Sydney memorial to Japanese war crimes prompts ridiculous claim of "racist insult" to Japanese under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

The RDA's flaws have now permitted denialists for war crimes involving major racist acts to wrongly portray themselves as supposed victims of racial discrimination when such crimes are factually memorialised. In what alternative moral universe can such a specious complaint be entertained, submitted or indeed tolerated? This latest example of the RDA's flaws must surely be the straw that breaks the camel's back for those still trying to ignore the urgent need to amend Section 18C of the Act. Especially concerning the restoration of free speech and the setting of objectively measurable thresholds for accepting, rejecting or assessing complaints of alleged discrimination.

 

Letter to The Australian 
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
(published Friday, 16 December 2016)

The section 18C complaint by Japanese atrocity denialists living in Australia — about the Sydney memorial to sex-slaves of the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II — is dangerous as well as ahistoric and offensive.

What’s next? Denial of the 8031 Australian prisoners-of-war unlawfully killed by barbarous Japanese Army maltreatment.

That the wording of the Racial Discrimination Act enables such a specious, divisive and genuinely offensive claim of “insult" or "offence” surely proves the RDA needs urgent and thorough amendment.

The first danger is that such divisive, and indeed racist, claims undermine the national unity Australia’s long-term security depends on.

The second is because such growing Japanese denialism is not just a historical matter.

There will be no current and future strategic stability in North Asia, in particular, until Japan genuinely acknowledges its many 1931-1945 war crimes.

As Germany did over half a century ago.

Until Japan truly faces up to its past, the mainland Chinese regime — with its even worse human rights record since 1949 — can continue to stoke strategic tensions between Japan and its past victims such as South Korea, Singapore and the Philippines.  

 

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