05 March 2007

Japan is unrepentant for its war crimes

Specifically, when it comes to the issue of forcibly rounding up women from occupied territories, usually China and Korea but also many others including Dutch Indonesia, as sex slaves for its military during World War II, Japan says it was really done by private contractors, and was not the government's fault. (But it bears remembering that Japan's atrocities went well beyond the sex slaves - China still remembers the Rape of Nanking very painfully.)

Sounds a lot like what the US, under W's leadership, is doing in Iraq, hiring the likes of Halliburton/KBR and Christo-fascist Blackwater to loot what little is left of Iraq.

South Korea's foreign minister is up in arms. Unfortunately, given that South Korea's then-fascist regime had made huge concessions to Japan in the 1960s for its financial investment and aid, and had decided to shun the former sex slaves under its "blame the victim" mentality, it is in hardly any position to complain legitimately.

As long as right-wing nationalism rules in both Japan and the US, I don't expect much improvement anytime soon. Fortunately, the US Congress is trying to pass a nonbinding resolution to condemn Japan's sex slave operations during World War II, but even if it passes, Japan won't budge, claiming that the testimonies by former sex slaves do not prove anything substantial.

As Japan's right-wing nationalism grows once again to dangerous heights, it will matter less and less among the nations of Asia, and even the Asians' undying love for Japanese pop culture, electronics, and cars will become more conditional. The US is well advised to learn a lesson from Japan's mistakes.

And American liberals are also well advised to throw out their "only whites are capable of hateful atrocities" mindset. The Japanese in the 1930s and the 1940s have proven beyond all doubt that given enough power, anyone of any race/background can become a hatemongering monster.