Anger in Japan as Ukraine Connects Anger in Japan as Ukraine Connections Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, to Adolf Hitler ,
After presenting a photo of Japan’s wartime Emperor Hirohito alongside Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in a social media film glorifying the defeat of fascism, an official Ukrainian government Twitter account apologized.
“Our heartfelt apologies to Japan for this oversight,” read a tweet on the Ukrainian Twitter page. “We had no intention of offending Japan’s kind people.” The post was supplemented with a modified version of the video that did not include Hirohito’s image.
The tweet had circulated widely over the weekend and prompted an official protest from Japan. It also threatened to alienate some conservatives from the Ukrainian cause in a country that has been strongly supportive of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy since the Russian invasion began.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s administration is facing sanctions, and Japan has joined its partner the United States and other leading democracies in doing so. Japan has also broken with its pacifist history by delivering non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine. As an added bonus, it has taken the uncommon step of opening its doors to a small group of refugees fleeing the conflict.
Masahisa Sato, the chairman of the foreign policy committee of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said on Twitter on Sunday that he had requested the Foreign Ministry to lodge a formal protest with the Ukrainian administration. Later, he stated that it appeared that the ministry had done so, and that the “problematic” video had been removed.
In response to the tweet, some Twitter users expressed their disinterest in supporting Ukraine; others stated that it would have been more suitable to use a photograph of Hideki Tojo, who served as Japan’s prime minister throughout World War II and was eventually executed as a convicted war criminal.
The Japanese population has favored a harsh stance against the Kremlin in response to the invasion of their country. According to the results of a poll conducted by the Nikkei newspaper between April 22 and 24, 42 percent of respondents believe Japan’s sanctions against Russia should be strengthened, while 44 percent believe the present penalties are sufficient. More over 62 percent of those who answered the survey said they were satisfied with the government’s overall handling of the war.