Monday, August 21, 2006

George Will Is in Town, and He Writes about Yasukuni.


George Will is his usual thoughtful self in addressing the Yasukuni issue in his column in the Sunday Washington Post. In a single, short piece, he gives us a concise and thorough outline of the issue and identifies as the heart of the issue the Japanese predicament, which is that we are still living in the shadows of (he Cold War and) World War II, trying to deal with “the problem of honoring war dead without necessarily honoring the cause for which they died.” Particularly striking is the analogy he draws here between Yasukuni and the Confederate flag, all without absolving Japan of its historical debts.


Mr. Will mercifully spares us from three-point programs or some such fixes that pundits (yours truly included) try to inflict on us. The difficulties lie in figuring out how to traverse the paths, much less the path itself, or even the actual goals. Whatever the merits of the ambiguity that Mr. Abe has imposed on his visit/non-visit to Yasukuni - I personally favor a more permanent solution that takes the historical interpretation that is Yushukan out of Yasukuni - he should be commended for actually choosing and navigating a path of his choice. Let’s hope that China, and also South Korea, will take up the offer by not demanding to know where Prime Minister Abe will be sticking Admiral Nelson’s Fire Poker.



WDSturgeon said...

I concur completely - George Will's article on Yasukuni was one of the best I've seen so far. Kudos to Mr. Will.

Jun Okumura said...

Thanks, wdsturgeon, I assume you already know that the Shisaku blog has a similar take, from a broader, US parspective. Plus, it's funny.