China / Government

Japan should learn from Germany

By LI XIANG in Paris ( Updated: 2012-10-31 20:35

Japan should learn from Germany’s attitude toward its past and correct mistakes in historical issues and territorial disputes, Chinese ambassador to France Kong Quan said on Wednesday in an opinion article published in French newspaper Le Monde.

“Today, Sino-Japanese relations are again in a very difficult situation because of litigation around the Diaoyu Islands. Many historical documents have shown that the Diaoyu Islands are an integral part of China,” he wrote.

“The return of these islands to China is in fact a duty to ensure that Japan is a country defeated in World War II under the treaties signed at the end of the war,” he added.

Kong urged Japan to correct its mistakes and learn from Germany’s attitude toward its past, which formed the basis for peace and prosperity in Europe.

“Europe also suffered during World War II. However, Germany took a radically opposite position to that of Japan. I still remember the scenes of the visit by Chancellor Willy Brandt in Poland in 1970. The attitude of the Germans toward their past has formed the basis for peace and prosperity in Europe,” Kong said.

China and Japan share a geographical proximity, cultural similarity and economic interdependence. Forty years since the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations, trade volume between the two countries has grown to $340 billion, Kong said.

“While the global economy is currently suffering from a slowdown, it is even more necessary for China and Japan to strengthen cooperation,” he said.

“China does not want this difficult situation to persist. We simply want the Japanese to correct mistakes faster. And the ball is now in the hands of Japan,” he said.

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