Japan Rebukes Translator Over Remark Made by PM Shinzo Abe

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Japanese government rebuked a private translation firm due to a translation made by one of its employees on a statement made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe which drew a comparison on current Sino-Japanese relations to those in Europe before WWI.

As reported by Japan’s news portals – Asahi Shimbun and Sankei Shimbun, the country’s foreign ministry pointed out that the said employee of the translation company added words to the comments made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during an audience with the international press at the the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland last month.

The Asahi added that the ministry has issued a warning to the firm and the said translator. A foreign ministry official has also told AFP, a French press agency, that they have given the said firm a performance review but refused to give further details regarding it.

PM Shinzo Abe had been quoted by major news outlets, as he compared the current relations between China and Japan to that of what Britain and Germany had before the outbreak of WWI, as saying that both were in a “similar situation”. However, a transcript of of the original remarks made by Shinzo Abe do not contain this disputed phrase.

Furthermore, AFP has let out the translation provided by the country’s chief cabinet secretary.

PM Shinzo Abe was asked that time about the possibility of China and Japan engaging in war and here was how he answered the question:

“This year marks the 100th year since World War I. At the time, Britain and Germany had a strong economic relationship, but they went to war. I mention this historical background by way of additional comment.

“If something like you suggest were to happen, it would cause serious losses to both Japan and China, but also cause significant damage to the world. We must ensure this will not happen.”

Shinzo Abe’s reported remarks were slammed by commentators as “inflammatory” while China dubbed them as “anachronistic”.

China and Japan currently are not in good relations because of sovereignty issues over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea; paramilitary confrontations between the two countries had been mounting over the months in the background.

In addition to that, the recent visit made by PM Shinzo Abe on a detested war shrine in Japan added fuel to the tension existing between the two Asian countries.

– Global Post reports

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE