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Commentary: Japan frays nerves of neighboring countries

English.news.cn   2014-07-07 10:23:09

by Xinhua Writer Xu Ke

BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- For the Chinese people, July 7, 1937 was a day when one of their worst nightmares began, as it marked the beginning of the eight-year-long China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Japanese empire, where many reckless militarist policies were born, invaded China and some Southeast Asian countries, causing huge pain to Asian people.

Seventy-seven years later, the psychological wounds of the Chinese people have not been fully healed, as Japanese rightists have repeatedly denied its atrocities of the aggression and taken a provocative approach in addressing ties with its neighboring countries.

Even worse, these wounds are once again touched recently as the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 1 approved a resolution that would allow the country to exercise the so-called "collective self-defense right" by reinterpreting its pacifist Constitution, despite strong protests from home and abroad.

According to the war-renouncing Article 9 of the country's Constitution, Japan has been banned to exercise the right to collective self-defense after World War II due to its heinous war crimes to Asian countries.

However, the resolution would enable Tokyo to fight for "countries with close ties" with Japan even though Japan itself is not under attack, which signals that the Japanese government has shifted its previous restrictive postwar security policy to a more proactive one.

It is by no means the first time that the Abe's administration irritates its neighbors and stirs up regional tensions by adopting provocative policies.

In recent years, Tokyo has tried hard to strengthen its military buildup and seek military expansion amid festering historical and territorial disputes with neighboring countries, including the attempt to revise its national defense policy in late December last year.

Right-wing Japanese politicians have repeatedly watered down Japan's history of aggression and visited the notorious Yasukuni Shrine that honors the country's war criminals, which has further alarmed regional countries including China and South Korea.

The Japanese government has played up hard the so-called China-threat theory, and dressed up itself as a victim of Beijing's peaceful development, paving the way for the country to develop its self-defense forces.

However, what Abe has done is equivalent to playing with fire, as he is leading his country down a dangerous path.

As a relatively small island country with scarce natural resources, it is really unwise for Japan to engage in big-power geopolitics and aggressions against its neighbors.

As the provoker and defeated country of the World War II, Japan should learn from the lessons of the wars and give up its attempt for better warships and missiles as its recklessness would affect Asia as a whole.

Beijing always tries to develop a strategic partnership of mutual benefits with its neighboring country, but a dangerous Tokyo has wasted many precious chances to build sound bilateral ties amid its endless provocations.

As one of the important players in Asia and on world arena, it is high time for Japan to face up to its aggression in history and pursue the path of peaceful development instead of angering the region with rounds and rounds of irresponsible words and provocative policies.

Editor: An
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