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The story of “Chushingura,” based on the real-life Ako Incident, is instructive. In both the actual and fictionalized versions, 47 samurai became heroes for murdering the man who had ordered their lord to commit seppuku two years earlier (in 1701) for attacking the man in the shogun’s palace.

I think the Japanese government is also taking a self-destructive path by adamantly sticking to its positions without considering how offensive they might be to foreign governments. Tokyo needs to realize that Japan belongs to a wider group: the international community.

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