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Japanese Official's Remarks Outrageous: American Scholars
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A Japanese official's recent remarks on those Class-A war criminals in World War II are being pounded by American scholars who deplore the rhetoric as "outrageous" and "sad."  

In an interview with Xinhua, Doctor Lu Xiaobo, director of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, said "Masahiro Morioka's recent comments reflected an undertone that has marked the rightward movement among Japanese politicians in recent years."


Morioka, parliamentary secretary for health, labor and welfare, told a parliament meeting of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Thursday that the Class-A war criminals convicted of crimes against peace and humanity by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) after WWII are not criminals because the tribunal was "one-sided." He also said they are no longer regarded as criminals in Japan.


"His remarks about the validity of the Tokyo Tribunal is nothing short of an escalation of the attempts by the Japanese right wing politicians to revise history, rather than to face history," Lu noted.


"It is outrageous, indeed sad, to see a country with a checkered past want to become 'normal' by whitewashing its past transgressions," said the scholar.


"It is outrageous because Japan has not, despite its claims otherwise, shown it is genuinely remorseful for its wrongdoings in the eyes of the peoples of the countries it once victimized," Lu added.


He pointed out that "it is sad that a strong country like Japan is not able to demonstrate its responsibility and confidence by rightfully accepting historical facts and interpretations."


"If the military leaders like Hideki Tojo were not war criminals, there would have been no war criminals," he said, adding "to embellish these people, dead as they are, is contrary to basic human dignity and moral judgment."


Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute in California, said: "I totally disagree with Mr. Morioka."


"His response is typical of the short-sighted policies being pursued by the LDP," Johnson commented.


"It is absurd to keep listening to Japan's insults to the rest of the world," he said.


(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2005)

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