Historical Revision

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JAPAN’S policy of glorification of the country’s World War II militarism, spreading of ultranationalist values within the country raises concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. Accelerated strengthening of its military capabilities, launched procedure of working out of legislative basis for refusing from postwar pacifist principles fixed in the region can be undermined and a new arms race that will affect the economies of most neighboring countries can start.

Japan’s actions are covered with its propaganda rhetoric, in particular, proclaimed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s slogan of “strong country” revival and promoted by him the doctrine of so-called “proactive pacifism”. For its military capabilities, strengthening Japan widely exploits the thesis of an increase of political tensions in the region. The country’s policy is directly connected to the creation of an image of enemy around China and North Korea.

In so doing, Abe’s plan of changing its constitution to shift to militarism in the guise of assuring countries in the region occupied by Japanese forces during World War II that constitutional reforms would be made “with the obvious premise of pacifism, people’s sovereignty and basic human rights.”

And this statement is a loud B.S. considering the comfort women survivors of the Second World War, (which include my former nanny who took care of me when i was still a baby) still lingering the pains both emotional and psychological, they experienced in the hands of Japan’s Imperial Armed Forces, and now Mr. Abe will issue a rhetoric about basic human rights? Another chubibo?

The mere fact that PM Abe visited Yasukuni Shrine on December 26, a year after he became Japan’s Prime Minister, this step signifies glorification of ‘war criminals’ guilty of thousands of deaths of innocent people.

Herewith, the Japanese government prefers not to remember dark pages of the country’s past erasing from history textbooks such facts as Nanjing Massacre in 1937, killing of 50 thousand representatives of the Chinese community in Singapore in 1942, massacre in Manila in 1945 (100 thousand victims). And that is not the end of the list.

How outrageous is the spreading of nationalistic values in Japan’s society by its government, in particular, plans to memorize the letters of WWII suicide pilots. According to Japan’s NHK TV Company officials from Chiran Peace Museum in the city of Minamiryushu (where 14,000 farewell letters of the WWII suicide pilots are stored) have applied for inclusion of 330 exhibits of this collection in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

In addition, Momii Katsuto, the CEO of NHK TV Company stated that creation of field brothels where the locals had been exploited had been a common practice for all countries participated in WWII. In connection to this, he said all claims to Japan regarding that issue were unfounded. Japan’s pleading guilty and compensation payment to countries suffered from its actions were out of the question.

On February 8 – 9 in Beijing, a conference on comfort women problem was held by Shanghai Normal University in cooperation with Sungkyunkwan University. The participants decided to apply for inclusion of a set of archival documents related to coercion of women from Asian countries into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in UNESCO Memory of the World Program. Specific deadline for this application is not defined but probably it will be timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

This initiative was launched in response to Japan’s request to include farewell letters and photos of its WWII suicide pilots in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. These Japan’s actions were taken as justification of the country’s WWII military aggression and the call against the results of WWII and postwar world order.

The Philippines comfort women survivors were not given special consideration when PM Shinzo Abe and President Noynoy Aquino met last year. Mr. Abe only pledged support for Philippine maritime forces by providing a concessional loan to build 10 coast guard patrol boats for the Philippines for obvious reason – confront China in separate territorial disputes.

Yes, it was a welcome support to help us guard our maritime territories but the fact that the two leaders met and discussed ways for cooperation and partnership, it could have been a very fruitful meeting if they had the sincerity, especially on the part of Mr. Abe, to offer apology and just compensation by the Japanese government to Filipinas (and all the comfort women) who were abused by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII. Sadly, there was no move to do such a noble thing from the visiting Prime Minister.

And with the growing tensions encompassing several regions, especially in the Asia-Pacific, the horrors of the Second World War particularly the abuses and violence against women might be repeated again. As the saying by George Santayana goes-“for those who never learn from the lessons of history, will have the tendency to repeat it.”

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