Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made no expression of remorse or apology, but said at the National Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead: “We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we enjoy today are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead.”Japan’s oath is to never allow the tragedies of war to be repeated,” added Abe, who wants to revise the nation’s pacifist Constitution to allow a more aggressive defense posture.”Under the banner of proactive pacifism, Japan is determined to play a greater role than ever to solve the various challenges facing the world while working with the international community,” he said.Over in South Korea, which marks the occasion as National Liberation Day, President Moon Jae-in paid tribute to freedom fighters. Topics : He added that he wants dialogue with Japan to overcome historical issues such as forced labor and comfort women that continue to plague bilateral relations.”I believe that joint efforts by Japan and Korea to respect individual human rights will become a bridge for friendship and future cooperation between the peoples of our two countries,” he said.North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency, citing a statement by the Korean Committee on Measures for the Sexual Slavery for Japanese Army and Drafting Victims, accused Japan of “desperately shunning atonement for its past crimes” and called for a sincere apology and reparation to the “victims of hideous inhuman crimes”.China’s state-run Global Times cited experts who blame Japan for a recent chill in bilateral ties and allege a lack of sincerity in fulfilling post-war promises and a rise in historical revisionism. It said: “Japan, which had historically brought great misery to the Chinese people, should learn from history and not follow the same path.”Abe, who did not mention diplomatic issues in his speech, sent a ritual offering on Saturday to the Yasukuni Shrine but did not personally make the trip.Any visit by a sitting Japanese premier will cause a diplomatic uproar; Abe’s last trip in December 2013 not only raised the ire of China and South Korea, but was also frowned upon by its ally the United States.The shrine honors millions of war dead. But the enshrinement of 14 convicted Class A war criminals, including wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, has raised perceptions of the Yasukuni Shrine as an emblem of Japan’s past militarism.No emperor has visited since 1978, after the decision to honor war criminals there.Four Cabinet ministers paid their respects at the shrine on Friday, the first visits on the war anniversary since 2016. They were Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, Education Minister Koichi Hagiuda, Minister-in-charge of Territorial Issues Seiichi Eto, and Internal Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi.”While bearing in mind the will for peace, it is only natural to want to pay our condolences to those who give their lives for the country,” Mr Koizumi, 39, who is seen as a future prime minister, told reporters.”It should no longer be an era where ministerial visits to Yasukuni Shrine become news.” Japan marked its defeat in World War II on Saturday with a minute of silence at the stroke of noon – the exact moment 75 years ago when Emperor Showa (Hirohito’s posthumous name) announced the surrender on radio.Cabinet ministers also visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine on the war anniversary for the first time since 2016.Emperor Naruhito, 60, who was born after the war, said in his first public appearance since the COVID-19 outbreak that he feels “deep remorse” for the battles waged in his grandfather’s name. He added: “I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never again be repeated.”
January 11, 2020
TUCSON, Ariz. Darin Erstad is doing just fine in Chicago White Sox spring camp, playing well and feeling healthy for the first time in more than two years. When two reporters who cover the Angels showed up in White Sox camp Saturday morning, Pierzynski figured more attention was heading his way. Well, sorry A.J., this year there is a different White Sox tie to the Angels. Erstad, who had surgery on his right ankle this offseason, is getting a chance to earn a starting spot in either center or left field. On Saturday he played in his third consecutive spring game and reported no discomfort. “I’m very happy with how I feel and just getting back into the flow of playing again,” Erstad said. “I missed a lot of time, and I’m just trying to get used to being on the field.” For the past two years Erstad tried to grit his teeth and play through various injuries. It had an obvious effect on his game. He is even … gulp … getting along swimming- ly with A.J. Pierzynski, who has a nearby locker. “You have to find a way to make due with what you have, and I did as best as I could and it wasn’t good enough,” Erstad said. “I’ll move on and go from there.” Erstad has heard about the small stir caused by a comment he made earlier this spring. While trying to let it be known that he is fully committed to the White Sox, he said the Angels were just another team and expressed his desire to kick the stuffing – so to speak – out of them. “The Angels were a huge part of my career and I’ll have great memories, but when you step on the field it’s time to win baseball games,” Erstad said, patiently taking the time for those who conveniently forgot about his competitive nature. “That’s how I feel against every team. It’s not just my personal vendetta against the Angels. It’s how I feel playing against anybody.” The White Sox and Angels will square off for the first time this spring March 17 in Tucson and again March 27 at Tempe. But the matchups Erstad is anticipating take place April 27-29 at Chicago and May 4-6, when the White Sox visit Angel Stadium. “Oh I might have a general idea of when the games are,” Erstad said with a smile when asked if he has marked the dates on his calendar. Unlike Tim Salmon last year, Erstad was shut down at the end of the season, depriving him of one farewell appearance or at-bat to receive acknowledgment from the home fans. “I don’t need that for personal stuff,” he said. “Obviously I have a very close relationship with the fans and the respect is mutual. It’s going to be tough being there but when you strap it on you can throw all that out the window.” As for Pierzynski, Erstad was asked a tongue-in-cheek question about how he is getting along with his new teammate, who was sitting at his locker a few feet away. Pierzynski, of course, took the bait, chiming in from a distance about reporters causing trouble. Erstad said there has been no reason to talk about the 2005 American League Championship Series, joking or otherwise. Pierzynski, of course, advanced to first base in Game 2 on a perceived dropped third strike, opening the door for a White Sox victory. “Hey, you guys know me, once the year is over and down with you can close the book,” Erstad said. “That chapter is over.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!