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Abe’s extremism undermines Japan’s interests

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The corrosive impact of extremism is evident in the culture wars being waged in the U.S. and Japan. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have failed the test of leadership by failing to denounce extremists, whether they are white supremacists and neo-Nazis or Japan’s revisionists and Net-uyoku (cyber-thugs), who promote an exculpatory narrative of war memory.

Why hasn’t Abe sacked Finance Minister Taro Aso, who recently expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler’s intentions? Aso is a repeat offender, having previously praised the Nazis’ stealthy revision of the German constitution in the context of overcoming contemporary Japanese opposition to constitutional revision.

Chris Nelson, an associate of Sasakawa USA and editor of the Nelson Report, the influential daily communique on Asian affairs, recently wrote, ” If ‘Charlottesville’ explains anything to the international audience, it’s the capacity of large segments of white America to ignore what ‘history’ means to the folks who didn’t get statues.”

He adds: “‘Deniers’ are universal, especially if a cherished national myth is imperiled by the truth. Just look at the convoluted agony of conservative Japanese, Abe especially, who have yet to reconcile the vicious, racist, Imperial era with the personal valor and tragedies of the soldiers killed in battle and the civilians burned alive under WWII bombs …including U.S. nukes.”

This is the great difficulty that defeated nations grapple with — how to honor the soldiers caught up in a war instigated by the ruling elite while also honoring the victims of those same soldiers. They were decent young men conscripted into a reckless, doomed war of aggression, and their relatives seek solace in commemorating their sacrifice for a........

© The Japan Times