Sunday, 29 April 2007

I Go To Die For You, a film celebrating the kamikaze pilots who sank 34 ships in World War Two, and whose raid on Pearl Harbour brought the United States into the global conflict, will be released next month according to a Reuters story in The Scotsman. Al Jazeera ran a segment today on the film, which showed the director saying, provocatively: "Japan had no choice".

It is inevitable that the release will stir up negative feelings in China and Korea, as well as among veterans in other countries affected by Japan's egregious militarism in the first half of the twentieth century.

The Al Jazeera segment shows veterans, like this man, talking about the kamikaze phenomenon, a particularly Japanese method of fighting, and one that has contemporary echoes in the high suicide rate that still bedevils the north Asian nation.

The Reuters story tells us that Shintaro Ishihara, the controversial governor of Tokyo, who won a third term earlier this month, "waited years for financing to get his script produced". This pedigree assures a negative reception to the film, "made with the cooperation of the country's armed forces", in nations that were victims of the unspeakable atrocities carried out by Japanese troops.

How the Japanese people themselves react to the film would make a very interesting news feature.

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