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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Elusive Independence Day - When will Japan officially proclaim its Independence from Imperial Japan?

Today, 68 years ago, Imperial Japan surrendered.

Today, Shinzo Abe didn't visit the infamous Yasukuni Shrine, but he did send an aide to pay tribute to Imperial Japan war criminals. And today, the Korea JoongAng Daily reveals* that Abe's grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, then the Prime Minister, was the one who dedicated the headstone in Aichi-ken's Mount Sangane cemetery to his former boss Hideki Tojo and fellow war criminals, honoring them as "seven patriots who died for their country".

"Far from Yasukuni, cemetery honors criminals" - Korea JoongAng Daily 20130815

Unlike war criminal Kishi (see "To better bridge the gap between Japan, Korea, and China, let's measure the gap within Japan"), these monsters were tried, officially found guilty of war crimes, executed, and cremated. Their ashes have been dispersed at sea, but their lawyer managed to smuggle away some, allowing this infamy.

So let's add 1960 to an already disturbing timeline:

  • 1945: end of War War II. Imperial Japan is officially defeated, and Japan officially ceases to be an Empire, but the Emperor himself is spared to avoid a total political collapse. Hirohito undoubtedly was a war criminal: he was the man in charge, and he issued himself key orders for proven war crimes (e.g. Unit 731, WMDs..). Politically castrated and painted as a naive royal abused by mean military leaders, he became that popular figure now referred to as Emperor Showa, a double entendre name ("enlighted" / "radiant") that sums up his 1926-1989 reign started with imperialism and fascism (until 1945), and ended with peace (after 1945).

  • 1948: a few Imperial Japan war criminals are tried and executed, including Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister from 1941 to 1944. The US decide to spare key figures willing to collaborate to ensure pro-US conservatism in Japan in times of Cold War. Among them, "Showa Era Monster" Nobusuke Kishi (see "To better bridge the gap between Japan, Korea, and China, let's measure the gap within Japan"). It worked, but to this day Japan's democracy continues to pay the price: every day we see how this great nation's political system remains totally controlled and undermined by a dangerous clique of fascists, revisionists, and descendants of Imperial Japan leaders.

  • 1954: "Self-Defense Forces" are established, with "new" military flags almost copying the infamous Rising Sun flag. They have 8 beams instead of 16, but I'd rather call these beams "fasces", like the beams around the axis that gave their name to fascism. That meaning didn't exist when the original Rising Sun flag was created (1870), but chosing this design is a very clear statement in 1954 Japan. Particularly under a Prime Minister like Shingeru Yoshida: he served as embassador to Italy during the 1930s, and was among the bad guys arrested in 1945 but released later... Frankly, the 1948 deal was not US Diplomacy's finest moment, but letting this infamy happen six years later, that's almost as shocking. The least the US could do now is to change that embarrassing US Fleet Activity Sasebo insign...

  • 1960: Nobusuke Kishi, now the Prime Minister, dedicates the Mount Sangane cemetery headstone honoring the worst monsters in Japan history

  • 1978: 14 convicted Class A war criminals - including Tojo and co. - are enshrined in Yasukuni, after a failed attempt in 1966, when Yakusuni Chief Priest Fujimaro Tsukuba refused to put all the names listed by government officials. The decision to go ahead with the enshrinement and to keep it discreet was taken in 1969 in a secret meeting between officials from Yasukuni and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (the Minister was ten Noboru Saito, and the Prime Minister was still Eisaku Sato). Clearly, the plotters had to wait for a friendlier Chief Priest, and they wasted no time after Tsukuba's death. The candidacy of former Self-Defense Force official Nagayoshi Matsudaira was pushed by Chief Justice Kazuto Ishida, an ultra-conservative who tilted his own institution towards far-right territories. In "East Asia's Haunted Present. Historical Memories and the Resurgence of Nationalism", Tsuyoshi Hasegawa and Kazuhiko Togo report how Matsudaira answered to Ishida's proposition for the job: "Overturning the verdicts of the Tokyo Tribunal is essential to achieve Japan's spiritual renaissance. Therefore, it is necessary to enshrine those who are called Class-A war criminals". Tsukuba died in March 1978, Matsudarai was appointed in June, and the enshrinement happened in October. Hirohito knew about the enshrinement before the media, who first mentioned it in 1979. In a 1988 memo disclosed in 2006, Hirohito explained why he stopped visiting Yasukuni in 1978, regretting Matsudaira didn't have his father's "strong wish for peace".

  • ...

  • 2013?: Shinzo Abe modifies the constitution of Japan, starting with article 96 which makes modifications very difficult and subject to referenda. Japan abandons its commitment to peace (art.9), reclaiming Imperial Japan's potential as an aggressive military power, as well as it abandons all obligations regarding international laws and treaties (art. 98-2)... As Matsudaira put it, the enemies of democracy can now "achieve Japan's spiritual renaissance".

I spared you all the events that deserve to be listed on this timeline, but I guess you get the idea: these guys know perfectly what they're doing, and where they want to go. And Taro Aso? They don't need your advice**: they already know how to stay below radar surface the way the Nazis did during the thirties. 

Ever since 1945, revisionists have seized every opportunity to pledge allegiance to Imperial Japan, to contaminate post-war Japan with its noxious heritage, and to pave the way for its "spiritual renaissance". A day will come when all Japanese lawmakers will be asked to officially pledge allegiance to democracy and to denounce Imperial Japan war crimes before taking office. A day will come when the Japanese constitution will be strong enough to prevent people like Shinzo Abe from reaching power. But what will happen until then?

Imperial Japan abominations didn't stop in 1945: they continue to this day, and they will not be resolved until Japan officially proclaims its independence from Imperial Japan.

Seoul Village 2013
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* see "Far from Yasukuni, cemetery honors criminals" (Korea JoongAng Daily, 20130815)
** see "Taro Aso, Japan's Constitution, and Godwin's Law"

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