6 thoughts on “Japanese revanchist right-wingers want more taxpayers’ money for wars

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  4. On May 4, 1994, newly elected Justice Minister Shigeto Nagano made a series of comments in the newspaper Mainichi defending the atrocities of the Japanese military during World War II.

    The former chief of staff for the army declared that the 1937 Rape of Nanking—in which 200,000 Chinese were butchered—was a fabrication. He added that the war waged by the Japanese armed forces was not aggression, but was instead aimed at “liberating” the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere, the wartime term used by Japan to refer to its Asian conquests.

    These comments were immediately denounced by China, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines, all of which were occupied by Japan in the first half of the century.

    Three days later, Nagano’s resignation was reluctantly accepted by Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata. It was the third time since 1986 that a Japanese Cabinet minister had resigned or was fired for making revisionist statements about the role of Japan in the Second World War. Protests emerged in Seoul outside the Japanese embassy. Hata named Hiroshi Nakai, deputy secretary general of the Democratic Socialist Party, as Nagano’s replacement.

    In reviving Japan’s wartime propaganda, Nagano was preparing the way for changes in Japan’s constitution to allow the dispatch of the military overseas. The week prior to Nagano’s comments, newly elected members of the foreign and defense ministries called for “emergency legislation” to ensure Japan’s “collective security,” albeit in a more guarded fashion. Nagano’s mistake was declaring too explicitly the political orientation demanded by the new Hata government among sections of the ruling class.

    The preparations for the revival of Japanese militarism were made as bitter conflicts were emerging over control of the Asia-Pacific region. Unable and unwilling to accept its postwar status as a “defeated power,” the Japanese ruling class attempted to create a political regime to defend its interests against other imperialist powers.



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