JAPAN’S UNREPENTANT OFFICIAL HISTORY
It comes as no surprise that Japan’s membership to the United Nations Security Council is becoming a very controversial and passionate issue in many Asian countries. These countries were invaded, occupied and ravaged by the Japanese Imperial Army. They were even tested as human guinea pigs in experiments for biological and bacteriological weapons. In the case of China and Korea, the Japanese pillage and atrocities committed against them happened decades even before the Second World War. In the cities of Nanking, Manila and other Asian countries, men, women and children, including the handicapped were brutally shot and bayonetted without even any provocation. The women of many Japanese-occupied countries in Asia were forced to become “comfort women” for the sexual and recreational satisfaction of entire Japanese army regiments. These were unforgivable crimes against humanity.
But Japan, which was defeated in the war, and has now become an economic superpower,
remains unrepentant for its atrocities during the war. Remember, these atrocities and war crimes were not the individual acts of soldiers of the Empire, but have been shown by declassified documents to be official policies and acts of the Japanese government and the Japanese Imperial Army. In the case of the comfort women of Asia, an official apology from the Japanese government has yet to be expressed. But instead of repentance, Asian peoples see the modern Japanese leaders pay homage to the memory of militarist war criminals who committed these atrocities. But worse, are the present day official Japanese textbooks published by the Japanese Ministry of Education which portray Japan’s war crimes as mere petty “incidents”, and are even treated marginally as if to erase the true memory of the past. Present generations of young Japanese must know and understand that they were not the victims of the war; they were the predators and perpetrators of unspeakable crimes against humanity.
What they are being made to remember in their museums especially in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that they were the VICTIMS who were unjustly atom-bombed and obliterated during World War II. These museums of Japan as victim have the full financial support of the Japanese government and one cannot ignore the length that Japanese history books give to the perspective that Japan was the victim of a nuclear holocaust. In contrast, we have yet to see a museum in Japan that highlights the atrocities it committed during the colonization of Asian peoples before and during World War II especially in Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and other countries where the Japan Co-Prosperity Sphere was militarily imposed.
Modern Japan’s membership in the United Nations Security Council is a status that Japan has earned by being the junior partner of the interventionist policies of the United States. Japan has had to buy its way into this status by bankrolling the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq as well the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan. Japan, which under its constitution is not supposed to have an army but a mere “Self-Defense Force”, and technically just a national police force, has over-extended its military forces as token auxiliary military contributions to U.S.interventionary forces, many of whom are based and trained in Okinawa, Japan. Japan’s real contribution as a modern warfare state is financial, and therefore, has this made it earn its status as a full member of the United Nations Security Council?
Japan must officially apologize for its war crimes and must give a full accounting of what it did to other Asian peoples in its history books. To do less, or to even demand an apology from other Asian countries just because their people are agitated and outraged by the historical amnesia reflected in Japanese textbooks and Japan’s insistence to be a member of the U.N. Security Council, smacks of imperial arrogance and is the greatest insult of all. For before forgiveness there must first be repentance.
* Article by Roland G Simbulan – For a full professional background of Professor Roland G. Simbulan (Click Here)