Thursday, April 26, 2007

Into the Teeth of the Wind

If Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was thinking he was going to inobtrusively slip into Washington; talk about Japan's potential value to U.S. global security strategy; do the photo op thing at secure locations; boogie on up to Camp David for some George W. face time (can one think of any other pairing of G8 leaders whose life stories and ideological leanings are as much in alignment?); get on the plane at Dulles; wave once and git outta town...well...that just got a whole lot harder.

The truth about Japan's 'comfort women'
The Washington Times

By Henry Hyde and Chris Smith - April 26, 2007 - Recent denials by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that women in Asia were coerced into sexual slavery by Imperial Japan during the war years perpetuate pain and sorrow among victims and their loved ones. As Mr. Abe represents the Japanese people to the world, his views also damage foreign perceptions of the great strides many Japanese have made as peaceful, responsible world citizens since 1946. As friends of Japan, we urge the Japanese people to courageously acknowledge and redress the wrongs perpetrated by Imperial Japan.


Victims of Imperial Japanese brutality throughout East Asia and the Pacific and their families want Japan to frankly acknowledge what it has done. A responsible demonstration of humanity from Japan's social and political leaders will promote general healing and trust in the region, while as Mr. Abe surely knows, official denials from Japan's leaders keep these issues alive and alarm its neighbors.

Facing history squarely is the first duty of leaders anywhere. In the United States today, for instance, political and social leaders courageously acknowledge a shameful history of slavery and racial discrimination. What makes their efforts courageous is that they challenge long-held myths that were used to justify outrageous behavior that weakened our society. Correcting long-standing myths is hard. Efforts to redress them may not initially succeed, but ultimately they strengthen society and make the country more admirable...

When the Republican former chairmain of the House International Relations Committee publishes an op-ed in the house organ of the Neo-Con Right making you an offer you cannot had better not refuse.

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