By Chen Yang
December 7 marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in the US. According to Japanese media reports, 99 members of the Japanese House of Representatives including nine deputy ministerial-level government officials paid a collective visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on December 7. This move not only reflects that Japan still lacks serious reflection on the history of aggression, but also reflects that the US's long-term acquiescence and connivance have made the Japanese right-wing forces more eager to make trouble and unscrupulous.
The date of December 7th has a special meaning for both Japan and the US. For Japan, the Pearl Harbor incident accelerated the demise of Japanese militarism. For the US, the Pearl Harbor incident was one of the few domestic attacks since the founding of the country, which had left an unforgettable memory for the US.
Paying homage to the Yasukuni Shrine on the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor incident by Japanese politicians highlights the extreme arrogance of right-wing forces. Such an arrogant act not only reflects the evocation of militarism by the Japanese right-wing forces, denial and beautification of previous wars of aggression, it also reflects Japan's outright provocation against the US——the worship of Japanese World War II war criminals including those who died in the Pearl Harbor attack on the US "national shame day".
Japan has failed to reflect on history since its defeat. In the past few decades, Japan never sincerely apologized to its Asian neighbors, including China, that have suffered its aggression. On the contrary, some Japanese politicians have made absurd words and deeds to deny the war of aggression and the objective history from time to time. Recently, Japanese politicians such as Shinzo Abe have repeatedly clamored about the "China threat theory" and "Taiwan emergency is Japanese emergency". This has undoubtedly created an "activity space" for Japanese right-wing forces.
Behind this is the long-term acquiescence of the US. After Japan was defeated and surrendered in 1945, the General Headquarters (GHQ) Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers led by the US began to reform Japan based on democracy and the rule of law. However, the reform was not complete. The emperor system was retained. In addition, many Japanese war criminals of World War II did not receive the punishment they deserved. Instead, they re-entered politics and even became prime ministers (such as Shinzo Abe's grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi). All these laid the groundwork for the ghost of militarism that still lingers on to this day.
At the same time, the US has wooed Japan to provoke conflicts and confrontations in the Asia-Pacific region in the name of the so-called alliance in recent years, which has also virtually contributed to the arrogance of the Japanese right-wing forces. From the Obama administration's Asia-Pacific rebalance strategy to the current Biden administration's "free and open Indo-Pacific", the US has often acquiesced in historical issues in exchange for Japan's active cooperation with its own strategy in order to realize its strategic vision based on the Cold War mentality and ideological bias. This has allowed the Japanese right-wing forces to feel encouraged. Coupled with the US acquiescence to Japanese politicians' past visiting of the Yasukuni Shrine, Japanese politicians finally made reckless provocations on the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The reason why Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan on December 7, 80 years ago was the result of the US tolerance of Japanese militarist fascism to some extent. And 80 years later, Japanese political leaders chose to worship the war criminals on a sensitive day is undoubtedly related to the current connivance of the Japanese right-wing forces by the US. Perhaps the US will shoot itself in the foot. After all, the Pearl Harbor incident is a typical example.
Disclaimer: This article is originally published on the haiwainet.cn, and is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.