Japan’s lobbying over massacre remembrance day in Canada a sign of cowardice

By Liu Lulu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/23 23:08:41

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is reportedly sending some of its members to lobby the Canadian government and the provincial Legislature of Ontario against the possible designation of a "Nanjing Massacre Remembrance Day" in the state. The state with the largest population of ethnic Chinese people in the country, Ontario is considering setting December 13 as a day of remembrance, and would become the first Western government to do so if the bill passes its third deliberation this September.

China welcomes and supports the motion. The Nanjing Massacre was a grave crime committed by Japanese militarism during World War II and a painful history that cannot be obliterated. Asia fought the war against fascism on its respective front and its contributions to the final victory in the war are no less than Europe's, which the whole world must recognize. Only by drawing lessons from history can we avoid a repetition of the tragedy. However, right-wing Japanese politicians are always attempting to whitewash the nation's war crimes. As a result, many Westerners, especially the young, only have a vague knowledge of this painful history. The designation of this day of remembrance will give local people, especially Chinese Canadians, more opportunities to learn about the tragic events, and to mourn and cherish the lives that were lost during the war.

More Chinese now work and live in the West, after years of local integration, have a growing awareness of playing a part in local politics. Their knowledge of war history will help create a new international environment against Japan's attempts to obliterate their war crimes. We should provide these overseas Chinese communities with more authentic and detailed historic materials, as well as public opinion support, to make their voices louder in Western society.

Japanese politicians are concerned that the designation of a Remembrance Day would invite criticisms against Japan and Japanese Canadians, trigger antagonism between local Chinese and Japanese, and thus intensify political tensions in Canada. Their concerns only reflect their cowardice toward Japan's war crimes.

Germany can squarely face up to its crimes, a sharp contrast to Japan. It has apologized and harshly denounced the Nazi Holocaust. Rather than triggering a Jewish-German confrontation, Germany's denunciation of its war criminals and its objective attitude to history are the only way for the country to be forgiven.

Japan is still reluctant to apologize to China on the issues of "comfort women" and other war crimes. The attempt this time to thwart Ontario from designating the Remembrance Day is strong evidence of their unwillingness to face up to their history.

Remembering the Nanjing Massacre is not for revenge, but to ensure a better future. Remembering well the lessons of the past is of vital significance, especially when fascism, neo-Nazism and Japan's right-wing forces are seeing a resurgence.

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