Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Aso Mining's Indelible Past" at Japan Focus

The DPJ's Fujita Yukihisa has a translated article on Japan Focus concerning Prime Minister Aso and his family's mining company. Although I earlier poked fun at him for one of his quirks, Fujita was instrumental in getting Aso to suddenly discover that there actually had been POWs at Aso Mining. Aso, doing his best Sgt Shultz imitation, previously claimed that because he was 5 years old when the war ended:

As Fujita wrote about what Aso seemed to be saying with that excuse: “Prewar events that took place before I was born or things in foreign countries that I cannot see for myself do not concern me as prime minister.” Such behavior by a leader who represents a country is obviously unacceptable.

...POW issues have never been properly discussed in a political context during the 53 years since the MHLW took charge of the materials. I trembled when I saw the records that were revealed and thought, “God has not abandoned those 300 POWs.” This was because among the source records that survived document burning, for some reason only the 1945 issues of the “Fukuoka Monthly Reports” were found. It was from May to August 1945 that the Allied POWs were used by Aso Mining. Had the records for those months not been discovered, it is highly possible that the 300 POWs would have been consigned to oblivion by Prime Minister Aso and the Japanese government...Full article at Japan Focus.

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