Kokoda fighting, and was where many of the veterans of Kokoda lost their lives in a series of ‘planned from afar’ (as in Brisbane) battles that were so ridiculously ill-planned and unsuited for the terrain and the conditions, they were, not to put too fine a point to it, suicidal for those Australians committed to fight them). The Americans, fighting at nearby Gona, were so inept that the Australians had to go in and finish the job – but this was of course never mentioned anywhere by the publicity-seeking Douglas MacArthur.

      My neighbour was then in his late eighties, and made a comment about the ferocity of the fighting in New Guinea that would not sit easily with many if not most of the snowflakes of today. He said “The Japs were utter bastards – and we beat them by being even worse bastards than they were. Don’t you believe all that crap about the Japs never surrendering. Lots of them surrendered.”

      My father was a commando in New Guinea and Borneo. He said that even in his old age, he could not look at a Japanese of his own age without thinking “What did you do in the war?” It wasn’t a question as to where the Japanese had served and in what capacity, but what atrocities he may have committed.

      The men who saved this country saw too much – and were perhaps asked to do too much – ever to forgive and forget.

      I think that plaque in Darwin will go ‘MIA’ within weeks and is unlikely to be replaced.

      • Spinbuster 18/02/2017, 6:52 pm

        ….s unlikely to be replaced.
        I think so too Bill.
        I am all about moving on, respect and co-operation, but the timing is wrong.


  • Zoltan 18/02/2017, 2:00 pm

    You can just imagine a memorial to German bomber crews shot down over London in The Blitz can’t you.
    We are what my dad, who was busy in the RN in WW2 and RAN in Korea would have called “Dopey as arseholes”.
    My first thoughts were the same as Pete & Biking, my second thoughts were that it takes a big man to acknowledge his fallen adversaries, although I very much doubt the memorial was at the suggestion of a fighter.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 18/02/2017, 2:49 pm

    After they declared that sub a war grave we coastal surveillance & customs pilots regularly flew over that position for someone had tried to either cut pieces from it or enter the hull.

    • Joe Blogs 19/02/2017, 1:15 am

      Or, was it Harold Holt trying to get out?

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