Friday, May 08, 2015
A total of 187 Asian scholars are calling on Japan to admit its wartime atrocities against neighbors and allied countries. Their PR effort, done by open letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has not yet succeeded. Abe is resistant to apologizing for crimes such as putting Korean women into prostitution to serve its soldiers. Nations, such as China, which suffered terribly under Japanese control are not satisfied with a general acknowledgement that Japan was in the wrong. It is understandable that Abe, who is struggling to reignite Japan's growth and make it an important force counter-balancing China, does not want to dredge up the past. Yet, the past has bearing on the present, even though it was 70 years ago. For Japan to white-wash its past is a symptom of a culture that has yet to understand and deal with the actions of its military during World War II. As Japan slowly re-arms, it needs the lessons of the past to help it better handle the future.