Sunday, January 31, 2010


Difference in perception of modern history a hurdle to Japanese-Chinese review panel

While a joint Japanese-Chinese panel comprised of academics released a report on the history of the two countries on Sunday, a section addressing the post-war period has not been disclosed due to strong objections from the Chinese members. This turn of events has exposed the limitations and complexities of a project meant to bridge the rift between Japan and China. Meanwhile, portions penned by Chinese academics have shown signs that Chinese academia is moving away from the interpretation of revolutionary history as dominated by the Chinese Communist Party, to a more positivist approach.

Release of the report came over a year later than the initial plan of 2008, which marked the 30-year anniversary of the peace and friendship treaty signed between Japan and China. "The delay was caused by a difference in perception of modern history," one Japanese panel member said. "The Chinese side feared addressing issues that could challenge the legitimacy of the party leadership, such as the Tiananmen incident."

Plans to release notes on the debates held throughout the writing of the report have also been shelved. Some observers see the repeated failures to reach an agreement as the result of pressure applied to panel members from the Chinese government, which considers historical research an important pillar of its "patriotic education."

Both sides agreed that they would undertake the second phase of the joint project, but it has yet to be seen how the Japanese and Chinese public will respond to the latest report. "Stable public sentiment on both sides is imperative to continuing this project," says a diplomat involved in Japan-China relations.

Popular Chinese sentiment toward Japan has improved since the 2005 anti-Japanese demonstrations, which was the catalyst behind the project. It is impossible, however, to include anything in the report that would suggest that China made concessions to Japan regarding the Nanjing Massacre, especially when surviving family members of those who were killed in the incident still live in China.

The section on the Nanjing Massacre includes not only the number of victims, but also a detailed description of the killing, rapes, and pillaging that took place. The extensive explanation of the massacre -- which is in stark contrast to the perfunctory depiction of Unit 731, which carried out germ warfare attacks -- is believed to have been written in response to the existence of Nanjing Massacre deniers in Japan.

Hints of Chinese historians' departure from the "Chinese Communist Party as revolutionary history" line are evident in the report's description of the relationship between the Communist Party and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the war against Japan. "There was friction between the two parties, but the more important objective of cooperation in the fight against Japan remained consistent."

In China, there has been a trend to re-evaluate the role of the KMT in the war against Japan as China's relations with Taiwan improve. The joint report, too, dedicates a significant number of words to the negotiations the KMT conducted with major powers on behalf of China and an elaboration on the global state of affairs at the time, and captures the Sino-Japanese War from a broader perspective.

In addition, the report refers to Japan's defeat in the war as "a turning point in history," and that Japan began taking "a step toward peace and development." Such an interpretation clashes with the view held by Chinese "patriots" comprised primarily of youth, who accuse Japan of increasing militarization.

There is a possibility that such historical interpretations will arouse great controversy, and it is likely to be some time before they are reflected in history textbooks and television dramas.

日中歴史共同研究:中国側に変化の兆し 世論への浸透未知数











2010.1.31 22:59


【日中歴史研究】南京事件の中国側論文(要旨) (1/2ページ)
2010.1.31 22:53


【日中歴史研究】私はこう読む 現代史家の秦郁彦氏 「日本弾劾色」に変化
2010.2.1 00:10





 日本側 抗日ゲリラ活動がなかなか下火にならず、関東軍が徹底的弾圧を加えた。満州国は通貨統一の強力な実現を図り、経済の近代化を促した。鉄道や道路を整備し、石炭、電力、鉄鋼などの生産が大きく伸びたが、住民の生活水準向上を目指すものではなかった。「民族協和」もスローガンに終始し、日本人と満州国人の格差が拡大した。

 中国側 (日本による)通貨改革は実質的には強行された金融略奪だった。日本は(日中戦争後に)満州に対する施政の重点を経済略奪の強化に変えた。満州国は鉱工業に対する統制を実行し、民族業者の参入を厳禁した。日本は太平洋戦争勃発(ぼっぱつ)後には東北地方の経済資源をほしいままに略奪した。


 日本側 中国に深い傷跡をのこしたが、原因の大半は日本側が作った。(発端となった)盧溝橋における最初の発砲事件は「偶発的」であった。しかし、この事件を好機とみなした関東軍などは蒋介石政権の打倒と華北占領という構想を実行していく。現地軍の行動を抑制できなかった理由の一つは陸軍内の「拡大派」と「不拡大派」の対立にあった。近衛内閣も行き詰まっていた中国政策打開の好機ととらえて容認し、現地解決の努力を押し流した。

 中国側 盧溝橋事件自体の発生は偶然性をもっているかもしれないが、事件はたちまちに日本の全面的な中国侵略戦争を引き起こした。歴史の推移からみれば、事件は必然性をも帯びている。日本には「拡大派」と「不拡大派」との論争があったが、内閣が「華北に対する派兵声明」を公布してから「不拡大派」の声は完全に「拡大派」の主張にかき消されてしまった。


 日本側 日本軍による捕虜、敗残兵、便衣兵(ゲリラ)、一部の市民に対する集団的、個別的な虐殺事件が発生し、強姦(ごうかん)、略奪や放火も頻発した。被害者数は日本側の研究では20万人を上限として、4万人、2万人など様々な推計がなされている。原因について、日本側に捕虜の取り扱いに関する指針や占領後の住民保護を含む軍政計画が欠けており、軍紀を取り締まる憲兵の数が少なかった点などが指摘されている。副次的要因としては、中国軍の南京防衛作戦の誤りと、それに伴う指揮統制の放棄・民衆保護対策の欠如があった。

 中国側 南京軍事裁判所は南京大虐殺で虐殺された人数は19万人以上にも上り、ほかにも散発的に虐殺された者が15万人以上おり、被害者総数は30万人余りと認定した。極東軍事裁判(東京裁判)の判決書によれば、占領後1か月で、南京城内では2万件近い強姦事件が発生した。日本軍は捕虜の数が多すぎて安全面を憂慮し、大量の中国軍人が捕虜になった後、集団的に虐殺された。民間人虐殺の暴行も猛威をふるった。(ある地域の)サンプリング調査によると民間人1000人あたり29人が死亡し、7世帯あたり1人が殺害されている。


 日本側 1938年の武漢・広東攻略戦を通じて毒ガスの効果が実証され、参謀本部は「特殊煙」(あか筒、あか弾、みどり筒)の使用を認めることを各軍に指示し、中国戦線での毒ガス使用が一般化したと言われる。

 中国側 関東軍731部隊と第100部隊は中国人を利用して人体実験を行い、生体解剖まで行った。関東軍はさらに、化学兵器の人体実験を行った。今日もなお東北地方の民衆は日本軍が遺棄した化学兵器の毒物の影響を受けている。1942年、日本軍部隊が金華一帯に出動して細菌を散布し、コレラの流行を引き起こした。


 日本側 国民政府軍の死者は約132万人、負傷者は180万にのぼる。中国共産党軍の死傷者=失踪(しっそう)者を含む=は58万人を超えると推定されている。

 中国側 完全な統計ではないが、戦争期間中に中国の軍人、人民3500万人余りが死亡、負傷した。


 日本側 日中全面戦争は、双方の軍人だけではなく、特に中国の非戦闘員に多くの犠牲を強いた。犠牲の多さや日本軍による様々な「非違行為」は、戦後の日中両国民に、新しい関係構築を妨げる深い傷跡をのこした。日本軍による戦争犯罪を問い、戦後補償を求める運動が世代を超えて展開され、日本政府を相手とした裁判が今日まで続いていることは、そのことを物語っている。

 中国側 中国人民は粘り強く抵抗した。抗日戦争における中国人民の偉大な勝利は、中華民族の同胞全体が団結して奮闘した結果で、反ファシズムの世界とともに努力して同盟国の人民と戦った成果だ。戦争は日本の転換点でもあった。日本のファシストが徹底的な敗北を喫し、日本人民も軍国主義を排除し、平和発展の新たな道を歩み出した。戦争終結は、日中両国に真に新たな平等関係を形成する可能性を与えた。

(2010年1月31日23時40分 読売新聞)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Korea's Historical Amnesia

The Korea Times

01-21-2010 18:33
Korea’s Historical Amnesia

Korea's Historical Amnesia
By Lee Cheun-heui

I couldn't help but laugh at the historical inaccuracies in the opinion piece ``Promoting Historical Amnesia" regarding the ongoing and futile effort of former so-called ``comfort women" to extract compensation from the Japanese government over their alleged ``hellish situation" during the Japanese army's colonization of Korea up until the end of World War II.

First, let me mention that my grandmother, who now lives in Japan, used to be a ``comfort woman," and she says the Japanese army never coerced anybody into having sex with the soldiers.

Sure, a few rogue soldiers did indeed rape some of the women of the territories it occupied, but my grandmother says the Japanese army never collectively forced women into performing sexual acts.

What the Japanese army did was negotiate a deal with the owners of local brothels to have them bring a group of girls to the army barracks to perform sexual favors for the soldiers who were either lonely or in need of a morale boost.

The women were paid handsomely, and my grandmother says that any woman who felt any kind of aversion to sleeping with a Japanese soldier was not required to participate in any sexual junket, though that meant they were forfeiting any opportunity to earn money from the Japanese army.

Now let's shift the focus to the issue of compensation. If you read the Basic Treaty signed by the Japanese and South Korean governments in 1965, you will notice that the Japanese government did indeed offer to provide compensation to individuals who had legitimate claims, but the South Korean government refused and instead requested that the Japanese government pay a lump sum to the Korean government to completely resolve the issue.

What did the South Korean government do with the money? Instead of giving it to the so-called ``victims" as they were supposed to, they used it to kick-start the ``Miracle on the Han River."

Legally speaking, based on the Treaty of 1965, anybody who feels they deserve compensation from the Japanese government for any wrongdoing committed by that government doesn't have a case because in the Treaty of 1965 the Korean government absolved the Japanese government from any further liability.

So if these comfort women who spend day after day protesting in front of the Japanese embassy really are serious about receiving ``compensation," legally it is the Korean government that needs to answer to their claims.

Here's another thing. Korea was not the only country that Japan occupied during the Second World War. China, and most of Southeast Asia, from the Philippines in the West to Burma (now Myanmar) in the East were also occupied and women from these nations also provided sexual favors to the Japanese soldiers but these ``comfort women" don't seem to have any problem with the Japanese government now.

Only the people of Korea seem to be unable to come to grips with the reality that there never really was a ``hellish situation" for these women. My grandmother, who made lots of money from her work as a prostitute servicing Japanese soldiers, and her friends (yes, they are Koreans, too) all say they never were forced and they were all paid very well.

Here in Korea it's more fashionable to blame things on the Japanese instead of the Park Chung-hee government, where the real blame lies. The Japanese government does not need to wait until all the comfort women are dead.

The treaty of 1965 is evidence enough of their compensation. I remind everybody who is still under the silly impression that Japan still owes favors to Korean victims, that in the treaty of 1965 the Japanese government did indeed offer to deal with each and every individual who claimed compensation was owed to them, but that the South Korean government declined the offer.

Don't believe me? Read the treaty for yourself; it's available for public scrutiny since it's now an official public record.

So I say to the editorial staff at The Korea Times, read the treaty, and after having read and understood it, please be kind enough to tell the readers exactly who it is that has this so-called ``historical amnesia."

The writer is a financial advisor in Yongsan, Seoul.