But his vision of a new Japan has already produced a backlash among Japanese who believe he has destroyed, along with the bad, much that was good of the old Japan.
Yet, while his policies were often unpopular, he has consistently drawn high approval ratings from voters hungry for charismatic, strong leadership. Even as Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and other politicians have suffered for their endorsement of the war in Iraq, Mr. Koizumi — who to this day has expressed only the staunchest support for the war — has remained unscathed....
Under Mr. Koizumi, nationalist politicians and scholars who would like to whitewash Japan’s militarist past have found fertile soil and moved into the mainstream. Government-sanctioned school textbooks increasingly omit facts from Japan’s wartime history, like the use of slave labor and “comfort women” during the years it occupied Korea and Manchuria, or the massacre of 100,000 to 300,000 Chinese in Nanjing.
Japan’s troubles with its neighbors, especially China, eventually grew so severe that policy makers and scholars in Washington in the past year began expressing worries that Mr. Koizumi’s policy was hurting Japanese — and American — interests in Asia. But Mr. Koizumi’s open appeals to nationalist symbols like Yasukuni won him and his party votes, a lesson that was absorbed by his likely successor, Shinzo Abe, the chief cabinet secretary.
comments powered by Disqus
- Could another English king be buried under a parking lot?
- Huckabee says archaeology supports the Bible
- George W. Bush's CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public
- Unfinished film about the Holocaust made in 1945 to finally be seen by audiences
- Two-Thirds of European Men Descend From Three People
- Daniel Pipes calls the rulers of Iran "madmen" on official Iranian TV
- A Professor Tries to Beat Back a News Spoof That Won’t Go Away
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Sean Wilentz is being called “Hillary’s Historian"
- Hundreds of British historians challenge assumptions of “Historians for Britain” campaign