Commentary: Time to abandon militarism, Japan

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-16 22:46:28|Editor: Yang Yi
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BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Some Japanese politicians remain stuck in the quagmire of militarism and continue to worship war criminals at the Yasukuni Shrine.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made yet another monetary offering on Tuesday, the 72nd anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II and a day that should be a painful reminder to all Japanese people of the country's wartime atrocities.

The world, especially those who suffered from the war, looked on in horror, again, at Japan's attitude toward the anniversary, and, once again, witnessed the heartlessness and cruelty which inspired the atrocities in the first place.

For the past 72 years, high-ranking officials and politicians have never stopped worshipping at the Yasukuni Shrine, which houses 14 Class-A convicted war criminals.

It is the fifth year that Abe has made his tawdry offering, and the fifth year that he has not even bothered to mention Japan's responsibility for the murder, torture, rape and enslavement of its neighbors. It is the fifth year of bare-faced insults to international justice, the post-war order and peaceful people everywhere.

Will there ever come a time when Japan will show remorse, win back its self-respect and gain the trust of the international community? On the showing of the current Japanese government, probably not.

Since 2012, Abe has diligently worked to turn back the clock of history, constantly expanding its military, forcefully enacting highly controversial security laws which allow Japanese forces to fight abroad, lifting the ban on the so-called collective self-defense and attempting to usurp the pacifist constitution.

The Japanese public broadcaster NHK aired a documentary about Unit 731 last week, a Japanese germ warfare unit that committed atrocities during the occupation of northeast China from 1935 to 1945. Civilians and prisoners of war from China, the Soviet Union, the Korean Peninsula and Mongolia perished at the hands of Japanese scientists at the research base.

A 90-minute documentary "Twenty Two" released this week featured 22 "comfort women" in China, who told their stories. Some 400,000 women in Asian were made into sex slaves for the Japanese army during WWII, nearly half of whom were Chinese.

It would be easy for Japan to put down its historical burden and stroll into a bright future. Is seventy-two years not long enough for Japan to understand a truth as simple as this?

Though Japan spares no efforts to become a "normal" country, Tokyo must understand that a country built on a history of lies can never be "normal".