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China Daily Website

Shrine-worshipping a 'show of militarism'

Updated: 2012-10-18 15:40
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Right on the heels of Japanese opposition leader Shinzo Abe's visit to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, two Japanese ministers and a group of lawmakers followed suit on Thursday, in what appears to be an ugly show of militarism by rightwingers.

Bowing to the 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 Class-A criminals of World War II, exposes Japanese politics' rightward shifting and the righwingers' challenge to the post-war world order.

The provocative shrine-worshipping, which has already become a political routine among Japan's hardcore rightwingers, should be looked at seriously.

It shows that the growing concerns over Japan's right-leaning trend and resurging militarism are by no means much ado about nothing.

Sixty-seven years after the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, the Japanese far-right are still obsessive with militarism, a sign of their deliberate historical amnesia.

Worshipping the war criminals blatantly denies Japanese army's atrocities during the Second World War and evokes nightmares of the victimized Asian nations.

The Japanese rightwingers' attempts to defy the victory of the Anti-Fascist War and their mania to challenge the hard-won post-war order will only backfire and are doomed to fail.

Visiting the war shrine not only risks incurring universal condemnation but also demonstrates Abe's political speculation, shortsightedness and weakness.

A former prime minister during 2006-2007, Abe was reelected as leader of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party last month and is a likely candidate of Japan's prime minister in the next elections.

In this regard, it is crystal clear that Abe staged the high-profile worshipping to seek personal political gains. By catering to and making the most of Japan's rising populist mood, he is apparently wooing the public for more support in the elections.

The move, along with a string of recent provocations by the Japanese rightwingers on territorial issues, is reckless and lacks foresight, as it has plunged Japan's relations with other Asian nations to the freezing point.

Issues regarding the shrine concern the Japanese side's correct understanding and treatment of the history of the Japanese military aggression, as well as the feelings of the nations it trampled, as a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

Courage and responsibility are not proved by bold and foolhardy moves but by serious self-reflections on one's past mistakes and determination to face the fact squarely and correct them.

Therefore, it is highly advisable that Japan should abide by its promise regarding historical issues and handle related issues with full responsibility.