Lessons of history for Japan

Updated: 2014-02-10 07:36

By Gao Hong(China Daily)

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Because of these developments, China, the ROK and other countries that once suffered the brutalities of Japanese invasion have to establish regular communication and jointly safeguard the judgment of the international community and maintain peace and stability in the region.

But East Asian countries' efforts to promote peace and stability are not expected to be reciprocated by Abe-led Japan, because in Abe's view, history has nothing to do with right and wrong or good and evil and even aggression is yet to be definitively defined by the academia or the international community.

By deliberately confusing right and wrong, Abe and his supporters aim to make a mess of history to glorify Japan's militarist past and then modify the pacifist Constitution. Their ultimate aim is to transform Japan into a military superpower. What Abe has been trying to do is not only harmful to East Asian countries, but in the final analysis it will endanger the entire international community.

Let's return to the cardinal issue of historical right and wrong, because only by squarely facing history can a country chart the right future for itself. Is there right and wrong in human history? Is there a unified standard of "aggression and resistance" in civilized society? The answer is "yes" for all countries and individuals, except for Abe and his supporters. Without right and wrong, values such as fairness, justice, human rights, freedom and democracy will lose their meanings.

If Abe and his government refuse to change their ways, they will indeed cause great harm to East Asia and the world beyond. But in the long run, Abe's evil designs will not interrupt the process of China's peaceful development nor can they stop the world's advance toward peace and prosperity.

A thousand sails skim past the shipwreck, a forest thrives beside the withered tree. History has proven many times that those who want to repeat historical tragedies eventually find their ruin in history.

The author is a researcher at the Institute of Japanese Studies, affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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