Monday, May 30, 2016

Obama's visit to Hiroshima

On 27th May 2016, Obama visited Hiroshima and made a speech there. There are two groups that are opposed to his visit. The first is those who think that Obama should not show sign of acceptance of Japanese war aggression/atrocities. The other one is those who will loose if Obama's real objective is achieved.

Let's look at those who think that visiting Hiroshima is a sign of accepting Japanese war aggression/atrocities. During WW2, Japanese embark on war aggression, by invading Korea and China then declare war on the Americans. In the process, millions of people are killed, many as a result of Japanese brutality.

There are a lot of Japanese atrocities that was committed during the war. The following are just some of the notorious ones.

1. The rape of Nanking.
2. The Bataan Death March.
3. The Sandakan Death March.
4. Death Railway
5. Laha Massacre
6. Banka Island Massacre
7. Palawan Massacre
8. Wake Island Massacre
9. Tina Massacre
10. Sulug Island Massacre

In Singapore, they committed the Alexandra Hospital Massacre and  Sok Ching Massacre. Those whose family are affected will have hard time coming to terms with their losses.

Hundreds of thousands of American soldier died during the war with Japanese notably in Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Some were captured and then murdered. It is no wonder some Americans are totally again the reconciliation act of Obama.

Japanese government did issue apologies a number of times. However, it is generally accepted that the apologies are not enough or have been overturned by later government. The following are signs that Japanese government did not really mean what they say.

1. The total denial of Nanking Massacre.
2. The continuous visit to Yasukuni Shrine by Prime ministers and cabinet members.
3. The denial of Comfort women.
4. The whitewashing of History books.
5. The lack of visit to the site of atrocities.
6. The total silence of unit 731 experiment apparent with American immunity grant.

The American support of Japan during the Cold war and current Chinese assertion emboldens the Japanese's attitude against a total unreserved apology. Germany have done it long ago.

It is understandable that any sign of conciliatory acts by American president is a tabloo. Obama is the first one after 71 years of silence.

After noting the points of those against, there is a need to look at the opposite camp (those who accept Obama's visit).

Obama's visit aims at the total elimination of Nuclear weapons. He want to use the occasion to  drive home the message. His aim is not to show apology to the Japanese about the bombing. Many understood his intention. Even the Chinese and South Korea government (the two countries who suffered the most) have a muted objection.

Anyhow, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is one act of mass murder by American. They can't deny the fact. Whether it is right or wrong is still under ongoing debate. At least American President did acknowledge the fact and pay respect to those who died as a result of the act (without being apologetic). Will Japanese prime minister ever do that?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Self-esteem or Approval-Seeking

Self-esteem according to Merriam Webster is "a feeling of respect of yourself and your ability". Approval seeking is a child's behavior to look toward parents' approval.

There have been numerous people who encourages self-esteem. Without self-esteem you cannot be yourself. You end up being just living on peoples' view instead of being yourself.

We were brought up by our parents. Often we look for the approval of our parents when we do something. Our acts were built entirely on this relationship. When we grow up, we tends to bring this behavior with us. We surround ourselves with people who approves us and we get upset when people disagrees with us. There are even people who thinks that they are nothing without other's approval.

These two views are totally on opposite ends. It is bad if you end up in either extreme. It is, therefore, important to know how to balance between the two ends. On the one hand you should not be governed by other's view. On the other hand, without others' feedback, you won't know whether you are too cocky or arrogant. The difference is whether you value yourselves better than others' valuation.

My personal view is that you should be yourself first then gauge whether you have gone overboard in being yourself. For example, there are some trending going on. Do you follow the trends so as to be on line with others or you based on your judgement that the trending does not suits you thus does not follow. Just because others do it does not means that you should do it. Obviously, you won't get to be inline with others but at least you can be yourself. You may even lost friends who insists you follow the trend.

When you do things differently, others will start to oppose you. You will have to first examine your acts to see whether the thing you do is right. Self-examination is the first step to prevent yourself being in the wrong. Often it is just gray area which it is not wrong either way. There are areas which is difficult to say whether it is right or wrong especially when it deals with somebody with authority.

In conclusion, do not be just followers. Have a mind of your own if you have already examined yourself whether you are right in doing so. Obviously, you could be wrong.

Don't just based on the opinion of others around you. Seek opinion from knowledgeable people/source who are known to be doing the right thing. If you have done your homework and still thinks that it is right then by all means stick to it till someone proves you wrong.