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Interview: Just verdict on Japan's wartime crime shall never be overturned: Chinese envoy

English.news.cn   2014-01-11 11:57:21            

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The just verdict on Japan's wartime crime shall never be overturned and the tragedy of history shall never be forgotten, said Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Mr. Zheng Xianglin, who is former Chinese Consul- General in Osaka, Japan, in a written interview with Xinhua on Saturday.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine on December 26, 2013, triggering strong opposition and protest from its Asian neighbors. It has become a hot topic worldwide. Why the worship by the Japanese Prime Minister caused such a strong reaction?

A: When we take a closer look at the nature of the Yasukuni Shrine and Mr. Abe's rightist movements in the past year, all under the excuse of so-called "China's threat", it is easier to come to the conclusion that Mr. Abe is actually trying to overturn the just verdict on Japan's past war of aggression and whitewash the names of those hideous war criminals, making his so-called " reflection on history" barely a hypocritical false gesture.

Q: Mr. Ambassador, I believe you know Japan so well as you have worked in Tokyo and Osaka for more than 10 years. Could you share with us what the Yasukuni Shrine really is?

A: The Yasukuni Shrine is by no means an ordinary temple, nor a national cemetery. It was a state-run spiritual instrument of Japanese militarism in its war of aggression, which was called as Tokyo Shokunsha (Shrine to summon the souls). The Japanese militarists made up fairytales preaching "Abandon your life to prove your loyalty, your soul will return to the Yasukuni and become deity, worshipped by all for eternity".

Besides, there is a war museum inside the Shrine named Yushukan Museum, storing various artifacts and documents showing how bravely the Japanese army fought and how great their victories are, trying to glorify its war of aggression. Bewitched by such a fairytale, millions of Japanese youths sacrificed their lives when Japan initiated the war of militarist aggression during the Second World War, inflicting tremendous calamities on China and other Asian countries.

Even today, the Yasukuni Shrine still refuses to reflect on that part of history, and openly clings to its claim that aggression is a "just cause". It publicly honors and worships 14 Class-A war criminals of the Second World War as "martyrs", who were sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.

The Second World War has ended for nearly 70 years, but the Yasukuni Shrine remains the spiritual holy land for Japanese militarists and fascists. The visit to such a place by the top Japanese leader has not only caused tremendous hurt to the feelings of all victims of the war, but also represented its attempt to deny and overturn the just trial on Japanese war crimes by the international community. Such an action must be strongly opposed.

Q: Mr. Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine has escalated tensions between Japan and its Asian neighbors like China and South Korea. How do you view the history of the Second World War and China-Japan relations in the future?

A: The tragedy of history shall never be forgotten. China was so victimized by Japan's invasion last century that 35 million Chinese people were brutally killed under the iron heel of Japanese army. Now, chemical weapons abandoned by Japan are still found in huge amount in north China, posing great threat to the natural environment and people's safety. During the Second World War, Southeast Asian nations were also invaded and enslaved by the Japanese militarists, millions of peaceful civilians were killed. Even Japan's open statistics admits that death toll in Indonesia amounted to 4 million, Vietnam 2 million, the Philippines 1.11 million, Myanmar 300,000 and Singapore 150,000.

The past, if not forgotten, serves a guide for the future. We have no intention to keep on fixating on historical issues and refuse to forgive. On the contrary, we always differentiate a handful of Japanese militarists from the mass ordinary Japanese people. The China-Japan relationship has yield remarkable growth and brought tangible benefit to the peoples in the past four decades since the normalization of the diplomatic ties. We issued a Joint Statement and a Treaty of Peace and Friendship, and established a Strategic Mutually Beneficial Relationship, all of those were built on the basis of Japan's correct view on its past aggression, which is the political foundation of China-Japan relations and the relations between Japan and its Asian neighbors as well as the international community at large. Without such a foundation, no basic trust can be established.

With an earnest and profound reflection on history, Germany stood up after the Second World War and won other nations' respect. There is no room in Germany for rightist thoughts or deeds dressing up its history of aggression. But in Japan, it's totally another story.

It is quite worrisome to see Japan is growing a rightist tendency in its politics. And what is worse, the hard-won China- Japan neighborliness and friendly cooperation relations built in generations were so badly jeopardized. I spent more than 10 years working in Japan, making acquaintance of many Japanese friends. I believe most of the Japanese people are peace-loving. Time flies, but the tragedy of history shall never be forgotten, and justice is not allowed to be overturned.

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