To the editor: The notion that the Japanese government denies or downplays history is misleading. Following the stance of the past administrations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his sincere commitment to face history with humility on numerous occasions. ("Japanese nationalists attempt to revise history on 'comfort women,'" Editorial, Dec. 11)
On the issue of "comfort women," the Abe administration made clear on June 20 that it will uphold the Kono Statement of 1993 and expressed that we are deeply pained to think of all those who suffered immeasurable pain. This government position remains unchanged.
On the other hand, I strongly oppose the installation of "comfort women statues" in California, where very diverse populations from many backgrounds coexist peacefully. Such installations will bring about unnecessary resentment and friction into local communities, break up sister city relations and marginalize very important parts of the community.
Japan's recent effort to reevaluate its national security policy has nothing to do with the history issue. It is a direct response to the recent fundamental changes in the Asia Pacific security environment. By strengthening Japan's deterrence capability, our ultimate goal is to better protect the lives of Japanese citizens and enhance world peace.
Japan's commitment as a peace-loving nation remains unchanged.
Harry H. Horinouchi, Los Angeles
The writer is consul general of Japan in Los Angeles.