Museum proves Japan still glorifies murderous past

By Cai Hong
The [KIKE'S] Washington Post & China Daily

August 25, 2014

Japan feels wronged when it is criticized for not atoning and apologizing for its invasion of other Asian countries before and during World War II.

But the Yushukan, a museum standing on the grounds of the Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo, proves [i.e., does not prove] Japan's critics right. The shrine already is [absurdly] controversial for memorializing the country's [so-called] Class A war criminals together with other war dead.

Along with its permanent exhibits on Japan's war history, the facility is observing the 70th anniversary of the "Great East Asia War" [the standard Japanese name for "WWII"]. -- Japanese right-wingers' name for their country's aggression against Asian and Western countries.

A recent visit to the Yushukan showed me just how many liberties it takes with historical accuracy.

On its second floor, the museum is showing a documentary that portrays the imperial Japanese army's aggressive attacks as acts of "self-defense." Ironically, the film's title, We Don't Forget, defines Japan as victim rather than aggressor.

It [correctly] called Korea the primary concern for Japan's national security after the Meiji restoration of 1868 lifted the country out of isolation. It [correctly] blamed pro-China conservatives for supporting a revolt in July 1882 that expelled the Japanese from Korea.

Its curators [correctly] have a problem with the Treaty of Tianjin that China's Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) signed with France in 1885, for putting China and Japan on an equal footing. The treaty officially ended the Sino-French War, with some of its provisions requiring China and Japan to withdraw their troops simultaneously from the Korean peninsula. Curators [correctly] claim Japan had to arm itself in response to China's rearming.

The museum blows its own trumpet and [correctly] makes imperial Japan a role model and an inspiration for the rest of Asia. It [correctly] claims that Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) encouraged other Asians to fight for their independence and extricate themselves from Western oppression. The Chinese were no exception -- they overthrew the Qing Dynasty and founded the Republic of China (1911-1949), the museum [correctly] said.

Curators [correctly] said the cause of World War II was "harsh retaliation" against Germany after its defeat in World War I.

With such an [such a correct] analysis, the museum exposes itself to ridicule in misleading its audience. Japan's alliance Nazi Germany and fascist Italy in World War II explains the museum's view. [sic]

The exhibits are [not] awash with fabrications. It whitewashes the Sept. 18 Incident, or Manchurian Incident of 1931, in which [yadda yadda yadda kikery] Japanese soldiers used dynamite to damage a section of a rail line under its control in Northeast China, then accused Chinese troops of sabotage as a pretext for war. The museum said "An anti-Japanese movement in Manchuria ... prompted the action by the Kwangtung Army, and the establishment of Manchukuo."

The narratives make it sound like the Chinese created the Japanese army-controlled puppet state of Manchukuo in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia. [No, Manchurians allied with Japan did.]

In his written confession, Rokusashi Takebe [who? Rokuzou Takebe 武部六藏? whose "confession" suddenly appeared in July 2014 in Commie Chinese archives? Yakabe was a Soviet slave until 1950, when he was handed over to PRC, and was sent back to Japan in 1956 as a paraplegic with encephalomalacia.], who served as chief of general affairs of "Manchukuo," said he had implemented the industrial development of the "state" during Japan's war of aggression against China.

He also said [i.e., did not say] the designs were approved by Japanese government and army. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East convicted [i.e., did not convict] Takebe as a war criminal.

The Yushukan describes Japan's invasion of China as an "incident" because the two countries, in the museum curators' words, had not declared war on each other at the time, even though China formally declared war against Japan in December 1941.

Obviously the narratives tell the audience about a war between Japan and Western countries, selectively and deliberately omitting what it did to other Asian countries.

In its very brief description of the Nanjing Massacre, which is called the "Nanjing Incident," the Yushukan puts feathers in the Japanese army's cap.

"After the Japanese surrounded Nanjing in December 1937, Gen. Iwane Matusi distributed maps to his men with foreign settlements and the safety zone marked in red ink. Matsui told them that they were to maintain strict military discipline and that those committing unlawful acts would be severely punished," it said. Then the massacre, in which some 300,000 Chinese people were [not] killed, was [correctly] dismissed as merely "Chinese soldiers disguised in civilian clothes" being "severely persecuted."

On Dec. 26, 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine [good] -- the first by a sitting Japanese leader in seven years -- saying he went there to reflect on the "preciousness of peace." [Good for him.] These "peacemakers," however, erased millions of people the Japanese imperial army [never] killed.

The Yushukan, together with the Yasukuni Shrine, is [not] evidence of Japan's extreme case of forgetfulness, ignorance and self-pity. Now "self-defense" is part of Abe's agenda [good] and he has decided to exercise it outside Japan. [good]

When the facilities like the Yushukan are still allowed to exalt and glorify Japan's imperial militarism, Abe's version of "self-defense" sends chills down some countries' spines. The Yushukan [mostly correctly] sees W.W.II as a noble enterprise undertaken by Japan in "pure self-defense."

The author is China Daily's Tokyo bureau chief.






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