What you say is true. But from the point of view of ordinary people, they are victims as none of them wanted to start a war, join a war, or be part of a war. They were forced into the situation.
Another interesting thing is that in modern Japan, what we typically call "national pride" or identity to see themselves as Japanese and feel that they are part of a country and its history is very weak. This is contrary to the general sentiment in United States.
In some ways, having patriotism and pledging allegiance to the country is seen as being extremist and it is not seen as a character that a well-balanced person should have.
Perhaps this is a strange concept for most Americans. I'd imagine this is a strange concept to comprehend unless you were born there and lived in the culture.