Japan's lost opportunity# by Nobuhiko Shima, journalist
After the collapse of the Cold War, the world has entered a period of rethinking and reevaluating the history. In that context, the 50th anniversary of the end of the World War II was to offer an excellent opportunity for such an effort. Japan should have tried to come to a common national recognition of the historical process which had led to the War, and should have expressed its reflection and remorse upon discussing its historical views with other Asian peoples. It was utterly regrettable, in this regard, that the Diet resolution ended in squabble over the wording of the resolution among lawmakers of both ruling and opposition parties --- political beings living in Nagata-cho --- apparently involving after all the inter-party politics and their self interests which had nothing to do with the resolution itself. Once again, Japan has lost a big chance to come to the final reckoning of its defeat in the War.
The world is still searching for the new international order with such values as freedom, democracy, human rights, environment, and disclosure at its core to be held commonly in the next century. However, the interpretation of such values is not necessarily shared between the West and Asia. It seems to be Japan's role to bridge such a difference, but in order to do so, Japan must reevaluate its history and try to have a common historical perspective with Asian countries and the United States.
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