Taiwan Province’s Chen Shuibian continues to fan the flames of war with the People’s Republic of China while Japan’s Abe continues to dig himself deeper in the comfort women gaffe he made on the 1st of March.
First, in a pro-independence speech on Sunday, the head of Taiwan Province said the following:
Mr Chen, in a speech to a pro-independence group on Sunday, said: “Taiwan should be independent”.
“Taiwan is a country whose sovereignty lies outside the People’s Republic of China,” he added, referring to China by its formal name.
He spoke of a “four wants” policy – namely independence, a new constitution, further development and a change to the country’s officially designated name.
It looks like he replaced the old Four Noes and One Without (四不一沒有) with Four Wants which will surely lead to a speedy resolution to the Chinese Civil War and answer the question of Taiwan Independence. While Chen was head of Taiwan Province he made the following pledges as long as China did not engage in hostilities with the province:
In addition, the “One Without” was that Chen pledged not to abolish the National Unification Council or the National Unification Guidelines though during his administration the National Unification Council has not met once.
Well it looks like he broke his promises to ensure regional peace and stability by first cutting off the budget for the National Unification Council and then proposing the Four Wants that call for Taiwan Independence, a name change, a new Constitution, and “further development of Taiwan”. It’s interesting to note that his pro-Independence speech caused the Taiwan Provincial stock market to crash on Monday and also weakened the Taiwan NT against the US Dollar.
Just when we all thought things were settling down in the province that just recently had most of their politicians indicted for corruption, making random name changes to state-controlled firm that do nothing to increase their competitiveness, and spreading the hate on 228, we now get this nonsense. Well, history will later remember Chen Shuibian as one of the architects that brought about reunification with the People’s Republic of China and ended the Chinese Civil War by making the communists the ultimate victors.
Now, in light of last week’s comments by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, we finally are able to get a real explanation of the remarks he made on March 1st after much whining from nationalists and fanboys over mistranslations by the “racist mass media”.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday there is no need for Japan to make a fresh apology for forcing women from other parts of Asia into sexual servitude for the Japanese military during the war, even if the U.S. Congress passes a resolution calling on him to do so.
“We will not apologize because of a resolution,” Abe told the House of Councilors Budget Committee, referring to the draft resolution on the table at the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“The draft resolution is not based on objective facts nor does it reflect the Japanese government’s responses so far,” he said.
Abe reiterated he will stand by the government’s 1993 statement acknowledging and apologizing for the forced recruitment of what Japan euphemistically referred to as “comfort women” in Japanese-occupied territories, including the Korean Peninsula and China. He was responding to a question from a Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker.
So there you have it, Abe was not really denying the existence of comfort women, but merely has issues with the wording of the 1993 Kono Statement that concluded Japan was responsible for wartime sexual exploitation. He was also upset over the non-binding United States Congressional Resolution, which recognised Japanese exploitation of comfort women in WW2. It’s strange that he professes to recognise a government statement that acknowledged the IJA was responsible for enslaving women and putting them in a coercive environment, but Abe still disputes this and the US resolution over the lack of proof or facts.
It’s also nice to know that Abe will not bother to make any forms of apologies over his remarks. Good for you Shinzo-Kun! After all, apologies made by Japanese officials are meaningless if they are not backed by strong decisive actions like what their German counterparts did to restore regional ties in the postwar era.
Like my parents said, “Apologise only when you recognise you were wrong and when you mean it. Making insincere apologies is even worse than making the mistake.” Well done Abe, you finally figured out why apologies didn’t work for your predecessors. Japanese fanboys love citing this list of apologies from Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan – but do they ever wonder why Japanese politicians have to keep making them unlike the Germans?
There are still prominent LDP politicians that continue to either justify wartime transgressions or deny them contrary to the official statements issued by their party heads and top politicians. These inconsistent remarks not only display a lack of party discipline but make it appear that the government is also inconsistent and that the official line is inconsistent with the true views of its citizens.
There are still elements of the government which still adhere to the old wartime attitudes. Although many LDP politicians are elected by their constituents for their support in local agricultural subsidies, regional job-creation programmes, they often use their positions to push through nationalist policies that are not truly the wishes of their voters who wanted jobs, subsidies or even reform. So, you have the current government pushing for patriotism to be taught in school when the lack of jobs for graduates is an issue, the creation of a Defence Ministry instead of working to promote fiscal reform within the government, and finally making remarks to harm regional ties when business interests are in need of improved ties to boost the economy. Then you have crazy government bureaucracies approving revisionist textbooks for public consumption although many school administrators are sane enough to accept established textbooks unlike their government.
The key problem lies with government officials making public apologies only later to have successor governments either go back on the positions in the earlier administrations. Koizumi has stated dozens of apologies over Japan’s wartime atrocities and a few months later he goes on official visits to the WW2 exhibit in the Yasukuni Shrine, making his statements appear to be lip service and insincere. You have the postwar Japanese Emperors publicly stating how the actions of his top government officials are harming regional ties and Japan’s reputation and both Showa and Akihito’s opinions are conveniently ignored by the governments that claim to respect them. Recently, Abe had hoped to water-down the 1993 Kono Statement by publicly discussing his views of comfort women in WW2, but seemed to have backfired on him.
The government also tries to protest or deny wartime atrocities when they are recognised by other states or individuals. Abe was partly motivated to make last week’s remarks in response to the US resolution on the subject while Japanese politicians were able to stop a Manga publisher from printing anymore stories about the Rape of Nanjing that was drawn by a brave Manga-ka a few years earlier. Some Japanese nationalists and politicians try to justify these actions in the name of free speech and keep pointing out that China promotes racism against Japanese. Then again, we can expect less from China as a nondemocracy and we can also be equally disgusted with Japan since it condones such nonsense to enter popular culture and it’s not exactly free speech because they use harassment and pressure to silence their critics.
With that said, let all work to keep Japan and Taiwan Province from lighting the powerkeg in East Asia.