Articles

NY Times OP-ED: “Shinzo Abe and Japan’s History
April 20, 2015

The editorial board of the NY Times writes that “the success of [Prime Minister Abe’s] visit also depends on whether and how honestly Mr. Abe confronts Japan’s wartime history, including its decision to wage war, its brutal occupation of China and Korea, its atrocities and its enslavement of thousands of women forced to work as sex slaves or ‘comfort women’ in wartime brothels.” Citing his nationalist views and political pressure as the source of his historical revisionism efforts, NY Times urges Mr. Abe to make right choices to “set a tone that can strengthen stability in Asia, rather than weakening it.”

Foreign Policy: “The Reactionary Visionary
December 12, 2014

Foreign Policy offers a thorough examination into one of Mr. Abe’s motivation to revise Japan’s history: Article IX of the Japanese constitution. Article IX was adopted in the aftermath of WWII, and to prevent Japan to wage a war in the future, it “forever renounce[s] war as a soverign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes,” according to another FP article. Further, the article explains Mr. Abe’s vision for a “strong” Japan. In realizing that vision, Mr. Abe and his fellow conservatives “feel that Japan cannot be strong if its citizens are not proud of their country and its history. Therefore, they have sought to downplay or revise the history surrounding the military’s use of ‘comfort women,’ and atrocities committed in China and other occupied territories in the 1930s and 1940s.” More importantly, the article notes that the Abe administration’s views are not necessarily endorsed by the majority of Japanese people.

The Economist: “Abe’s Demons
December 6, 2014

The Economists explains the Abe administration’s pressure on the liberal media in Japan to “revise” and “whitewash” Japan’s history. The article also draws on Mr. Abe’s determination to deny certain the war crimes of the Imperial Japanese forces during WWII, despite the disagreement from historians and other critics.

Michael Turtle: “Yasukuni Shrine and Yushukan Museum
April, 2013

Australian journalist Michael Turtle describes the blatant historic revisionism he witnessed during his visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and Yushukan Museum in Tokyo. Comparing Yushukan Museum’s presentation of World War II memorabilia to the brainwashing propaganda spread in North Korea, Turtle writes that “while most of the world sees the Imperial Japanese as merciless invaders during the period of World War II, the country’s largest war museum…paint[s] a very different picture…It’s no wonder so much controversy surrounds this site.”

The Hill: “Time for Japan to Apologize
March 10, 2015

Former Delegate Eni Faleomavaega urges the government of Japan to honor H.Res. 121 of 2007 and “’formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historic responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner’ for the historic human rights violations committed against the Comfort Women,” as we soon commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

National Interest: “U.S. Should Be Appalled by Japan’s Historical Revisionism
March 9, 2015

A thorough warning for the U.S. written by Dennis P. Halpin, former advisor on Asian issues to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and currently a visiting scholar at the US-Korea Institute at SAIS of Johns Hopkins University.  He advises, “remaining silent in the face of Japanese denials of Comfort Women or the Nanking Massacre could ultimately undermine the whole rationale for the post-war international system,” and further disgrace our POWs and veterans.

American Historical Association: “Standing with Historians of Japan
March, 2015

19 Historians from several renowned American universities sent an open letter to the editor of Perspectives on History, a monthly journal of American Historical Association. They stand together to defend accuracy and integrity in publishing historical research and against the Abe administration’s pressure to alter historical contents for political purposes.

Japan Times: “Stance on ‘comfort women’ undermines fight to end wartime sexual violence
March 4, 2015

Citing recently discovered evidence of Imperial Japanese forces’ sexual violence that adds 2 French teenagers as its long list of victims, the Japan Times urges the government of Japan to face up to its past wrongdoings, if it wishes to join and lead the international efforts to end sexual violence during war times.

BBC: “Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito Urges ‘Correct’ War History
February 23, 2015

In light of his 55th birthday and 70th anniversary of World War II, Japan’s Crown Prince calls for “humbly looking back on the past and correctly passing on the tragic experiences and history Japan pursued.” 

NY Times: “The Comfort Women and Japan’s War on Truth
November 14, 2014

In an op-ed to the New York Times, Mindy Kotler, director of Asia Policy Point, urges the United States to speak out against the Abe administration’s revisionism and denials of history. Her article calls on the Abe administration’s focused effort on denying the history of “comfort women,” the 200,000 girls and women systematically abducted and forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese forces.

Al Jazeera: “Who is East Asia’s Voldemort?
March 26, 2014

In an op-ed to Al Jazeera, Professor Phillip Lipscy of Stanford University challenges the Abe administration’s ambition to reinvigorate Japan by revising history. Mr. Abe and his colleagues’ “misguided” efforts, he writes, antagonize Japan’s neighbors.