Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 August 19 - 25  > Yamashita pushes PM Abe to admit to Japan’s aggression & colonial rule during WWII
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2015 August 19 - 25 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Yamashita pushes PM Abe to admit to Japan’s aggression & colonial rule during WWII

August 25, 2015

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki grilled Prime Minister Abe Shinzo during a Diet discussion on August 24 regarding the prime minister’s statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Abe obstinately refused to admit to the fact that Japan waged a war of aggression and colonized other Asian nations.

In the Upper House Budget Committee session, Yamashita pointed out that although the Abe Statement contains the words “aggression” and “colonial rule”, it is unclear who committed such acts. He asked Abe if the prime minister acknowledges that Japan imposed colonial rule on other Asian countries during the war.

Abe avoided giving a direct answer and cited a report issued by an advisory panel to the prime minister, which states that Japan colonized Taiwan and Korea in the past.

Lawmakers from other opposition parties jeered Abe, “Don’t escape!” “What is your own recognition of this issue?”

Yamashita went on to criticize the statement for claiming that “the Japan-Russia War gave encouragement to many people under colonial rule from Asia to Africa.”

In February 1904, shortly after the Russo-Japanese War broke out, the Imperial Japanese Army occupied the Korean capital of Seoul and forced the country to support Japan in the war. In November 1905, following Japan’s “victory” over Russia, Tokyo coerced Seoul into signing the Japan-Korea Convention to usurp the nation’s diplomatic rights. Japan annexed Korea in 1910, suppressing fierce protest actions taken by many Koreans.

Yamashita referred to the fact that officers of the Japanese military assassinated Korean Queen Min in 1895 who they regarded as closer to Russia, and that in 1905 then Resident-General of Korea Ito Hirobumi entered the royal palace in Seoul with Japanese soldiers and forced the emperor to sign the unequal convention. He argued that Japan clashed with Russia in the process of its colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

PM Abe said in response, “I want to refrain from talking about those historical issues.”

Yamashita went on to stress, “We should remember that with colonial rule, Japan deprived the Korean people of their homeland, their language, and even their own names.”

The JCP parliamentarian also pointed out that following the annexation of Korea, Japan launched an invasion of other counties in the Asia-Pacific region, including China. Yamashita again questioned Abe whether he acknowledges that Japan’s war was a war of aggression.

The prime minister replied, “I’ll leave it to historians to discuss what kind of acts is deemed to be acts of ‘aggression’.”

Yamashita noted that former Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi’s statement in 1995 and the Japan-China Joint Declaration in 1998 clearly express deep remorse for Japan’s aggression against other countries in Asia. He emphasized that Abe’s stance is tantamount to abandoning these official statements and may lead to isolating Japan from the rest of Asia and the world.

Past related article:
> Shii: Abe Statement marking 70 years of WWII end is deceitful [August 15, 2015]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved