Meet Abe the hypocrite

Updated: 2014-01-08 07:34

(China Daily)

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's hypocritical remarks on Monday should once again alert the region against the efforts of Japan, which has been hijacked by right-wingers, to roll back history and relive a militaristic dream, says a Xinhua News Agency commentary.

There should be no place in the world to honor war criminals. Yet Abe and Japanese right-wing officials recently visited a shrine in Tokyo that honors 14 Class-A World War II criminals and then insisted the visit was justifiable.

Abe talks about "world peace", yet he pushes for military buildup and the revision of Japan's pacifist Constitution, written after WWII to restrain militaristic Japan from committing the atrocities in Asian countries again.

Abe has got used to and become skilled at routinely infuriating Japan's neighbors, and then calling for dialogue by saying all the right words, such as "world peace", "address problems" and "understanding". The truth is that he has never had the sincerity to match these encouraging words with action.

Not only China and its Asian neighbors, but also the United States and the rest of the world should be vigilant against a right-leaning Japan, because the Abe administration's revisionist, self-deceiving attitudes toward history and its agenda to rebuild a militaristic country pose a grave danger to regional security and stability.

The wounds inflicted by Japan's invasion of and colonial rule in Asian countries during the first half of the 20th century became fresh when Abe visited the controversial war shrine and attempted to mask it as a visit for "peace".

The Chinese people will never forget that the Imperial Japanese Army killed millions of people in China, butchering more than 300,000 people in just six weeks during the Nanjing Massacre. Nor will the Chinese people forget the lethal biochemical experiments the Japanese army conducted on Chinese captives, and the inhuman torture and rape it unleashed on innocent people.

Among the victims of WWII were also millions of Japanese soldiers and civilians who were led into an unjust war by their leaders and paid dearly for the latter's wrongdoings.

No country or people should go through that kind of suffering ever again. That is why the lessons of history should be learned and taught to later generations.

However, the Abe administration's unrepentant attitude and provocative actions are making that impossible. Without the courage to own up to its wartime aggressions and atrocities, Japan can never be forgiven by its neighbors and the victims of the war, nor can it gain the respect of the international community.