Regarding the March 25 Reuters article “Abe hails ‘lessons of history’ on visit to Anne Frank house“: A couple of factors need to be addressed.
First, it is ironic that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of all people has hailed some “lessons of history,” given his history of questioning whether wartime sex slaves were coerced or whether Japan conducted a war of aggression at all. The fact that he has now appeared to make a U-turn on the former likely happened under heavy international pressure. That he made this remark from the house of Anne Frank in Amsterdam is somewhat rich.
Second, Abe is quoted in the article as saying, “We would like to face the historical facts in a humble manner and to pass on the lessons of history to the next generation.”
If so, I would like to ask why the education ministry is planning to revise school history textbooks, as the Nov. 14 article “History texts to get official spin” reported. It suggested that Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party want to erase the “self-condemning” view of history from the minds of Japan’s youth. In that light, I’d like to know what “lessons of history” Abe was referring to.
One might wonder what Anne Frank might have thought about the sincerity of a man with a history of revisionist statements making such comments from her house.
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.