Books: An Inscrutable Silence

In Germany today, a new generation of writers is turning back to examine the horrors of the Nazi past and painfully exploring the guilt that they feel all Germans must share in some degree for their part in it (TIME, Jan. 4). But in that other Axis partner, Japan, writers are strangely silent on the subject of the war years.

Placing the Blame. In the Japanese view, the atomic bomb was an expiation of their war guilt. With the two explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan was transformed from aggressor into victim. There are...

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