Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Resignation over WW2 comments

In a very unusual case, a politician has resigned over comments he made concerning a WW2 event in which Japan was involved.

This may be a first for Japan---at least it is extremely unusual. His remarks offended many. Some victims have said that he appears not to have learned the lessons of history and that he has ignored the feeling of those victims.

So actually was so bad that a Japanese politician had to resign over it? There have been many politicians who have made controversial, insensitive remarks concerning WW2 and few have actually apologized for the remarks, let alone resigned. Well, it seems Defense Minister Fumiyo Kyuma suggested that the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were inevitable in ending WW2---they couldn't be helped.

Prime Minister Abe himself rebuked Kyuma earlier by saying Kyuma must "strictly refrain from making remarks that cause misunderstanding." (BBC) Abe, however, did not offer to resign for his comments concerning Japanese use of forced sex slaves in WW2. (He denied that the sex slave were forced to be sex slave by the Japanese military.) No other politician, such as Foreign Minister Aso has offered to resign over similar remarks concerning Japanese actions in WW2. In fact, there is usually little outrage obvious among the public in Japan when politicians make these types of remarks.

Kyuma's remarks were different however, as they concerned Japan as a (THE) victim of the war, not an aggressor. And there is a strong tendency for Japan to see itself that way. Japan's "victimization" by foreign countries in the war is much more real to many. Japan was just tryin' to do good, when for no good reason evil foreigners attacked.

Full BBC article here.

No comments:

Post a Comment