U.S. & Japan v. China & North Korea
Sonali T. Sikchi
November 3, 2006
To rile themselves up, footballers huddle, soldiers sing, and me? I read syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer's drivel published in the Seattle Times on Mondays and Ellen Goodman's puff on Fridays.
Charles Krauthammer claims that Japan's natural interests parallel America's ion the Pacific Rim…[including] spreading the liberal democratic model throughout Asia. Don't make me laugh. The Republicans are liberal? (Forget about the democratic bit.) And since when is Japan interested in becoming a "democratic model" for any country?
Other nuggets of wisdom that Krauthammer pulls out of the vacuum are: "Japan's response to the North Korean Threat has been very strong and very insistent with sanctions"; Japan is the who will "help us shoulder the burden in a world where so many other allies — the inveterately appeasing South Koreans most notoriously — insist on the free ride"; North Korea "has now officially gone nuclear"; and Japan has "aligned itself with the U.S. on the issue of Taiwan."
The Uneasy Sleep of Japan's Dead
By George F. Will Sunday, August 20, 2006; Page B07
Leftist ideology causes South Korea's regime to cultivate victimhood and resentment of a Japan imagined to have expansionism in its national DNA.
The choice by China's regime is more interesting. Marxism is bankrupt and causes cognitive dissonance as China pursues economic growth by markedly un-Marxist means.
So China's regime, needing a new source of legitimacy, seeks it in memories of resistance to Japanese imperialism.
Japan's War Dead To the Editor
November 14, 2005
Re "Pointless Provocation in Tokyo" (editorial, Oct. 18), about Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine:
Mr. Koizumi's visit was not to worship the Class A war criminals who were given the verdict of guilty by the International Tribunal for the Far East, to glorify Japan's past militarism, or to accommodate right-wing nationalists.
His purpose, as he clearly stated, was to mourn the war dead, to appreciate their sacrifices that helped to make Japan's peace and prosperity possible today, and to renew his vow for peace. These were his sole intentions.
Prime Minister Koizumi has expressed his heartfelt apology for Japan's wartime aggression, which caused tremendous suffering to the people of many countries, particularly those of neighboring Asian countries.
Ambassador and Consul General of Japan
New York, Oct. 24, 2005
Tokyo shrine a focus of fury around Asia
By Paul Wiseman, USA TODAY
TOKYO ― One of Asia's biggest trouble spots is a peaceful place hidden away in the heart of Tokyo, a refuge from skyscrapers and traffic.
At the Yasukuni Shrine, couples take romantic walks beneath cherry trees, schoolchildren feed fish in a pond and aging war veterans remember fallen friends.
It's those old memories that are causing problems.
To many Japanese, the Yasukuni Shrine is no different from Arlington National Cemetery in the USA: a place to honor their war dead. They don't understand why people in other Asian countries are so furious about Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to the shrine. "It must be a lack of communication," says Kimura Takashi, 29, an acupuncturist visiting Yasukuni recently with his girlfriend.
China, South Korea and other Asian countries occupied and brutalized by imperial Japanese military forces decades ago see Koizumi's defiant visits as a symbol of Japan's refusal to show remorse for its bloody past. The sore point: In 1978, Yasukuni, operated by a private Shinto religious foundation, secretly enshrined 14 "Class A" war criminals convicted by an international tribunal after World War II.
The Japanese government was placed under an obligation to oversee execution of the sentences imposed upon the so-called war criminals by the Peace Treaty.
But more than 40 million people had signed the petitions. The Lower House in August 1953 adopted a resolution calling for the immediate release of all men serving sentences as so-called war criminals.
Diplomatic negotiations with the signatory nations of the Peace Treaty ensued.