Thursday 25 April 2013

Working in Montréal today --Sino-Japanese tensions?

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

This is number two in a two part series of cynicism in politics.

Let there be no mistake.  Japan invaded Korea.  Not just once or twice, but since the 16th century it was a bit of a pastime.  Korea was a battle ground between the Chinese and Japanese forces in Feudal times, and served as a source of labour and 'comfort women'.  By the end of the 19th century Japan had tried to rub Korean culture off the map by requiring Koreans to take on Japanese names, cultural rituals and banning the Korean language from being spoken.

And Japan certainly invaded and occupied Korea during the Second World War.  It is the reason why there is a North and South Korea today, when Japan surrendered in 1945 it ceded control of Korea north of the 38th parallel to Russia while Allied forces remained in Korea south of the 38th.

Japan also invaded and occupied China during WWII as part of the Japanese Imperialist plans to dominate the Far East.  That was the second Sino-Japanese war, the first being at the end of the 19th century.  In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria after a false flag attack known as the Mukden Incident and over the next few years worked its way through China and occupied the Chinese capital Nanking in 1937.

Yes, but Uncle Daniel why are you telling us this?

Because in a remarkable bit of revisionist history story telling, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has suggested that it didn't really occur, at least not as an aggressive action --say whaaaa?

"What constitutes aggression has yet to be established in academia or in the international community...  things that happen between nations will look differently depending on what side you view them from."  Seems Abe is trying to distance his gov't from an apology made by 1995 Japanese PM Tomiichi Murayama to Korea and China for "colonial rule and aggression".

Or perhaps Abe would like us to believe the 20 million Chinese that were killed during Japan's brutal WWII occupation were not killed in aggression but as peaceful protest?

This stance by Abe is likely adding fuel to the dispute between China and Japan over Senkaku (J) Diaoyu (C) islands in the East China Sea which China has long historical claim to and which has sent 8 ships to on Tuesday to backup it's claim, Abe has stated that Japan will retaliate with force if China lands any personnel on the islands.

What I don't know is if Japan is precluded from retaliating by its post WWII constitution which prohibits acts of war and .. aggression.  Ah!  Abe sees a redefinition of 'aggression' as a quick way to sidestep Japanese law.  Beware of hawks on all continents.

See previous missive on cynicism and politics.

Have a good day --keep and eye on the east.