The USS Arizona (BB-39) sunk and burning during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 (from here)
The USS Arizona (BB-39) sunk and burning during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 (from here)

I first ran this post in 2016, WAS IT ABOUT TOLERANCE? NO. IT WAS ABOUT FORGIVENESS. Unfortunately, Shinzo Abe, once the Prime Minister of Japan, is now dead. Therefore, various public figures are honoring him, Trump, Biden, Obama pay tribute to murdered ex-Japan PM Shinzo Abe. Since I think Abe’s own words speak far better of him than anything I could say, I think it best to repeat this post. So, here it is.

Today I heard a great speech when Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, spoke at the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  The Prime Minister’s words should strike a chord deep within the heart of every American. The Prime Minister’s words should recall to us the example set by those generations who fought World War II.

Did the Prime Minister apologize for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? No. How can anyone apologize for what someone else did? What the Prime Minister did do, however, was far more important. He thanked us.

I suggest that you read the whole speech (Shinzo Abe at Pearl Harbor: ‘Rest in Peace, Precious Souls of the Fallen’ (nytimes.com)), but here are the key paragraphs (full text available here, Shinzō Abe Reconciliation Address at Pearl Harbor for free).

Yesterday, at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, I visited the memorial marker for an Imperial Japanese Navy officer.

He was a fighter pilot by the name of Commander Fusata Iida who was hit during the attack on Pearl Harbor and gave up on returning to his aircraft carrier. He went back instead and died.

It was not Japanese who erected a marker at the site that Iida’s fighter plane crashed. It was U.S. servicemen who had been on the receiving end of his attack. Applauding the bravery of the dead pilot, they erected this stone marker.

On the marker, his rank at that time is inscribed, “Lieutenant, Imperial Japanese Navy, ”showing their respect toward a serviceman who gave his life for his country.

“The brave respect the brave.”

So wrote Ambrose Bierce in a famous poem.

Showing respect even to an enemy they fought against; trying to understand even an enemy that they hated — therein lies the spirit of tolerance embraced by the American people.

When the war ended and Japan was a nation in burnt-out ruins as far as the eye could see, suffering under abject poverty, it was the United States, and its good people, that unstintingly sent us food to eat and clothes to wear.

The Japanese people managed to survive and make their way toward the future thanks to the sweaters and milk sent by the American people.

And it was the United States that opened up the path for Japan to return to the international community once more after the war.

Under the leadership of the United States, we, as a member of the free world, were able to enjoy peace and prosperity.

The good will and assistance you extended to us Japanese, the enemy you had fought so fiercely, together with the tremendous spirit of tolerance were etched deeply into the hearts and minds of our grandfathers and mothers.

We also remember them. Our children and grandchildren will also continue to pass these memories down and never forget what you did for us.

The words pass through my mind; those words inscribed on the wall at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., where I visited with President Obama.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all… let us strive on… to do all which may achieve and cherish a… lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

These are the words of President Abraham Lincoln.

On behalf of the Japanese people, I hereby wish to express once again my heartfelt gratitude to the United States and to the world for the tolerance extended to Japan. (from here)

When we think of tolerance these days, we think of that shallow sort of tolerance bandied about by our public officials, taught in the public schools, and spoken of in the mass media. That is not the sort of tolerance the Prime Minister had in mind.  Race was not the issue. Language did not matter. Culture and religion did not matter to the Americans who forgave Japan. What mattered was their willingness to forgive a hated enemy and extend a hand in help and friendship.

Romans 12:9-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

Behave Like a Christian

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

When the war was over and the Japanese needed help, Americans remembered the teachings of Jesus Christ. They did not call it tolerance. They just identified with the sufferings of the Japanese and remembered that Jesus had paid the price for their sins too. And so they forgave as they wished to be forgiven their own sins — as we should wish to be forgiven for our own sins.


  1. America rebuilt Japan not out of Christian duty but because it wanted to avoid another Treaty of Versailles which produced Hitler and the NAZI. This is called “real politic.” By crushing Imperial Japan and NAZI Germany and then rebuilding them, the bitterness that spawned both horrific genocidal regimes was washed away. However, had America not been a nation founded on Christian values the notion of rebuilding (mercy) the nations of the enemy would never have occurred to the American officials who masterminded the post war era.

    1. @SOM

      True. One of the problems with being fallen is that our motives are never perfect. That is why works cannot save us. We can only repent and turn to Jesus.

      Isaiah 64:6 New American Standard Bible
      6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
      And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
      And all of us wither like a leaf,
      And our wrongdoings, like the wind, take us away.

  2. Reblogged this on Artaxes' brainbench and commented:
    A great post by Citizen Tom.
    A fitting tribute to Shinzo Abe, by all accounts a great man, and to America.
    No man is flawless and therefore no nation can ever be flawless. When we forget this eternal truth it is easy to see only the flaws and overlook the greatness in a man or in a nation.
    Tom’s post shows why Abe was a great man and the greatness of America in the magnanimous way it treated an enemy that was defeated in a war which was fought extremely viciously on both sides.

  3. Reblogged this on Esther's Petition and commented:
    Thought provoking. Inspired, I think. Thank you for sharing these remarks again, Tom. We do well to remember them, and take them to heart in these troubling days.

Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑


Government, Economics and Figure Skating

The Culture Alternative

A Biblical Worldview. Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE


A site for the Glory of God

"From The Heart of A Shepherd" by Pastor Travis D. Smith

Daily Devotional Meditations and a Biblical Perspective on Current Events

Meerkat Musings

There's a Meerkat in all of us

Sillyfrog's Blog

"Once a pond a time..."

TOWER AND FLIGHTS (An AmericaOnCoffee Blog)

In The Beginning Man Tried Ascending To Heaven via The Tower Of Babel. Now He Tries To Elevate His Existence To A Heavenly State of Consciousness Thru The Use Of Hallucinogenic Drugs. And, Since The 20th Century, He Continually Voyages Into Outer Space Using Spacecrafts. Prayer Thru Christ Is The Only Way To Reach Heaven.

Christ in You

... Life and Love in Jesus

Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; (NIV)

Jill Domschot

Joy in the Southwest


Here are some of the things I have learned from studying the Bible

BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades!

God, Guns and Guts Comrades!

Insightful Geopolitics

Impartial Informative Always

Libertas and Latte

Ramblings of a Disgruntled Patriot and Coffee Slave

A Blog About Healing From PTSD

Healing After Narcissistic Abuse & Multiple Traumas

Blue Skies and Green Pastures

All about Jesus, Peace, Love, and Running


From A Garden To A City - The Prophetic Journey


Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

Faithful Steward Ministries and FSM Women's Outreach

Christian Outreach Ministry to those Incarcerated, with Addictions and our Military

Jesus Quotes and God Thoughts

“God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.”


Life through the eyes of "cookie"

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom. We are the masters of our own disasters.

The Recovering Legalist

Living a Life of Grace

Write Side of the Road

writing my way through motherhood

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

John Branyan

the funny thing about the truth

Victory Girls Blog

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Mount Vernon, Ohio.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Mount Vernon, Ohio.

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

quotes and notes and opinions

from a Biblical perspective




The view from the Anglosphere

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information


My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

%d bloggers like this: