Facing up to history Japan's only way for reconciliation

By: Yan LeiFrom:English Edition of Xinhua | Updated: 2017-Dec-14 11:21
text size: T | T

TOKYO, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- While China marks the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, it is hoped that Japan, the country behind the atrocity, would truly reflect upon its war crimes and work toward a reconciliation.

The invading Japanese military brutally killed some 300,000 Chinese citizens and unarmed soldiers following their capture of Nanjing, the then Chinese capital, on Dec. 13, 1937.

The massacre, one of the most outrageous crimes committed by Japan during its war of aggression on China, inflicted tremendous suffering upon the Chinese. An unforgettable page in China's history, it still evokes indignation in the Chinese after so many years, especially since Japan, unlike Germany, has never atoned for its war-time wrongdoing.

In Japan, the ultra-right wing forces have been eager to downplay and whitewash the atrocities, with the Japanese government rarely repenting its World War II (WWII) history and sometimes, even conniving with the forces seeking to glorify the aggression during that time.

Some historians in Japan and elsewhere are concerned that the younger generations would come to know the truth about the war less and less, with museums taking down exhibitions on Japan's war crimes such as the Nanjing Massacre, and textbooks being blatantly revised.

The peace-loving people in Japan and some veterans of WWII have called for more people to face history squarely and pass the truth down to younger generations.

Their efforts and the raft of hard evidence of Japan's WWII ferocity have enabled an increasing number of people around the world to know about the atrocities committed by Japan's imperial militants.

The Japanese government and the ultra-rightist forces should remember that the truth cannot be glossed over. Only by reflecting upon history can Japan learn its lesson and rebuild trust with its Asian neighbors as well as the rest of the international community, and present itself as a normal country.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Japan, and 2018 will see the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

Despite difficulties in bilateral ties in recent years caused by Japan, China has kept the communication channel open at all levels.

The sobering remembrance in China today of its 300,000 citizens butchered by invading Japanese forces in 1937 can be seen by the whole world. The more Japan tries to distort or deny its role in this dark page in human history, the further away it is from being an honorable and respectable global player.