Ukraine apologizes to Japan for ‘fascism’ video — Analysis
In a video condemning Russians as fascists, Ukraine’s Twitter account showed wartime emperor Hirohito alongside Mussolini and Hitler
Japan was reprimanded by the Ukrainian government for releasing an anti-Russian anti-Russian film that included Adolf Hitler (behind Benito Mussolini) and Emperor Hirohito. This video described them as fascists. Japanese politicians insist that Hirohito was not responsible for Japan’s wartime actions.
Nearly a month after it was first uploaded, the video condemns Russian President Vladimir Putin, and describes Russian politics as “disgusting”. “ruscism.” It closes with images of Germany’s Hitler, Italy’s Mussolini, and Japan’s Hirohito, along with the text “Fascism and Nazism were defeated in 1945. We will fight ruscism, here and now.”
Japanese Twitter users were outraged, and Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan, Sergey Korsunsky complainedHirohito “had nothing to do with the outbreak of war and fascist ideology.” Although an Axis power, Japan was led by Prime Minister Hideki Tojo during World War II, with Hirohito allowed to retain his title after the country’s defeat. However, many argue that the emperor should have been convicted as a war criminal.
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Masahisa Sato, head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s foreign policy panel, called on Sunday for Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to “take immediate action,”And on Monday announcedThe ministry “requested the video to be deleted,”And that Ukraine would offer its diplomatic apology for this blunder.
Ukraine’s official Twitter account publicly apologized on Monday too. “Our sincere apologies to Japan for this mistake,”Read the entire post. “We had no intention to offend the friendly people of Japan.” An edited version of the video with Hirohito’s image removed was then posted.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. @japanThis is a serious error. It was not our intention to offend Japan’s friendly citizens. 🇺🇦🇯🇵 We have corrected it and posted the new video here: https://t.co/dvy7Pyptj3
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) April 24, 2022
The diplomatic misstep comes amid a broader effort by Ukraine to appeal to Western powers for support by tying the country’s struggle to the events of the Second World War. When speaking to British politicians, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invoked Winston Churchill, and when approaching Israel for aid, the Ukrainian leader compared Russia’s offensive with the Holocaust.
Despite the fact that Ukraine has openly integrated neo Nazi militias into its military, it has also compared their wartime struggles to Nazi Germany. A Twitter message urged the West to enforce a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine, the country’s parliament compared the bombing of Kharkov in March with allied air raids on Hamburg in 1943, rather than the bombings of any allied cities.
Japan condemned Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and imposed economic sanctions against Moscow. Tokyo broke with centuries of pacifism, sending Kiev non-lethal military support.
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