KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Various activities have been held in Malaysia to commemorate the Malaysians killed during the Japanese occupation in conjunctions with the anniversary of Japan' s surrender in World War II, and Japan was urged to face its history of aggression squarely.
A solemn public memorial ceremony, jointly organized by 23 local associations, was held Friday at a monument here to commemorate the deceased Malaysian fellowmen during the Japanese occupation of Malaya.
Malaysia was formed in 1963, combining all states in the current Peninsula Malaysia, Singapore and two states in East Malaysia, namely Sabah and Sarawak. In 1965, Singapore left Malaysia and became an independent nation. Before Malaysia was formed, the current Peninsula Malaysia was called Malaya.
Ong Seng Khek, chairman of the Malayan Second World War History Society, said in a speech that the Japanese imperialists made an invasion of Malaysia for three years and eight months during World War II, which inflicted Malaysians with great pains and damage.
"However, the Japanese government has attempted to distort history and deny its crimes in the war these years, and some Japanese leaders have paid tributes to the Yasukuni Shrine, a symbol of Japanese militarism. These have worried all the peace- loving people all over the world," Ong said.
Takashima Nobuyoshi, a Japanese scholar who attended the ceremony, said that the increasingly right-leaning tendencies of the government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have escalated the tense situation in the region, even in the world. "This kind of government has deserved to step down for a long time," he added.
On the same day, the "1st Asia Peace Award" was awarded by the Malayan Second World War History Society to all those Japanese citizens who have been solidly supporting war-renouncing Article 9 of Japan's pacifist Constitution for the past 67 years.
The exercising of the right to collective self-defense in Japan is banned under the current war-renouncing Constitution. But the Japanese government has reinterpreted Article 9 to allow the Self- Defense Forces to come to the defense of an ally.