Hiroshima commemorates 72nd anniversary of atomic bombing with a gathering at the city's Peace Memorial Park. (Xinhua/Ma Ping)
by Yan Lei
TOKYO, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- While Japan's Hiroshima once again marked the anniversary of the atomic bombing in 1945, what should be kept in mind is that true reflection upon history is the only way to prevent repeat of such war tragedies.
Two atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 72 years ago. Several days later, on Aug. 15, Japan announced its unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces, putting an end to the years-long World War II.
While full sympathy should be given to the innocent lives perished with the mushroom clouds in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it shall be noted that the root cause of such tragedies lies in Japan's launch of the invasive war.
Millions of innocent lives were massacred, and cities and villages pillaged by Japanese soldiers during Japan's aggressive war against China and other Asian countries. In Nanjing, the then Chinese capital, the invading Japanese military brutally killed some 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers following capture of city in 1937.
The wreaths, tears and solemn memorial services that we saw in Hiroshima today, shall by no means gloss over the fact that the city acted as Japan's most important base for munitions factories and barracks during the WWII.
While Japan commemorates its war dead, including those killed in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it's also important for the nation to reflect upon what caused the loss of the lives in the first place, and how to avoid similar tragedies.
What Japan has done by now in this regard has been disappointing to many. The Nanjing Massacre, for an instance, like many other war atrocities, is now merely an "incident" in Japanese textbooks.
In addition, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that it was "unnecessary" for the Japanese young people to keep apologizing in the future. Abe himself has been trying to revise the pacifist Constitution.
At a memorial ceremony held Sunday in Hiroshima, Abe, once again, highlighted the sufferings of Japan as the only country that have sustained atomic bombings in war, but shied away from mentioning the real cause of Hiroshima's tragedies or the sufferings that Japan had inflicted on other nations in the aggressive war.
Japan has been trying to downplay its role as an aggressor and portray itself as a victim. But the fact it shall be cognizant of is that only by facing up to the past and fully reflecting on its wartime crimes, can it win back trust among its neighbors, and preserve peace and stability.
The best way to commemorate the dead is to learn from the history and to prevent the recurrence of war tragedies. Apparently, Japan still has a lot of work to do.