Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is planned to release a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II. The intended proclamation ferments controversies in relation to the 1995 statement issued by the then-Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi.
Every one of Japanese people should have right historic acknowledgement in order to prevent Premier from issuing a revisionist declaration. Time is crucial for us to create peace proclaimed in the Constitution.
LET’S PREPARE MOVEMENTS TO PREVENT REVISIONIST HISTORY
A phrase from a New Year speech of the Emperor Akihito is quoted:
‘This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II. On the occasion it is extremely important to learn from the history of war beginning with the Manchurian Incident and think over the future of nation.’
He referred to the 1931 incident in China, which attracts people’s attention.
In the weekly Shukan Bunshun dated January 15 are cited words from an official from the Imperial Household Agency: ‘Emperor is concerned about Prime Minister Abe’s statement to be issued in August to mark the end of war’. The weekly’s article continues to say ‘Premier Abe will set up a panel composed of intellectuals in March in order to prepare a new text. Content may arouse repellence of the neighbors. The point is whether Prime Minister keeps following the stance of Murayama’s statement’.
Have Governments Taken Right Attitudes?
The Murayama statement says: ‘Japan, following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war, only to ensnare the Japanese people in a fateful crisis, and through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations’ and ‘(I) express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology’.
The Murayama statement has been criticized by revisionist historians, including Premier Abe. But an important point lies in how the succeeding governments, including the Murayama government, have compensated people who were inflicted with ‘tremendous damage and suffering’ in a concrete manner. The so-called comfort women issue is symbolic. The Japanese government has evaded official apology by establishing the Asian Women’s Fund, a fund managed by private citizens. The endowment was agreed on by the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party, Socialist Party and the Sakigake Party, and therefore the private fund was an outcome of the utmost efforts. But the remorse described in the statement has not been materialized sincerely.
Vice-President Song Se-il of the Korean Alliance for Democratization and Reunification in Japan (=Kantoren) says:
‘Concerning the comfort women the Japanese governments have confirmed its stance by way of the Statement of Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono, and for the aggression and colonial rule in general, by way of the Murayama Statement.
That is all right, but practically the effect is very weak because the governments have not examined as far as conclusion of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea (1965), which is the root cause of the current relations. In addition, the Abe government, reiterating that it keeps the two statements, reviews the Kono statement and discourages the Murayama statement with justification that a definition of aggression is not fixed in the international context’.
New-version Treaty Necessary
This year marks the 50th anniversary of conclusion of the Japan-South Korea Treaty. Mr. Song, referring to the processes of accord, continues:
‘The treaty must be abandoned. A new one should be agreed on. It is indispensable to delete clauses like: to reinforce division of the Korean Peninsula, to justify the aggressive war and colonial rule, and exempt from duties of indemnification and compensation. It is essential to liquidate the past history so that people may have right acknowledgment’.
A distance of the two positions of Mr. Song and Premier Abe cannot easily be contracted.
We, members of the New Socialist Party of Japan, are determined to fight for defending the Peace Constitution and carrying out its causes. We continue struggles, keeping in mind the comment of Mr. Song.
March 3, 2015