Video >>> China urges Japan to recognize and examine its history of aggression
by Xinhua writer Yuan Zhenyu, Wu Liming
BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- At least two Japanese cabinet ministers paid their respects at Yasukuni Shrine, a symbol of the country's past militarism, as the 68th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II came on Thursday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe himself shied away from the notorious shrine, but he decided Wednesday to offer a sacrifice. His nod to the ministers' visits and their recent provocative remarks signals that the current Japanese government has gone too far on the right-leaning road, raising fears among Japan's neighbors about a dangerous revival of its militarist past.
The Abe administration has made no secret that the pacifist clause of the Constitution, a crucial pillar of Japan's post-war political arrangements, is an impediment to his ambition of bolstering military power.
Japan has seen the rise of defense expenditure for the first time in a decade in the name of improving "self-defense" capabilities.
The Japanese government, despite unequivocal opposition from China, moved ahead last year with its plan to "purchase" some of the Diaoyu Islands, an integral part of Chinese territories, igniting a fierce maritime dispute with Beijing.
Japanese government officials, while claiming they are willing to have direct talks with their Chinese counterparts, continue to infuriate China with irresponsible attitudes toward history and provocative words, escalating tensions in the Asia-Pacific.
China is committed to using peaceful means and negotiations to settle maritime disagreements, but is also ready to protect its territorial rights and safeguard stability in the region.
The irresponsible words and acts of some Japanese right-leaning politicians have taken a heavy toll on the country's relations with its neighbors, seriously dented its credibility and tarnished the country's image.
On this special day, Japan must reflect upon its history of aggression, sincerely apologize to the victims of its militarist past, and thus work to secure a peaceful future for the country itself and the region at large.
Commentary: A historic day for Japan to reflect on, learn from past
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. Full story
Feature: Japan's veterans reflect on WWII pains with message of peace
TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- "It was a nightmare. A hellish nightmare," recalled Yasuhito Watabe, a former Japanese Imperial Army infantryman who was still a teenager when the U.S. forces landed on Iwo Jima in February 1945, describing the battle then.
The 88-year-old veteran, who now lives in the coastal area of Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, said that only two members of his unit survived the battle. Full story
Japanese politicians' shrine visits are shameless provocation
BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- In defiance of strong opposition from neighboring countries, two Japanese Cabinet members and dozens of lawmakers visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine on Thursday, the 68th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.
Claiming their visits are personal, an excuse which sounds too familiar, the Japanese politicians went to a wrong place at a sensitive time. Full story
Two Japanese ministers visit controversial Shrine
TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Two Japanese ministers on Thursday morning visited the notorious Yasukuni shrine, a move that will further harm mutual trust between Japan and its neighbors.
The visit was made by Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo and Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of North Korea's past abductions of Japanese citizens. Full story