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Japan - trying to rewrite history?

(People's Daily Online)

14:01, June 08, 2013

Edited and translated by Liang Jun, People's Daily Online

On June 3, while visiting China, Japan's former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka acknowledged that in 1972, while in the process of normalizing of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations, leaders from Japan and China had reached an agreement to postpone discussions on the Diaoyu Islands issue.

His observations have provoked an intemperate reaction from some elements in Japan. The incumbent Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has repeatedly criticized Nonaka, describing his views as "baseless", and has gone so far as to suggest that his words were a reward offered in return for "Chinese hospitality".

Such a response is far from helpful. Unfortunately, it appears to be in keeping with a number of recent speeches and actions on the part of Japanese politicians, suggestive of a proclivity to rewrite history.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has recently tried to dilute the impact of the "Kono statement" and the "Murayama talks", which represented an apology for and a reflection on Japan's history of aggression against China. On April 23 2013, he argued in a Diet debate that: "The definition of what constitutes "aggression" has yet to be established in academia or in the international community."

In May the Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto earned international disdain, when he suggested that "the comfort women system was necessary" during WWII.

Under pressure from the international community, including the United States, Japan has reined in its challenges to the historical facts. But fundamentally it has not changed its unsustainable position on many issues, including the Diaoyu Islands.

During a recent interview with the U.S. magazine "Foreign Affairs", Abe said that Japan had never agreed to postpone the Senkaku Islands issue. He went so far as to suggest that China's claims to the contrary were a lie.

Yoshihide Suga has argued that the Potsdam Declaration is not relevant to sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, claiming that the Diaoyu Islands belonged to Japan prior to the declaration. His attack on Hiromu Nonaka indicates that Japan continues to maintain that there is no need to address the territorial sovereignty issue with China, nor postpone the issue – suggesting that in Japan's view the issue is already settled.

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Read the Chinese version: 日执意掩盖历史阴谋昭然若揭
Source: People's Daily Overseas Edion; Author: Su Xiaohui

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Yao Chun)

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ming at 2013-06-08171.97.3.*
The dispute of Diaoyu island between China and Japan is the based on the recent facts that:1. Japan purchased this island, and nationalise it.2. Why Japan do this if the island is belonging to them?3. To puchase is not clear. So Japan must purchase and declared nationalise it.4. That means the claims by China is correct.5. This Island, once took over by Japan, then China will have to take back. This is very sure.

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