[Letters] Know thy enemyWorld War II was devastating for the Japanese. Places that were once homes were burned up and destroyed. Orphans who lost their parents flooded out into the streets searching for food. The side effects of radioactivity steadily killed the infected people, eventually ending their lives in a cold and damp cell alone.
The postwar period during the mid- and late-1940s in Japan was greatly catastrophic. For whom did these people fight and what did they gain as a result? I would like to answer “none.”
I believe that these people paid their price, as they failed to answer or even question “who is their true enemy?”
All these people did was to do what they were asked to do. The Japanese Empire asked its people to engage in kamikaze suicide bombings.
They had their heart, family and morals to know what was right or wrong, but their lack of rational thinking caused numerous atrocities including problems concerned with comfort women, human experiments and mass homicide across Asia and the Pacific.
An aggressive military regime and passive public blended together, damaging not only other countries like Korea, Taiwan, China and other countries in Southeast Asia, but also the lives of the Japanese themselves. Citizens of Japanese Empire didn’t know who their true enemy was.
If we don’t decide who our enemy is, others would designate that instead. History is a good teacher for us, which shows what perspective we should have and how we should proceed. If we ourselves cannot define what risks we are facing, I believe this long peace and our lives would be shattered.
Likewise, we should consider the “Cheonan disaster” in terms of our historical process, which would eventually yield an answer to who should be blamed and where our destiny will lead. Is some of the conspiracy theory that our government killed its own people something worth hearing?
Does it still sound rational that U.S. Army should leave our country? I was greatly appalled by some of the comments made by netizens on articles about the Cheonan disaster, and the number of people swayed by such rubbish.
If people are ignorant and don’t even know who our true enemy is, the same catastrophes of the past are destined to repeat.
We should be wise enough to know who we should blame, to prevent the repeating the mistakes of our ancestors.
Woo Hyun-chae, Student at Konkuk University