Thursday, February 20, 2014

Japan, Which Denies Its Atrocities in World War II, Does Not Deserve Our Protection

Why should America have a strategic defense pact with Japan if they try to deny the horrific atrocities they perpetrated in World II. This includes enslaving Korean and Chinese women to provide sex for Japanese troops, the Rape of Nanjing and the Bataan Death March, in which American soldiers died from the cruelty of Japanese soldiers.
I once had a Japanese student who told me none of those things happened. Come to find out in Japanese schools none of these incidents were mentioned. Unlike Germany, which teaches about Nazi atrocities, Japanese deny what they did.
The Yasukuni Shrine holds the remains of Japanese war criminals. Last year a member of Shinzo Abe's cabinet paid a symbolic visit to it. This year Abe went himself. Abe's family includes a war criminal.
I've been to the memorial to the Nanjing Massacre. The details of this atrocity make you wonder how human beings could do things like this, from disemboweling to burying men and women alive. What happened to the Chinese population of Shanghai is equally disturbing. The Japanese created a phony explosion in Manchuria (Northeast China) so they could seize the three Chinese provinces to be the breadbasket for Japan. The Japanese press did not acknowledge that the explosion was set off by the Japanese themselves until 2007, a long way away from the incident in 1931.
The Koreans and Chinese have not forgotten how they suffered under the Japanese. These latest affronts make it impossible for me to support a defense treaty with Japan. I don't want  one American life shed for these people.
I taught in Germany and saw how an upright country acknowledges its past and learns from it.
Japan. on the other hand, can protect itself.

In what is, hopefully, an unrelated incident, libraries all over Tokyo have found copies of The Diary of Anne Frank destroyed. This diary depicts her Jewish family's attempt to survive the Nazis' occupation of the Netherlands. Anne Frank died at the age of 15 of typhus in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, a camp which also, by the way, was where some of my daughter's ancestors passed away.

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