Monday, February 19, 2007

This is very wrong in Japan.

There are temples and shrines in Tokyo. Where people go to pray.
But there is one shrine that is very wrong.
It is called the Yasukuni-Jinja.
Which means “For the Peace of the Country Shrine”.
It is in memory of the war deads Japan sacrificed: more than 2,5 million people who died in combat.

Yasukuni-Jinja is not only a temple and a shrine where people can go to pray and pay respects to the deceased.
Next to it is also a museum, called the Yushukan, devoted to the violent history of Japan, most particularly the Second World War, which they call “The Greater East Asian War”.

In 1979, at Yasukuni-Jinja, were enshrined the remains of war criminals.
That is one thing but more serious is that leading politicians, including the former Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, developed the habit of going there annually to pay respect to these war criminals in front of the world press making huge controversy.

Mr. Koizumi is no longer in office and the current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is not repeating this inappropriate habit of honouring war criminals.

But what remains an issue is that in the Yushukan Museum the Second World War is presented as a victory.
It is shocking to see in that museum how subjective history is presented.
Japan was forced to start the war by the colonial powers: they were and are not responsible. That is the message coming from the exhibition.
Attacking the American fleet at Pearl Harbour was an act of self-defence.
The massacre of Nanking in China, starting on December 13, 1937 and lasting for 6 weeks where the Japanese Army killed over 300.000 civilians, is called “An incident”.

The whole message of the exhibition is that as a Japanese you can be proud of this war.
The message is: OK, we lost but in fact we won.
Shamelessly proud of the battle ships and U-boats and planes having been used.
Pretending that in fact the Japanese were superior: technically and morally.

The truth is very opposite to what the visitors of the museum are made to believe.

What is so dangerous of this Yasukuni-Jinja is that it still brainwashes the many Japanese visitors into wrong beliefs.
From where only more massacres may come.

What we need to understand, including the Japanese people, is that in a war there is neither victory nor defeat.
Nobody is a winner.
Everyone is a looser.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess the Japanese "act of self defense" at Pearl Harbor falls into the same category as GW Bush's doctrine of "pre-emptive" war. If a threat is perceived, then you are justified to strike first. God save us all from such leaders.

Chip Haven