History can’t be changed

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History can’t be changed

The Japanese ruling party is set to launch a panel to reinvestigate and reexamine verdicts on war criminals during the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, known as the Tokyo trials.

It wants to look again at the justification for the Class A crime rulings that sentenced seven to execution and 16 to life imprisonment, handed down by judges of the Allied forces. We are stunned by how audacious the conservative Tokyo officials are turning in their campaign to reinterpret and rewrite history to their favor.

The Liberal Democratic Party plans to create a panel to review war and history, reporting to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this month.

The panel will take a fresh look at the series of war crimes trials between 1946 and 1948, the First Sino-Japanese War, World War II, the policies of the General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers headed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and the procedures leading up to the writing of the pacifist constitution.

The entire history of Imperial Japan will be re-examined through the eyes of Japanese politicians, further raising suspicions of Tokyo trying to whitewash its past.

Japan, upon losing the global war it started, returned to the international community after accepting the outcome of the war trials.

Its attempt to reinvestigate the verdicts is a challenge to the postwar order established since the San Francisco Peace Treaty. The party said the panel was a study group and will not make any conclusions for publication.

But that is just an excuse to avoid international criticism. The work itself is distasteful and disrespectful to the war victims, like Korea and China, and also won’t be approved by the United States, which led the postwar international order.

The Abe government has restored military capabilities by reinstating its right to self-defense through tweaking its interpretation of the pacifist constitution. If it questions the validity of the Tokyo trials, it would be more or less returning to a prewar imperial state.

If Japan truly wants to be a “normal” country, it must stop trying to glorify its history and sincerely atone for its past for the sake of future generations.

JoongAng Ilbo, Nov. 14, Page 30

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