Sunday, October 07, 2007

Japan's elitist right-wing against the Japanese

A few months ago, I wrote about Abe's and his merry band of loony-toons' effort to rewrite the history of WW2 in Okinawa. Not only was Abe and crowd trying to lie about the Imperial Japanese military's role in kidnapping and forcing women into sexual slavery, they were trying to claim---and force Japanese teachers to use school texts which said---that the pure Japanese Imperial Army had no connection to civilian suicides during the Battle of Okinawa.

Unfortunately for the nutjobs, many Okinawans who were there disagreed with the whitewash. Whereas Abe et al could freely call foreign women who had been victims of Japanese atrocities liars and well-paid whores, it was a bit more inconvenient to do so to Okinawans as they are Japanese citizens (although quite often discriminated against). This sort of "confusion" is always a problem for the government in general and the LDP in particular. Confusion usually results from people not accepting the tatemae and their calling bullshit what it is: bullshit.

After Abe, the son of a former prime minister and war crime suspect, resigned suddenly, the less extreme government under the new prime minister (who as far as I know has no family connections to WW2 war criminals or profiteers--how rare recently) may back down without admitting to government interference in text selection, or that the military actually did do anything wrong. The government will still be able to claim textbook selection has no political interference and later can come back and try to lie and decieve again and claim that the Japanese military was purity itself.

This story has been on TV and in newspapers over the last few weeks, but the New York Times has an article today by Norimitsu Onishi here.

It ain't over though. The right wing is still around and will be back. They'll be back even stronger as more Japanese of WW2 age die and memories fade.

Excerpt from the NYT story:

...Toshinobu Nakazato, chairman of Okinawa’s assembly. Angered by the revisions, Mr. Nakazato broke a 62-year silence and talked about his own wartime experiences.

Inside a shelter where his family had sought refuge, Japanese soldiers handed his family members two poisoned rice balls and told them to give them to Mr. Nakazato’s younger sister and a cousin, he said. Instead, his family fled into the mountains, where his younger brother died.

“I’m already 70,” he said in an interview, “and the memories of those over 80 are already fading. So perhaps this time was the last opportunity for us to resist.”

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