Myanmar Tatmadaw, the creation of Fascist Japan, rediscovers its roots. I watched this last night.
The methods used by Japanese Imperial Army in 1937-1938 are strikingly similar to Myanmar Tatmadaw's "clearance operations" in Rohingya region today: separating men from the rest, tying men by strings, subjecting women and girls to systematic acts of sexual violence, splitting vaginas with bayonets or knives, stabbing anyone at will, burning down anything in sight, looting, robbing, summary executions, sadistic killings and tortures, burning alive, etc. The pretty Chinese girls and women were separated from the rest for rape and gang rape. In the first month of Japan's occupation of this old capital - Nanking - 20,000 females were raped; over 250,000 were slaughtered.
My late relatives were decorated Burmese soldiers in the Japanese-founded Burma Independence Army, which later revolted and fought against their Masters. They would be turning in their graves if they knew the Myanmar troops are behaving like a Fascist occupying military force - against virtually un-armed, peaceful, terrified and most vulnerable community of Rohingyas on whom the overwhelming majority of Burmese public spit on. In the Tokyo Tribunal, 25 top Japanese leaders were found guilty of war crimes and executed. Post-WWII nationalists treat these mass murderers as "heroes" and bow to them at Yasakuni shrine in the middle of Tokyo. When I was living briefly in Tokyo - for half a year - in 1988, I was taken there for a visit by my late close Japanese friend. He was a young POW in Burma. I had no clue where I was or what a respectful visit to Yasakuni signifies then. Japan has never come to terms with its deeply murderous past. I doubt Myanmar will ever either. Both places like civilisational conscience, integrity or higher principles to which a society holds itself.
The official and popular historical narrative about the rise of militarism in Japan is rooted in 'self-defence' vis-a-vis Western imperialism. A British academic friend of mine who lives in Kyushu and I visit Hiroshima, the city and the Peace Museum a year ago. No doubt, dropping of the atomic bomb at the city centre on this industrial city with military encampments is a world class criminal act Harry Truman committed. But the way Hiroshima Peace Museum exhibited the victims of the atomic bombing shows lack of remorse and Japan's racism towards Koreans and Chinese. Of the thousands of Hiroshima victims, a significant percentage were Chinese and Korean slave labourers. They barely got any mention in Japan's narrative of victimhood.
As the result, Japan at the height of its economic power failed to influence the world morally or intellectually.
Looks like China, Japan's victim, doesn't have inclination or potential to provide the world moral or intellectual leadership either. Having suffered major oppression and colonialism at the hands of Japan and European powers, one would expect or hope that China would be a more compassionate, ethical power house today. Alas, China shows no signs of compassion, conscience or humanity in its pursuit of commercial and strategic interests around the world. We are all impoverished when leading nations lack what it take to be civilisational leaders.