The One and Only Country Which Denies Its Past Crimes
On August 24, 1945, a navy transport ship with a large number of Koreans on board sank by an explosion in the waters off Maizuru. This was recorded in history as the “incident of Ukishima-maru explosion”.
Thousands of Koreans, who had been forcibly drafted to Japan to do slave labour, were drowned in the sea due to the incident carefully elaborated by the Japanese authorities.
Not content with the massacres they had committed during the 40-year-long military occupation of Korea, the Japanese authorities took the lives of thousands of Koreans returning to their homeland with joy of national liberation (August 15, 1945). However, they have dodged its responsibility for the “incident” up to now, saying that it was an “inevitable accident” caused by a mine.
Today, it is an international trend to apologize and compensate for the crimes committed in the past.
This year, the King of the Netherlands, on his visit to Indonesia, officially apologized for the extreme violence his country had committed during its colonial rule over Indonesia. Recently, France returned to Algeria the remains of Algerian independence fighters who had been arrested and executed while waging armed struggle against its colonial rule over Algeria.
In recent years, France has made positive efforts to admit and apologize for the crimes it had committed during its colonial rule over other countries. It apologized again to Algeria along with the return of those remains, saying that it would be an important occasion in reconciling the history of the two countries.
On the contrary, only Japan is behaving impudently, turning a blind eye to the international trend.
It is openly resorting to the denial of its crime-woven history, distorting its colonialist policy as the one for "modernization" and its war of aggression, which inflicted untold sufferings on the Asian peoples, as a "war for self-defence" and "liberation war".
It has deleted, curtailed or obscured most of the past crimes committed by the Japanese imperialists, such as the forced drafting of Koreans and sexual slavery of the Korean women, from social subject textbooks to be used at middle schools across Japan from 2021. It also got the sites of its hideous crimes inscribed on the list of UNESCO world cultural heritage, and even built an exhibition hall to justify its slavery and make a mockery of the victims.
This is a challenge to the trend of international community which demands the settlement of past crimes and aspires to living in a peaceful world as well as an intolerable insult to humanity.
Japan’s persistent efforts to cover up its bloodstained history is aimed at dodging its apology and compensation for it and realizing its ambition for reinvasion.
The more the Japanese reactionaries run amuck to distort the history of their past crimes, the stronger the international resentment and hatred against Japan will grow. And the Korean people will further harden their will to take revenge upon them a thousand fold.
One who forgets one’s history has no future.
As long as Japan persists in denying its past crimes, it will make its future gloomier.