Friday, March 09, 2007

A different slant on Abe's original statement

This doesn't make a nickle's worth of difference in Abe's remarks, but it does give a somewhat detailed explanation of Abe's meaning of coercion before he became PM. Let's assume that, in spite of the most compelling evidence, that Abe is right. That the Japanese Imperial Army did not "forcibly" enter homes to kidnap women. (They politely asked first? After all, everyone has heard of the legendary politeness of the Japanese.) Or did they kidnap them off the street, or from hotels. After all, we are dealing with a "narrow" sense of words. Like what the meaning of is is. In the end, he still wants to blame it this Japanese war crime on subcontractors and remove the military and government as far as possible from responsibility. But then, even if the military and government were not directly involved in Abe's narrow sense, what is the difference?

Why does the right-wing and the LDP want to withdraw the "apology" regardless of the international damage it does to Japan and more importantly, the insult and damage that it will do to victims? Why threaten the US over this? Who has the most to lose in damaged relations with the US? Why risk more problems in northeast Asia where few believe Japan anyway? This is the beautiful country Abe wants? Well, in the broad sense, yes.

Note that in the comments section of the article that one person denies that it was sexual slavery because, he says, they were paid. Others are excuses and apologies for Japan's behavior as expected. Naturally the victims' credibility is attacked without evidence (they all are old and can't really remember what happened or who did it. And they were paid anyway.) It's good that Japan has so many sympathizers, The Reischauer "chrysanthemum club" is alive and well.

The whole apology controversies ain't nothing new, and they will go on and on as Japan is incapable of clearly accepting responsibility for its WW2 actions.

1. We (Japan) are sorry for something, kinda.
2. We didn't do anything.
3. You misunderstood what we said. "Anything" has many different meanings.
4. We stand by the original statement which we will never repeat.
5. Start again from number 2 and continue forever.
6. Certain folks will believe it all.

Related articles on this subject:
Japan Focus: Morris-Suzuki: Gives detail and evidence of the Imperial Army's involvement, included statements from former Japanese soldiers--including ex-PM Nakasone. It also discusses Michael Honda's House Resolution 121 and how Abe's remarks have embarrassed the bill's US opponents. Abe's involvement in coercing (you guess what sense of the word) NHK to modify a 2001 documentary about comfort women.

It seems that neonationalists are in the process of reformulating their discursive strategy to appropriate (selectively) certain postmodern concepts such as “history as story” to serve the purpose of creating an idealized history of a pure Japanese nation. It is a project that resonates with dominant wartime ideologies of empire.

Japan Focus: Yoshiko Nozaki. A very interesting discussion of the history of the issue . Includes Japanese research. Interesting, the right-wing's practice of quibbling over the meaning of certain terms in order to try to refute evidence in this issue did no originate with Abe's argument over semantics. However, the meaning of coercion is one of the arguments used by neonationalists to attempt to deny government involvement.

I will list more as I find them mainly to provide web sources to refute the no evidence charge of Abe and his followers and apologists. It would never satisfy them though, as they mean evidence in the narrow sense of the word. In this case it seems to mean that they will accept only official documents from the military or war time government. Any other evidence appears not to be evidence to these people. And should this type of evidence be found, you can bet that they would refuse to accept it too.

Here's one with tons of sources from the US Congressional Research Service published in April partially in response to son of a war criminal Abe's confusing illogical denials and apologies for what he said never happened as stated.

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