Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Abe should give sincere apology to all

By Cai Hong (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-19 08:27

Abe should give sincere apology to all

Pearl Harbor is located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. [Photo/Xinhua]

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reported as planning a visit to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii during his trip to the United States in early May. If he does, he will be the first Japanese prime minister to do so.

Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941, heralding the US' entry into World War II. But the attack on Pearl Harbor was not, as some Japanese believe, the beginning of the war which was already substantively global. Before the attack, Japan had already invaded China, and the war in Europe had been going on for years.

Japan's media said Abe is likely to take an anti-war oath and pay his respects to the dead in Hawaii. Abe may also go to San Francisco, where both the Treaty of Peace with Japan and the Japan-US Security Treaty were signed in September 1951.

The purpose of Abe's upcoming US visit is readily discernible. Japan is still trying to atone for its past actions toward its chief ally.

Japan's Asian neighbors have more war dead and survivors that Abe should also pay respect to. But his administration's denial of the country's atrocities during that period in history has repeatedly poisoned relations with China and South Korea.

In October, Abe directed his government to "step up a strategic campaign of international opinion so that Japan can receive a fair appraisal based on matters of objective fact".

Japan's foreign ministry has asked the New York-based McGraw-Hill Education to correct the "grave errors" in a history textbook that referred to the women forced by the Imperial Japanese Army to serve in military brothels as "sex slaves", while Japan euphemistically calls them "comfort women".

McGraw-Hill has refused to follow Japan's official position, supporting its authors' scholarship. The issue has been commonly seen as a good example how badly Japan distorts history despite wide opposition.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Most Viewed Today's Top News