Japan: Opening Up Old Wounds

Opening Up Old Wounds

In a land where harmony is prized, especially in politics, Masayuki Fujio's stance was uncharacteristically defiant. "If I resign," said Japan's Education Minister, "it would mean going back on my statements." Since Fujio would not resign, Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone fired him. It was the first time in 34 years that a Japanese Cabinet member had been dismissed.

The reason for the ouster was an interview in which Fujio said that the "Korean side has some responsibility" for Japan's 1910 annexation of that country, since Korean representatives had sanctioned the act. He also excused the 1937 "rape of Nanking," during which...

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