What The Papers Say: Emperor’s visit poses questions on both sides

Described by the Sunday Telegraph’s Auberon Waugh as ’The nasty old men in the Mall’, British ex-POWs took full advantage of Emperor Akihito’s visit to press their case for Japanese compensation for their suffering during World War II. Their vigorous protests in London and Cardiff meant that news items presented an even mix of coverage. Writers such as Waugh, Michael Dobbs and Simon Jenkins, however, were more disposed to espouse a ’forgive and forget’ attitude.

Described by the Sunday Telegraph’s Auberon Waugh as ’The nasty old

men in the Mall’, British ex-POWs took full advantage of Emperor

Akihito’s visit to press their case for Japanese compensation for their

suffering during World War II. Their vigorous protests in London and

Cardiff meant that news items presented an even mix of coverage. Writers

such as Waugh, Michael Dobbs and Simon Jenkins, however, were more

disposed to espouse a ’forgive and forget’ attitude.



The majority of letters to the editor, apart from a sackful in the

Mirror reflecting the paper’s own negative stance, also pleaded for

reconciliation, with several from former prisoners of the Japanese.

Other letter writers queried Britain’s own conscience of Hiroshima and

Nagasaki, British invasions of other Asian countries and the Chinese

opium wars.



Tony Blair, while appearing to try to offer a conciliatory line to both

sides, fell foul of the press with even the Mirror asking ’Are the

people turning their backs on Blair?’



Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the

Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at:

www.carma.com.



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