North Korea condemned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and called him an “Asian Hitler” in an editorial published by the nation’s KCNA news agency. It denounced Abe’s plan to increase armaments and beef up Japan’s military strength to ensure security among regional threats as a disguise for its militaristic ambitions.
The editorial, titled “Is this the emergence of an Asian Hitler?,” said Abe’s fears of nuclear tests and missile testing from North Korea is a ploy to justify his nation’s military expansion. Adding, “Ultra-rightwing groups led by Abe… are trying to shift the focus of international criticisms from Japan to somewhere else.” It said that “there is no difference between fascist maniac Hitler, who waged battle against communists to justify another war, and the reckless Abe who is using confrontation with North Korea to justify Japan’s new militarist ambitions.” The country, still reeling from the Japanese invasion of the Korean peninsula in 1910-1945, continues its tirade against its Japanese neighbor. Condemning the December 26 visit of the premier to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, it said of “The latest reckless behavior that has stirred the region is reminiscent of Hitler, who worked so hard to encourage war in post-World War I Germany.” The editorial ended with a call for Abe to “wake up’ from his “militarist fever.”
The KCNA editorial comes after a mid-January commentary in the North Korean ruling party’s newspaper, Rodong Sinmun. In a speech last month, Abe said that there is a possibility of amending the post-WWII constitution of Japan, which limits its military power to self-defense, by 2020. The paper criticized the move and called Abe a “militarist maniac” keen on destroying a pacifist constitution.