Fukuyama:: Japanese Nationalism :: 2007. 4. 2. 13:50


The Trouble with Japanese Nationalism
Francis Fukuyama

The US has supported the rearmament of Japan since the end of the Cold War, but Washington is becoming trapped in an increasingly difficult position behind the overt nationalism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi. Throughout his five years in office, Koizumi sparked fierce antagonism in China and South Korea with annual visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where some class-A war criminals are interred. The Yushukan military museum adjacent to the memorial describes Japan’s activities in the Pacific War as an effort to protect the rest of Asia from European colonization, and Japanese conservatives claim that China and Korea welcomed Japanese forces. Such a denial of history only deepens hostility toward Japan in East Asia and complicates US efforts to build a robust relationship with China. As political economist Francis Fukuyama notes, Japan has yet to recognize its own responsibility for conflict throughout the 20th century, and it may be time for the US to take a tougher stance on Prime Minister Abe as his government moves to revise Article 9, the so-called “no war clause,” of the constitution. – YaleGlobal