JapaneseNationalismIt seems that Japan somehow is experiencingamnesia for its war crimes, sweeping their acts of violence under the rug as ifnothing happened.
In fact, the entire history of World War II has not beenpassed down at all to the younger generation, keeping them in the dark as theirtextbooks mention no word about the dark period. The list below contains someof the events that Japan has decided to forget. 1. The Rape of Nanking In 1937,Japanese soldiers invaded and massacred 260,000 people; raped women, impaledbabies with bayonets and fed the starving food laced with lethal bacteriaHundreds ofthousands of Korean women forcibly brought over to serve in brothels on thefrontlines of Japanese wars as comfort womenMore than 2.
85million Chinese civilians died in the war at the hands of Japan’s sankoseisaku (three-all policy: burn all, kill all, destroy all)This massacreis commonly publicly denied by various japanese politicians, who continue toundermine apologies by questioning the historical recordsNovelist NaokiHyakuta, friend of Prime minister shinzo Abe called the Rape of Nanking”propaganda” and that “there was no such thing”China denouncedthe claims as “a barefaced challenge to international justice and humanconscience” Tokyo Trials:After the warended, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East found Japan’ssoldiers guilty of war crimes; deemed as unfair by the japanese due to thecomposition of the tribunals and the atomic bombingsThe SanFrancisco Peace treaty was signed to return sovereignty to Japan, but the newgovernment was required to execute all its war criminalsThis washeavily petitioned against as the trialled prisoners detailed illegalities inthe trials and alleged that they had been tortured in jail in a book seriescalled Records of Historical Truth: The War TrialsTokyorenegotiated with the allies to unanimously amend the law to recognise thosewho had been executed as war casualties and not war criminals, while otherswere freed from jailThis confirmedthe popular imagination that the trials had meted out a victor’s justice (carrying out”justice” on an entity’s own basis of applying different rules tojudge what is right or wrong for their own forces and for those of the (former)enemy), and that the nation had not really been guilty of war crimesYaksukuni Shrine: All the peoplewho died in wars under the emperor are memorialised, including those who diedin world war II13 Class-A warcriminals are buried thereThe war victimsare somewhat seen as war heroes and are revered and worshipped for theirsacrifice to the emperor Loss of National IdentityMeiji Restoration of 1860: Japan underwent a massivetransformation,where the powerful emperor rapidly educated the people, grew theeconomy and built up a massive army. Japan became an economic and militarypowerhouse in just a few years and engage in aggressive expansionismJapan was occupied by America, under the rule of supreme General DouglasMacArthur, who wrote japan a new constitution forbidding Japan from ever wagingwar again, stripped the Emperor Hirohito of all power and dismantled themilitary.The symbolism of the memorials all point to a glorification of theimperial period, which was what japanese felt was lost after World War II, andthat they were stripped of the national values and pride thousands of years inthe making Nationalism and Right Wing SupportExit polls in the 2014 Tokyo governor election showed a rising supportfor the right wing among the young in japanNationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has surrounded himself withministers and advisors from fringe groups promoting the restoration of Japan’spre World War II glory ? calls for restoration of strong military, call for thedeportation of koreans and limitation to immigration, similar to othernationalist movements around the globe (Marine Le Pen’s running for president,Donald Trump’s America First Policy) Impact on Bilateral RelationsBeijing and Tokyo are locked in an escalating squabble over the controlof some desolate islands(Diaoyu/Senkaku islands) with armed ships from bothcountries playing a dangerous game of chicken on the waters offshore whileJapan is caught in a separate island spat with South KoreaThe real source of the bitterness has little to do with the islandsthemselves but the legacy of what happened in the region during the first halfof the 20th century ? rapidly modernising japan set out to establish itselfagainst imperial European powers by brutally carving out and exploiting anempire of its own in Korea, Northern China and elsewhere; yet japan is notproperly apologising or even acknowledging its atrocious war crimesThe best thing that could happen for asia today would be for japan to apologiseonce and for all in a clear, comprehensive and unnuanced mannerDemocratic germany has profited enormously from its open, non-defensiveapproach to the country’s past, and democratic japan would as wellJapan victims should press to have their legitimate grievancescomprehensively addressed and move on, as France, Russia and Israel have donewith the Third Reich’s descendants