Shinzo Abe. Dislikes: Apologies, China. Likes: Japan, The YMCA
By Cal Widdall
After Tokyo’s China-bashing governor Shintaro Ishihara failed to start WW3 by pushing the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands issue, we presumed a leaked tape of him breathlessly sodomising a panda with a rolled up portrait of Mao would be his next logical step. Thankfully for Ueno Zoo’s Riri and Shinshin, it appears that his warmongering may no longer be necessary as Japan’s opposition party has elected unapologetic nationalist, and ex-prime minister, Shinzo Abe as their new leader. With the current ruling party about as popular as a Chinese cosplayer, it’s possible that we could see Abe denying history and angering the rest of Asia from the position of prime minister as early as November. Here’s some pointers on the man sure to become a Shanghaiist regular:
- He supported the controversial ‘Nanjing massacre? What Nanjing massacre?’ school textbook and denied that Manchukuo was ever a puppet state in an interview.
- He rejects the idea that South Korean ‘comfort women’ (i.e. sex slaves) were coerced during WW2 and wishes to withdraw some apologies made by the government for wartime aggression – because in the wonderful world of politics, one man can rescind another’s apology without permission once in office.
- Abe claimed in his best-selling book ‘Toward a Beautiful Nation’ that Japanese Class A war criminals were not criminals in the eyes of Japanese domestic law and has also suggested that he intends to visit the Yasukuni war shrine if elected.
- He’s previously sought to revise the interpretation of Article 9 of the constitution of Japan, which states that armed forces with war potential cannot be maintained (Japan does not have a military as such, but a relatively small ‘Self Defence Force’), referring to it as a signed deed of apology from Japan to the Allied Forces.
- Also worrying for Beijing, he was part of the Pan-Green Coalition seeking Taiwanese independence, a stance that runs in the family. His grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was pro-Taiwan, and his great-uncle Eisaku Satō was the last prime minister to visit Taiwan while in office.
In summary, Shinzo Abe is all set to become the most hated man in China.
Watch NHK’s report on Shinzo Abe’s political comeback: