A 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)
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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