Malaysia’s stand on Japanese bid for a permanent seat in UN Security Council should hinge on Japanese government’s sincerity in meaningful follow-up actions to Koizumi’s apology in Jakarta, including repudiating revisionist history textbooks white-washing Japanese war crimes and stop honouring Class A Japanese war criminals at Yasukuni Shrine
- on the Foreign Ministry in the second supplementary estimates 2004
by Lim Kit Siang
(Dewan Rakyat, Monday): Yesterday, hundreds of Chinese associations in the country, such as Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Malacca and Muar, signed and affixed their seals to protest against Japan’s refusal to face up squarely and remorsefully to its historic wrongs in its war crimes and atrocities against Asians in the 1930s and the Second World War.
At the Bandung 50th Anniversary Asian-African Summit in Jakarta on Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi publicly expressed apology for Japanese war crimes and atrocities sixty years ago. This is not the first apology by a Japanese leader although this is the first time it is made at an international conference.
In 1995, Japanese Socialist Party Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama became the first Japanese leader to apologise for Japanese war crimes and atrocities, although his sentiments appeared to be more that of an individual and his political party than that of the ruling Japanese establishment elite.
This is why although the Murayama “apology” formula has been repeated by other Japanese leaders, including Prime Ministers, in the past decade, the issue of the sincerity of Japanese regret and remorse for the war crimes and atrocities refuse to be laid to rest, periodically re-surfacing to undermine Asian and international stability.
This is no different with Koizumi’s apology in Jakarta. On the same morning that he expressed Japanese apology for war crimes and atrocities, some 80 MPs from the Japanese ruling party made their pilgrimage to the Yasukuni Shrine which memorialized 14 Japanese Class war criminals, raising immediately anew the sincerity of Koizumi’s apology.
Japan wants Asian support for its bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, but would Germany, which is also bidding for a seat in the UN Security Council, secure any European support, whether from France, the United Kingdom and the other nation-victims of Hitler’s Nazi Germany, if post-war German leaders make regular visits to Nazi memorials after apologizing for World War II war crimes and atrocities?
The Malaysian government should take the stand that the Japanese bid for a permanent seat in UN Security Council should hinge on the Japanese government’s sincerity in meaningful follow-up actions to Koizumi’s apology in Jakarta, including;
Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman