Friday, December 9, 2011

Japan's Apology to Hong Kong POWs

It's been a long time coming but at last the Japanese government has apologized for the treatment of Canadian POWs captured at Hong Kong.

After attending ceremonies in Hong Kong to mark the 70th anniversary of the battle which began on December 8, 1941, the Canadian delegation including representatives of the HKVCA and veterans from the three components of C Force: Winnipeg Grenadiers, Royal Rifles of Canada and Brigade Headquarters, went to Tokyo to receive the apology in person.  I was so pleased to see my friend Gerry Gerrard, former Signalman, RCCS, representing Bde HQ.  I can't imagine what it must have been like for him to hear the apology in person.

I have heard from a number of family members of deceased RCCS Hong Kong veterans - they too have expressed their pleasure in hearing about the apology, but saddened by the fact that their family veteran was not able to hear it himself.  Some people have said, "too little too late" but given the Japanese culture and apparent reluctance to apologize for any past atrocities, perhaps we should be happy for even this much delayed acknowledgment.  I know I am.

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