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Editorials of Japanese Newspapers Show Japan`s Two Faces

Editorials of Japanese Newspapers Show Japan`s Two Faces

Posted August. 15, 2003 21:49,   


Having the anniversary of the end of World War Ⅱ yesterday, Japanese newspapers inserted related editorials in chorus, but the tone of their argument was much different than in previous years.

The Mainichi Simbun showed its concern over the decision to dispatch the Self Defense Force to Iraq, saying, “Why do we have to remind ourselves today of our history? I say it is to reaffirm our pledge not to bring on such an imprudent war again. But these days, people tend to believe Japan may need to wage war, depending on the situation, if it is really necessary.”

The Asahi Simbun pointed out that it is now time to seek reconciliation, saying, “Japan still has unresolved historical matters with Asian nations, including the matter of the Yasukuni Shrine.” The paper also mentioned North Korea`s nuclear crisis, saying, “Japan should let North Korea know how painful the consequence of war is.”

On the other hand, the Yomiuri Simbun argued that “A-class criminals who were enshrined together in the Yasukuni Shrine are people who died because of doing official duties. The Japanese should fight to combat the narrow-minded patriotism of its neighbors and counter-nationalism in Japan and inject confidence.”

The Nihon Keizai Simbun had a quite different argument, saying, “We had excellent soldiers during World War Ⅱ but lost the war because of the incompetence of commanding officers. The lesson we have to learn from the defeat is that, in order to survive in severe competition, a commander must be able to show clear direction and make drastic decisions.”