Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What's the deal with Japan?

What's the deal with Japan? We, the U.S., have a pretty good relationship with Japan. There is a lot of trade, goodwill. They make most of our electronics. Sushi is huge in America. Some people even like Japanimation. (Do we still use that term?)
Japan loves baseball. They sent us Daisuke Matsusaka in a trade for Tom Selleck, I believe. They win the Little League World Series and probably learn English just so they can someday understand the baseball commentary of such great minds as John Kruk or Joe Morgan.

But is it not so that we are still the only nation to drop an atomic bomb on another nation, and wasn't that nation Japan? And didn't we do it twice? How can this be? Perhaps it's best to let sleeping dogs lie, and if they're over it, I'm more than happy to put that whole WWII incident behind us, but if I'm in a bar someday and some Japanese person picks a fight with me or any other American, citing the dropping of those two nuclear bombs as the source of his animosity, I would have no choice but to be pretty understanding. I might counter with "that Pearl Harbor shit was a dick move!" but this argument would easily be refuted by pointing out that Pearl Harbor was a military target. Here's the parallel: if a fight ensued in the bar, and the Japanese guy hit me in the face, I would respond by hitting him in the face then shooting his girlfriend, to demoralize him.

I heard shit-talking about the Revolutionary War and 1812 when I went to London for a while which, admittedly, was just loud-mouth losers looking for something to pick a fight about, but doesn't Japan have loud-mouth losers? And don't they have something much bigger to complain about?

It's not fair to judge the actions of yesterday with the mindset of today. The Allies had been fighting a war that would not stop and there was no end in sight. If they beat us to the atomic bomb, would San Francisco and Sacramento have been leveled? Likely. When someone is committed to your annihilation and is willing to do anything to achieve that, you have no choice but to respond in kind, right? Japan was a worthy adversary in what could be described as a life and death struggle.

We look back and see all the civilians that had been killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but Americans at the time had to have been pretty pissed at Japan. We think back on the internment camps as being more embarrassing for America than the indiscriminate massacre of two entire cities, and that may even be true.

But either way, thanks Japan for being so cool about this whole thing.