On April 20, 2014, the birthday of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), about 50 Japanese fanatics gathered at Ikebukuro central park, where Tojō Hideki and his associates were imprisoned and executed. To commemorate Hitler’s birthday, they sang a traditional Japanese “war” song, holding the banners that read, “to carry out the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” as well as, the Nazi flag. They also chanted anti-Korean and Chinese slogans (Takungpao, April 21, 2014). Among them, fanatics range from 20 to 70-years old, participated in the 40-minutes parade. The extreme right-wing fanatics shouted “re-examine Kōno Statement!” and “rehabilitate Nazi Germany!”(Xinhua.JP., April 22, 2014). Seto Hiroyuki, the vice chair of the Japanese right-wing group “Ishinseitō-Shinbū” [Restoration Political Party-New Wind] states, “What is the problem with beautifying Hitler? Does anyone still believe that the massacre of Jews happened? Just like the Rape of Nanjing and comfort women, these issues are fabricated (Chosun ILbo, April 21, 2014).” While they marched in center of Tokyo, the police protected their activities. Why this is happening in Japan? This is the result of mistakes made by the United States after the war. Unlike Germany, at the beginning of the cold war, the United States let numerous Japanese right-wing and nationalists free without punishment. Many issues relating to the World War Two, such as Unit 731, comfort women, and the “Rape of Nanjing,” have never been accounted for and addressed inside Japan because the United States has turned a “blind eye” on these issues. Even Washington has allowed a class-A criminal to become prime minister of Japan.
Sources: Chosun ILbo, April 21, 2014
On April 23, 2014, President Barack Obama granted his exclusive interview with the Japanese conservative newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun before landing in Tokyo. “I’ve also told President Xi that all our nations have an interest in dealing constructively with maritime issues, including in the East China Sea. Disputes need to be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, not intimidation and coercion. The policy of the United States is clear – Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan and therefore all within the scope of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands (Yomimuri Shimbun, April 23, 2014).” This is the first time a President of the United States publicly stated that the Diaoyu Islands will be protected by the Article 5 of the Japanese-U.S. security pact. This is not surprising; nothing is new here because many other officials, including Richard Armitage, Hillary Clinton, and Chuck Hagel and others have mentioned it before. In the same interview, Obama also states, “I commend Prime Minister Abe for his efforts to strengthen Japan’s defense forces and to deepen the coordination between our militaries, including by reviewing existing limits on the exercise of collective self-defense.... In fact, Japan’s efforts are a model of the transparency and dialogue with neighbors that we need more of in the region.” By using the Diaoyu Islands to garner Abe’s “favor,” Obama uses the islands as a “carrot” to gain further control over Japan. Time will tell when and to what extent Japanese fanatics will gain power in Japanese politics. Will it be to pre-war levels? If that happens, what will the U.S. do?