World / Asia-Pacific

Commentary: War statement debate a smoke grenade for Abe

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-26 15:32

TOKYO -- The world should be increasingly vigilant to the wily Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his moves towards historical revisionism, as his expert panel set up by the government on his war anniversary statement is nothing but a smoke grenade serving to hide the rightist leader's real intentions.

According to the summary after the panel's second round debate that focused on historical issues, the majority of the 16-member panel insisted that the word "aggression" should not be used in the so-called "Abe Statement" by quibbling about "whether it is appropriate to determine that the war was an act of aggression based on present values" or that "Japan should not be the only one to blame as aggression was also conducted by the Allied Forces."

It is fortunate that some panel members stood against such efforts to deny wartime atrocities, but it is more unfortunate that the minority were fooled by Abe as they are a very essential part of Abe's hand-picked panel charged with assisting the prime minister to subtly revise the nation's war history and ensure that Abe's historical revisionism makes a soft landing in his statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

The crafty prime minister is a veteran of such double-hedge tricks. A similar penal was also formed to debate whether the country should exercise the right to collective self-defense in a move to apparently give the opposition a channel to express itself, but in actuality ensuring the results were entirely controllable and in line with his real purpose.

Sadly, Abe's conspiracy worked again to some extent this time, since all the liberal press here, including those who always fiercely slam such historical revisionism, have become somewhat muted against denouncing such wrong viewpoints being upheld by Abe himself, who even reiterated last week in a Diet session that there is no internationally-recognized definition of "aggression."

The recently concluded second session of the panel would be the only one focused on historical issues among its total five gatherings and the signal released from the summary cast gloomy shadows over Japan's relations with its neighbors who have raised concerns about the controversial Abe statement.

Both China and South Korea, Japan's two most important neighbors, have urged the country to take the golden opportunity of the war anniversary to reconcile with its neighbors and to show the world that Japan is a responsible country and is brave enough to face up to its past, rather than cowardly avoiding admitting the wrongdoing it did decades ago.

Such urges are not aimed at incensing Japan, but in hope that the Japanese leader, officials and lawmakers could make the country into a constructive player in maintaining East Asia's peace, stability and prosperity by stopping the irresponsible comments that hurt the feelings of its neighboring countries.

The world is hoping that the statement to be issued at the 70th war anniversary could serve as a positive political legacy for the future of Japan and its neighbors, rather than a disaster that would crush the current vulnerable tendency towards improvements in Japan's ties with its neighbors.

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