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[Editorial] Japanese Prime Minister in Need of History Review

[Editorial] Japanese Prime Minister in Need of History Review

Posted March. 29, 2004 22:58,   


It seems, no matter what I may do, I cannot help but give Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi a frank word of advice. My advice is that he needs to review his notes from History 101.

Considering his position as the prime minister of a nation in good terms, we have made the utmost effort in restraining our criticism for the prime minister’s provocative actions and remarks, including his homage to Yasukuni Shrine. However, Prime Minister Koizumi finally went as far as to say that he cannot tolerate why foreigners have so much to say about his paying homage to the war dead of his own country. Not an ounce of consideration is present in his remarks for his neighboring nations. Also, it is a most ignorant remark that is blind to the most fundamental historic truth.

At Yasukuni, 14 mortuary tablets of the most notorious war criminals of the Second World War are enshrined, like Hideki Tojo, along with countless fallen soldiers. For Japan to revere a criminal of war convicted in the International War Crimes Court is to deny its responsibilities of the war. For the prime minister to ask why people have a problem with his homage to fallen soldiers is absolutely absurd because it overturns any and all apologies made by Japanese leaders so far about their responsibility of the war.

Prime Minister Koizumi also said that “a hero of one nation is usually a villain of another,” an unbelievable remark that equates a war criminal with a hero. I cannot fully express my astonishment about his base level of historic awareness. I am not about to ask him to learn from the penitence of Germany. I only want him to ask, whenever he gets a chance to meet the German Prime Minister, whether he considers Adolf Hitler a hero. I just want Prime Minister Koizumi to learn how his country differs from that of Germany.

Prime Minister Koizumi will only turn a deaf ear to Korean government’s expression of “regret.” On the other hand, China has been rejecting the prime minister’s visit to China for the last four years, refusing to have any association with the man. It is time that we seriously consider China’s response to this matter.