Japanese surrendered on Aug 15: It’s dangerous for Japan to sow seed of war; hard to warm up frozen ties with Tokyo


Video: 8.15, remembrance of the Chinese suffering and victory over Japanese invasion

It is dangerous for Japan to sow seed of war

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) — To mark the 69th anniversary of its defeat in the World War II, the Japanese government has, as usual, duly advised its citizens to observe one minute of silence in honor of the deceased.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, has a separate agenda. Despite the cancellation of a planned visit, he sent an offering Friday to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, which honors top war criminals, through his aide Kouichi Hagiuda.

Such a show of “compromise and sincerity,” as some put it, is hardly acceptable, particularly given the recent barrage of remarks and moves by Japan’s rightist politicians which lay bare their unrepentant attitude toward the WWII.

One who forgets and denies history does not deserve a future. It has become a matter of urgency for the current Japanese leaders to truly reflect upon the lessons of history so as to avert a risky future.

During the WWII, a militaristic Japan ruthlessly trampled over its Asian neighbors and slaughtered tens of millions of people there. Yet, Japan was also considered a victim of the war as countless innocent civilians in the country were killed by U.S. nuclear retaliation.

The unconditional surrender of Japan in 1945 put an end to the bloody war in the Asia-Pacific and ushered in a new era of peace and development for the whole region, including Japan, which has since kept its extreme right-wing forces in check and tugged itself out of the quagmire of war.

Remarkably, Japan has created an enduring economic miracle which saw it once grow into the world’s second largest economy.

It is reasonable to say that Japan’s post-war success has testified the fact that peace, not war, is the cornerstone for development.

Sadly, a new generation of rightists in the country have chosen to ignore that. With Prime Minister Abe at the helm, Japan, bent on shaking off its war-renouncing pacifist reins, has once again embarked on a precarious path and blatantly challenged the post-war international order of peace.

By doing this, Japan is sowing the seed of another war.

Notably, the Abe administration has sugarcoated its military ambitions with rhetoric touting “peace” and “security,” while former Japanese militaristic rulers had used similar tactic to disguise their unquenchable thirst for aggression.

What has also sounded the alarm is that Japan has been deliberately flexing its muscles against China. From the purchase and naming farce of China’s islands, to the constant hyping up of China’s “military buildup,” Japan’s increasingly provocative actions are not only tearing the two nations further apart, but also putting the hard-won peace and security in the whole region at stake.

Some might say history always repeats itself, yet it is unwise for Japan to reckon that China, along with other WWII victims as well as those peace-loving people on its own land, would stand idle in face of the brewing threats of war.

It is highly advisable for those who did wrong in the past to stop playing with fire and avoid leading their country further down the dangerous road.

By Lili Xinhua

Hard to warm up frozen ties with Tokyo

As the 69th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in WWII, August 15 has become the perfect time for Japanese nationalists to put on a farce to draw world attention. Will Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visit the notorious Yasukuni Shrine? This has become the most disconcerting mystery in the geopolitics of Northeast Asia.

Abe released some messages, saying he wouldn’t visit the Shrine. But media outlets guessed he might offer tribute instead. This could be called a positive signal sent to China from a Japanese perspective. It was also reported that he is looking forward to having a bilateral meeting with Chinese leaders at the forum of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Beijing in November.

Bitter confrontations over historical issues have dragged both China and Japan into a tug-of-war. With years of friendliness buried, China and Japan seem to be locked into a blood feud.

The conflicts over historical issues are no longer limited to different understandings of history. They have become a major manifestation of the geopolitical rivalry between both sides. A sober mind can tell that such a conflict can only result in a lose-lose situation: Japan is losing its upper hand in the international community due to its irresponsible attitude toward history, and China has spent too many unnecessary resources and attention on it.

But now, it could be anticipated that warming Sino-Japanese ties are still impossible, even though Abe acted mildly on the Yasukuni Shrine issue this year and Chinese leaders might meet him at the APEC forum.

On historical issues, both sides are just speaking to themselves. These issues have become a battle of public opinion in the international community. In this case, only national strength matters.

Japan was the side which took the initiative in the historical issues, as it was in full authority of whether to visit the Shrine and revise history books. But China has established a system to penalize provocative Japanese government officials. China has got back part of the initiative. The fact that China is getting used to the political deadlock and carries forward economic cooperation also requires full attention. The unfolding tensions between both nations have not inflicted many losses on China, which is able to sustain a long-term standoff with Japan.

China’s rise has changed many foundations of the former Sino-Japanese ties, and we must accept and get adapted to the fundamental changes.

The biggest force that can transform Sino-Japanese relations is the rise of China. It probably won’t make Japan and China regain rapport, but it will drive Japan to assess the outcome of a full confrontation with China.

In the past 20 or 30 years, China has not been engaged in such tense relationship with a major power as it does with Japan. There are so many uncertainties ahead, and Japan is destined to offer unavoidable and significant challenges to China’s confidence and patience when the latter is rising.

Source: Global Times Published: 2014-8-15 0:23:01

69 years later, Japan still unrepentant after nuclear attacks from US

Sixty-nine years ago, mushroom clouds rose over major population centers for the first (and fortunately, only) time in the history of warfare. At approximately 8:16 a.m. on August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, the Army Air Force dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki.

Nagasaki mayor questions policy on A-bomb day

TOKYO – The mayor of Nagasaki criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push toward Japan’s more assertive defense policy, as the city marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

Nagasaki mayor questions policy on A-bomb day
Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue reads out the Peace Declaration at the Peace Park in the city on Aug. 9, 2014, during a ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the city. [Photo/IC]

In his “peace declaration” speech at the ceremony in Nagasaki’s Peace Park, Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged Abe’s government to listen to growing public concerns over Japan’s commitment to its pacifist pledge.

Thousands of attendants, including US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and a record number of representatives from 51 countries, offered a minute of silence and prayed for the victims at 11:02 a.m., the moment the bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on Aug 9, 1945, as bells rang. They also laid wreaths of white and yellow chrysanthemums at the Statue of Peace.

The US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, prompting Tokyo’s World War II surrender. The first on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people and the Nagasaki bomb killed another 70,000.

The anniversary comes as Japan is divided over the government’s decision to allow its military to defend foreign countries and play greater roles overseas by exercising what is referred to as collective self-defense. To achieve that goal, Abe’s Cabinet revised its interpretation of Japan’s war-renouncing constitution.

Pacifism, enshrined in the constitution, is the “founding principle” of postwar Japan and Nagasaki, Taue said.

“However, the rushed debate over collective self-defense has prompted concern that this principle is shaking,” he said. “I strongly request that the Japanese government take note of the situation and carefully listen to the voices of distress and concerns.”

Polls show more than half of respondents are opposed to the decision, mainly because of sensitivity over Japan’s wartime past and devastation at home.

Representing the Nagasaki survivors, Miyako Jodai, 75, said that Abe’s government was not living up to expectations.

Jodai, a retired teacher who was exposed to radiation just 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) from ground zero, said that the defense policy that puts more weight on military power was “outrageous” and a shift away from pacifism.

“Please stand by our commitment to peace. Please do not forget the sufferings of the atomic bombing survivors,” Jodai said at the ceremony.

The number of surviving victims, known as “hibakusha,” was just more than 190,000 this year across Japan. Their average age is 79. In Nagasaki, 3,355 survivors died over the past year, while 5,507 passed away in Hiroshima.

Abe kept his eyes closed and sat motionless as he listened to the outright criticism, rare at a solemn ceremony.

In his speech, he did not mention his defense policy or the pacifist constitution. He repeated his sympathy to the victims and said Japan as the sole victim of nuclear attacks has the duty to take leadership in achieving a nuclear-free society, while telling the world of the inhumane side of nuclear weapons.

The speech had minor tweaks from last year’s, after Abe faced criticism that the speech he delivered in Hiroshima was almost identical to the one from the previous year, Kyodo News reported.

Nagasaki mayor questions policy on A-bomb day
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd from L) offers a moment of silent prayer at 11:02 am on Aug 9, 2014, the exact time the US atomic bomb was dropped 69 years ago, during the ceremony at the Peace Park in Japan’s southwestern city of Nagasaki.[Photo/IC]
Nagasaki mayor questions policy on A-bomb day
Nagasaki residents pray and place lanterns on Motoyasu river to commemorate the victims of the bombing 69 years ago.[Photo/IC]
- China Daily/Asia News Network

Hiroshima nuclear bombing, 69th anniversary: 8:15am, the moment Japan will never forget, until ..

Do not let USA stoke South China Sea disputes; Round one of Asia pivot ends with tie


Asean-21st ARF

 

FM: China, ASEAN able to safeguard S. China Sea´s peace, stability

Dismissing the so-called tense situation advertised by the US over the South China Sea, Chinese Fore…

 

 

Do not let US stoke disputes 

South China Sea issues and thoughtless moves of some countries should not hinder ASEAN’s continued exchanges with BeijingThe annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held recently in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, with the disputes and situation in the South China Sea on the agenda.

This is not the first time that the ARF has touched upon the South China Sea disputes. In July 2010, at the ARF Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hanoi, then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the disputes were concerned with the United States’ national interests and solving them in line with international laws would be the key to regional stability. Her speech was considered to mark a new twist of US policy line vis-à-vis the South China Sea disputes.

The disputes have since then become a key part of the implementation of the US’ “pivot to Asia” policy, as well as an increasingly thorny issue in China-US exchanges. Especially so since China operated an oil rig near the Xisha Islands in April, which many US observers believed was part of China’s speeding up of its “salami slicing” strategy and called for a response to it.

Before the current ARF Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the US and its allies made multiple moves. In July, US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel advised a “freeze” on actions aggravating disputes in the South China Sea, namely that related parties stop occupying more islands or reefs and establishing outposts, avoid changing landforms and do not take unilateral actions against any other country. While on the surface this initiative might reasonably opt for peace, but in the eyes of Beijing at least, it would actually legalize certain nations’ illegal occupying of islands and reefs in the South China Sea in past decades, as well as bestow on the US the status of “arbiter”.

The Philippines echoed the US’ initiative by claiming it would propose a three-step process to the ARF, namely suspending all actions, setting up a code of conduct among involved parties and solving disputes through international arbitration. Both initiatives seemed to gain support from several nations, and, as Washington and Manila expected, China would face the most coordinated pressure at the ARF.

The US is also trying to improve the binding effect and enforcement mechanism of international arbitration. For example, whether a nation accepts arbitration of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea can be taken as the prerequisite of participating in multinational military exercises or the Arctic Council. The US can also consider strengthening economic pressure on the involved Chinese SOEs like China National Offshore Oil Corp, which is reported to build floating liquefied natural gas carriers and explore underwater gas.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has been strengthening its maritime force. Since Benigno Aquino took office in 2010, the Philippine government has already invested 40 billion PHP ($910 million) on purchasing frigates, anti-submarine helicopters and long-range patrol aircraft, with a further plan to install advanced radar and a coastal warning system in the disputed sea area. Japan and Vietnam signed an agreement in early August, according to which Japan will give six ships to Vietnam to empower its maritime police. The Vietnamese government issued an order that all vessels of its Fishery Resources Supervision Department be equipped with weapons like pistols and machine guns as of Sept 15.

On July 11, Nguyen Phuoc Tuong, a former adviser to two Vietnamese prime ministers, said Vietnam must form an alliance with the US “to defeat the new Chinese expansionism” in an op-ed on The New York Times. Japan is preparing for the first Japan-ASEAN Defense Ministers’ meeting in November, which many believe is to counterbalance China’s emerging maritime power.

All the heated disputes about the South China Sea make the ARF Foreign Ministers’ Meeting especially important. On Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China supports and advocates a “dual-track” approach to solving the South China Sea disputes, namely that disputes should be addressed by the concerned countries peacefully through friendly negotiations, while peace and stability in the South China Sea should be jointly maintained by China and ASEAN countries. That means China is willing to embrace a multilateralism spirit in pacifying the situation and willing to negotiate with the parties involved in the disputes in a rule-based manner, though it will not accept any new trouble caused by certain nations.

 (“Countries outside the region can express reasonable concerns, but we are opposed to ‘bossy gestures'”, Foreign Minister Wang Yi , adding: “China and ASEAN are totally able to safeguard well the peace and stability of South China Sea.”)

To some extent, China and the US are competing over South China Sea issues and such competition is on proposing initiatives and rules that can attract more international support with a firmer legal and moral basis.

It should be noted, specifically, that China as a committed supporter of ASEAN and related mechanisms should clarify that it is not seeking to divide ASEAN. Over the years, China has hosted about one-third of the cooperation programs within the ARF framework; in 2015 it will co-host six programs together with ASEAN nations, which cover disaster-relief, maritime security, preventive diplomacy and cybersecurity.

These are good opportunities for ASEAN and China to improve their relations. Both sides need to prevent the maritime disputes from poisoning mutual relations. They cannot afford to be strategically misguided.

By Zhao Minghao (China Daily)/Asia News Network

The author is a research fellow with the Charhar Institute and adjunct fellow with the Center for International and Strategic Studies, Peking University.

 

Round one of Asia pivot ends with tie

The latest ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting wrapped up on Sunday with a joint statement, in which quite an emphasis was given to the South China Sea crisis. Washington has shown its approval for the result, and some US analysts believe US backing has inspired ASEAN countries to be more united in facing China. But there are also other voices claiming that the US was cold-shouldered in the meeting as China was not mentioned in the statement and Washington’s call for a South China Sea “freeze” was also missing from discussions.

Perhaps a more convincing conclusion would be that China and the US reached a tie in this engagement in the South China Sea issue.

It was quite a surprise to China when the Obama administration pitched the “pivot to Asia” strategy in 2009. Washington has kept pushing so the dormant controversies in the East China Sea and South China Sea have become more explicit. Countries like Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam keep posing challenges to China’s geopolitics.

But in these years, China’s neighborhood has become more controllable, as some principles have become a consensus. For example, in the Diaoyu Islands dispute, both China and Japan have expressed their determination to avoid military confrontation, although squabbles and spats never cease about the East China Sea. In the South China Sea, China is taking more initiatives to check the recklessness of the Philippines and Vietnam.

The first wave of force sent by Washington’s “rebalancing to Asia” strategy has died down. The US has achieved some of its goals effortlessly, but China has exerted some strength to deal with it. Both sides drew in the first round, as neither side can push their strategies without limitations.

Washington boasts military strength and the support of allies, but China’s economic influence in this region gives it leverage to win over many friends. In this case, the US parry has been fended off by China’s shield. If we must make these East and Southeast Asian countries pick sides between China and the US, the result would be unpredictable. This is because standing on neutral ground benefits them the most.

Washington will find it more difficult to inflict problems on China after the first round. It will face more resistance. If conflicts surrounding the South China Sea escalated, it would be an unfolding and resource-consuming disaster for both sides.

China has clear goals in its neighborhood policy, which is to safeguard its sovereignty and development environment. But as for the US, a rebalancing to Asia strategy to maintain its dominance in this area is not where its core interests lie. China is more determined than the US. Washington should become more level-headed and stop making calculations. There won’t be a united front going against China in this area, and this truth also applies for China, as it is unable to drive off the presence of US as well.

- Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-12 0:43:02  

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The South China Sea is a critical strategic point.As the mid-term presidential elections in the US approach, Obama wants to show a hard-line attitude. 
 

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By confusing right and wrong and throwing its weight behind countries such as the Philippines, Washington’s real intention is to contain China’s rise in the region and expand its own interests here.
 
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Japan reopens China’s wounds: Sea of Change in pacific policy; Japan’s wars and Potsdam Declaration still relevant


China-JapanJapan reopens China’s wounds

Few wounds take so long to heal. But the defeat in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, which broke out 120 years ago today, remains an open wound in Chinese national psyche.

Not because it hurt us too badly. The subsequent unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, fittingly portrayed as “humiliating the country and forfeiting its sovereignty”, has since been a hallmark of national shame. But the Japanese imposed on us greater shame and sufferings in the decades that followed.

Nor because we are a nation of grudge-holders. We have befriended posterity of Western intruders responsible for our nation’s humiliating past, and are forming partnerships with them. Even to Japan, our worst enemy in history, our leaders always reiterate the wish to let friendship “last from generation to generation”.

But because the same old ghost of expansionist Japan is lurking next door, causing a contagious sense of insecurity throughout the region.

We cannot afford to not be vigilant, because Shinzo Abe’s Japan is strikingly similar to the Japan of 120 years ago. International concerns about the likelihood of history repeating itself in Northeast Asia are not groundless. Because, like in 1894, Japan is again aspiring for “greatness” through expanding its overseas military presence. And its foremost target is, again, China.

It is dangerous to underestimate Japan as a security threat. Which it was, and still is.

The Japanese prime minister’s rhetoric about peace may be engaging. But never forget Japan’s extreme duality. Its wars of aggression have always been launched in the mode of surprise attacks while waving the banner of peace.

In 1871, Japan signed the Sino-Japanese Friendship and Trade Treaty with rulers of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which promises mutual respect for and non-violation of each other’s territories. Hardly had the ink on that document dried when the Japanese began invading Ryukyu, then a Chinese tributary. The Ryukyu kingdom was finally annexed in 1879 and renamed Okinawa.

On Japan’s agenda of overseas expansion, the 1894 surprise attack against China was a carefully plotted advance to control Korea before slicing China. But the Japanese government eulogized its acts of aggression as those of benevolence aimed at “preserving the overall peace of East Asia” against “barbarians and semi-barbarians”.

The more devastating Japanese war of aggression, embarked in 1931, was also waged in the name of peace, under the pretext of building an “East Asia sphere of common prosperity”.

Even today, Japanese politicians call it a war of “liberation from white colonialism”, even “enlightenment”.

In amazing similarity, present-day Japan is flexing its military muscles overseas in the name of proactive peace. Also like in the run-up to the year of 1894, with peace on lips, Abe is waging a propaganda war against China, framing us as a threat.

This country has suffered enough from its one-sided wish for peace, and poor preparedness for worst scenarios.

Now is time for a break.

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network

Sea of change in pacifist policy

Japan may have crossed a rubicon as it will only be a matter of time before it acts like a ‘normal’ country where troop deployment is concerned.

Abe_eye militaryON July 1, the Cabinet of Shinzo Abe decided that Japan would no longer abide by the policy of not engaging in collective self-defence.

This may appear innocuous but to those conversant with Japanese defence policy since World War II (WWII) this could amount to a sea of change.

The Americans, in an attempt to prevent a remilitarised Japan after WWII, imposed on it a constitution which contains Article 9, an article probably found in no other constitution. It states that Japan renounces war as a sovereign right of a nation and cannot resort to force, or the threat of the use of force, to settle international disputes.

The defence of Japan was guaranteed by the United States in a security agreement signed with Japan after the American occupation. Nevertheless, the United States also insisted that Japan take some steps to defend itself.

Thus, Article 9 was not interpreted literally by subsequent governments as excluding Japan from establishing a Self-Defence Force (SDF), but it could not be allowed to participate in collective self-defence. Japan could not send its military force to help any country, however friendly, except for humanitarian purposes.

This approach, perhaps unexpectedly, worked brilliantly for Japan.

Freed of the need to build a large military establishment, Japan devoted its energies to economic development and built what was until recently the second largest economy in the world.

But as the United States began to realise that Japan was the greatest beneficiary of this approach, it applied pressure on Japan to give up this “free ride”, and start deploying troops overseas, especially to aid American military expeditions. The Japanese resisted.

They argued that the SDF could be sent overseas for humanitarian purposes but not for combat as this would involve Japan in collective self-defence, even if only to aid Japan’s crucial ally, the United States. Article 9, as then interpreted, would be violated.

But the Japanese could not resist US pressure for long. Since then the Japanese have sent Japanese vessels to supply fuel for US ships to attack Afghanistan, and troops to Iraq in the war against Saddam Hussein.

But though these troops were placed in combat situations, their presence was justified, however contrived, for humanitarian reasons. They were not there for the purpose of collective self-defence!

This has now changed with the recent Cabinet decision. Despite assurances from the Abe Cabinet that Japan will only use troops after all means have been exhausted, henceforth it can send troops not only to help US forces if attacked but also to the defence of any other country that it might feel an obligation to. Japan may have crossed a rubicon as it will only be a matter of time before it acts like a “normal” country where troop deployment is concerned.

China and South Korea are against it. They fear that this could lead to the remilitarisation of Japan as they believe Japan has not sufficiently come to terms with its past of aggression against Asia.

Many South-East Asian nations, on the other hand, have been impressed by Japan’s peace diplomacy since WWII, and may be less inclined to believe the Japanese will remilitarise. Even though many South-East Asians, particularly those of Chinese descent, suffered from Japanese atrocities, they are more ambivalent about the Japanese war record.

The Japanese occupation in South-East Asia was a military one and lasted only about three-and-a-half years. Compare this to Korea, which was colonised by Japan from 1910 to 1945, when Korean cultural identity was subjected to an eradication campaign by the Japanese colonisers.

Or the Chinese, who since the Sino- Japanese war of 1895 had suffered almost half a century of Japanese threats, colonisation (Manchuria in 1931) and invasion (from 1937-1945.) Memories of Japanese atrocities such as the Nanjing Massacre are still vivid in their minds.

South-East Asians are concerned that the history issue, whatever the merits of the case, will continue to prevent reconciliation between Japan and Northeast Asia, in particular China.

Sino-Japanese relations will not stabilise unless that issue is resolved. This will not be good for South-East Asia, given the profound economic and geopolitical impact these two countries have on the region.

There is also some reason for unease in the manner in which Abe implemented the change. Over a matter of such importance, the Abe government should have gone through the procedure of amending or abolishing Article 9 of the constitution, instead of resorting to the tactic of changing governmental interpretation.

It is true that this will be difficult, given that a recent poll shows 56% of the Japanese population are against the Abe move. (A constitutional change needs a two-thirds majority in both houses and a majority in a national referendum.) Nevertheless, it is the task of Abe and his people to convince the Japanese people of the necessity of the constitutional change. If the Japanese people are unconvinced, then Abe should leave things be.

More concerning is that this normalisation is accompanied by a nationalist agenda of visits to the Yasukuni shrine by Japanese legislators and indeed by Abe himself, and by other actions that suggest Japan did no wrong in the war.

Japanese nationalists like Abe argue that they are only praying for the souls of the deceased when they visit the Yasukuni shrine, and they have no wish to resurrect the past.

But there are other aspects of the nationalist agenda the Abe people are pushing which may survive. One is the introduction of patriotic education, that can have a long-lasting effect on the Japanese population.

It can be argued that the Abe move to make Japan a normal country should be welcome. Japan is a large country with a population of around 120 million.

Moreover, it has the third largest economy, and is technologically one of the most advanced in the world. It has also convincingly demonstrated a record of more than 60 years of peaceful diplomacy.

At the same time, many Japanese, particularly the younger generation, no longer want to carry on with the mentality of a defeated nation so long after the war. Nevertheless, it is a pity that their government has to pursue the normalisation of Japan while at the same time pushing a nationalist agenda.

 

By Dr Lee Poh Ping The Star/Asia News Network

Dr Lee Poh PingDr Lee Poh Ping is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of China Studies in the University of Malaya. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

http://english.cntv.cn/program/dialogue/20130726/100500.shtml

First Japan war’s lessons remain relevant

Today is the 120th anniversary of the eruption of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). The war is generally viewed as a turning point in modern Chinese history. The illusion of a strong navy of the then-Qing government and limited hopes brought by the Self-Strengthening Movement ended with the war’s coming. China not only lost to the West, but also was defeated by an East Asian country—Japan. China’s long-held sense of superiority came to an abrupt end.

The complete defeat in the war, and cession of territories and indemnities brought with it, caused Chinese society to realize that only reform could reverse China’s backwardness. Yet all reform measures failed to save the Qing regime.

The war also completely remade East Asian geopolitics, with Japan assuming a role as the leading country in the region. Only in recent years has this arrangement changed to some extent.

Drawing lessons from the war is not an easy job. Neither China nor Japan has set an example in this. China was convulsed by half a century of war and other disturbances following its defeat, before it gradually found its path forward. Japan became increasingly self-centered and paranoid due to its victory in the war and began to follow an expansionist path. It would only begin to restrain itself following its defeat by other world powers in the World War II.

China’s experiences during the past 120 years are fodder for significant reflection. China and Japan once again find themselves in a confrontational stance. How should we look at China’s geopolitical status, both then and now? What’s the most significant lesson for us? There has been much discussion throughout China on this subject, but no consensus has yet been reached.

Will China find itself in a new war, similar to the one 120 years ago? History will not repeat itself, but China still face a number of uncertainties. What are these uncertainties? From where can the Chinese people derive our strategic confidence?

It is naïve to compare the historical context of the First Sino-Japanese War or World War I with China’s current circumstances. Both international politics and China’s internal social structure have experienced profound changes.

China is rising, even as there are many factors countervailing this process, both internal and external. The momentum of China’s development has empowered the country, while at the same time exposing problems. Opinions remain divided as to whether Chinese society as a whole can bear the pressure.

There are those who would compare the Sino-Japanese relationship of 120 years ago with today. It is a confusing comparison. China 120 years ago lacked national strength, social unity, and effective government. It proved unable to reform itself in the face of serious setbacks.

China’s task of reform was thrown into sharp relief following the First Sino-Japanese War. Even now, the country must continue to push reforms, and curb its social ills.

We should continue to crack down on corruption, and protect the democracy advocated by generations of revolutionaries. All this, however, should not come at the cost of social chaos.

Source: Global Times Published: 2014-7-25 0:28:01

 

DeclarationDeclaration still relevant

Looking at the Potsdam Declaration 69 years after its release on July 26 in 1945 is of great help in knowing why the Japanese government’s attitude toward the war of aggression it launched against China and other Asian countries during World War II matters a great deal to its relations with its neighbors and the situation in East Asia.

Along with Cairo Declaration in 1943, this historical document was the cornerstone of the postwar world order. It was these two documents that established the principles for Japan, one of the culprits for World War II, to redeem itself from the evils of its militarism. And it was by following what both documents stipulated that Japan could realize reconciliation with its neighbors, which had forgiven what its invading troops had done to their peoples with the hope that the island country would behave itself and contribute to the building of a peaceful Asia and peaceful world at large.

However, the declaration was challenged when the Japanese government made the decision to nationalize the Diaoyu Islands in 2012, territory it had grabbed from China with its military aggression. Japan was supposed to return all the territories it had taken from China according to Cairo Declaration, and the Potsdam Declaration requires that the Cairo Declaration must be observed.

By blatantly questioning the international definition of the nature of the war, the legitimacy of the Far East Military Tribunal and even the existence of the “comfort women” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is actually trying to overturn what the two declarations had stipulated for Japan’s surrender and the establishment of the postwar order.

Abe government’s lifting of the ban on its collective self-defense by reinterpreting Article 9 of its postwar pacifist Constitution early this month trod on the toes of its neighbors, as there is no threat to Japan’s national security that calls for the possible use of its collective self-defense and for any overseas military action.

All Japan’s Asian neighbors can get from what Abe is saying and doing is nothing but increased suspicion about the possibility of the revival of Japan’s militarism.

When celebrating the 69th anniversary of the Potsdam Declaration, it is indeed necessary and urgent for China and its Asian neighbors to remind the Abe government that it is leading its country in the wrong direction if it indeed wants its country to become a normal member of the international community.

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network

Who stands to gain from MH17, USA?


The general public should always ask this question to prevent ourselves from being deceived by ‘false flags’

THE Russian military has released military monitoring data which challenge allegations circulating in the media pertaining to the MH17 crash in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. Questions have been raised about Kiev military jets tracking MH17, Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the deployment of Buk missile systems. Kiev should also release military data on the circumstances leading to the crash. So should the Pentagon which reportedly has relevant intelligence and satellite data.

Since military data is hardcore information, Kiev and Washington should be persuaded to be transparent and accountable. The UN Secretary-General can play a role in this since there is a specialised agency within the UN, the ICAO, dedicated to international civil aviation.

Military data from Moscow, Kiev and Washington should be scrutinised by the independent international panel that is supposed to probe the MH17 catastrophe.

Such data carries much more weight than videos purportedly revealing the role of the pro-Russian rebels and the Russian government in the crash. One such video showing a Buk system being moved from Ukraine to Russia is a fabrication. The billboard in the background establishes that it was shot in a town – Krasnoarmeisk – that has been under the control of the Ukrainian military since May 11. Similarly, a YouTube video showing a Russian General and Ukrainian rebels discussing their role in mistakenly downing a civilian aircraft was, from various tell-tale signs, produced before the event.

The public should be wary of fabricated “evidence” of this sort, after what we have witnessed in the last so many years. Have we forgotten the monstrous lies and massive distortions that accompanied the reckless allegation that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) which led eventually to the invasion of that country in 2003 and the death of more than a million people? What about the Gulf of Tonkin episode of 1964 which again was a fabrication that paved the way for US aggression against Vietnam that resulted in the death of more than three million Vietnamese?

MH17-coffins

The “babies in incubators” incident in Kuwait in 1990 was yet another manufactured lie that aroused the anger of the people and served to justify the US assault on Iraq. Just last year we saw how an attempt was made by some parties to pin the blame for a sarin gas attack in Ghouta, Syria upon the Assad government when subsequent investigations have revealed that it was the work of some rebel group.

From Tonkin to Ghouta there is a discernible pattern when it comes to the fabrication of evidence to justify some nefarious agenda or other. As soon as the event occurs before any proper investigation has begun, blame is apportioned upon the targeted party. This is done wilfully to divert attention from the real culprit whose act of evil remains concealed and camouflaged.

The colluding media then begins to spin the “correct” version with the help of its reporters and columnists who concoct “fact” out of fiction. Any other explanation or interpretation of the event is discredited and dismissed derisively to ensure that the “credibility” of the dominant narrative remains intact.

As the narrative unfolds, the target often embodied in a certain personality is demonised to such a degree that he arouses the ire of the public and becomes an object of venom.

The pattern described here is typical of what is known as a “false flag” operation in which blame for some dastardly deed is consciously transferred to one’s adversary. It has happened right through history and many contemporary nation-states – and not just the United States – are guilty of flying false flags.

To protect ourselves from being deceived by such operations, the general public should always ask: who stands to gain from a particular episode? Cui Bono is in fact an important principle in the investigation of a crime. In the case of the MH17 carnage, the pro-Russian rebels do not benefit in any way from downing a civilian airliner. Their goal is independence from the Kiev government which is why they are fighting Kiev through sometimes violent means including shooting down its military planes. Massacring 298 passengers in a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur does not serve their cause. Moscow which backs the rebels to an extent also gains nothing from involving itself in such a diabolical carnage.

10 days after the carnage, it is now clear who is trying to reap benefits from that terrible tragedy in the skies. The demonisation of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, orchestrated from various Western capitals, including Kiev, after Crimea voted to join the Russian Federation, thus thwarting one of the primary strategic goals of Nato’s eastward expansion, has now reached its pinnacle.

MH17 has helped the elite in Washington in yet another sense. It has strengthened its push for tougher sanctions against Russia which began after the Crimea vote.

It is obvious that those who seek to punish Russia and the pro-Russian rebels, namely, the elite in Washington and Kiev, are poised to gain the most from the MH17 episode. Does it imply that they would have had a role in the episode itself? Only a truly independent and impartial international inquiry would be able to provide the answer.

In this regard, we must admit that while elites in Kiev and Washington may stand to gain from MH17, those who actually pulled the trigger may be some other group or individual with links to the powerful in the two capitals. It is quite conceivable that a certain well-heeled individual equipped with the appropriate military apparatus and with access to air-control authorities in the region may have executed the act of evil itself.

MH17 down

Because of who he is, and where his loyalties lie, that individual may have also decided to target Malaysia. Was he giving vent to his anger over our principled stand on the question of justice for the Palestinians? Was he also attempting to divert public attention from Israel’s ground offensive against Gaza which time-wise coincided with the downing of the Malaysian airliner?

As we explore MH17 from this angle, would we be able to connect the dots between MH17 and MH370, between July 17 and March 8, 2014? We should not rest till the whole truth is known and the evil behind these two colossal catastrophes punished severely.

We owe this to every soul who perished on those fateful flights.

This article is dedicated to the cherished memory of all those on MH17 – especially the 80 children who were on board.

By comment: Dr Chandra Muzaffar

Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).

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China to lead as superpower


 China will surpass US to become leading superpower – global survey finds it will or already has surpassed the US

People the world over tend to believe that China will surpass the US to become the world’s leading superpower, China News Service said, citing a global survey.

Brics_China's Guide role

Conducted by the Pew Research Center, the survey of 48,643 respondents older than 18 in 44 countries found that 49 percent agree that China will eventually replace or has replaced the US as the world’s leading superpower, while 34 percent disagree.

This view is shared across all regions surveyed, especially among European countries. Across the seven European Union nations polled, 60 percent think China will or already has replaced the US.

In general, global views of China are positive. China’s growing economy is considered a good thing by most countries, though China’s increasing prosperity is considered a threat in some, one of which is the US.

China’s image in the US has deteriorated, with 35 percent expressing a positive view, down from half in 2011, the report said.

Meanwhile, the rising power of China is generating anxiety among its neighbors. More than half of respondents in 11 Asian countries surveyed worry that territorial disputes will lead to conflict with China, including 93 percent of Filipinos, 85 percent of Japanese, 84 percent of Vietnamese and 83 percent of South Koreans.

Two-thirds of Americans and 62 percent of Chinese also say they are concerned.

Respondents in Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam see China as their top security threat, while the US is seen as the top security threat in three Asian nations: China, Pakistan and Malaysia.

Across the globe, young people tend to have more positive attitudes toward China than older respondents. In 23 countries, people aged 18 to 29 give China higher ratings than those 50 and older. In the UK, Mexico, the US and France, the gap between older and younger respondents is 20 percentage points.

World Sees China as Eventual Top Power, U.S. as Current Leading Economy

Source: Asia News Network

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Despite relatively smooth development of its relations with the other four BRICS nations, China cannot afford to ignore or underestimate corresponding challenges.

China – US candid dialogue aims at easing anxiety


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US-China Dialogue 2014China-U.S. annual dialogue opens, President Xi gives speech

 The sixth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue has opened here in Beijing. The two-day …

The sixth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the fifth China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange are being held in Beijing these two days. At a time when this bilateral relationship remains subtle and both have speculated about each other’s strategic outlook, such high-level dialogue offers a chance for them to listen to their counterparts to ease anxieties brought by problems between them.

The strategists and public opinion in both countries have made thorough analyses of bilateral ties, yet they still fail to offer grounded conclusions. The fundamental reason is that in the history of international politics, such a big power relationship has never existed before.

The Chinese leadership envisioned the notion of a new type of great power relations, which the US leadership has accepted. The positive attitude of both has injected hope to the 21st century.

There will be more friction between the two. There will be twists and turns as China rises and the US tries to maintain its hegemony. Both can easily highlight a concrete problem, while high-level dialogue is needed to ease the speculation in both societies.

China’s rise seems to be the most uncertain factor for the Sino-US relationship and the political pattern of the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century. A comprehensive understanding of China’s rise will help lay the foundation of this bilateral relationship.

The driving forces of China’s rise come from the demand of the Chinese people. No one can stop this process. China and the US should build up an open system that can accommodate China’s rise and soften the impact of China’s rise on the politics of Asia-Pacific and other regions.

Many view the territorial disputes between China and its neighboring countries as its ambition for expansion. The US should be able to see that China has no intention to create new geopolitical patterns through these disputes, nor would it make use of the conflicts to expand its strategic space.

Even when China has no intention, its impact has been felt. Meanwhile, US support for Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam has caused some effect on China’s neighbors. These two factors should not interact with each other to intensify mutual strategic mistrust.

The significance of the heart-to-heart dialogue is the same as that of establishing a crisis-management mechanism. It may take a while before the two realize great power relations, but China-US relations are fundamentally different from ties between the US and the former Soviet Union.

There will be continuing pessimistic comments from the public in both countries. It is vital that both governments remain determined. It will be a significant political achievement if the two develop a relationship that is different from the one under the Yalta system during the last century.

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-7-9

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[2014-07-10 07:26] Washington’s support for the true troublemakers, on the other hand, has convinced many that it is plotting to contain a rising China.

 

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Attitude to the war matters

[2014-07-08 07:27] History is the best textbook. That is what President Xi Jinping said at the ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression on Monday.

Watch Japan’s surrender Video; Beware of Japan’s evil designs!


China publishes video of Japan´s surrender for first time

Beware of Japan’s evil designs

Japan militarism_AbeJapan militarism_Abe PlotThe volatile political situation in Europe (and partly in West Asia) led to the Great War 100 years ago, with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany (or the Central Forces) on one side and Britain, France and Russia (or the Allies) on the other. What started essentially as a “European war” soon turned into a world war with the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joining the Central Forces and Italy, the United States and Japan joining the Allies.

The international situation today is radically different from what it was 100 years ago. Regional conflicts do exist, but there is no conflict between two major powers or blocs that seems unlikely to be resolved through talks. The main contradictions and conflicts today are the ones between the sole superpower, the US, and emerging powers like China and Russia. Despite the comparative decline in its power, the US is not willing to yield its self-perceived sphere of influence to China or Russia. But despite being uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a powerful China, the US has agreed to establish a “new type of major-power relationship” with China.

China is surrounded by complicated maritime disputes with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, but these countries seem to be acting on the instigation of the US, and are not in a position to engage in a large-scale military conflict or war with China. In fact, these countries’ attitude toward China depends on the direction Sino-US relations take.

About 120 years ago, Japan launched an aggressive war against China, which ended in the collapse of the Chinese navy and the signing of the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, which forced the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) rulers to cede some of China’s territories and pay reparations to Japan. The main reason China suffered such a fiasco was that, as a weakening feudal country, it was not prepared to fight an asymmetrical war with an emerging capitalist power.

China, along with the rest of the world, has undergone considerable changes since then. Today China is the world’s second-largest economy and one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Despite that – and despite possessing nuclear weapons – China is still a peace-loving nation striving to build a harmonious world.

After being defeated in World War II, Japan has had to follow a pacifist Constitution, written with the help of Allies, mainly the US. And coupled with the economic downturn since the 1980s and the international community’s stipulation that allows it to only develop its Self-Defense Forces – as opposed to a full-fledged military – Japan today is in a position that is totally different from the late 19th century.

Yet Japan has taken a dangerous step toward militarization by reinterpreting Article 9 of the Constitution. Since the move allows Japan to dispatch troops overseas to take part in “conflicts”, it should be seen as a warning not only to China but also to the international community as a whole.

With the peaceful rise of China and escalation of Sino-Japanese disputes, Japan has begun shifting its strategic focus southwestward. A series of military moves by Tokyo in recent years, such as the deployment of missiles on its southernmost island, Miyako-jima, which is closest to China’s Diaoyu Islands and the stationing of the most advanced missiles on the southern tip of Kyushu Island, indicate that Japan’s military policy is targeted mainly at China.

Japan also plans to build military bases on Miyako-jima, Amami-shima and Ishigaki-jima, its three southern islands nearest to the Diaoyu Islands, and deploy outpost forces there. During a recent visit to Miyako-jima, a senior Japanese defense official told local officials that “the local defense vacuum” should be filled in.

Japan’s military maneuvers in Miyako-jima, some 2,000 kilometers from Tokyo but only about 200 km from China’s Taiwan, are obviously aimed at strengthening its military might to counter China, especially over the Sino-Japanese maritime disputes. This is how a recent Russian TV program summed up the situation.

Japan has also set up a joint land-, air-and sea-based monitoring system over various straits. For example, every time a Chinese ship crosses the Tsugaru Strait, it will be under surveillance of Japanese warships, helicopters and P-3C aircraft.

While deploying its armed forces in its southwestern region, Japan has unashamedly presented a different face to the international community. For example, it has repeatedly complained that “China’s warplanes dangerously approach Japan’s (planes) ” and that “China’s warships lock their fire control radar at Japan’s (ships) “, to seek sympathy of the international community. By beefing up forces using the “China threat” theory, Japan has exposed its ulterior motive, that is, it is preparing for a possible war with China, even though such a war is not likely to break out.

Given the complicated international security situation, China should remain vigilant against Japan’s military designs and continue its efforts to achieve peaceful sustainable development and build a harmonious world in a bid to play a bigger role on the global stage.

By Li Daguang (China Daily)/Asia News Network
The author is a professor at the National Defense University, People’s Liberation Army.

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Today July 7, remembering Japanese atrocities: China marks 77th anniversary of anti-Japan war 1937


China National Memorialhttp://www.cngongji.cn/english/

China marks 77th anniversary of start of anti-Japan warA grand gathering is held to mark the 77th anniversary of the beginning of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggressions at the Museum of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggressions in Beijing, capital of China, July 7, 2014. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

China marks 77th anniversary of start of anti-Japan war

July 7 incident: String of events leading up to 1937 fight

Next Monday marks the 77th anniversary of the July 7 incident, or the “Lugou Bridge Incident&qu…A grand gathering is held to mark the 77th anniversary of beginning of Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggressions in Beijing, July 7, 2014.

July 7 is an anniversary that should be remembered by both Chinese and Japanese.

Seventy-seven years ago, at Lugou Bridge, known as Marco Polo Bridge to the Western people, Japanese troops attacked Chinese defenders in the nearby fortress town of Wanping, marking the beginning of the eight-year Anti-Japanese War.

Civilians were killed by gunfire, bombs, gas and biological weapons; women were raped; forced laborers were tortured to death.

It was a devastating tragedy not only for China, but also for Japanese people.

Ignoring objections from peace lovers at home, warmongering fascists initiated the war, leaving Japanese soldiers to shed their blood away from their motherland and women and children deserted back home. Those people who provoked the war marked their own country with humiliation in history.

What’s more, 77 years later, the Japanese government still fails to introspect on what it did in the past and cherish the current peace.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet endorsed a reinterpretation of its pacifist Constitution on Tuesday for the right to collective self-defense, the latest move in challenging the international bottom line. A Japanese person even set himself alight in protest.

From the slapstick of the “nationalization” of China’s Diaoyu Islands by the former Japanese government, to Abe’s ridiculous visit to the Yasukuni Shrine and to the pacifist Constitution reinterpretation, right-wingers in Japan have initiated a series of provocations.

War is hell, but there are always devils who try to spark war and trample peace under foot.

Born in an island country with limited natural resources, Japanese people are respected for their diligence and energy-saving awareness. However, there are always a small number of people who attempt to loot the resources of other countries by way of invasion, bringing catastrophe to neighbors including the Korean Peninsula, India, Vietnam, the Philippines and China.

Decades have passed. With the common efforts of government leaders and civilians who cherish peace, China and Japan have greatly strengthened economic ties and cultural exchanges by putting hatred behind them. But some in Japan are now always trying to disturb the international postwar order by ignoring history, something no peace lover in either country wants to see.

China has a deep-rooted culture of seeking peace and expects the Abe government to stop its provocations. Otherwise, they will have to take their medicine.

Japan frays nerves of neighboring countries

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.

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network

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Japanese World War II criminals’ confessions released


Japanese war criminals

  1. After the end of World War Two, when Japanese war criminals were apprehended and interrogated, they wrote confessions.

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    BEIJING, July 3 — Confessions made by 45 Japanese war criminals tried and convicted by military tribunals in China after World War II (WWII) were published online on Thursday.

    Handwritten confessions, along with Chinese translations and abstracts in both Chinese and English, have been published on the website of the State Archives Administration, said the administration’s deputy director Li Minghua at a press conference on Thursday.

    “These archives are hard evidence of the heinous crimes committed by Japanese imperialism against the Chinese,” Li said.

    “Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, disregarding historical justice and human conscience, has been openly talking black into white, misleading the public, and beautifying Japanese aggression and its colonial history since he took office,” Li told reporters.

    “This challenges WWII achievements and the post-WWII international order.

    “The administration has made them available online before the 77th anniversary of the July 7 incident to remember history, take history as a mirror, cherish peace… and prevent the replay of such a historical tragedy,” Li added.

    The July 7 incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.

China began publishing “confessions” of 45 convicted Japanese World War II criminals on Thursday, officials said, in Beijing’s latest effort to highlight the past amid a territorial dispute between the two.

BEIJING: China began publishing “confessions” of 45 convicted Japanese World War II criminals on Thursday, officials said, in Beijing’s latest effort to highlight the past amid a territorial dispute between the two.

The documents, handwritten by Japanese tried and convicted by military courts in China after the war, are being released one a day for 45 days by the State Archives Administration (SAA), it said in a statement on its website.

In the first, dated 1954 and 38 pages long, Keiku Suzuki, described as a lieutenant general and commander of Japan’s 117th Division, admitted ordering a Colonel Taisuke to “burn down the houses of about 800 households and slaughter 1,000 Chinese peasants in a mop-up operation” in the Tangshan area, according to the official translation.

Among a litany of other crimes with a total toll in the thousands, he also confessed that he “cruelly killed 235 Chinese peasants seeking refuge in a village near Lujiayu”.

He also “ordered the Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Squad to spread cholera virus in three or four villages”.

The document, which is littered with descriptions of “Japanese imperialists”, appeared to have been written by someone with native-level command of Japanese, said one Japanese journalist who saw it.

However, some of the sentences were very long and contained multiple clauses, possibly indicating it had gone through several drafts.

It was not clear whether Suzuki’s or the other yet-to-be-published confessions — all of them relating to 45 war criminals put on trial in China in 1956 — were previously publicly available.

Suzuki was held by Soviet forces at the end of the conflict and transferred to Chinese custody in 1950, earlier Chinese documents said, adding that he was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the court and released in 1963.

The publication of the confessions comes as Tokyo and Beijing are at odds over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea, and as Beijing has argued that a reinterpretation of Japan’s pacifist constitution could open the door to remilitarisation of a country it considers insufficiently penitent for its actions in World War II.

China regularly accuses Japan of failing to face up to its history of aggression in Asia, criticism that has intensified since the democratic re-election in December 2012 of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has advocated a more muscular defence and foreign policy stance.

China was outraged in December last year when Abe visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, where the souls of Japan’s war dead, including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II, are enshrined.

“These archives are hard evidence of the heinous crimes committed by Japanese imperialism against the Chinese,” the SAA’s deputy director Li Minghua was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, disregarding historical justice and human conscience, has been openly talking black into white, misleading the public, and beautifying Japanese aggression and its colonial history since he took office,” Li said.

The SAA said the documents were being released to mark the 77th anniversary Monday of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a clash between Chinese and Japanese troops near Beijing, commemorated as the start of what is known in China as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which ended with Tokyo’s World War II defeat in 1945.

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Japan’s removal of ban on collective self-defense signals fascism emergence, escalates tension, stirs international unease


Japan empire 1942

Japan’s move escalates regional tension, signals fascism emergence: foreign experts

Foreign analysts and scholars have harshly criticized a resolution passed by the Japanese cabinet on Monday to allow it a larger military role in Asia, saying it will escalates regional tensions and is a sign of fascism emergence.

The resolution, which allows Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense by reinterpreting the pacifist Constitution, greenlights Japan to take military action to defend other countries even though the nation itself is not under attack, marking a major overhaul from Japan’ s postwar security policy.

“Japan is changing,” warned Shada Islam, the director of Brussels-based Policy, Friends of Europe in a written interview with Xinhua.

The move is part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to transform Japan into a “normal country” when it comes to defence and security, said Islam, adding that he has also pushed through a law to strengthen control of state secrets, created American-style National Security Council, and lifted Japan’ s self-imposed restriction on exporting weapons.

Japan militarism_AbeAbe’s so-called “proactive pacifism” is clearly not popular at home and he has had to abandon his original plan to secure direct constitutional revision — but this move should reassure the United States that Japan is taking on some responsibility for its own defence, she said.

Public opinion in Japan will continue to act as a brake on some of the Abe’s more ambitious plans, so Abe will have to carefully balance his policies, she said, adding that the resolution “will certainly not enhance security and could increase tensions in northeast Asia.”

It is absurd for Japan to allows collective self-defense, said Enes Begicevic, a journalist from Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding that Japan’s move will lead to regional instability.

“This constitutional change is both historic and worrying as it moves one of the pillars which has maintained the balance of peace in East Asia since the end of the Second World War,” said Augusto Soto, professor of ESADE institution of Ramon Llull University and Director of Dialogue with China Project.

This measure could have the effect of destabilizing Asia and the Pacific and this is understood by an important part of public opinion in Japan which is against the Abe administration. However, this opinion does not have the political power to stop the Japanese government’s initiative, he said.

In the face of this situation China could launch a political offensive in order to try and convince Japanese public opinion that the announced measure goes against Japanese interests, he advised.

“The new interpretation of the constitution that Japan’s cabinet has adopted now may do little good to the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region,” Angel Maestro, a Spanish columnist of the Financial World and a expert on asian affairs.

Japan’s neighbors may worry this is the sign of a new rise of the fascism in Japan’s Political Arena. These countries may strengthen their defense forces as insurance against the possibility that Japan has chosen an expansionist foreign policy as it did during the Second World War, which would raise tensions in the region and escalate conflicts that already exist, he said.

“I think it may increase the historical mistrust that Japan already faces from its neighboring countries, especially China and Korea, about its military intentions,” said Piin-Fen Kok, Director of China, East Asia and United States Program with the EastWest Institute.

It’ s up to Japan to explain clearly to its neighbors why it is doing this, and why this is good for regional and global security. Japan also needs to provide assurances to its neighbors that it will not revert to its militaristic past, Kok said.

“Collective self-defense is a compromise born from Shinzo Abe’s political will, who leads a group of people that don’t represent the mainstream of Japanese politics,” Professor Axel Berkofsky, senior associate research fellow of Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) has told Xinhua.

“It is funny to say that Japan should regain the respect of the world. It was just saying: It’s a weak commitment, a political move, a dream, a vision of Abe himself,” he added.

- Xinhua (Editor:Wang Xin、Huang Jin)

Japan’s removal of ban on collective self-defense stirs international unease

The Japanese cabinet has approved a resolution that would allow the country to exercise the right of collective self-defense by reinterpreting the Pacifist Constitution.

Japan Self Defense force

The resolution sets three conditions that would enable exercise of the right including “clear danger” to the lives of its people due to armed attacks on Japan or “countries with close ties”.

The move is an overhaul of Japan’s exclusively defense-oriented security policy after World War II and over half of Japanese are against it.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that China is opposed to Japan’s pursuit of its domestic political goals by deliberately inventing a “China threat”, and urged Japan to respect the legitimate security concerns of its Asian neighbors and deal prudently with relevant issues. He said that Japan must not undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, nor should it harm regional peace and stability.

Japan’s removal of the ban on collective self-defense comes at a time of strained Sino-Japan relations, said Yuan Yang, a researcher with the Academy of Military Sciences of PLA. According to Yuan, China’s rapid economic and military development is the motive behind Japan’s move to constrain China.

Yuan Yang believes that lifting the ban on collective defense would ease certain restrictions on the Japanese military forces and might lead to gradual expansion of its military capability.

Yuan points out that Japan’s emphasis on “countries with close ties”, rather than confining itself to its allies, increases the possibility of conflict between China and Japan. There is now the possibiltiy that the two countries might clash over issues related to third parties as well as the Diaoyu Island issue and other issues in the East China Sea.

Zhou Yongsheng, a professor with the China Foreign Affairs University, has also noted that the most serious consequence of removing the ban on collective self-defense might be a military alliance betweeen Japan and countries like the Philippines and Vietnam.

Faced with this situation, China needs to show the world that with peaceful development as its basic state policy, it will never pose any threat to other countries. It should try to unite all peace-loving forces, especially peace forces in Japan, to prevent these Japanese government moves. But China also needs to make it clear to the world that with its own strengthened military forces, it has nothing to fear from the provocative actions of other countries. – (People’s Daily Online)

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