The New York Times, February 23,
Facing Up to the Past: Japan Makes Its Case
To the Editor:
Re "Japan's Offensive Foreign Minister"
(editorial, Feb. 13):
Foreign Minister Taro Aso has neither justified
nor denied Japan's past history of colonial rule
or wartime aggression. His recent speech on Asia
made this crystal-clear, and Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi's statements on the subject on
numerous occasions have reflected this notion.
History classes in Japan do as well.
Nor did Mr. Aso say the emperor ought to visit
Yasukuni Shrine in the present circumstances. He
simply pointed out the need to consider a way that
government representatives, as well as the
emperor, could naturally honor the Japanese war
dead without causing discomfort to neighboring
Japan, by adhering to strictly defensive security
policy, has never posed any threat to any other
countries, including China, for the past 60 years.
Mr. Aso welcomes China as a responsible partner,
and its rise as an opportunity. He simply referred
to international concerns over China's consistent
and nontransparent military activities and
buildup. Given the regrettable incident of the
trespass of a submerged nuclear submarine into
Japan's territorial waters, China must strive to
meet your criterion of "no recent record of
Japan continues to encourage China to improve
transparency in its military affairs in accordance
with the Japan-United States Joint Statement
issued by our countries' foreign and defense
ministers in February 2005.
Acting Consul General of Japan
New York, Feb. 18, 2006
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