Monday, November 14, 2005

A Interview with Tojo's Granddaughter

The right wing has been becoming increasingly influential in Japan for at least 10-15 years---witness the stubborn insistence by Koizumi visiting Yasukuni Shrine where convicted war criminals are enshrined along with ordinary soldiers who died in war.

Ms. "Tojo's" explanations and excuses for Japanese wartime aggression and crimes are nothing new---one often hears this stuff in Japan even from those who are not especially sympathetic to the right-wing views. However, I think it is a bit of a shock to see an answer like this:

Q: China has the right to protest though doesn'tÂ’t it? Japan invaded their country and killed millions.

Tojo: China played no part in the San Francisco Treaty. Countries that were not involved in the treaty or the Tokyo Trials have no right to talk about war criminals now. So why is China complaining now? The Japanese fought the Nationalists (KMT) not the Communists*. It is now a completely different country. China and Japan later signed a treaty and war criminals and prisoners were released. The word war criminal (senpan) does not exist in that treaty. They should abide by that treaty. It is unforgivable (zettai yurusanai) that they continue to interfere in our domestic affairs.

Naturally she denied any Japanese atrocities in Nanjing, ducked a question about Unit 731, and seemed flabbergasted that the current emperor (kinda) admitted that the Imperial family may be of Korean descent.

You can read the full interview here:

You can also read a short article by Karl Von Wolferen (the author of The Enigma of Japanese Power---one of the best books ever written on Japan, but dated now). He explains how the US support of Japan has allowed its continued isolation and how this isolation is now complemented by US isolation.

*Actually, the Japanese did fight the Communists as well as the Nationalists. The Communists were to some degree content to let the KMT fight the Japanese more than they did as they figured that Japan, sooner or later would have to abandon China and the the Communists could pick up the pieces. But to say that the Japanese never fought the Communists shows either that Ms. Tojo is being dishonest, or deeply ignorant of what went on in China or both. Of course, this is not really the point of the problems which exist between China and the Japanese people about World War 2 anyway.

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