Monday, August 15, 2005

60th Anniversary of WW2

Today is the 60th Anni of WW2 and the issue of Japan and WW2 being one of my utmost interests, i would like to take this historic and significant day to talk more on this issue.
As already known from my earlier posts on this issue, i feel a great injustice continues to this day 60 yrs after that war as Japan continues to evade its moral responsibility in atoning for the damage it wrought on Asian countries 60yrs ago. It is disheartening to see that the West is not concerned at all on this issue and even think that Japan has atoned enough. An example can be seen from the April anti-Japanese demonstrations in China whereby Western media incl The Times and Newsweek completely passed over what is the crucial issue of Japanese schooltextbook whitewash, lack of official apology (this means passed by parliament in clear EXPLICIT terms) or compensation and visits to shrines worshipping warcriminals, etc The media just went on and on about how the demonstrations were purely political or purely due to 'anti-Japanese' education,etc which is complete nonsense. It is not relevant whether it were political or not cos the demonstrators had a valid point to make. Further it seems the world's media are right at home with Japan's right wing nationalist when they say the Chinese education is 'anti-Japanese'...i mean i would like to ask just which part is anti-Japanese? The fact that they incl content on the 200 000 Asian women forced in sexual slavery ? or that they incl content on Japanese human experiments on POWS? or the fact that they incl the Nanking Massacre where 300 000 Chinese were slaughtered in Nanking, the former Chinese capital city, when Japanese forces invaded and occupied it? I mean to call these 'anti-Japanese' is tantamount to calling teaching the Holocaust in American and Jewish schools to being 'anti-German' and calling shows portraying evil Nazis to 'promoting hatred for Germans' It seems that the West feels that talking about the Nazi Holocaust is worthwhile and correct whilst the same in Japan's case miraculously becomes 'anti-Japanese'.....
Further, i am strongly opposed to the West refusal to equate the Japanese atrocities/crimes to the Jewish Holocaust. This in my opinion boils down to racism. The fact is that the West does not really care if ppl of non-white race suffer as the Holocause involved Jews, who are still part of the white race even if there is a history of anti-Semitism the Jews are still more valued than the other non-white races. Thus suffering under the Japanese which involved primarily Asian races is not given much attention. This can be seen in school textbooks in Western Countries where WW2 basically means the Holocaust, Polish concentration camps, Russian Front, etc whilstthe Asian Theater is briefly touched on more often than not emphasing Japan's 'victim' status with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings. Bookshelves on WW2 also line with tons on Nazi Germany and than if lucky 20% or less on the Asian theatre and then again on Japanese suffering in Hiroshima or just about battles where Westerners died like the fall of Singapore or Saipan or Phillipines (rarely goes into the Asian civilian suffering in these areas). History,i feel, is extremely eurocentric right down.
Another point which i feel reveals the racist aspect of historical studies and perception is how the West refuses to admit that the Japanese warcrimes, like many other atrocities/warcrimes around the war, are equal if not as worst as the Holocaust in terms of scale and brutality. Often westerners love to point out that the Holocaust was planned and involved 6 million victims whilst the Japanese crimes were 'not planned' and numbers of victims undetermined. I mean this is pure racism though i'm sure many do not realise they are being racist cos it is totoally irrelevant that the Japanese warcrimes were not planned since the Japanese killed more Asians (35 million or so Chinese plus prob 1 million Koreans and Taiwanese conscripts combined plus millions more South East Asians) without planning than the Nazis did with planning. Further many were planned and notorious such as the '3 all policy' in Manchuria which meant loot all burn all and kill all to create 'no-man zones' such that Chinese guerilla forces would not be able to hide behind civilian populations. Then there is the comfort women system whereby it was a planned policy to force Asian women into serving as sex slaves for the 2 million or more Japanese troops stationed in occupied territories. Aren't these planned? Then comes the eurocentric attitude of how accurate the figures on Chinese wardead are or how accurate are facts on warcrimes? I mean no one is allowed to dispute the Holocaust or 6mill Jews number but all of a sudden it is ok to question figures come up by Asians? Some even say they admit the Japanese warcrime facts but feel its exagerated, i mean if i were to say that the Holocaust figures of 6 million were exaggerated, i would be immediately labelled a 'neo-Nazi' whilst when Japanese textbooks, popular TV shows, magazines question the Asian 'Holocaust' it is said by the West to be an example of democracy and freedom of speech, if thats the cas i guess Germany should dismantle current 'undemocratic' laws prohibiting denial of the Holocaust.
I think its time the West start to emphatise with ppl of other races and not constantly think that only when an atrocity involves western victims is it worthy of attention. The fact is the Holocaust is NOT the ONLY and WORST tragedy in recent history (as German chancellors have said time and time again)it is but ONE of many human tragedies incl Rwanda Genocide, Congo Conflict, Bosnia Genocide, and not least the Japanese WW2 warcrimes which all deserve as much attention as the Holocaust is getting now.

1 comment:

tetsu (tokyo) said...

Stalin was bad too...many people forget that he was worse than Hitler, if you count the casualities in numbers.

I heard that the reason why most people see the Chinese education as anti-Japanese is because they don't teach much about their history with communism (ex. Mao and his policies...etc) Is this true?