Japan's Emerging Militarism Is Serious Threat

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Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Song Nai Rhee

On Dec. 26, Abe Shinzo, Japan's prime minister, committed an unpardonable sin in the eyes of 1.5 billion Asians - including many peace-loving Japanese.

Against stern warnings, Abe paid his respects at the Yasukuni Shrine where 14 Class-A war criminals - including Gen. Tojo Hideki, who ordered the Pearl Harbor attack - are memorialized along with Japan's 2.5 million war-dead.

The Yasukuni Shrine is also the home of the Yushukan, a war museum designed, among other purposes, to glorify Japan's imperialistic aggression during World War II and to portray Japan's brutal invasions as a holy war intended to liberate Asia from the Americans and Europeans.

Abe Shinzo's act has drawn swift condemnation.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang stated, "China is enraged over Japanese leaders' wantonly trampling upon the sensitivity of the people of Asia victimized by Japan during World War II as well as over their arrogant defiance against justice and human conscience."

Korea's Donga News stated: "Abe ... has thrust a nail through the heart of Koreans!" And a South Korean government official said, "Abe has chopped off his own foot."

Particularly significant is an editorial statement in Chosun.com, a prominent South Korean Internet news site on Dec. 27, saying that "Abe's provocation" shows that the peace-bound Japan of the past no longer exists.

This point was echoed on the same day in a New York Times editorial: "Abe's ultimate goal is to rewrite Japan's pacifist Constitution ... which restricts the right to go to war."

Largely unnoticed by the American public, Abe Shinzo and Japan's conservative government have been quietly but resolutely seeking to remilitarize Japan.

Abe is a grandson of Kishi Nobusuke, who was Tojo Hideki's handpicked industry/commerce minister and was imprisoned as a Class-A war crime suspect after the war.

Apparently, young Abe received a good dose of nationalistic brainwashing from his grandfather, for he has never acknowledged any wrongdoing by Japan during World War II, but has sought to justify Japan's imperialistic invasions as "Japan's holy war of liberation of Asia from Western colonialists." And he believes that now is the time for Japan to free itself from the American-imposed "peace Constitution," which forbids Japan from establishing regular army, navy, and air force and from ever settling international disputes with military means.

Aso Taro, Japan's deputy prime minister, has even suggested that the Japanese government should learn from Hitler and the Nazis in changing Japan's constitution "stealthily and secretly overnight with no one knowing what is happening. …