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Abe’s reversion to militarism

Posted April. 20, 2017 07:07,   

Updated April. 20, 2017 07:13

한국어

The Japanese Cabinet Office recently deleted a report containing massacre of Koreans during the Kanto earthquake in September 1923 from its website, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Wednesday. The report on the massacre, released in 2009, reportedly suggested, “Koreans numbered the most among the people who died or went missing that exceeded 105,000 in total following the earthquake, and the number was so large that the incident could be righteously called a ‘massacre,’ and they also included quite a lot of Chinese and Japanese.” It is truly disappointing to witness the Japanese government deny its past history even by hiding a report that they created by themselves. Collaboration among South Korea, the U.S. and China is imperative to successfully counter the North Korean nuclear weapons, but Japan, one of the pillars, is behaving so recklessly and irresponsibly.

When Japan's opposition parties expressed objection to the imperial decree of education that was recently adopted by calling it "censorship of thought," the Shinzo Abe administration reaffirmed on Wednesday that it cannot block use of the decree as textbook. Drafted in 1890, the imperial decree of education is the root of militarism that urges people to contribute to the empire as citizens of the empire.” It is already absurd for Japan to educate its students that Dokdo (islets) is Japanese territory, but the Japanese government is moving further to force its students to memorize the imperial decree of education, which means that Tokyo is openly seeking to educate militarism. The fact that Japanese politicians including the prime minister are exaggerating the situation as if war is imminent on the Korean Peninsula can naturally be suspected as part of Tokyo’s efforts to embrace militarism. Under this circumstance, would it be possible for South Korea and Japan to discuss futuristic ties?

When the nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was said to be deployed around the Korean Peninsula, Prime Minister Abe wasted no time to propose to Washington that the Japanese self-defense force and the U.S. military conduct a joint military drill. Then he went further to make a flurry of remarks that are agreeable and irresponsible, including “selective admission of South Korean and North Korean nationals’ and evacuation of Japanese citizens from South Korea in the event of armed conflict, over the past several days. South Korea is facing a crisis due to prolonged vacuum in state administration and uncertainties in national security, and the Japanese leader has not only exploited this situation to secure his political interests, but is also attempting to use it as an opportunity to boost Japan’s military capability. This is hardly a desired image of a sincere neighbor.

Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda on Wednesday flatly denied the documents on post-Pacific War (Second World War) trials suggesting that the Japanese military brought comfort women by force to Indonesia, which were made public on Monday, and claimed that they are not direct evidence. By denying facts that are too obvious, the Japanese government is seeking to confirm‎ that whoever gets elected as the next South Korean president, he or she must follow the (Seoul-Tokyo) agreement on comfort women. This causes even South Korean nationals who believe that Seoul should uphold the agreement without fail to develop antipathy against Tokyo. Prime Minister Abe met visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to emphasize anew the importance of South Korea-US-Japan cooperation to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis. If Abe is serious about this, he should refrain from behaving in a way that will dampen security cooperation.