The vicious opening of the war set the tone for much of what happened
thereafter. The fanaticism of the Japanese was alien to Western norms, with
neither side giving any quarter in the battles that followed. Many aspects of
the Pacific War are the subject of continuing debate but separate from
considerations of the treatment of Allied POWs.
With the Japanese surrender, investigations of Japanese brutality and
judgment inevitably followed. Many anomalies exist with some of the worst
atrocities against POWs not being prosecuted as the perpetrators took their
military secrets to the Allies.
There has been continuing anger at Japan's refusal to formally apologise for
its wartime actions and surprise at the efforts that dedicated groups of
individuals have had to make to obtain compensation or obtain information on
what happened to comrades and family members. The mass bombing of Japanese
civilian targets culminating in the dropping of the atomic bombs leaves a
residual resentment in Japan.