Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Japanese government must embrace Hatoyama’s denunciation...

Hatoyama Yukio, foremer Prime Minister of Japan, denounced the Abe administration. I have complained here before about the apathy and inaction of the Japanese people in the face of their leaders' refusal to apologize to the surviving victims of sexual slavery at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII. Since that time, Japan has changed its leaders, and they remain determined to take action. Unfortunately, such action will lead them even further into the realm of public ignominy. The Murayama Statement, issued by Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on 15 August 1995, was a clear apology to the victims of Japanese aggression in the war. However, earlier this year Abe began discussing a possible revision of the statement, and in late April he argued that what is labelled ‘aggression’ may be viewed differently depending on what side you are on. Mr. Abe must realize that he needs to make enormous efforts to put to rest the suspicions that his words have stirred not only among the victims of Japan’s 20th-century aggression in Asia, but also in the capital of its most important ally.

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