Japan can use past as mirror to achieve Asian reconciliation

By Yan Lei and Shen Honghui Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/15 23:13:39

"The Abe government's warped historical view won't have any future. Only by reflecting upon history can Japan achieve true reconciliation with its Asian neighbors," said Takakage Fujita, director general of a civic group dedicated to upholding and developing the well-known Murayama Statement.

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII, then Japanese prime minister Tomiichi Murayama issued a statement on August 15, 1995, apologizing for the tremendous damage and suffering Japan had caused through its colonial rule and aggression to the people of many countries in Asia.

"[Prime Minister Shinzo]Abe, in contrast to Murayama, has never admitted that Japan launched an aggressive war or Japan's colonial rule caused severe suffering to other nations," Fujita pointed out.

Last year, Abe, in a closely-watched statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, failed once again to offer a full and direct apology over the past war and even said that it was unnecessary for younger generations to apologize in the future.

Fujita also criticized Abe's cabinet members' visits to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine.

Fujita argued that the Abe administration's recent moves, including enacting the controversial security laws and attempting to amend the pacifist constitution, are the embodiment of a distorted historical view.

"Since Abe retook office in 2012, Japan's military expenses have increased for four consecutive years. The Abe government also used the so-called China threat as an excuse to enact the security laws and to ease restrictions on the right to collective self-defense," he said.

"With pro-amendment forces taking two-thirds majority in both chambers of the parliament, the Abe administration is also speeding up the efforts to amend the constitution, though polls show that the majority of the Japanese people are against the change," he added.

"Abe is trying to remake Japan as a military power, but in the long run, only by reflecting upon the history could Japan achieve reconciliation and co-development with other nations in Asia," he said.

The authors are writers with the Xinhua News Agency. The article first appeared on Xinhua. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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