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02 August 2007

How Japan should react to "Comfort Women" Resolution

Is Japan regressing to its pre-war condition? The past and present cause me very much to think so. Prime Minister Abe’s pronouncement that the “Imperial army’s comfort women were not coerced in the strict sense of the word” has shaken the American political world and media. Consequently, criticism of Japan has risen, and the American Congress has adopted a resolution demanding that Japan apologize to the WW II comfort women in Asia.

 

In some respects, this evokes close resemblance to past generation. Before the war was an era before Japan and America were in conflict. During this era, criticism of the Japanese invasion of China mounted, and the Rape of Nanking was widely reported, leading to boycotts of Japanese products, etc. Americans at the time empathized with the Chinese, who were suffering under the Japanese, and with public opinion as a causal factor, sanctions against Japan in the form of the ABCD encirclement were implemented. "A" is America, "B" means British, the “C” means China and "D" means Dutch . At the time, in Japan , there was a sense that the Japanese themselves were not at fault over the sanctions, and with their backs to the wall there would be no option but to retaliate. They merely excused their stance out of emotional theory, which led to the attack on Pearl Harbor .

 The same is happening now. Just as before, the conservative media and politicians claim that the Japanese government is not responsible for the comfort women problem, and maintain their position that the facts should be reexamined. This, despite the fact that an examination was completed 14 years ago, and the Secretary of the Cabinet at the time admitted in conversation direct army involvement. Just as in the prewar years, the judgment is extremely inward-looking and purely subjective. Further, there is no strategy behind the action. There is no sense that the resulting destination has been coolly considered. Indeed, it resembles Japan just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor .

 

Nevertheless, in one sense, I can hope that the current adoption will lead to a cooling off. This is because public opinion and politics in America, which is our greatest ally overseas, has started to become greatly involved in the problem of our war responsibility, which was hitherto thought to be merely a problem of the Right and Left. This is so-called “outside pressure”. This is not merely ideology, but clearly starting to develop into a question of national interest. The outside viewpoint becomes clear, forcing us to realize just how irrational our actions are. Relations with China and Korea have already chilled because of the ceremonial visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, and at this juncture, America can also now be added. This closely resembles the process that led to the formation of the ABCD encirclement previously. The adoption of this resolution may cause Japan to feel a sense of humiliation like having been scolded by a teacher. This should not lead, however, to citing “hara-kiri” as in the past, but should be linked primarily to coolly considering what is in the national interest. I want Japan to quit acting on emotion alone.

 

The first thing should be done is that Prime Minister Abe resign from his position. He made things worse.

02 July 2007

"Hiroshima and Nagasaki" acceptable?

It has been a huge turmoil in Japanese politics. It was caused by Minister of Defense, Mr. Kyuma. In a speech he made at a University in Chiba Prefecture, he said "US dropping of atomic bombs helped Japan end the war and prevent the Soviet Union from entering in Japan, so we have to accept that."

After the criticism arose, he apologized and retracted the remark. But still the demand for his resignation is strong.

As one Japanese citizen, some point I agree with him, I do not want to blame the US for dropping atomic bombs for some reasons although these acts should never be justified. It was clearly attack on civilians. Huge number at one time.

In Hiroshima and Nagasaki in total, more than 200,000 people were killed. The Nuclear Era started by them.

But the war was in fact started by us, Japan, we started the war in China and then Japan had to face economic embargo by allied nations including the U.S. We've killed so many civilians in China and other Asian nations. After the economic sanctions was implemented, Japan attacked on Pearl Harbor.

We haven't done enough to compensate for the loss of the victims like "comfort women" who were forced to become sexual slaves for Japanese soldiers. This issue has been on debate in U.S. Congress lately. The resolution to demand Japanese government to apologize and ackknowlege this inhumane act.

Japan has not done enough to make up for the past aggression. In order to accuse U.S. for dropping atomic bombs, we, must have done what we have to do. We failed.

However, Mr. Kyuma, should have never made such remarks. That is the insult to the victims of the atomic bombs and considered justification of the use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons should be all eliminated. No matter what cause the nation provoke the war, attacks on civilians should never be done.   

04 May 2007

"Flags of Our Fathers" Can't believe Native American was one of the heroes

I rent the DVD of the film. It is one of Clint Eastwood's set of 2 films about Iwojima battles.

The story of surviving soldiers who raised the pole of the flag on the Iwojima Island during WW II.

I've already seen the other one at the theater last December. So I was not very much impressed by this film except one of the heronized soldiers was Native American whom they called "Indian" in those days.

 I could not believe the army, the government and even general public in those days treated him as a war hero. Even it was a time of racism. He was invited to the White House. He toured the whole nation to raise fund for the war.

Maybe because the war can make all races equal. The war can unite all races in America. Kind of a sad thing to know.

 

20:35 Posted in Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: War, iwojima

31 March 2007

1973 Film "Two People"

The story of the film reflects Vietnam War Era.

A deserter from Vietnam named Even Bonner played by Peter Fonda met with a famous fashion model in Marrakech, Morocco. Her name was Deidre Mcluskey played by Lindsay Wagner.

Even decided to turn himself in to end his fugitive life. But he fell in love with the fashion model. She did, too.

Even knew this love would not come true because he would be in jail. He had no future. But they could not give up their love and they had little time to be together.

One of good things about this movie was the scenaries of the location. Marrakech, Casablanca, Paris and New York.

Very exotic, the film makes you feel you are traveling with the characters.

The other good thing was Lindsay Wagner, who later became very famous by the popular TV series "The Bionic Woman." I liked that show. She was very beautiful. She was suited for her role, a top fashion model who could be a cover model for VOGUE.

 I just wonder if Hollywood can remake this movie by using a character of Iraq War deserter. In fact, Marrakech is closer to Iraq than Vietnam.

This movie might be considered anti-war sentiment movie. I borrowed a video from a peace group manager. But to me as ordinarly movie fan, it was just a love romance with traveling. I like traveling, that is the main reason I came to like this movie. I hope some day I can visit the same places shot in the film.

You can see a clip from the movie on this site. The scene a fashion model first met with a deserter on the train from Marrakech to Casablanca. She came up to him to ask if he had glass to smoke. But she upset him because he was crying in the compartment.

21:05 Posted in Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: War, Vietnam, Iraq, history