Letter: Emperor and PoWs

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a war veteran myself, one of whose school chums was tortured and beheaded by his Japanese captors for the "crime" of attempting to defend his country against a ruthless invading army described by Sir Donald Maitland (letter, 25 May) as "brave and skilful" (a plaudit equally applicable to the Nazi SS), I have a confession to make.

I don't hate the Japanese, some 80 per cent of whom were either born after the war, or too late to take any part in it. But I have little time either for those who concealed their bestial war record for so long from their own children, and who think that saying "sorry" somehow heals the shattered lives and bodies of our miserably recompensed heroes who stood against them, and whom we now treat so shamefully.


Uxbridge, Middlesex

Sir: I travelled from Australia specifically to attend the protest against the Japanese Emperor. My uncle died in a PoW camp in 1943. According to his pals who survived he was treated inhumanly. As I am his closest living relative I feel duty-bound to represent what I believe he would do were he able. I am not driven by a desire for "blood-money". A simply apology would suffice.



Greater Manchester