Japanese World War II revanchism

This video is the film The Rape of Nanking – Nanjing Massacre -English Language Edition; part I.

This is part II.

By John Chan:

Former Japanese air force chief justifies colonialism and militarism

8 January 2009

A scandal that erupted last year involving the chief of staff of the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF), Toshio Tamogami, has highlighted the resurgence of militarism within sections of the Japanese political establishment. Tamogami was sacked from his post in October after he won an essay competition with an entry that justified Japanese military aggression in the 1930s and 1940s.

The “True Modern History” essay competition was organised by the APA Group, a Tokyo-based real estate developer, to challenge the prevailing official ideology that acknowledges in a limited fashion that Japan was guilty of aggression. APA Group CEO Toshio Motoya is well known in Japan for his right-wing views and as a close supporter of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

While Tamogami insisted on his right to enter the competition, it is clear that his essay was aimed at provoking a public debate aimed at reviving the ethos of Japanese militarism and freeing the armed forces from the constraints of the so-called pacifist clause in the constitution. The Asahi Shimbun reported last month that Motoya had personally intervened to ensure that Tamogami won the 3 million yen prize. Despite the fact that the identity of participants was meant to be kept secret, Tamogami chose to make his involvement public, thereby provoking a furore.

Tamogami’s essay, “Was Japan an Aggressor Nation?”, was an open apology for the crimes of Japanese colonialism. He justified the stationing of Japanese troops in China from the early twentieth century on the grounds that it was authorised by an international treaty imposed by eight imperialist powers after the crushing of the anti-colonial Boxers Rebellion in 1900. His argument is a classic example of justifying one’s own crimes by pointing to those of others—in this case, Western colonial powers.

1905: Teddy Roosevelt‘s Secret Deal with Japan: An Interview with James Bradley: here.

A Tokyo court rejected compensation claims on Monday by Chinese construction workers after they broke open barrels of World War II poison gas abandoned by the Japanese army: here.

Hundreds of South Korean protesters including former sex slaves have gathered in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, saying that an apology issued by the prime minister for Japan’s past colonial rule of Korea was not enough: here.

29 thoughts on “Japanese World War II revanchism

  1. Japan makes new apology to S Korea

    Japan: Prime Minister Naoto Kan has offered the latest of several apologies to South Korea for Japan’s rule over the Korean peninsula from 1910-45.

    Mr Kan’s apology, issued ahead of the August 29 centenary of the 1910 annexation, states that the peninsula was subjected to Japanese control “against the people’s will, they were deprived of their sovereignty and culture and their dignity was deeply damaged.”

    Japanese occupiers forced Koreans to fight as front-line soldiers, work in slave-labour camps and serve as prostitutes in brothels operated by the military.



  2. China criticizes Japan textbook revisions

    A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Thursday slammed the latest revisions to Japan’s textbooks, which alter the death toll of the Nanking Massacre. The revisions also claim the Diaoyu Islands as a Japanese territory. Sovereignty of the uninhabited islands has been disputed between China and Japan since 1971 when the United States relinquished control of them.

    “The Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated isles have been an inherent part of Chinese territory since ancient times,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei at a press conference Thursday.

    The official Xinhua news agency reported the textbooks also deny the number of victims in the World War II Nanking Massacre, saying there is dispute on the exact number, but it may be 20,000 to 200,000.

    The massacre, which occurred in December 1937, occurred during the Japanese occupation of Nanjing, also known as Nanking, China’s then capital. China says Japanese soldiers killed more than 300,000 people during the occupation.

    “We hope the Japanese side will treat this in the proper manner and properly handle historical issues with a sincere adherence to the principle of learning from history and facing the future,” Hong said.
    (UPI, Mar 30)

    Link: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/03/29/China-criticizes-Japan-textbook-revisions/UPI-32951333043820/


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