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Abe doesn't deserve the trust he seeks

English.news.cn   2014-02-06 10:27:11

BEIJING, Feb. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- With Shinzo Abe at the forefront, Japanese politicians are trotting the globe on sympathy-seeking trips, peddling the innocent Japanese image as a peace-loving country stuck in a hostile neighborhood.

As if Japan had done nothing wrong, now or in the past.

As if Japan were unfairly blamed for what was not of its making.

As if it is victims' intolerance, rather than Japan's own lack of repentance for past sins, which has caused the current impasse.

The Japanese prime minister has many ear-pleasing words on his lips these days when it comes to tensions in the neighborhood, one of which is "trust".

Whatever he does, be it "nationalization" of China's Diaoyu Islands or a pilgrimage to the Class-A war criminals at Yasukuni shrine, he wants "understanding", "respect", and "trust".

Yet trust is the last thing Shinzo Abe and his men deserve.

The culture of shamelessness they embody is a warning sign of a dangerous rightist orientation in Japanese politics.

If Japanese politicians were once shy of revealing their rightist propensities in public, things are strikingly different under Abe.

Naoki Hyakuta, a governor of the Japanese public broadcaster NHK handpicked by Abe, was the latest to showcase that shamelessness.

In a Monday stump speech while campaigning for a right-wing candidate in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, the NHK governor claimed the Nanjing Massacre "never happened".

Intruding Japanese troops killed 300,000 Chinese, mostly civilians, in the 1937 carnage. Solid historical evidence, from eyewitness accounts to public and private documents, from both China and Japan, among whom were Japanese soldiers and third-country citizens, have ascertained the nature and scale of the heinous atrocities. The massacre was an important legal basis for the war crimes prosecution at the Tokyo trial.

However, since atrocities were committed by all sides in wars, Hyakuta argued, there is no need to teach such things to Japanese children.

Even inside the NHK, Hyakuta is not alone in repeating such denials and whitewashing. At a Saturday news conference, Katsuto Momii, the new NHK leader, defended the Japanese military's use of sex slaves during World War II as a practice common in any country at war, describing international indignation as "puzzling".

As always, in spite of furious resonance from victim communities, such brazen utterances have the support of the Abe administration. Hyakuta's remarks were personal views that "do not violate the Broadcasting Law". Momii, too, "made the comment as an individual", not as NHK chief, said Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet spokesman of Japan.

Outside the NHK, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said on Monday the "comfort women" system was "necessary" for giving Japanese soldiers a chance "to rest".

In France, Japanese ambassador Yoichi Suzuki "deeply regrets" that an international comic book festival there displayed South Korean comics featuring "comfort women", which he said promoted "a mistaken point of view".

Festival organizers shut down a Japanese booth displaying revisionist WWII content and swastika images.

On Tuesday, the Japanese city of Minamikyushu submitted an application to UNESCO for 333 items left behind by Kamikaze pilots, including letters and suicide notes, to be enshrined as a Memory of the World.

It is an outright insult to human conscience to even think of putting such items side by side with the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" and "The Diary of Anne Frank".

Japan under Abe is undergoing a profound transition to the right. Abe's personal attempts to rewrite history and rebuild Japanese military potential are the mere tip of a dangerous nostalgia for the country's imperialist past.

A Japan with a morbid view of history is anything but a normal country to be trusted or respected.

(Source: China Daily)

Editor: Luan
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