He may have meant it to be sarcastic, but Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso‘s statement referring to Nazis and Constitutional revision has earned the ire of the South Korean government. He said that the Japanese politicians who are determined to change Japan’s Pacifist Constitution should learn how the Nazis amended the Weimar charter in Germany.
And while the verdict is still out whether or not he was serious about it, South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young says it is remarks like this that hurt people, especially countries who suffered from the tyranny of Nazi Germany and Japan’s militarism during the Second World War. Aso’s party, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is bent on revising the Constitution that has not been touched since it was enacted in 1947. The war-renouncing Article 9 prevents Japan from having a full-blown military force and forbids war as a way of settling international conflicts. Aso insists that the purpose of the revision should be for the “stabilization and peace of the state.” He is concerned that people might be making the decision in an “uproar” or “frenzy”. He thinks it should be revised based on informed public opinions from those who have carefully and critically examined the situation.
And that’s when the Nazi comment comes in. He talked about how the Germans were able to abolish their 1919 Constitution without much fuss. “(The Nazis) did it in a ‘let’s-keep-it-quiet’ manner, and the Weimar Constitution was changed almost before people realized it. Why don’t we learn from that method?” he said. Most of the people around him are used to his “sarcastic, intricate rhetoric” whenever he chooses to criticize someone, but it does not always go down well when said in a very public forum. So we wait for either a clarification, an apology and maybe even more vitriol thrown his and Japan’s way because of this latest statement.
[ via Japan Times ]
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