Presence of Ban, Park at events shows right approach to history (China Daily)

The Japanese government has expressed “strong displeasure” over UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s scheduled attendance at China’s commemorative events to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). Japan’s right-wing newspaper Sankei Shimbun on Monday also criticized the Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye’s presence at V-Day celebrations in Beijing. Comments:

It is necessary to let the world understand that President Park’s visit to China puts more weight on looking back on the history where Korea and China fought together against the Japanese imperialism and making efforts to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Seoul-based Dong-A Ilbo, Aug 31

Undoubtedly, Japan should reflect upon its past crimes and heed the lessons of history, rather than making improper comments about China’s commemorative events and those who will attend them. By turning down Beijing’s invitation, then playing the role of backseat driver, Tokyo has revealed its reluctance to face up to its shameful past and determination to challenge China on certain matters. Of course, it has the right to skip Beijing’s celebrations, but who is coming or not is none of its business.

xinhuanet.com, Aug 29

Getting rid of its tag as “a defeated nation” has always played a central role in Japan’s UN diplomacy, which explains why it has urged Ban to “take a neutral position on events that focus mostly on the past”. However, Japan’s reiteration of its commitment to a “pacifist approach”, does not wipe out its colonial aggression in Asia before and during World War II. Japanese leaders such as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should be aware of the basic facts and reflect on the country’s wartime atrocities.

Feng Wei, a professor of Japanese studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, Sept 2

The Abe administration believes that Japan will only be able to revise its foreign policy and defense strategy when its notorious past is forgotten, which is why it continues with its historical revisionism and tries to whitewash the country’s wartime crimes, even amid criticism from its ally the United States.

Lu Hao, an associate researcher in Japan studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Sept 2

(China Daily 09/03/2015 page8)

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