Sankei pays tribute to the war dead by calling for a more activist Japan

In honor of the day of memorial for the end of the war on August 15, each of Japan's dailies has published an editorial marking the occasion.They are, in general, fairly innocuous: Yomiuri's discusses history and Yasukuni Shrine, Asahi's looks at relations with Asian neighbors. Sankei's editorial, however, single-handedly illustrates the fundamental incoherence of the …

Continue reading Sankei pays tribute to the war dead by calling for a more activist Japan

Another August 6, the dilemma remains

Today is the sixty-second anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, an event that has perhaps more political significance than usual given the recent resignation of former Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio over comments in which he referred to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as "inevitable," as well as last autumn's debate (or non-debate, since …

Continue reading Another August 6, the dilemma remains

Another sign of lingering Japanese war guilt

Following yesterday's finding that a plurality of respondents indicated that Japan still needs to apologize for its actions during the war, I have found, thanks to a tip from a trusted correspondent, a survey conducted by Fuji TV'sHodo 2001" program in April that suggests that the Japanese people are far from defiant when it comes …

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Don’t panic

Pollster Karlyn Bowman, writing at American.com, presents data on Japanese public opinion drawn from a variety of recent surveys (mostly old Pew Global Attitudes polls).The overall picture — Japanese are generally pleased with relations with the US, displeased about the rise of China — is not altogether surprising, although some findings were unexpected.First, in response …

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Please explain, ambassador

Ambassador Kato Ryozo, facing the passage of the non-binding comfort women resolution by the House of Representatives, has reportedly sent a "blunt" letter to the House leadership warning about "lasting and harmful effects on the deep friendship, close trust and wide-ranging cooperation our two nations now enjoy."(The Washington Post article breaking the story does not …

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More sorrow, more pity

The International Herald Tribune published a long review by Bernard-Henri Lévy of newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy's campaign book Testimony, recently translated into English.Lévy notes that one of the Sarkozy's leitmotifs is a reassessment of twentieth century French history that dwells less on moments of national disaster and tragedy, enables the French people to …

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Those other historical issues

Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio — a Lower House representative from Nagasaki of all places — remains under attack today despite backing away from his argument that the US atomic bombings "could not be helped."The Nagasaki Prefectural Assembly has, in fact, passed a resolution condemning Kyuma's remarks.Kyuma has once again showed his utter lack of political …

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Can anyone say straw man?

Komori Yoshihisa, defender of Japan's honor Sankei Shimbun's editor at large based in Washington, has "exposed" the alleged activities of Chinese-American groups in putting the screws on House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA-12) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-8) to get them both to support rapid passage of the comfort women …

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The hyper-nationalist spring offensive continues

Following pronouncements against Chinese war museums and the congressional comfort women resolution, Japan's hyper-nationalists have turned their attention once again to the Nanjing Massacre, arguing as before that "only" 20,000 people were killed in Nanjing, as opposed to the generally accepted range of 150,000-200,000 (IHT here; Japan Times here).The quibbling over numbers is one of …

Continue reading The hyper-nationalist spring offensive continues