The Growth of Transnational Interactions, 1965–1988
The Growth of Transnational Interactions, 1965–1988
Abstract and Keywords
Between 1965 and 1988, the history problem emerged after Japan normalized its diplomatic relations with South Korea and China. After normalization, Japanese A-bomb victims and affiliated NGOs began to commemorate foreign victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings. The South Korean and Chinese governments also pressed the Japanese government over history textbooks and prime ministers’ visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. In response, the LDP government incorporated cosmopolitanism in Japan’s official commemoration, though the LDP continued to defend nationalism. At the same time, in South Korea, ethnic nationalism was energized by the country’s economic success and the democratization movement, and in China, the communist party began to promote patriotic education to manage social instabilities created by economic reforms. Hence, nationalist commemorations in the three countries were set on a collision course.
On June 22, 1965, the Japanese and South Korean governments signed the Treaty on Basic Relations. The treaty dodged fundamental disagreements over how to interpret past relations between the two countries. First, the two sides agreed to disagree about the interpretation of the treaty’s second article, which read, “All treaties or agreements concluded between the Empire of Japan and the Empire of Korea on or before August 22, 1910 are already null and void.”1 The Japanese side interpreted this to mean that the 1910 Japan-Korean Annexation Treaty had previously been valid, only becoming null and void when the Republic of Korea was founded in August 1948, whereas the South Korean side interpreted it to mean that the treaty had been never valid.
Second, both governments evaded Japan’s responsibility for its past wrongdoings when they signed the Compensation and Economic Cooperation Agreement along with the Treaty on Basic Relations. This agreement authorized the Japanese government to substitute economic aid for compensation for the damages that South Koreans had suffered from Japan’s wartime atrocities and colonial rule. With this economic aid, the agreement stated that the “problem concerning property, rights and interests of the two Contracting Parties and their nationals (including juridical persons) … is settled completely and finally.”2
Opposition parties in Japan continued to criticize the terms of normalization. JSP member Yokomichi Setsuo pointed to the protests in South Korea and accused Satō Eisaku’s government of substituting economic aid for compensation: “If Prime Minister Satō’s government intends to apologize for the damages and pains of thirty-six years of Japan’s colonial rule, (p.49) the Korean people might not have opposed the economic aid.”3 Another JSP member, Narazaki Yanosuke, also challenged the government’s interpretation of the treaty’s second article for ignoring the history of the Korean people’s struggle for independence.4 Opposition parties in South Korea similarly rejected the second article, since “it provided a basis for requiring the South Korean side to completely renounce its compensation claims … and for retrospectively accepting Japan’s imperialism.”5
As problematic as the normalization treaty was, it did open doors of interaction between the two countries. Specifically, normalization facilitated the formation of a transnational network of NGOs trying to address the plight of South Korean A-bomb victims.
Commemorating the Double Tragedy of Colonial Rule and the Atomic Bombings
South Koreans began to learn about A-bomb victims in March 1965, when a broadcasting station in Seoul reported that there were about two hundred A-bomb victims living in South Korea.6 Then, in May, the Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan) sent delegates to investigate conditions of South Korean A-bomb victims. While in South Korea, the delegates requested the South Korean government and the Red Cross Society to conduct a comprehensive survey of A-bomb victims. In response, the South Korea Red Cross Society began a survey in August and found at least 426 A-bomb victims.7 The media coverage of the survey encouraged South Korean A-bomb victims to form an association to seek relief for their medical and economic conditions. In July 1967, they established the South Korean A-Bomb Victims Association. By the end of the year, a total of 1,857 victims had joined.8
First, the association sought medical and economic relief from Park Chung Hee’s government, as well as requesting that the Japanese and US governments provide funds and construction materials for hospitals and rehabilitation centers for South Korean A-bomb victims. Moreover, the association asked the Japanese government, specifically, to compensate the physical damages that its members had suffered from the atomic bombings. The association justified the claim by arguing that South Korean victims “had been taken away by the Japanese imperialists and then struck by the atomic bombings during the forced labor.”9
These activities by South Korean A-bomb victims were reported regularly by the Hiroshima-based newspaper Chūgoku shinbun. One of Japan’s major national newspapers, Asahi shinbun, also published an extensive (p.50) report on South Korean A-bomb victims in March 1968. The report presented the victims as embodying the history of Japan’s colonial rule and urged Japanese citizens to “do something about the deep wounds of the atomic bombings that we inflicted on them.”10 As more and more people in Japan came to learn about A-bomb victims in South Korea, they began to organize relief activities. In December 1967 and August 1968, high school students in Hiroshima and businessmen in Nagasaki, respectively, organized fundraising drives for South Korean A-bomb victims.11 In August 1968, the National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons (Kakuheiki Kinshi Heiwa Kensetsu Kokumin Kaigi) also decided to provide relief for South Korean A-bomb victims.12
While Japanese citizens began to take action for South Korean A-bomb victims, Japanese A-bomb victims and opposition parties stepped up their efforts to press the Japanese government for compensation. Specifically, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations argued that the Act on Medical Care for A-Bomb Victims was inadequate because it provided only medical relief. Since A-bomb victims suffered from chronic diseases that often made it difficult for them to hold regular jobs, the confederation demanded that the government provide A-bomb victims with not only medical but also economic relief. In October 1966, the confederation also published a pamphlet that demanded a “relief act” (engohō) for A-bomb victims, comparable to the Act on Relief for Injured Veterans and Bereaved Families.13
Satō Eisaku’s government responded by proposing the Bill on Special Measures Concerning A-Bomb Victims (Genshi Bakudan Hibakusha ni taisuru Tokubetsusochi ni kansuru Hōan) in March 1968, offering monthly allowances for A-bomb victims with certain medical and economic conditions.14 The government, however, continued to insist that relief for A-bomb victims should be understood as voluntary, and that “compensation” (hoshō) should be offered only to military-related personnel. As Muranaka Toshiaki, an official of the Ministry of Welfare, repeatedly argued, “We think that compensation should be given only to those who had been employed by the government, such as those who served in the military. It is therefore inappropriate to apply the compensation scheme to A-bomb victims who had no employment relations with the government.”15 While opposition parties criticized the government’s continuing refusal to compensate A-bomb victims, they eventually accepted the bill by adding a resolution to increase allowances in the future. The bill passed the Diet in May 1968. Because it fell (p.51) short of providing government compensation, however, Japanese A-bomb victims and opposition parties continued to press the government.
Then, in the late 1960s, the two parallel movements by Japanese and South Korean A-bomb victims began to intersect. First, in October 1968, Japanese police arrested Son Gwi Dal, a female South Korean A-bomb victim who entered Japan illegally to seek medical treatment. The arrest of Son prompted the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations to lobby politicians to allow her to stay in Japan. Son was deported to South Korea in November, but people in Hiroshima formed the Japan-South Korea Council for A-Bomb Victim Relief (Hibakusha Kyūen Nikkan Kyōgikai) in October 1969, invited South Korean A-bomb victims to Japan for medical treatment, and conducted a survey of A-bomb victims in South Korea.16 In February 1969, the Japan-South Korea Council for A-Bomb Victim Relief also organized a signature-collection campaign requesting the Japanese government to issue health record books to non-Japanese citizens.17 Then, in May 1969, Motoshima Yuriko, a member of the Democratic Socialist Party—a centrist party created by the former right-wing faction of the JSP—brought up the issue of South Korean A-bomb victims for the first time in the Diet. She suggested that foreign A-bomb victims should be able to receive the same treatment as their Japanese counter parts.18 Observing these events, Hiraoka Takashi, a Chūgoku shinbun reporter who was to later become a mayor of Hiroshima City, noted in August 1969, “Korean A-bomb victims embody the double tragedy, Japan’s colonial rule and the atomic bombings. … Confronting the fact that Japanese A-bomb victims were also perpetrators [from the Korean perspective] shall produce a new philosophy of Hiroshima.”19
The movement to support South Korean A-bomb victims accelerated in December 1970 when the police arrested Son Jin Du, another South Korean A-bomb victim who had entered Japan illegally to seek medical treatment. He was imprisoned first but transferred to a hospital after he became ill. While at the hospital, Son applied for a health record book. Although his application was rejected, his Japanese supporters helped him file a lawsuit at the Fukuoka District Court in October 1972 to revoke the rejection. Meanwhile, journalists, university students, and workers in Osaka and Kobe created the Association of Citizens to Support A-Bomb Victims in South Korea (Kankoku no Genbaku Higaisha wo Kyūensuru Shimin no Kai) to provide relief for South Korean A-bomb victims.20 The National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons also sent doctors to South Korea to (p.52) examine medical conditions of A-bomb victims in September 1971 and created a medical center for A-bomb victims in Hapcheon, South Korea, in December 1973.21
Concurrently, the South Korean A-Bomb Victims Association increased its lobbying activities. In August 1971, the association sent a petition to Prime Minister Satō Eisaku requesting that the Japanese government treat South Korean A-bomb victims as equal to their Japanese counter parts. Then, in August 1972, Shin Yong Su, the association president, met with Deputy Prime Minister Miki Takeo in Tokyo to hand another petition to Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei. In the petition, the association demanded that the Japanese government compensate South Korean A-bomb victims because they had suffered from the atomic bombings while they had been “forcibly mobilized by prewar Japan’s imperialism for military service, labor, and voluntary corps, among other activities.”22 Other NGOs in South Korea, especially Christian NGOs, also joined the lobbying activities. Korean Church Women United, for example, began to work with the South Korean A-Bomb Victims Association in spring 1974, after its members had participated in the World Day of Prayer in Hiroshima and learned about the plight of South Korean A-bomb victims.23 Supporting the association’s petition in 1971, Korean Church Women United sent its own petition to Prime Minister Tanaka in July 1974 requesting that the Japanese government provide South Korean A-bomb victims with the same relief being offered to their Japanese counter parts.24 The group also asked its sister organization in Japan to write a similar petition to the prime minister.25
Opposition parties in Japan, too, rallied behind South Korean A-bomb victims. JSP member Ōhara Tōru argued that the Japanese government should provide relief for South Korean A-bomb victims “from a humanitarian standpoint (jindōtekina kantenkara) since Japan had mobilized Koreans, and Japan also had more experience of providing relief and medical treatment for A-bomb victims,” even though he felt that the United States should be held primarily responsible because it had dropped the atomic bombs.26 Kōmeitō member Kashiwabara Yasu made a similar point: “The Japanese government argues that the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea has resolved all issues regarding compensation. Even if that is legally the case, I think we, as human beings, should do something humanitarian for South Korean A-bomb victims.”27
Then, in March 1974, the Fukuoka District Court ruled that it was illegal to reject Son Jin Du’s application for a health record book since the (p.53) Act on Medical Care for A-Bomb Victims had no citizenship or residency requirement. Following the ruling, Shin Yong Su visited Tokyo in July 1974 and applied for a health record book. Tokyo governor Minobe Ryōkichi, known for his liberal orientation, agreed to issue a health record book to Shin. This was the first time a South Korean citizen had obtained a health record book since the 1965 normalization. In March 1978, the Supreme Court also upheld the ruling of the Fukuoka District Court and stated, “The Act on Medical Care for A-Bomb Victims has a characteristic that amounts to government compensation (kokka hoshōteki hairyo) since it aims to provide relief for the exceptional war-related damages [of the atomic bombings] based on responsibility of the government as an actor that carried out the war.”28 Given this ruling, the Japanese government began to issue health record books to foreign A-bomb victims, though it also issued the so-called 402 Directive to invalidate these health record books once their holders left Japan.29
In response to the Supreme Court ruling, the LDP also sent its delegation to meet with members of South Korea’s ruling Democratic Republican Party in July 1978 and began negotiations over the issue of South Korean A-bomb victims. In June 1979, the two ruling parties reached a three-part agreement: Japan should accept South Korean doctors seeking training in the medical treatment of A-bomb victims, send Japanese doctors to South Korea to provide this same training there, and invite South Korean A-bomb victims to Japan for medical treatment.30 When finalizing the agreement in October 1980, however, the Japanese government agreed to honor only the third part of the original agreement, and even then, the South Korean government was expected to cover the costs of sending A-bomb victims to Japan. The agreement was also set to expire in five years.31
Although the 1980 agreement fell short of what South Korean A-bomb victims and their supporters had hoped for, the 1965 normalization treaty stimulated transnational interactions at both governmental and nongovernmental levels. In particular, Japanese and South Korean NGOs formed a transnational network to demand that the Japanese government recognize the suffering of South Korean A-bomb victims. This demand was coupled with a demand for the commemoration of what had brought Koreans to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the first place—Japan’s colonial rule and forced labor for the war effort. Put another way, the mobilizing structures for cosmopolitan commemoration expanded to the transnational scale, while the commemoration of the atomic bombings became more inclusive by (p.54) encompassing foreign victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings. Thus, A-bomb victims and the opposition parties and NGOs that supported them began to challenge the LDP government to incorporate cosmopolitanism in Japan’s official commemoration. This challenge was reinforced by normalization of Japan’s relations with another important neighbor, China.
The Normalization of Japan-China Relations
Throughout the 1960s, Japan and China made little progress toward normalization because of the Cold War that turned “hot” in Vietnam. The Japanese government allowed the US military to use bases inside Japan to send troops, weapons, and provisions to support South Vietnam, whereas China supported North Vietnam, led by the communist leader Ho Chi Minh. As Japan became more firmly incorporated into the US Cold War strategy in Asia, its relations with China suffered in turn. In November 1964, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, People’s Daily, criticized Prime Minister Satō Eisaku for his pro-American and anti-Chinese diplomacy and accused him of conspiring to “control Taiwan as a stepping stone to reach Southeast Asia and reestablish the once debunked ‘Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere.’”32 In June 1965, the Chinese government also criticized the normalization treaty between Japan and South Korea by characterizing it as “a strategy of the U.S. imperialism aiming to divide Korea forever, forcibly occupy South Korea, and use Japan and Park’s government to wage an aggressive war.”33
While the Vietnam War continued, more and more governments began to recognize the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate China. Given the worldwide trend to recognize China rather than Taiwan, 379 Diet members in Japan, including members of the LDP, formed the nonpartisan group Diet Members for the Promotion of Japan-China Normalization (Nitchū Kokkō Kaifuku Sokushin Giin Renmei) in December 1970. The JSP also sent its delegation to China in November 1970 and created the National Council for Japan-China Normalization (Nitchū Kokkō Kaifuku Kokumin Kaigi) in February 1971.34 Satō’s government, however, was reluctant to pursue normalization with China because a sizable number of LDP members still supported Taiwan. Satō also rejected the idea of apologizing to China for Japan’s past wrongdoings: “In Japan, some people still feel that Japan has to bow its head to China. But I think those violent and atrocious acts by the Japanese military ceased to matter when the war ended.”35
(p.55) A breakthrough came in July 1971 when the US government admitted that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had visited Beijing, and announced that President Richard Nixon was scheduled to visit China the following year. In September, the UN General Assembly also voted to recognize China and expel Taiwan. In the midst of rapidly changing international relations, Tanaka Kakuei became the new prime minister on July 7, 1972, and designated normalization with China as one of his highest priorities. Tanaka pursued normalization with China primarily to satisfy the LDP’s constituencies, including businesses eager for China’s huge market potential.36
Prior to the negotiations, the Chinese government had already decided not to pursue compensation from Japan, on condition that the Japanese government expressed remorse for its past wrongdoings. The government’s decision was based on several considerations: China should be as generous as Taiwan, which had renounced its compensation claims in the 1952 Japan-Taiwan Peace Treaty; the renunciation of compensation claims should be used as leverage to make Japan recognize China instead of Taiwan; and China should follow Chairman Mao Zedong’s teaching by distinguishing Japanese citizens from the small group of Japanese militarist leaders who had started the war.37 The last point was reiterated by Premier Zhou Enlai during his welcome speech for the Japanese delegation on September 25, 1972.38
At the first round of negotiations the next day, the Japanese side stated that China had no compensation claims against Japan in the first place, as the Taiwanese government had already renounced them in 1952.39 Zhou angrily responded, “We are willing to renounce compensation claims for the sake of friendly relations between the Japanese and Chinese peoples. But we cannot accept your position that the issue of compensation is already resolved because Chiang Kai-shek renounced compensation claims.”40 At the second round of negotiations on the same day, Zhou also criticized Tanaka’s speech at the welcome banquet, where Tanaka had used the expression “Japan caused much inconvenience to China” (tadai no gomeiwaku wo okakeshita) to refer to the Second Sino-Japanese War.41 For Zhou, the expression was too casual to address the “extremely horrendous calamity that the Chinese people suffered from the aggression by the Japanese militarists.”42
In the end, the Japanese government agreed to insert the following sentence in the Joint Communique on September 29, 1972: “The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war, and deeply reproaches (p.56) itself (fukaku hanseisuru).”43 In the Joint Communique, the Japanese government also recognized the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate China. In turn, “in the interest of the friendship between the Chinese and the Japanese peoples,” the Chinese government renounced “its demand for war reparations from Japan.” People’s Daily celebrated the normalization by emphasizing the importance of extending sympathies and goodwill to Japanese citizens who had been victimized by their militarist leaders.44
Opposition parties celebrated the normalization as an important step toward peaceful international relations in Asia, but they also criticized the way Tanaka Kakuei’s government dealt with Japan’s past wrongdoings during the normalization negotiations. JSP member Nishiura Kan’ichi argued that Tanaka needed to offer atonement for “the atrocious acts that the Japanese military committed against the Chinese people during the Greater East Asia War … especially the Nanjing Massacre, which was comparable to Auschwitz, the enormous atrocious act that Nazi Germany committed against the Jewish people. … Do you not think you should express apologies for those atrocities as a premise of the normalization negotiations?”45 Kōmeitō member Watanabe Ichirō also emphasized the importance of offering an apology for the Nanjing Massacre and other atrocities, for “the Chinese people are extremely angry because the Japanese government has never apologized since the end of the war.”46
In fact, prior to the 1972 normalization, Japanese citizens had already begun to publicly discuss Japan’s past wrongdoings in China and elsewhere against the backdrop of the growing anti-Vietnam War sentiments.47 For example, the most prominent anti-Vietnam War NGO network, Citizen’s League for Peace in Vietnam (Betonamu ni Heiwawo! Shimin Rengō), demanded that Japanese citizens understand their own past as perpetrators and stop victimizing Asian people again through the military alliance with the United States.48 Perhaps the most important outgrowth of anti-Vietnam War sentiments was a series of articles called “Travels in China” (Chūgoku no tabi) that Honda Katsuichi published in Asahi shinbun in August 1971. Honda was motivated by his earlier experience of reporting the Vietnam War and encouraged by American journalists who had exposed their own military’s atrocities in Vietnam. Based on his fieldwork and interviews, Honda detailed the atrocities committed by the Japanese military against civilians in Manchukuo, Nanjing, and other places.49
Around the same time, various eyewitness accounts of the Nanjing Massacre appeared in magazines: to name but a few examples, “Testimonies (p.57) of Atrocities by Photographers” (Satsuriku no genba wo shōgensuru jūgun kameraman) in Asahi Weekly Entertainment in January 1971, “I Witnessed the ‘Tragedy of Nanjing’” (Watashi wa ano Nankin no Higeki wo mokugekishita) in Circle in November 1971, and “The Cold-Blooded Termination Operation: The Nanjing Massacre” (Reikokuna minagoroshi sakusen: Nankin Daigyakusatsu) in Mainichi Sunday in November 1972.50 In addition to these journalistic accounts, Hora Tomio, a history professor at Waseda University, pioneered academic research on the Nanjing Massacre by publishing The Nanjing Incident (Nankin Jiken) in 1972 and two volumes of primary historical materials in 1973.
Japanese A-bomb victims also joined the growing commemoration of Chinese victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings. In July 1970, the Committee for the Commemoration of Chinese Prisoners (Chūgokujinfuryo Junansha Irei Jikkōiinkai) in Nagasaki requested that the city government officially commemorate thirty-three Chinese prisoners who had died as the result of the atomic bombing.51 In May 1972, the A-bomb poet Kurihara Sadako also wrote the poem “When We Say ‘Hiroshima’” (Hiroshima to iutoki), which urged Japanese A-bomb victims and citizens to commemorate foreign victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings instead of dwelling on their own victimhood.52 Moreover, in 1974, Maruki Iri and Toshi, A-bomb victims and painters famous for The Pictures of the Atomic Bombing (Genbaku no zu), began to paint The Picture of the Nanjing Massacre, for they felt that “without confronting the war crimes that we, the Japanese people, had committed, our call for peace and pacifism cannot be authentic.”53 These commemorations by Japanese A-bomb victims confirmed that they had begun to transcend the self-serving type of cosmopolitanism. As historian James Orr pointed out, Japanese victim consciousness indeed contained “the desire to identify with Asian victimhood rather than deny it.”54
In the meantime, the Japanese and Chinese governments tried to negotiate a peace and friendship treaty by building on the 1972 Joint Communique, but domestic and international political situations interfered. In Japan, Tanaka Kakuei resigned from the post of prime minister in September 1974 after being suspected of receiving illegal monetary contributions from the American aerospace company Lockheed. With the arrest of Tanaka in July 1976, the LDP had to focus on regaining trust from Japanese citizens.55 Around the same time, the Chinese government was going through intense power struggles between Deng Xiaoping and his rivals after the deaths of the two founding fathers, Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, in 1976.56 (p.58) In addition to these domestic political situations, the Japanese and Chinese governments had conflicting diplomatic calculations. The Chinese government proposed to include in a peace and friendship treaty an article to oppose imperialism in the region, trying to counter the threat of the Soviet Union. The Japanese government resisted the Chinese proposal since it did not want to jeopardize negotiations with the Soviet Union over the disputed sovereignty of Kuril/Northern Islands.57
The negotiations finally began to make progress in 1978. Prime Minister Fukuda Takeo had been keen on signing a peace and friendship treaty, and the United States had supported it to contain the threat of the Soviet Union in the region.58 Chinese politics was also stabilized in 1977 when Deng Xiaoping began to consolidate his power, and the Chinese government wanted better relations with Japan, given the escalating tensions with Vietnam and the Soviet Union.59 Although the Japanese government was still reluctant to include an article to oppose imperialism, it decided to compromise with the Chinese government by adding another article to clarify that “this treaty has no bearing on each party’s relations with other countries.”60
The Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed in August 1978 was decidedly forward-looking and made no reference to the Asia-Pacific War. People’s Daily celebrated the treaty by calling on the Japanese and Chinese peoples to “maintain friendship for generations to come” and downplayed Japan’s past wrongdoings: “Japan and China are neighboring countries with a long history of friendly exchange. During the first half of this century, a war broke out between the two countries, which inflicted enormous damages to the Chinese people as well as to the Japanese. But, the period of war was such a short time in light of two thousand years of history of relations between the two countries.”61 When Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping came to Japan in October 1978 and met with Emperor Hirohito, he also emphasized the importance of future peace and friendship between the two countries.62
In summary, the Japan-China normalization injected a small degree of cosmopolitanism into Japan’s official commemoration, as “deep reproach” was expressed in the 1972 Joint Communique. This shows that even the LDP, a proponent of nationalist commemoration, could adopt cosmopolitan contrition when doing so was politically opportune. The normalization also prompted Japanese citizens to commemorate Chinese victims of Japan’s war time atrocities, though it did not transform Japan’s official commemoration (p.59) significantly because the LDP as well as the Chinese government prioritized geopolitical and economic interests over historical issues.
Pursuing Government Sponsorship for the Yasukuni Shrine
While the normalization processes facilitated the commemoration of South Korean and Chinese victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings, the LDP and the Japan Bereaved Families Association continued to work together to defend nationalist commemoration at the Yasukuni Shrine. In February 1966, the Ministry of Welfare sent the Yasukuni Shrine deity-enshrinement documents for the fourteen Class A war criminals.63 After meeting with officials from the ministry in May 1967, Yasukuni priests decided to enshrine the Class A war criminals. The shrine’s board of directors approved the decision in January 1969, but the ministry and the shrine agreed not to publicize it.64 Then, in June 1969, the LDP submitted the so-called Yasukuni Shrine Bill (Yasukuni Jinja Hōan) to reinstate government sponsorship for the shrine.65
All the opposition parties, however, denounced the bill by arguing that government sponsorship of the Yasukuni Shrine was unconstitutional according to the principle of separation of religion and state.66 The JSP, for example, condemned the bill as an attempt to “affirm and glorify the imperialist war of aggression under the name of the emperor and designate the Yasukuni Shrine as a place to honor war dead of future wars of aggression. … The bill fails to examine Japan’s war responsibility for Asian peoples, who were the worst victims of Japan’s past aggression.”67 Given the strong criticisms and the tight schedule of the Diet session, the bill was discarded in August 1969, when the session was adjourned for a summer recess.68 The bill met the same fate when the LDP resubmitted it in 1970, 1971, and 1972.
When the LDP submitted the bill for the fifth time in May 1973, the Japan Bereaved Families Association and the Yasukuni Shrine stepped up their lobbying activities. In March 1974, the association organized a rally near the shrine and demanded that the LDP push through the opposition to pass the bill. Meanwhile, the chief Yasukuni priest, Tsukuba Fujimaro, submitted to Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei and speakers of both houses a petition requesting the passage of the bill.69 The LDP responded by using its numerical dominance to pass the bill at the House of Representatives in May 1974, while all the opposition parties boycotted the vote in protest.70
The opposition parties, as well as Buddhist and Christian NGOs, strongly criticized the LDP’s move. The most damaging criticism, however, (p.60) came from the House of Representatives Legislation Bureau, which firmly stated that government sponsorship of the Yasukuni Shrine would be unconstitutional unless the shrine changed almost all of its current practices to eliminate religious elements.71 Furthermore, even though the bill was sent to the House of Councillors, the ongoing session was to be adjourned in fewer than ten days. Given such a short window of opportunity, the LDP could pass the bill only if it completely ignored the opposition parties again. The LDP’s political calculation was complicated by the upcoming election for the House of Councillors. Not only was the LDP reluctant to galvanize supporters of the opposition parties at this time, but also the Diet customarily did not extend deliberation on a bill to the next session when an election was forthcoming.72
In the end, the LDP did not try to push the bill through the House of Councillors and, as a result, the bill was discarded in June 1974, for the fifth time. But the LDP still struggled in the July election of the House of Councillors and barely secured the house majority.73 Besides, the Yasukuni Shrine became reluctant to support the bill because they were worried about the bill’s ramifications: “If the Yasukuni Shrine Act is created according to the House of Representatives Legislation Bureau’s position, the Yasukuni Shrine will surely regress into an amorphous organization devoid of gods and spirits (shinrei fuzai). … If we rush and end up enacting a bad law that will destroy the Yasukuni Shrine’s original form, we will regret forever.”74
The LDP and the Japan Bereaved Families Association therefore decided to suspend their campaign to reinstate de jure government sponsorship for the shrine. Instead, they decided to pursue de facto government sponsorship in the form of an “official visit” (kōshiki sanpai) to the shrine by a prime minister and, ultimately, by the emperor. Such visits would symbolically mark the shrine as the national memorial to honor war dead for their sacrifices for the Japanese nation. As a first step in this new direction, Prime Minister Miki Takeo visited the shrine on August 15, 1975, the thirtieth anniversary of the Asia-Pacific War’s end. Miki’s visit was significant because it was the first time any prime minister had visited the shrine on this anniversary, the most important day in Japan for commemorating the war. But Miki was careful to state that he visited the shrine as a “private person” (shijin), not as prime minister, in order to avoid potential criticism from opposition parties and non-Shinto religious organizations.75
Miki’s cautious approach, however, frustrated some LDP members. Yagi Ichirō, for example, said to Miki, “I believe it is proper for the prime (p.61) minister, a representative of the Japanese people, to officially visit Yasukuni for war gods who died for the country. You should pay an open, official visit.”76 In June 1976, the Japan Bereaved Families Association, the Yasukuni Shrine, and veterans’ groups also formed the Association to Honor War Gods (Eirei ni Kotaeru Kai) to advocate an official visit to the shrine. The association created local branches in all forty-eight prefectures and lobbied prefectural councils to adopt resolutions requesting the government to move toward an official visit. Thirty-seven prefectures and 1,548 municipalities adopted such resolutions.77 In April 1978, LDP members also created the Council of Diet Members to Honor War Gods (Eirei ni Kotaeru Giin Kyōgikai) to promote an official visit. These efforts finally paid off on August 15, 1978, when Prime Minister Fukuda Takeo visited the shrine with other members of his cabinet and signed the shrine’s guestbook as “Prime Minister.”78
Around the same time, the Yasukuni Shrine selected Matsudaira Nagayoshi as new chief priest. Matsudaira was a former navy officer and more nationalistic than his predecessor, Tsukuba Fujimaro, who had been cautious not to implement the 1969 decision to enshrine the fourteen Class A war criminals.79 Under Matsudaira’s leadership, the shrine finally and covertly enshrined the Class A war criminals as war gods and “martyrs” (junansha) in October 1978. Matsudaira wanted to enshrine the Class A war criminals because he thought that “unless we reject the Tokyo Trial historical view (Tokyo Saiban shikan) that regarded Japan as solely and entirely wrong, we can never reconstruct Japan spiritually.”80 He also justified the enshrinement by referring to the 1953 reform of the Act on Relief for Injured Veterans and Bereaved Families that had granted pensions to bereaved families of war criminals: “The Tokyo Trial was not based on a valid international law. Then, the Japanese government officially decided to treat those who had been prosecuted as war criminals as the same as other war dead by the domestic law. So, there was no problem in enshrining them.”81
The enshrinement of the Class A war criminals was reported by Asahi shinbun in April 1979. Opposition parties responded by demanding that Prime Minister Ōhira Masayoshi refrain from visiting the Yasukuni Shrine.82 JSP member Yamahana Sadao criticized Ōhira, who was a Christian, by quoting a Christian priest: “The enshrinement of Class A war criminals leads to the denial of war responsibility.”83 When Ōhira disregarded the opposition and went ahead with his visit, JCP member Yamanaka Ikuko argued, “Your action absolves the Class A war criminals, the leaders of the (p.62) aggressive war (shinryaku sensō) that killed tens of millions of people in Japan and Asia. I have to say your action amounts to affirmation of the aggressive war.”84 Ōhira counterargued that they had to wait for “history to hand its judgment” since there were competing interpretations of the “Greater East Asia War.”85
After the enshrinement of the Class A war criminals became public knowledge, Emperor Hirohito stopped visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, though he continued to send his representative (chokushi) to annual festivals. In contrast, Ōhira and members of the Council of Diet Members to Honor War Gods continued to visit the shrine. When Ōhira suddenly died of a heart attack in May 1980, the LDP exploited the public’s sympathy to win a landslide victory in elections of both houses of the Diet. Encouraged by the election results, Prime Minister Suzuki Zenkō visited the shrine eight times during his tenure between July 1980 and November 1982—the highest frequency of Yasukuni visits among LDP prime ministers.86 LDP Diet members also launched the Association of Diet Members for Visiting the Yasukuni Shrine Together (Minnade Yasukuni Jinja ni Sanpaisuru Kokkaigiin no Kai) in March 1981, and 197 out of the 259 association members visited the shrine during its annual spring festival in April.87
Thus, despite the normalization with South Korea and China, the LDP continued to promote nationalism in Japan’s official commemoration. While the LDP failed to renationalize the Yasukuni Shrine due to the lack of political opportunity, it pursued an official visit to the shrine and reinforced the nationalist logic of commemoration, justifying the Asia-Pacific War as a heroic act of self-defense.
Growing Tensions between Domestic and International Demands
In addition to the promotion of the official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, the LDP tried to reduce descriptions of Japan’s past wrongdoings in Japanese history textbooks for junior high and high schools; those descriptions increased throughout the 1970s because Ienaga Saburō had won his case at the Tokyo District Court in July 1970.88 The LDP began to criticize history textbooks by serializing Textbooks Today (Ima kyōkashowa) in its official newsletters in January 1980.89 LDP minister of justice Okuno Seiryō also publicly criticized existing textbooks for their “inadequacy in cultivating love of the country,” and in June 1981, the LDP decided to create a new law that would further strengthen the power of the Ministry of Education to regulate the contents of history textbooks.90
(p.63) These attempts to promote nationalism in education affected the 1982 cycle of textbook inspection for high schools: textbook inspectors recommended that authors of Japanese history textbooks should replace the expression “aggression” (shinryaku) toward China with “advancement” (shinshutsu) and use more conservative terminology to describe the Nanjing Massacre. One of the textbook inspectors, Tokinoya Shigeru, justified the recommendations as follows: “I was troubled by the inconsistency, where the author [Ienaga Saburo] uses ‘aggression’ only to describe Japan’s acts toward China while using ‘advancement’ to describe the Western Powers’ acts toward Asia and China. … Since historical interpretations of the Nanjing Massacre became more diverse after Mr. Suzuki Akira’s A Myth of the Nanjing Massacre won the Fourth Ōya Souichi Nonfiction Award, the author can no longer assert his interpretation that the Japanese military committed systematic atrocities immediately after occupying Nanjing.”91 After the inspection, two out of the ten Japanese history textbooks for high schools adopted the recommendations and replaced “aggression” with “advancement.”92
Soon after major Japanese newspapers reported the changes recommended by the Ministry of Education, newspapers and broadcasting stations in South Korea and China began to criticize the Japanese government for trying to distort history. Minister of Education Ogawa Heiji rejected the criticism by stating that inspection of history textbooks was a “domestic issue” and not the concern of foreign countries.93 But the criticisms from South Korea and China continued. NGOs in South Korea organized meetings and demonstrations against the recommended changes, pressing Chun Doo Hwan’s government to protest.94 The Chinese government told the Japanese embassy in Beijing that the recommended changes contradicted the spirit of the 1972 Joint Communique and the 1978 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two countries.95 The Chinese government also refused to proceed with Ogawa’s scheduled visit to Beijing.
Suzuki Zenkō’s government initially tried to defend the recommended changes. When JSP member Doi Takako asked whether the government was trying to deny the “obvious historical fact that Japan waged a war of aggression (shinryaku sensō) against China,” Hashimoto Hiroshi from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “We humbly recognize that such a historical view is held by people in China,” and indicated that Japan did not have to adopt the same view.96 Ogawa also argued, “The nature of the war that Japan waged against China is open to diverse interpretations and judgments. I do (p.64) not think it is necessary for the Japanese government to issue a statement officially acknowledging that it was a war of aggression.”97 These attempts to defend the recommended changes were consistent with the LDP’s longstanding rejection of the Tokyo Trial. Explaining why the number of victims of the Nanjing Massacre was removed from the textbooks, Chief Cabinet Secretary Miyazawa Kiichi argued, “Even though the Tokyo Trial stated that 200,000 people were killed in Nanjing, I do not know whether we can establish a historical fact solely based on that statement. History is far more complicated, and it will take us a long time to learn what really happened.”98
International criticism continued, however, and prompted the Japanese government to issue a statement, promising to “listen carefully to the criticisms of the textbooks from South Korea and China, among other countries” and “modify the current textbook inspection criteria so as to promote friendship with neighboring countries in Asia.”99 The Japanese government then incorporated the so-called Article on Neighboring Countries (kinrin shokoku jōkō) into inspection criteria to encourage textbook writers to include descriptions of foreign victims of the Asia-Pacific War.100 As a result, the international criticism abated, and descriptions of Japan’s past wrongdoings in history textbooks increased during the 1980s.101
Frustrated with this sequence of events, the National Council for the Defense of Japan (Nihon wo Mamoru Kokumin Kaigi) announced its plan to produce a new history textbook that could “make children proud of being Japanese” as an alternative to the existing history textbooks marred with “masochistic tendencies.”102 The council then submitted its draft history textbook for high schools, New Japanese History (Shinpen nihonshi), to the 1985–1986 cycle of textbook inspection. This history textbook discussed myths of the imperial family extensively, praised the Imperial Rescript on Education in prewar Japan, and downplayed Japan’s past wrongdoings. The draft textbook stated, for example, “The battle over Nanjing was extremely intense. The Chinese government argues that the Japanese military committed atrocities against the Chinese people at the time. … But a controversy exists over truths of the event, and it is yet to be settled.”103 After inspecting the draft textbook, the Ministry of Education required the council to make about eight hundred revisions. After the council completed the required revisions, the ministry provisionally approved the textbook in May 1986.
Again, the Japanese government received strong criticisms from South Korea, China, and other Asian countries. The South Korean and Chinese (p.65) governments, in particular, demanded further revisions of New Japanese History. In response, the Ministry of Education required the council to go through four additional rounds of revision regarding its descriptions of Japan’s past aggression, war time atrocities, and colonial rule.104 This action on the ministry’s part pacified the international criticism but also galvanized some LDP members to form the Association for the Nation’s Basic Problems (Kokka Kihon Mondai Dōshikai) in August 1986. Association members criticized the government for accommodating foreign demands and argued, “Interpretations of history differ across countries. … By demanding changes in Japanese history textbooks, China and South Korea are interfering with Japan’s domestic affairs.”105
In spite of the controversy over history textbooks in the 1980s, the LDP stepped up its effort to legitimate an official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. The Council of Diet Members to Honor War Gods, the Association of Diet Members for Bereaved Families, and the Association of Diet Members for Visiting the Yasukuni Shrine Together joined forces to press Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro to officially visit the shrine.106 While Nakasone visited the shrine on annual festivals as well as on the anniversary of the Asia-Pacific War’s end, he was careful not to refer to his visits as “official” and avoided spending government funds to pay visit-related expenses.
To finally make an official visit on the fortieth anniversary of the war’s end, Nakasone created the Commission on Visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Cabinet Members (Kakuryō no Yasukuni Jinja Sanpai Mondai ni kansuru Kondankai) in August 1984. The commission published its final report on August 9, 1985, concluding that an official visit was possible within the framework of the constitution.107 In addition, Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujinami Takao issued a statement on August 14, explaining that Prime Minister Nakasone’s official visit should not be interpreted as validating Japan’s past aggression; on the contrary, Fujinami argued, “We are deeply aware that we caused great pains and damages to many people in the world, especially in Asia. Our determination not to repeat such an act … guides our official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. We will continue to make efforts to help other countries understand the intention of our official visit, to honor war dead and pray for world peace.”108
Despite these efforts to preempt international criticism, the Chinese government still warned of possible consequences of Nakasone’s planned visit: “If Prime Minister Nakasone and other cabinet members visit the Yasukuni Shrine, their act will harm feelings of people around the world, (p.66) especially Chinese and Japanese people who suffered greatly from militarism, for the shrine honors war criminals like Tōjō Hideki.”109 Nevertheless, Nakasone proceeded with his visit on August 15. As Japan’s prime minister, he used government funds to pay offerings for the first time. After his visit, Nakasone held a press conference and stated, “Of course, it was an official visit. I am convinced that the majority of Japanese citizens support a prime minister’s official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. … My visit will never resurrect prewar militarism, extreme nationalism, and national Shintoism. I will make efforts to help foreign countries understand the true intention of my visit.”110
Galvanized by Naksone’s action, university students in Beijing protested against “Japanese militarism” and “visits to the Yasukuni Shrine” on September 18, the anniversary of the 1931 Mukden Incident. Protests spread to other major cities and continued until October.111 Opposition parties in Japan also strongly criticized Nakasone’s official visit. JSP member Doi Takako spearheaded the criticism as follows: “In the past, Japan inflicted enormous damages on China and the whole of Asia. Victim countries will never forget it. So, what will they think of an official visit to the shrine that honors those who were prosecuted and punished as war criminals?”112 In November and December, Japanese bereaved families critical of Nakasone’s official visit also filed lawsuits arguing that his official visit had violated the constitutional separation of religion and state.113
While exploring how Nakasone could continue his official visit without incurring international and domestic criticism, some LDP members considered the possibility of removing the Class A war criminals from the shrine. For example, Itagaki Tadashi, an LDP member and son of Itagaki Seishirō—one of the seven executed Class A war criminals—tried to contact bereaved families of the other Class A war criminals, hoping that they might agree to remove their family members from the Yasukuni Shrine. When Itagaki talked to Tōjō Teruo, a son of Tōjō Hideki, in November 1985, however, the latter argued that such a move would mean accepting the “victor’s justice” of the Tokyo Trial and, thus, he could not allow it for the sake of his father.114 Yasukuni priests also categorically rejected the possibility of removing the Class A war criminals on religious grounds, insisting it was “impossible to remove a person who has been already enshrined as a god.”115
In the end, Nakasone decided not to visit the Yasukuni Shrine again. To explain the decision, Chief Cabinet Secretary Gotōda Masaharu issued (p.67) a statement on August 14, 1986: “Since the Yasukuni Shrine honors the so-called ‘Class A war criminals,’ the last year’s official visit drew criticisms from people in neighboring countries who had suffered enormous pains and damages from acts of our country in the past. This will risk causing misunderstandings and distrust between Japan and neighboring countries … and will not serve our national interests and, ultimately, the wish of war dead, to promote friendship with other peoples.”116
By the mid-1980s, then, the Japanese government had to negotiate the opposing demands: that is, South Korean and Chinese calls to commemorate how they had suffered from Japan’s past wrongdoings, and nationalist insistence inside Japan that the government reject such foreign demands. As a result, even though the LDP had sufficient mobilizing structures and controlled the government, its attempt to strengthen nationalism in Japan’s official commemoration—through prime ministers’ actions and history education—did not succeed. In fact, thanks to the international pressure, Japan’s official commemoration became less nationalist, in that a prime ministerial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine was suspended. Instead, it became more cosmopolitan because the government introduced the new textbook-inspection criterion to increase descriptions of Japan’s past wrongdoings in history textbooks.
New Developments in Japan’s Relations with South Korea and China
Notwithstanding the controversies over Japanese history textbooks and the Yasukuni Shrine, Japan’s relations with South Korea and China continued to develop. In January 1983, Nakasone Yasuhiro visited South Korea as soon as he was appointed prime minister, because he wanted to underscore the importance of Asia for Japan’s diplomacy. Nakasone also succeeded in inviting South Korean president Chun Doo Hwan to Japan in September 1984—the first time any South Korean president had visited Japan. At the welcome dinner party for Chun, Nakasone expressed his “deep regret” (fukai ikan) for “serious damages that Japan inflicted on your country and people” and stated Japan’s determination not to repeat the past wrongdoings.117 Similarly, Emperor Hirohito expressed his “regret (ikan) for the unfortunate past” between the two countries.118
Around the same time, Japanese and South Korean NGOs continued to cooperate in pressing the Japanese government to offer relief for South Korean A-bomb victims. Japanese NGOs formed the Hiroshima Committee for Providing Medical Treatment for South Korean A-Bomb Victims in (p.68) Japan (Zaikan Hibakusha Tonichi Chiryō Hiroshima Jikkōiinkai) in August 1984 to raise money for South Korean A-bomb victims to travel to Japan and stay in hospitals for an indefinite period for medical treatment.119 The South Korean A-Bomb Victims Association and its Japanese supporters also contacted the Human-Rights Protection Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations in April 1986 and requested the federation’s help in lobbying the Japanese government. After the federation conducted an investigation in South Korea, it submitted a report to Nakasone’s government, requesting the extension of the 1980 agreement, wherein the Japanese government had promised to invite South Korean A-bomb victims for medical treatment in Japan.120
The transnational network of NGOs, however, could not change the Japanese government’s position. The 1980 agreement expired in 1985, and the Japanese government took no further action to address the situation of South Korean A-bomb victims. To mobilize more support for South Korean A-bomb victims, Japanese NGOs organized a two-day symposium, to which they invited Shin Yong Su and two other A-bomb victims from South Korea. At the symposium, South Korean A-bomb victims, Japanese journalists, and representatives of major Japanese NGOs supporting A-bomb victims gave presentations and exchanged opinions. At the end of the symposium, the participants adopted a joint resolution to press the Japanese government to take appropriate action for South Korean A-bomb victims: “When we think about Japan’s ‘negative history (fu no rekishi)’ vis-à-vis the ‘Hiroshima-Nagasaki’ experience, we cannot but feel the great weight of our task as Japanese citizens. … This problem [of South Korean A-bomb victims] is a very serious one—part of ‘unfulfilled responsibility for the war’—that the Japanese government must resolve as soon as possible.”121 After the symposium, the Japanese participants created the Citizen Council for South Korean A-Bomb Victims (Zaikan Hibakusha Mondai Shimin Kaigi) to help South Korean A-bomb victims obtain compensation from the Japanese government. Along with these NGOs, opposition parties also rallied behind South Korean A-bomb victims and demanded that the Japanese government resume medical treatment of South Korean A-bomb victims at Japanese hospitals.122
In addition to the A-bomb victims, there were many other victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings in South Korea, and they had been dissatisfied with the way both the Japanese and South Korean governments had dealt with the issue of compensation. After the 1965 normalization, Park Chun Hee’s (p.69) government created a law in January 1971 to provide compensation for those who had lost financial assets, as well as for military-related personnel who had died during the war; however, this compensation scheme excluded injured veterans, bereaved families, and other types of war victims. Moreover, while Park’s government had created a committee to process compensation claims by eligible South Korean citizens, the procedure had been not only complicated but also short-lived, as it was effective for only eleven months. After all, Park’s government spent less than 6 percent of the three hundred million US dollars that it had received from the Japanese government in lieu of compensation for war-related damages.123 To protest against the narrow coverage and limited amount of compensations, South Korean war victims formed the Association of South Korean Victims and Bereaved Families of the Pacific War in April 1973 and lobbied Park’s government to expand the compensation scheme.124
This discontent among South Korean victims intersected with growing nationalistic sentiments from both below and above. From below, as sociologist Shin Gi-Wook pointed out, the democratization movement in the 1980s drew on the ethnic-nationalist concept of the “Korean people” in order to articulate its democratic, popular demands against military dictatorship.125 South Korea’s economic success and hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics also stimulated national pride. From above, Chun Doo Hwan’s government significantly revised its official history textbook in 1982 to include extensive descriptions of the Korean independence movement and resistance against Japan’s colonial rule.126 This new history education aimed to emphasize the legitimacy of the current government as a culmination of the long struggle of the Korean people, appeal to ethnic-nationalist sentiments among citizens, and deflect the discontent in the contentious civil society.127 As part of this legitimation effort, Chun’s government also began the construction of the Independence Hall of Korea in anticipation of the fortieth anniversary of the country’s liberation: completed in 1987, the hall commemorated the history of the Korean nation by highlighting the brutalities of Japan’s colonial rule and war time atrocities vis-à-vis the heroism of the Korean resistance. On the forty-first anniversary of liberation in August 1986, Chun also delivered a speech stating, “We still cannot calm our anger at the past aggression by Japanese imperialism. The foreign oppression not only gave us our greatest pain and shame but also became the root cause of our divided nation.”128
Similarly, relations between Japan and China were characterized by the growth of positive interactions in conjunction with the surge of nationalist (p.70) commemoration in China. On the one hand, once the Treaty of Peace and Friendship was ratified in 1978, the bilateral relations made rapid progress. In December 1979, Prime Minister Ōhira Masahiro visited China and announced the Japanese government’s plan to provide China with official development aid (ODA), a total of 330.9 billion yen, to help finance China’s developmental projects between 1979 and 1984.129 Ōhira’s visit was reciprocated by Hua Guofeng’s visit to Japan in May 1980, the first such visit by any Chinese premier. The Japanese and Chinese governments also signed a series of agreements on steel mills, fisheries, natural resources, infrastructures, and soft loans to facilitate the development of the Chinese economy.130
In addition, more and more municipalities in Japan and China began to sign friendship agreements to facilitate civic exchanges. Between 1978 and 1988, the number of sister-city agreements increased from two to 115, including Tokyo-Beijing and Hiroshima-Chongqing.131 Along with municipal-level interactions, cultural and educational exchanges were promoted based on the Agreement for the Promotion of Cultural Exchange in December 1979 and the Agreement for Cooperation in Science and Technology in May 1980. Given these agreements, Japanese and Chinese sports teams competed at friendly matches, museums loaned artifacts to each other, and exchange programs for students and researchers were established—in the name of the promotion of friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries.132
On the other hand, the Chinese government started “patriotic education” in the early 1980s, as the country was going through significant social changes. The Cultural Revolution had caused the Chinese people’s trust in the Chinese Communist Party to decline. Then, Deng Xiaoping took over the party leadership and began to implement economic reforms. But the economic reforms that introduced market principles into China undermined existing economic and social structures, creating a greater desire among people for a Western-style liberal democracy, especially university students. To contain these destabilizing consequences of the Cultural Revolution and economic reforms, the Chinese government tried to strengthen people’s loyalty to the party. In 1981, People’s Daily began to publish a number of articles about various patriotic educational programs across the country and, in July 1982, called for a nationwide campaign for patriotic education in the article, titled “Love the Communist Party of China, Love the Socialist Fatherland, Love the People’s Liberation Army.”133 Deng’s government (p.71) also expanded on its assertive response to Japanese history textbooks in 1982 and recommended that patriotic education should be strengthened.134
Moreover, the Chinese government constructed the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, the Museum of the Criminal Evidence of Unit 731 Bacteria Troop, and other museums across China in 1985 in order to commemorate Chinese victims of Japan’s past aggression and celebrate China’s victory over Japan on the fortieth anniversary. The growing commemoration of Japan’s past wrongdoings departed from the earlier, more benign commemorative position of the Chinese government. This change reflected the government’s decision to designate reunification of China as one of its main policy goals in January 1980. Accordingly, China’s official commemoration shifted the blame for the suffering of the Chinese people from the Kuomintang to Japan.135 Moreover, the government significantly increased descriptions of Japan’s war time atrocities, especially the Nanjing Massacre, in national history textbooks in 1986.136 Then, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese government opened the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression near Marco Polo Bridge in July 1987.
Concurrently, the Chinese government began to support public commemorations of the Nanjing Massacre and Japan’s war time atrocities.137 During the early 1960s, historians at Nanjing University, given the strong interest among local residents, had already conducted two years of interviews with survivors of the massacre and produced a document.138 The Chinese government, however, had not allowed the document to be published, not only because the government’s commemorative position toward Japan was benign, but also because the government was unwilling to revisit the history of a weak China humiliated by foreign powers.139 But in the 1980s, government research institutions collaborated with history professors in Nanjing to organize scattered historical materials in local and national archives, and they produced a series of publications on the Nanjing Massacre.140 With regard to other war time atrocities, too, scholars, museum curators, writers, and journalists across China began to conduct and publicize their historical research along the lines of the Chinese government’s official commemoration.141 Thus, under Deng’s leadership, the Chinese government began to direct public commemorations of the Asia-Pacific War to garner popular support for the Communist Party as a savior of the Chinese people from the Japanese aggressors.
During the period between 1965 and 1988, Japan’s official commemoration came to adopt the cosmopolitan logic in a limited way. Japanese prime ministers expressed “deep regret” and “reproach” for Japan’s past wrongdoings against South Korea and China. The compensation policy for A-bomb victims was partially extended to South Koreans. Descriptions of Japan’s past wrongdoings in history textbooks also increased, and the textbook-inspection criteria were modified to take into account foreign perspectives. These small changes were driven primarily by transnational interactions: the Japanese prime ministers’ contrite speech acts took place when meeting with leaders of the South Korean and Chinese governments, and criticisms from South Korea and China prompted the changes in Japanese history textbooks. Similarly, the compensation policy for A-bomb victims was initiated by Japanese and South Korean NGOs supporting South Korean A-bomb victims.
These changes remained small because the mobilizing structures of cosmopolitan commemoration, including the JSP and NGOs affiliated with A-bomb victims, were much weaker than their nationalist counter parts. Although the proponents of cosmopolitan commemoration succeeded in stopping the Yasukuni Shrine from being renationalized, they were unable to make Japan’s official commemoration decisively more cosmopolitan because they lacked direct access to the government. The LDP, backed by the Japan Bereaved Families Association and other conservative NGOs, continued to single-handedly control the government and defend the nationalist logic of commemoration, rejecting the Tokyo Judgment. Nevertheless, these small changes demonstrated influences of transnational interactions on Japan’s official commemoration. Despite its robust mobilizing structures and political dominance, the LDP government—a defender of nationalist commemoration—had to incorporate cosmopolitanism into Japan’s official commemoration. Put another way, the transnational interactions added an international dimension to political opportunities, constraining the LDP government’s attempt to maintain its nationalist commemoration.142
Most significant changes during this period, however, happened at the subterranean level rather than at the official level. Japanese A-bomb victims and affiliated NGOs began to articulate the cosmopolitan logic of commemoration more forcefully than before by encompassing foreign victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings. Concurrently, nationalistic sentiments began to develop in South Korea and China, partly engineered by the governments (p.73) and partly springing up spontaneously from citizens. This growth of nationalism in the two countries fed into, as well as was fed by, their commemorations of Japan’s past aggression, war time atrocities, and colonial rule. These subterranean changes did not yet influence Japan’s official commemoration, but they were ready to galvanize the history problem in East Asia. At this juncture, two historic events happened that changed the dynamic of the history problem at both domestic and international levels: the death of Emperor Hirohito and the end of the Cold War.
(1) “Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, June 22, 1965,” http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/docs/19650622.T1E.html.
(2) “Agreement on the Settlement of Problems Concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Co-operation between Japan and the Republic of Korea, June 22, 1965,” http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/JPKR/19650622.T9E.html.
(3) House of Representatives Special Committee on the Treaty and Agreements between Japan and the Republic of Korea, October 28, 1965.
(4) House of Representatives Plenary Session, November 9, 1965.
(5) An excerpt from proceedings of the Special Committee on the Ratification of the Treaty and Agreements between the Republic of Korea and Japan, reprinted in Sōji Takasaki, Kenshō Nikkan kaidan (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1996), 182–184.
(6) Tsutomu Takenaka, ed., Misuterareta zaikan hibakusha (Tokyo: Nisshin Hōdō, 1970), 52.
(7) Zaikan Hibakusha Mondai Shimin Kaigi, Zaikan hibakusha mondai wo kangaeru (Tokyo: Gaifūsha, 1988), 206.
(8) Junko Ichiba, Hiroshima wo mochikaetta hitobito (Tokyo: Gaifūsha, 2005), 45.
(9) “A Founding Statement of the South Korean A-Bomb Victims Association, February 11, 1967,” reprinted in Saburō Ienaga, Hideo Odagiri, and Kazuo Kuroko, eds., Nihon no genbakukiroku, vol. 12 (Tokyo: Nihon Tosho Center, 1991), 430–434.
(10) Asahi shinbun, March 28, 1968.
(13) Nihon Hidankyōshi Henshū Iinkai, Futatabi hibakusha wo tsukuruna, vol. 1 (Tokyo: Akebi Shobō, 2009), 111.
(14) House of Representatives Plenary Session, April 2, 1968.
(15) House of Representatives Social Labor Committee, May 16, 1968.
(18) House of Representatives Social Labor Committee, May 8, 1969.
(19) “Mijikade tōi hibakushatachi, August 1969,” reprinted in Takashi Hiraoka, Jidai to kioku (Tokyo: Kage Shobō, 2011), 133.
(p.210) (20) Tatsumi Nakajima, ed., Nihon genbakuron taikei, vol. 3 (Tokyo: Nihon Tosho Center, 1999), 320.
(22) “A Petition to Prime Minister Tanaka, August 9, 1972,” reprinted in Ienaga, Odagiri, and Kuroko, Nihon no genbakukiroku, 456–458.
(23) Takashi Hiraoka, Muen no kaikyō: Hiroshima no koe hibaku Chōsenjin no koe (Tokyo: Kage Shobō, 1983), 10.
(24) “A Petition to Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei, July 23, 1974,” reprinted in Ienaga, Odagiri, and Kuroko, Nihon no genbakukiroku, 470–472.
(26) House of Representatives Social Labor Committee, October 11, 1972.
(27) House of Councillors Social Labor Committee, June 5, 1973.
(28) For the entire text of the Supreme Court ruling, see Nihon Hidankyōshi Henshū Iinkai, Futatabi hibakusha wo tsukuruna, vol. 2 (Tokyo: Akebi Shobō, 2009), 97–101.
(32) People’s Daily, November 25, 1964.
(33) “A Statement on the Signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, June 26, 1965,” reprinted in Kazankai, Nitchū kankei kihon shiryōshū, 1949–1997 (Tokyo: Kazankai, 1998), 253–254.
(34) Akihiko Tanaka, “Nitchū seiji kankei,” in Chūgoku wo meguru kokusai kankyō, ed. Tatsumi Okabe and Kōichi Nomura (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1990), 54.
(35) House of Councillors Bud get Committee, March 27, 1971.
(36) Kazuko Mouri, Nitchū kankei: sengo kara shinjidaie (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2006), 67.
(38) “Greetings by Premier Zhou Enlai’s at the Welcome Banquet for Prime Minister Tanaka,” September 25, 1972, reprinted in Kazankai, Nitchū kankei kihon shiryōshū, 1972–2008 (Tokyo: Kazankai, 2008), 3.
(39) For a detailed sequence of unofficial and official normalization talks between Japan and China, see Akira Ishii, Jianrong Zhu, Yoshihide Soeya, and Xiaguang Lin, eds., Kiroku to kōshō: Nitchū kokkō seijōka Nitchū Heiwa Yūkō Jōyaku teiketsu kōshō (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2003).
(p.211) (40) An excerpt from the first meeting between Japanese and Chinese foreign ministers, reprinted in Zhi Hui Yang, “Sensō baishō mondai kara sengo hoshō mondaie,” in Kokkyō wo koeru rekishi ninshiki: Nitchū taiwa no kokoromi, ed. Jie Liu, Hiroshi Mitani, and Daqing Yang (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2006), 330.
(41) “Greetings by Prime Minister Tanaka,” September 25, 1972, reprinted in Kazankai, Nitchū kankei, 1972–2008 (Tokyo: Kazankai, 2008), 5–6.
(43) “The Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, September 29, 1972,” http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/china/joint72.html.
(44) People’s Daily, September 30, 1972.
(45) House of Councillors Foreign Affairs Committee, July 23, 1971.
(46) House of Representatives Bud get Committee, October 28, 1971.
(47) Eiji Oguma, “The Postwar Intellectuals’ View of Asia,” in Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History: Colonialism, Regionalism and Borders, ed. Sven Saaler and J. Victor Koschmann (London: Routledge, 2007), 200–212. For the history of the anti-Vietnam War movement in Japan, see Thomas Havens, Fire across the Sea: The Vietnam War and Japan 1965–1975 (Princeton, NJ: Prince ton University Press, 1987).
(48) James J. Orr, The Victim as Hero: Ideologies of Peace and National Identity in Postwar Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2001), 3–4.
(49) Katsuichi Honda, Chūgoku no tabi (Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1981).
(50) For a more comprehensive list of publications related to the Nanjing Massacre, see Tokushi Kasahara, Nankin Jiken ronsōshi: Nihonjin wa shijitsu wo dou ninshiki shitekitaka (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2007), 109.
(51) Nagasaki shinbun, July 28, 1970.
(52) Sadako Kurihara, When We Say ‘Hiroshima’: Selected Poems (Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan, 1999), 20–21.
(53) Asahi shinbun, November 9, 1974.
(55) Hidekazu Wakatsuki, “Heiwa Yūkō Jōyaku teiketsu kōshō kara taichū enshakkan no kyōyoe,” in Nitchū kankeishi, vol. 1, ed. Akio Takahara and Ryūji Hattori (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2012), 108.
(56) Akihiko Tanaka, Nitchū kankei 1945–1990 (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 1991), 94.
(57) Hidekazu Wakatsuki, “Zenhōi gaikō” no jidai: reisen henyōki no Nihon to Ajia (Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Hyōronsha, 2006).
(60) “Peace and Friendship Treaty Between Japan and the People’s Republic of China, August 12, 1978,” 2012, http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/china/nc_heiwa.html.
(61) “The Chinese and Japanese Peoples Shall Maintain Friendship for Generations to Come,” People’s Daily, August 22, 1978, reprinted in Kazankai, Nitchū kankei, 1949–1997 (Tokyo: Kazankai, 1998), 99–101.
(62) Mainichi shinbun and Yomiuri shinbun, October 24, 1978.
(63) Mainichi Shinbun Yasukuni Shuzaihan, Yasukuni sengohishi: A-kyū senpan wo gōshishita otoko (Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbunsha, 2007), 148.
(64) Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan Chōsa oyobi Rippōkousakyoku, ed., Shinpen Yasukuni Jinja mondai shiryōshū (Tokyo: Heibunsha, 2007), 304–312.
(65) For the history of political struggles over the Yasukuni Shrine Bill, see Helen Hardacre, Shintō and the State, 1868–1988 (Prince ton, NJ: Prince ton University Press, 1989).
(66) Asahi shinbun, July 1, 1969.
(67) “The Japan Socialist Party’s Position on the Yasukuni Shrine Bill, January 16, 1974,” reprinted in Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan Chōsa oyobi Rippōkousakyoku, ed., Yasukuni Jinja mondai shiryōshū (Tokyo: Kokkai Toshokan, 1976), 249–254.
(68) In Japan, a bill is automatically discarded by the end of the Diet session during which it was submitted, unless Diet members vote to extend deliberation on the bill to the next session.
(69) Nihon Izokukai, ed., Nihon Izokukai no yonjūnen (Tokyo: Nihon Izokukai, 1987), 100–101.
(70) House of Representatives Cabinet Committee and Plenary Session, April 12 and May 25, 1974.
(71) House of Representatives Legislation Bureau, “On the Constitutionality of the Yasukuni Shrine Bill, May 13, 1974,” reprinted in Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan Chōsa oyobi Rippōkousakyoku, ed. Yasukuni Jinja mondai shiryōshū (Tokyo: Kokkai Toshokan, 1976), 171–175.
(72) Nobumasa Tanaka, Hiroshi Tanaka, and Nagami Hata, Izoku to sengo (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1995), 223–224.
(73) Masumi Ishikawa and Jirō Yamaguchi, Sengo seijishi (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2010), 127.
(74) An excerpt from the September 1974 issue of Yasukuni is reprinted in Nobumasa Tanaka, Yasukuni no sengoshi (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2002), 109–110.
(75) “The Official Position of the Government on Visit to the Yasukuni Shrine by Prime Minister and Other Officials, October 17, 1976,” reprinted in Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan, Shinpen Yasukuni Jinja, 567.
(p.213) (76) House of Representatives Plenary Session, September 19, 1975.
(80) An excerpt from “My Regret for Fourteen Years of Service to Yasukuni” in the December 1992 issue of Gentlemen! reprinted in Ryōta Murai, “Sengo Nihon no seiji to irei,” in Kokkyō wo koeru rekishi ninshiki: Nitchū taiwa no kokoromi, ed. Jie Liu, Hiroshi Mitani, Daqing Yang (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2006), 302.
(82) Asahi shinbun, April 19 and 20, 1979.
(83) House of Representatives Cabinet Committee, April 20, 1979.
(84) House of Councillors Plenary Session, April 27, 1979.
(85) House of Councillors Cabinet Committee, June 5, 1979.
(88) Kyōkashokentei Soshō wo Shiensuru Zenkoku Renrakukai, ed., Ienaga kyōkasho saiban no subete: 32-nen no undō to korekara (Tokyo: Minshūsha, 1998), 95; Toshio Tokutake, Ienaga saiban undō shōshi (Tokyo: Shin Nihon Shuppansha, 1999), 62.
(89) Jiyū Minshutō, Ima kyōkasho wa: kyōiku seijōka eno teigen (Tokyo: Jiyū Minshutō Kōhō Iinkai Shinbunkyoku, 1980).
(90) Asahi shinbun, July 23, 1980, and June 6, 1981.
(91) Shigeru Tokinoya, Ienaga kyōkasho saiban to Nankin Jiken: Monbushō tantōsha wa shōgensuru (Tokyo: Nihon Kyōbunsha, 1989), 129–142.
(92) Asahi shinbun, July 28, 1982.
(93) Ibid., June 28, July 15, July 21, and July 24, 1982.
(94) Ibid., August 4, 1982.
(95) Ruicong Duan, “Kyōkasho mondai,” in Kironitatsu Nitchū kankei: kako tono taiwa mirai eno mosaku, ed. Ryōko Iechika, Yasuhiro Matsuda, and Ruicong Duan (Kyoto: Keiyō Shobō, 2007), 66.
(96) House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, July 30, 1982.
(97) House of Representatives Culture and Education Committee, August 6, 1982.
(98) House of Representatives Cabinet Committee, July 29, 1982.
(100) For a detailed sequence of the Japanese government’s responses, see Caroline Rose, Interpreting History in Sino-Japanese Relations: A Case Study in Political Decision-Making (London: Routledge, 1998).
(p.214) (101) Yoshiko Nozaki, “Japanese Politics and the History of Textbook Controversy, 1945–2001,” in History Education and National Identity in East Asia, ed. Edward Vickers and Alisa Jones (London: Routledge, 2005), 287.
(103) Asahi shinbun, May 24, 1986.
(105) Asahi Shimbun, August 1, 1986.
(107) Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, “Report by the Commission on Visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Cabinet Members, August 9, 1985,” http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/JH/19850809.O1J.html.
(108) “Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujinami’s Statement on an Official Visit to the Yasukuni Shrine by Prime Minister and other Cabinet Members, August 14, 1985,” reprinted in Kazankai, Nitchū kankei, 1972–2008, 265–66.
(109) People’s Daily, August 14, 1985.
(110) Asahi shinbun, August 16, 1985.
(112) House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, November 8, 1985.
(114) Tadashi Itagaki, Yasukuni kōshiki sanpai no sōkatsu (Tokyo: Teitensha, 2000), 188.
(115) Yomiuri shinbun, January 6, 1986.
(116) “Chief Cabinet Minister Gotōda’s Statement on an Official Visit to the Yasukuni Shrine by Prime Minister and Other Cabinet Members, August 14, 1986,” reprinted in Kazankai, Nitchū kankei, 1972–2008, 284–285.
(117) Asahi shinbun, September 7, 1984.
(119) Chūgoku Shinbunsha, Nenpyō Hiroshima yonjūnen no kiroku (Tokyo: Miraisha, 1986), 300.
(122) House of Councillors Social Labor Committee, May 13, 1986.
(124) For the history of reparations movement in South Korea, see Soon-Won Park, “The Politics of Remembrance,” in Rethinking Historical Injustice and (p.215) Reconciliation in Northeast Asia: The Korean Experience, ed. Gi-Wook Shin, Soon-Won Park, and Daqing Yang (London: Routledge, 2007), 55–74.
(125) Gi-Wook Shin, Ethnic Nationalism in Korea: Genealogy, Politics and Legacy (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006).
(126) Kazuhiko Kimijima, Kyōkasho no shisō: Nihon to Kankoku no kingendaishi (Tokyo: Suzusawa Shoten, 1996), 135–157.
(127) Hiroto Ide, “Kankoku ni okeru rekishi kyōiku seisaku no hensen,” in Higashi-Ajia no rekishi seisaku, ed. Takahiro Kondō (Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 2008), 81; Kan Kimura, Nikkan rekishi ninshiki mondai towa nanika: rekishi kyōkasho, ianfu, popurizumu (Tokyo: Minerva Shobō, 2014), 21.
(128) Asahi shinbun, August 15, 1986.
(130) Ping Bu, ed., Chūnichi kankeishi, 1978–2008 (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2009), 28.
(133) Keiji Kinoshita, “Chūgoku no aikokushugi kyōiku,” in Kironitatsu Nitchū kankei: kako tono taiwa nirai eno mosaku, ed. Ryōko Iechika, Yasuhiro Matsuda, and Ruicong Duan (Kyoto: Keiyō Shobō, 2007), 116.
(134) Yinan He, “History, Chinese Nationalism and the Emerging Sino-Japanese Conflict,” Journal of Con temporary China 16, no. 50 (2007): 1–24.
(135) Nahoko Etō, “Dai 1-ji kyōkasho mondai 1979–82 nen,” in Nitchū kankeishi, 1972–2012, vol. 1, ed. Akio Takahara and Ryūji Hattori (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 2012), 146–147.
(136) Jungmin Seo, “Politics of Memory in Korea and China: Remembering the Comfort Women and the Nanjing Massacre,” New Political Science 30, no. 3 (2008): 369–392.
(137) For the history of commemorations of the Nanjing Massacre in China as well as in Japan and the United States, see Takashi Yoshida, The Making of the “Rape of Nanking”: History and Memory in Japan, China, and the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).
(138) Daqing Yang, “A Sino-Japanese Controversy: The Nanjing Atrocity as History,” Sino-Japanese Studies 3, no. 1 (1990): 14–35.
(139) Mark Eykholt, “Aggression, Victimization, and Chinese Historiography of the Nanjing Massacre,” in The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography, ed. Joshua Fogel (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 11–69.
(140) James Reilly, “China’s History Activists and the War of Resistance against Japan: History in the Making,” Asian Survey 44, no. 2 (2004): 276–294.
(141) James Reilly, “China’s History Activism and Sino-Japanese Relations,” China: An International Journal 4, no. 2 (2006): 189–216.
(p.216) (142) For discussion of international factors that affected Japan’s official commemoration, see Kiyoteru Tsutsui, “The Trajectory of Perpetrators’ Trauma: Mnemonic Politics around the Asia-Pacific War in Japan,” Social Forces 87, no. 3 (2009): 1389–1422.