As I write these words, Shinzo Abe has just been named Japan's 90th prime minister. As his election had been widely expected, both Japanese and English media reports have featured him lately. Unfortunately, many liberal writers have unnecessarily cranked up their panic machines over Abe's conservative views.
Words like "nationalist" and "hawkish," for example, are used frequently in a Sept. 19 article in the Washington Post. Likewise, Michael Zielenziger writes in the LA Times on Sept. 25 that Abe's election "raises fears that [Japan's] long-repressed well of virulent nationalism, buried just beneath the surface, could again rise up."
What has Abe done to spur these horrible worries? According to Mr. Zielenziger, the fact that Abe "envisions Japan as a 'country that can be proud of its history and culture,'" which he goes on to warn is "a nod to the virulent strains of nationalism still frighteningly potent within Japanese society." Methinks Mr. Zielenziger has a problem distinguishing between healthy patriotism and "virulent nationalism."
Abe has suggested that he would visit Yasukuni Shrine as prime minister. The "obvious" message in this action, if we are to believe Mr. Douglas Lummis in his Sept. 15 essay here, is that ("if [this logic is] carried to its conclusion...,") the prime minister believes Japan's war criminals were heroes, he rejects the judgment of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, and he thinks that Japan is no longer bound by the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty.
Those are some hard-to-swallow conclusions, given that Abe (and Koizumi before him) has stressed repeatedly in speeches that Japan's relations with the United States are the cornerstone of the nation's foreign policy. I also find it remarkable that many leftists, Korea and China continue to harp about Yasukuni visits, claiming they are a celebration of Japan's military past, or the class-A war criminals. This is despite the fact that the latter makes up a mere 0.00057 percent of the 2.5 million souls enshrined at Yasukuni, and that Koizumi himself has made clear, ad nauseam, that he only visits the shrine to pray for peace. Apparently those opposed believe they are capable of reading the prime minister's mind.
I'm surprised that Abe's politics even show up on the radar of the left, given the condition of the United States under George W. Bush. The nationalism and hawkishness that permeate present-day U.S. foreign policy completely surpasses anything coming out of Japan. Compared to Bush, Abe is positively middle-of-the-road. Somehow I don't see him rewriting the Constitution to permit the invasion of a nation in the Middle East in a misguided attempt to promote democracy.
There's a fine line between patriotism and nationalism. One dictionary defines nationalism as "excessive patriotism, marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries." If Abe does, in fact, feel Japan is superior, he's got good reason: The country's low crime, high longevity, superb infrastructure, near-100 percent literacy, spectacular high-technology and world-leading medical care are all justifiable sources of pride (and part of why I've made But let's give the man some time to get to work and show his true colors before we start plastering him with questionable labels. We're still a very long way from the days of his grandfather.
the fact that Abe "envisions Japan as a 'country that can be proud of its history and culture,'" which he goes on to warn is "a nod to the virulent strains of nationalism still frighteningly potent within Japanese society."
この部分の構文が分かりません。the fact がどこにかかるのか、the fact とwhich は同格なのか、which は何を指してどこにかかるのか？
We're still a very long way from the days of his grandfather. ですが、