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YANGON - Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso's visit to the War Cemetery in Yangon's suburban area Friday has raised protests by some war veterans who experienced the Japanese aggressive war in Myanmar.
The Japanese war cemetery is the place where then invading Japanese soldiers, who died in their aggressive war in the Myanmar front during the World War-II, were buried.
Public opinions revealed that Aso's move show ignorance of Japan's history of war of aggression in the World War II and the great sacrifice of war of resistance against Japanese fascists by Myanmar army and the people as well as the Allies.
Liu Dajiang, a former Chinese Expeditionary Force member living in Myanmar, who claimed 95 years of age and took part in fighting against the Japanese fascists then, lodged protest at the scene, telling the media that "I strongly protest Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Aso's visit to the cemetery and his paying of tribute to the war criminals".
He also said that "without admitting the history of the Japanese war of aggression, the Japanese fascists had killed many many Asian people including over 30 million Chinese people, bringing about a big disaster to the world. Aso's tribute is just to cover up the Japanese fascists' crime committed in the war and attempt to show their aggressive war was reasonable".
"Despite my old age with so much war experience, I still express my strong protest," he added.
Myanmar President U Thein Sein, in his message on Friday to mark the country's Independence Day, recalled the country's history of struggling for independence, saying that "after repelling the British colonialists, people again were subject to torture of Japanese fascists. So, Tatmadaw (armed forces), joining hands with the people, put a strong resistance to them and drove them out of Myanmar".
During his current Myanmar visit, Aso, who is also a member of Japan's Lower House, met with U Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw Thursday and the pair had discussions on cooperation in various sectors including industry, investment, transport and development of small and medium enterprises.
In his follow-up meeting with Myanmar Commander-in Chief of the Defense Services Vice Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, the Myanmar side called for "cooperation in all potential areas including healthcare services for nationalities and development tasks, and enhancing bilateral relations between the two armed forces", according to official media report.
Aso arrived Yangon Wednesday on a three-day visit to Myanmar which also represents the one to Myanmar of a highest-ranking Japanese official since U Thein Sein made a historic tour to Tokyo in April 2012 .