Go to contents

New York Times: Taro Aso Is ‘Offensive’

Posted February. 15, 2006 04:43,   


The New York Times, America’s newspaper of record, directly criticized Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso in an editorial yesterday.

In a February 13 editorial titled: “Japan’s Offensive Foreign Minister,” The New York Times said that Aso “has been neither honest nor wise in the inflammatory statements he has been making about Japan`s disastrous era of militarism, colonialism, and war crimes.”

Two days ago, the New York Times also published an interview with Tsuneo Watanabe, editor and owner of The Daily Yomiuri, who criticized the Japanese foreign minister, saying that he doesn’t know history and doesn’t study it.

The editorial said, “World War II ended before most of today`s Japanese were born. Yet public discourse in Japan and the modern history lessons in its schools have never properly come to terms with the country`s responsibility for such terrible events as the mass kidnapping and sexual enslavement of young Korean women, biological warfare experiments carried out on Chinese cities and helpless prisoners of war, and the sadistic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians in the city of Nanjing,” and pointed out that, “That is why so many Asians have been angered by a string of appalling remarks Mr. Aso has made since being named foreign minister last fall.”

The editorial continued, “Besides offending neighboring countries that Japan needs as allies and trading partners, he is disserving the people he has been pandering to,” and added, “Mr. Aso`s sense of diplomacy is as odd as his sense of history.”

Mi-Kyung Jung mickey@donga.com