NYC rally demands Abe's apology
Updated: 2014-01-09 11:15
By China Daily (China Daily USA)
Dozens of Chinese gathered in front of the Japanese Consulate General in New York City Wednesday morning to protest Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial where, among others, 14 Japanese World War II Class-A war criminals are honored.
Surrounded by banners that read "Japan must face up WW2 history", "Say no to Japanese Militarism" and "Diaoyu Islands Belong to China", Chinese community leaders from the Eastern US submitted a letter of protest to the consulate.
"The main requests we made through the letter are, first of all, that we condemn his action," said Huang Che-Tsao, convener of the Eastern USA Committee for the Diaoyu Islands and one of the protest organizers. "We want a public apology from him to the Chinese and other Asian people, including Koreans."
In addition, the one-page letter addressed to Abe asked for a formal apology to all people who were affected and hurt by his shrine visit, especially Asian Americans.
"Your action of honoring the war criminals is dishonest and insulting to hundreds of millions of Chinese and American citizens who still bear painful memories of WWII," the letter read.
"Not only do we want Asian people to unite in condemning the visit, but we also hope the US government and Americans will take the matter seriously," said Sam Chen, chairman of the Alliance in Memory of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre. "Japan hurt the US badly in the Pearl Harbor Attack. The US should not forget this painful memory."
The letter asks Abe to issue a statement respecting the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation regarding the WWII settlement as well as the International Military Tribunal Verdict sentencing the WWII war criminals.
"We strongly condemn Japan for distorting history," said Huang. "We want them to face history."
The Cairo Declaration, signed by the US, China and the UK in 1943, said that, "all the territories Japan had stolen from China, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China".
Two years later, the Potsdam Declaration, or Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender, urged Japan to surrender unconditionally and carry out the terms of the Cairo Declaration.
Among the protesters was Ann Lee, a young Asian American who wept when talked about why she joined the protest. "My grandfather narrowly escaped the Japanese during WWII, leaving behind a one-year old daughter and a pregnant wife who later gave birth to a son (her father), who 57 years later found out that the man who raised him was not his birth father."
Lee's father then learned that his real father, who escaped from the Japanese army, was still alive, but the family was already torn apart because of the war.
"Shame on them because they are still pouring salt on the wounds of the Chinese soldiers who battled them," shouted Lee.
Zhang Yang contributed to this story and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chinese community members lodge a protest in front of the Japanese consulate in New York on Wednesday against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. The Yasukuni Shrine honors 14 convicted WWII war criminals who had caused severe suffering in countries like China, Korea and the Philippines. Zhang Yang / for China Daily
(China Daily USA 01/09/2014 page2)