Plunge Pontificates

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Aso's Family History Coming Back to Bite Him

The Aso family history is looking to cause problems for the foreign minister. No longer is it isolated to Asia, new reports show the family mines used POWs as slave labor.

The Aso family's mining company used thousands of Koreans as forced laborers during World War II. This legacy of Koreans, Chinese and other Asians being coerced into slave-like working conditions across the region more than six decades ago has become an issue in Tokyo's maintenance of normal diplomatic relations in East Asia. Reports that 300 Allied prisoners of war (POWs) also performed forced labor at an Aso coal mine are now spreading in Western countries. Aso's family background and his personal refusal to engage the issue have led some to suggest that his position as foreign minister is untenable.
With that last sentence, I fully agree. Aso is the embodiment of those that glorify the military past, white-wash history and seemingly enjoy pissing off their neighbors. Now, it goes past the region, it affects western nations that were involved in the war.

It seems that he certainly wouldn't meet the standards necessary to be foreign minister in Germany.

According to one German Embassy official in Tokyo, speaking on the understanding of anonymity, while family lineage on its own would not be held against an individual in his nation, Aso's actions here make him an unsuitable foreign minister by German standards.

"Because Aso's family connection gave him the opportunity to address wrongs in the firm, and he did not do so," as well as comments that "seem to defend criminal policies of the past", Aso would "not be acceptable" for a post such as foreign minister, said the official. "He might get into parliament but not into government."
The article is excellent as well as damning expose on Aso and his family history.

I hope people in Japan realize what kind of person Aso is. The thought of him becoming PM after Koizumi is stomach turning. I'd gladly welcome Koizumi back over Aso; that is saying a lot.