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Japan’s Hirohito ‘prevented from voicing remorse over war’

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Japan’s wartime emperor Hirohito wanted to express his regret and remorse shortly after World War II but the prime minister at the time stopped him, local media reported Tuesday, citing newly disclosed documents.

The 18 notebooks, written by Michiji Tajima, a top official at the Imperial Household Agency, featured dialogue between him and Hirohito between 1949 and 1953.

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According to the documents, the emperor said in 1952: “No matter what, I really think I need to include the word remorse” in his planned speech to mark Japan’s regaining of its independence later that year.

The emperor was also cited as saying: “For myself, I do feel great remorse. I really want to add the phrase — reflection on the past and self-discipline for the future — even if the words can be changed.”

But then prime minister Shigeru Yoshida opposed the emperor’s plan to publicly express regret and remorse, telling Tajima: “There is a danger that people will say he was responsible for starting the war.”

The phrases of regret and remorse were eventually deleted from the speech delivered by Hirohito to celebrate the 1951 San Francisco peace treaty.

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Hirohito, who died in 1989, is the grandfather of Emperor Naruhito, 59, who ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne in May from his father Akihito, the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in more than two centuries.

Emperor Hirohito was once worshipped as a living demigod and served as Japan’s commander-in-chief during its march across Asia in the 1930s and 1940s.

Hirohito’s speech to surrender in the war was broadcast on radio on August 15, 1945, days after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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Hirohito’s responsibility for the conduct of the war remains a point of debate with some scholars, particularly American, who argue the emperor was not a puppet of the military but an active commander who escaped justice with US connivance.

The question of “remorse” over the war remains sensitive in Japan even to this day.

Last Thursday, Naruhito spoke of his “deep remorse” over the country’s wartime past, in his first speech to mark the end of World War II since his enthronement.

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His comments were being monitored in Tokyo and throughout Asia for any change in tone but he closely echoed the language employed by his father Akihito.


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The DOJ is suing Omarosa over the same law Brett Kavanaugh is accused of violating: Ex-White House ethics chief

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On Monday, former Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub noted a massive double standard at the Justice Department, pointing out that government attorneys are suing Omarosa Manigault Newman for financial disclosure violations — while giving a free pass to Brett Kavanaugh, who is accused of even more serious financial disclosure violations.

In fact, noted Shaub, not only is the DOJ not pursuing that allegation, Attorney General Bill Barr is giving the DOJ employees who helped fast-track Kavanaugh through Supreme Court confirmation hearings a prestigious award, usually reserved for prosecutors who take down terrorists and mob bosses:

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Here’s what George Carlin taught us about media propaganda by omission

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In the old George Carlin joke, the TV sportscaster announces: “Here’s a partial score from the West Coast – Los Angeles 6.”

For a brilliant comedian like Carlin—who skewered corporate powerclass structure and political/media propaganda—that’s one of his more innocuous jokes. But it’s sharply relevant today as corporate TV news outlets serve up a series of partial scores. Call it “propaganda by omission.”

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Scientists uncover alarming levels of dangerous plastics in children’s bodies

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Plastic by-products were found in an alarming 97-100% of blood and urine samples from 2,500 children tested between 2014 and 2017, according to a new study by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute.

Der Spiegel, the German weekly magazine, published the findings Saturday, which were part of a federal study focused on "human biomonitoring" of 3 to 17-year-olds. Traces from 11 out of 15 plastic ingredients were found in the test samples.

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