It is now 51 years on and Japan still has not put the ghosts of its war years behind it. Pride in their nation seems to make it nigh on impossible for all too many Japanese to accept that the country's acts of war were wrong, regardless of what any other country did. Conversations about the war inevitably and rapidly lead to comments on the atrocities of two atomic bombings, the colonisation of Asia by other nations and the victimisation of Japan. Yet little mention is made of the continuing demands from people in China, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines - nearly every country in Asia - for recognition and compensation for a range of horrors. Poison gas bombings in China, forced and unpaid work in Japanese mines, horrific medical experiments on prisoners and Asian women forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese military are just some of the issues people in Asia are demanding Japan deal with, now. Legally, Japan closed the book on such demands when it finished paying reparations and signed off on peace treaties. But the continuing inability of Japan to make peace with its neighbours suggests the nation may need to write a new chapter. But is this possible when we watch every year to see if the latest Japanese prime minister will apologise more, or less, sincerely for the nation's actions? And can a country which presents us with at least one Cabinet member a year who claims Japan did not fight a war of aggression, or that it did some good in Asia during the war years, really expect anyone to believe it has comes to terms with its past? This year both Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and former prime minister Tomiichi Murayama chose to visit Chidorigafuchi Military Cemetery on August 15 to pay their respects to Japan's war dead. The cemetery is literally a stone's throw from the Yasukuni shrine and Budokan hall in Tokyo where Japan's dignitaries formally mourned the loss of 3.1 million Japanese lives. The cemetery is also Japan's official memorial to the war dead. Mr Murayama left the military cemetery refusing to make any comment on yesterday's rites. In a governing coalition with the conservatives, the head of the former socialists appears to have abandoned his party's long history of objections to any signs of Japan's militaristic past in national observances. But after 51 years, individuals across Asia are still coming forward and asking Japan not to forget.