UNESCO listing helps to remind Japan of brutal history

By Liu Zhun Source:Global Times Published: 2014-6-12 0:08:02

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that China has submitted an application to UNESCO to list archives related to the brutalities committed by the Japanese military during WWII on the organization's Memory of the World Register.

At Tuesday's regular briefing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said these archives are precious historical documents concerning the Nanjing Massacre and comfort women. Expectedly, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga responded acidly, saying his government "will lodge a protest and ask China to withdraw the application if there is a political intention behind it."

It seems that Japanese right-wing politicians have lost their logic. History is history, and misdeeds done against entire humankind cannot be undone. The right wing's attempt to protest against authentic materials that can prove Japan's wrongdoings in the past only demonstrates their cowardice in the face of historical facts. China won't compromise on this matter as the atrocities perpetrated by Japanese troops are unarguable. They are globally confirmed facts. It would be a self-degradation if these Japanese rightists keep lying to themselves and the world.

The reason why Japanese right-wing groups swell with arrogance, to some extent, stems from the lack of global condemnation of their misdeeds. Compared with the attention of the world to what the Jewish people went through during WWII, there are fewer eyes focused on how East Asian victims suffered under the iron heel of the Japanese military.

This asymmetric attention leaves China at a disadvantaged position when arguing with Japan on historical issues. Some Western countries, which have a prejudiced view of China's rise, are taking an ambiguous attitude toward Japan over historical issues.

In the last few years, China has been looking to the future and chosen not to be disturbed by historical rifts when developing relations with Japan. However, as Japan's right deviation keeps speeding up with Shinzo Abe in office, China must realize that historical issues, a key component of the Sino-Japanese relationship, must top the agenda.

In this case, it is necessary for China to lead the world community in reviewing what a rightist, imperialist Japan did to East Asia and the rest of the world decades ago, and let them know the consequences of allowing a resurrection of the Japanese right wing. The more international support China can acquire, the less breathing space these Japanese rightists will have.

Posted in: Observer

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