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Current Affairs

Ukraine apologizes to Japan

Date: 30 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Ukraine has apologized for putting photo of Japanese Emperor Hirohito along with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

 

Background

Ukraine had shared a video to criticize fascism but ended up showing Japanese Emperor alongside Hitler and Mussolini.

 

Details

  • After Japan objected to the use of emperor’s photograph, Ukraine posted another edited video without the emperor.

  • There have been demands to abandon the support for Ukraine during its war with Russia. The use of emperor’s photo may have intensified the demand again.

 

Emperor Hirohito

  • The emperor is the longest reigning Japanese monarch, who ruled during December 25, 1926 – January 7, 1989. He was also known as Emperor Showa.

  • Even after siding with Japan and Italy during the Second World War, he was never tried of war-crimes.

  • There is one view that he was a powerless figure, who had no powers to oppose decisions made by the military while others believed that he was equally guilty.

  • The emperor was said to be anguished right up to his death about his war responsibility. He had made many decisions, including capturing Manchuria and going ahead with Pearl Harbor attack.

 

Post war policy

  • Japan has stayed true to its neutral policy and renounced combat as a means to settle disputes. There have been efforts to revise the policy.

  • New laws were passed in 2015 that allowed the country to send its troops to fight overseas.

  • There are demands to possess stronger military defences amid fears that Russia’s actions may embolden China to attack Taiwan.

 

Policy on Ukraine war

  • Japan has joined western countries in imposing sanctions on Russia and also accepting Ukrainian refugees in the country.

  • It has provided humanitarian aid and bullet-proof vests and helmets to Ukraine. They consider Ukrainian invasion as blatant violation of international order.

 

Russian dependency

Japan is heavily dependent on Russian natural gas and coal for its electricity needs. It is jointly developing Sakhalin 1 and 2 projects for oil and gas with Russia.