japan is not a cute fuzzy pet culture limited to anime and sushi. it's an insular island culture that's just as bad as anyone else in history. it's too bad it takes a full-blown nuclear disaster for people to realize this.
More than the far right that wants to paint Japan's past in a rosier light, the problem with Japan's government is Japan's culture: They don't want to do anything without consensus from everyone, which pretty much never happens period. This is a big reason for their stagnation.
You should also be looking at the atrocity angle from a global perspective: Right now apologies and compensation are being demanded all around not because they haven't already been given (they have) or because they were insufficient (they were accepted) but because China, South Korea, and Japan all hate each other at the moment and are bickering like children, in no small part due to all three being in a nasty phase of nationalism and using territorial disputes to antagonize one another.
It's easy to denigrate just about any government, and right now current events are making it laughably simple, but that doesn't mean every accusation you hear on the news is true or even provided in context.
the hilarious thing is the aforementioned two groups are vehemently anti-each-other.
GUESS WHAT. east asian interests don't align with your western ones.
Uhhh, no: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_...
Stop listening to Chinese and Korean (both North and South) propaganda.
i know it's tough seeing your favorite pet country in this light. but it's the truth.