Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, May 6, 1994:
Japanese Prime Minister, Tsutomu Hata, should remove Justice Minister, Shigeto Nagano from his cabinet if the Japanese Government wants to establish its bona fide in wanting to play a construc-tive and bigger role in the world community
The new Japanese Prime Minister, Tsutomu Hata, should remove the Justice Minister, Shigeto Nagano from his cabinet if the Japanese Government wishes to establish its bona fide in wanting to play a constructive and bigger role in the world.
In claiming that Japan was not an aggressor in World World II in China and South-East Asia, and that the Nanking massacre of 1937 was a hoax, Nagano has undone all that had been done by the Japanese government recently, and in particular by the former Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, in publicly acknowledging and apologising for Japanese aggression and atrocities in China and South East Asia during the Japanese imperial aggression before and during the Second World War.
So long as Japan is not prepared to sincerely and unreservedly apologise for its aggressions and atrocities in the Japanese imperial aggression against China and South East Asia in the thirties and forties, then it is not to be trusted to take its proper place in the international community – as for example, in asking for a permanent seat in the restructured United Nations Security Council.
Questions are definitely raised by Nagano’s shocking rewriting of history as to whether he represents important sections of Japanese opinion who have never regretted Japanese aggressions and atrocities against China and South-East Asia in the past, and who, given the opportunity, would want to see a revivalism of a Japanese grand design of militarism, expansionism and aggression in the Asia-Pacific.
In fact, Nagano should not only be removed as Cabinet Minister, the Japanese Prime Minister, Tsutomu Hata should publicly apologise to all victim nations of Japanese imperial aggression for the shocking statement by his Justice Minister, which is an attempt to perpetuate one of the gravest historic injustices in Asia-Pacific in modern times.