Sunday, August 09, 2009


There is a group of Filipinos who want our government to ask Japan to extend benefits to all those who collaborated with the Japanese Imperial Army during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. These Filipinos say that Japan should treat collaborators in the same way that the United States treated Filipinos who fought in the U.S. Army, and that Japan should grant them Japanese citizenship. Thousands of Filipinos served in pro-Japanese organizations, such as the Bureau of Constabulary, the propaganda office and the Makapili.

Thousands of other Filipinos were forced to work for the Japanese Occupation forces or for the Japanese-backed government. People who worked for the Japanese at the point of a bayonet are also entitled to some form of compensation from Japan, whose government has declared that it wants to make up for the evils the Japanese Imperial forces committed during the Pacific War. This sense of guilt has raised the issue of compensation for the thousands of Asian women who were forced to serve as "comfort women" for Japanese soldiers.

Some of the Filipinos who are pushing the idea of compensation for Japanese collaborators go as far as to suggest that the Philippines may have chosen the wrong side during the Pacific War. They cite the long list of injustices Filipinos have received at the hands of the Americans even though the Philippines was the staunchest U.S. ally in Asia. If we had sided with Japan, would we now be an economic power like South Korea and Taiwan, which were ruled by the Japanese for many years?

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