Saturday, January 08, 2005

Japan's East Asia Problem: A Sixtieth Anniversary Perspective on the Postwar



ZNet, MA, by Yoichi Funabashi January 06, 2005

(Background info) Yoichi Funabash is an Asahi Shimbun senior staff writer and foreign affairs columnist. This two part article commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II appeared in the International Herald Tribune/Asahi Shimbun on January 4 and 5, 2005.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Three-quarters of Japan's population was born after the war.

Despite the passage of time, Japan's postwar problems continue. Public opinion is split over Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro 's visits to Yasukuni Shrine. China and South Korea are also unhappy about the visits.

To remember the tragedy of the war and the importance of peace, events are being planned across the world this year to mourn the war dead.

At the Japan-China summit on the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in November, Chinese President Hu Jintao said: "We cannot avoid history. I want (Japan) to deal with the problem properly. In particular, 2005 is a sensitive year that marks the 60th anniversary of anti-fascist victory. "

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Is China misusing its unfortunate history for political purposes vis-a-vis japan?

Can China continue with its sharp criticism of Japan without igniting a conflict?

Does Japan need to abide by China's wishes?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In general, the Japanese people are very nice, timid, orderly, and as a society they are generally speaking, nature loving and open hearted when dealing with people (at least in my opinion).

But from my experiences with the Japanese people, I have learnt that they very rarely, if almost never apologize unless they really have to. In the case of Koizumi's trip to the shrine; it is an absolute disgrace that he still does it every year. It is the equivalent of the Southern States claiming that slavery should never have been abolished, or that Civil Rights should never have come into being. Imagine if Koizumi went to a memorial dedicated to the valor of Kamikaze soldiers at Pearl Harbor? Would America allow that? So why should the Chinese and other Asian nations feel happy?

Since WWII, Germany and Italy have apologized time and time again for their actions and abuses before and during the war. Japan has always fell short of apologizing. In this case, they are 100% in the wrong, and deserve whatever hatred that comes against them from their neighboring countries.

Sounds a little harsh, I know, but all is asked is a formal apology, and it's not much for the Japanese to give.

what do you think cookiemonsta?

- Raj