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Suga says Japan may pull plug on financial contributions to UNESCO

Kyodo

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government will consider stopping financial contributions to UNESCO or reducing the amount, given the U.N. body’s decision to add Chinese documents on the Nanjing Massacre to the “Memory of the World” program.

The top government spokesman made the remarks on a TV program.

UNESCO’s decision Saturday drew an immediate protest from the government, which questioned whether the U.N. body was “neutral and fair” in registering them.

Beijing’s dossier on the widespread killings of Chinese citizens and soldiers following the 1937 capture of Nanking, which is presently known as Nanjing, by the Japanese military is among dozens of new additions of documentary items, also including two sets of archives from Japan.

The government lodged a protest Saturday with China’s Foreign Ministry via the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, saying China “should not unnecessarily use the arena of UNESCO for a political purpose,” according to Japanese officials.

The “Documents of the Nanjing Massacre” consists of court documents from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East that convicted several Japanese as war criminals and a Chinese military tribunal, among others. They also include photos of the killings said to have been taken by the Imperial Japanese Army and film footage taken by an American missionary.

  • Liars N. Fools

    Not a good experience with UNESCO lately for Japan. The ridiculous argument that people who were “forced to work” at some Meiji era industrialization sites were not “forced labor” made Japan a laughingstock. And this denial of the Nanjing massacre is pathetic and ludicrous. Japan pulled out of the League of Nations. Pulling out of funding UNESCO might suit everybody just fine.

    • Tachomanx

      While I agree that Japan should simply not give any responses to such admissions, to pull Japan out of UNESCo would leave the organization yet without another of it’s largest contributors after the U.S. exit.
      UNESCO would be left basically without funds and I don’t see other nations wanting to put in what the U.S. and Japan did.
      It could spell the organization’s downright extinction.

      • Firas Kraïem

        So what? Should UNESCO give in to Japan’s tantrums to maintain its funding? That would spell the extinction of its credibility, if not its existence.

      • Tachomanx

        Well, considering that the UN Human Rights panel has some of the worst human rights offenders available in it, UNESCO accepting such documents (Which are all first approved by the CCP and you know what that entails) without proper objective investigation and verification, doesn’t make much of a case for it’s survival if it’s going to be used as a political weapon between states.
        UN and associated branches seems to be mired in corruption and widespread ineptitude so maybe letting such a trouble making organization die isn’t such a bad idea if it fails to sponsor good relations between nations.
        Let states care for their own historical heritage and let interested people visit them as they please.

  • 99Pcent

    I don’t think Japan is denying a sort of mass incident took place in Nanking. What Japan is not happy about is Unesco accepting the Chinese version of events which are well known to be doctored by the CCP. These doctored reports are highly exaggerated: 1. The sheer number claimed to be murdered does not stack up when considering the population and number of human remains. 2. People who were not even at the event were cajoled by the CCP to make up stories against the Japanese. 3. Many of the photographic so called evidence is not even from Nanjing and many times repeated and doctored. 4. Foreign versions of the events that go against the CCP narrative have been discarded as false. 5. Rewards were given to people who could come up with the “best” story. 6. For the amount of Japanese imperial army to kill that many in such a amount of time does not stack up. The list goes on and no matter how they justify it as a victim, we all know they are using this for hate propaganda.
    China’s CCP elites dream is to quash Japan completely by absorbing its wealth. They cant stand to see Japan doing as well as it is under all the circumstances and events that it has been through. Never mind the fact that this modern Japan was built from the ashes of war and destruction. The Japanese who rebuilt Japan were victims themselves, most of them were kids that grew up and worked hard during the 50’s and 60’s bringing up the quality of life and sharing equally the wealth generated amongst its population. Unlike the so called communist Chinese who have just hoarded their wealth while all the time espousing about social values. Not only did the Japanese rebuild their nation, when they got enough money they started to help China with ODA and the sharing of knowledge etc. Now after all of these years, the people that rebuilt Japan have mostly now passed away, the generation now is not responsible for Nanking, nor are they obligated to have to accept China’s version of events because of the whole manipulating practices of the CCP.
    Now we all know what we are dealing with when we think about the CCP. Just look at how they are acting right now. While they are hell bent on using so called war atrocities against modern democratic Japan, they themselves continue to detain, torture and murder human rights activist, lawyers, innocent people, Tibetans and Uighurs. There is a sort of complete takeover by Xi of the whole of China. He has become a one man dictator of the CCP and has done away with all his opponents under the guise of corruption. Meanwhile members of his own family who have amassed huge amounts of wealth go unchecked.
    Unesco should also document Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the countless firebombings that took place over civilian areas and in which millions have perished. Unesco should also document the atrocities against the Tibetans. I always talk about Tibet because I see it as the elephant in the room when Chinese start talking about the rights and wrongs of history. When they invade a country and slaughter 1.2-5 million Tibetans it is liberation, and guess what, the world accepts it because Chinese just throw money. Japan is not saying China did something bad in Tibet so Nanking is ok. Nanking predates the Chinese invasion of Tibet. If CCP were so shocked by Nanking then why did they think it is ok to do worse to Tibet??? I am not even going to go into what has happened to Tibet now, just that now it has been pumped so full of Han Chinese that the Tibetans have become a small minority in their own country, whereas 70 years ago there were under 500 or so Chinese in Tibet. To add insult to injury western democracies back up China’s claim to Tibet, all for the reason of profit of course. Is it not ironic that every one accept the Tibetans are giving away Tibet to China. For example: How can Tonga/Samoa/ New Zealand/Australia say Tibet is China. They are not Tibetans. In the same way I hear not a squeak about the atrocities committed by the Western nations in China. What about the British, US, Russians and European nations that so called “carved up the cake”. They did just as bad and humiliating things to China. Unesco…what about the atrocities of the Vietnam war and the countless other massacres that have taken place since then? Your silence is deafening Unesco.

    • Hendrix

      What flavour is the Kool aid today?

    • The Truth

      It is shocking to see people like you are trying to deny the incident claiming the Chinese version is exaggerated. No doubt the numbers can only be best estimate since there is no such thing as exact body count of the victims but would it matter if 275,909 were butchered in cold blood rather than the official 300K from the CCP?

    • AJ

      Your points don’t seem to jive with the nature of the Japanese government’s protest though. The diplomatic protest is about politicization, not validity.

      Serious question: is Japan fundamentally opposed to this because it isn’t a meaningful contribution or because it makes Japan look bad?

  • kyushuphil

    Of course all the “adults” in the government must unite on this.
    If Japan permits some people in the world to discuss some uncomfortable truths as to Japanese history, look what might happen to Japanese textbooks in the schools.
    The kiddies all now get a trivialized, infantilized view of history. That’s fine, because if Japan is going to attract more tourists to sample its “kawaii” culture, it’s going to need more Japanese to be more dumbed down than the schools are presently doing.
    Apparently, with few exceptions, no Japanese student anywhere in K-12 gets asked ever to read any single work of literature from beginning to end. (Cited in Minae Mizumura’s “The Fall of Language in the Age of English.”) The kiddies and their innocent teachers all can touch only lit as delivered in snippets in all the even more infantilized textbooks.
    Seems that it’s a Japanese pedagogical rule that all things must be taken even further out of context, to keep the kiddies all unaware that larger contexts are out there. That must be hidden, in order better to guarantee the status quo of everyone being kept herded in the conformities and echo chambers of group activities only. No essay writing — heaven forbid! That might awaken in some the awareness that there’s something called individual character out there.
    Nope. TPP is on the way, and the corporate predators want only one type of citizen, the open-mouthed one staring at whatever screen may currently be advertising more consumer satisfaction to whatever consumer demographic needs to up its materialism addictions.
    Of course Abe and all the “adults” around him need to be worried. Without their active machinations school kids, some, might escape the ever-lowering floors of mediocrity these “adults” are all targeting at them.

  • kyushuphil

    Of course all the “adults” in the government must unite on this.
    If Japan permits some people in the world to discuss some uncomfortable truths as to Japanese history, look what might happen to Japanese textbooks in the schools.
    The kiddies all now get a trivialized, infantilized view of history. That’s fine, because if Japan is going to attract more tourists to sample its “kawaii” culture, it’s going to need more Japanese to be more dumbed down than the schools are presently doing.
    Apparently, with few exceptions, no Japanese student anywhere in K-12 gets asked ever to read any single work of literature from beginning to end. (Cited in Minae Mizumura’s “The Fall of Language in the Age of English.”) The kiddies and their innocent teachers all can touch only lit as delivered in snippets in all the even more infantilized textbooks.
    Seems that it’s a Japanese pedagogical rule that all things must be taken even further out of context, to keep the kiddies all unaware that larger contexts are out there. That must be hidden, in order better to guarantee the status quo of everyone being kept herded in the conformities and echo chambers of group activities only. No essay writing — heaven forbid! That might awaken in some the awareness that there’s something called individual character out there.
    Nope. TPP is on the way, and the corporate predators want only one type of citizen, the open-mouthed one staring at whatever screen may currently be advertising more consumer satisfaction to whatever consumer demographic needs to up its materialism addictions.
    Of course Abe and all the “adults” around him need to be worried. Without their active machinations school kids, some, might escape the ever-lowering floors of mediocrity these “adults” are all targeting at them.

  • Lancaster

    Nobody sane and rational denies the terrible acts of violences that culminated into the Nanking Massacre, but it’s time to move on from the past. What good is there in including the tragedy into the “Memory of the World” program? The whole project is to preserve cultural artifacts and other natural heritages, not used as a political arena.

    For those not sure, the program contains various items such as papers written by Isaac Newton, a collection of music from Brahms, sacred scrolls from many world religions, etc….. and China wants to add the Rape of Nanking to it? Heck, I don’t think even the Holocaust is even mentioned in the program.

    This obviously an attempt to smear the reputation of Japan by digging up the past.

    • The Truth

      UNESCO also included Japan’s submission of two sets of archives. One covers the post-World War II internment and repatriation of Japanese by the Soviet Union. Oh that must be an attempt by Japan to smear the reputation of Russia lol

      • Lancaster

        If Japan has included in the past, they should have it removed. I believe the program should be used to remember the achievements of humanity, not the tragedies of certain actions/decisions.

        There is a time and place to supposedly solve old grievances (whether legitimate or not), but not here.

  • KenjiAd

    Documentary evidences for any mass killing event are intrinsically susceptible to extinction or destruction, depending on the prevailing political climate and collective amnesia. So it is good that those for, in this case, Nanjing Massacre are to be preserved.

    I understand there is an ongoing debate about the accuracy of Chinese version of the Nanjing Massacre event, particularly the number of casualties.

    I don’t think UNESCO is in a business of determining whose version of narrative is historically accurate. But I do think UNESCO is in a business of making sure the evidences are authentic. Obviously, fake evidences are not worth preserving.

    Here, UNESCO’s program is the weakest, because there is no way they can examine the authenticity of each little document, picture, and so on.

    My guts feeling is that *some* of these documents may not be authentic, even though I highly doubt the possible mistake is intentional.

    On the other hand, I do believe that evidences such as personal diaries, notebooks describing the events as it was happening, must be authentic in a sense that these are real diaries/notes written by real witnesses. Even though their description may or may not present the accurate picture of the event, it should be preserved, for the same reason that records of cellphone calls from the burning World Trade Center during 911 event should be preserved.

    • KenjiAd

      Oh, and it’s incredibly stupid for Japan’s LDP government to complain about the inclusion of NJM evidences, just because they disagree with the Chinese narrative.

  • Jamie Bakeridge

    Japan just doesn’t get it does it?! The reason the Chinese do this is to illicit the exact response the Japanese give them. Play it down, quietly withdraw funding and don’t advertise your past misdeeds (however overblown by the CCP) and Japan would come much better out of this and would not have its name trashed in international public opinion, again, and weaken the resolve of US politicians to be seen standing next to the Japanese against the Chinese problem. Japan is still in kindergarten when it comes to diplomacy.

  • tisho

    It’s remarkable that after everything Japan has done and keeps doing, people still can’t see behind the mask. Japan has proven over and over again that IT DOES NOT CARE, it simply could not care less, it’s physically impossible to care less for the international laws or any other foreign or domestic institution that does not serve their interest. They use the international law and the ICJ only when it serve their own interest, when it doesn’t, they either find a loophole to bypass it, or straight up ignore it and make it some other excuses. They care about UNESCO only when UNESCO acts like a good puppy and documents the kamikaze letters, the slave labor sites, and bunch more completely worthless sites within Japan, but if it tries to do the same for others, it’s a problem then. Unbelievable, yet somehow not surprising. People would go to Japan and live there for decades without knowing what’s behind the mask. The level of delusionism of the Japanese government is truly frightening, it is a bad idea to give these lunatics nuclear weapon or even to allow them to use their military. I think i would trust Iran more than Japan. Japan would actually send people to the US to harass textbook publishers not to include their sex slaves. Can you believe this? And of course this did not even made the news in the US, if it was China, it would’ve been all over the news. If these lunatics had more power can you imagine what would they do?

    • Hendrix

      unfortunately they will get more power and in fact Japan already has nuclear weapons but they wont admit it, they have heaps of plutonium and a space agency, so not too far fetched to say they dont have them hidden somewhere, and that is what japan is good at hiding things, like the truth…. they also use UNESCO when it suits them but when its not in their favour they go crazy, bunch of hippocrites and psycopaths running the government in Japan who are all sons and grandsons of class A war criminals..

  • Kiuri

    I hope the JP government makes good its threat. It has put up with abuses like this far too long. It is about time.