Lessons of history continue to live in 21st century--Akahata editorial (excerpts) on 56th anniversary of the War's end, August 15, 2001

Japan on August 15 marked the 56th anniversary of the end of the Second World War as the Koizumi Cabinet declares its position in favor of Japan's past war of aggression through the prime minister's Yasukuni Shrine visit and the government approval of a history textbook which glorifies the war of aggression.

Japan surrendered to the Allies and accepted the Potsdam Declaration, which stated: "There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest." Signing the Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, which accepted the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Tribunal), Japan was accepted as a member of the international community.

This is one of the principles governing the postwar international order established by the United Nations Charter.

How abnormal it is for the government to argue that the 'war was a just war' 56 years after the war's end.

Based on reflections on the war of aggression, Japan's Constitution states, "Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes; war potential, will never be maintained."

Prime Minister Koizumi has made no reflections on the war of aggression, and is instead advocating a constitutional revision by regarding its Article 9 as an obstacle. What he aims at completely rejects the lessons of the war of aggression. (end)