world war 2

(U.S. Pacific Command/Creative Commons)

After World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that formally renounced war or maintaining military forces.

Now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to change that. Bolstered by his party’s big win in recent elections, Abe wants to purge the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. The move could lead the country into future wars and is reopening a debate in Japan on the country’s role in the world. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Japan’s post-World War II pacifism and what a change of course would mean for relations with its Asian neighbors and the U.S.

Hans Neumann recalls days in Hitler Youth

Apr 20, 2013
Meredith Turk / KBIA

This story was produced in partnership with Columbia Faith & Values (

Hans Neumann was raised in a small, forested village in East Prussia, just five miles from the Lithuanian border. He was forced to leave his home at the age of 15, near the end of World War II. Germany was losing, and Russian troops were moving west. 

Julio Cortez / AP Images

In a New Jersey park, there is a stone and bronze memorial dedicated to the 200,000 or so women from South Korea, China and the Philippines who were sexually enslaved by Japanese soldiers during World War II.

hdes. copeland / Flickr

Three Missouri World War Two veterans have received France’s Legion of Honor medal, the highest award given by the French government for service to that country.  The three were recognized Monday at a ceremony at the State Capitol.