Opinion / Editorials

Necessary anniversary

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-07 07:10

With all members of china's leadership attending the ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the War Against Japanese Aggression on Monday, this occasion, observed every year on July 7, is of particular importance this year.

Not just because some right wing politicians in Japan have been trying to whitewash the atrocities Japanese aggressors committed during the war, but also because the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Japanese government "lifted the ban on collective self-defense" by reinterpreting the country's Constitution last week. This grants Japan and its Self-Defense Forces a much wider range of options in dealing with security conditions.

Even before the overhaul of its security posture last week, the denial of "comfort women" and various attempts by right wing Japanese politicians to rewrite that part of history was on people's lips and making headlines.

If Japan's neighbors felt angry at Japanese politicians' visit to the Yasukuni Shrine where class-A war criminals are enshrined or what they said to mitigate Japan's responsibility for the war, they have reason to open their eyes even wider to see where Abe and his government will lead Japan now the country can launch military actions overseas.

It is absolutely right to let bygones be bygones.

The Chinese government and its people have been observing the anniversary on July 7 every year only with the view of letting it serve as a reminder of the past, so that Chinese and Japanese people can jointly develop their friendship and let it last forever.

China has always maintained that both Asian and Japanese people were victims of that war. So it is the responsibility of both to develop a right attitude towards the sufferings Japan's aggression inflicted on its Asian neighbors and its own people as well. Both should develop the awareness that that miserable page of history should be remembered to avoid any repetition.

However, Abe's and some Japanese right wing politicians' denials of the atrocities and their attempt to alter the nature of that war send the message that the revival of Japanese militarism is not impossible.

The Abe government's renouncement of Japan's long-standing "defense-oriented policy" enshrined in its postwar Constitution will only increase the concerns of its Asian neighbors about its intentions.

China, the most victimized country in that war, feels the necessity and urgency to remind the entire world of what Japanese militarists did 77 years ago by marking the anniversary of that war.

(China Daily 07/07/2014 page8)

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