Washington Post Editorial: Shinzo Abe’s Inability to Face History

tags: World War II, Japan, Washington Post, Shinzo Abe



FROM THE MOMENT last fall when Shinzo Abe reclaimed the office of Japanese prime minister that he had bungled away five years earlier, one question has stood out: Would he restrain his nationalist impulses — and especially his historical revisionism — to make progress for Japan?

Until this week, the answer to that question was looking positive. Mr. Abe has taken brave steps toward reforming Japan’s moribund economy. He defied powerful interest groups within his party, such as rice farmers, to join free-trade talks with the United States and other Pacific nations that have the potential to spur growth in Japan. He spoke in measured terms of his justifiable desire to increase defense spending.

This week he seemed willing to put all the progress at risk. Asked in parliament whether he would reconsider an official apology that Japan issued in 1995 for its colonization of Korea in the past century, Mr. Abe replied: “The definition of what constitutes aggression has yet to be established in academia or in the international community. Things that happened between nations will look differently depending on which side you view them from.”...




comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list