China praises Germany, slams Japan
(Reuters) – China used the 70th anniversary of World War Two’s D-Day landings on Friday to praise Germany for its contrition over its wartime past and slam Japan for what Beijing views as Tokyo’s continued denial of its brutal history.
China has increasingly contrasted Germany and its public remorse for the Nazi regime to Japan, where repeated official apologies for wartime suffering are sometimes undercut by contradictory comments by conservative politicians.
Ties between the two Asian rivals worsened on Dec. 26 when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which China sees as a symbol of Tokyo’s past militarism because it honors war criminals along with millions of war dead.
“Germany’s sincere remorse has won the confidence of the world,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing, when asked about the D-Day anniversary.
“But in Asia on the Asian battlefield, the leaders of Japan, which caused harm and which lost the war, are to this day still trying to reverse the course of history and deny their history of invasion,” Hong added.
“What Japanese leaders are doing has been widely condemned in the international community. We again urge Japan’s leaders to face up to and deeply reflect on the history of invasion and take real steps to correct their mistakes to win the trust of its neighbors in Asia and in the international community.”
Japan’s government and Abe himself have repeatedly said that Japan has faced up to its past sincerely.
– (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Japan urged to correct mistakes as D-Day remembered
BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) — China on Friday urged Japan to reflect on its aggression past and correct mistakes with practical actions, as international D-Day commemorations were held.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing, “We again urge Japanese leaders to face up to and remember its aggression past, correct mistakes with tangible actions and win the trust of Asian neighbors and the international community.”
Among international commemorations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day being held, one was in Normandy, France.
Hong said as far as the Second World War is concerned, Europe has turned over a new page. Quoting an old Chinese saying, he said, “Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.”
Hong said, “Germany has won world respect by sincerely apologizing for its wrong-doing.
“Yet leaders of Japan, a defeated country in World War II, are still attempting to deny its past and challenge the post-war international order, thus their acts are widely condemned by the international community.”
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Friday marks 70 years since the allied troops in the Second World War landed in Normandy. Ceremonies large and small have been taking place on both sides of the English Channel.
In the southern English naval base of Portsmouth, which was the departure point for troops heading to Sword Beach, one of the main landing points, British Royal Marines acted out military exercises for thousands of veterans who gathered on Thursday to make the crossing for the commemorations.
While over in northern France, 300 soldiers from the US, UK, Canada and France parachuted in tandem over the village of Ranville, and World War II planes flew over Utah Beach. Thousands of Allied troops flew or parachuted onto the German-occupied French soil during the early hours of June 6th, in 1944, catching the German army by surprise. But the price was high, nearly 4,500 were dead by the end of the day.
With many D-Day veterans now in their 90s, this year could be the last time that many of those who took part in the battle, will be able to make the long journey back to Normandy and tell their stories. The main D-Day ceremony will be held in Ouistreham, a small port that was the site of a strategic battle on D-Day. Some 18 heads of state are expected to attend the commemorations.