Regarding the Nov. 7 Kyodo article “Japan, China engage in war of words at ASEM summit“, and the continuing dispute over the abduction in the past of Japanese nationals by North Korea, there are the following points to consider:
First, it is clear that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda fears the influence of Japan’s rightwing nationalists more than he does the wrath of China and South Korea. Noda appears to live with the hope that if he keeps repeating the mantra “There is no territorial dispute”, 1.3 billion Chinese will somehow accept it and drop their claim to the Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu Islands in China).
I think that, as a means of atonement for the 15 million Chinese killed during the 1937-45 war in China and for the Rape of Nanking, Japan should give up the Senkakus to China or, at the very least, propose joint development of them. If a proper “apology” — for example, no more whitewashing of history or denials by political leaders — is too difficult, I’m sure this gift will suffice.
Second, with regard to the indignation over the 13 or so Japanese abducted by North Korea since the 1970s, Japan would first do well to remember the 200,000 or so “comfort women” who were forcibly recruited to serve Japan’s military during Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula.
I will finish with a line from the Bible that suits this situation: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
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.