Friday, December 25, 2009

Revisionist schoolbooks : change has not come to Japan

As a Christmas gift to local ultranationalists, the Japanese Government decided to give another hard push in favor of bold revisionism. As usual, school textbooks are used as a vehicle for promoting the idea that Dokdo belongs to the Great Empire. And as usual, the Korean Government denounced the infamy (see "Seoul hits Tokyo's new Dokdo stance").

This comes not as a surprise but as a disappointment : Hatoyama really seemed to be willing to crush the last throes of fascism in the archipelago, his aides even leaking proofs that Dokdo didn't belonged to Japan (see "
According to Japanese law, Dokdo is not Japanese"). More recently, there were even rumors that the Emperor himself would visit Korea in 2010 to formulate official apologies for past wrongs.

That made me quite nervous : last time the Emperor made a move towards reconciliation, extreme right activists would push as hard as they could, fueling mutual hatred across the region, including China and Russia.

Actually, I'd been expecting this kind of provocations, lately : Hatoyama is much weaker than a few months ago and yes, that's the economy, stupid (stimulus programs won't last eternally and 2010 seems poised to be a tough year). Obviously, his government badly needs support from people he disagrees with.

Once again, if Dokdo doesn't belong to Japan (and that's been indisputably settled for good by the official documents leaked earlier this year), talking about Takeshima has always been about Japanese politics : claiming the islets, visiting Yasukuni, rewriting history books... each provocation comes at a time the ruler is in a defensive position and needs political support at home.

Japanese politicians keep fooling their own citizens and it's high time to expose this dangerous imposture.

Seoul Village 2009

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