The Aug. 15 editorial “Dangerous revisionist sentiment” shows excellent thinking. Yes, we should learn from history so we do not repeat it. And, maybe, just maybe, former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami is saying the same thing (when he calls upon Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons to avoid a third nuclear attack).
As we examine Japan’s behavior that led to the Pacific War, we should also analyze the behavior of the status quo “powers” of the day: their wars for hegemony, their colonialist practices, and their treatment of the “natives” in India, China, Indochina, the Philippines, Hawaii, the rest of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Those powers wanted Japan to modernize and learn “civilized” ways. Japan not only learned them but improved on them! Maybe it’s time to re-examine our notions of who did what to whom and why and, in the Christian spirit, stop concentrating on someone else’s “mote in the eye.”
Tamogami’s “revisionism” may just be part of our need to review and reflect on current historical assumptions.