by Zhu Dongyang
BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's distorted view toward the country's wartime atrocities is undoing his every effort to seek a bigger role for Japan in global affairs.
In less than two months, Abe, the grandson of Japanese war criminal Kishi Nobusuke, enraged many of Japan's neighbors and trapped Washington, Tokyo's ally, in an awkward position.
The Abe government has been trying to hoax its younger generations by telling lies in history textbooks and to revise the pacifist constitution in a bid to build up its arsenals.
The right-leaning prime minister does not stop there. His visit late last year to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which still honors notorious war criminals who had brought unprecedented death and destruction to mankind, is taken by all peace-loving nations as a despicable kowtow to Fascism.
As Japan seeks to raise its international profile in spats with Asian neighbors, what Abe has done has pushed regional tensions precariously close to boiling.
In fact, Japan is the biggest victim of its terribly unwise handling of its relations with its neighbors.
It is suffering from shrinking investment and trade with other Asian countries.
Recently, several Japanese investment promotion delegations also had to suspend their China visit schedules, dealing a heavy blow to the island country which desperately needs markets and liquidity to revive its economy mired in a two-decade-old stagnation.
Tourism has also been hit hard. According to data from Japan's official statistics agency, the number of tourists from the Chinese mainland to Japan dropped 11 percent year on year to 1.2 million during the first 11 months of 2013.
While frozen ties with neighboring countries can never make Japan a reliable and constructive player in regional and global issues, sincere repentance over its war past can.
Instead of spawning more uncertainties in the already volatile region, the Japanese government needs to behave in a responsible way so as to get their country accepted and trusted by the international community.