The Koreans seem to mind a lot…
Also, at the London Olympics last year, the Japanese gymnastic teams also wore uniforms splash-designed with the WWII naval flag. It’s bizarre.
Nazis of the Orient?
Put real teeth back to ‘Kim Young-ran Law’
Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso of Japan is no stranger to making ludicrous statements. But none is more stunning than his remark Monday ― which called for “learning from Nazis” in order to revise Japan’s constitution ― causing many Koreans to shake their heads about the mental state of this Japanese politician.
One even hopes that the quotes were somehow taken out of context. How can a leader in his right mind publicly propose to benchmark the German totalitarian state of the 1930s and ’40s, a huge historical stain not just for the European country but for the whole world, in the 21st century?
Aso was referring to the fact that Adolf Hitler and his party turned Germany’s exemplary democratic constitution of the Weimar Republic into a fascist system unawares to most people.
Was he revealing his unconscious wishes to turn a democratic Japan into the fascist version of about 80 years ago? We hope not.
Aso’s remark came after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party won the parliamentary election in a landslide, indicating that there is little organized political opposition to the LDP’s long-held dream of revising the constitution to make Japan a “normal” country, meaning one capable of engaging in war. This in turn points to the need for the international community to remain vigilant against Tokyo’s each and every move.
The deputy premier and his LDP faction might not be alone. Some Japanese soccer fans have long displayed their “Rising Sun Flag,” the symbol of Japanese militarism in the first half of the 20th century, during matches played by their national squad, both at home and abroad. But they should not have done that at least in East Asia, especially in Korea and China, which bore the brunt of Japan’s brutal colonial rule and invasion nearly a century ago.
It was of course not wise for Korea’s “Red Devils” to respond in kind by hanging out banners stating, “there’s no future for people who have forgotten their past,” as sport should not be contaminated by politics. But would Britons and French people tolerate it if German fans wave the Swastika during football matches in London or Paris? The Japanese fans should be thankful that there are no soccer hooligans in Korea.
Even more laughable was Japan’s education minister, who attributed it to the “low level” of Korean people. But Koreans don’t exacerbate the historical wounds of foreigners by blatantly inflaming their hostility. These kinds of “high-state” acts belong exclusively to those Japanese people who don’t seem to mind being referred to as the “Nazis of the Orient.”
The latest episode is a reminder that Korea has a unique neighbor. And of the need to remain alert.