JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Monday’s passing of the U.S. Congressional resolution calling for Japan to publicly recognize its history of wartime sexual slavery “was regrettable.” (IHT)
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Presidential Office praised the act:
The resolution is expected to offer a chance for the Japanese government to change its attitude toward history, said Presidential Office Spokesman Cheon Ho-seon at a briefing.
“The Japanese government must be well aware that the best way to reach a reconciliation is through an honest review of history. We can be very good neighbors,” Cheon said, adding “we expect a changed attitude on the part of the Japanese government.” (People’s Daily)
It seems terribly ironic that Abe chose to use the word “regrettable” only to further deny Japan’s dark wartime past (a better use for the word might have been “Japan’s wartime history of sexual slavery was regrettable“). Abe should understand that acknowledging historical fact is absolutely essential for the well-being of the international community, for those who have been victimized, and for the education of future generations.
He must also understand that this resolution doesn’t signal a personal attack; no one is asking him to personally own up or accept blame for his nation’s past, but simply to afford people the truth. Indeed, the personal attacks are mainly coming from inside his own country, from the majority of citizens who want him out of office over the recent pension system scandal.
The truly “regrettable” thing here is Abe’s disconnect with reality. The world knows what happened, his own people are tired of him, and it appears it’s time for a change. Get with the times, Abe, or get out of office.