By Xinhua Writer Lu Yu
BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Thursday marked the 68th anniversary of Japan's unconditional surrender at the end of World War II, an appropriate occasion to remind the whole world of the horrors of war and the value of peace.
Given the recent string of irresponsible remarks and moves by some Japanese politicians and the disturbing rightward shift in the country's political climate, it is particularly imperative that Tokyo seriously face up to its past and truly learn from history.
During that bloody segment of history, militarist Japan committed hair-raising atrocities in its neighboring nations. Such barbarities as massacres, mass rapes, forced labor and sexual slavery were numerous and undeniable.
The predatory militarism also cut a wide swath through Japan. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, among others, instantly killed more than 200,000 Japanese people and caused horrendous deaths afterward due to radiation poisoning.
All the facts have served as cruel reminders that Japanese militarists not only inflicted tremendous pains on their Asian neighbors, but also dragged innocent Japanese people into the abyss of darkness.
Yet some Japanese politicians apparently take no heed of the tragic lessons of history. They deny war crimes, tamper with history in school textbooks, and honor war criminals by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe even dismissed WWII war crimes trials as victors' justice, and is bent on revising Japan's pacifist constitution. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso even suggested that Japan learn from Nazi Germany on constitutional reform.
The recent launching of helicopter carrier "Izumo," named after a flagship involved in Japan's aggression against China in the 1930s, has once again laid bare Tokyo's ambition to shake off constitutional restraints and expand its military.
Years on, the theme of cherishing peace in atomic bombing anniversary memorials in Japan has never changed.
The Japanese government also should know such a simple truth: the best way to remember those killed in the war is to prevent the tragedy from recurring, and the best way to prevent the tragedy from recurring is to take concrete and sincere efforts to stop counterproductive moves to win back trust among people in Asia and across the world to preserve the hard-won peace in the region.