by MUTO Ichiyo
Collision Course with Asia
The Japanese state-remaking project with the reinstatement of the Japanese empire as a major pillar faces a crisis as it is causing serious deterioration of Japan’s relations with its Asian neighbors. As regards China, the problem drastically came into the open as “anti-Japan” demonstrations exploded and spread throughout China in April. The demonstrators were protesting against recent Japanese government actions justifying and glorifying what the Japanese Empire had done to neighboring Asian peoples. About simultaneously, the South Korean government also came out with renewed criticism of the current Japanese political stance in its new Japan policy guidelines. President Roh Moohyun, referring to recent Japanese government actions, said that it was a great tragedy for the whole world to have to live with those who glorify their past – one of aggression and victimization. He rightly pointed out that although Japan had apologized more than once, it recently began to nullify its apologies. (Frankfurter Algemeine, interview, April 9) Given the worst imaginable relations with North Korea and absence of any warmth in Russo-Japanese relations, Japan now risks total isolation from all its neighbors.