by Xinhua Writer Xu Ke
BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Some 80 years ago, Tokyo, the capital of the Japanese empire, was the dangerous place where many of its reckless militarist policies were born and where some of the worst nightmares of its neighbors began.
During the 1930s and 1940s, Japan, which had long seized the Korean Peninsula, invaded China and the Southeast Asian countries, opening one of the darkest and bloodiest chapters in modern Asian history.
The wounds have since never fully healed.
Unfortunately, these wounds are once again touched as the Japanese cabinet approved a national security strategy and revised defense plans on Tuesday amid increasing regional concerns about its right-leaning politics and surging nationalism.
The defense policy package, the latest move of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet to seek military buildup amid festering historical and territorial disputes with neighboring China and South Korea, signals that Japan has shifted its previous restrictive defense policy to a more proactive one.
Japan's actions, including Abe's failed attempt to form an imagined anti-China alliance with some Southeast Asian countries, are unquestionably directed against Beijing.
In recent years, Tokyo tried hard to play up the so-called China-threat theory, and dressed itself up as a victim of Beijing's policies when Tokyo itself has actually engaged in brinkmanship by adopting provocative policies, including "purchasing" some of the Diaoyu Islands.
Meanwhile, right-wing Japanese politicians have stirred up regional tensions by repeatedly watering down Japan's history of aggression and visiting the notorious Yasukuni Shrine that honors the country's war criminals.
Japan's denial of history and military expansion have alarmed regional countries, especially China and South Korea.
From a historical view, Japan, as a relatively small island country with scarce natural resources, is really unwise to engage in big-power geopolitics and aggressions against its neighbors.
The Japanese government, which devastated its neighbors in the Second World War, finally brought devastation to its own cities and citizens.
This is a lesson that should be repeatedly revisited by the Japanese government and the Japanese people both for the benefits of the country itself and the world.
With China and South Korea achieving great success in national development in the post-war period, a dangerous Tokyo that seeks for better warships and missiles is more likely to harm itself than its neighbors.
China tried to develop a strategic partnership of mutual benefits with Japan, but the chances of sound China-Japan relations are slipping fast amid endless Japanese provocations.
If Japan really hopes to return itself to the ranks of a "normal country," it should face up to its aggression in history and cooperate with its Asian neighbors instead of angering them with rounds and rounds of unwise words and policies.
Japan passes new defense policy package amid regional concerns
TOKYO, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese cabinet approved a defense policy package Tuesday to further expand its military might amid increasing regional concerns about its right-leaning politics and surging nationalism.
The defense package includes the national security strategy, the defense program guidelines and a five-year defense buildup plan that envisions 24.7 trillion yen (240 billion U.S. dollars) of military spending in 2014-2019, a 5-percent increase over the five years ending March 2014. Full story