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Japan's historical illusion disdains int'l justice: editorial

(Xinhua)  February 11, 2014

Indeed, a fallacy can never become truth. Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine also harmsU.S. people's feelings. Many in the United States have pointed out that the so-called logic ofthe Yasukuni Shrine -- that an industrialized Japan liberalized under-developed Asia andthat the Asian people should be grateful for it -- is a flagrant rejection of the post-Warinternational order and the Japanese domestic legal basis. In the wake of recent attemptsto amend Japan's post-war Constitution, former British ambassador to Japan HughCortazzi warned that "those who play with fire are likely to get burned." The currentBritish ambassador to Japan, Tim Hitchens, also recently urged Tokyo to admit itshistorical mistakes.

Japan's refusal to admit its mistakes, show regret or introspection is intolerable for theinternational society, and certainly does nothing to win trust and respect. It is little wonderthat people compare a Japan with rampant right-wing elements to an unrepentant, fullyarmed criminal returning to the community. The neighborhood is left with no choice but tograsp their bats in self defense and prepare for the worst.

Only by recognizing history as it is can one overcome historical issues. After World War II,German Chancellor Willy Brandt's dropping to his knees before a monument in Polandunfastened, to a large extent, the spiritual shackles cast on German nationality byhistorical atrocities. When commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation ofLeningrad in January this year, German President Joachim Gauck wrote in a letter to hisRussian counterpart Vladimir Putin, "I can only think with deep sorrow and shame aboutthe war of extermination launched by Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union." Those arethe normal attitudes toward history kept by a normal country. Germany has become aleading country in Europe nowadays exactly because of its sincere apologies andintrospection.

How to look at invasion? How to look at the pains and wounds caused by Japanesemilitarism on Asian people? How to look at post-WW2 international order? How to respectother countries' territorial sovereignties? These are the questions which Japan mustmeditate on deeply and figure out the correct answers to. This is also the key to solving thecurrent issues in Sino-Japanese relations. Indeed, if Japan refuses to walk out of thevoodoo circle it has drawn for itself and stubbornly sticks to defying international justice byconjuring historical illusions, we will keep it company to the end. However, if it has to bethis way, it will be an end that causes tremendous miseries for the entire Japanese nation.

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