I also disagree with the idea that the characters were all stereotyped.
I can't remember any character names, so i'll just describe them.
Eg. Mr Tanaka?? He was humane and you could see he genuinely hated the position he was in. He tried to help the girls when he could, but at the end of the day there was very little he could do without chopping off his own head. He is never seen committing any atrocities though.
The main guard - he does commit atrocities, such as beating the women and attempted rape, but he also has a more human side. Remember when he took Glen CLose out to the woods just to sing? Not very stereotypical. Even he seems to be terrified of his superiors and lets the women get away with a bit when the boss isn't looking.
The younger guards are obviously terrified of the boss. They just do what they are told.
The only true 'monster' in this movie, is the director of the whole camp. He is the one who invents the terrible punishments - burning alive, Cate Blanchett's stake hold thingy, witholding medicine, organising the brothel, etc...
The women likewise are not 'glorified'. The strength and courage it took many of them to do the things they did was not fiction. It actually happened. They did form a chior and dared to sing as a group in front of the guards. They did start beating stones at the funeral. They did try to fight off attempts at rape. It was not orchestrated in the script to make them look like angels. There were many characters who lacked inner strength and were reluctant to do these things. There were also many characters who were just plain annoying and despicable in themselves - eg. The Aussie lady who refused to work, the old English woman who suffered from terminal ignorance, etc..
I also agree that Japanese people are not taught the realities of World War Two. I believe it was an absolute tragedy for the innocent people who suffered under the A-bomb (my grandfather was sailing to Japan on his way to invade, when the bombs dropped so the mission turned into an occupation, we still have photos of the devestation the bombs caused and believe me NOTHING was left standing ANYWHERE), HOWEVER.... Japan does not teach their children about the atrocities committed by their troops in occupied territory, about the POW camps and how POWs were murdered, starved, enslaved, etc.., or even how Japan was unjustified in its attempts to take over half of the world.
I was a tour guide for a period of time and it was amazing how many Japanese tourists would want to talk to me late at night around a camp fire about how angry they are that they were never told about these things. It was only after travelling to Australia and being exposed to photographs, images, etc.. that they gained a picture of Japan's actions during WWII.
Having said all of this, Australia can't really take the high horse when you consider how much of our colonial history and atrocities committed during frontier wars with Aboriginal people is hidden from the public.
Well said ... the OP was pretty stupid ... and you put it in it's proper place. I personally thought the film portrayed all characters accurately.