Japan reads too much into WWII parade

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-10 0:33:01

Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported on Saturday that the administration of US President Barack Obama has put pressure on South Korea, asking its President Park Geun-hye not to attend Beijing's commemorative activities in September to mark the 70th anniversary of victory in China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

South Korea's foreign ministry swiftly denied the report Sunday, claiming it was "not true," and "a situation like that would never happen." Seoul's foreign ministry official went on to say that whether Park will attend the ceremony has not yet been determined.

The false report from Kyodo reveals that Japan is not expecting Park to join China's commemoration on September 3. It seems that Tokyo cares more than Beijing over who will or will not attend the ceremony.

The reason China decided to hold a military parade this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory in China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression as well as the World Anti-Fascist War, is actually quite simple. The 70th anniversary is a big memorial day. The Asia-Pacific theater of World War II has been neglected by the Western world in the past. Thus, throwing a celebration will help the world comprehensively recognize this front in the war, and give more respect to the huge sacrifice that Chinese people made during the battles.

China is not stirring up geopolitical games by hosting the military parade, and is not an ostentatious showcase of its diplomatic power by displaying how many heads of state will attend. This is a custom worldwide in terms of commemorating WWII.

Unfortunately, the shadow of geopolitics has been hovering around like a ghost. Certain leaders are thinking too much about whether to attend. The US, for example, might be one that tends to over-think China-related issues, and it has more than once showed this tendency on matters such as the emergence of the Beijing-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. Washington seems to have realized that it is disgraceful to be so narrow-minded, so it is therefore exercising restraint publicly.

In sharp contrast, Japan's behavior is much more blatant and extreme. Just when Washington did not even realize whether it should pay attention to Park's possible presence in Beijing, Japan can no longer sit still.

China wishes for more foreign leaders to come. But it doesn't matter if there will be fewer turning out. China won't feel uncomfortable if fewer foreign leaders attend than expected, but if a lot show up, we can imagine how heart-broken Tokyo will feel.

The upcoming commemoration in Tiananmen Square will be a grand ceremony, rather than a political maneuver or tactic. The rise of China is a fact, so is its changing diplomatic situation. Chinese people should hence not focus on these details, or over-amplify the potential presence or absence of any world leaders on September 3, because these voices are bound to be temporary and meaningless.

Posted in: Editorial

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