Monday, March 23, 2015

Very Kind Of Him #53 - The 70th Anniversaries

In a video talk from two weeks ago, Timothy Langley and I visit the various low points for the human species in this year's commemorative calendar, at least until September rolls around:

Link: Tokyo on Fire!: Episode 6 - Pacific War Anniversary

For the record the Abe Cabinet on Friday declared in a Cabinet Decision (kakugi kettei) responding to a question from Party of Future Generations member Wada Masamune that the words "invasion" (shinryaku) and "colonial domination" (shokuminchi shihai) found in the Murayama Statement are "difficult" to define -- and that the Cabinet will not try to do so. (Link - J)

Yes, a Cabinet Decision of "Sorry, we can't help you. Yes, it is a government statement. No, we do not know what it means."

To put a positive gloss on this Cabinet Decision, should Abe break down, listen to advisors like Kitaoka Shin'ichi (Link) and put those words in the 70th anniversary Abe Statement (Abe danwa) he will not have to defend a particular meaning for them. So the contested terms can be there -- pleasing the governments of China, South Korea and the U.S. -- without Abe having to explain them to anyone -- mollifying his movement's core supporters.

Of course, the lack of a willingness to explain the Murayama Statement -- which the Abe government has been saying it classes it alongside other apologetic postwar statements, accepting them all "as a body" (zentai to shite) -- can only be defended as pure opportunism. In terms of condemnation, the avenues of attack (ex: simple logic - how can can a government accept concepts it cannot define?) seem endless.

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