Statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II
by INOUE Hisashi
National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren)
Today (Aug.15, 2015), Japan marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) takes this occasion to expresses its deep condolences for everyone that fell victim to Japanese militarism’s war of aggression and colonial rule. It also expresses its commitment to do all it can to defend the pacifism and Article 9 of the Constitution which was established based on bitter remorse for the war.
Yesterday(Aug. 14), Prime Minister ABE Shinzo issued a statement. It certainly contains such words as “aggression”, “colonial rule”, “remorse” and “apology”. However, he only said that the successive governments had expressed “remorse” and “apology”. Actually, he stopped short of pointing out the fact of Japan’s war of aggression, colonization of other countries, and the military’s use of comfort women or expressing remorse or offering an apology for those acts.
It is said that in the stage of drafting the statement, none of these key words were included. But, amid growing public criticism of the government, the prime minister adopted them in the statement, but we must say they are not for expressing his true intention. His attitude is not one of “squarely facing the history of the past”. The Abe statement is not appropriate for getting rid of people’s concerns in Asia and the rest of the world and helping to advance mutual understanding, peace and friendship with them.
Abe’s statement says, “Japan will continue to firmly uphold the principle that any disputes must be settled peacefully and diplomatically based on the respect for the rule of law and not through the use of force.” In conclusion, he promised to “hoist the flag of ‘proactive contribution to peace’, and contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world more than ever before.” These are contradictory statements. By “proactive contribution to peace” he means playing more active role in the Japan-US alliance putting emphasis on the use of force. The war bills (national security-related bulls) are its practical application.
Zenroren severely criticizes Prime Minister Abe for using his statement on the 70th anniversary of the War's end to declare that he will promote policy of relying on the use of force, which clearly is a violation of the Constitution. It will mobilize all organization power to help further raise the level of public opinion and the movement calling for the war bills to be scrapped.
Prime Minister Abe says the war legislation is intended to prevent war. But he is going against the lessons of the past world wars, ignoring the fact that the recent US wars of aggression and intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq have only caused civil war without an end and terrorism. It is clear that the pacifism established by the Constitution paves the way for a peaceful future of Japan and the rest of the world. That is exactly what the world's people need. Zenroren will further increase solidarity with the broader sections of people at home and abroad in the movement to achieve a peaceful Japan and the world without war or nuclear weapons.