Japan from the inside out

Nanjing deniers in their own words

Posted by ampontan on Saturday, June 16, 2007

IN MY PREVIOUS POST, I wrote the following about those Japanese who are increasingly challenging overseas criticism of Japan for its wartime behavior:

In one sense, this growing Japanese assertiveness in challenging anti-Japanese activities overseas is a positive development, regardless of where the truth lies. By actively confronting their antagonists, the Japanese are in effect saying, “Put up or shut up,” thereby forcing them to present hard, irrefutable evidence.

That in turn will require those Japanese who object to the activities of their overseas antagonists to present their own evidence. The Japanese who deny the Nanjing Massacre and government coercion of comfort women will be forced to put their own cards on the table.

One would think that China, South Korea, and some elements in the U.S. Congress would welcome this new Japanese approach and actively engage them. Now that they have walked out into the open ground, it makes them a lot easier to hit as targets. If they really are massacre/comfort women deniers, what better opportunity to definitively discredit their position?

Commenting on the post before that, readers Tomojiro and Aceface were dismayed to see that certain people signed the full-page ad that appeared in the Washington Post this week stating the case that it was not the Japanese government’s policy to coerce comfort women during the war. They think the support of those people would hinder rather than help Japan’s position.

What better opportunity to provide an outlet for the opinions of those individuals? The following offers some information in English about the people Tomojiro mentioned.

NOTE: These links are to direct source material only. In other words, you get their words unfiltered. I am making this information available because I believe in the marketplace of ideas. In that marketplace, unworthy ideas become bankrupt ideas, and worthwhile ideas thrive.

Be advised that under no circumstances does this presentation mean that I either agree or disagree with any or all of their views.

Here’s the lineup:

Jin Matsubara
Mr. Matsubara is a delegate in Japan’s House of Representatives, and is a member of the Democratic Party of Japan, the primary opposition party.

He is (or was) also the acting executive director of the Committee of Congressional Members to Act for the Early Repatriation of Japanese Victims Abducted by North Korea.

This is a 10-minute discussion on YouTube with Shoichi Watanabe, professor emeritus at Sophia University. There are English subtitles. Matsubara is the man who speaks first, and is seated at the right.

Here is part two of the previous discussion, seven minutes long, with no English subtitles.

For Japanese readers, here is his website.

Nobukatsu Fujioka
Mr. Fujioka is a professor of education at the University of Tokyo.

Here is an interview that appeared in Asiaweek.

This is the text of a speech he gave at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

Prof. Fujioka answered questions after the speech. They are here.

Here’s an open letter to Mike Honda, then a California State Assemblyman.

For those of you who can read Japanese, here’s his blog. (It contains some English information.) Also, he is the Vice-Chairman of the Tsukurukai, or Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform. Here is their Japanese website.

Shudo Higashinakano
Professor of Intellectual History at Asia University

Here is the text of his lecture given to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

A .pdf file with his description of secret documents he discovered in Taipei.

Another .pdf file about photographs he claims were doctored.

Professor Higashinakano’s summary of his book on the Nanjing Massacre.

Hideaki Kase
Mr. Kase is the Chairman of the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact.

Here is the Society’s Mission Statement from their website.

This is the text of a speech he gave to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Tokyo about Yasukuni Shrine.

This is the text of an interview with him that appeared on Australian television about the film Merdica.

Here’s a .pdf file of an article written for Newsweek.

This .pdf file contains his open letter to Mike Honda.

For Japanese readers, here is Kase’s website.

If anyone has any more direct links–no journalism, please–feel free to send them.

To commenters: Please feel free to rebut any of their arguments. However, if spitballs are your only weapon, your comments will be deleted.

7 Responses to “Nanjing deniers in their own words”

  1. ponta said

    While I agree with some of their sentiment, I think they are extreme.
    As for Nanjing massacre, in a sense, they contributed a lot to the issue. Shedding doubts on Chinese official claim itself is all right, But if they are trying to give an impression that there was no massacre, I think that is wrong.
    I welcome debates on historical issue, and I want to hear the both sides of the story, but, if they are trying to give the impression Japan was innocent on all aspects, I think that is a fatally mistake as well as harming Japan diplomatically.
    It is essential that Japan admit the wrongs she did.
    That said, I think they can not become mainstream.
    As Richard J Samuel says
    Few mainstream academics, bureaucrats, or national politicians openly associate with the neoautonomists, and many disparage them.

    Click to access 33.1samuels.pdf

  2. Izanami said

    I guess this time we disagree from the beginning. I do not think they are “challening” overseas “criticism.” (This is the sort of rethorical manupulation seen in media, which you sometimes point out.) What they are doing is “challening” the “settled history.”

  3. ampontan said

    Izanami: Let me think about what you wrote. Perhaps I expressed it that way because I don’t consider the history settled. (And it probably never will be.)

    Thanks for your comments in the other post!

  4. izanami said

    Oops, sorry for my misunderstanding.

    I see. You view that the account of the incident, which I take to be (virtually) settled in the biased Western history, has actually been derived from (subjective) criticism.

  5. Ken said

    How d’ye do, Mr. Sakovich?
    Guessing from your name, is your root in any Slavonic countries?
    Asahi Weekly has taken me here.
    Following is another revising movement.
    Chinese gov’t expressed unpleasant sentiment aganist the establishment of Diet members group to require removing fabrcated pictures from anti-Japan memorial building.

  6. ampontan said

    Hi, Ken: My grandfather was born in what is now Belarus, but I was born and grew up in the US.

  7. […] blog Ampontan covers this entire issue in detail, providing many informative links. Especially interesting is […]

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