Friday, July 06, 2007

Japan-as-victim mantra!!

This Japan-as-victim mantra is so often repeatedTPR

via Debito

I am getting sick and tired of this kind of stereotypical characterization.
Sure I myself did admit on another post that Japanese tends to emphasize the victim aspect. I myself claimed that the opposing party was exploiting Kyuma's statement.
But do these people know hundreds of Japanese books by Japanese that accuse Japan's invasion of Asia?

To the same degree, by the same token, the U.S.-as-innocent mantra is so often repeated, but is that it?

Do these people read at least several books on Atomic bombs?---I doubt it.

Kyuma's statement was generally in line with historians.
Let's take a look at, for instance, "The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb"
Historian Alperovitz argues that America's use of the atomic bomb on Japan was motivated by politics rather than by military necessity.

(From Publishers Weekly)
It is in line with Kyuma's statement.
But let's take a look at the reviews.
If you are a person that believes that the bomb saved "500,000 to a million American casualties and ended the war" and are willing to learn that this may not be true, read this book. Be warned though, it is very unsettling when one has believed this all ones life. I know I have been somewhat shocked.

Because Japan by July 1945-as expert opinion shows-was defeated.American land ,naval forces few hundred miles away from home islands.Situation was desperate; Tokyo initiated diplomatic moves to end the war.With Emperor's blessings Foreign minister Shigemitsu Togo tried to find out through Japan's ambassador in Moscow whether Russia was willing to help Japan bring about peace.Thanks to intelligence derived from Purple decrypts Americans knew japan's plight.However they were few stumbling blocks.One was Tokyo's desire to preserve Emperor.

If President Truman had clarified the proposition that unconditional surrender he meant Japanese military and not Japanese royalty Tokyo would have capitulated.Such course of action apart from ensuring Japan's surrender would have stopped Soviet entry into Far Eastern war on its tracks.This makes ridiculous official claim that nuclear bombing was essential to hasten Japan's surrender.

Paradoxically [after nuclear bombing ]US allowed Japan to retain their emperor.If only President Truman guaranteed the safety of the Emperor while issuing Potsdam declaration this terrible human tragedy could have been averted.Unfortunately coming under the baneful influence of his Secretary of state Byrnes he botched it.
Concomitantly it also implies despite nuclear bombing Tokyo would have continued to resist to the bitter end if Americans were to dissolve the Imperial House.So the theory that atomic bombing precipitated japan's surrender is a myth.Rather it had more to do with American tussle with Soviet Union for the control of postwar Eastern Europe.By bombing Japan US wanted to send Moscow a strong lesson.

This is in line with the author's view, and it is consistent with Kyuma's veiw.

Probably for them, the reviewers said , to borrow the phrase, "something reasonable, if disagreeable. It could have been insensitive, though. More important, it violated" the U.S-as-innocent image----Is that it?

The opposing party has exploited Kyuma statmet in one direction, and these bloggers have exploited his statement in another direction.

Most of people who work for "no more Hiroshima" is not accusing the U.S. not playing the victim card but working for anti-war, anti-nuclear weapon.
I disagree with them because they tend to think they can get peace by Japan completely demilitarizing. But I know they are not playing victims, they were victims
of the war. Some might be accusing Japan, others might be accusing the U.S. But on the whole, they are accusing the absurdity of the war, stupidity of human beings. (incidentally that makes contrast with Chinese and Korean nationalistic attitude toward the War and the colonization---I think. )They want to show what it is like to get nuked for the future generation. They are not trying to violate "the US as innocent " image.

There are Japanese people who try to give the impression that for instance, there was no Nanjing massacre.
Ironically, some bloggers look just like them.

Note in passing that the authors and the reviewers of the book are (probably) Americans. That means there are many self-critical Americans.

Sure, there is a controversy on, for instance, what really ended the war, but it is rare there is no controversy over historical events.
When Japan counters, for instance, on the issue of comfort women, she is a denier, when the U.S. counters, she is faithful to history---is that it?
I can not help but feel an insensitive attitude, if not a colonial attitude, in those who are uncritically just repeating this Japan-is-whitewashing-mantra .

In this regard, I think Anpontan's
post is much more nuanced, balanced, and sophisticated.
Anpontan has wrtiten another excellent article.

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