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Commentary: Abbott's admiration of Japanese war skills insensible to victim countries

English.news.cn   2014-07-08 23:14:53

by Xu Haijing

CANBERRA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- It was appalling that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, inviting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to deliver a speech at the Parliament on Tuesday, showed his admiration of what the Japanese forces had done during the World War II.

"Even at the height of World War II, Australia gave the Japanese submariners killed in the attack on Sydney full military honors," Abbott told a joint sitting of the parliament.

"Their was a courage which is not the property or the tradition or the heritage of any one nation ...but was patriotism of a very high order," Abbott quoted Admiral Muirhead-Gould as saying.

"We admired the skill and the sense of honor that they brought to their task although we disagreed with what they did. Perhaps we grasped, even then, that with a change of heart the fiercest of opponents could be the best of friends," the prime minister said.

He probably wasn't aware that the Japanese troops possessed other "skills", skills to loot, to rape, to torture and to kill.

All these had been committed under the name of "honor" almost 70 years ago.

By making such a comment, Abbott showed how insensible he is towards people in China and other countries who had suffered greatly as a result of the "advanced" war skills of Japanese troops and their sense of honor during their aggression.

It also makes people wonder how far Australia under his leadership would go to support Japan.

In fact, Abbott had jumped to Japan's defense on different occasions on Tuesday.

When a question was thrown to Abe about Japan's consideration of resuming whaling in the Southern Ocean despite the International Court of Justice ruling against it, Abbott defended Japan by calling Japan "an exemplary citizen throughout the post war period and a country which absolutely respects the rule of law in international affairs".

He also dubbed Japan "a first class international citizen" who has truly learned its lessons 70 years ago.

However, Abbott didn't give an explanation why Japanese leaders, including Abe, keep visiting Yasukuni Shrine where war criminals are enshrined.

While Japan has earned the reputation of a good international citizen, how much does it owe to its pacifist constitution, of which Abe and his cabinet are trying to change by re-interpreting its key article.

Abbott, under fire for his unpopular budget, must have felt attached to Abe, who is also trying to push forward structural reforms in Japan.

Nonetheless, personal favors should never be put on top of national interests. Nor should it go under a moral bottom line.

Editor: yan
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