White House ex-official blasts spins on history


A former senior U.S. government official has criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders for their historical views toward other parts of Asia during the war.

Jeffrey Bader, former senior adviser for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, also warned Wednesday that the United States could become more “vocal” if Japan reviews past statements in which it formally apologized for its wartime aggression in other parts of Asia.

“The handling of historical issues in the last couple of months by Japanese leaders has not been adroit, to put it mildly,” Bader, who assumed the post during President Barack Obama’s first term, told a Washington symposium.

He also cited Abe’s controversial remark earlier this year that the word “invasion” has no established definition in the context of Japan’s militarism and colonial rule over its neighbors in the last century.

Bader also blasted Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto for arguing Japan’s wartime system of sexual servitude was necessary, branding the remark “crazy.”

If Japan adheres to the 1993 apology by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono and a 1995 statement expressing remorse by Prime Minister Tomoiichi Murayama, things should be fine, Bader said.

  • zer0_0zor0

    It’s good to see a former American official speak out on this, as many seem content with the nationalistic Japanese politicos, probably hoping to gain some advantage vis-a-vis China.

    What we need is continued peace and enhanced stability in the region, not politicos looking to obtain some geopolitical advantage.

  • Kitty Hawk

    The author’s apprehension is dubious on some major points. First off, the following context in the article doesn’t describe the fact.

    …the word “invasion” has no established definition in the context of Japan’s
    militarism and colonial rule over its neighbors in the last century….

    PM Shinzo Abe mentioned, “The word INVASION isn’t precisely defined under international laws”.

    It’s not a good idea to deteriorate the relationship between nations in many reasons. The Japanese are one of the nationalities comprehend what the meaning of peace indicates more than any others. Then, why do they dare to refer to the topic? Because neighboring nations, which are always PRC and North/South Korea only, intervene domestic affairs for damping spirits of the Japanese. Japanese statesmen just protect their basic rights to perform domestic events. PRC and North/South Korea have been trying to
    challenge international order. Japan patiently stands the situation. This is
    the exact situation in East Asia.