Opinion / Editorials

Atomic bombings of Japan were of its own making

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-26 07:34

Atomic bombings of Japan were of its own making

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bows in front of the memorial cenotaph for victims of a 1945 atomic bombing during a memorial ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in western Japan on Aug 6, 2015.[Photo/CFP]

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday that the dropping of atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ran contrary to the basic understanding of humanitarianism as regards international law.

By pulling the world's first ever use of nuclear weapons out of the historical context, he is trying to portray Japan as the victim of World War II rather than one of its major perpetrators.

Three days before US President Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima on Friday, such remarks sent a clear signal to Japan's right wing and revisionist forces, as well as the bombings' victims and their relatives. Yet they are anything but right understanding of both the bombings and World War II.

On the question of nuclear weapons, non-proliferation and denuclearization worldwide have long been the goals the world has sought to attain. But the military and political justifications for the use of atomic bombs on the two Japanese cities should never be challenged.

The victims of the bombings deserve the world's sympathy, as do victims of the war on both sides of the fighting. Nevertheless, this should not change the consensus on the anti-fascist side about the necessity and justification for the use of atomic weapons against militarist Japan in a bid to bring an early end to the war and prevent protracted warfare from claiming even more lives.

The devastation caused by the bombings should always serve as a reminder of how destructive nuclear weapons can be. Yet, it was the war of aggression the Japanese militarist government launched against its neighbors and its refusal to accept its failure that had led to US dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The misery the Japanese people suffered during the war, including that endured by the survivors of atomic bombings, was because of Japanese militarism.

Any talk of the atomic bombings without putting them in their historical context can only be understood as an attempt to overturn the true nature of World War II as an anti-fascist war.

For those bombing survivors and their relatives calling on Obama to make an official apology for the bombings, the militarist Japanese government of the time would be the right target.

The wrong perception of the atomic bombings as well as that of WWII by some Japanese politicians has again demonstrated their unrepentant attitude toward their country's imperial past. Which bodes ill for the lasting good relations between Japan and its neighbors and also between Japan and the United States.

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