China Voice: Memorial days tell Japan: Never forget history
                 English.news.cn | 2014-02-28 01:03:13 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- A nation, whether China or Japan, cannot fully understand itself or find its position in the world unless it levels a steady gaze on the glories and disgraces of its past.

China has set two memorial days to mark victory in the anti-Japanese war and mourn Nanjing Massacre victims. They will remember the horror of a crime, commemorate our heroic forefathers, speak of China's responsibility for a peaceful world, and serve as a reminder that the flag of justice shall never fall into the shadow of militarism.

Seventy-seven years ago, Japanese invaders captured Nanjing, then China's capital, and started 40-odd days of slaughter from December 13, 1937. More than 300,000 people were murdered without graves. Their tomb is our memory.

Sixty-nine years ago, the Chinese people embraced their victory over Japan on September 3, 1945 after suffering more than 35 million casualties. We owe our martyrs a promise that they did not die in vain and that memories of their brave fight against Japanese aggression will be carried on by their children and grandchildren.

China's war of resistance against Japanese aggression was an important part of the World Anti-Fascist War. For a long time, the Chinese contained the main forces of Japanese militarism in the Asia-Pacific region,annihilating more than 1.5 million Japanese troops.

In remembering, China keeps firmly in mind the foreign friends who laid down their lives on the battlefield of China, who helped Chinese refugees during the Nanjing Massacre, who opened up the Hump Route to deliver strategic supplies and who traveled thousands of miles to China to provide medical assistance.

Setting memorial days fits with the usual practice of the international community in that national memorials have been held annually at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland, Russia's World War II Memorial Stele and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum of the United States.

Time usually heals historical wounds, but wounds can never be forgotten.With deep memories of the scourge of war, the Chinese people are keenly aware of the value of peace and the importance of peaceful development, the only road to achieve national prosperity.

However, peace cannot be safeguarded by vague words, but by actions, especially when it faces direct threats from the rising militarism which used to trample human dignity and justice underfoot.

More than six decades after the Potsdam Proclamation was issued to the fascist forces, the influence of those who deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest has not been eliminated.

Japan as a defeated country failed to let the world feel safe by publicly challenging the post-war order under the excuse of becoming a so-called "normal country."

With a distorted attitude toward history, the current Japanese government refuses to admit the nature, let alone scale, of its war crimes during WWII. And that refusal has spread beyond the government to its broadcasting organization, whose board member even denied the Nanjing Massacre.

The Japanese government challenges China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, which is an open defiance to the Cairo Declaration, an important international document in handling Japan's aggression.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visits to the shrine honoring Class-A war criminals has caused a growing chill in its relations with neighboring countries.

The world also has reason to be vigilant as the current government attempts to reinterpret its pacifist Constitution and lift a ban on Japan exercising the right of collective self-defense.

A post-war order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until militarism is driven from the world.

A thousand years will pass and the guilt of Japanese militarism will not be erased. By remembering the past, however, China does not mean to continue the hatred but to avoid the repetition of historical tragedies.

As a peace-loving nation, China has reaffirmed its policy of observing bilateral political documents and promoting Sino-Japanese friendship.

It is still not too late for Japan to learn two words from its imperialist history: Never again. However, if Japan continues to turn a deaf ear to the call of peace and warning bells against its militarist past, it will have no place in the world.

Related:

International community hails China's designation of war memorial days

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The international community has hailed China's decision to designate two national memorial days for the victory over Japan in World War II and for victims of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, also known as "the Rape of Nanjing".

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Thursday approved Sept. 3 as Victory Day of Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, and Dec. 13 as the National Memorial Day for victims of the Nanjing Massacre.Full story

China urges Japanese introspection after national days' ratification

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- A Foreign Ministry leader on Thursday urged Japan's leaders to reflect honestly on Japanese aggression following China's designation of two national days to mark victory in the anti-Japanese war and to commemorate victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

Following the approval of the two national days by China's top legislature, a statement quoted an unnamed official as saying, "The approval... has great historical significance and is a necessity in the current circumstances."  Full story

China ratifies national days on anti-Japanese war victory, Nanjing Massacre

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature on Thursday approved two new national days, one to mark victory in the anti-Japanese war and the other to commemorate Nanjing Massacre victims and all those killed during Japanese aggression against China.

September 3 is ratified as "Victory Day of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression" and December 13 the "National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims," according to two decisions passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), whose bi-monthly session ended on Thursday. Full story

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