Koizumi’s apology for Japanese war crimes and atrocities  in Jakarta will have to be tested  with contrite action, as repudiating the revisionist Japanese history textbooks to “white-wash” historic wrongs as well as ending government honouring of Class A Japanese war criminals at Yasukuni Shrine

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday):  Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s apology for Japanese war crimes and atrocities at the Bandung 50th Anniversary Asian-African Summit in Jakarta, which repeated the public apology of his predecessor Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 and Keizo Obuchi in 1998, while welcome will have to be tested with contrite action, in particular: 

  • Japanese government repudiation of the revisionist militarist Japanese history textbooks which  “white-washed” historic wrongs perpetrated during the Japanese aggression, invasion and occupation of China, Korea and South-east Asian nations since the 1930s and between 1941-45, falsifying and glorifying it as the “War for Asian Liberation” for “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”; and
  • Ending  government honouring of  Class A Japanese war criminals in the annual pilgrimages of top leaders, such as the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, to the  Yasukuni Shrine.

The preparedness of Koizumi to follow up his apology in Jakarta with appropriate contrite actions, including  giving fair and just compensation to the victims of Japanese war crimes and atrocities, whether the “comfort women” forced into prostitution to “comfort” Japanese troops or civilian victims including in  Malaysia and other South-east Asian nations, should be used as a yardstick to determine whether Japan deserves support for her bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman