Rather sporting about Iwojima

An NHK news article:

IwoJima Statue NHK

I found both the presence and content of this article to be very interesting.  First, why publish this piece at all?  It is not such a big news item that its absence would be conspicuous.  And second, look at how they describe the statue:

“The statue depicts 6 soldiers raising the US flag on Mount Suribachi as Allied forces captured the Japanese-held island.  It is viewed as an icon representing the braveness of American soldiers.”

What a generous interpretation.  No bitterness, no hostility, no attempt even to describe it as the land-grab that it was (the island wasn’t returned with Japanese sovereignty in 1952, but was part of the United States until 1968).  I’ve personally always found the image to be very similar in nature to the paintings of European soldiers landing on the shores of America with their own weapons and flags.

But no, to Japan’s official and biggest broadcaster it just represents “the braveness of American soldiers.”  I can’t think of any way to describe this attitude, which really seems to be the dominant one here, except as sporting.  Japan’s willingness to let bygones by bygones and almost eagerness to show respect for an enemy is a real breath of fresh air in our current age of demonizing the enemy and prideful hanging on to of bitterness and victimhood.

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