Study of English

December 29, 2007

D’ont allow politicization of textbook screening / Okinawa mass suicide

Filed under: Japan,U.S.A.,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 10:27 am
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Okinawa mass suicide 

Don’t allow politicization of textbook screening
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Based on its basic view of what occurred in the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, the Textbook Authorization Council on Wednesday recommended that Education, Science and Technology Minister Kisaburo Tokai approve applications from six textbook publishers to revise references to mass suicides that took place in the battle. The ministry immediately approved the applications.

The applications for revisions to high school textbooks on Japanese history to be used from the next academic year did not directly contradict the opinion on the Japanese military’s role in the Battle of Okinawa released this spring by the screening panel, based on which it made its recommendation to the ministry on textbook approval. But the latest move indicates that problematic revisions were made out of political motives.

The description, “People were driven to commit mass suicide,” written in line with the panel’s instructions after the spring screening, has been changed to “People were driven to commit mass suicide using hand grenades and other items that had been distributed to them with the involvement of the Japanese military.”

The newly revised description was justified on the claim that the mass suicides were prompted by education and propaganda that encouraged residents to commit suicide en masse rather than be taken as prisoners of war.

The initial revision applications contained the sentence “There were people who were coerced to commit mass suicide by the Japanese military.” But in line with the panel’s instruction, this sentence was toned down.

Revisions made too easily

To screen the revision applications, the Textbook Authorization Council heard opinions from nine experts and settled on the view that it “could not confirm” that the mass suicides were committed under orders of the Japanese military. It said there were “various factors” behind the suicides.

Litigation is continuing on the issue of whether the Japanese military ordered the mass suicides. Taking this into consideration, the panel admitted there was military “involvement,” but that it was unclear whether there was “coercion.” This observation did not deviate from spring’s opinion.

However, in the revision applications, a claim that the Japanese military gave hand grenades to residents saying, “Use these to commit suicide,” was approved. The approval was made based on testimonies of residents, although some experts have questioned the credibility of these witness accounts.

One of the textbooks also added the fact that the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly adopted a resolution to demand that the panel retract its spring screening opinion. This textbook was approved.

If revisions are allowed to be made to already authorized textbooks in such an easy manner, the school textbook screening system could be shaken by domestic and overseas political pressure.

Rally swayed govt decision

What pushed the government to accept the revision applications was a mass rally on Sept. 29 of Okinawa Prefecture residents demanding the withdrawal of the spring screening opinion.

The rally’s organizer put the number of participants at 110,000. However, a major Tokyo-based security company estimated the number at between 18,000 and 20,000 based on its analysis of an aerial photograph.

The curtain rose on the “drama of revision” when the organizer gave an estimate of the crowd size that was five times that of the security company, putting the government on its back foot.

The government should never repeat the stupidity of allowing political intervention in the textbook-screening process.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 27, 2007)

(Dec. 28, 2007)


December 23, 2007

” C’s ” that hate Japan. China, Corea, and Clintons.

Filed under: cofort women,Corea(Korea),Japan,Korea — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 3:12 pm
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” C’s ” that hate Japan. China, Corea, and Clintons.

” C’s ” that Japan hates. China, Corea, and Clintons.

December 15, 2007

A troubling position on ‘comfort women’ / Yomiuri Shimbun Newspaper, Tokyo, Japan

A troubling position on ‘comfort women’
The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Japanese government must lobby other governments to persuade them not to follow in the footsteps of the European Parliament in adopting a resolution that sullies Japan’s standing.

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning Japan over the “comfort women” issue. The resolution calls for the government to apologize, saying the Imperial armed forces coerced young women in Asia to work as “sex slaves” before and during World War II.

The latest development resembles the resolution adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives over the comfort women issue in July. This matter has now spilled over to Europe. The parliaments of Canada and the Netherlands also have adopted similar resolutions.

However, interest in the comfort women issue has not necessarily been high in Europe. The European Parliament’s resolution was advocated by the minor Green Party and fewer than 10 percent of the members of parliament attended the voting.


Moves behind the scenes
However, Amnesty International, an international human rights organization, has organized hearings of former comfort women, including Dutch women, at various places, and is lobbying many governments to adopt resolutions on the issue. Anti-Japanese organizations with ties to China and South Korea are orchestrating such moves behind the scenes.

When Japan controlled Indonesia during World War II after ousting the Dutch military, detained Dutch women were taken by Japanese soldiers and forced to become comfort women against their will. However, Japanese military headquarters in Jakarta closed down the comfort station immediately after learning of the incident, and released the women.

This was indeed an unfortunate incident, but the story provides “counterevidence” that sinks allegations that the Japanese military systematically coercively recruited women into sexual service.

Officers and soldiers involved in the incident were sentenced as Class-B and Class-C war criminals by a war tribunal in the Netherlands after the war.

The German military had more than 500 “comfort stations” in East Europe and other occupied areas, yet we rarely hear a peep about this. A number of documents verify this fact, including a report by an official of the Catholic Church to the then pope, saying Nazis took Jewish women to serve as prostitutes for German soldiers.


Kono statement to blame
The Green Party that advocated the adoption of the latest resolution has many German members. We wonder if they intend to keep silent over what happened in their own country many years ago.

One reason why Japan has been repeatedly dragged over the coals regarding the comfort women issue is the 1993 statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono. The statement suggested that Japanese officials systematically and coercively recruited women to be comfort women.

However, there is not one single document or a shred of evidence that substantiates this. Nobuo Ishihara, deputy chief secretary at that time, later said the Kono statement was issued to deflect pressure from South Korea, which had been pressing Japan to acknowledge it had carted off comfort women.

The government must review the Kono statement, which has become a source of misunderstanding in the international community.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2007)

(Dec. 15, 2007)

December 14, 2007

Interesting interview with WW2 veteran Robert B. Stinnett

Filed under: Japan,U.S.A.,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 11:22 am
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Interesting interview with WW2 veteran Robert B. Stinnett

This is an interview from radio. It gives a fascinating background of politicking in the lead up to America’s entry into WW2.

The main thrust of the interview was the discovery by Stinnett of the McCollum memo, in which it recommends that the US government put put into effect a number of policies that will provoke the Japanese into declaring war on the US to facilitate the US entry into WW2.

The policies are below –

Nanjing Incident merits deeper discussion, study / Yomiuri Shimbun Newspaper,Tokyo,Japan

Nanjing Incident merits deeper discussion, study

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Thursday will mark the 70th anniversary of the Nanjing Incident. Already 70 years have passed since the controversial incident took place. This is a good time for both Japan and China to deepen a cool dialogue on history.

On Dec. 13, 1937, when the Imperial Japanese Army occupied Nanjing, the then capital of China, a great many Chinese citizens became victims of the occupation.

In Nanjing on Thursday, the anniversary of the fall of Nanjing, the Memorial Hall to the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre will reopen after completing a two-year large-scale expansion project. At the same time, a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the event will be held.

Japan-China relations have improved thanks to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to China last year and the visit paid to Japan in April by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. China has been avoiding blatant criticism of Japan, out of apparent consideration for the changing situation. China did not make any negative comments even when the Defense Agency was upgraded to a ministry in January.

At present, 70 years after the event, the Nanjing Incident is not on the bilateral political agenda.

However, there still is a deeply rooted anti-Japanese sentiment among the Chinese public. Surfing China-based Web sites reveals anti-Japanese opinions being expressed by Chinese youth across the country.
Taught to hate?
Since the mid-1990s the Chinese government has been reinforcing its anti-Japan patriotic education. At many memorial halls to the war of resistance against Japan in China, including the Memorial Hall to the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, the exhibitions and sizes of the halls have been repeatedly expanded.

At the same time, the Chinese government has repeatedly announced its view that patriotic education is for developing a sense of citizenship in young people for the future and that there is no anti-Japanese education. If that is true, there may be many things that China has to rethink.

At war of resistance memorial halls throughout the nation, photos and other materials that emphasize brutal acts by the Imperial Japanese Army have been displayed. It has been revealed by reexaminations of the incident by Japanese scholars that these exhibitions include quite a few fabricated photos made and used by the then ruling Chinese Nationalist Party for its resistance war campaign.

A suprapartisan association of Diet members formed to ask China to remove unfair photos from such memorial halls was launched in June and has already started its activities. The Japanese government, too, should urge China to review such exhibitions as they may invite misunderstanding.
Dispute over numbers
The Chinese government’s official tally of victims of the Nanjing Incident has not been revised from 300,000.

Indeed, when the Japanese forces wiped out the remaining Chinese soldiers hiding in the city, many executions and violence against civilians obviously took place, according to records and testimonies from the time.

However, there are theories that the number of victims was about 40,000 and that only a fraction of those deaths were murders that violated international law.

Recently, even some Chinese scholars say scholarly debate should be deepened on the number of victims. Such a flexible stance has been aired even in China.

The Nanjing Incident is an important area for bilateral joint studies on history conducted by Japanese and Chinese historians. It is necessary for Japan and China to jointly proceed with empirical research toward the final report to be compiled next year.
(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 11, 2007)

(Dec. 11, 2007)

December 13, 2007

“Nanking Massacre” / Documentary film “Nanking” part5 of 5

Filed under: "Nanking Massacre",Japan,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 5:58 am
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“Nanking Massacre” 

 Documentary film “Nanking” part5 of 5

“Nanking Massacre” / Documentary film “Nanking” part4 of 5

Filed under: "Nanking Massacre",Japan,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 5:56 am
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“Nanking Massacre” 

 Documentary film “Nanking” part4 of 5

“Nanking Massacre” / Documentary film “Nanking” part3 of 5

Filed under: "Nanking Massacre",Japan,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 5:54 am
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“Nanking Massacre” 

 Documentary film “Nanking” part3 of 5

“Nanking Massacre” / Documentary film “Nanking” part1 of 5

Filed under: "Nanking Massacre",Japan,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 5:51 am
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“Nanking Massacre” 

 Documentary film “Nanking” part2 of 5

“Nanking Massacre” / Documentary film “Nanking” part1 of 5

Filed under: "Nanking Massacre",Japan,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 5:47 am
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“Nanking Massacre” 

 Documentary film “Nanking” part1 of 5

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