Japan marks 71st anniversary of WWII end, PM failing to mention "reflection"
Source: Xinhua   2016-08-16 01:03:55

TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II on Monday, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe once again failing to mention "reflection" at an annual memorial service and a number of Abe's Cabinet members visiting the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine.

The event came at a time when Japan's newly enacted security laws have enabled the country's self-defense forces to fight wars overseas for the first time since WWII and Japan's pacifist Constitution is more than ever in jeopardy, raising concerns over Japan's shifting away from pacifist path.

At an annual memorial ceremony held by the Japanese government in Tokyo Monday noon, Abe delivered a speech with a large part dedicated to mourning the Japanese war dead, while shying away from mentioning Japan's wartime aggression or the suffering Japan had inflicted upon some nations before and during WWII.

This was the fourth consecutive year for Abe to fail to mention "reflection" at the annual memorial service since he retook office as prime minister in 2012.

In contrast to Abe, Japanese Emperor Akihito stated his "deep remorse" over the past war for the second time at Monday's national memorial service, and expressed his wish for world peace.

Japanese prime ministers started to refer to Japan's past aggression at the annual event since 1994, when the then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama expressed remorse for the country's wartime atrocities.

Abe's speeches at previous three ceremonies also lacked mention of the Japanese wartime aggression, triggering criticism from Japan's Asian neighbors.

"Abe's failing to mention Japan's war responsibility as a victimizer shows his reluctance to face up to history and his denial of the fact that Japan had launched an aggressive war," said political critic Jiro Honzawa here in an article.

"Abe administration's recent moves, including enacting the controversial security laws and attempting to amend the pacifist Constitution, were all embodiment of his distorted historical view," said Takakage Fujita, director general of a civic group dedicated to upholding and developing the well-known Murayama Statement.

Meanwhile, two of Abe's newly reshuffled Cabinet members paid homage to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine on Monday, including Sanae Takaichi, internal affairs minister, and Tamayo Marukawa, minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Farm minister Yuji Yamamoto, however, told a press conference Monday that he visited Yasukuni on Aug. 6, while Masahiro Imamura, minister for reconstruction of disaster-hit regions, visited the shrine last week.

Abe himself, though refraining from visiting the shrine, sent his aide Yasutoshi Nishimura to make a ritual offering on his behalf as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, regardless of the feelings of Japan's neighboring countries.

With the Abe government and many lawmakers highlighting Japan's sufferings in the war while evading the country's war responsibility as an aggressor, for many Japanese people, Japan's image as a victimizer seems to be fading, with the country posing more as a victim than victimizer on many occasions.

In Tokyo, about 5,500 people attended a ceremony commemorating the U.S. bombing of Tokyo in 1945, with a number of survivors telling about their horrible experiences in the bombing. In Kagoshima, people visited a museum where things that used to belong to members of the Japanese Kamikaze, a special attack unit of the Japanese army, were stored and exhibited.

"For those of us who don't know much about the past war, even though we know the definition of the word 'invasion', we find it difficult to connect the word with what Japan had done," said Daisuke Yamada, a student from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.

"It's the government's responsibility to convey to the people the truth about the war, including the aggressive nature of the past war and tragedies like the Nanjing Massacre, instead of erasing these things from the textbooks like what the Abe government has been doing," said Fujita.

"In the long run, only by reflecting upon the history could Japan achieve reconciliation and co-development with other nations in Asia," he said.

Editor: yan
Related News
Xinhuanet

Japan marks 71st anniversary of WWII end, PM failing to mention "reflection"

Source: Xinhua 2016-08-16 01:03:55
[Editor: huaxia]

TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II on Monday, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe once again failing to mention "reflection" at an annual memorial service and a number of Abe's Cabinet members visiting the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine.

The event came at a time when Japan's newly enacted security laws have enabled the country's self-defense forces to fight wars overseas for the first time since WWII and Japan's pacifist Constitution is more than ever in jeopardy, raising concerns over Japan's shifting away from pacifist path.

At an annual memorial ceremony held by the Japanese government in Tokyo Monday noon, Abe delivered a speech with a large part dedicated to mourning the Japanese war dead, while shying away from mentioning Japan's wartime aggression or the suffering Japan had inflicted upon some nations before and during WWII.

This was the fourth consecutive year for Abe to fail to mention "reflection" at the annual memorial service since he retook office as prime minister in 2012.

In contrast to Abe, Japanese Emperor Akihito stated his "deep remorse" over the past war for the second time at Monday's national memorial service, and expressed his wish for world peace.

Japanese prime ministers started to refer to Japan's past aggression at the annual event since 1994, when the then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama expressed remorse for the country's wartime atrocities.

Abe's speeches at previous three ceremonies also lacked mention of the Japanese wartime aggression, triggering criticism from Japan's Asian neighbors.

"Abe's failing to mention Japan's war responsibility as a victimizer shows his reluctance to face up to history and his denial of the fact that Japan had launched an aggressive war," said political critic Jiro Honzawa here in an article.

"Abe administration's recent moves, including enacting the controversial security laws and attempting to amend the pacifist Constitution, were all embodiment of his distorted historical view," said Takakage Fujita, director general of a civic group dedicated to upholding and developing the well-known Murayama Statement.

Meanwhile, two of Abe's newly reshuffled Cabinet members paid homage to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine on Monday, including Sanae Takaichi, internal affairs minister, and Tamayo Marukawa, minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Farm minister Yuji Yamamoto, however, told a press conference Monday that he visited Yasukuni on Aug. 6, while Masahiro Imamura, minister for reconstruction of disaster-hit regions, visited the shrine last week.

Abe himself, though refraining from visiting the shrine, sent his aide Yasutoshi Nishimura to make a ritual offering on his behalf as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, regardless of the feelings of Japan's neighboring countries.

With the Abe government and many lawmakers highlighting Japan's sufferings in the war while evading the country's war responsibility as an aggressor, for many Japanese people, Japan's image as a victimizer seems to be fading, with the country posing more as a victim than victimizer on many occasions.

In Tokyo, about 5,500 people attended a ceremony commemorating the U.S. bombing of Tokyo in 1945, with a number of survivors telling about their horrible experiences in the bombing. In Kagoshima, people visited a museum where things that used to belong to members of the Japanese Kamikaze, a special attack unit of the Japanese army, were stored and exhibited.

"For those of us who don't know much about the past war, even though we know the definition of the word 'invasion', we find it difficult to connect the word with what Japan had done," said Daisuke Yamada, a student from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.

"It's the government's responsibility to convey to the people the truth about the war, including the aggressive nature of the past war and tragedies like the Nanjing Massacre, instead of erasing these things from the textbooks like what the Abe government has been doing," said Fujita.

"In the long run, only by reflecting upon the history could Japan achieve reconciliation and co-development with other nations in Asia," he said.

[Editor: huaxia]
010020070750000000000000011105521356008621