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A More Militant Japan, 70 Years After WWII47:49
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With guest host John Donvan

Seventy years after Japan’s World War II surrender, Japan is making moves to give its military more room to fight again. We’ll look at what that could mean in Asia and beyond.

Protesters shout towards the Diet building during a anti-war rally in Tokyo, Monday, July 27, 2015. Protesters gathered outside parliament, opposing a set of controversial bills intended to expand Japan’s defense role at home and internationally. The banner reads: "Stop war bills". (AP)
Protesters shout towards the Diet building during a anti-war rally in Tokyo, Monday, July 27, 2015. Protesters gathered outside parliament, opposing a set of controversial bills intended to expand Japan’s defense role at home and internationally. The banner reads: "Stop war bills". (AP)

Every ten years, on the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, it is the practice for that nation’s Prime Minister to apologize for Japan’s aggression in World War II. A statement of remorse for the suffering and damage it inflicted. But with the 70th anniversary falling on Saturday, there’s some uncertainty about current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and whether he will issue the standard apology, given the doubts Abe has already raised about Japan’s guilt and suspicions he wants to build up Japan’s army and navy, despite his nation’s vow never again to venture militarily into the world. This hour On Point: Japan: a new power play? Plus the US army unit that duped the Nazis, rather artfully.
-- John Donvan

Guests

Sheila Smith, senior fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Author of "Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and A Rising Chinaglobal ." (@sheilasmithcfr)

Yuki Tatsumi, senior associate of the East Asia program at the Henry L. Stimson Center. Co-author of "Global Security Watch: Japan."

From The Reading List

Los Angeles Times: In Japan, a plan to expand military's powers faces growing resistance — "Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, enacted in 1947 under U.S. supervision, declares that 'the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.' In the seven decades since the end of World War II, the Self-Defense Forces have not been permitted to participate in overseas combat, even to come to the aid of the United States."

Washington Post: Emperor offers a regal critique of Japan’s drift away from pacifism — "Emperor Akihito is a man of few words. Japan’s American-written constitution designed it that way. But the 81-year-old figurehead has increasingly found ways to skirt the constitutional limits on his role and has, in characteristically subtle language, appeared to voice his displeasure with the path that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is leading Japan down."

Council on Foreign Relations: Why We Should Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- "The United States and Japan together can play a powerful role not only in remembering what happened, but in analyzing why. We should do this not to reopen the wounds of war, but to prevent it. Seventy years of rebuilding our relations have demonstrated the power of reconciliation, and as younger Americans and Japanese come to the fore, it is a process that should be easier to lead. Silence about one of the most defining moments in our relationship will only hold us back."

The True Story Of A Fake WWII Army

Rick Beyer, author and documentary filmmaker. Co-author of the new book, "The Ghost Army of World War II." Director of the PBS documentary film, "Ghost Army." Also author of the series, "The Greatest Stories Never Told." (@rickbeyertalks)

The Atlantic: Ghost Army: The Inflatable Tanks That Fooled Hitler — "Bill Blass was one of them. So was Ellsworth Kelly. And Arthur Singer. And Art Kane. Before these men embarked on the artistic careers they would become known for, they served together during World War II. But they were a particular kind of soldier, serving in a particular kind of unit: Blass and his brothers in arms were recruited from art schools and ad agencies. They were sought for their acting skills. They were selected for their creativity. They were soldiers whose most effective weapon was artistry.

Read An Excerpt Of "The Ghost Army Of World War II"

https://www.scribd.com/doc/274323317/Excerpt-From-The-Ghost-Army-Of-World-War-II-by-Rick-Beyer-and-Elizabeth-Sayles

This program aired on August 13, 2015.

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