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Commentary: Japanese politicians should learn from history, cherish hard-won peace

English.news.cn   2013-08-09 10:07:22            

By Xinhua writer Lu Yu

BEIJING, Aug. 9 (xinhua) -- For the people of Nagasaki, it is a time to pray for eternal peace as the Japanese city observes the 68th anniversary of U.S. World War II atomic bombing on Friday.

The attack, together with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, instantly killing more than 200,000 people and causing horrendous deaths afterwards due to radiation poisoning, served as a cruel reminder that a war makes everyone suffer and the hard-won peace is so precious.

Year after year, the constant theme of the atomic bombing anniversary memorials in both Japanese cities is always cherishing peace.

And from time to time, the peace prayers in Nagasaki and Hiroshima raise hope that Japan, which brought catastrophe to its Asian neighbors during WWII and itself also suffered tremendous loss from the bomb attacks, could seize the historical opportunity to face up to the history and hold on to its hard-earned ties with its neighboring countries.

However, recent moves taken by some irresponsible Japanese politicians have aroused serious trust issues and put its neighbors on high alert against possible resurrection of militarism in the country.

It seems to be a customary trick for Tokyo to verbally stretch out an olive branch on the one hand, while never stop taking provocative steps on the other.

Since taking office last December, Abe has repeatedly made remarks seen as attempts to whitewash Japan's wartime atrocity. He has gone so far as to say that there is no clear definition of aggression and raise questions over Japan's post-war apologies.

Just in last month, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki signalled the country's willingness to repair relations with Beijing during a special visit, while a day later, the hawkish prime minister pledged support to embolden the Philippines to confront China on separate territorial disputes.

On Aug. 6, the same day Hiroshima held a peace memorial to mark the 68th anniversary of atomic bombing, Japan unveiled at a port near Tokyo the largest warship of its Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Although it's called a "helicopter-equipped destroyer," the Izumo, namesake of a Japanese cruiser once used during the invasion of China in the early 20th century, can be remodeled to a fully-functioning aircraft carrier with minor modifications.

Launching such a de facto aircraft carrier is in flagrant violation of Japan's pacifist constitution, and another alarming sign as the Japanese government is mulling to ditch peace commitment and bolster the country's military forces.

As Rome was not built in one day, building trust also takes a lot of concrete efforts and denial of the past is counterproductive.

Maybe the best way to remember those beloved ones killed in the war is to prevent the tragedy from recurring.

Only by facing up to the history and seriously reflecting on its war-time crimes can Japan win back trust among people in Asia and across the world, so as to preserve the hard-won peace and stability in the region.

Editor: Yang Yi
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