Friday, August 19, 2005

Official Statement of AASJA-Japan on the 60th Year of Japan's Defeat in World War II

This is the official statement of our member AASJA-Japan (Anti-invasion Asian Students Joint Action) on the day of 60th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II. Please read through.

The Japanese government must make public apology and compensation to all the war victims! Condemn admirers of the war of aggression and the colonization! Stop Japan's military expansion and racism!

This year is the 60th anniversary since the defeat of Japan in the Asia Pacific War of aggression. So called “anti-Japan actions” spread in many cities of China and South Korea early this year. We, AASJA, understand that these actions have rightful reasons, because the Japanese government has not made public apology and compensation to the victims of the war of aggression and colonization. Moreover, admirers of the past aggression and colonization have been rising, and the Japanese government is now expanding its military power by deploying the troops to Iraq, strengthening the US-Japan military alliance, and trying to gain a permanent seat of UN security council as well.

On Aug 15 of this turning year, we express our determination to fight against Japanese imperialism in solidarity with oppressed workers and people in order to change the Japanese society and to live together with Asian neighbors.

We support the demands of former “comfort women” and carted victims by the Japanese occupier to the Japanese government such as; public apology, individual compensation, punishment of responsible persons, and appropriate history education. We fight to achieve these demands.

We strongly condemn approvals of a history textbook published by FUSOSHA, or history revisionists, by the education boards of Odawara City in Tochigi and Suginami District in Tokyo. We also condemn the Japanese government for forcing students and teachers to salute “Hinomaru”, or the flag of rising sun, and to sing “Kimigayo” that means “Reign of Your Majesty”, ruling of Emperor. The both are the symbol of Japanese Empire and militarism. We oppose revision of the Fundamental Law of Education, through that the Japanese government are trying to promote education of imperial-nationalism.

We have no tolerance for visits to Yasukuni Shrine by cabinet ministers and conservative politicians as well as Prime Minister Koizumi. Yasukuni Shirine is a facility to worship military persons who died “for the sake of Emperor” as gods and “national heroes”. The visits are acts of admiring the war of aggression.

We oppose Japan’s moves to expand its territory such as in Tok-do and Diaoyu islands. The imperial Japan arrogantly considered these islands as its territories in the process of aggression and colonization over Korea and China. The present claim of the Japanese government, calling them “traditional Japanese territories“, has no legal basis.

We fight against imperial chauvinism rising along with these moves of the Japanese government. In the past, the Japanese people were organized and mobilized into the war of aggression by propaganda of imperial nationalism and chauvinism spread by ruling class, and participated in the killings of numerous Asian neighbors. We will never do it again. Never!

And we oppose the present military expansion of Japan. Since the defeat in 1945, Japan has revived as an imperialist country that has huge interests abroad, gaining big economic profits in Korean War for the new capital accumulation and refusing “war compensations” but sending “economic aids” as a way of its new expansion over Asia. And now, on the basis of this economic revival, the ruling class of Japan is rebuilding “a new military state” by strengthening US-Japan military alliance, deploying the Self Defense Forces abroad, gaining a permanent seat of UN Security Council, and revising the war-renouncing Constitution. We, AASJA, oppose any forms of aggression and domination of Japanese imperialism over Asia.

On Aug 6, we held a rally in Hiroshima together with second generations of the atomic bomb survivors to demand compensation from the government for all the A-bomb victims in Japan and abroad. And today, our members participate in assemblies and rallies in each region, demanding apology and compensation for war victims in Asian neighbor countries and condemning Japan’s military revival.

Again we pledge on this 60th Aug 15 that we will continue our struggle, together with oppressed workers and people, against Japanese imperialism to achieve genuine social change of Japan so that we can live together with Asian neighbor people in peace and justice.

August 15, 2005

Anti-invasion Asian Student Joint Action