After criticizing the US over the atomic bombings and encouraging the younger Japanese to learn more about Hiroshima, Hollywood director Oliver Stone is now advising the Japanese government to apologize to its neighbours for its wartime acts. He also said it’s wise to avoid relying on military might in dealing with disputes with China and North Korea.
While Japan’s past administrations have expressed “deep remorse” over its militaristic actions during World War II that have devastated countries like China and South Korea, recent moves like government officials visiting the controversial Yasukuni war shrine and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushing for the revision of the Pacifist constitution has led some to question this administration’s sincerity. Speaking in front of the foreign correspondents in Tokyo, Stone said Japan should make an attention-grabbing and more forthright apology to satisfy critics.
Regarding bilateral ties with China, he advised Japan to not look at them as the enemy because “Japan’s interest in the long-term could very much lie with China.” He compared the current territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands with China to that of a kid picking a fight with another kid and then having his big brother “clean up after him,” of course referring to the United States‘ obligations to Japan in terms of security.
The director, who has made a career out of war-themed works, said Japan should show an example of resolving conflicts in a non-violent manner. He said he wants to see Japan play a leadership role in showing the world that conflicts can be resolved peacefully. “Japan has a peace constitution and a commitment to nuclear non-resolution,” he reminded them. Stone is in town to promote the documentary series, “The Untold History of the United States,” which tries to present an alternative narrative to history and challenge the usual domestic view of America as an “underdog.” The series will be shown in Japan through national broadcaster NHK.