Sunday, April 01, 2007

Japanese Imperial Army innocent in Okinawa too.

Up until now, it has been accepted historical fact, even in Japan, that the Japanese Army in Okinawa in WW2 ordered civilians to kill themselves as the US forces advanced. Now neo-imperial militarists, such as the non-veteran Abe, have been able to convince the Education Ministry to remove this from school textbooks. Like the sex slave issue, this did not happen either.

Is there any idiot left on the face of the earth who thinks Abe and Japan still honestly stand behind the 1993 Kono apology concerning sex slaves? Is there any naive apologist left who believes that Japan (the elite rightwingers) sincerely think that Japanese actions in WW2 were especially wrong? It won't be long, if Abe and his ilk continue on this path, until this view of history becomes accepted as fact among the Japanese. I already hear the idea when discussing China, that the problems Japan has is due to "a different view of history."

From the New York Times:

The decision
[to revise the texts] on the Battle of Okinawa, which came as a surprise because the ministry had never objected to the description in the past, followed recent denials by Mr. Abe that the military had coerced women into sexual slavery during the war.

It was only in the late 19th century that Japan officially annexed Okinawa, a kingdom that, to this day, has retained some of its own culture. During World War II, when many Okinawans still spoke a different dialect, Japanese troops treated the locals brutally. In its history of the war, the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum presents Okinawa as being caught in the fighting between America and Japan — a starkly different view from the Yasukuni Shrine war museum, which presents Japan as a liberator of Asia from Western powers.

During the 1945 battle, during which one quarter of the civilian population was killed, the Japanese Army showed indifference to Okinawa’s defense and safety. Japanese soldiers used civilians as shields against the Americans, and persuaded locals that victorious American soldiers would go on a rampage of killing and raping. With the impending victory of American troops, civilians committed mass suicide, urged on by fanatical Japanese soldiers.

“There were some people who were forced to commit suicide by the Japanese Army,” one old textbook explained. But in the revision ordered by the ministry, it now reads, “There were some people who were driven to mass suicide.” Full story here.

I guess Abe and his whitewashers should say that the revision is necessary due to the meaning of some word in a "narrow" sense or some others mealy-mouthed horse manure.

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