Regarding the Oct. 7 Kyodo article “Documents detail how Imperial military forced Dutch females to be ‘comfort women’“: To be made to wait seven decades for this fragment of truth to emerge about the sexual slavery of European women is a new war crime in itself, but the government’s ongoing attempts to seal off the past from all eyes other than its own in the form of the new secrecy act that it’s preparing to steamroll into law are even worse, as the law will officially allow the government to prevent any information it deems sensitive to be out of reach to everyone else.
No doubt in the same sneaky way that the consumption tax is being foisted on Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will one day announce yet another fait accompli to prevent anyone from knowing anything except his revised reality.
His government’s apparent support of Yasukuni Shrine’s memorialized class-A war criminals and his desire to tamper with Japan’s anti-war Constitution will continue to destabilize Asia. Now the emergence of another speck of as-yet unsincerely unrepented wartime actions should remind East and West that a militarily retooled Japan could spell a massive global crisis.
Instead of arming for potential unilateral action against China and North Korea, he should try to mend relationships with the West. Since America accepted China over Japan as a major trading partner, Japan has become increasingly isolated. So, Japan should become more, not less, diplomatic in humbly atoning for its past as well as seeking honest ties with powers around the world to neutralize the threat of China’s expansionist policies.
Recently Japan criticized the South Korean head of the United Nations for his comments about Japan’s ambiguous attitude toward its past. Japan could have used that moment to come clean.
Abe is still biting his tongue in an attempt to keep his personal agenda and revisonist views of history quiet — until the right moment. That is not the way forward for Japan. Nor is the new secrecy act that he intends to push through in due course.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.