Murayama discourse and Sino-Japanese relation's tomorrow

Y2021 is the 80th anniversary of the Pacific War, which was caused by the conflict over Manchurian interests between US and Japan. The United States and Japan have allied and are now in a confrontation with China, raising tensions in East Asia. In the above-mentioned article, " the feud against China that binds Japan for a long timeOn the new year," it is pointed out that the origin of the imperial historical view that imprinted the enmity against China and also Korea disdain that led Japan to invade Asia with the Meiji Restoration is in ancient Japan. And without voluntarily liquidating the prewar system of pre-modern ritual unification that set the emperor as a sacred and inviolable god at the top of the Empire of Japan, a true symbiotic-oriented new order could not be built in East Asia. I appealed this. In addition to recognition of this historical recognition, the Japanese government's pledge that "we will work hand in hand with the people of neighboring countries to ensure peace in the Asia-Pacific region and the world" included in the 1995 Prime Minister Murayama consultation are repressing  the Japanese government today, which participates in the new Cold War siege of China, together with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other former Western powers that once colonized Asia.


■last-ditch  "Politics is cold, economy is hot"
The Japanese government has been actively involved in today's US-led Western movement to contain " odd and threatening" Communist China. However, the connection between the huge Chinese economy, which soon surpassed the United States, and the Japanese economy is so great that it cannot be decoupled from it. In 2020, China was the first major country in the world to contain the corona wreck and achieved positive growth. Xi Jinping leadership is progressing  a "bi-circulation" as a new development model, directed to the development importance of the domestic market from dependence on exports, to expand implementation of robust domestic demand. The huge market of 1.4 billion people, which is reminiscent of Japan's high-growth era after the war and is heading toward the enjoyment of affluence, is a coveted target not only for Japanese companies but also for Western companies.
If so, it will be the role of politics to somehow secure a way to coexist with communist China. The Abe administration (at that time) visited China for the first time in seven years with about 500 representatives of the business world in October 2018. But the artificial islands located in the South China Sea and now converted to a military base of China where the US, UK, and France ships are carrying out  the "Freedom of Navigation" operation, which sails around 12 nautical miles sea area of the islands. However, even today, the Self-Defense Forces have not participated in it.  Even the state guest visit to Japan of  Xí-JìnpínGeneral-Secretary of China's Communist Party once scheduled for April 2020  deferred. But it has be not yet cancelled.  The Japanese government has sought to maintain a "Politics is cold, economy is hot" route in the last minute.
If you approach China too much, you will step on the tiger's tail. In fact, in July 2020, the bipartisan US think tank "Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS)," which is actually the command tower for Japan, criticized "the political world and its surrounding people who are directing Prime Minister Abe to smile smarmily at China."  One was from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Abe's closest bureaucrat, while the other was Toshihiro Nikai, the secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party. After that, Nikai became the creator of the Suga administration, the successor to Abe, rather than being purged. It should be seen that this is not because of the pressure from Washington, but because of the system in which the activity of acting as a pro-Chinese brings a certain benefit to the tiger (That is USA).
Even the former Abe administration, which was criticized by the Western media as the extreme right administration praising the prewar Emperor's militarism, and the current Suga administration, which vowed to succeed the line, are looking for a way to coexist with China. This is because the Murayama discourse announced on August 15, 1995 by the then prime minister of Japan, Tomiichi Murayama, who led socialist  party of Japan, has become an international pledge that the successor administration must follow. 
■ Socialist Party heritage: binding the Abe administration
The end of the Cold War in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 were the era of two major parties, the conservative party / Liberal Democratic Party, which advocated pro-US / Japan-US security treaty, and the Socialist Party , which advocated abolition of the security treaty  / unarmed neutrality. The system was destroyed. I will avoid details, but in the process of its collapse, the Murayama administration, which was a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Social Party, was born in the form of "Pieces come out of the gourd".
The Murayama Cabinet was short-lived from June 1994 to January 1996, and Ryutaro Hashimoto, the president of the Liberal Democratic Party, was appointed as the successor prime minister of Murayama. The so-called "Liberal Democratic Party / Social Party / New Party Sakigake" coalition government had continued until June 1998, but this coalition called "illicit cohabitation" paved the way for the LDP to return to power alone. On the other hand , raising the flag of European-style social democracy, the Socialist Party changed its name to  Social Democratic Party  started to follow the path to extinction.
From this point of view, he said, "We, Japanese made a mistake in national policy" and "the colonial rule and aggression caused great damage and suffering to the people of many countries, especially Asian countries." Murayama's discourse, which expressed "will" and "heartfelt apology," repeats, but as a universal pledge to the world, especially China, South Korea, and other Asian countries, the successor governments have no choice but to take over. It became. (The full discourse is posted at the end)
Following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Japan's bubble economy, the introduction of neoliberal policies that led to widening inequality, the stagnation of the Japanese economy, which is said to be the "lost 30 years," and the decline in international status have created a rightward inclination in society. The politics of Japan denied the US occupation policy to Japanese politics, and created a major trend of historical revisionism aimed at returning to the prewar period, including the revision of the constitution. The symbol is the Abe administration, which has become the longest in office. The Murayama discourse unexpectedly expected this, and realized the announcement by overcoming the relentless obstruction of the LDP right wing within the ruling coalition.
[Photo] Former Prime Minister Murayama responded to an interview with the magazine "People's China" in July 2015.
The magazine published an article entitled "Ask former Prime Minister Murayama, the future pioneered by reconciliation with neighboring countries."
In the interview, "What does the" Murayama discourse "announced by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on August 15, 1995, at the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, mean to Japan?  Will the "Abe discourse"  inherit the spirit of the "Murayama discourse"? China, South Korea and the rest of the world are paying attention to this. "
Prime Minister Abe in question used the terms "colonial rule" and "aggression" in his 70th anniversary discourse, but apparently intentionally obscured the subject. However, in addition to these two terms, the four keywords "reflection" and "apology" followed by successive administrations after Murayama were maintained. He reiterated in the Diet's reply that "the definition of aggression has not been determined academically or internationally," but Abe said in the 2015 discourse, "Following the Manchurian Incident and withdrawal from the League of Nations. Japan is gradually sacrificing the international community. Japan became a "challenger" to the "new international order" that he tried to build on. Japan made a mistake in the course it should take and went on the road to war. "
And, "incidents, aggressions, wars. No threat or use of force should be used again as a means of resolving international disputes," and the war was abandoned based on the 1928 Paris Kellogg-Brian Treaty, which made the war itself illegal. It includes a wording that can be regarded as a pledge of respect for Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. 
The end of the Cold War made the Socialist Party less attractive to socialism, and at the same time, the Socialist Party was forced to decline. While being accused of collusive agreement, he dared to form a coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party and received fierce criticism, accelerating his disapproval of support. It tightly binds the successor government, which has turned to the right, including the Abe Cabinet.
■ Limitations of Murayama discourse
Looking back on the process of establishing the Murayama discourse, there were very strict conditions.
First, it was a coalition government with the Liberal Democratic Party. The Socialist Party first submitted a draft resolution of the Diet, "A resolution to renew the determination for peace based on the lessons of history." However, due to the opposition from the Liberal Democratic Party and others, the expression had to be revised. Many lawmakers opposed the resolution itself, and the pros and cons of this type of resolution, which is often unanimously passed, antagonized with a large number of absentees of 241.
In the end, in June 1995, in an unusual situation where 241 people, including 70 members of the ruling party, were absent, 251 people attended and the vote was approved by 230 people. From the ruling party, 70 members of the Liberal Democratic Party were absent, saying that "a vote is unnecessary in the first place", but 14 members of the Socialist Party were absent, saying that "the amendment was too concession to the Liberal Democratic Party".
The House of Councilors tried to submit a similar resolution, but it was postponed because Masakuni Murakami, the secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party's House of Councilors, whose supporting body is Seicho-no-Ie, which was the pillar of the Nippon Kaigi, strongly resisted. For this reason, the Socialist Party is moving to give a talk about the prime minister on the anniversary of the defeat on August 15.
Murayama himself looks back on this.
"It is a milestone year of fifty years after the end of the war. I thought that it was the role of this cabinet to pave the way for the outlook for the 21st century by giving serious attention to issues that could be given domestically and internationally. However, the resolution of the parliament in the fifty years after the war was terrible due to the push of conservative hardliners of the Liberal Democratic Party and each sect. " I had no choice but to show the basic idea of ​​Asian diplomacy in the talk of the Prime Minister. "
Announced as a coalition government with the Conservative Party, which has many fanatical nationalists and right-wing politicians obsessed with imperial history, who refuse to defeat and claim that the Pacific War was a holy war to liberate Asia from colonies. There are naturally limits to the discourse of the Prime Minister.
For example, it avoids mentioning the names of countries in China, South Korea, and Southeast Asian countries, and makes no specific mention of war crimes and their responsibilities. Considering the environment surrounding the Murayama Cabinet, there was no hope, such as a reference to the historical background based on the ancient history pointed out by the author in the above-mentioned article "hostility against Chinathat binds Japan for a long time."
In other words, the cause is the incomplete democratization in which war criminals and right-wing politicians returned to politics as soon as the defeated nation Japan was released from war criminals and the expulsion of public office was released under the indirect rule of the United States. It is in. Murayama's discourse was to the Socialist Party, which played a part in the 1955 system, with a national character that was obedient to power and weak enough to be subservient to authority, who had never radically changed its own governance system. It can also be said to be a song.
■ After the discourse: How to wipe distrust
Murayama described the background of the discourse on the 50th anniversary of the defeat in the Prime Minister's experience book (interview) published in June 1998.
"When I was the Prime Minister, I thought about traveling around Asia ... From the history of the past, I cannot say that I have completely dispelled doubts and distrust (to Japan).  Japan, which has become such an economic powerhouse, may repeat mistakes once again. "" There is no doubt that the Japan-US Security Treaty acts as a safety valve (for Japan's military power).  That kind of suspicion is not good that there is. "" I tried to properly position the recognition of past history and firmly root the relationship of trust (with the world). "
Former victorious nations, including the United States, which uses the Security Treaty as a safety valve , continue to be distrustful of Japan's conservative government. This blog has consistently emphasized this, and most recently mentioned it in "'Yoke on Japan's Right-Wing Administration', Anglo-Japanese Alliance and Expanded NATO."
Before the announcement of Abe's discourse in August 2015, China was concerned that "Prime Minister Abe has said that he will erase the letters of colonial rule and aggression and change the Murayama discourse."
In January of the same year, China Central Television (CCTV) interviewed former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. Mr. Murayama replied:
"It's impossible. The discourse is an international convention. The Murayama discourse has shown the way Japan should go and has become a pledge to the world. This cannot be changed or amended. " What are you thinking, what do you want to do? ” That will lead to a decline in Japan's credibility. Prime Minister Abe said he would announce a new discourse, but in every respect, changing Murayama's discourse won't be able to. "
The content of the 2015 Abe discourse was exactly as Mr. Murayama pointed out. It is said that Japanese politicians visiting China are keenly aware of the weight of the Murayama discourse, which is the foundation of today's Japan-China relations, regardless of the ruling and opposition parties.
In 2020, Murayama said:
"It is natural that successive cabinets have followed the Murayama discourse. Regarding the previous war, the historical recognition that it was not an aggression, a war of justice, or a war of colonial liberation can't be accepted at all. It is a self-evident reason that it cannot be done. "" There are movements to attack the efforts of many conscientious people in Japan to verify and reflect on the history, such as "the view of masochistic history," but those ideas are completely wrong. "Humbly asking Japan's past leads to Japan's honor. On the contrary, the attitude of not admitting aggression or colonial rule may detract from this country. Is it not".
"I hope that 'Murayama Discourse' will contribute to the future reconciliation, peace and development of Japan, Asia and the world." "For the construction of peace and stability in Asia, the stability of both Japan and China will build a positive political, economic, and cultural exchange and development. I just pray for its fulfillment. " 
Today,  abandonment of the US-Japan security treaty has become taboo. Is it possible to build a stable development of bilateral relations between Japan and China? The root of the problem lies in Japan's postwar history. Mental strength to overcome taboo is required.
Murayama discourse full text

The world has seen fifty years elapse since the war came to an end. Now, when I remember the many people both at home and abroad who fell victim to war, my heart is overwhelmed by a flood of emotions.

The peace and prosperity of today were built as Japan overcame great difficulty to arise from a devastated land after defeat in the war. That achievement is something of which we are proud, and let me herein express my heartfelt admiration for the wisdom and untiring effort of each and every one of our citizens. Let me also express once again my profound gratitude for the indispensable support and assistance extended to Japan by the countries of the world, beginning with the United States of America. I am also delighted that we have been able to build the friendly relations which we enjoy today with the neighboring countries of the Asia-Pacific region, the United States and the countries of Europe.

Now that Japan has come to enjoy peace and abundance, we tend to overlook the pricelessness and blessings of peace. Our task is to convey to younger generations the horrors of war, so that we never repeat the errors in our history. I believe that, as we join hands, especially with the peoples of neighboring countries, to ensure true peace in the Asia-Pacific region -indeed, in the entire world- it is necessary, more than anything else, that we foster relations with all countries based on deep understanding and trust. Guided by this conviction, the Government has launched the Peace, Friendship and Exchange Initiative, which consists of two parts promoting: support for historical research into relations in the modern era between Japan and the neighboring countries of Asia and elsewhere; and rapid expansion of exchanges with those countries. Furthermore, I will continue in all sincerity to do my utmost in efforts being made on the issues arisen from the war, in order to further strengthen the relations of trust between Japan and those countries.

Now, upon this historic occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end, we should bear in mind that we must look into the past to learn from the lessons of history, and ensure that we do not stray from the path to the peace and prosperity of human society in the future.

During a certain period in the not too distant past, Japan, following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war, only to ensnare the Japanese people in a fateful crisis, and, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology. Allow me also to express my feelings of profound mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, of that history.

Building from our deep remorse on this occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, Japan must eliminate self-righteous nationalism, promote international coordination as a responsible member of the international community and, thereby, advance the principles of peace and democracy. At the same time, as the only country to have experienced the devastation of atomic bombing, Japan, with a view to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, must actively strive to further global disarmament in areas such as the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. It is my conviction that in this way alone can Japan atone for its past and lay to rest the spirits of those who perished.

It is said that one can rely on good faith. And so, at this time of remembrance, I declare to the people of Japan and abroad my intention to make good faith the foundation of our Government policy, and this is my vow.

(Full text of ministry of foreign affairs of Japan)