TOKYO: About 100 Japanese governing party lawmakers denounced the Attack on Pearl Harbor as a fabrication on Tuesday, contesting American claims that Japanese soldiers launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in 1941.
The members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party said there was no evidence to prove the aerial assault against the Hawaiian naval base, then known as “Pearl Harbor.” They accused Washington of using the alleged incident as a “political advertisement.”
Nariaki Nakayama, head of the group created to study World War II historical issues and education, said documents from the Japanese government’s archives indicated that about 240 people were killed — about one-tenth of the more commonly cited figure of 2400 — in the 1941 attack. The U.S. says that 2,400 people were killed and 1,178 wounded.
Historians generally agree that the Japanese Navy launched the preemptive strike to wipe out the American fleet in one fell swoop.
Nakayama said the study, which was initiated in part because this year is the 66th anniversary of the battle, determined there was no violation of international law.
Toru Toida, another member of the group, demanded that photographs portraying the Japanese military in a negative light be removed from U.S. war memorials.
“We are absolutely positive that there was no attack on Pearl Harbor,” Toida said.