World / Asia-Pacific

Japan shall take history as mirror to achieve reconciliation with other Asian nations: civic group

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-15 06:54
TOKYO - "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 World War II, the then Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued a statement on Aug. 15, 1995, apologizing for the tremendous damage and suffering Japan had caused, through its colonial rule and aggression, to the people of many countries.

"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 the younger generations to apologize in the future.

"Such a gesture won't help Japan achieve reconciliation with other nations in Asia. Japan shall deeply reflect upon the past wrongdoings and renew its vow that it will never launch an aggressive war again," said Fujita.

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

"Yasukuni Shrine honors 14 convicted WWII Class-A war criminals. Politicians visiting the shrine shall not be tolerated as it shows support to the aggressive war," he said.

"Yasukuni Shirne embodies a reactionary historical view, with the Yushukan Museum located inside the shrine advocating that the past war was a necessary move to promote national glory," he said.

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

"Since Abe retook office in 2012, Japan's military expenses 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 a military power, which will do no good to both Japan and its Asian neighbors," he said.

"As time goes by, the Japanese people's memory about the past war is fading. It's the government's responsibility to convey to the people the truth about the war, including the aggressive nature of the past war and tragedies like the Nanjing Massacre, instead of erasing these things from the textbooks like what the Abe government has been doing," said Fujita.

"In the long run, only by reflecting upon the history could Japan achieve reconciliation and co-development with other nations in Asia," he said.
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