2 leaders ignore neighbors, try to get free from Peace ConstitutionBy Kim Tae-gyuCan the world trust Japan?Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shown respect for dead war criminals, while Taro Aso, deputy prime minister and No. 2 in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, talked about imitating Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party to usurp power and for Japan to project itself globally.Apparently stuck in the past, Japan has been foundering, a fact that Abe and Aso are exploiting to maintain their hold on power, and in the process take Japan on a nostalgic trip back to the days of Hideki Tojo, Japan's prime minister during World War II.Korea, China and other nations resent this. And the rest of the world is worried about the emergence of an assertive Japan. "Aso's speech prompts big worries at a time when he is vying to revise the country's post-war Constitution," said Prof. Shin Yul of Myongji University."We must suspect that Aso's words were not a slip of tongue, but an inadvertent disclosure of what is deep inside his mind," Shin said. "Japan often followed the lead of its Axis partner, Germany, while pursuing its path to modernization."Aso called for a revision of the "Peace Constitution" imposed on it after it was defeated in World War II. He also mentioned the route the Nazis took during their rise to power by freeing themselves from the rules imposed on them after Germany was defeated in World War I. "Although Aso took back his remarks, what is done cannot be undone. And you need to check what he said exactly."Aso said on the amendment of the constitution, "Doing it quietly, just as in one day the Weimar Constitution changed to the Nazi Constitution, without anyone realizing it, why don't we learn from that sort of tactic?"Japan's Peace Constitution's Clause 9 declares that the Japanese people would forever renounce war as a sovereign right. "You should not be surprised to learn how knowledgeable Aso is of the history of the Nazi and Weimar regimes," Shin said.The revised constitution enabled Hitler to suppress opposition parties and start World War II, resulting in the death of millions, among them six million Jews. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a noted Jewish human rights group based in the United States, lashed out at Aso."What techniques from the Nazi's governance are worth learning _ how to stealthily cripple democracy?" the center's associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, was quoted as saying."Has Aso forgotten that Nazi Germany's ascendancy to power quickly brought the world to the abyss and engulfed humanity in the untold horrors of World War II?"After being defeated, Germany long reflected on its misdeeds under the watch of other countries.By contrast, Japan has been spared from global scrutiny in helping it reflect on its misdeeds and undergo changes as in post-war Germany.And that lack of supervision is giving way to rising nationalism, which can be identified as the same brand of ideology that swept Japan into the arms of imperialists.Abe has even negated Japan's past incursions and aggression in Korea and China before and during World War II, arguing that they were not invasions.He also defended lawmakers who paid respect to the war dead at the Yasukuni Shrine, which houses the remains of 14 Class-A war criminals.
과연 전세계가 일본을 신뢰할 수 있을까?
일본 총리 아베 신조는 자국의 2차 세계대전 전몰자들에 대한 경의를 표해왔고 부총리인 아소 타로는 아돌프 히틀러의 나치당의 전략을 참고하는 것에 대해 언급했다.
이런 상황에서 일본이 도조 히데키가 지배했던 제국주의적 과거로 회귀하는 것이 아닌가하는 우려마저 자아내고 있다. 피해국이었던 한국이나 중국에게는 큰 파장을 일으키는 이야기다.
명지대학교 신율 교수는 “일본이 평화헌법을 개정하려고 하는 때에 아소의 나치 발언이 나온 것은 많은 걱정을 자아내고 있다”고 지적했다.
그는 “일본과 독일의 과거 연대를 고려할 때 아소의 발언은 단순한 실언이 아닌 속마음의 표출일 수도 있다는 의심마저 제기되고 있다”고 했다.
아소는 최근 평화헌법의 개정에 있어서 독일 1차 세계 대전 이후 나치가 바이마르 공화국 몰래 헌법을 개정한 전략을 참고할 수 있지 않을까하는 발언으로 큰 물의를 일으킨 바 있다.
그는 곧 이 발언이 오해를 샀다며 취소했지만 사임 요구에 대해서는 받아들이지 않았다.