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Japan's historical denialism "destructive": Washington Post

English.news.cn   2014-02-14 12:05:33

BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- A major U.S. newspaper has joined the international outcry over the historical denialism of leaders of Japan's public broadcaster NHK and asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to condemn these comments with "equal clarity."

The new NHK Chairman Katsuto Momii told a news conference on Jan. 25 that "comfort women" -- an euphemism for women forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels -- were common in countries at war at that time, and that media "cannot say left when the government says right."

The NHK leadership further fueled the situation as Naoki Hyakuta, a novelist and member of NHK's decision-making body, said earlier this month that the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China had never happened, adding that the United States sought to cover up its own "crimes" such as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by holding trials of Japan's war-time leaders.

"In fact, 'comfort women' is a euphemism for a uniquely Japanese system. In many cases the enslavement lasted for years, and many of the women died," the Washington Post said in an editorial dated February 12.

As to Hyakuta's "offensive" denial of the Nanjing Massacre, the paper quoted a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Tokyo as saying that "these suggestions are preposterous."

Unfortunately, Abe's attitude towards these provocative comments is ambiguous, as a Japanese government spokesman claimed that Momii and Hyakuta's offensive statements are "individual" and the prime minister cannot "infringe on freedom of speech."

However, the Washington Post pointed out that these remarks, made by Abe's handpicked NHK leadership, made his responsibility particularly heavy in this case.

"Why can't Japan's government bring itself to condemn these comments with equal clarity? When neighboring countries complain about Japanese attempts to rewrite or sugarcoat the history of World War II, Japanese officials like to point out that they can't infringe on freedom of speech," the paper said.

"Japan's historical revision deserves clarification from Abe," it noted, criticizing Abe's "obtuseness reflected in the NHK flap."

Japan's rewriting of history also made U.S. officials wondering "whether Abe is primarily a nationalist or a reformer," the paper warned.

"Only he can make clear whether he supports an independent press and rejects destructive historical denialism," the Washington Post said.


Japan should be repentant and liable: China Daily

BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Japan must be liable for its wartime crimes against peace and humanity, no matter how Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deny the historical truth and evidence, an article carried by Wednesday's China Daily said.

It's the third consecutive signed article publicized by the newspaper this week to criticize Abe.  Full story

Japan's historical illusion disdains int'l justice: editorial

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, on Tuesday ran an editorial entitled "The essence of creating historical illusion is to disdain international justice" as follows:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been bombarded by the international community for his wrong words and actions, but he is still incorrigibly obstinate, talking absurdities and repeating his mistakes.   Full story

History reveals Abe's ploy

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Japan's occupation of Diaoyu Islands violates all established laws and poses a challenge to post-war international order.

Accepting the post-war international order established by the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Declaration and complying with its pacifist Constitution, Japan embarked on the road to peaceful development after surrendering to the Allied forces in 1945.   Full story

Lessons of history for Japan

BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- History is a mirror, and people can distinguish contemporary politicians' sense of right and wrong and their actions through their understanding of history. And going by history, there seems little doubt that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters worship Japan's imperial past, a past of naked fascism and brutal aggression.

From posing for photographs in a plane emblazoned with "731", the number that represents the notorious Japanese chemical and biological warfare Unit 731, and shouting "Long live the emperor", a chant commonly used by Japanese soldiers during World War II, to visiting Yasukuni Shrine that honors 14 Class-A war criminals, Abe has exhibited his appreciation for Japan's militarist past and hard-line stance on territorial disputes with neighboring countries. Full story

Editor: Liu Dan
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