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Letter: Japanese apologies

Sir: David Walker criticises the Japanese for their national amnesia while himself forgetting their continued rigid adherence to the "peace clause" of their constitution, which must take some resolution considering the unpredictable and aggressive military regime in North Korea, just across the Sea of Japan. A persistent commitment to non-rearmament is the Japanese way of ruing the violence of the past and represents a practical safeguard against a repeat performance.

If the Japanese method of being post-war Japan differs from the British method of being post-Empire Britain, it is because they are Japanese and we are British. David Walker's chief mistake is to doubt the normality of diplomatic dealings with a foreign country whose history, national characteristics and behaviour are not like our own. All diplomatic dealings are like that.


Keble College, Oxford