This year commemorates the 72nd anniversary of August 15, 1945, a day when Japan was defeated in the WWII. It also sees the 70th birthday of enforcement of the Constitution. It remembers the 80th anniversaries of a beginning the Japan’s war against China (the Marco Polo Bridge Incident) and the Nanjing Massacre. The year 2017 notes the 45th anniversary Japan-China Joint Statement. We stand on the historic moment. Let’s think over the history deeply and swear for building peace in the region.
LET’S SWEAR FOR BUILDING PEACE IN THE REGION AT HISTORIC MOMENT
Incidents at Marco Polo Bridge and in Nanjing
Shootings happened at the Marco Polo Bridge (Luguoqiao) in the suburbs of Beijing on the night of July 7, 1937, against the units of the Imperial Japanese Army which were conducting military exercise. Controversies remain on conspiracy. The incident led to a full-scale war.
On December 10, the same year, the Japanese Army, which had seized Nanjing, waged a full assault against the city with an excuse of the city’s refusal to surrender. An extraordinary number of civilians were victimized during carnages and slaughters by the Japanese troops. It is called the Nanjing Massacre.
Some Japanese insist ‘there was no massacre in Nanjing’ even today. But nobody can deny a fact that a hundred and dozens of thousand civilians were murdered by Japanese soldiers, if he judged from the various evidences and testimonies, aside from the number of 300,000.
For half a century from the first Sino-Japanese War through August 15, 1945, Chinese people had been inflicted with mayhem by the Japanese aggression. People of Japan must learn sincerely the history of war against China.
Significance of Normalization between Japan and China
The Japan-China Joint Statement was signed on September 29, 1972. It proclaims: the two countries are neighbors, separated only by a strip of water with a long history of traditional friendship. The peoples of the two countries earnestly desire to put an end to the abnormal state of affairs that has hitherto existed between the two countries. The realization of the aspiration of the two peoples for the termination of the state of war and the normalization of relations between Japan and China will add a new page to the annals of relations between the two countries.
The Chinese Government renounced a claim for war indemnity. Some people in Japan explain that China had wanted to win grants-in-aid from Japan. But, in fact, that is incorrect.
Japan gained Taiwan and Penghu Islands as well as a sum of 200 million Kuping taels of war indemnity, which is four times bigger than the annual state budget of Japan of those days, by the Treaty of Shimonoseki concluded after the Sino-Japanese War.
Therefore, it was tremendously difficult for the Chinese government to persuade its people on renunciation of war reparation claim. Chinese people will not forget atrocities that Japan waged during the war, even though Japanese people forget them. Chairman Mao Zedong explained: it is people of Japan who suffer because of the China’s claim for compensation. Chinese people who have been tormented with the harsh payment know well about the pain. People of Japan are victims in the same way as people of China.
We Must Learn History Sincerely
It is 45 years since the Joint Statement between Japan and China. The bilateral relations are tense today. Japanese cabinet members visit the Yasukuni Shrine where the war criminals are honored. Former Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro stated that the government of Tokyo would purchase the Senkaku Islands. Then the islands were nationalized. Offices and shops of Japanese corporations in China were assaulted by those who raised a slogan of ‘patriotic acts are innocent’.
Meanwhile, Mr. Deng Xiaoping stated in the United Nations Special General Assembly held in April, 1974: if China alters, if it becomes a Big Power, holds hegemony over the world and disdain, invades and exploits foreign countries, - (partially omitted) ? then I would oppose and together with Chinese people I would overthrow it.
Peoples of Japan and China stand on the historic moment. The two peoples should think over the history deeply and act sincerely.
August 15, 2017