Friday, December 14, 2007

The Rape of Nanjing

that never happened according to the more extreme (and dangerous) nutjob right-wingers in Japan. From the Independent UK:

...."I really, really hate the Japanese. I was raped when I was 11 years old. I tried to commit suicide three times afterwards," said Zhang Xiuhong, 81. She was recalling the six-week-long Rape of Nanking....her face flushes as she recalls the events of that grim December 70 years ago.

A sign of Japanese ambiguity about the issue came in the respected Yomiuri Shimbun...."Recently, even some Chinese scholars say scholarly debate should be deepened on the number of victims. Such a flexible stance has started to be aired....

....While the editorial has a balanced and seemingly rational tone, it is in sharp contrast to the kind of debate that one sees in Germany on any issues relating to the Holocaust. What would happen if a German historian were to accuse a Jewish historian of inflexibility on the number of people who died at Auschwitz, or if someone were to write that the number of Jews who died in Europe was only 600,000 and that only a fraction of those deaths were murders that violated international law? Read more.

That there are many in the government and other elite who subscribe to the view that Nanjing was either blown entirely out of proportion or completely false ought to send a warning to the rest of the world of what certain elements would do were they able to get their way. Abe, although not publicly going so far as saying Nanjing never happened, perhaps gave us some clues. Aso is another. Fujiwara Masahiko appears to be another who believes Japan did nothing especially or exceptionally wrong in WW2. What is this group's view of the world in the future? What world goals/views do they have in common with the US, Australian, or European views?

Fukuda seems like a huge improvement over Abe, mainly because he is one of the old-style politicians who sort of blend into the background. He has not been out trying to relive WW2 and offend every other country in the region and world with stories of Japan's innocence. But the nutjobs have not gone away. They have been in government at least since the reversal under SCAP after WW2. I understand why one of the past commanders of US forces in Japan said (I am paraphrasing from memory) one of the reasons for keeping forces here is to keep an eye on Japan.

Trans-Pacific Radio has a good article on Nanjing from last year here.

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