World / Asia-Pacific

Scholars urge China-Japan consensus on war

By Cui Shoufeng ( Updated: 2016-03-10 16:45
To ensure a healthy and sustainable China-Japan relationship, a consensus is needed on major events during the Japanese War of Aggression Against China, veteran scholars from both countries said on Wednesday at a Beijing seminar.

A major hindrance to bilateral ties is the lack of agreement on historical issues, especially the wartime history, said Wang Jisi, a professor of international studies at Peking University.

"Most people, be they Chinese or Japanese, have not experienced the war. That they have a deeper and shared understanding of the historical issues is conducive to improving the bilateral relations," Wang said.

Despite disparities in the war's narrative, including the number of Chinese citizens who lost their lives in the notorious 1937 Nanjing Massacre, both sides have acknowledged some basic facts, such as Japan's more than decade-long invasion of China, said Zhang Baijia, former deputy director of the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee.

Zhang's remark was echoed by Yuji Miyamoto, a former Japanese ambassador to China, who also conceded that it would be difficult to construct a wartime history acceptable to everyone.

Constructive academic exchanges between top historians, diplomats, and scholars of international studies from both countries, however, are likely to push further rapprochement on historical issues, Miyamoto said.

More importantly, their findings should be made public in an efficient manner, in a bid to prevent the bilateral bond from being further strained by the arduous war over seven decades ago, Zhang said.

The seminar included the start of a five-year research project on the war years that aims to additionally consider the countries' international situations and economic transitions. It will be supervised by an expert committee of 20 authoritative researchers from both nations.

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics