TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- This Thursday marked the 68th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, but the East Asian region seems still being haunted by a ghost of past-Japanese militarism, making a invisible but insurmountable obstacle among regional countries.
Since taking office again last December, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to improve relations with neighbor countries. While under his direction, Japan continues to hype about China's military and the so-called threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, paving the way for revising Japan's pacifist Constitution, so as to boost defense capabilities. These moves no doubt fuel misunderstanding and suspicion to regional peace.
The hawkish leader on Thursday did not visit the notorious Yasukuni Shrine dedicated to Japan's war dead and considered as a symbol of the militarism. However, as the prime minister, Abe gave green light to his cabinet members to worship the controversial shrine. Abe said his decision followed the concern that his visit would probably spark strong opposition from neighboring China and South Korea and further worsen the tight relations with the two countries, both of which suffered from Japan's wartime aggression.
However, the prime minister was seemingly not so considerate when he repeatedly ejaculated provocative remarks, such as quibbling with the definition of "aggression" and sparing no efforts to revise the country's war-renouncing constitution.
Owing to those contradictory statements and behaviors, Abe's sincerity to mend fences is being doubted not only by neighbor countries, but also by its allies. The right-turning Japan is becoming a new destabilizing factor in the Asian-Pacific region.
Abe sought to win international sympathy and support, but lacked courage to face up reality. The responsibility for the current diplomatic deadlock rests squarely with Japan. Playing naive doulbe-dealing games will do little, if nothing, to resolve the current problems.
A Chinese expert on the matter told Xinhua the international public strategy of Abe's Cabinet is deceptive. On one hand he is showing a willingness to talk with China under pressure both from home and abroad, while on the other hand, he clearly does not want to discuss core issues, such as territorial disputes.
As the third largest economy in the world, Japan relies heavily on exports to its neighbors. There is no doubt that if Abe fails to get economy out of recession, the political stability cannot sustain though LDP controls House of Representatives and Councillors now.
If Japan wants to mend ties with neighbor countries and to avoid the situation from getting even worse, Abe must take practical actions, instead of just staying in words or even saying yes and mean no.