Margaret Scott

Le Japon et la politique de la culpabilité

CANBERRA – Le Japon aliène une fois encore ses voisins et désespère ses amis au sujet de la reconnaissance de sa responsabilité dans les agressions et les atrocités commises pendant la guerre. Avec l’élection du nouveau gouvernement, les voix du déni se font à nouveau entendre dans les plus hautes sphères, et résonnent aux oreilles de l’opinion publique, y compris de celles de la jeunesse, d’une manière qui serait impensable dans l’Allemagne moderne. Tout cela éveille des sentiments nationalistes en Chine et en Corée du Sud et complique un peu plus les disputes déjà explosives en mer de Chine de l’est et en mer du Japon.

Il se pourrait, comme certains de mes collègues Japonais me l’on dit, que le nouveau Premier ministre Shinzo Abe, en dépit de ses convictions et de ses positions profondément conservatrices et nationalistes, soit finalement un réaliste qui fera ce qu’il faudra – sans aucun doute avec l’aide des pressions américaines – pour désamorcer ces tensions. Mais il reste trois points talismaniques spécifiques sur lesquels lui et ses collègues ont pris des positions inquiétantes, mettant les nerfs de la région à vif.

Le premier est la très vieille saga des excuses appropriées, pour avoir engagé et mené une guerre d’agression dans les années qui ont précédé la deuxième guerre mondiale. Très longtemps, les pays affectés ont attendu des excuses complètes et sans équivoque ; en tant que ministre des Affaires Etrangères australien dès la fin des années 80, j’ai tout mis en œuvre pour les obtenir de Tokyo, une forme d’issue moralement acceptable pour le Japon, et dans ses meilleurs intérêts. Jusqu’à ce qu’enfin, en 1995, à l’occasion du cinquantième anniversaire de la défaite japonaise, le Premier ministre Tomiichi Murayama réponde à sa manière en évoquant un « profond remord » et « de sincères excuses. »  

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