China / Politics

Experts: Memorial Day a warning to Japanese Right

By Mo Jingxi and Xin zhiming ( Updated: 2014-02-25 20:00

China’s decision to establish a national memorial day for the dead during the Nanjing Massacre and a commemorative day for the victory of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) serves as a reminder of history and a warning to the right-wing Japanese politicians.

The establishment of the two memorial days will be part of the activities worldwide celebrating victories of the global anti-fascist war and China’s resistance against Japanese aggression during the World War II.

It is an international practice for a nation to set up such memorial days in the post-war era, said Zhou Yongsheng, professor on Japanese studies at China Foreign Affairs University. Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, has had memorial activities before, but it should be raised to the State level, since the massacre has global ramifications, said Zhou.

“The memorial day for the Nanjing Massacre is show of respect in memorial memory of the dead,” said Zhou. “It is also a reminder for the Chinese not to forget the history.”

It also serves as a warning to the far rightist in Japan: Do not try in vein vain to change the post-war world order, he said.

For the commemorative day marking the victory of China’s anti-Japanese invasion war, Zhou said it will help revive national pride. “The perseverance of the Chinese people helped the country win the war.”

The establishment of the memorial and commemorative days are especially necessary since Japan’s Shinzo Abe government has repeatedly tried to deny the country’s wartime atrocities and judgments made by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.

“It is, therefore, of greater necessity to have a national memorial day to remind people all over the world of the holocaust committed by the Japanese militarists,” said Qu Xing, president of the China Institute of International Studies.

During Japan’s invasion in China from 1937 to 1945, tens of millions of Chinese people were killed, including the more than 300,000 people that were brutally slaughtered in the Nanjing Massacre. Japanese troops also conducted lethal biochemical experiments on live Chinese captives and committed numerous accounts acts of rape and other appalling atrocities.

The country has, however, denied history, arousing indignation among its neighbors. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s December visit to Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class-A war criminals convicted in the Tokyo Trials, has intensified the anger of China and other Asian nations.

Qu said the Sino-Japan relationship is based on Japan’s clear understanding of, and self-reflection over, history.

Japan must correctly look at China’s move to establish the two memorial and commemorative days and own up to its past, Qu said.

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