The three and a half years of Japanese occupation were the most important of my life. They gave me vivid insights into the behaviour of human beings and human societies, their motivations and impulses. My appreciation of governments, my understanding of power as the vehicle for revolutionary change, would not have been gained without this experience.

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Yet, throughout the 50 years since the end of the war, successive Japanese Liberal Democratic Party governments, the majority of leaders </a>of all Japanese political parties, most of their academics and nearly all their media have chosen not to talk about these evil deeds. Unlike the Germans, they hope that with the passing of the generations these deeds will be forgotten, and the accounts of what they did buried in dusty records. When they refuse to admit them to their neighbours, people cannot but fear that it is possible for them to repeat these horrors. It was only when a non-LDP government took office in 1992 that a Japanese prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, gave an unqualified apology.