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Commentary: More honesty about history from Abe will serve Japanese pride better

English.news.cn   2014-02-11 15:44:56

by Xinhua writer Tian Dongdong

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- On the solemn occasion of National Foundation Day, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on fellow citizens to "express deep respect" for the effort of their "forebears" and go forward as "a Japan that has pride."

It is unquestionably correct for a political leader to take a country's national day to "recall the founding of the nation and cultivate a mindset of love of the nation", but Abe's recent efforts to whitewash Japan's history of invasion lack sincerity and stain the sacred moment.

Let's make it clear those "forebears" Abe mentioned do not include the war criminals who slaughtered millions of people in neighboring countries, including China, during World War II, making themselves a source of shame rather than pride for the island country.

In fact, recognizing its black period of history in World War II, as Germany did after the six-year-long war, can only help Japan gain more respect from neighbors and further strengthen its national pride.

It is a pity Abe has failed to heed the lesson of late West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, who 43 years ago dropped to his knees at the monument to victims of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and raised up the whole Germany with his genuine repentance.

By contrast, the current Japanese prime minister visited the notorious Yasukuni Shrine last December, where 14 Class-A World War II criminals are honored, turning a blind eye to the common wish for peace and development of people in Japan and other countries.

What lies behind Abe's continuous denial and blindness to history is simple -- he needs to appeal to right-wing conservative voters so he can remain inside the political arena.

By pandering to the increasingly radical right-wing elements in Japanese politics, he is chasing his own interests at the expense of the whole nation, leading Japan down a dangerous path of provocation and isolation.

It is well-known in modern society that a man's pride does not come only from his own capacity; it also needs the recognition and respect of others. This is also widely received by the international community.

Undoubtedly, Abe's twisted perspective on history collides with his own wish for the country's future. For "a Japan that has pride", he needs to be more honest about history.

Related:

Japan's historical illusion disdains int'l justice: editorial

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History reveals Abe's ploy

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China urges int'l alarm over Japanese comments

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BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- History is a mirror, and people can distinguish contemporary politicians' sense of right and wrong and their actions through their understanding of history. And going by history, there seems little doubt that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters worship Japan's imperial past, a past of naked fascism and brutal aggression. Full story

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Editor: chengyang
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